The Fall of the Republic

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Why did the Republic fail?
What were the main factors in the fall of the Republic?
Political Weakness
Unpopularity of Army Rule
Contribution of Monck
Disunity within the army
Attraction of Monarchy
What was the main cause of the Republic's downfall?
The Republic was never able to reconcile itself with the traditional political nation and so
had a relatively small power base. This meant it was never able to create a stable form of
government. Without a stable form of government the problems that had existed since
the end of the war could not be resolved. It was a vicious circle of instability, personal
desire and army influence. It could be argued that the army was more of a factor; that
Parliament had created its own personal monster that it was now desperate to get rid of.
That said the army created much of the instability that plagued the Republic; it was
constantly disagreeing with reforms or the lack of reforms that took place. None of the
Republican governments seemed capable of doing anything that created a stable nation
and that were seen as acceptable by the Army.
What was the role of Charles II in causing the downfall of the Republic?
The role of Charles II is often exaggerated; he had been in contact with George Monck
since 1659 but even as late as early 1660 the notion of calling for Monarchy restoration
was seen as dangerous. Charles however clearly provided an alternate type of
government and the possibility of restoration seemed attractive to many people. The way
he presented himself was very important; he was seen as unintrusive, peaceful and
cooperative. He did all he could to present an image of himself that would be attractive to
the public; he moved from Catholic France to the Protestant Netherlands to make himself
seem more Protestant and managed to stay calm and wait when it came to waiting to be
asked to be King. But he didn't have a direct influence on the fall of the Republic as he
didn't actually do anything.
What was the role of Monck in the fall of the Republic?
Monck was key towards the end of the Republican period; it was him who was in contact
with the future Charles II and him who had instigated the return of the Rump and him who
had insisted on the return of the Long Parliament in 1660. From this point of view you
could say that Monck had been planning the downfall of the Republic all along but perhaps
it would be a little narrow-minded to say so. Monck had been a supporter and friend of
Cromwell during the Protectorate and saw the need for stability. Monck had tried to
maintain the republican cause by returning the Rump to power the complete opposite of


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