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The origins of the wars of the three kingdoms


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This unit focuses on the seventeenth-century crises in the British Isles that led, in the 1640s, to the Civil Wars between parliamentarians and royalists in England. In the so-called Whig interpretation of British history, the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688 is the fountainhead of orderly progress. But this is a very English view. Scotland experienced both wars against England and a protracted religious civil war. Ireland saw a Catholic rebellion in 1641 turn into a concerted campaign to render Catholics economically and politically impotent.

To complete this unit fully you will need to buy Exploring History 1400–1900: An Anthology of Primary Sources edited by Rachel C. Gibbons, ISBN 978-0719075889. This book will be referred to as the ‘Anthology Document’ throughout this unit.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Exploring history: medieval to modern 1400-1900 (A200). [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]