Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The creation of New Model Army in England (1645)

Charles came to the throne in 1625. The English Civil War actually refers to a series of wars in Britain and Ireland fought by the parliamentary and royalist armies between 1642 and 1651.

During Civil War, Parliament had the support of the south-east of England, merchants, London and the Navy. Charles ‘s forces were gradually worn down.

In 1644-5 Independent military leaders, particularly the MP Oliver Cromwell, accused the Parliamentarian generals, the Earls of Essex and Manchester, both of them Presbyterian Members of the House of Lords, of not fighting the war forcefully enough.

After Oliver Cranwell set up the New Model Army, Parliament won decisive victories at Marston Moor (1644) and Naseby (1645).

Oliver Cromwell had been a member of the Long and Short Parliaments, which had stood up to Charles and eventually taken the country to war. Once war began, he had also established a reputation as a brilliant military leader.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Parliament relied on soldiers recruited by large landowners who supported their cause. In February 1645, Parliament decided to form a new army of professional soldiers. Parliament felt that a professional army would be more successful against the king’s army. It was a military unit that was to transform the English Civil War.

This army of 22,000 men became known as the New Model Army. Its commander-in-chief was General Thomas Fairfax, while Oliver Cromwell was put in charge of its cavalry.

The creation of the 'New Model Army' – a well-trained, well-equipped, well-disciplined and well-organized army, with officers chosen for ability rather than social standing.

Members of the New Model Army received proper military training and by the time they went into battle they were very well-disciplined.

The New Model Army worked on a meritocratic system, where the best soldiers were the officers. In the past, people became officers because they came from powerful and wealthy families. In the New Model Army men were promoted when they showed themselves to be good soldiers.

The army was inextricably involved in national developments until the Restoration. Religious and political radicalism quickly permeated its ranks, with Leveller influence particularly strong between 1647 and 1649. The army was responsible for Pride's Purge (1648), and formed the basis of government in the following years.
The creation of New Model Army in England (1645)

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