The role of Cromwell 1640-58

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  • Created on: 12-04-20 15:14
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  • The role of Cromwell, 1640-58
    • 1640-49
      • Emerged as a national figure through his military success during the Civil War.
        • He remained in Parliament, aswell as his role as an officer.
        • It was the New Model Army's politicisation that Cromwell became more significant.
          • However, it can be argued that Cromwell's Son-in-law (Ireton) was more of a driving force in the King's execution.
    • 1649-53
      • After Charles' execution, Cromwell's political influence was moved to the necessity of him leading campaigns against the Irish and then the Scots.
        • For this he became the commander-in-cheif of the New Model Army in June 1650.
      • Only after the defeat of the Scots in 1651, Cromwell returned to London to once again impose himself more directly on the political process.
        • Explains the dissolution of both the Rump and the Nominated Assembly in 1653.
    • First Protectorate Parliament, 1654-55
      • Cromwell hoped that the Protectorate would bring stability to political and national life.
        • Also hoped that it would secure support of a broad spectrum of opinion.
      • The First Protectorate Parliament met in September 1654, it showed non of the harmony he had hoped for.
        • 100 members refused to sign the Instrument of Government and withdrew from Parliament.
        • Attempts were made to reduce the size of the army.
        • Powerful attacks were mounted against the principle of religious liberty.
      • Frustrated by Parliament's attitudes, Cromwell dissolved the assembly in January 1655.
    • The rule of major generals
      • Cromwell didn't immediately call a new Parliament.
        • Instead he imposed direct military rule across England.
      • 11 major generals were appointed to rule different areas of the country.
        • They were to provide military security, but Cromwell's main intention was that they would carry out a national reform of morals and behaviour.
          • They were empowered to supress taverns and brothels, and to punish adultery, blasphemy and drunkenness.
      • The major generals experiment highlighted the fundamental tensions between reform and stability which characterised the entire period of republican rule.
    • The Second Protectorate Parliament, 1656-58
      • Met in September 1656 and, again, 100 MPs were excluded.
      • In March 1657 parliament presented Cromwell with the 'Humble Petition and Advice'.
        • Offered the Protector the crown of England.
        • Strong opposition from the army and religious radicals persuaded Cromwell to refuse the offer in May.
          • However, he did accept the office of Lord Protector for life, with the power to choose his successor.
    • The end of the Protectorate, 1658-60
      • Cromwell died in September 1658 and his son Richard took over.
        • Richard had little political experience and had no strong links with the New Model Army, the key power group.
          • Richard was removed from office in 1659 by the army's leader.
      • Political instability followed Richard's removal.
        • This was caused by the inability of military and civilian groups to agree on the future government of the country.
      • Order was restored by General Geroge Monk.
        • He was the commander of the army in Scotland.
          • Crossed into England in 1660.
        • As he marched to London he was met with many petitions for the restoration of the monarchy.
          • Elections were held for a new parliament, and the Convention Parliament met in April 1660.
            • Parliament resolved to restore the traditional government of the King, Lords and Commons.
              • 29th May 1660, Chalres II was welcomed on his return to London from exile abroad.


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