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date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines politics in England from the regicide of Charles I in 1649 to the restoration of Charles II in 1660. Its central theme is the persistent tension that existed between the army officers and the civilian politicians. This produced a troubled relationship between the army and successive parliaments, leading to a series of army interventions in politics—in 1648–9, 1653, 1654, and 1659—and a period of direct military rule by the Major-Generals in 1655–7. Over the Interregnum loomed the figure of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658, whose political dominance owed much to his unique ability to straddle the worlds of the army officers and the civilian politicians. After his death, the disparate elements of the republic soon fell apart, and ironically it was a final army intervention in 1660 that paved the way for the return of the Stuart monarchy.

Keywords: politics, parliaments, New Model Army, monarchy, Cromwell, Interregnum

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