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Which side would you have chosen during the English Civil War?
Royalist
43%
 43%  [ 31 ]
Parliamentarian
25%
 25%  [ 18 ]
Neutral
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Emigrate to Virginia or Massachusetts
29%
 29%  [ 21 ]
Total Votes : 71

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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Sun 03 May, 2009 6:14 pm    Post subject: Which Side Would You Have Chosen in the English Civil War?         Reply with quote

While growing up, my sympathies were for the Royalist side. But if I was transported back to England in the 1640's with my present values and personality, I would have to side with Parliament, as unpalatable as some of their views might be to me.

I wonder what would have happened if the eldest son of James I, Henry Frederick had succeeded to the throne, instead of dying in 1612 at the age of eighteen? He was considered to be a youth of promising abilities, and a strong Protestant. His brother, who became Charles I, was neither of those things. If Henry had been king, I doubt that the civil war would have occured, or if it did, he would have found a way through it. An autocratic monarchy would have continued, maybe into the next century. In that case, Britain may have suffered something akin to the French Revolution of the 1790's.

Strap on your Mortuary sword and vote!
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Tim May




Location: Annapolis, MD
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Sun 03 May, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is obvious literary bias, but I'm siding with the parliamentarians. I mean, John Milton, I mean the transition from Monarchy to Parliamentary government is good and all, but Paradise Lost? No comparison Happy.
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

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PostPosted: Sun 03 May, 2009 8:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Where's the 'more money for Scottish mercenaries' button?
To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Stephen Renico




Location: Detroit
Joined: 01 Feb 2009

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Sun 03 May, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would have sided with the Royalists for the reasons outlined in this article in the "New Statesman":

Britain's Very Own Taliban
"Oliver Cromwell's Puritans were fundamentalists who banned Christmas, outlawed holly and covered up their women"

Living under a regime like Cromwell's seems rather distasteful to me. I'd take the emigration option if victory over Cromwell and his minions weren't possible.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting by fools." -Thucydides.
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William Knight




Location: Mid atlantic, US
Joined: 02 Oct 2005

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PostPosted: Sun 03 May, 2009 11:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The parenthetical characterization of Cromwell in the beginning of NAM Roger's the Command of the Ocean is chilling enough to make we fervently wish that someone else had won, and gives me little sympathy with Milton and his ilk.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would probably have been a Royalist since I favor a strong central government now and would probably have had the same sentiment back then. Not to mention the quality of the Royalist cavalry in the early years of the wars....

Or I might just have been French instead.
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James Hayden




Location: West Virginia
Joined: 14 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Royalist - of course since my ancestors were Royalists and their house (Baconsthorpe Castle) was flattened by Roundhead artillery, it's pretty much a moot point...
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My family had already immigrated to Pennsylvania from Northern Ireland (having left Scotland during Longshanks' era), so I have no love of English oppression in any form. Going to Virginia! (It's for lovers, I hear). Wink
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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S White




Location: Australia
Joined: 04 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun, 2009 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a great question and brings back some memories for me. I grew up in Essex which is part of East Anglia and part of the Cromwell's Eastern Alliance - as a boy of 8 years old I was a member of the English Civil War Re-enactment society - I won't date myself to well but let's call it very early 80's. I remember attending the battles that ranged near my home town there and I was always asked this question by family members ... who do you side with?

Back at that age I clearly stated I was with the Royalists to which my family members always smiled and asked "Are you not on the side of the people?" and my answer was still yes I am, but. Looking back on that decision I think I made a very wise choice and one that I have to echo to this very day. The issue is a very complex one and the honest truth of the matter is that I disliked both sides for various reasons but when push comes to shove I can't abide Puritans!

The Parliamentarians - Pro's ...

# - You have to love a nation governed by a parliament of the people, who would not agree with an institution such as this? That's about it for pro's.
# - A cause that could generally be seen to be representative of the working man and Protestant faith.

Cons ...

# - Puritanism and reformation ... what a complete abomination.
# - A Roundhead lacks the style of a Cavalier.
# - Did I mention Puritanism? Eek!


The Royalists - Pro's ...

# - Non Puritan.
# - The Cavaliers generally had a better wardrobe and overall visual vibe.

Cons ...

# - Rule of the people by divine right of Kings.
# - Overarching rule of the Papacy.
# - Largely representative of the wealthy Elites and not the working classes.
# - Massacres and previous persecution of Protestants.


At the end of the day, anything that the Royalists could have done was completely canceled out by the utterly humourless and Puritanical Parliamentarians - and I am by no means a pro Monarchy kind of guy. I just wouldn't want to live a life under Puritanism - for me it is the lesser of two evils.

I'd be a dandy Monarchist tortured by a complex moral dilemma ... Happy
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Nathan F




Location: ireland
Joined: 24 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i would flee to connacht because im irish or move to clonmel and put up the good fight kill 2000 roundtops
for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun, 2009 7:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Royalist, at least at that moment in history.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Neal Matheson




Location: sussex UK
Joined: 08 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jun, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's hard to say. The person I am now abhors puritanism in any form, I also know what kind of ruler Cromwell was. At the time there was a strong desire for change and the ideas of the levellers or diggers etc still hold some appeal now. Desire for social change may well have seen me join with the parlimentarians. I voted royalist however with the benfit of hindsight.
My family were opposed to Cromwell being Highland Scots and Irish. The Irish side of me sees him as the devil incarnate.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jun, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is interesting that people still have strong opinions about this matter more than 350 years later.

It's a tough choice. On one hand you have a king who insisted on being an absolute monarch and was also a strong candidate for the biggest fool ever to wear the English crown. On the other, is a group that wanted rights for themselves, but not necessarily for you. And when they did get a chance to govern, they did it badly. I guess they had to wait until 1688 and the dismissal of James II (another candidate) to achieve some kind of balance.

It wasn't unusual for family members to align themselves on opposite sides of this war. I've heard that, once it was over, many of them never spoke again for the rest of their lives.
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S White




Location: Australia
Joined: 04 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jun, 2009 11:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As for the travesty of Purtanism, I've got two words for you .. May Flower. Eek!

Whitey.
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Josh Warren




Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Joined: 01 Nov 2006

Posts: 111

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S White wrote:

# - Massacres and previous persecution of Protestants.

I don't want to turn this discussion into a religious argument by any means, but I have to ask, Mr. White...

Why don't the previous persecutions and massacres of Catholics by English protestants figure into your decision? The Tudor and Stewart regimes executed many, many more Catholics than "Bloody" Mary killed protestants...

Non Concedo
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James Aldrich




Location: Green Bay WI
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of possible relevance, two observations which have remained with me although I cannot recall to whom they are attributed:

"Better to be ruled by one man a thousand miles away than by a thousand a mile away."

"Now that we have taxation with representation, I can't recall what was so bad about the other."

AMDG
jsa
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Robin Palmer




Location: herne bay Kent UK
Joined: 21 Dec 2007

Posts: 138

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 8:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all.

As has been said the causes of the third civil war ( We had two others one Stephen and Matilda in the 1100s and the wars of the roses in the 1400.) were very complex and as often as not driven by religion, personal egos and greed as any good reason what replaced the crown was hardly an improvement. It is a fact of histroy that revolutions very rarely improve situation mostly because those who start them have their own agendas and the good of the people is never at the top of their list.

Personaly I would have been a royalist his majestys greatest weakness was his indisiveness when it mattered when he did make a decision he was as often to little to late. He may not have been a great king but he met his death with courage and honour requesting a second shirt the morning was cold. He did not wish people to think he was shaking with fear.

Cromwell may have been many things but he proved himself to be a ruthless butcher driven by blind faith and belief he was gods excecutioner.

Of the two charles was the better man plus as has been said who wants to live under puritans a more joyless miserable bunch would be hard to find.

Yours bob
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S White




Location: Australia
Joined: 04 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh Warren wrote:
S White wrote:

# - Massacres and previous persecution of Protestants.

I don't want to turn this discussion into a religious argument by any means, but I have to ask, Mr. White...

Why don't the previous persecutions and massacres of Catholics by English protestants figure into your decision? The Tudor and Stewart regimes executed many, many more Catholics than "Bloody" Mary killed protestants...



Josh,

There were atrocities on both sides, no doubt ... it was nothing more than an oversight on my part; I have Irish Catholic and English Protestant as well as French Huguenot in my ancestral blood line. I don't favour one more than the other if that is what you infer from my light hearted pro vs con above. I already stated ... I can't abide a Puritan, they were Protestant remember? It is unhelpful in my view to approach these matters by renewing Religious moral one upmanship - if I forgot to mention the Protestant persecution perhaps it is because I thought it more self evident than that of the Catholics.

Cheers, Whitey.
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Nathan F




Location: ireland
Joined: 24 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 10:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
It is interesting that people still have strong opinions about this matter more than 350 years later.

it does for me living in a country that still harbors the deep hate and loathing created by the pain of that invasion. racial tensions still exist and cromwells name is still hated here. living down the road from towns that were sacked its around me every day its hard not to have opinions on it.

for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I voted Parlimentarian.

My research and studies over the years of the ECW (should be call British Civil Wars because it involved more than just England ) and Oliver Cromwell were / are just an extension of my obsession with mortuary hilts (Cromwell owned some very nice swords).

Yes,both sides had their pros and cons....as with any war / conflict / story.

as a wise man once said - "you'll find that many of the truths we cling to in life depend greatly on our point of view" - Obi-Wan Kenobi Wink


cheers,

Bill

Roanoke Sword Guilde

roanokeswordguilde@live.com
"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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