English Revolution

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During the early 1600's, there was much political struggle in England. These struggles led to a civil war between cavaliers, or royalists, who were mainly Anglicans; and Roundheads, or parliamentarians, who were Puritans.The Anglicans belonged to the Anglican Church (the Church of England). This was a Protestant church, which had split from the Roman Catholic Church under Henry VIII.The Puritans were also a Protestant church, but thought that the Anglican Church should move farther away from the Catholic Church. They wanted to "purify" the church by getting rid of ceremonies and simplifying the method of Church organization.The Civil War broke out in 1642 after Charles I tried to arrest enemies in Parliament who were preventing him from receiving money to fight a war against Scotland. Since Parliament was mostly Puritan, the Puritan people of England felt that their voice in government was gone. After numerous attempts by Charles to get rid of Parliament, civil war broke out.The Puritan parliamentarians were led by an outstanding general named Oliver Cromwell. He led them to victory in 1647. Two years later, the Puritans executed King Charles I and abolished the monarchy. Then Cromwell took over the government, and named himself "Lord Protector" of England in 1653.Although this new government, called the Commonwealth, was essentially a dictatorship, the revolution had destroyed the old ways of monarchies and paved the way for a new kind of government, namely democracy.
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