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The Rump 1649 Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Establ­ishment of the Rump

- most of the Commons were also members of the Council of State (a committee of 41 who had replaced the king).
- they were entirely dependant on the army for power.
- generally conser­vative, most MPs wanted to promote Puritan 'godli­ness' and curb excesses if various millen­arian sects.

Acts and Committees

Blasphemy Act (1650)
aimed at curbing religious extremism.
Engagement Act (1650)
all adult males to declare loyalty to the Common­wealth.
Religious Act (1650)
forcing a strict observance of the Lord's day.
Adultery Act (1650)
the death penalty imposed for adultery.
Militia Act (1650)
property holders to contribute propor­tio­nally to defence costs.
Treason Act (1650)
any claim that the House of Commons was not the supreme authority becomes an act of treason.
Toleration Act (1650)
compulsory attendance at parish churches abolished, this dated back to Elizabeth I, a main feature of the Angelican Church.
Foreign Act (1650)
prohib­iting trade with Royalist colonies: Virginia, Bermuda, Barbados and Antigua.
Navigation Act (1651)
introduces measures aimed at hampering the Dutch.
Union of England and Scotland Act (1652)
presented at Parliament
Ireland Act (1652)
the settlement of Ireland


they received revenue through the sale of Royal lands and church property: excise levies, assessment tax.
collected money from confis­cated Royalist lands: counte­r-p­rod­uctive and caused resentment against the Common­wealth, discou­raged reconc­ili­ation with royalists.
due to the third civil war (1649-51) and the Anglo-­Dutch war (1652), they were short of money.


Committee for the Propag­ation of the Gospel (1652) controlled the appoin­tment of the clergy.
the Rump was cautious in the church reform, making few conces­sions to extrem­ists.


demands of war and national security diverted the Rump's time and resources from proposed social reforms.
Cromwell's victory at the Battle of Worcester (1651) caused the army to change its mind about the Rump staying in power: this and other practical consid­era­tions delayed new elections.
Charles II signs the Treaty of Breda, securing an alliance with the Scottish Covena­nters.


Economic Problems
- bad harvests of 1649 and 1650, created social distress.
- inherited a large debt.
- problems mainta­ining a large army.
- lack of clear political direction, or purpose.
Power Structure
- lack of clarity between the Council of State and the Rump.
- high levels of taxation
- centra­lis­ation of government
- JPs refused to accept the Republic's legiti­macy.
Religious Radicalism
- the execution had brought ideas of a second­-coming of Christ.
- radicalism in the NMA (level­lers)
- created problems with the gentry, royalists and presby­ter­ians.


the legal system was over-c­omplex, slow and expensive.
reformers called on the Rump to simplify legal proced­ures, and curb the power of lawyers.
out of 211 MPs, 50 were from the legal profession - therefore reluctant to make changes.
the Rump did not reduce legal fees or provide easier access to the courts.
english was introduced in the courts, rather than latin.
more lenient punishment for debtors.

Dissolve of the Rump

after 1651, the Rump slowly stopped implem­enting legisl­ation - it intended to dissolve itself in 1654.
20th April 1653, Cromwell and the army marched to Westmi­nster, and told the sitting MPs 'in the name of God, go!'.
the Rump was replaced by the Nominated Assembly (the Barebones Parlia­ment) and other consti­tut­ional experi­ments.