Q: Why did civil war break out in England in 1642?


[NB many of the items on list XIV are also relevant]



  1. R Ashton, The English civil war
  2. AJ Fletcher, The outbreak of the English civil war
  3. B Manning, Politics, religion and the English civil war
  4. L Stone, The causes of the English Revolution 1529-1642
  5. C Russell, The causes of the English Civil War [revisionist; contrast with Stone]
  6. R Zaller 'What does the English Revolution mean?', Albion 18(1986), 617-35
  7. Peter Gaunt ed., The English Civil War: The Essential Readings. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000
  8. D. E. Kennedy, The English Revolution, 1642-1649. British History in Perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000


The centre and the localities

  1. GE Aylmer, The king's servants
  2. CV Wedgwood, The king's peace
  3. John Harris, S Orgel & R Strong, The king's arcadia: Inigo Jones and the Stuart court
  4. CV Wedgwood, Strafford: a reevaluation
  5. C Hill, The economic problems of the church
    [for Laudianism, see also Tyacke in Russell, Origins of the English civil war]
  6. TG Barnes, Somerset 1625-40
  7. JS Morrill, The revolt of the provinces
  8. A Fletcher, A county community at peace and war: Sussex 1600-60
  9. P Zagorin, Court and Country
  10. AM Everitt, The community of Kent and the Great Rebellion
  11. C Holmes 'The county community in Stuart historiography', in Journal of British Studies 19 (1980)


Parliamentary politics

  1.  JH Hexter, The reign of King Pym
  2. B Wormald, Clarendon



  1. V Pearl, London and the outbreak of the puritan revolution
  2. R Ashton, The city and the court, 1603-43


Scotland and Ireland

  1. D Stevenson, The Scottish revolution
  2. T Ranger 'Strafford in Ireland: a revaluation' Past and Present 19 (1961); reprinted in T Aston, ed, Crisis in Europe
  3. David Scott, Politics and War in the Three Stuart Kingdoms, 1637-1649. British History in Perspective Series Macmillan, 2004.


[See also the works cited in The Stuart aftermath section of list X).

  1. N Tyacke 'Puritanism, Arminianism and counter-revolution' in C Russell, ed., The origins of the English Civil War
  2. P White, 'The rise of Arminianism reconsidered', in Past & Present 101(1983)
  3. J Morrill 'The religious context of the English Civil War', in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 1984
  4. C Hill, Economic problems of the church
  5. Bryan D. Spinks. Sacraments, Ceremonies, and the Stuart Divines: Sacramental Theology and Liturgy in England and Scotland, 1603-1662. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002
  6. R Strier & D.B.Hamilton, eds, Religion, Literature, and Politics in Post-Reformation England, 1540-1688 CUP 1996
  7. DR Como, 'Predestination and political conflict in Laud's London' The Historical Journal 46  (2003)
  8. K. Fincham, 'The Restoration of altars in 1630', Historical Journal 44 (2001)
  9. John Walter, ‘Abolishing Superstition with Sedition’? The Politics of Popular Iconoclasm in England 1640–1642 Past and Present 2004 183: 79-123


The judiciary

  1. WJ Jones, Politics and the bench


Collections of essays

  1. C Russell, ed., The origins of the English Civil War
  2. H Tomlinson, ed., Before the English Civil War
  3. P Taylor, ed., The origins of the English civil war: conspiracy, crusade or class conflict
  4. B Bradshaw and J Morrill, eds, The British problem c1534-1707: state formation in the Atlantic archipelago
    [For more on the "British problem" approach see list XXIII]


A recent socio-economic approach

  1. D Underdown. Revel, riot and rebellion: popular politics and culture in England 1603-1660



  1. Conrad Russell, The causes of the English Civil War
  2. N Tyacke, Anti-Calvinists: the rise of English Arminianism
  3. A Hughes, The causes of the English Civil War [good brief guide]
  4. K Sharpe, The personal rule of Charles I [large]
  5. M Kishlansky, Parliamentary selection
  6. D Underdown, Fire from heaven [detailed local study]
  7. D Underdown, A Freeborn People. Politics and the Nation in Seventeenth Century England.
  8. Austin Woolrych. Britain in Revolution, 1625-1660. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002