Cromwell as Protectorate

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  • Cromwell as Lord Protector
    • Establishment of the Protectorate
      • Problems
        • Finance - war with the Dutch
        • Religious radicals - Fifth Monarchists saw Cromwell as a man of sin
        • The New Model Army became involved in Politics
          • Cromwell depended on the army for republican rule. If he favoured parliament he may alienate the army
        • No major steps towards the creation of a godly nation
        • Problem of the army being paid in full - military dictatorship
      • The Instrument of Government
        • It was the work of John Lambert, who had pressed for a written constitution that would give solidity and stability to the republic
        • 1. Cromwell would become Lord Protector, head of state
          • He would hold executive powers and would be aided by the Council of State
          • This would not be a hereditary position
        • 2. Parliament would be elected every three years to sit for a minimum of five months
          • It was made up of 400 English and Welsh members. This would limit Cromwell's power, he could not dismiss parliament
        • 3. The militia would be controlled by Protector and Parliament
          • There would be a permanent army of 30,000 soldiers, reduced from 50,000 - fear of military dictatorship
        • 4. Council of State
          • Had a central role in finance, appointments and control of armed forces
    • Cromwell's Attempted Reforms, December 1653 - September 1654
      • Financial Reform
        • Cromwell wanted to regularise the two main types of taxation in operation (the assessment and the excise)
      • Religious Reform
        • Bring order to the disputed question of church appointments
          • Provide greater toleration by removing clerics whose extreme views disturbed the religious peace
      • Legal and Administrative Reforms
        • Cromwell regarded sound laws as essential to the well-being of the nation and recognised that it was their unjust application that caused their unpopularity
          • Carried over reforms from the Nominated Assembly
      • Moral Reforms
        • In 1654 horse racing was banned for 6 months as it was a threat to public order
    • The First Protectorate Parliament, September 1654 - January 1655
      • Legality of Protectorate
        • The Instrument of Government was solely the product of the Council of Officers
          • It was never given full civilian backing and was never formally ratifiesd by parliament
      • Aims of Settlement
        • Any traditional parliament would not support a godly reformation
      • Make-up
        • The 460 members included Presbyterians, republicans and some royalist sympathisers
      • "Four Fundamentals"
        • Lord Protector
        • Fixed term parliament
        • Broad toleration
        • There should be checks on institutions
      • The first parliament gave priority to attacking the Instrument of Government
      • Republican dislike of the Military
        • Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump was unlawful
        • They objected to the high cost of maintaining a standing army
      • Religion
        • The Case of John Biddle
          • He was accused of blasphemy
          • It caused tensions between army and parliament because it highlighted conservatism of MPs
        • In the December resolutions, the First Parliament declared intentions to assert legislative supremacy over the Protector and his council by declaring that what they had decided with regard to ministers and as action against heresy and blasphemy would pass and become laws
      • Dissolving Parliament
        • Cromwell tried to lessen the growing opposition by obliging the MPs to take an oath of loyalty to the Protectorate
        • 100 members were excluded after refusing to swear the oath
        • None of the 84 ordinances which Cromwell had previously prepared was passed by parliament
    • The Rule of the Major Generals, 1655-57
      • The Major Generals were a system of direct military government
      • Why did Cromwell introduce them?
        • 1. Reformation
          • Apriority for Cromwell, especially after his disillusionment with the First Protectorate Parliament
        • 2. Failure
          • The failure of the Western Design suggested need for reformation
        • 3. Finance
          • The regime was more financially exposed. The Decimation tax was an attempt to reduce the army to a militia
        • 4. Royalism
          • Threat of royalism and royalists not accepting defeat - Penruddock's rising
      • End of Rule
        • They didn't help Cromwell solve the problem of providing stable, non-military rule
        • They challenged the independence of local gentry
        • It lapsed naturally
        • Illegitimacy: they were not a part of the Instrument
        • Lack of local support
        • Lack of central government support
      • Tasks
        • Successes
          • Maintained security: disarmed royalists
          • Provision of poor relief in some areas
          • Ale houses shut down
          • Horse racing, bear baiting, illicit sexual activities banned
          • Enforcement of system of vetting the clergy
        • Failures
          • Lack of understanding of region e.g Kelsey
          • Decimation tax of 10% was inadequate
          • Some MGs were involved in politics
    • The Second Protectorate Parliament, September 1656 - February 1658
      • The Humble Petition and Advice
        • The new 'civilian Cromwellians' put their views together in this document that became the alternative written constitution to the Instrument of Government
        • It proposed that Cromwell should become king, be granted adequate financial resources and that he should rule with a restored Privy Council and with regular parliaments that would include an upper house
        • It came from parliament and so had validity and legality
        • Cromwell refused the offer of the crown and instead remained faithful to the 'good old cause'
        • In May 1657 Cromwell accepted a modified version of the document
          • He was empowered to name his successor
        • Republicans opposed the constitution
          • They organised a petition to gain army support
      • Cromwell's Final Months
        • Cromwell remained highly active up until his death despite contracting malaria during his campaigns in Ireland
        • After his death there was still problems

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