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The origins of the wars of the three kingdoms
From Catholic rebellion to Civil War, what happened during the latter years of the...
From Catholic rebellion to Civil War, what happened during the latter years of the reign of Charles I that caused people to take up arms against their fellow citizens? This unit looks at the background of the wars between England, Scotland and Ireland and how the king’s actions led to the rift between royalists and parliamentarians.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- describe the developments in the British Isles that led to the outbreak of war;
- assess the debates between historians about the cause of the wars;
- understand how to use evidence from church records to learn about changes in religion and society.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Overview
- 2 Thinking about the causes
- 3 How did relations between the king and his subjects break down?
- 3.1 Charles I and the eleven years’ personal rule in England and Wales
- 3.2 Financing government
- 3.3 The king and the church
- 3.4 Personal rule or tyranny 1629–40?
- 3.5 Scotland, the prayer book and the bishops’ wars
- 3.6 The Short Parliament and the early months of the Long Parliament
- 3.7 Ireland and 1641
- 3.8 Back to England
- 4 Taking sides
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The origins of the wars of the three kingdoms
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
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 21st July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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