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Why did Britain become a republic?

Case study 2: New government - Source 3

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A poem from May 1649 commenting on the new situation in England

(Catalogue ref: SP 9/246/21)

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SP9/246/21; poem on the situation in England, 1649

What is this source?

This comes from a pamphlet about the leading figures behind the trial and execution of Charles I.


What's the background to this source?

From 1646-9 support for Charles I increased across the country. It was not so much that Charles was loved. It was more that rule by Parliament’s County Committees and the New Model Army was even harsher than the king’s rule.


It's worth knowing that...

The trial and execution of Charles in January 1649 were among the most effective things he ever did. He was seen as standing up to an unpopular minority.


Your turn: What can we learn from this source?

  1. What words would you use to describe the attitude of this source towards those who killed the king?
  2. According to this source, what did God think of democracy?
  3. What did the writer of the poem hope that God would do?
  4. What does this source tell you about attitudes to the army commanders?
  5. Is it possible to tell from this source whether this view was widely held?