Proceedings in the Opening Session of the Long Parliament
For those interested in the causes of the breakdown that lead to civil war in mid-seventeenth-century England, the volumes or 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, and religious -- that were the legacy of the years of personal rule of Charles I. 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 Thomas Wentworth, soon to become the Earl of Strafford, was beginning to crystallize. Throughout the kingdom, religious unrest continued, All of these elements came into play in the Long Parliament. Volume 2 of the House of Commons debates 21 December 21,1640 through March 20, 1641) continues the coverage begun in Volume 1 (November 3 through December 19, 1640), providing the debates that lead up to the beginning of the impeachment trial of the Earl of Strafford for High Treason.