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Monarchy was abolished along with the House of Lords, and a Commonwealth was established.But unfortunately the so-called Rump Parliament dithered, failing to press ahead with radical social and constitutional reform, all the while locked in mutual hatred with the Army.Charles I’s death warrant was signed by 59 of his judges, with Cromwell the third to inscribe his name.
Cromwell, the only man strong enough to hold power and keep both sides in check, lost patience over lack of progress and forcibly dissolved Parliament in 1653.
Later that year he proposed and received the office of Lord Protector – King in all but name.
At St Giles’ Cripplegate in London you will find the venue for Cromwell’s marriage to merchant’s daughter Elizabeth Bourchier in 1620.
The match appears to have been a happy one, producing nine children.
The Interregnum, when monarchy was abolished and England experimented with being a republic, lasted just 11 years from 1649–60, yet it wrought irrevocable change. To even begin to answer the question we need first to follow his extraordinary rise from regular country gentleman to head of state.
His roots lie in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, where he was born in 1599 into a distinguished but relatively impoverished squirearchal family.
Following clashes over taxes, power and the King’s High Church policies, hostilities erupted into civil war on 22 August 1642 when Charles raised his standard at Nottingham.
Over the next seven years Parliamentarian Roundheads and Royalist Cavaliers tore the country apart.
Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 and the backlash against the republican hero began.
Cromwell was declared a traitor, his body hauled from Westminster Abbey and subjected to posthumous execution.