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Why did Britain become a republic?

Case study 2: New government - Source 2

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An account of the setting up of the Commonwealth in 1649

(By permission of Taylor & Francis: Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, by his widow Lucy, published by George Routledge, 1906, pp. 272-3)

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Memoirs of the life of Colonel Hutchinson c. 1670

What is this source?

This comes from the Memoirs of the life of Colonel Hutchinson written by his wife. Her account was written in the 1660s. It describes his life and career.


What's the background to this source?

England in 1649 was a republic, a state that was not ruled by a monarch. The new state was known as the Commonwealth of England.


It's worth knowing that...

There were huge challenges facing the new republic when it was formed in 1649.


Your turn: What can we learn from this source?

  1. What kind of new government was formed after the death of the king?
  2. How did the new government work?
  3. How did people react to the new government?
  4. Was the writer of this source in favour of the new government?
  5. What were the achievements of the new government?
  6. What was the writer’s view of Cromwell?