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On 22 August 1642, the royal battle standard was raised over Nottingham Castle. This was the King Charles I's declaration of war against Parliament, signallying the beginning of the first Civil war. Few people could have predicted that the first two civil wars would have ended with the public execution of Charles I.

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What caused the Civil War?

The Civil War came as the result of a mounting tide of disagreement between King Charles I and Parliament. Like his father before him, Charles was a firm believer in the "divine right of kings". This was a belief that God had made someone a king and as God could not be wrong, neither could anyone appointed by him to rule a nation. Charles expected Parliament to do as he wanted; he did not expect it to argue with any of his decisions.

From 1625 to 1629, but money and religion were the most common causes of arguments between Charles and Parliament. 

From 1629, after protests over taxation, the war with Spain, and attempts to allow toleration for Catholics, Charles ruled without Parliament. After about 11 years, Charles ran short of money to fight the Scots and had to recall Parliament in 1640. Only Parliament had the necessary money needed to fight a war and the required authority to collect extra money.

By 1642, relations between Parliament and Charles had become worse than before, so much so that neither side was willing to back down over the principles that they held and war was inevitable as a way in which all problems could be solved. The country split into those who supported the king and those who supported Parliament – the classic ingredients for a civil war.

On the 22nd August 1642, Charles raised his standard at Nottingham signallying what was to be the first Civil war.

Less than seven years later, Charles was tried at Westminster Hall and found guilty that he had “traitorously and maliciously levied war against the present Parliament and the people therein represented.”

 Charles was executed on 30 January, 1649.

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