LisaCarter's Travel Journals


  • Currently in Ormskirk, England

British Cultural Identities Journal

Observations and musings

The Wars of the Roses

England Ormskirk, England  |  Jun 01, 2010
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The Wars of the Roses were a series of Medieval English civil wars fought between the houses of Lancaster and York.  The red rose represented the House of Lancaster, and the white rose the house of York.  The wars were fought over succession; both houses had a claim to the throne through Edward III.  They eventually ended with Henry Tudor, the Earl of Richmond, as victor.  He became king, and founded the House of Tudor.       

The English Civil War, or the Great Rebellion, was a series of battles fought between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists.  King James clashed with Parliament over custom duties, and suspended Parliament for 10 years.  When James' son Charles took the throne, he argued with Parliament over most issues, and eventually suspended Parliament for another eleven years (the Eleven Years Tyranny).  War eventually broke out between supporters of the crown (Royalists) and supporters of Parliament (Parliamentarians).  Charles surrendered, was tried, and was executed. 

Roundhead was a nickname for a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War. 

Oliver Cromwell was a commander in the New Model Army which defeated Charles and the royalists in the English Civil War.  After Charles I was executed, Cromwell helped to make England a commonwealth (though this was shortly lived).  Cromwell conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector until his death in 1658.

Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron, was a general during the English Civil War.  He marched with Charles I in the First Bishops' War, but later sided with Parliament in the English Civil War, and was eventually made commander-in-chief of the New Model Army. 

The Laws in Wales Acts 1536-1543 were a series of parliamentary measures which united England and Wales.  Henry VIII was descended from the Welsh House of Tudor.  Concerned with the lawlessness and disorder in Wales, he decided to annex Wales, uniting it with England to form a modern sovereign state. 

The Dissolution of the Monasteries was the process by which King Henry VIII seized Catholic Church properties.  Monasteries were demolished, sold, or made into Anglican Churches.  This followed Herny VIII's break from the Catholic Church, and his founding of the new Anglica Church, or Church of England.  He dissolved the monasteries to reduce Rome's power in England, and to raise funds for his wars with France and Scotland.

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