Chapter

The Military Presence Unchecked

Henry Reece

in The Army in Cromwellian England, 1649-1660

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780198200635
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746284 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198200635.003.0010
The Military Presence Unchecked

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The Protectorate had brought a diminution in the more visible and painful aspects of the military presence. After the Rump's return in May 1659 the number of soldiers in England doubled within nine months; free quarter became commonplace again; and many regions experienced a return to the disturbed conditions of the late 1640s. This chapter describes the experience of the country during the last year of the Commonwealth. It shows how the breakdown of controls on the army that had made the military presence tolerable was a major factor in the political nation's readiness to accept the restoration of the Stuarts as a lesser evil than the uncertainty and instability created by the army. In the midst of confusion, most civilian authorities did nothing but keep their heads down. The chapter questions the textbook view of the nation casting off the military yoke in order to restore the monarchy.

Keywords: Protectorate; Commonwealth; soldiers; military presence; Rump; free quarter; political nation; Restoration

Chapter.  9619 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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