The National Archives Civil War
Download and print PDF version Civil War > Why did Britain become a republic? > Death of Charles I > Source 2

Why did Britain become a republic?

Case study 1: Effects of war, 1642-45 - Source 2

source selector

Initial plans for a treaty between Charles I and Parliament after the Second Civil War, 6 September 1648

(Catalogue ref: SP 16/516/86)

View transcript View simplified transcript
To listen to this podcast, you will require Adobe Flash 9 or higher and must have Javascript enabled.
SP16/516/86; plans for a treaty, 1648

What is this source?

These are extracts from a document setting out the process that Parliament’s negotiators had to follow as they tried to work out a peace treaty with Charles I after the Second Civil War.


What's the background to this source?

After the first Civil War ended in 1646 Charles refused to reach a settlement with his enemies. His enemies were divided so he played them off against each other. Late in 1647 he escaped from London. He allied with the Scots. Royalist supporters across the country also rose to support him. However, Parliament and the New Model Army defeated Charles again in this Second Civil War in August 1648.


It's worth knowing that...

Charles’s actions in starting a Second Civil War led the leaders of the army to believe he could not be trusted.


Your turn: What can we learn from this source?

  1. What was the purpose of this document?
  2. What did Parliament’s Commissioners have to do?
  3. What did they want Charles I to do?
  4. Where did they want the king to end up?
  5. How would you describe the tone of this document in the way it dealt with the king?
  6. Reading this document, do you think that most MPs were very anxious to achieve a final treaty settlement with the king?