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Like any war, the English Civil War affected families by the deaths of thousands of young men who were husbands, fathers, and sons. In those areas particularly hard-hit by the conflict military forces destroyed property, requisitioned food, and pillaged homes, leading to considerable financial distress for common people. But the conflict had another dimension specific to civil wars, as it divided individual families. Many young gentry sided with the Parliamentarian faction against the wishes of their families, resulting in emotional and financial distress for a society still built on primogeniture. Several of Charles's closest advisors had children in the Parliamentary army, and even Oliver Cromwell's family was divided, as several members supported the king. This fact, along with the major religious ferment and economic strife of the period, made the Civil Wars even more divisive.
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