Interregnum (England)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The English Interregnum was the period of parliamentary and military rule by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the Commonwealth of England after the English Civil War. It began with the overthrow, and execution, of Charles I in January 1649, and ended with the restoration of Charles II on May 29, 1660.

This era in English history can be divided into four periods.

  1. The first period of the Commonwealth of England from 1649 until 1653
  2. The Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell from 1653 to 1658
  3. The Protectorate under Richard Cromwell from 1658 to 1659
  4. The second period of the Commonwealth of England from 1659 until 1660

Life during the Interregnum

After the Parliamentarian victory in the Civil War, the Puritan views of the majority of Parliament and its supporters began to be imposed on the rest of the country. The Puritans advocated an austere lifestyle and restricted what they saw as the excesses of the previous regime. Most prominently, holidays such as Christmas and Easter, whose origins were pagan solstice and equinox festivals, were suppressed. Pastimes such as the theatre and gambling were also banned. However, some forms of art that were thought to be 'virtuous', such as opera, were encouraged. These changes are often blamed upon Oliver Cromwell, though they were originally introduced by the Commonwealth Parliament; and Cromwell, when he came to power, was a liberalising influence.

His son and successor, Richard Cromwell, gave up his position as Lord Protector with little hesitation, resigning or "abdicating" after a demand by the Rump Parliament. This was the beginning of a short period of restoration of the Commonwealth of England.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Interregnum (England)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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