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In the first part of this article we attempted to identify the interacting economic, social and political processes which led to the crucial confrontation between classes known as the English Civil War. In Part Two we will examine these processes in greater detail.


The English Civil War was part of a social revolution. It was not a clash of personalities between King Charles, he of the flowing locks, frills and furbelows and Cromwell, austere and even dour though he may have been. It was not simply a clash between old and new forms of religious worship although there was always a suspicion that James perhaps, but Charles more definitely, wished to rehabilitate Catholicism. Nor was it simply a clash between a monarch who wanted absolute power and a Parliament defiantly determined to defend and develop its political influence. Material interests were involved. This was class struggle.