Cromwell as Lord Protector

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Cromwell as Lord Protector
Theories of government
Thomas Hobbes "Social contract theory" people surrender some freedoms and
submit to an authority in return for their security.
Classical republican thinking it was lawful to hold a tyrant to account for his actions.
Levellers Everyone should be equal, franchise, 1 chamber of government.
monarchists wanted rule by saints for preparation for the second coming of
Christ. They were crushed under Charles II.
Henry Vane Parliament should be supreme over the army
The establishment of the Protectorate
There were many problems relating to the ones left over from the Rump and Parliament
of the Saints:
Limited social reform
No constitution had been decided upon (lambert set up the protectorate days
after the dissolution of the nominated assembly)
No godly reformation yet
Conservative minded members of the gentry had been alarmed by the radicals in
the nominated assembly
There was much potential opposition to the protectorate:
Royalists (who saw the regime as a regicide regime)
Republicans (who were not happy with the dissolution of the rump by Cromwell)
Religious radicals (e.g. the fifth monarchists who viewed Cromwell as a "man of
sin" for ending the parliament of the saints and because he failed to establish a
godly nation in the preparation for Christ)
The political radicals (felt Cromwell had betrayed the republican rule)
New constitution was the instrument of government drafted by colonel john lambert, the
constitution was emanated from the army and therefore there was no parliament input.
The instrument of government was never ratified by parliament.
There was still the problem of the new model army, because the army was needed to
uphold the new regime, but the gentry saw the danger of a military dictatorship due to
the army still not being disbanded. Cromwell, as head of state and commander in chief
of the army, had to please both parliament and the new model army whilst their
interested were rarely the same.

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The instrument of government was an alternative constitution
written by John Lambert before even the national assembly was
1) Lord protectorate was the hold executive powers
The position of head of state was not hereditary and he had to have ratification
of his decisions by parliament council of state would share power, Cromwell had
a duty to consult this council, they also chose the lord protectorates successor.…read more

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Cromwell wanted to maintain the links to the ancient constitution, whilst also
distancing him from the disgraced monarchy.
Within 4 days of ending the nominated assembly the instrument had begun and
Cromwell installed as lord protector. The instrument of government never had full
civilian backing and was a government system imposed by the military.…read more

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The makeup of the first parliament was a widely diverse group of people.460 members
including Presbyterians, republicans and even some royalist sympathisers.
Cromwell's four fundamentals
1) Government by a single person and parliament is a fundamental
2) Parliament should not give themselves fixed terms
3) Liberty of conscience
4) The army should not have absolute power; neither should the authority which
governs the army.…read more

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Failure to capture Spanish colonies in the New World suggested to Cromwell that
reformation was needed. Cromwell viewed the failure as God's judgement on England's
lack of progress in terms of a Godly reformation.
Godly reformation
After the dissolution of the first protectorate parliament it seemed necessary to create a
godly nation. The major generals were used to enforce godly reforms.
Finance and social reforms
The regime was increasingly financial exposed.…read more

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Activities banned on Sundays such as gambling, plays. Cussing and blasphemy were
clamped down on.…read more

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Persecuted Royalists
John Desboruough
Crushed Penruddock uprising
In September 1656 Cromwell said "the system of the major generals had been affective
n reducing vice and in settling religion ­ not quite true.
The Second Protectorate Parliament
Cromwell was advised to call parliament in order to raise money for war with Spain.
The Major generals agreed to monitor elections, to ensure the return of "agreeable"
MP's. When parliament met around 100 MP's were declared illegible to take their seats.…read more

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Be granted adequate financial resources
Rule with a restored Privy Council and with regular parliaments that would
include an upper house.
Renewal of Kingship was meant to not extend Cromwell's authority but to limit it.
Constitutional monarchy in which parliament would be equal and permanent power
which effectively meant the return of the monarchy. The fact the petition had validity
and legality as it came from parliament ppealed to Cromwell because it had been
ratified as the Instrument never had.…read more


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