A-Z: General definitions: English Civil War


(1642-51). Series of military conflicts which rose out of religious, political and financial tensions between King Charles I and Parliament, which was increasingly influenced by Puritan sympathies. Eventually the parliamentary troops (or 'Roundheads') led by Oliver Cromwell defeated the Royalist ('Cavalier') forces. In 1649 Charles was executed and in 1651 his successor Charles II fled to France. Cromwell ruled as 'Lord Protector' from 1653 to 1658. In 1660 Charles II returned as king.

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