May 25, 2017

Today in History: Autocracy in England collapses (1659)

John RobsonArchive

May 25 marks the departure from power in 1659 of “Tumbledown Dick,” Oliver Cromwell’s son and unlikely successor.

While history has not been kind to Richard Cromwell, or even remembered his name, we should think somewhat kindly of a man who realized neither he nor his country was suited to autocracy.

Instead of making a desperate lunge for power he could not even wield effectively, Richard Cromwell quietly allowed events to slide in the direction of a constitutional restoration.

So here’s to “Tumbledown Dick,” who resisted the lure of power and retired into long peaceful obscurity, living quietly until 1712 instead of forcing the English to depose and behead him.

Comments
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commented 2017-05-26 00:49:47 -0400
Glenn; I’m pretty sure governments are sanctioning “sin and bad habits” and people hate them anyway. Governments should stay out of people’s business period. To the rest of your post, ya.
commented 2017-05-25 23:52:42 -0400
There was a church of england when the romans were still feeding christians to the lions. Henry the eigth did not impose his will on a population of loyal roman catholics…no monarch had that much power….roman catholics became a persecuted minority in a matter of weeks. Along came Cromwell who did what Warwick and all previous kings failed to do, he united great britain….then he got a really stupid idea….he figured he could eliminate sin and bad habits by making them a crime….America got rid of England’s aristocrats….England got rid of it’s Puritans….England got the better part of the deal….the american puritans still think you can eliminate sin and bad habits by making them a crime…and wonder why people hate the government.
commented 2017-05-25 18:21:34 -0400
History about Cromwell was obviously written by Tories, who of course hate those that oppose the official Church (Anglican) and official powers. From the magna carta on, Britain enjoyed a measure of freedom rivaled by none. Outside of city states in Italy, capitalism did not exist. When capitalism moved to England it actually flourished in a decentralized early industrial revolution across all of England as Englishmen were never lorded over by feudal lords the way people were in France, Germany, ect.. Sadly Absolutism reared its ugly head in the 1600s, sending many Englishmen to the Americas, only to finally be beaten with the restoration of William of Orange.
commented 2017-05-25 17:48:40 -0400
Great commentary John Robson, I like your enthusiasm!