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Parliament in crisis : the disintegration of the parliamentarian war effort during the summer of 1643

Johnson, David (2012) Parliament in crisis : the disintegration of the parliamentarian war effort during the summer of 1643. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

In the summer of 1643 a series of catastrophic defeats brought the parliamentarian war effort to the brink of disaster. The scale of the emergency precipitated a political crisis in which the House of Lords attempted to orchestrate a negotiated surrender. This thesis sets out to understand the reasons for parliament's military collapse and to examine in detail the dynamics of the ensuing political crisis. It will be argued that the events of summer 1643 came much closer than is generally recognised to bringing the civil war to an end, and that the unexpected survival of the parliamentarian cause fundamentally shaped the subsequent course of the conflict. At the heart of this thesis is a day-by-day analysis of events at Westminster during the first week of August 1643. Parliament's military disintegration prompted the House of Lords to draw up a series of peace proposals amounting to capitulation. Fear that the king would accept these terms induced militant activists in the City of London, led by Lord Mayor Isaac Pennington, to unleash an unprecedented campaign of threats and intimidation aimed at their defeat. The battles that raged in the House of Commons to decide the fate of the peace proposals marked the high watermark of parliament's crisis. Had the proposals been carried it was rumoured that leading members of the peace party would be arrested and the City would take control of the war effort. These truly extraordinary developments indicate the enormity of parliament's military failure and the pivotal nature of the resulting political struggle. This is a new interpretation of a neglected moment in the history of the English Civil War, one that seeks to re-establish the true significance of parliament's 1643 crisis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.583247
Depositing User: EThOS Import (York)
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2016 16:11
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2016 16:11
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14226

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