The Rump Parliament Essay

The Rump Parliament Essay

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The Rump Parliament


That the Rump Parliament had absolutely no achievements at all to its name is a strong statement. As a governing body setup by the remnants of Pride's Purge, the MP's that remained were all wanted there originally, indeed by the very man that would eventually dissolve them -- Oliver Cromwell. So something had certainly led Cromwell to become increasingly disillusioned with the Parliament he in sense created. This essay will examine these reasons and just what achievements the Rump succeeded in.

In needs to be understood just why the Rump were there at all. For what purpose had they been created in the first place? They would surely have a set goal that had not been met by previous parliaments. In essence, they were under the control of the army, but far from complete control. Pride's purge in December 1648 had done far from guarantee the loyalties of Parliament, but instead served only to raise suspicion against the army, through its use of force against them. In spite of this fear of the army, the rump was very dependent upon them for protection both internal and external. Army mutineers led by Levellers uprisings were soon put down by Cromwell, reducing the political threats towards the Parliament. The rump had been left there to make a change. To create a social and legislative reform. The very reasons that had led to a decade of civil war and political dithering half-heartedness were still evident in the Rump however.

As soon as the Rump came to power its most obvious threats came from problems abroad. The regime of the commonwealth -- created by the new constitution from an act created in May of 1649 -- became strongly contested in England's colonies, due to the disgust at the exec...


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...ember of 1650, which did not enforce attendance at the national church, but this did not go far enough to satisfy the army. The rump appeared to be more interested in issuing restrictive legislature - such as the aforementioned adultery and blasphemy acts -- rather than creating law and social reform. It also failed to pay the army, perhaps the biggest strain on the nation since the outbreak of the civil wars.

The rump did have certain achievements which have been highlighted in this essay. The reason they have been labelled a failure is due only to the fact that did not achieve enough. Cromwell had left them there to create reform, and the political utopia he felt was necessary for England. They had failed in this goal, being so caught up in trying to please different parties, they had fell blind to their true goal, that of restoring national stability.

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