Cromwell and the Interregnum: The Essential Readings by David Lee Smith

By David Lee Smith

This publication brings jointly 8 of the main influential contemporary articles on Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum.

  • Brings jointly seminal articles on Oliver Cromwell and the Interregnum.
  • Illuminates the character of Cromwell and his achievements.
  • Includes remedies of eire and Scotland along dialogue of England.
  • Editorial fabric introduces scholars to the historiographical issues.

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Extra info for Cromwell and the Interregnum: The Essential Readings (Blackwell Essential Readings in History)

Sample text

If God be for us, who can be against us? Who can fight against the Lord and prosper? Who can resist His will? In 1650, now Lord General, Cromwell invaded Scotland. On the day after Dunbar, where the army together with the godly cause had seemed doomed to extinction, Cromwell wrote to Parliament to report ‘one of the most signal mercies God hath done for England and His People, this war . . 7 How could the magnitude of those deliverances be measured? How could they be sufficiently praised? Cromwell said a great deal about the central place of providence in his life, in his victories, in the making of his decisions.

Politics are a public projection of the struggle which lust, will and passion wage against God’s grace for dominion of the soul. When God was provoked by transgression, He could be appeased only if the offending sin were identified and purged. The force of that conviction is evident in the belief, which justified much civil war killing, that an afflicted land must be cleansed of the blood which has been shed in it (Numb. 35, 33). But at least blood-guilt could be laid at the door of the saints’ enemies.

Yes, either deposition or abdication. Did he want to see the king dead? Yes and no – yes in that he deserved it, no in that it might shipwreck the very civil and religious liberties it was intended to safeguard. Did he want to see monarchy abolished? Almost certainly not. And underlying all his hesitancy was a dread that if the army pushed heedless on to regicide and a king-less commonwealth, the sons of Zeruiah would be too strong for him. Let us remember that on 7 December, as Cromwell took his seat in parliament, the position was as follows.

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