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What was the most serious problem faced by the Rump of the Long Parliament?

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Introduction

What was the most serious problem faced by the Rump of the Long Parliament? After the execution of the King a new form of government was needed and the Rump Parliament was the name given to the remainder of Independent MP's of the Long Parliament, after the expulsion of the other Member's of Parliament in Pride's Purge in December 1648. These MPs had agreed to the trial and execution of King Charles I and however, soon after the Rump allowed the other MPs to return to Parliament. Since the Rump was a small part of an officially elected party this gave them some legitimacy, and with the support of the New Model Army, led by Oliver Cromwell, the Rump Parliament declared itself "the supreme power in this nation" in January 1649. This gave the Parliament the power to pass laws without the consent of the King or the House of Lords - after this the Rump abolished both the King and the House of Lords. After the removal of both these powers the Rump was now solely in charge of governing the nation and there were no clear legislation or guidelines. ...read more.

Middle

Cromwell's army took advantage of this situation by pouring over the walls into the town and to attack. In this confusion 2000 civilians were slaughtered, some of who were women and children who drowned trying to escape over the sea in over-ridden boats. In early 1650 Cromwell left Ireland victorious and retuned to England - he had showed no mercy to the Irish. However, the war was not completely won until 1652 and as soon as the Irish rebellion had subsided the Scottish one began. The Rump angered the Scots because they had executed Charles I in 1649 and at that time Charles son had landed in Scotland. The Scots proclaimed Charles to be King of Scotland and England. This angered the Rump and Cromwell was sent to Scotland to stop the Scots from invading England. Cromwell took fortitude in the town of Dunbar and the Scots soon surrounded it, and it appeared that Cromwell's army was trapped. However, Cromwell concentrated his army on a small force of his opponent's army in a stratified move which caused the downfall of the opposition. Cromwell and the New Model Army defeated Charles and the Scots at Worcester a year later, and Charles fled to France. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Rump enforced observance of the Sabbath and prescribed death sentences for those found guilty of adultery, incest or fornication. In general, the Rump was cautious in implementing church reform, and made few concessions to the religious extremists. Disputably the Rump's biggest threat came from within the United Kingdom. There had been rebellion in Ireland for almost ten years and the Scots had continuously invaded England in the civil wars, both could provide a strong base for Charles II to establish a foothold and this was the most serious problem for the Rump as if Charles came into power they would be defeated and a monarchy would be reinstalled. Cromwell returned early the following year, having put a rest to the Irish resistance. The Rump seemed more concerned with everyday problems, such as reforms, than with religion and radical movements. The fact that the Rump raised taxes and spent a large amount of money on the wars shows that they were concerned with the problems of war and wanted to make sure that Charles II could not attack them. By far, the most serious problem for the Rump was the collective wars against the Irish and Scots. This was because they could both attempt to take control of England and place Charles II on the throne. Emma Smith Rump - Oliver Cromwell 10-10-03 1 ...read more.

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