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Perceptions of a Monarchy without a King: Reactions to Oliver Cromwell's Power

Perceptions of a Monarchy without a King: Reactions to Oliver Cromwell's Power (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Oliver Cromwell had not a drop of royal blood in him. Yet in 1657, prompted by the political chaos that followed the execution of Charles I and inspired by a belief that a return to monarchy was the only way to stabilize the nation, parliament offered Cromwell the crown of Britain. In Perceptions of a Monarchy without a King, Benjamin Woodford explores how factions both inside and outside of government reacted to this unprecedented event. Moving away from a biographical focus on Cromwell, Woodford looks to the print culture of the period to examine kingship and the Cromwellian regime as a complex phenomenon that elicited diverse reactions - from broadly in favour to dead-set against. Woodford analyzes Cromwell's speeches along with propaganda, newspapers, poetry, republican writings, and the works of religious sects. The fact that many of these writings were produced by men and women who were not members of the government demonstrates that both politicians and the general public were interested in the topics of Cromwell and kingship. Cromwell's military and political power rendered him a candidate for kingship, but even with his record of achievement, the offer of the crown to a non-nobleman was controversial. Perceptions of a Monarchy without a King reveals the entire nation's responses to the kingship debates while simultaneously illustrating the persistence of the monarchy in the 1650s.

History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450/1500History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly modern history: c 1450-1500 to c 1700History & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyBritish & Irish history Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press Publication Date: 26/02/2013 ISBN-13: 9780773541092  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Benjamin Woodford is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Queen's University.

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