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Struggle between King and Parliament

The Long Parliament in 1640 first took the necessary measures to put an end to the King's tyranny — William Laud was impeached and taxes imposed by the King were declared illegal. Special measures were taken to regulate the work of the Parliament — Triennial Act made the sittings of parliament obligatory every three years and the Parliament could not be dissolved except by its own consent. The most important document of that Parliament was the grand Remonstrance, which criticised the doings of Charles I. It also demanded that the power of bishops be reduced and the government consists only of the ministers approved by the Parliament.

The Earl of Stafford was brought to trial, charged with treason and executed. In 1645, William Laud was executed too.

King decided to take revenge and arrest the most active leaders of the House of Commons. When he arrived to the House with his men, the leaders had already escaped. King's intrusion into the Parliament caused tremendous protest. The open struggle between the King and Parliament started.

Unlike many previous struggles it was not only the struggle between Parlu ment and King, but also the people's revolt against King's tyranny. In Uls revolt English people were divided in opinion — the King was sup-porte< by most of the nobles, Catholics and the gentry, on the side of the Parlia nent were the Commons, the Puritans, trading classes and yeomen. This iivision was also of territorial character — north and west supported Charles while London, industrial areas and southeastern countries were on the side of the Parliament.

King's supporters were called "Cavaliers" (from the Spanish "cabal-lero" — soldier). They were luxuriously dressed, good swordsmen and horsemen. The supporters of Parliament were called "Roundheads" because of their short hair. The Cavaliers were mainly Anglicans while the Roundheads united many Puritans.

The chief Royalist commanders were the King, Prince Rupert and the Earl of Newcastle, Parliamentary forces were led by Essex, commander-in-chief Fairfax, Cromwell, and Waller.

At first Charles I tried to carry on negotiations with the Parliament, but in August 1642 he declared war on it. At the beginning the well-trained Cavaliers beat the Roundheads but the situation changed when the Roundheads were joined by the detachments of peasants and workmen trained by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell's armoured horsemen were called "Ironsides" because of their strict discipline and organisation. They were convinced of the justice of their cause and fought with full determination. By 1645, the Roundheads developed into the New Model Army formed according to Cromwell's ideas.


Task 2.Fill in the table representing the Cavaliers and Roundheads. Speak about the differences between them.


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