'A World Turned Upside Down'? Revolutionary England from Civil War to Cromwell
We will explore one of the most turbulent periods in English history: the Civil War and Cromwellian era. This was a period which lives long in popular memory with its vivid imagery of pious roundheads and dashing cavaliers, of a defiant Charles I, and a puritanical Cromwell. Yet these images tell us only half the story. In these troubled times England not only lost a king, and gained a ‘Lord Protector’, but created the first modern republic - and the first modern dictatorship. In the process, it truly was a ‘world turned upside down’, as we will discover, as we seek to understand how the English people reacted to this first great modern revolt. Finally, we will examine the circumstances surrounding the collapse of ‘Godly Rule’, and discuss why England returned to the system of monarchy.
Resources for this course
|Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651
Full text of Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651
|John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, 1690
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, 1690
|BCW Project - British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate
Offers a vast range of material on the Civil Wars
|Assessing Cromwell’s Legacy
Article from the New Statesman, December, 2010
|The Life and Impact of Charles I
A short biography of Charles I from Banqueting House - the site where he was executed!
|A guide to the Civil War and Cromwellian period
From the National Archives Education department: geared to schools but with some excellent sources - click on the questions shown and you can...