Britain Axes the Monarchy

January 30, 1649 / 1661. London, 1649. King Charles I lays his head on a chopping block. The axe falls and, soon with it, the monarchy. What follows is Parliament’s grueling effort to set up a functioning republic – one of the first in history. It will be led by Oliver Cromwell, a brilliant military leader who becomes the country’s most powerful man. But on January 30, 1661 – exactly twelve years after the death of Charles I – royalist forces will use the same method to take their revenge: a beheading. Who was Oliver Cromwell, the man who led Britain’s brief experiment in life without a king? And how did it all go wrong?

Special thanks to our guests, Martyn Bennett, professor of early modern history at Nottingham Trent University and author of several books including Cromwell at War: The Lord General and His Military Revolution; and Peter Gaunt, professor of history at the University of Chester and author/editor of books including two Cromwell biographies, both entitled Oliver Cromwell.

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