the commonwealth


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first commonwealth 1649-53

- the rump stayed in power as new elections would produce a royalist majority. appointed council of state. Rump wanted stability and to calm conservative fears, to gain legitimancy, army wanted social transformation and toleration, law reform, less death penalties, godly reformation. Only minority in the country supported rump, levellers not happy. Needed army support to stay in power and needed support from upper classes. army expensive to keep and were too radical so stopped upper class support. Leveller leaders arrested to gain support from gentry 1649. 

- Parliament's enemies: people who have to pay excise taxes, huge! traditional gentry who are afraid of religious change and levellers. Charles II scotland and ireland, irish pacification 1649 hugely brutal. Catholic europe, Bishops, Majority of ex-mps. Bad harvests 1649, army interference in politics was hugely resented and people didnt like army being involved with religious radicals as threatened stability. Ranters- sin only existed in the mind, diggers claimed communal use of land as made by god for all humanity to share fifth monarchists no human gov anarchists. Royalists support growing as Charles died with courage and dignity, propaganda (martyr). 

- Rump wanted religious toleration but needed authority if confidence in higher classes was to be restored, they wanted order and establishement in the church. Law reform and daily maintenance of gov was too heavy workload for rump and army wanted to see progress. Weren't legitiment due Prides purge. 

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failure of rump -

1650 - adultery and blasphemy acts passed to attack ranters, annoyed army as wanted religious toleration, increased repression. Constitutional and electroal reform slow. Rump didn't like army interference. Had both legislative and executive powers impossible workload. navigation act 1651 caused anglo-dutch war, crom not happy as dutch protestant and republicans. Crom didn't want elections to happen as royalist majority. £700,000 in debt. didn't go far enough with law and religious reforms. Crom dissolved 1653 it when they were discussing dissolution act, as he didn't want elections as royalist majority, charles II back crom dead. 

Barebones -

Nominated assembly which declared itself parliament. Churches nominated people for the P. Not legitimate as no elections. 5th monarchists, conservatives and radicals in it. Council of state to rule beside mostly army men. radicals and conservs didnt get along, conservs dissolved when radicals at prayer meeting due to fears of being too radical. Did godly reformation and law reform. The vote against tithes which were seen as popery pushed them to dissolve themselves. passed 30 acts. Both found it difficult to balance the desire for reform and the need for stability. 

16th december 1653 cromwell was appointed Lord Protector to rule with coucil of state and parliaments had to be elected every 3 years. 

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Main reasons for failure

- crisis of legitimancy 

- royalist support

-excise tax

- Can't freely hold elections 

- Anglo - Dutch war 

- Crom thought Rump would dissolve itself 

- Barebones couldnt get along, radicals and conservs didnt agree. 

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