The English Civil War What should happen to Charles I?



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The English Civil War What should happen to Charles I?


  1. You are a Member of Parliament in 1649 and will play one of the following roles:

Radical/Puritan MPs: they want to execute the king.

Moderate MPs: they want to remove Charles but keep a monarchy.

Royalist sympathiser MPs: they want to reinstate the king.

What pieces of evidence would you select to make your case for what should happen to Charles?


  1. Once you have selected your evidence, think about what your opponents might say. How will you respond to their arguments?

The Civil war was Charles’ fault. He made a deal with the Scots to invade England in 1648.

There are still many Royalists in England who might stir up rebellion and try to put the king back on the throne.

A monarch has never been executed by their own people in their own nation. How will England be perceived in the eyes of the world?

Charles escaped from prison in 1647. He might try again.

Charles ruled badly, taxing the people heavily and refusing to take advice from parliament.

Charles declared war on parliament in 1642.

Charles tried to get help from Holland and other foreign rulers during the Civil War.

Charles believes that he is king by divine right, and that it would be wrong for him to give any of his God-given power to parliament.

Parliament has been trying for years to make a deal with Charles I to share power more fairly. He always refuses.

Parliament has become power-hungry. Who’s to say it will do any better than the king?

Other monarchs in Europe might invade England to help Charles.

God will punish those who kill a king who is ruler by divine right.

Parliament pushed Charles into declaring war in the first place by making unreasonable demands.

According to the law the king is the most powerful judge in England, so it is illegal for parliament to put a king on trial and judge him.

Charles’ eldest son, also called Charles, is 19 years old and living in France. Although he fought for his father in the early years of the Civil War, we know little about his personality or political beliefs.




© Pearson Education Ltd 2008: History in Progress – Planning and Resource Pack 2




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