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The English Civil War

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The English Civil war was partially a religious conflict, which brought Church and State against Parliament. Under the reign of James I, England saw the rise in Protestants dissenters. Groups like Barrowists, Puritans, Fifth Monarchists, Quakers, and many more demanded for more religious reform. They felt that the Church of England’s liturgy was too Catholic for a Protestant church. James VI and I accepted the more moderated Puritans and other dissenters, and he was able to keep his kingdom in peace. However, his son Charles I did not believe that kings were answerable to Parliament, but to God. In fact, he ruled without Parliament for many years. He trusted the running of the Church of England to William Laud, who believed that the Church had already gone through too many reforms. Laud went wrong when he tried to make church services more about doctrine and sacraments, and sought to make freewill the official doctrine of the Church. He did not stop there. He ordered that alters should be re-sited from the central places in churches to the east end of churches across the country. This essay will discuss Laud’s Arminian doctrines and his misjudgement of England’s religious mood, which led to his downfall and to the civil war.
Laud’s New Religious Policies for the Church of England.

Laud’s attempts to make the Church more conformed coincided with King Charles I’s personal rule without parliament. In fact, Charles embarked on policies which made the English feel under threat. The Venetian ambassador in London wrote Charles had “changed the principles by which his predecessors reigned…if the road he has taken will lead him to absolute royalty, which is definitely the goal he has set for himself” (Young 106). Even though many English...

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... urges and argues for the need for re-evolution of Laud career and achievements. According to Kevin Sharpe, “Laud is too often depicted from the standpoint and propaganda of enemies. His own letters and speeches, even more his sermons and treatises, remain inexplicably neglected” (1983). He goes on by arguing that at his trial he denied that he was an Arminian, one can argue that Laud was a pro-Arminian. Sharpe argues that Laud truly believed in the Church of England, and he was seeking peace and unity in the church. Sharpe points out, “Laud had much in common with them (Puritans). Like the puritans he sought an upright and well-educated clergy; like them he was virulent against popery, hard against clerical failings and intolerant lay profligacy” (1983). Sharpe concludes his essay by arguing that Laud’s name was blacken because he tried to reverse the Reformation.
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