Key dates and events from the interregnum

  • Created by: Maddie
  • Created on: 06-06-10 11:03

Failure of the Rump

  • Dissolved by Army in April 1653.
  • Not radical enough.
  • Did solve problems in Ireland and Scotland.
  • Tried to sort out finance by confiscation of Crown and Church Land , increased land tax and more loans from city merchants.
  • Attempts at reform failed i.e. Hale Commision, only change court cases in English.
  • Divisions due to religion, Prebyterians vs Independants.
  • Contempories were highly critical of the rump as seen as self interested.
  • Modern historians are more sympathetic and believe they were too busy dealing with crisis than "the luxary of reform" (Hirst).
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Ireland and Scotland

  • Seen as bases for Royalists to attack republic.
  • Cromwell very harsh in Ireland.
  • Grant and Plant policy took land off Irish Catholics and gave it to English protestants.
  • This prevented enmasse risings and appeased army ,who were given land in Ireland to pay arrears.
  • Scotland didn't like English Parliament or having Church forced upon them.
  • Charles II said he would let them remain Presbyterian if they helped him regain his throne.
  • Charles hoped for a full scale uprising, however not possible due to religious divisions.
  • Cromwell led an army into Scotland , churshing Scottish convenanters, Charles still marched into England where he was defeated and fled into exile.
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Nominated Assembly

  • First Met 4 July 1653.
  • Too radical-Full of 5th Monarchists.
  • Cromwell and Council of State decided who sat in Nominated Assembly.
  • Also called "Barebones" parliament.
  • Although religious radicals only a minority , they overshadowed Parliament.
  • Barebones was fairly efficient , met regularly and passed 30 Acts.
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Failure of Nominated Assembly

  • The image of the Nominated Assembly caused it to collapse not the Assembly itself. (conservatives worried about 5th Monarchist ideas, i.e. abolishing all law)
  • Could not statisfy both Radicals and Conversatives.
  • Dissolved December 1653 and Instrument of Government drawn up.
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Plot or Providence

  • Cromwell's critics believe Cromwell plotted his way to power (Hutchinson).
  • However this cannot be true because Cromwell couldn't have predicted how events would unfold.
  • Plot theory starts with Cromwell's exemption from the Self Denying Ordiance, however this was mainly implemented to get rid of Commanders like Manchester who were incompetent.
  • The Kings escape was also linked to Cromwell, as it was one of Cromwell's relatives guarding him.
  • Prides purge is also linked to Cromwell, as it was believed by those who came up with the Plot theory that he organised it, so he could get the King executed and it left a power gap.
  • The suppression of the Levellers and dissolution of the Rump are seen as Cromwell removing the final hurdle.
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Plot Of Providence

  • However these were a series of unrelated events
  • The setting up of Barebones shows that Cromwell wanted to try and create a civilian government , and in itself disproves the plot theory.
  • Cromwell accepted the Instrument of Government and later the Humble Petition and Advice which limited his power.
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Why did Cromwell become Lord Protector?

  • After the Kings execution there was a power vacuum neither the Rump or Nominated Assembly could fill as they couldn't provide propular stable government.
  • Cromwell could get support from both Gentry and Army. He was both a conservative gentleman farmer and a radical army commander.
  • Cromwell himself says he only became Lord Protector to defend England's rights.
  • It is royalist propaganda that blackens Cromwell's name.
  • Sharp disagrees with Plot theory ,but, believes that shrewd political thinking did go into Cromwell becoming Lord Protector.
  • Hatton says that although Cromwell didn't aim for power he hung onto it once he gained it.
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Why did Cromwell become Lord Protector?

  • Failure to find a settlement 1646-1647.
  • Outbreak of the 2nd Civil War 1648.
  • Prides Purge- December 1648.
  • Execution of the King- January 1649.
  • Failure of the Rump and dissolution in April 1653.
  • Failure of Nominated Assembly December 1653.
  • Instrument of Government December 1653.
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The Instrument of Government

  • Lord Protector is Head of State.
  • Lord Protector has control of army with consent of Parliament.
  • There was a council in which Parliament had a say in who was in it.
  • Every male over 21 with either land or goods worth £200 could vote.
  • A yearly revenue established to pay for a standing army of 30000 and a navy.
  • Religious toleration for all but Catholics and Anglicans.
  • Yearly sun of £200,000 to support Protector's Government.
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England under the Protectorate

  • Royalists saw it as a regicide regime.
  • Commonwealthsmen opposed to any government with a single person element.
  • Religious radicals disliked Cromwell as he ruined chance to create a new Jerusalem.
  • Politcal Radicals didn't see enough reform.
  • Cromwell rules by ordiance in the first few months of his reign
  • Moderate reform of legal system (regulated fees).
  • Triers and Ejectors to reform church and schools.
  • Religious toleration under Cromwell, but there was fear about Quakers and Ranters. Cromwell tried to stop persecution of these groups as much as he could.
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1st Protectorate Parliament Sep 1654 - Jan 1655

  • Problems at beginning regarding his right to rule by ordinances.
  • Had to sign "Recognition" that they accepted Govt. as laid down in Instrument. Commonwealthsmen refused a left Parliament.
  • Removed opposition.
  • However, still problems regarding army.
  • Parliament wanted to reduce size of army.
  • Cromwell didn't want to alienate army by sacking 20000 men.
  • Parliament tried to introduce the Government Bill which was a revised version of the Instrument of Government, giving Parliament more power.
  • Cromwell dissolved parliament rather than accepting the Bill.
  • Very like Charles Ist!
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Major Generals August 1655-January 1657

  • England divided into 12 districts.
  • Each governed by a Major General answerable only to Lord Protector.
  • Charged with exercising military control + overseeing govt.
  • M-G concerned with suppressing Royalists.
  • M-G unpopular-tried to force godliness on people.
  • Were of lower standing than Gentry (traditional ruling class) and often lived far from the areas they were in charge of (people felt subjected to outside rule).
  • M-G made it clearer stability depended on military rule
  • Hill says although Cromwell tried to legitimise his authority he was "sitting on bayonets and nothing else".
  • M-G failed and had no lasting effects.
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First Session of Second Protectorate Parliament Se

  • Called to raise money.
  • M-G thought they could manage Parliament and make it cooperative.
  • Problems arose from persecution of Nayler.
  • Cromwell didn't agree with it and felt Parliament overstepped their authority but couldn't do anything to stop it.
  • Further problems due to unpopularity of Major-Generals.
  • However, M-G didn't realise they were unpopular when they called Parliament.
  • With fall of M-G Cromwell began to move in a more conservative direction, but keeping in place what had been done in the republican years.
  • Conservatives in Parliament however wanted a return to the old ways and offered Cromwell the crown.
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Humble Petition and Advice

  • First presented to Parliament in February 1657.
  • Would give Cromwell the Crown.
  • Due to pressures from radicals Cromwell rejected it in May , however radicals didn't like how long it took him to reply.
  • They offered him a revised version at the end of May without any reference to the Crown and he accepted it in June 1657.
  • Under the terms of the Humble Petition, Cromwell could name his successor and would remain Lord Protector for life.
  • He had to call Parliament every 3 years and it considered of an Upper and Lower house.
  • The Council of State was to become the Protector's privy council, consisting of 21 members chosen by the Protector and approved by Parliament.
  • Parliament alone was given power to purge its own Members.
  • Limited Cromwell's power.
  • Cromwell had to dismiss Lambert for refusing oath of loyalty to new constitution.
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2nd Session of Second Protectorate Parliament Janu

  • Due to Parliament only being given power to purge its members, the Commonwealthsmen returned, Led by Haselrig.
  • They believed govt. had been illegitimate since rump.
  • They challenged legitimacy of upper house and ignored Cromwells wishes for the to turn their focus to domestic and foreign policy.
  • Rublicans made deals with religious radicals to propose a petition against upper house with a guartee of relgious toleration, and gained army support that no soldier could be dismissed without a court martial.
  • lack of support in commons exacerbated the problem , he had promoted his supporters to upper house.
  • Worried his opponents would band together Cromwell dissolved the Parliament after 2 weeks.
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Cromwell's Foreign Policy 1654-58

Feb-july 1653. War with Dutch.

April 1654. Defeat and peace with Dutch. Treaty of Westminister.

1654-55. Western Design to capture Hispaniola from Spanish (disaster).

May 1655. Support for Protestants in Piedmont following massacre of Vaudois.

October 1655. Defensive alliance against France + War with Spain.

September 1656. Naval Victory over Spanish off Cadiz.

April 1657. Anti Spanish military alliance with France.

June 1658. Spanish defeated by Anglo Frence forces and England gain Dunkirk.

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Slingsby Bethel's criticisms of Cromwell's Foreign

  • Cromwell's religious affinity with Dutch causes him to make peace terms unfavourable to England in Treat of Westminister.
  • Cromwell misunderstood importance of preventing Swedish dominance in Baltic which was a vital source of England's naval supplies.
  • Cromwell's anachronistic hostility towards Spain, a power in decline, meant that he helped France become the most dominant power in Europe after 1660 , at England's expense.

Benefit of Hindsight!!!!

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How far are Bethel's ciritcisms true? Dutch

  • Cromwell went to war with Dutch over trade and worries about Royalist tradition.
  • Cromwell gained English soverinity over the channel, compensation for mechants, dutch refusal to help Charles Stuart.
  • Some people expected more ,but those aims were unrealistic as would have caused conflict with Danes and Swedes.
  • Coward believes this was successful and pragmatic, even if it was a little lenient.
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How far are Bethel's criticisms true? Baltic

  • His policy was pragmatic.
  • He had access to Baltic without having to fight for it.
  • Didn't want to risk trading links with countries.
  • Didn't want to spend money on unnecessary wars.
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How Far are Bethel's Criticms true? France and Spa

  • War with Spain was a possibility of a self financing war by seizing Spanish ships.
  • Huguenots not interesting in a 3 pronged war against France.
  • Mazarin promoted a policy of tolerance towards Huguenots and had agreed not to support Stuarts.
  • Spain seemed like natural enemy.
  • Successful war against Spanish Netherland meant end to Royalist hope of Spanish supported invasion from Flanders.
  • Again pragmatic policy.
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Conclusion to Foreign Policy

Bethel's arugments are highly critical and arguments have benefit of hindsight. It wasn't known that France would become such a dominant power in 1660. Cromwells foreign policy raised England's prestige and was successful. It neutralised the Stuart threat .

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Challenges to the Protectorate? Religious Radicals

  • Some groups wanted to get rid of all law as god was about to sweep it away anyway.
  • Quakers disrupted church services, refused to pay tithes and used Violence.
  • Cromwell didn't care about private beliefs but he felt public behaviour would delay his plan of healing + settling.
  • Naylor case brought Cromwell into conflict with Parliament as they denyed liberty of conscience.
  • Cromwell felt civil war had been fought for religious toleration.
  • Cromwell set up triers and ejectors for those intolerant which improved clergy.
  • Cromwell had to balance religion between the Army, who had radical sympathies and the Conservative Presbyterian Parliament.
  • Cromwell wanted to make people more Godly and have toleration without extermism.
  • Cromwell didn't have complete control, but, did manage to present religious toleration to England.
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Challenges to the Protectorate? Royalists

  • The royalists found it difficult to gain support at this time.
  • There was no figurehead as Charles had fled to the continent.
  • Cromwell's strength meant an uprising was unrealistic.
  • Royalists were heavily fined so threat of punishment kept them under control.
  • Only major event was Penruddock's rising in 1655, which failed and 12 men were executed.
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Conclusion- Cromwell as Lord Protector

  • Broad aims of healing and settling and Godly reformation.
  • Two aims competed against each other.
  • He was dependant on military power which he was reluctant to use.
  • Cromwell lacked authority and public acceptance of a monarch, but never pushed his own authority to a point where he had genuine controlling power.
  • Divisions were too difficult to heal and he couldn't unite the country.
  • Cromwell died in September 1658.
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thank you! :-3

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