Author(s): Maurice Ashley
One of the most dramatic periods in English history was that of the civil wars fought throughout the country in the mid-17th century. The population was split down the middle. While many peers and gentry took the side of the King, others equally supported the leaders of Parliament, so families and friends were painfully divided in their loyalties. The final defeat, trial and execution of King Charles I shock the monarchies throughout Europe but left them deeply impressed by the victories of Oliver Cromwell and by his seizure of power as Lord Protector. The origins of the war and the course of the campaigns are here comprehensively described by the late Maurice Ashley, a leading authority on 17th-century England, who based his narrative on the latest academic research and on the analysis by military experts of such important battles as those of Marsten Moor and Naseby.
Long-term causes; immediate causes; the war opens - 1640-1642; first campaigns - 1642-1643; the war widens - 1644; parliament's victory - 1643-1646; the second civil war - 1648; the third civil war - 1649-1651.