Polarization In Clive Holmes's The Trial And Execution Of Charles I?

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Both, Sean Kelsey’s, “The Death of Charles I,” and “The Trial and Execution of Charles I,” written by Clive Holmes are historical articles that present detailed accounts on the trial and execution of King Charles I. Although these historians compare in their attempts to evaluate the significance of the incident, their works contrast radically in terms of developing these views. Where Kelsey believes that the trial of King Charles was never intended as a pretext to execution, Holmes disagrees. This variation is expressed through the key aspects of political relationships and the temperament of the military as an institution. It is through these trends, that this paper will serve as a demonstration to how the prevailing polarization between Kelsey …show more content…
Both historians compare in their shared opinion that the Remonstrance conveys soldiers’ frustrations towards Charles based in his perpetuation of the Civil War. However, they differ in the degree to which this animosity presents itself in the text. Kelsey claims that the language used in the Remonstrance is vague, as it calls for justice against a “principle author” rather than the King explicitly. Because of this, he believes that the text cannot be considered a “manifesto for regicide.” Kelsey is able to come to this belief through interpretations that the references made to ‘judgement’ and ‘justice,’ are actually granting the King the ability to appeal during trial rather than condemning him. In this manner, he is able to support his central argument. Specifically, if the military, as an institution testifying against the King, still promotes opportunities for Charles to evade persecution, then his execution could not have been the trial’s definitive outcome. Once again, Holmes does not hold this same opinion. Where Kelsey expresses ambivalence in the mentality of the military, Holmes sees the army’s commitment to Charles’s conviction, and execution, as being undoubtedly clear. He dismisses Kelsey’s ideas and instead, builds his own diverging stance by contextualizing the language of the …show more content…
By varying in approach to the source material surrounding these elements, both historian’s arguments work to develop into two polarized perceptions of the issue and debase one another. While Kelsey and Holmes do compare in the agreement that Charles I was the cause of his own execution through acting in an uncompromising manner, ultimately, their works present contrasting views. Through this, it raises questions on the validity of historical accounts. Specifically, if two assessments of the same incident can be so radically different, then can historical events ever truly be defined as completely valid? Or is history never more than the construction of those who interpret

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