Religion's Role In The English Civil War

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The 17th century was a chaotic time period in England. England saw a transition in their nation’s religion during the reign of different monarchs. Before the start of the 17th century, England was under a Roman Catholic monarch with Queen Mary. Mary attempted to turn the Church of England into a Catholic Church and in the process earned the name “Bloody Mary”. She earned this name through her executions of many Protestants in England. However once Mary was unsuccessful in creating a Catholic England and was no longer the monarch, the Church went back to a Protestant Church. With the church now being Protestant, the Catholic minority in England began to become upset with the church and even plotted to make the church Catholic again through violence. …show more content…

These two opposing religions had their differences be known be the other side and would fight for their ideas to be the ones all to follow. Conrad Russel states in his book The Causes of the English Civil War, that England “was a society with several religions, while still remaining a society with a code of values and a political system which were only designed to be workable with one”. Inside the Church of England was essentially two churches, Protestant and Catholic. Both sides were determined that their religion was going to be the one in the church and not the one outside looking in. Both sides wanted to control the authoritative powerhouse of England and would do anything to have the Church of England become the church of their religion. However, religious differences did not just occur between the citizens, it also occurred between King Charles I and Parliament. First off let’s look at King Charles himself. Charles was a very religious monarch who liked his worship to be High Anglican. He also believed the hierarchy of priests and bishops was very important, which alarmed Parliament because they believed that King Charles was leaning towards the idea of Catholicism in England. King Charles’ form of worship was seen by the Puritan faith as a form of popery. This upset them because they wanted a pure worship without icons or bishops. To clarify, popery is the doctrines, practices, and ceremonies associated with the pope or the papal system; Roman Catholicism. Charles also wanted to support William Laud who was the leader of the High Church Anglican Party because they had recently became prominent. Parliament strongly disagreed with the King’s decision because they feared that Laud would promote Roman Catholicism ideas and

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