First English Civil War - Overview


Convention uses the name "The English Civil War" (1642–51) to refer collectively to the civil wars in England and the Scottish Civil War, which began with the raising of King Charles I's standard at Nottingham on 22 August 1642, and ended on 3 September 1651 at the Battle of Worcester. There was some continued organised Royalist resistance in Scotland, which lasted until the surrender of Dunnottar Castle to Parliament's troops in May 1652, but this resistance is not usually included as part of the English Civil War. The English Civil War can be divided into three: the First English Civil War (1642–1646), the Second English Civil War (1648–1649), and the Third English Civil War (1649–1651).

For the most part, accounts summarize the two sides that fought the English Civil Wars as the Royalist Cavaliers of Charles I of England versus the Parliamentarian Roundheads of Oliver Cromwell. However, as with many civil wars, loyalties shifted for various reasons, and both sides changed significantly during the conflicts.

During this time, the Irish Confederate Wars (another civil war), continued in Ireland, starting with the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and ending with the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. Its incidents had little or no direct connection with those of Civil War, but the wars were mixed with, and formed part of, a linked series of conflicts and civil wars between 1639 and 1652 in the kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, which at that time shared a monarch, but were distinct countries in political organisation. These linked conflicts are also known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms by some recent historians, aiming to have a unified overview, rather than treating parts of the other conflicts as a background to the English Civil War.

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