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What if Royalists won the civil war in England?

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  • What if Royalists won the civil war in England?

    I've been reading Sir Winston Churchill's book on the history of English-speaking peoples. I don't know that much about English history, so I'd thought I might give it a try.

    One of things that came up was about King Charles I's Personal Rule during mid-1600s. I have a question for everybody: what if Royalists had managed to defeat Parliamentarians in the first civil war (1642-1645), what would have happened afterward? Do you think King Charles I would have bothered to keep Parliament in its greatly weakened state? It seemed to me that absolutism was something of a fad during 1600s and early 1700s as well, so could we expect England to be set back on gaining English liberty and constitutionality?

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

    "Aim small, miss small."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
    I've been reading Sir Winston Churchill's book on the history of English-speaking peoples. I don't know that much about English history, so I'd thought I might give it a try.

    One of things that came up was about King Charles I's Personal Rule during mid-1600s. I have a question for everybody: what if Royalists had managed to defeat Parliamentarians in the first civil war (1642-1645), what would have happened afterward? Do you think King Charles I would have bothered to keep Parliament in its greatly weakened state? It seemed to me that absolutism was something of a fad during 1600s and early 1700s as well, so could we expect England to be set back on gaining English liberty and constitutionality?

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Finally,something on the ECW! The first thing to remember is that Charles was a firm believer in the "divine rights of kings". Personally I've always thought that Charles regarded parliment as too much of a irritant and was eager to expand his power. But the nobles,who led the army,most likely not allow him to abolish parliment in order to protect themselves.Parliment,however would be reduced in power,but I think this would only set the stage for a future conflict.As for the issue of liberty, it would br set back.But only temporaily. Thanks for a cool thread.
    If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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    • #3
      Yup, a Royalist victory would only have delayed the evolution of the British parliamentary system for a number of reasons.

      -increasing growth in the power of the merchant class who wouldn't take tax without being represented in government
      -demand for religous freedom that the Stuarts would not accept (often the freedom to force you to accept my religion so not that free really)
      -well established principles limiting the power of British monarchs (English and Scottish)

      the Roundhead victory was pretty much overturned when Britain returned to Monarchy anyway so it could be looked upon as a particularly bloody piece of decision making leading to not much change.

      (good thread mate)
      What would Occam say?

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      • #4
        I wonder, though, what would happen in regards to Scotland? Charles was humiliated in the Bishop's war with the Covenanters. Would Charles after dealing with Parliment, try to avenge himself on the Scots? He seems to be the type to not tolerate such a disgrace.
        If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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        • #5
          One effect would have likely been a marked increase in the immigration of dissenters to North America from which one could speculae many alternate history timelines. There is also a question of whether the dynasty would have eventually had a return to Rome.
          Boston Strong!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Legate View Post
            I wonder, though, what would happen in regards to Scotland? Charles was humiliated in the Bishop's war with the Covenanters. Would Charles after dealing with Parliment, try to avenge himself on the Scots? He seems to be the type to not tolerate such a disgrace.
            I'm not the expert on English history, but is not attacking Scotland required of English monarchs of the era? The 'To Do' list for English kings seems to have been:

            1. Coronation

            2. Deal with political enemys

            3. Attack Scotland.

            4. War with France

            5. Squabble with Parliment over finances

            Invading Ireland amy have been optional. I'm not sure.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
              I'm not the expert on English history, but is not attacking Scotland required of English monarchs of the era? The 'To Do' list for English kings seems to have been:

              1. Coronation

              2. Deal with political enemys

              3. Attack Scotland.

              4. War with France

              5. Squabble with Parliment over finances

              Invading Ireland amy have been optional. I'm not sure.
              It is interesting to note that Scots actually invaded England and defeated Royalist armies led by Charles I. But eventually after some twist of events, Charles I hoped to form an alliance with Scots, taking advantage of Scots' uneasiness with Oliver Cromwell and the likes of downright hostile Parliamentary forces. This failed as well, and Charles I was led to scaffold and executed for treason.

              Invading Ireland was not definitely optional, it was necessary in Cromwell's mind, because of irreconcilable disagreements between Protestant and Catholic theologies and ambitions. Cromwell viewed Irish as pagan and downright barbarians who needed a bit of taming, preferably with cold, hard steel and lead. In certain ways, this set back relations between Ireland and England that were never wholly resolved peacefully even to this day.

              It's always interesting to see how allies and enemies seemed never to stay on one side, they're always changing sides throughout England's history. It gets hard to trace one's original side to another side. Especially, if you're confused on the noble titles bestowed upon gentry and warriors! Frankly, after reading English history, I think I'm SO happy that at least in American history, it's not so confusing! Moreover, I'm glad American Founders did away with noble titles. Whew.

              Dan
              Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

              "Aim small, miss small."

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              • #8
                Invading Scotland was always on the ”to do list” of all English kings but I’m glad to say they never managed to cross it off as “done”.

                Talking about “The Scots” is a bit misleading since the country was a riddled with civil strife as any other in the UK at that time, mainly over religion of course.

                On the subject of an American titled aristocracy I am pretty sure this existed during the early settlement period but it died out long before the AWoI. I suppose that technically there is still a vacant title for the “Duke of Baltimore” or “Lord Philadelphia” sitting in the Queen’s filling cabinet somewhere.
                What would Occam say?

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                • #9
                  If there was one for Boston I bt Joe Kennedy tried to get it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
                    Invading Scotland was always on the ”to do list” of all English kings but I’m glad to say they never managed to cross it off as “done”.

                    Talking about “The Scots” is a bit misleading since the country was a riddled with civil strife as any other in the UK at that time, mainly over religion of course.

                    On the subject of an American titled aristocracy I am pretty sure this existed during the early settlement period but it died out long before the AWoI. I suppose that technically there is still a vacant title for the “Duke of Baltimore” or “Lord Philadelphia” sitting in the Queen’s filling cabinet somewhere.
                    Actually, I think everyone is the Lord of his personal computer, how else could you explain that so many of us tend to act like another person when surfing or chatting online?

                    Besides, I think we have one too many Lords here in America. Just look at Barack Obama, he thinks he's the anointed Lord and Messiah!

                    Dan
                    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                    "Aim small, miss small."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
                      Invading Ireland was not definitely optional, it was necessary in Cromwell's mind, because of irreconcilable disagreements between Protestant and Catholic theologies and ambitions. Cromwell viewed Irish as pagan and downright barbarians who needed a bit of taming, preferably with cold, hard steel and lead.
                      Rebellion in Ireland played a major part in the start of the English Civil war. It was due to the Irish rebelling that Charles was forced to recall Parliament to raise the money to send troops there.

                      It was when he tried to force Parliament to hand over the cash without agreeing to any of Parliaments political demands that war broke out between the King and Parliament.

                      When Parliament had won the battle in England it was decided by Parliament to send Cromwell over to come to the aid of the Protestant settlers (of whom up to 12,000 men, women and children had been killed by the rebels ) and restore English rule.
                      Last edited by redcoat; 06 Aug 08, 10:17.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                        Rebellion in Ireland played a major part in the start of the English Civil war. It was due to the Irish rebelling that Charles was forced to recall Parliament to raise the money to send troops there.

                        It was when he tried to force Parliament to hand over the cash without agreeing to any of Parliaments political demands that war broke out between the King and Parliament.

                        When Parliament had won the battle in England it was decided by Parliament to send Cromwell over to come to the aid of the Protestant settlers (of whom up to 12,000 men, women and children had been killed by the rebels ) and restore English rule.
                        It's not just that, but wasn't there a number of disastrous armed expeditions to Spain and France that forced Charles to recall Parliament to beg for more money? Could it be largely blamed on Charles' favorite subordinate, Wensworth, who was an incompetent military commander? I know it's wrong spelling...I'm just typing it from my memory. Wasn't a specific Bill of Attainder brought through Parliament that finally forced Charles's hand to either give in to Parliamentary demands or fight it out with them? Again, this is just from my memory. I'm at work, so....

                        Dan
                        Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                        "Aim small, miss small."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think the Crown's financial crisis, partly caused by Irish campaigns as you say, was the touchpaper, but Crown and Parliament were on collision courses, not least over religion.

                          Had the throne been occupied by a more capable monarch such as James I/VI I am pretty sure warefare could have more limited, but probably not avoided complelety.
                          What would Occam say?

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                          • #14
                            Another factor to toss into the discussion; Would a victorius Charles have been able to intrevene in the 30yrs war ? Remember it was the indirect support of the Palintine that helped march towards civil war.
                            If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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