The first opportunity that the political nation had to reassert its position was with the calling of the Short Parliament in April 1640. Charles has failed to assemble a viable army to confront the Scottish Covenanters. This humiliating failure had demonstrated his isolation from the constructive force of his English kingdom and the basic inadequacy of his finances. It showed how far he was from encompassing any kind of state interest. There seemed no way that he could gather the resources to sustain a military effort. In the winter of 1639, he was reduced to exacting a forced loan from courtiers and office holders, but it could only be collected from those who were directly dependent on the crown and then only on the assurance that parliament would be called to underwrite it. The list of secular grievances, headed liberty and property, was a long one. But Pym began, by identifying the 'grievance of grievances' the long intermission of parliaments.