Effects of a Royal Victory in the English Civil War

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Odinson, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Odinson Plus Ultra!

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    What happens if the Cavaliers win the conflict?

    The Parliamentarian forces lose to the Royalists and Oliver Cromwell is beheaded.

    How does this affect the rest of Europe? And most importantly (Well, to me anyways) what happens to the colonies? Do remnants of the New Model Army escape to puritan Massachusetts?
     
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  2. Kaze Well-Known Member

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    I would suspect the Irish would want something out of it. They will either want independence with the English landowners gone, nominal independence, or Catholics to be supreme religion of Ireland.

    I would suspect the New Model Army would find better shores in Americas. The puritans did not really have a presence in the Americas until after the English Civil War and the Restoration, but I could see it jump start early.
     
  3. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    At what stage is this victory? What bargins has the Crown made at this point? Because what Charles would have to do with his three Kingdoms depends a great deal on just how much he's had to tap into the Scotts and Irish and the price he's paid for it
     
  4. ennobee Well-Known Member

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    I'd say, not much. There have been rebellions and uprisings before and eventually they all got crushed or ran out of steam. Most of them are barely footnotes in the history books. Cromwell's would just be one more and would barely be mentioned in the larger picture of the religious struggles finally arriving on the British isles 100 years after they played out on the European continent.
     
  5. Fabius Maximus Unus qui nobis cunctando restituit rem

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    NB, Cromwell rose to importance over the course of the Civil War. If Charles is victorious early on, Cromwell might just be remembered as a minor figure, if he's remembered at all. The main Parliamentarian leaders in the early stages of the conflict were John Pym and the Earl of Essex.
     
  6. Odinson Plus Ultra!

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    Oh, victory in 1645
     
  7. James Ricker Own your mistakes

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    A lot of people opposed to King Charles would flee to the new world.
    King Charles would find himself deeply in debt and needing to repay it. That would mean high taxes and seizing the lands of any nobles that had opposed him.
     
  8. Odinson Plus Ultra!

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    Could this butterfly a couple colonies into earlier independence? Or earlier attempts at independence?
     
  9. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

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    I doubt it, Charles I will have more on his plate closer to home, and Charles II will have the intelligence to not rock the boat. If the Duke of York ascends to the throne as OTL he might alter that, but butterflies could result in Charles II having a legitimate heir.
     
  10. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    The issue with Charles I winning is this: He was a self-destructive idiot who always chose the worst possible option every single time. And even if Charles had won, he couldn't help himself when it came to making enemies and alienating allies. A second civil war would probably break out in another decade or so as his attitudes and policies are going to keep stirring up resentment and there's going to be an explosion at some point.
     
  11. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

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    How would Britain as a whole develop? Could Britain have evolved into an absolute monarchy akin to France?
     
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  12. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    If victory is as late as 1645 then Scotland is in open rebellion against the King's policies and Ireland is mostly held by the Confederates. I suppose in order to beat the New Model Army the Royalists would have to become a "New Model Army" so would be capable of defeating both as Cromwell had done but it's almost ASB given the personalities involved.

    A better PoD might be that the King retains control of the Irish army in England and doesn't dispatch it to Ireland in 1642 leading to a decisive victory and capture of London after Edgehill. War is over by 1643. Not alot changes apart from Ireland and Scotland are still discontented (remember Charles failed to defeat Scotland in the Bishops War in 1639)

    If the ASB are really flying then Charles will tend to go down the route that James II did - but in this case given the defeat of the Parliamentary forces he may stay in power for longer.
     
  13. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    I think that's a bit of an oversimplified picture. To give the devil his dues, Charles was faced with a truely daunting financial gap between revenues and taxation brought on by James and Elizabeth's neglect to tie taxation to inflation and generious policy of distributing largess, and had a Parliment that wasn't playing him straight from day I by, for example, neglecting to give him even basic Poundage for more than a year because they didn't like the company he kept. Alot of his Pre-War unorthodox policies were the result of the normal routes being closed off to him by a government increasingly dedicated to intruding on what had been clear perogatives of the Crown, and while he certainly was not a strategic genius one would question why a British monarch in the 17th century would be expected to be.

    I think we need more details... HOW did we get to a victory in 45'? As @Derek Pullem pointed out, the Royalists are basically on the ropes at that point IOTL, so it's going to take more than a few lucky shots to consolidate the Kingdoms back together again and smash the Parlimentarians. Did the policy change in the earlier half of the decade to make a crack army? Are the Scots and Irish loyal rather than in revolt? Many factors
     
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  14. eltf177 Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree, I don't see victory in 1645 unless it's political - Charles' military bolt was shot by Marston Moor. And I don't see Parliament surviving, Charles will almost certainly get rid of it...
     
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  15. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to disagree on the second point. Charles would LOVE to have access to conventional sources of funding, and trying to govern without a Parliment was a nightmare for him. I'd argue it's far more likely he reforms it after stripping the rebellious lords of their estates (or letting them buy it back) and insisting on a kind of reverse Magna Carta that defines clear royal perogatives that Parliment has no right to infringe upon. Going total centeral control isent viable
     
  16. eltf177 Well-Known Member

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    That does make more sense...
     
  17. Thoresby Well-Known Member

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    As people have repeatedly said the details matter a great deal but broadly speaking you must likely would see the Restoration settlement of the 1660's in England, though with a less competent King. Charles knew the personal rule was unsustainable by 1640, the only question was how tightly he would be tied to Parliament.
    Ireland would likely also see the Restoration settlement imposed i.e. Penal Laws and confiscation of Catholic land. Charles and Parliament will need to raise cash somewhere and while Pym and Essex's estates will help he can't go too far down the Parliamentary hierarchy without setting off another war. Revenging the Massacres of 1641 has cross party appeal and can dampen down intra-Protestant feuding.
    Scotland is more complex. There is little appetite in England to impose the Prayer Book on them but there is an acceptance of the need to align them with England. How that could play out is very unclear.
     
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  18. ennobee Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it. As was said earlier, Charles was a bumbling idiot, not a charismatic leader like Louis XIV across the channel. More like his father Louis XIII. The most absolutist outcome of a Charles I victory would be a reshuffling of the inner circle of the parliament with more power going to a smaller circle of insiders, but Charles will still need the support of the cities, trade unions and nobility. Therefore some kind of power sharing will likely survive
     
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  19. Thoresby Well-Known Member

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    It's worth pointing out that Ancien Regime France was a lot less absolutist than Louis XIV or the Revolutionaries liked to pretend. Remember the power of the Parlements and the inability of the King to reform taxation or the economy. The Ancien Regime was basically the Personal Rule but a bit better and extended for 130 years. The French Monarchy ruled with one hand tied behind it's back in order to avoid needing buy in from anyone else, a policy which crippled France.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  20. Anarch King of Dipsodes Overlord of All Thirst

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    Note: Charles winning in 1645 does not mean the PoD is in 1645. For instance, suppose Charles had won at Newbury in September 1643, which was distinctly possible. It might stlll take a year and a half before Charles finally wins the war.

    As to the consequence of Royalist victory:

    There are a lot of follow-on effects. First and most important, Parliament has not deposed and executed the King. Nor abolished the monarchy. Yes, the monarchy was restored in 1660. But it was restored by act of the Convention Parliament.

    Charles II reigned with one eye over his shoulder; he knew the limits of his power, and what could happen if he exceeded those limits. Then came the Glorious Revolution, in which Parliament asserted the power to determine who was King. WIthout the precedent of the Civil War, that could never have happened. (IMO, anyway.)

    In this situation, Charles holds power by conquest. It is very doubtful that he would consent to anything like OTL's Indemnity and Oblivion Act, which put strict limits on what could be done to ex-Parliamentarians (other than the regicides).

    Other knock-ons:

    The rise of Cromwell and the New Model Army created a permanent distrust among Britain's political elite of professional soldiers. The system of purchased commissions was to insure that no one could achieve high military rank who was not part of the propertied elite. ITTL, that doesn't happen, leaving Britain vulnerable to a Bonapartist takeover or usurpation.

    No abeyance of the monarchy in Scotland, and no conquest of Scotland by Cromwell.

    No conquest of Ireland by Cromwell.

    Charles, James, and Henry don't go into exile. James is not exposed to Catholicism and so probably does not later convert to Catholicism. Henrietta ("Minette") doesn't marry the Duke of Orléans.