The English Civil War started because of the economic problems of the English monarchs
The English Civil War started because of the economic problems of the English monarchs. The problems of France stemmed from James I. James I, a Stuart monarch who became king in 1603, strongly believed in divine right. This means that the king gets their authority from God and implies that a ruler is to have total, unquestioned control over his subjects. The problems left behind by James I only worsened with the arrival of Charles I in 1625. Charles liked to live extravagantly, which only worsened his economic problems. Similarly to James I, Charles also did not want to rule with the help of the Parliament. The Parliament rarely approved Charles I’s tries to raise taxes. In order to fund his wars, he went against the Parliament and heavily taxed his subjects. The Parliament, in hopes to control Charles I, imposed the “petition of rights” in 1628. Charles I signed this, but ignored it and kept on doing things the same way as always. Charles I asked for the support of Parliament in order to enlarge his navy and tax all British citizens but the Parliament refused. Instead, Charles went around them and taxed his citizens anyway. His subjects had enough of him, and finally revolted, which caused the Scottish Revolt in 1637 eventually leading to the English Civil War.
The political problems of the English Monarchs, specifically Charles I, also were a factor in the starting of the English Civil War. Charles I’s political problems stemmed from his wish to be absolute monarch and also, because of his Catholic wife, was though to be a Roman Catholic sympathizer. Irritated by Parliament for not approving any of Charles taxes, Charles did not call it into session from 1629 until 1640. This period was called the Personal Rule. During this time, Charles revived old taxes, collected fees and fines, and collected forces loans. Also, Charles’s minister, Thomas Wentworth, implemented the highly unpopular policy of Thorough. This policy aimed to strengthen the monarchy, collect money owed to the crown, and make the government more efficient. When he called the Parliament in 1640, he did not like the complaints they had due to his Personal Rule and disbanded them. They were called the Short Parliament. The new Parliament who came back, also in 1640, was actually the same, and they refused to leave. They were called the Long Parliament. Charles was furious and attempted to arrest the five ring leaders of Parliament in 1642 but they had already fled to Northern England. This was the last straw for both the Parliament and Charles I. The king began a war against the parliament and two sides emerged: parliamentarians, aka the roundheads, loyal to the parliament and the royalists, aka cavaliers, who were loyal to king. This began the civil war in 1642.
The French monarchs also had significant money problems, making money and the financial difficulty in France the immediate cause of the French Revolution. France’s economic problems came from Louis XIV. They were only worsened when the irresponsible Louis XV came to power. He put France in further debt by living to his own pleasure and by living like he had no responsibilities. He knew that he had not helped his country in the slightest and his dying quote was “After me the Deluge,” referring to the Noah’s Arch and the Great Flood. Left to pick up the pieces was Louis XVI, who had absolutely no skills or talent for governing and was an incompetent ruler. He inherited a completely in debt country due to the 7 years war and American Revolution. Both Necker and Calonne tried to fix the debts, but both were unsuccessful. Jacques Necker, a finance minister, wrote out a program to fix bankruptcy and proposed that the nobility pay taxes. Charles Calonne had an efficient plan to collect more taxes, but it was not put into place. Even though the Royal Debt was over one half of the entire budget, the Assembly of Notables opposed the reforms and Louis XVI fired Calonne, adding to the discontent of everyone. This led to the Estates General being called for the first time in 150 years. Along with the terrible debt, France was also plagued by terrible harvests, known as the Great Starvation, raising the price of bread, therefore making it difficult for peasants to sustain themselves. This combined with the heavy taxes, made life extremely arduous for peasants in France. The French citizens’ anger, attributed from the economic problems concerning the heavy taxation and price of bread, led to the French Revolution.
The political problems of the French Monarchy had to do with the fact that Louis XVI did not give the lower class, known as the Third Estate, political rights, and there were no socio-economic opportunities for them. The Third Estate made up 97% of the population and did all the work. They were upset about having to pay all the taxes. The clergy, or the First Estate, paid no taxes but gave a yearly “gift”; the nobles, or the Second Estate, wanted no taxes so they refused to pay them, leaving the Third Estate to pay them all. Also, the tax collectors were corrupt and inefficient and kept a lot of the taxes or taxed the Third Estate too much. When Louis XVI reluctantly called the Estates General for the first time in 150 years, it called for representatives from every state in France. This gave part of the Third Estate, the Bourgeoisie an opportunity to have a say in government. During the meeting, there was a big vote on whether or not the nobility would pay taxes. Instead of every member getting a vote, like it used to be, Louis XVI was pressured into changing it so that every estate only had one vote. This made it a 2-1 vote, allowing the nobility to continue to not pay taxes and leading to the Third Estate politically revolting at the conference. They declared themselves the National Assembly, or the government, and when they left to come back another day, they found out the doors were locked to the Estates General. This did not make the Third Estate, and some of the nobility and clergy that joined them happy. They left and found a tennis court, and took the Tennis Court oath in 1789, saying that they would not disperse until they created a constitution and a new government. The French Revolution started with the Storming of Bastille to get guns and lasted from 1789 to1799.