why did cromwell lose patience with the rump parliament?
- RandalLv 79 years agoFavourite answer
The Rump Parliament was not intended to be a permanent body. It regarded itself as an interim government with responsibility for preparing the way for a new representative. Oliver Cromwell's decisive victory at the battle of Worcester in September 1651 ended any direct Royalist military threat to the Commonwealth and it was expected that elections would soon take place. However, Parliament was divided over the form that the new representative should take. Sir Henry Vane and his supporters proposed a redistribution of constituencies but with sitting members of the Long Parliament retaining their seats and further "recruiter" elections to fill the vacant places; Oliver Cromwell and the Council of Officers criticised Vane's scheme for promoting the self-interest of sitting MPs and demanded a general election for an entirely new Parliament.
A committee to supervise the drafting of plans for new elections was set up soon after Cromwell's return to Parliament after Worcester. A date was finally set for Parliament's dissolution, but MPs were easily distracted from further preparations for the new representative, particularly after the outbreak of the Anglo-Dutch War in May 1652.
During the early months of 1653, tension between Parliament and the Army increased. At a conference between Army officers and MPs at Whitehall on 19 April 1653, Cromwell proposed that the parliamentary system be temporarily suspended and replaced with an interim council of godly men to govern while final preparations for an election were put in place. The MPs present agreed to suspend discussion of the new representative at least until Cromwell's proposal has been debated. The following day, however, Cromwell was incensed to learn that discussion of the new representative was continuing in Parliament regardless.
At 11 o'clock in the morning of 20 April 1653, Cromwell led a company of musketeers to Westminster. Having secured the approaches to the House, he addressed the Members, calmly at first, then with rising anger as he told them that their sitting was permanently at an end and they must leave. At Cromwell's signal, Lieutenant-Colonel Worsley marched in with the musketeers to drive out the MPs. Major-General Harrison is said to have personally pulled the Speaker of the House from his chair. After the Members had departed, the doors of the Parliament House were sealed and a wit pinned up a notice outside reading: "This House is to be let: now unfurnished."
Cromwell's exact reasons for expelling Parliament at this time are unclear. The traditional view is that he had come to believe that Parliament was planning to perpetuate itself by adopting Sir Henry Vane's scheme to allow sitting MPs to remain and to fill vacant places with "recruiter" elections. This view has been questioned by historians in recent times, but no clear explanation of his actions has emerged. There were no plans for an alternative government in place and Cromwell made no attempt to take power himself.
I hope this is helpful.
- ALANLv 69 years ago
When, in 1640, Charles I was forced to recall Parliament, the M.Ps, determined that he should not dissolve it again, passed an Act declaring that "This Parliament shall not be dissolved except with its own consent." A classic case of "It seemed like a good idea at the time", because, after the 1st.Civil War, when the King had been executed and the Monarchy and the House of Lords abolished, the surviving Members of this "Long Parliament" were literally irremoveable dictators !
They were also determined to enforce Presbyterianism in England, and to suppress all other - religions, while. Cromwell and the New Model Army had fought for "liberty of conscience" in matters of religion. The M.Ps then decided to call an election to increase their numbers - but to exclude any candidates of whom they did not approve ! Faced with the prospect of an even more powerful and repressive "dictatorship" which could not be legally removed, Cromwell and the Army very wisely stepped in, expelled the "Runp" and organized a new Parliament.
[This, unfortunately, couldn't handle the very difficult situation of the time, resigned, and handed its powers over to Cromwell, who - very reluctantly - became "Lord Protector. Under the "Instrument of Government" though, he had no power to prevent his Parliaments from again introducing severely repressive laws, and - quite wrongly - HE has been blamed for those ever since ! ]
- ammianusLv 79 years ago
It refused to dissolve itself, as had been agreed,and anyway wasn't doing what Cromwell wanted.Cromwell thus used troops to clear out the House of Commons,thus effectively dissolving the Runmp at gunpoint in 1653.It was replaced with the Barebones Parliament later the same year,but this fell apart before the end of 1653,many MPs walking out and the rest being removed ...at gunpoint by troops!
Thereafter,Cromwell ruled as a military dictator without Parliament,using the backing of the large and loyal New Model Army to enforce his policies...at gunpoint!
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- Anonymous9 years ago
Because they didn't do his bidding. He got rid of them and ruled as military dictator. A few years earlier, he had the king's head for allegedly doing the same thing. It just goes to show that political hypocrisy is nothing new.