The Short Parliament was called by Charles I, the monarch of England, and lasted from April 13, 1640 to May 5, 1640. At the time, Charles was already at war against France and Spain, and the Scots had just begun to revolt because of his attempts to impose an Anglican prayer book on Calvinist Scotland. To support these wars, the king needed to raise money, which was supposed to be Parliament's job, so he summoned the Parliament for the first time in ten years. However, Parliament began debating the Scottish grievances, to Charles's dismay, so just three weeks after calling Parliament, the king dissolved it. The money problem still had not been resolved, so in November 1640, Charles summoned Parliament again, which became known as the Long Parliament because it lasted for twenty years.

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