« One Additional Point Regarding a Vice President’s Tie-Breaking Vote
David Weisberg
| Main | Steven Semeraro: Bostock’s Misperceived Quest to Distinguish Title VII’s Meaning From the Public’s Expectations
Michael Ramsey »

09/29/2020

Daniel Johnson on Paul Lay on Cromwell
Michael Ramsey

At Law & Liberty, Daniel Johnson: Cromwell’s Revolution (reviewing [favorably] Paul Lay, Providence Lost: The Rise and Fall of Cromwell's Protectorate (Apollo, 2020 forthcoming)).  From the introduction:

After a revolutionary war against a tyrannical king, a commonwealth is proclaimed. To preserve the rule of law in the absence of a traditional hierarchy, the elected representatives of the republic adopt the novel device of a written constitution. The victorious general is made head of state. In recognition of his providential role and in order to ensure continuity, the nation’s founding father is offered the crown. He turns it down.

No, this is not the story of the American Revolution, but that of its English precursor more than a century earlier. It is part of the mythology of the United States that almost everything about its foundation was unprecedented. But this is not so. The mindset of the American Founding Fathers was deeply conservative and, unlike most of their present-day successors in Congress and the White House, they were well-versed in English history. During the period sometimes known as the Interregnum, between the execution of Charles I in 1649 and the Restoration of his son Charles II in 1660, much was anticipated in thought and deed of what would later transpire in the conflict between the American colonies and George III. Both sides drew on their own interpretations of that era in what may be seen as the third act of the drama, following the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution of 1688, in which an epic battle of ideas was fought out over almost 150 years.

And here is the book description from Amazon:

This history explores a year that fell within one of the least understood periods in British history—the Interregnum between the execution of Charles I and the restoration of Charles II—and reclaims it as one of the most politically exciting and culturally creative eras of European history. Far from being the dreary Puritan society of royalist myth, the Interregnum was one of the most intellectually thrilling times in British history. This was the crucible in which modern British thought—inquiring, iconoclastic, and creative—was forged, and it marked the foundation of modern British democracy: pluralistic, inclusive, and based on a people's charter to rule.