Republican Rule, 1649-53

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  • Republican Rule, 1649-53
    • Background of the Rump
      • By 1653 Cromwell behaved like a dictator
      • During this time there were attempts to find a permanent constitutional settlement
        • This was never really successful as the monarchy was restored in 1660
      • Between 1649 and 1653 England was a Commonwealth ruled by a Council of State appointed by parliament
        • The Rump voted in February 1649 to abolish the House of Lords and monarchy
          • The argument for the abolition of the House of Lords was that it ceased to play its proper constitutional role in that it made no effort to prevent the royal tyranny
        • The act establishing the Commonwealth was passed in May
          • In January 1650 the Engagement Act was passed by which all adult males had to declare loyalty to the Commonwealth
            • This was reinforced by the Treason Act
        • The first Council of State was composed of 41 members, 34 of whom were MPs
      • The Interregnum was a time when those in power sought to establish a form of government
      • The Rump was established by Pride's Purge and was equated with the regicide as well as revolutionary army
    • The Dissolution of the Rump
      • The Rump was not expected to be permanent
        • It is remarkable that it lasted for four and a half years with the administrative, financial and military burdens that it carried
          • In September 1651 it made provision for its own dissolution
      • Rump bill for 'a new representative Parliament'
        • A committee was set up to supervise drafts of plans for a new representative parliament
          • It was thought that the Rump would disband in 1654 but the bill brought this forward by over a year
      • Rift between Army and Rump over reform issue
        • The rift was now so wide that Cromwell had to take a stand on the side of the army and reform
          • The Army Council had not been impressed by the plans for a new representative parliament
      • Cutting of Army budget and possible parliamentary control of Army command
        • Cromwell and the army leadership did not wish to take a direct political role - they believed that parliament should rule
          • The Rump planned to reduce the army budget to only £31,000 a month. This would only have paid for 14,000 soldiers
      • Vision of godly nation - second coming of Christ?
    • The Nominated Assembly / Parliament of the Saints, July - Dec. 1653
      • The dissolution of the Rump had also been accompanied by the dispersal of the Council of State
        • This meant that England was under direct military rule, however Cromwell was not interested in being a military dictator
      • As Cromwell was a political conservative he sought another Parliament as a means of settlement
        • Cromwell turned to those he could trust, the godly, for advice
          • Army officers selected 139 MPs nominated by independent congregations across the country
    • Scotland
      • The Scots were angry that the English had killed Charles
        • As a result they crowned his son as their king
          • He led an army into England but was defeated at Worcester and so fled to France
            • The English invaded Scotland, abolished the Scottish parliament and made the Scots send MPs to London instead
    • Ireland
      • Cromwell tried to wipe out Royalist support and the Catholic religion in Ireland
        • The Irish parliament was abolished and MPs had to be sent to the parliament in London


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