The Commonwealth 1649-53: An experiment in Republicanism

Rattan Bhorjee
Mind Map by Rattan Bhorjee, updated more than 1 year ago
Rattan Bhorjee
Created by Rattan Bhorjee about 4 years ago
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A-Level History (Mrs Tappenden) Mind Map on The Commonwealth 1649-53: An experiment in Republicanism, created by Rattan Bhorjee on 03/22/2016.

Resource summary

The Commonwealth 1649-53: An experiment in Republicanism
1 Achievements of the Rump
1.1 Religious Policy
1.1.1 Civil Wars left Anglican Church in uncertain position
1.1.2 1645: Parliament recomemended adoption of Presbyterianism, but had made no real effort to implement this.
1.1.3 Rump divided on issue - Presbyterians equal to independents who had conflicting views on the matter.
1.1.4 Some MPs, labelled as 'Independent Presbyterians' favoured some form of compromise. E.g. Maintaining central church while denying a controlling authority over the local congregations.
1.1.5 Majority of members more concerned to impose 'Godliness' over nation than to allow 'liberty of conscience'.
1.1.6 Acts introduced that imposed penalties on adultery, fornication and profane language.
1.1.6.1 Aug 1650 - 'An Act against Blasphemy'
1.1.7 Absence of more sweeping measures indicated Rump had no real intention of reforming the church along the lines hoped by religious radicals.
1.1.8 Rump did nothing on tithes
1.1.9 Late 1650: Repealed statutes created under Elizabeth requiring Sunday worship in Anglican Churches.
1.1.10 'Committee for the propagation of of the Gospel' setup by Rump in 1652 with intention of creating system for strict supervision of clerical appointments - disorganised.
1.2 Legal Reforms
1.2.1 Main objections to the current operation of law were that it was:
1.2.1.1 The preserve of the privilaged
1.2.1.2 Highly expensive
1.2.1.3 Scandalously low in operation
1.2.1.4 In the hands of corrupt lawyers
1.2.2 Among Rump's responses were the adoption of more lenient methods for punishing debtors and authorisation of the use of English in courts as opposed to Latin or French.
1.2.3 Did nothing to ensure lower legal fees or to provide easier access to the courts for ordinary people
1.2.4 Parliament reluctant to make changes because:
1.2.4.1 50 of the 211 who attended House during the Commonwealth period were from a legal profession.
1.2.4.2 Largest single group among average of 60-70 members who attended daily sessions of Parliament were Lawyers.
1.2.5 Lawyers used influence to prevent interference with current commercial practices, such as monopolies, and were instrumental in the Rump's passing of the 1651 Navigation Act.
1.2.6 Primary aim to gain support from established classes within society
1.3 Social Policies
1.3.1 Did give some attention to Social Reforms
1.3.2 Introduced schemes for extension of education and for some form of poor relief
1.3.3 Pressures of demands of war and maintenance of National Security meant it had limited opportunity to reform.
2 Financial Problems
2.1 Judged by revenue collected, Rump was a highly successful body
2.2 It raised money through:
2.2.1 Taxation of Goods
2.2.2 Assessment (taxes on land)
2.2.3 Excise levies at the ports
2.2.4 Sale of crown lands and church propety
2.2.5 The proceeds of confiscated royal estates
2.3 In spite of being successfully financially, Rump remained short of money
2.4 Revenue couldn't keep up with costs of campaigns in Ireland and Scotland as well as the Dutch War.
2.5 Spent so much money on wars that it was restricted on what it could do on the domestic front
3 Dissolution of the Rump
3.1 Rump never expected to be a permanent body
3.2 September 1651: Made provision for its own dissolution by voting to disband itself by the end of 1654.
3.3 Produced plans for 'new representative' Parliament
3.4 Failed to impress Army Council, which considered Rump to be manoeuvring to prevent a genuinely new Parliament from being elected.
4 Cromwell's Motives
4.1 Cromwell forcibly ended life of the Rump
4.2 Ending of Rump accompanied by a forcible dispersal of the Council of State
4.3 Remained loyal to Parliament during Irish and Scottish campaigns
4.4 After Pride's purge in 1648, the Rump depended on the Goodwill of the Army
4.5 Army restrained because it was preoccupied in Ireland and Scotland
4.6 Right up to the point he dissolved it, Cromwell wanted the Rump to succeed
4.7 Religious views may have been radical, but politically and socially he was a conservative
4.8 Never lost his belief that Parliament was an essential part of any constitutional settlement, as shown when he was Lord Protector.
4.9 Cromwell's methods were apparently to prevent 'greater efusion of blood'
4.10 Held his army in check until he became outraged by the Rump's failure to live up to his expectations.
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