The Rump Parliament 1648-53
The Rump Parliament was brought to power in 1648 by Pride's Purge and forcibly dissolved by Oliver Cromwell in 1653. This book is a detailed account of the intervening years. Dr Worden concentrates particularly on the Rump's policies in the contentious fields of legal, religious and electoral reform; its attempts to live down its revolutionary origins, to disown its more radical supporters, to conciliate those Puritans alienated by the purge and the King's death, and to re-create the Roundhead party of the 1640s. He examines the Rump's struggles for survival in the face of the Royalist threat between 1649 and 1651, and its fatal quarrel with the Cromwellian army thereafter. A concluding chapter deals with the Rump's forcible dissolution. This novel and challenging interpretation of the most dramatic phase of the English Revolution will interest all specialists in seventeenth-century political and constitutional history.
- Online resource
- 29 Jan 2010
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Acknowledgements; Author's note; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. The Rump and the Rumpers: 1. Membership, attendance and allegiance; 2. The limits of revolution; 3. Moderation and conformity; 4. Soldiers and clergymen; 5. Commitment and corruption; Part II. The Rump and Reform: 6. Law reform; 7. Puritans and politicians; 8. Electoral reform; Part III. The Struggle for Survival, February 1649-September 1651: 9. Problems and policies, February 1649; 10. The pursuit of respectability, February-August 1649; 11. The nadir, September 1649-September 1650; 12. Dunbar to Worcester: the coalition under strain, September 1650-September 1651; Part IV. Parliament versus The Army, September 1651-April 1653: 13. Reform and reaction, September 1651-May 1652; 14. Conflict and confrontation, May-December 1652; 15. Dissolution and disarray, January-April 1653; Part V. The Dissolution of the Rump: 16. The army apologias; 17. Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliographical guide; Index.
'The need for a detailed study of the Rump Parliament has been felt for many years, but the shortage of sources, particularly the complete absence of any parliamentary diaries for the period, has caused historians to shy away from undertaking the task. The appearance of Dr Worden's splendid book has admirably filled the gap. In one of the best studies on the English Revolution to appear in years, he provides a coherent account of the politics of the Rump, a penetrating analysis of its membership, and a sharp revision of many of the stereotypes that have been perpetuated about the parliamentary politics of the period. ... It iss political history at its best, closely informed by the social and economic questions raised in recent years, but refreshingly free from the tenuous general these that have bedeviled research in those areas.' Roger Howell, Jr, American Historical Review 'This, then, is political history at its best - anchored in reality, fascinated by men's motives and doings in affairs, marching surrender to either antiquarianism or pattern-making. To his other virtues as an historian Dr Worden adds high skill as a writer. He can even jest without destroying the atmosphere of the scene, a rare gift. If the book owes its enduring virtues to the author's determination to tell it as it was and to his wilingness to abide by the limitations of the evidence, it should also be recognised that without the deployment of a powerful and disciplined historical imagination Dr Worden would, on such a subject, have written the kind of worthy dull book with which readers of history are only too familiar. As it is, he has written one to fascinate and captivate.' Geoffrey Elton, The Spectator 'Me Worden's excellent book analyses in great detail and with loving care the processes by which England, for the first time in history, was governed by a Parliament - and governed bery successfully.' Christopher Hill, New Statesman