The failure to reach a settlement

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  • Created on: 24-04-22 11:15
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  • The failure to reach a settlement
    • The Newcastle propositions were presented by parliament in July 1646, chalres would give parliament control of the army, would dismiss evil advisors and would impose a Presbyterian state church.,
      • Chalres deliberately procrastinated in answering the propositions and one year later they were no nearer to a settlement, so the army offered him their terms, the heads of proposals.
        • The army kidnapped Charles and took him to their headquarters at Newmarket, under the heads of proposals of august 1647 chalres would agree to: call a parliament at least once every two years, give parliament control of the army, make the use of the prayer book optional, give bishops no authority in civil matters and pass an act on indemnity.
          • Things changed when chalres managed to escape from army custody and flee to carisbrook castle on the isle of white where he opened up negotiations with the Scots.
            • Under the terms of the engagement, December 1647, the scots pledged to restore charles to his position so long as he agreed to the imposition of a Presbyterian state church. When the army learned of his negotiations with the scots, they broke off talks with him.
    • Chalres belived his postwar postion to be strong, he saw the divisions between teh groups and thought that he could use these to his advantage and play the different groups off against each other, the longer he procrastinated,the wider the divisions would get.
      • In the aftermath of the war there existed four competing groups, the Presbyterian majority in parliament, the independents who represented the religious sects, the army and the Scots, who were not concerned with the political state in England and just wanted to see the Presbyterian church imposed.
    • The army met at what would become known as the Windsor prayer meeting in may 1648 to decide what to do with the king, it was here that they concluded that charles was a man of bolood who needed to be held account for all the blood shed since 1642 and for going to war on his own people.
      • The second civil war was short lived as the royalists and Scots did not cooordinte their plans effectivly, they suffered defeats in wales and east anglia and were routed by Cromwell at preston in august 1648, thus ending the conflict.
        • Now that the king had been defeated, the issue arose of what to do with him. 5th december saw a majority of MPs vote to continue negotiations with the king, the next day colonel Thomas pride and his regiment turned up to parliament and turned away all those who had voted to continue negotiations with the king in a move that would later be known as pride’s purge, the MPs who remained became known as the rump.
          • Charles was put on trial in January 1649, he behaved wirth dignity and refused even to recognize the authority of the court- this did not matter as his guilt was predetermined. He was executed 31st January 1649 and used the event to paint himself as a martyr of the people, in dying as he did he made the restoration more likely,
            • Most people were horrified at the sacrilege the regicide represented- this was not a good base upon which to build the new Republic. In march 1649 the rump abolished the monarchy and the House of Lords, the fact they took so long to do so shows just how conservative they were.
          • Parliament decided to put the king on trial as they wanted to cloak their actions in legal form, many did not want to try, let alone execute the king,
            • Cromwell had not even spoken of the trial until December 1648 and was originally opposed to it, but chalres’ defeat and him starting the second civil war convinced him that god was against  monarchy and the trial was both legal and just.
    • Parliament was concerned over the political and physical threat the army posed, so in early 1647 they propose it be disbanded. The terms were unacceptable for the army, with no indemnity from prosecution and only 8 weeks of back pay, the army refused to disband.
      • Parliament responded to the army’s refusal by dismissing all independent MPs from parliament and attempted to raise their own forces from their supporters in London.
        • The army responded by marching in London to reinstate the dismissed MPs.
        • In October 1647 the army presented  the agreement of the people, wherein they laid down their constitutional program and ideas, they said that the present parliament should be dissolved and should recognize  that it existed only by permission of the people, that the law should apply to all equally and that position of birth should confer no special privileges.
          • In response to this, the army held the putney debates in October 1647 between ireton’s grandees and rainsborough’s agitators, the grandees argued that war had been fought to preserve the social order- not overthrow it. The agitators argued that rights were universal and the war had been fought to challenge the old ways.
            • The differences between the two sides could be contained whilst the king and the second civil war remained threats.
    • The leveler movement had emerged from a conviction amongst merchants that war had created an economic recession that threatened their livelihoods.
      • The levelers wanted the vote for the middling sort- small scale landowners, merchants and traders. Under john lilburne they grew into an influential critic for the political system.
        • In September 1648 the levelers presented the humble petition, in which they laid out all that parliament had failed to do, they had failed to reform the law and make all things common, abolish tithes, release those imprisoned for debt and become answerable to the people.
          • In early 1649 lilburne was arrested for accusing Cromwell of high treason in a pamphlet and was put in the tower of London.
            • In response to the arrest of Lilburne, a number of army units mutinied, Cromwell acted to crush them with speed and severity at burford in Oxfordshire in may 1649. Three of their ringleaders were shot and this marked the end of the leveler threat. Cromwell had moved so quickly as he wanted to show the traditional ruling classes that the new Republic would not tolerate social disruption.


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