English Civil War

The conflict between King and Parliament reached its climax and the English Civil War (1642-1651) began. The war can be described as a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians (Roundheads) and Royalists (Cavaliers). The war culminated in the execution of the king in 1649, the overthrow of the monarchy, and the establishment of a republic known as the Commonwealth of England (1649–53). James´s son, Charles I, became the first monarch in Europe to be executed after a formal trial for crimes against his people. Charles II, the son of Charles I was exiled. In 1653, the leader of the parliamentary army, Oliver Cromwell, seized power and declared himself ´Lord Protector´ of a republic, or a Protectorate (1653–59) with a military government which, after he had brutally crushed resistance in Ireland, effectively encompassed all of Britain and Ireland. Cromwell ruled until his death in 1658, when he was succeeded by his son Richard. The new Lord Protector had little interest in governing and he soon resigned.