Decisive Battles of the English Civil War

B2014

The author has conducted an original investigation and provides a stimulating review of the battles that shaped the civil war and carried Parliament to ultimate victory. He has taken each major battle in turn, looking critically at contemporary accounts and established narratives of historians. In the process, he questions some established wisdom, providing a new perspective to the battles as he mounts compelling arguments to support his study.

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NAME: Decisive Battles of the English Civil War
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2014
AUTHOR: Malcolm Wanklyn
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 246
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Civil war, English history, Seventeenth Century, Royalists, Parliamentarians, Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Puritans, Levellers, New Model Army
ISBN: 1-78346-975-7
IMAGE: B2014.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/lbrfbky
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The author has reviewed the decisive battles of the English Civil War, restudying source material and presenting convincing arguments in an absorbing style that can be followed without prior knowledge of the period, or of warfare of the time. There is limited illustration in the form of maps through the body of the book, and a short photo plate section, that adds to the text.

In view of the significant impact the civil war had on English history the development of Great Britain and the founding of an extensive global empire, the English Civil War has received remarkably little coverage, against other periods of English history that had a less fundamental impact.

The Tudors had seen England emerge from the Middle Ages with a well developed wool trade and a number of large and wealthy urban areas. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I faced external threats which they avoided as far as possible but, when forced to fight, they achieved success beyond any reasonable expectations. They also began the process of expanding into a global trading empire, mainly through the activities of independent seamen operating on authorities of Compensation and Retribution issued by the French Hugenots in La Rochelle.

As Elizabeth had never married to produce an heir, the later years of her reign were occupied in negotiating for the crown to pass to James Stuart of Scotland. James VI had experienced a difficult life as he was groomed to become King in replacement of his mother who had been forced into English exile and eventual execution on Elizabeth’s authority. James became James I of England and was an austere and scholarly monarch with Scottish beliefs in the threat of witchcraft and the dangers of Roman Catholicism. However, he was followed by Charles I who was a grander monarch, suspected in some quarters of being a Roman Catholic, and with a taste for collecting taxes.

How far Charles was given to spending freely is open to debate. He inherited some grand and important claims. James I had declared Spitzbergen to be English territory, building on the monopoly granted previously by Elizabeth I to the Moscovy Company. This was important to Britain because it controlled the whaling industry which was becoming a major and highly profitable new industry that was to continue as a high value activity until the extraction and processing of mineral oil in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. As industry was already beginning to develop in England, whale products were becoming essential materials. However, the Royal Navy was in a parlous state and Charles was forced to levy ship money taxes to pay for a new building program. These ships were needed to protect British interests in whaling and to stand against the Dutch who were developing colonies in the Americas to threaten the early English colonies. Unfortunately for Charles, Parliament was not only against taxation of the wealthy from whom they came, but it was developing a taste for controlling the power of the King. That made a civil war virtually inevitable.

When civil war broke out, there was not a great difference between the King’s armies and those raised by Parliament. As the war unfolded, the Puritan faction of the Parliamentarians began to dominate. In the process, both on land and at sea, the Parliamentarians began to develop areas of technical superiority and a level of discipline that was lacking in many parts of the Royalist forces.

The author has conducted an original investigation and provides a stimulating review of the battles that shaped the civil war and carried Parliament to ultimate victory. He has taken each major battle in turn, looking critically at contemporary accounts and established narratives of historians. In the process, he questions some established wisdom, providing a new perspective to the battles as he mounts compelling arguments to support his study.

This book must be viewed as a definitive work, building on his catalogue of previous history and war studies. It is both absorbing and enjoyable. It contains some surprises and fully rewards the reader’s time.

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