Discover a secret treaty with the French

Discover the world of Charles I, the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1625 to 1647.

Learn about his battle for supremacy with the English Parliament, his trial for treason and his eventual execution.

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The Early Life of Charles I

Charles I was the second son of King James I and his wife Anne of Denmark. James I had inherited the throne of England from his cousin, the famous Queen Elizabeth I of England, who had died without marrying or producing children. James was a controversial ruler and engaged in constant bickering with the House of Commons, one of the two legislative houses of Parliament.

Painting of Charles I by Daniel Mytens
Painting of Charles I by Anthony Van Dyke from Royal Collection
Drawing of the trial of Charles I from British Museum
Drawing of trial of Charles I from British Museum

Legacy of Charles I

With the execution of the king, the monarchy was abolished and a republican government was put in its place. Despite the republican government that was supposed to be in charge, in truth, Oliver Cromwell and his army ruled the nation as a military dictatorship.

After Cromwell died in 1658, the English restored the monarchy and Charles I’s oldest son became the new king of England. The trial and execution of Charles provided a lesson to his son and to the other rulers of Europe. Although other monarchs would continue to battle with Parliament, few would do so with as much confidence as Charles.

Execution of Charles I
Image of execution of Charles I

Learning Outcomes

Study the lesson so that you’ll be prepared to do the following if prompted:

  • Recount the rise of Charles I to the throne of England
  • Point out the problems Charles had with the House of Commons
  • Discuss the way in which Charles lost everything, including his head, due to his abuse of power
  • Recall details about the aftermath of his death
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