Civil war and regicide, History

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Civil War and Regicide

The army of rebels those who opposed the king was made up of a broad cross-section of English society and politics.

Leaders such as Cromwell came mostly from the gentry; as well as some non-Puritan lords, who wanted to reduce the power of the king. It also included many London artisans and merchants who wanted to abolish the monopolies in certain industries that Charles had granted to some of his supporters.

The soldiers in this army were commoners, many of whom were more radical in their religion. Others belonged to sects that had broken with the Anglican Church, such as the Quakers and the Shakers. Some of these men and women saw themselves as fighting for the creation of a new society that would be ruled by God, not men. This new society would abolish the nobility and monarchy and would create an equality of all believers before God not only in worship but in property and political power as well. It would do away with traditional politics and use the Bible for guidance. The most notable of these were a group called the Levelers who advocated:

Universal manhood suffrage

A written constitution

Reform of Parliament so that districts would be equal-sized (one man, one vote)

Abolition of private property

 


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