The British historian Simon Schama once said that the American Declaration of Independence was "like a chapter from a British history book." He compared the American Revolution to the English Civil War of a century before, even going so far as to say that the American Revolution was really "round two" of the British civil wars. There is truth in this statement, and the events of the English Civil War are eerily familiar to students of the American Revolution. They both were political wars, they both were wars over ideas, and they both began as wars over taxes; which soon transformed into conflicts about much broader issues.
Battle of Naseby, 1645
(during English Civil War)
The topic is a complicated one, but its essence can be reduced to a single phrase: a war between a King and a Parliament. The Parliament of that time did not represent the people to the extent it does today; as even suffrage in the House of Commons was restricted to knights and burgesses, and the House of Lords was restricted to even higher nobility (to say nothing of both houses' restrictions on suffrage based on gender and race). But nonetheless, there was a noteworthy portion of British society which was represented in this era's Parliament; and their assertion of the rights of self-government would have massive repercussions for future generations of British citizens, who would grant these rights of suffrage to ever larger portions of British society, and carry these rights to distant lands far removed from the British Isles.
The topic has not been covered much in the world of cinema, but I am aware of at least one movie about the English Civil War, which is the 1970 movie "Cromwell" - not an entirely accurate movie, but nonetheless educational if taken with a grain of salt. King Charles I is played by Alec Guinness, who is best known for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars; and Oliver Cromwell himself is played by Richard Harris, who is best known for playing Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies. The cast is undoubtedly an important part of this movie's success, but the story is also a remarkably important one; with the American Revolution of my country's history owing much to the outcome of the English Civil War. And beyond the topic's vital importance, the story also has good old-fashioned human interest in it, and the human drama of politics and war has seldom been so well-depicted.