The Civil Wars which swept across the British Isles in the seventeenth century left few lives untouched. For many it was 'a world turned upside down as fathers fought sons, and brother killed brother. We will explore the causes, conduct and significance of the English Civil Wars.
Listen to Dr Andrew Lacey talking about the course:
On 30th January 1649, Charles I, the king of England, was executed outside his palace of Whitehall after a public trial. We will look at the series of events which led to this revolutionary act: from the 'personal rule of the king in the 1630s and the opposition this provoked, through the calling of 'the 'Long Parliament' in November 1640 and the country''s gradual slide into civil war.
We will examine the war itself in some detail, including the rise to prominence of Oliver Cromwell, before moving on to look at the search for settlement and the second Civil War which, in turn, provides the background for the trial and execution of the king.
Along the way we will pause to consider radical religion and the political ideas of the Levellers and Diggers. With the king dead, England embarked upon eleven years of republican constitutional experiment - which included the five year rule of Cromwell as Lord Protector.
We will end by discussing why, within two years of Cromwell's death, England had restored the monarchy.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.