Charles I of England

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Charles I (1625-1649) was the son of James VI and I, King of Scotland and England

He came to the throne while much of Europe was moving towards domination by all-powerful monarchs, such as Louis XIV of France. Charles attempted to pursue similar policies but was limited by a robust parliamentary opposition. There was widespread opposition to many of Charles' actions. These included the use of the Court of the Star Chamber to suppress dissent; a policy of taxation without the approval of Parliament; and a religious policy that was attempting to bring the Anglican Church closer to Catholicism.

When Charles attempted to disregard Parliament and rule by himself civil war broke out. The English Civil War was sparked by many issues, and Charles was not fully to blame. He had no sense of public opinion and in general lacked the political skills which might have been expected of a king. He was beheaded in 1649 after the victory of the Parliamentary forces.

After the restoration, however, his son did regain the thrones of Scotland and England as Charles II.