Thursday, December 17, 2015

Episode Summaries of Revolutions Podcast: English Civil War

The following are summaries of episodes of Mike Duncan's Revolutions Podcast regarding the English Civil War.  They downplay some of the twists and turns of the military history, which can get pretty convoluted at times.

1. The Kingdoms of Charles Stuart

Charles I (Stuart) ascends the English, Irish and Scottish throne; discussion of effects of Reformation on British Isles (Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, Puritanism, Arminianism); disputes over Tonnage and Poundage, George Villiers (Duke of Buckingham) lead to dissolution of Charles' first and second parliaments; Villiers assassinated; Charles institutes "forced loans," institutes Personal Rule

2. Personal Rule

Introduction of Charles' advisors, Thomas Wentworth (1st Earl of Strafford) and William Laud (Archbishop of Canterbury); proto-opposition to Charles, including John Pym, unites via the Providence Island Company; Charles levies unpopular fines, most notably ship money; trial of John Hampden for refusing to pay; increasing popular resentment at Charles' perceived Catholic biases

3. The Bishops' Wars

Attempt to introduce Anglican Book of Common Prayer into Scottish Episcopalian churches produces riots at St. Giles' Cathedral and elsewhere; Scottish Covenanters and Charles both prepare for war; Charles has trouble raising army due to lack of support, funds; minor skirmishes of the First Bishops' War result in the Peace of Berwick; Charles calls Short Parliament to raise funds but dissolves it after parliamentarians refuse; Alexander Leslie (later Earl of Leven) leads invasion of England to start Second Bishops' War; Charles' poor army fares badly; Treaty of Ripon accommodates invading Scottish army; Charles forced to call Long Parliament

4. The Long Parliament

Long Parliament impeaches Strafford and Laud; bungling treason prosecution forces PMs to resort to a bill of attainder; Charles' plot to rescue Strafford from imprisonment fails; Strafford is executed with Charles' consent;  Charles travels to Scotland to attempt to win over the Earl of Argyll but fails in part due to "The Incident"; MPs draw up the Grand Remonstrance; rebellion breaks out in Ireland; Charles orders arrest of 5 MPs, then storms into Parliament to find them himself (the first time a king has ever entered the House of Commons), but they have escaped; Lenthall informs Charles, "May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here"; Charles flees to Windsor Castle

5. Cavaliers and Roundheads

Parliament passes the Militia Ordinance (ordinances do not require royal approval, as opposed to laws, which do) and Charles issues Commissions of Array to raise armies; Parliament issues 19 Propositions to Charles; First English Civil War breaks out when Charles raises his standard at Nottingham; Cavalier (royalist) vs Roundhead (parliamentarian) insults; Battle of Powick Bridge; Battle of Edgehill; introduction of Prince Rupert, Thomas Fairfax, Robert Devereux (commander of parliamentarian forces and 3rd Earl of Essex) and others; First Battle of Newbury; early royalist success in war

5a. (supplemental) The Armies

England does not have a standing professional army, so instead all sides try to recruit from trained bands; infantry consists of pikemen and musketeers, who can fire 1 shot per minute with matchlock muskets and later flintlock muskets; cavalry consists of almost all light cavalry armed with pistols and swords; artillery comes in siege, heavy field and light field flavors but is rarely used since it is too much trouble due to heaviness and logistical complications

6. The Solemn League and Covenant

Massacre at Ulster leads to Scottish invasion of Ireland to defend coreligionists; Charles negotiates Irish cessation to halt hostilities; Solemn League and Covenant allies Covenanters with Parliament; Pym and Hampden (parliamentary moderates) die; Parliament polarized between peace party (sees war as means of negotiating with Charles) and war party (sees war as means of defeating Charles); Committee of Both Kingdoms succeeds Committee of Safety in 1644; introduction of Oliver Cromwell (Puritan, cavalry officer, cousin of Hampden); rivalry between William Waller and Earl of Essex; tension between Cromwell and Earl of ManchesterBattle of Marston Moor (largest battle so far; decisive parliamentarian victory; closes Northern theater)

7. The New Model Army

Second Battle of Newbury; Laud extracted from imprisonment in the Tower of London to stand trial for treason with William Prynne (a man Laud had branded) overseeing it; Parliament passes bill of attainder and executes Laud; the New Model Ordinance creates the New Model Army, centralizing and professionalizing the war effort; Self-denying Ordinance purges officer core;  Fairfax leads NMA; Fairfax later given more control over NMA and appoints Cromwell as cavalry general; NMA's intelligence far superior; Battle of Naseby effectively ends First English Civil War in Parliament's favor

8. Checkmate

Rupert dismissed; Goring never disciplined for his drunkenness; Montrose beaten; Irish negotiations with Charles revealed; Charles taken prisoner by Scotts, who then give him to Parliament in exchange for payment; Charles taken by Cornet Joyce to NMA (controversy under whose orders Joyce was acting); differing political objectives of Independents (many in NMA) and Presbyterians (many in Parliament); NMA wants back pay, indemnity, pensions, etc.; NMA impeaches several MPs, who flee London; NMA arrives in London, essentially taking political control of the city

9. The Man of Blood

Some Levellers join the NMA with intent to win control of it and use it to press demands; they draw up the "Case of the Army Truly Stated" and the "Agreement of the People" documents; the subsequent Putney Debates feature Thomas Rainsborough arguing for universal suffrage against Henry Ireton, but end inconclusively; increasing vitriol is directed towards Charles as the "Man of Blood" (biblical reference); Charles flees to the Isle of Wight; Fairfax threatens to resign if more radical demands are made / troops keep failing to maintain discipline, defeats radical energies; Charles signs the Engagement with Scotts to try and restore him to power; Second English Civil War breaks out, is more dispersed; Hamilton defeated at Battle of Preston (ending Second Civil War) and captured by John Lambert

10. Regicide

Charles led back to the mainland; NMA prevents certain unfriendly members from entering Parliament in Pride's Purge, creating the Rump Parliament; Charles is executed, procedural confusion ensues; House of Lords abolished, monarchy abolished, Council of State formed, England declared a Commonwealth; Charles II ponders his options; more Leveller mutinies put down; Cromwell rises in prominence as Fairfax shies away from politics; Cromwell invades Ireland and puts down revolt; Covenanters and Charles II sign Treaty of Breda

11. The Crowning Mercy

The Treaty of Breda requires Charles II to disavow Montrose; Montrose lands with a mercenary army at Scotland before being captured and executed by Covenanters; the Rump Parliament decides to preemptively invade Scotland; Fairfax objects and retires; Cromwell appointed lord general; Charles II disingenuously signs Solemn League and Covenant; David Leslie commands Scottish army in Third English Civil War (not a civil war per se; a conflict between Scottish and English); Cromwell wins victory at Battle of Dunbar; Argyll crowns Charles II King of Scotland; Charles and Leslie take Cromwell's bait and invade England; Cromwell's victory at Battle of Worcester ends Third English Civil War

12a. (supplemental) Freeborn John

John Lilburne is important Leveller; criticizes and is imprisoned by both Charles and Parliament; fights on Parliamentarian side; propagandist for English freedom; Lilburne banished to the Netherlands after personal dispute

12b. (supplemental) The Diggers

Diggers first called the "True Levellers"; distinguished from Levellers because they do not defend private property rights; collectively occupy and farm unused land, which earns them their name; Gerrard Winstanley most famous Digger, publishes radical pamphlets

12. In The Name of God Go

Navigation Act starts First Anglo-Dutch War; Rump votes for its own dissolution far in future; Rump reneges on promises and confiscates royalist estates; Divisions in army Lambert and Thomas Harrison (Fifth Monarchist); Cromwell visits and abruptly dissolves Rump Parliament, saying "In The Name of God Go" (controversy over why; bill Rump was debating at time has vanished); Cromwell convenes new Council of State; Barebone's Parliament established; Compulsory tithes and legal reform polarize Parliament between reformists and radicals; mass resignation of Parliament due to paralysis

13. The Instrument of Government

Lambert writes Instrument of Government, which emphasizes separation of powers, influenced by Heads of Proposals, accepted as basis of government; Cromwell sworn in as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland; Ordinance of Union establishes Parliament as representative of Scotland; adventures of George Monck; Treaty of Westminster ends First Anglo-Dutch War; First Protectorate Parliament convenes and clashes with Cromwell; Cromwell dissolves FPP based on lunar months calculation

14. The Humble Petition and Advice

Sealed Knot royalist conspiracy / Penruddock Uprising fails, in part thwarted by spymaster John Thurloe; Cromwell sends ships to seize Hispaniola from Spanish, but fleet ends up taking Jamaica instead; Rule of Major-Generals begins, unpopular decimation tax enacted; war with Spain officially declared; Cromwell needs more funds, so Second Protectorate Parliament convenes, albeit with members selected by the army; Humble Petition and Advice passes, but Cromwell refuses the crown; historical debate about Cromwell's behavior at this time; Lambert refuses to defend new constitution and resigns

14a. (supplemental) The War on Christmas

Puritan parliament attempts to abolish Christmas under Commonwealth, meets popular resistance, including riots; they observe similarities between Christmas and Roman Saturnalia

15 The Good Old Cause

Cromwell's collaboration with French in minor military expeditions; SPP dissolved after clashing with Cromwell; Battle of the Dunes takes Dunkirk for Anglo-French; Cromwell dies from illness, never names successor, but succeeded by his son Richard ("Tumbledown Dick"); historical debate about Cromwell's legacy; Third Protectorate Parliament meets, Haselrig and other pro-parliament partisans emerge; Good Old Cause acts as rallying cry against Protectorate; Rump Parliament reconvenes after reaching deal with NMA; Richard signs document putting himself under Rump's control

16a. (supplemental) Sir Edward Hyde, First Earl of Calrendon

Hyde was participant in events, wrote first history of the Civil War, which has royalist slant; was advisor / ghostwriter for monarchy

16. The Restoration

Rump's base of support is narrow outside armed forces; Commonwealth unpopular with people due to unending war, taxes, political paralysis; Booth's Uprising fails; Lambert dissolves Rump; Lambert moves troops to confront possible move by Monck; Fairfax agrees to coordinate with Monck; Rump reconvenes and tells Monck his help is unnecessary; Lambert's forces defect, he stands down; Monck marches into London; Monck halfheartedly follows Rump's orders before telling them to convene elections; Monck dissolves Rump and restores Long Parliament; Long Parliament votes to dissolve themselves and call new elections; Lambert escapes and tries to rally support for Richard, fails and again imprisoned; Convention Parliament called; Charles II writes Declaration of Breda; CP restores monarchy, Charles II returns to the throne

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