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Proceedings in the Opening Session of the Long Parliament

For those interested in the causes of the breakdown that led to civil war and revolution in mid-seventeenth-century England, the volumes of Proceedings in the Opening Session of the Long Parliament are a good place to begin. The debates in this session focus on the accumulated problems -- political, social, economic, and religious -- that were the legacy of Charles I's years of personal rule. During the almost seven months between the dissolution of the Short Parliament in April 1640 and the first session of what came to be called the Long Parliament in November 1640, the King, his advisors, and army commanders were absorbed with the financial and military problems of the Scottish army camped in the north of England. In the Irish parliament in Dublin, reaction against the King's close friend the Earl of Strafford, the Deputy Lieutenant of Ireland, was beginning to crystalize. Throughout the kingdom, religious unrest continued. All of these elements came to play in the Long Parliament. Volume 1 of the House of Commons debate covers the opening session from 3 November through 19 December 1640. This volume plus Volume 2 (December 21,1640 through March 20, 1641) provide the debates leading up to the beginning of the impeachment trial of the Earl of Strafford for High Treason.
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The convenience of having these materials collected and presented in so user-friendly a manner is beyond dispute. This is a most valuable undertaking, splendidly executed. IRISH HISTORICAL STUDIES Primarily a collection of diaries, this edition of proceedings is a boon to historians. . . it will inevitably be treated as authoritative. PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY

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