the british civil war - commonwealth & protectorate: extensive links to the period of interregnum and central role of oliver cromwell   

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     Unfinished portrait miniature of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper   casahistoria - web site for students of modern history!

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Browse down the page or just click one of these sections.... 
1. General Commonwealth & Protectorate sites
2. Rump and Barebones
The Rump | Barebones
3. The Protectorate:
     a) Instrument of Government
     b) Protectorate Parliaments
First | Second | Humble Petition and Advice Third
     c) Major Generals
4. Oliver Cromwell:
     a) Biographies
Cromwell websites | Outline biographies Political & Religious Views | Death 
     b) Academic articles & assessment
Viewed by contemporaries |
Traditional views | Recent views & assessment
Cromwell lectures 
5. Wars of the Commonwealth (separate page)
6. End of the Commonwealth & Protectorate    
 (separate page)  
 Our sites on the civil war period (1630-1660):
  Background to civil war period
  People of the civil war
  Military Events
  Beliefs & ideas
  The Commonwealth & Protectorate
  The 1660 Restoration Settlement
  Site Map - Civil War period (1630-60)       

        Revision, 1646-52

        Revision, Cromwell


casahistoria is recommended by many sites including:




1. Commonwealth & Protectorate: general sites                                                   go to top of page


  • Fall of the republic from English Civil War in the interactive History Site of BBC Online, a straightforward, basic account by Professor Mark Stoyle.
  • The English Civil War Straightforward overview, links to key events/personalities from The History Guide's Lectures on Early Modern European History
  • Aftershocks BBC & Open University site. Well produced and detailed to coincide with a TV series.
  • Channel 4 history website. Well presented, lush designed this professional micro-site tells the story the of the wars.
  • British Civil Wars and Commonwealth: An excellent site, providing many of the links and sites on these pages. This site explores the turmoil of the Civil Wars and Interregnum, and the constitutional experiments of the Commonwealth and Protectorate period of the 1650s. constantly growing
    • Time Lines: chronological listings of main events during the period 1640-60.
    • Biography: very comprehensive who's who in the Civil Wars and Commonwealth.
    • Military: military history of the Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate
  • English Revolution Intriguing site from Harvard@home education programme. Includes video lectures & explanations as well as timelines, maps and brief text outlines of key events. (Your browser needs to accept pop-ups)
  • Oliver Cromwell: Constitutional Crisis in England Lecture article by Professor Gerhard Rempel at Western New England College
  • Regicide and Republic, 1647-1660  Yale video (47 min) lecture where Professor Wrightson considers the events leading to the execution of Charles I in 1649, and the republican regimes of 1649-60 (the Commonwealth and the Protectorate), with particular attention to the role of Oliver Cromwell. He notes that although the Restoration marked the failure of the revolution, the political landscape had been irrevocably changed. The restored monarchy lived in the shadow of the civil war, the politicization of a large section of society was not reversed, religious dissent was now a permanent reality, and a plethora of new political and religious ideas had been advanced.
  • The English Revolution 1640 by Christopher Hill Online version of the crucial pamphlet published in 1940. section 4 is the relevant one.
And finally:
  • Commonwealth: 1649-1660 Use this for a clear and impressive study of the structures of government or if you are a real anorak who needs to know who held which official position in government. Good summaries of the key periods. From the Archontology site.


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2. Rump and Barebones - The Commonwealth, 1649-53  go to top of page

 Click me to visit the ECWSA!Click me to visit the excellent BCW&C site!!      

Initials used in text -  

Trial & Execution of Charles I Click for extensive links from the casahistoria "The People of the Civil War" site


The Rump, 1648-53
  • Pride's Purge Outline from BCW&C page
  • The Commonwealth 1649-53 Excellent hyperlinked timeline. For more detail see the individual years for a day by day account and links to events/people great and small... From BCW&C.
  • The Rump Parliament The 'Rump' of the Long Parliament after its purging by the New Model Army. Description from BCW&C.
  • Cromwell’s expulsion of the Rump Parliament The historian Barry Coward asks why on the 350th anniversary of Oliver Cromwell's dismissal of the Rump in 2003 the anniversary has gone largely unmarked and examines why Cromwell acted the way he did. From the UK Parliamentary Archives.    §

Barebones, 1653


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3. The Protectorate: a) Instrument of Government   go to top of page

The example of the United Provinces




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        The Protectorate: b) Protectorate Parliaments  go to top of page


Second Humble Petition and Advice, 1657
  • Humble Petition and Advice 1657 Constitutional document that makes Oliver Cromwell 'king in all but name' 1657. This was England's second — and last — written constitution. It differed significantly from the Instrument in that it was drawn up by civilian parliamentarians rather than by army officers. Outline description and links to full version from BCW&C.




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        The Protectorate: c) Major Generals  go to top of page




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4. Oliver Cromwell:
        a) biographies
go to top of page

Cromwell websites  Outline biographies Political Views
Religious views
  • Cromwell and the Jews Very useful, detailed article with links for further study from the Cromwell Association
  • Cromwell 'was murdered' BBC item about the debate arising from the American scholar Howard McCains' beliefs that letters dating from 1658 and the pattern of Cromwell's illness point to death by poisoning.
  • Death of Oliver Cromwell - newspaper article from The Gazette in 1658 on the death of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, after the English Civil War.
  • Reactions to the death of Cromwell From the Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, Lieutenant-General of the Horse in the Army of the Commonwealth of England, 1625-1672
See the section below for assessments of Cromwell:



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Oliver Cromwell: 
         b) assessments 
go to top of page

Viewed by contemporaries 
Traditional views  More recent views & assessments 
  • Oliver Cromwell Extract from the article by Richard Wilkinson in History Review March 1997
  • Assessment Succinct overall assessment by Prof Morrill on his BBC site.
  • Cromwell: Hero or Villain? Item from BBC News site discusses points raised in the 1999 "Cromwell: Warts and All" exhibition at the Museum of London
  • Contentious Cromwell From the Channel 4 history website, examination of Oliver Cromwell's role during and after the Civil Wars.  §
  • Puritan Made Dr Rachel Gibbons, lecturer at the Open University examines the political legacy of Cromwell.
  • Christopher Hill: God's Englishmen Interesting 2013 article for the Guardian by Tristram Hunt, TV historian and Labour MP, writing about re-reading God's Englishman. Includes a useful survey of how different periods (including the present) have viewed Cromwell.
  • An interview with Angela Anderson Useful transcript of the interview for the Channel 4 programme Cromwell: New Model Englishman.  §
  • An interview with Blair Worden for the Channel 4 programme Cromwell: New Model Englishman. Blair Worden is a professor of history at the School of English and American Studies at the University of Sussex.  §
  • Britain’s very own Taliban Fascinating New Statesman article by historian Tristram Hunt, in which he asserts that ‘Oliver Cromwell's Puritans were fundamentalists who banned Christmas, outlawed holly and covered up their women’, and Cromwell himself was not a hero of the common man and protector of democracy.
Cromwell lectures 


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5. Wars of the Commonwealth  go to top of page

Go to the Wars of the Commonwealth section on the casahistoria Military Events of the Civil War page 






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6. The End of the Commonwealth & Protectorate  go to top of page


See above Section 4a) for links to the death of Oliver Cromwell


Go to casahistoria site The 1660 Restoration Settlement for links to:

1. General Resources   
2. Oliver Cromwell to Charles II
3. The Restoration Settlement
     Charles II
The Convention Parliament
     Political settlement
     Religious settlement
     Charles, ministers and early court politics

4. Foreign Relations
5. Miscellany

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Google Book SearchGoogle Book Search - Oliver Cromwell & Protectorate
  • This has become an increasingly valuable tool for casahistorians. Key materials are already listed on the site but for more, click on the logo alongside to go to a results page linked to this topic. Once there you can narrow your search further by using its search box. Remember then to show at Full & Limited preview settings for best results. Instructions on how best to use Google Book Search can be found by clicking here.



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