By the summer of 1641 Charles I had lost the first ‘Civil War’ without firing a shot. In the first few months of the Long Parliament, the men, measures and administrative machinery of royal government, as Charles understood it, had been destroyed with no more than token royal resistance. The parliamentary triumph left problems which plagued successive regimes during the next twenty years, and were left unsolved at the Restoration; but within its negative limits it was complete. This ‘Civil War’ was bloodless because the king had no party; the Civil War as we know it was made possible by the growth of royalist support and the collapse of parliamentary unity. This realignment gave the King a chance to attempt an independent policy again. Why it occurred and how deep-rooted were the reasons for it are disputed, but this debate is peripheral to the purpose of this chapter.
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