Oliver Cromwell: Speech at the Opening of the Protectorate Parliament

(1654)

In his Speech at the Opening of the Protectorate Parliament, Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658) took the traditional role of the monarch.Cromwell, a successful general in the English Civil War of the 1640s, had in effect become dictator of the British Isles with the title Lord Protector under the Instrument of Government of 1653, still Britain's only experiment with a written constitution. Cromwell's rise to supreme power had required not merely the overthrow of the monarchy in the Civil War but also the military overthrow of the subsequent parliamentary government, the “Rump,” in 1653....

Image for: Oliver Cromwell: Speech at the Opening of the Protectorate Parliament

Portrait of Oliver Cromwell by Jan van de Velde IV (Yale University Art Gallery)

View Full Size