The Pros And Cons Of The English Civil War

1598 Words 7 Pages
The english civil war, like most wars, was fought over economics and religion. this volatile period produced a variety of opinions and reasonings about the king’s right to power and the nature of a commonwealth. the writers of the time all used religious arguments to reach drastically different conclusions though since they were all using the same source material, the bible, it is only natural that they reach many points of consensus. When Charles I came into power in 1625 religious conflicts and internal tensions had already begun to form in the aftermath of the protestant reformation. Charles believed that he had a divine right to rule and supported hierarchies in the anglican church. Protestants had a strong opposition to anything that …show more content…
Charles I’s marriage to a catholic queen, and his implementation of religious practices that appeared to be a return to popish practices created tensions that would eventually lead to war. When Charles attempted to alter the religious practices of presbyterian scotland, forcing them to use a new book of common prayer, he sparked the first in a series of civil wars. In response to these new religious practices Alexander Henderson and Archibald Johnston of Waristonwrote drafted The Scottish National Covenant. In the covenant they outline their opposition to religious reform. The presbyterians, “abhor and detest all contrary religion and doctrine, but chiefly all kind of papistry in general and particular heads” because their religion is, “grounded only upon His written Word;”. It is somewhat ironic that while the Presbyterians “abhor and detest” Charles’ policy they still support the monarchy, referring to Charles as “His Majesty”, and upholding, “that the present and succeeding generations in this land are bound to keep the aforesaid national oath and subscription inviolable”. This apparent …show more content…
In his Patriarcha he argues that removing the king, “Contradicts the doctrine and history of the holy scriptures,”(Filmer, 1844) by using Adam and other biblical patriarchs as examples of absolute power and citing the first commandment as a, “natural law”(1845). Filmer claims, “that all the duties of a king are summed up in an universal fatherly care of his people”(1846). One problem with Filmer’s argument is that he ignores the idea of how to address the problem of a tyrannical king, if a king claims power through a “natural law” his power is absolute and he has license to abuse his children or subjects. Locke attacks Filmer’s Patriarcha in his First Treatise on Government by examining the flaws in Filmer’s argument. Locke criticizes Filmer’s imprecise definition of fatherhood and points out that Filmer fails to support his ideas with evidence. Locke even criticizes Filmer’s audience for supporting, “any author, that writes in favour of this doctrine, whether he support it with reason or no.”(Locke, 14). Locke implies that supporters of the monarchy are trying to protect their own interests instead of examining the true nature of where power comes from. Prominent writers,both in support of and opposition to the monarchy, used religion as the basis of their discourses on politics, some better than

Related Documents