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Given The Circumstances In Which They Were Created The Rump Parliament And Nominated Assembly Should Be Regarded As Successes. Do You Agree?

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Introduction

Ben Jacques Given The Circumstances In Which They Were Created The Rump Parliament And Nominated Assembly Should Be Regarded As Successes. Do You Agree? The Rump Parliament and Nominated Assembly were both governments established at unprecedented moments of English history. Both tried to deal with their circumstances differently, one looking to the previous status quo for answers and the other looking for a more radical way to govern the country. Both were ultimately dismissed and their relative success is debateable however it is clear that they tried to achieve what they could to the best of their ability, the main limiting factor for both was the fact that the army and Cromwell kept a hawkish and judging eye on all their actions To judge the success of both the Nominated Assembly and The Rump we must first look at the circumstances in which they found themselves. There was no doubt that England was a profoundly different country after the Civil War, to many it seemed almost as if the end of the world had come it had ?turned upside down?. It had ravaged the country and England found itself in the worst economic crisis of the 17th century. A higher proportion of the British population died during the English Civil War than WWI. ...read more.

Middle

This crushing of civilian opposition was seen as necessary for conservatives to prevent anarchy from spreading through the country, however to some in the army it was seen as coercive and backwards. Military actions were indicative of the martial supported Rump. The Rump did achieve unification of Britain under English rule, as Kishlansky identifies a feat not completed by monarchs for hundreds of years. On top of this the Rump and Army were able to defeat Charles at Worcester on 3rd September 1651 eliminating any further Royalist threat to the Republic. However domestic military success was marred by the Anglo-Dutch war. Although victorious at the end of the war and the navy managed to take many prizes during the war (doubling the size of the English mercantile fleet) it plunged the country further into debt and alienated the army further. The cost of supplying the naval fleet proved exorbitant and during October of 1653 things came to a head, dockyards refused to take any more contracts from the admiralty until existing debts were paid off and then unpaid sailors rioted through London. Cromwell and other army officers were exasperated at seeing two Protestant nations exhausting themselves in conflict while at home their own soldiers were still not paid. ...read more.

Conclusion

Not only did they challenge the beliefs of social conservatives but also the vested interests of them; tithes were a particular hanging point and seen as an attack on property rights by many. The Nominated Assembly failed to get enough support from its peers for its minority aims and so failed. So disheartened were moderate contemporaries that the Nominated Assembly ended with its own moderates forcing its closure. In conclusion although both institutions eventually failed I believe that the Rump was much more successful than the Nominated Assembly given the circumstances. The Rump managed to steer the country through a middle ground for four years whilst constantly being scrutinised by their de facto powerbase the army. However the Nominated Assembly, given every chance by Cromwell, was too ambitious and radical and threatened too many of the established elite to make any sustained impact. The Nominated Assembly lasted for a shorter time than the Rump and although its social reforms were good it was too radical for the time and was relentless in its pursuits. The Rump acted in a less amorous, more expedient fashion seeing off many threats to the nation and pursuing a more established model for the time with results steering the country away from the devastation of war. After the civil war what the nation needed most was stability not more radical reform. ...read more.

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