Republican Rule, 1640-1660

  • Created by: lx1234
  • Created on: 08-11-18 16:36

Republican Rule, 1640-1660


  • Asked churches and radical groups to nominate an assembly of men to form a government. Democracy. People could vote who would be in charge of their country instead of having the kings successor forced onto them.
  • The Nominated Assembly had 140 members, from England, Scotland and Wales. Includes the other nations. Differ to Charles rule as he was ignorant towards Scotland, despite being descended from there.
  • Cromwell introduces reforms to benefit the public, regulations concerning the treatment of lunatics were introduced.
  • Debtors aid.
  • Civil marriage was allowed, officiated by Justices of the Peace
  • Act for the relief of poor debtors, September 1649, ended the imprisonment for debtors who possessed less than £5.
  • December 1651, Hale Commission set up to discuss the issue of reform*. Meet regularly for two years.
  • The First Protectorate Gov: Parliament was elected every 3 years by voters of at least £200 of personal property, parliament will sit for a minimum of 5 months. Provides freedom to the people **
  • The Toleration Act 1650, there was no longer a need to go to church as long as you attended some kind of religious service once a week.
  • Cromwell banned bearbaiting, cockfighting.
  • Provided better road maintenance
  • Better postal services.
  • Freedom of religion **
  • Abolish imposing of high taxation*.
  • All threats from rebels were abolished and shut down quickly by Cromwell and his new model army.
  • Moderate Oath of Engagement gradually introduced which identified the rumps most determined opponents, eliminates threat. Help political stability.


  • As soon as it began there were problems with establishing a government.
  • In Ireland there was a royalist stronghold
  • The rushed regicide prevented planning ahead for what to do when the King was dead.
  • Henry Ireton: wanted to dissolve parliament and hold new elections, however the overall mood of England made this impossible.
  • Monarchy and House of Lords was abolished in 1649, England was declared a commonwealth which was governed by a single chamber parliament. Problem as people believe the King was chose by God.
  • Legitimacy concerns.
  • Extremist threats to society, Fifth Monarchists, Ranters.
  • April 1652, declaration of tithes, (church taxes) to continue.
  • Greater gentry and nobility refused to cooperate with the regime due to royalist sympathies.
  • Proposed reforms were in complex areas such as law.
  • Wars lead to the need for a large standing army 1649, the civilians didn't like the armies, lead to discontent
  • Ireland. August 1649, supress catholic royalist sympathisers, slaughter of defenders after storming the stronghold.
  • Hale Commission, although met regularly, ideas never used or put forward. Waste of time.
  • Monthly Assessment raised, 3rd September 1651. (cost more than Charles annual revenue). £90,000. People discontent with further taxes. Republic had promised to ban high taxes.
  • Divisions within the Rump between Conservatives and those who wanted reforms
  • When all Conservatives were out praying, those who remained in Parliament dissolved it when the C's refused to recognise the Instrument of Government. Jan 1655
  • Poor Foreign Policy, e.g Navigation Act. Cause war with Russia.


  • Cromwell had the chance to become King of England through the Humble Petition and Advice. If he did so, it could be argued that political stability would have been reached quicker.
  • The Hale Commission could have allowed people to make reforms to legislatures. But because it wasn't taken seriously or followed up it didn't happen.
  • People were allowed freedom of religion, apart from Catholics. This is as Cromwell didn't approve of people forcing their religion onto others, and Catholics were seen as doing so due to Bonfire plot, Mary I etc.
  • Many different forms of government had the chance to provide political stability, however, none of them managed to achieve this.


  • Extremist groups: Fifth Monarchists believed Christ would return to take over and control the country.
  • Conservatism of MP's: Want the King back. Instrument of Gov, reduce the size of Cromwell's army. Didn't like the religious toleration Cromwell had. Caused divisions within Parliament.
  • Military Involvement: Pressure prevented Cromwell from becoming King, could have allowed political stability. Major Generals weren't doing their job. Army forced Richard out of power, ending the Republican Rule.
  • Cromwell being too religious: People began to resent the Rump for the poor choices it made, e.g: focus on godly and moral reformation instead of economic policies.
  • Legitimacy: People didn't believe the Republic had the right to rule.
  • Religion: People uncertain on religious tolerance
  • Finance: Country was poor due to war, government focused on godly and moral reformation.


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