The English Civil War

4 April 2015
A study of the years 1644-1645 during the English Civil War when Parliament was in crisis. The paper asks how Parliament recovered the situation during 1645, and whether the King could have still have won the Civil War in this period.

An examination of the military position of both sides of the English Civil War at the end of 1644, an assessment of the strategies of both sides such as they were, and an appraisal of the measures taken during 1645. The paper shows how the formation of the New Model Army, and the impact of Naseby were two crucial elements which turned the war in Parliament’s favor, with the third being a refocusing of Parliament’s efforts towards a ‘win the war’ policy.
“Might it therefore be said that the military outcome of the war remained in the balance until the campaigns of 1644 and not 1645 – The answer is probably not. Despite the fact that the North had been lost through Rupert’s defeat and the subsequent departure for the Continent of Newcastle, the only one of Charles’ appointed grandees to achieve any real measure of success, Parliament failed to follow up any advantage it had gained. Crucially, Parliament had no overall strategy which they all could follow and the three armies split up immediately after the battle, each pursuing its own aims. The Scots marched to besiege Newcastle, Thomas Fairfax stayed in his home county of Yorkshire while Manchester, commander of the Eastern Association forces, returned home and “did as little as possible” (Davies). For the royalists, while Marston Moor had been a severe blow, the defeat had been a setback and certainly not the end of their cause.”
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