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ular party in the House of Commons during the session of 1624, died during his imprisonment. Charles next attempted to introduce many innovations in the religious and political institutions of England. The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury was his chief advisor as to religious matters, while Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stratford and a renegade leader of the Commons, was the instrument by whom the King attempted to destroy the political rights of the English people.
The English religious disputes of the seventeenth century are beyond the understanding of any one but a trained theologian, but by the course of events the cause of the established Church in England and of the Stuart tyranny became inseparably connected. Arrayed against these were the Protestant non-conformists and the friends of political liberty. On the political side the King's policy was a simple one, it being summed up in the one word motto of his ministers—thorough. The aim was nothing short of the destruction of liberties of England. The English people were, as nearly as possible, to be reduced to the same position of that of the subjects of an oriental despot. The principle that the King is the State, and that the subjects were created for him was to be rigidly carried out. Parliament was to be done away with; and although the courts were to continue to exist they were to continue merely as agents of the King, and subject at all times to his commands. There was to be no division of powers among executive, legislative and judicial departments; all departments were to be one, and that department
The chief difficulty of the King at all times lay in his lack of money and to obtain it many illegal methods were resorted to. One of these illegal methods which brought in the greatest returns was the levying of ship money in time of peace throughout all the countries of England, inland as well as those bordering on the seashore. It was at this time that John Hampden, forever famous as the champion of English liberties, refused to pay his share of the illegal tax and contended against its lawfulness in the English courts. The judges, however, proved their subserviency to the King on this question and ten of the twelve judges upheld the King's claim. It might have seemed at this time as though the darkness of midnight had descended upon
the liberties of England, and many of the stoutest hearts in the kingdom showed their despair at the existing conditions at home by emigrating to the wilderness of the new western continent. Of a sudden a ray of light appears in the north. Archbishop Laud, in his zealousness, not content with his alterations in the English Church, had attempted at the same time to overthrow the Calvinistic system of the Scottish Church. The Scotch, however, lacked the patience of their southern neighbors, and scarcely had an attempt been made to put the hated innovations into force when the nation rose in arms. Terrified at this unexpected incident and in need of greater supplies of money than could be wrested from the people by all his unlawful expedients Charles at last summoned Parliament. The Parliament elected was a far more moderate one than could be expected to have been chosen after eleven years of misgovernment, without a Parliament and in violation of law. The majority of the members of Parliament were men of moderate views, but even they insisted upon certain reforms before they would grant money supplies to the King. The King would hear of no concession and Parliament was adjourned, without the passage of a single act. But it was the King's friends and not his enemies who were disappointed at this dissolution. Lord Clarendon, the great historian of the age, tells us how the leaders of the people went down from Parliament, smiling, knowing that a new Parliament would meet in a far different spirit, a spirit far more hostile to the King than had been that of the Parliament just dissolved. Such proved to be the case. Continued trouble in the north compelled the summoning of a new Parliament before the year was out, and the election manifested that a great change of opinion had taken place during the last few months-a change against the King. The candidates of the King were rejected on all sides, and the bitterest opponents of the King were elected to Parliament.
$38. The Long Parliament.-The members of the famous Long Parliament of England met in 1640, with an appreciation of the fact that upon them rested the responsibility for the preservation of English liberties, and with the grave determina
tion to perform their duty regardless of whatever the cost might be to themselves, or to their enemies. The work of Parliament began with a movement for the punishment of the guilty advisors of the King; first came the impeachment of Stafford, followed by that of Laud and others. The King, for the moment thoroughly cowed, signed the death warrant of his favorites. The main object of the King in summoning Parliament had been to obtain from them assistance in his conflict with the Scots, but to the members of the Long Parliament the Scotch rebellion appeared in a light far different from that in which it was viewed by the King. The Scotch were, like themselves, resisting the tyranny of the crown, and, furthermore, it was the Scottish rebellion which had saved the liberties of England by making the calling of a new English Parliament necessary. The result was, that instead of appropriating money to be used in warlike preparations against their northern neighbors, Parliament referred to them as “their brethren of Scotland" and voted a handsome sum of money to the Scottish army to reimburse them for their services and pay while in the field. The danger of another long period without the reassembling of Parliament was done away with by an act providing that Parliament should assemble at least once in three years, with provisions for its assembly without the writs of election being issued by the King, if such writs were not properly issued. To prevent the dissolution of their body before its work was accomplished it was provided that it should not be dissolved without its own consent. At no other time, indeed, in the Parliamentary history of England hare existing abuses been so rapidly abolished by Parliamentary action as they were during the early months of 1641. The right of the King to collect ship money was done away with, and the courts of the Star Chamber, High ('ommission and the council of the North were abolished. Purrevance was restricted, impressments declared illegal, conpulsory knighthood abolished and extensions of the royal forests annulled.
Up to this period the House of Commons had stood nearly as a unit against the King, but now a division in the Parliamentary ranks began to manifest itself. The more conservative and faint
hearted of the members began to think that enough had been done to properly secure the liberties of the English people, and iw-gan to fear that if further encroachments were made upon the power of the King it would result in a displacement of the equilibrium of the English monarchy. The more radical element in the Parliament, led by a group of the wisest and most far seeing statesmen whose names are contained in the annals of history, appreciating the treacherous character of the man with whom they were dealing, feeling their responsibility as the custodians of English liberty and infused with the progressive spirit of the day, were determined to secure these English liberties by laws sufficient to protect them, instead of leaving them at the mercy of the faith of a man whose oath had already been shown to be valueless. The division between these two parties came to an issue on the attempt to pass through Parliament what has become known in history as “The Great Remonstrance," an enumeration of the wrongs which the country had sustained at the hands of its king and an appeal to the country to support Parliament in their conflict against him. This remonstrance was finally passed by a narrow margin of two rotes. From this point on the events leading up to the Civil War followed each other in rapid succession. The attempt of the King to destroy the opposition in Parliament by the arrest of five leaders of the Parliamentary party-John Pym, John Hampden, Denzill Holles, Sir Arthur Haslerig and William Strode-was made known to these members in time to allow them to escape from the House before the entrance of King Charles and his soldiers. Baflled in his attempt to seize these leaders or to create a riot in the House of ('ommons, which might have given him an exruse to use his guards for the massacre of these members of that body who had remained true to their constituents, Charles was now under the necessity of fleeing from London, taking up his hearlquarters at Oxford and appealing to the fortunes of war.
$ 39. The Civil War.-At first the war went favorably for the king, whose army proved itself superior to the armies of the Scotch or of Parliament; but gradually a new element began to (levelop in the Parliamentary army: it was an element so closely connected with the religious differences of the times that it can only be understood in connection with them. The great strength of the Parliamentary forces had, up to this time, lain in the low church element of the Church of England, and in the Presbyterians. There was, however, growing up in England a new religious belief which denounced the government by Councils, as well as that by Bishops or by the Pope, and which advocated an independent control by each congregation over its own affairs. From this was derived their name of Independents. It was in this body that the most extreme members of the Puritan faith were to be found, and it was from this body that there was organized the regiments which probably constituted the finest body of soldiers which have ever been brought together. It was said of them, when afterwards perfected under the rule of Cromwell, that there have been other bodies of soldiers in the history of the world who were under as perfect discipline, and other bodies of soldiers inspired by as fierce and sincere enthusiasm ; but never, at any time, has there existed a body in which such discipline and enthusiasm were combined. With the gradual development of this body of soldiers the fortunes of war began to change until these “Ironside regiments” finally turned the tide of battle at Marston Moor. Charles now became a fugitive and soon afterwards a prisoner. A period of trickery, confusion and negotiations ensued. There were at this period four distinct elements, all playing at cross purposes, and at last three of them resorting to deception and attempting by negotiations with each of the others to obtain an advantage for themselves. The victory finally fell to the army of the Independents. The Long Parliament was first reduced to a mere “rump" and then dissolved by military force. The King, tried for violation of his coronation oath, was found guilty and publicly executed, “a sentence too mighty for its age, but glorious in the light of all future time for its humiliating lesson to the monarch and its high example to the subject." Two decisive defeats of the Scotch Presbyterian army by Cromwell ended the military operations for the time. • After the expulsion of the ma