What was the short term significance of the Long Parliament 1640-1642?
The Long Parliament sat from 1640 to 1648 however it was the measures taken between 1640 and 1642 that had the most short term significance. The actions taken by parliament against the king’s ‘evil’ counsellors, the removal of the personal rule of Charles I, the increased role of parliament in conjunction with Charles, the growing support for the king, the religious divisions within parliament and the final breakdown of relations between the two branches of government were all prominent events between 1640 to 1642.
The primary short term significance of the Long Parliament was the removal of the king’s ‘evil counsellors’ Strafford and Laud. Despite the impeachment of
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The most hated features such as ship money, monopolies and the prerogative courts (the court of the Star Chamber and High Commissions) were removed and Pym stated that ‘they now had an opportunity to make their country happy, by removing all grievances’ However because Pym was one of the most outspoken and determined opponents to the king in parliament, his views on the personal rule would be negative and although he may have exaggerated aspects to gain political support, the state of affairs when the long parliament met suggests that it was not entirely needed. The future royalists Henry Slingsby also commented on the personal rule stating that ‘the subjects may have a total redress of all his grievances’ and to question ‘all Projectors and Monopolizers’ leading to a unified and contented parliament implying that there was support throughout parliament for the removal of the tyrannical personal rule. After Strafford’s execution in May 1641 parliament made many new constitutional reforms to prevent repetition of the personal rule; The levying of Tonnage And Poundage (June 22) was pronounced illegal without parliamentary consent, the Ship Money Act (August 7) and the prohibition of knighthood fines all ended Charles’ ability to raise money without going through parliament. The abolition of the