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Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England$
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Blair Worden

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230822

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230822.001.0001

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Milton and the Protectorate

Milton and the Protectorate

(p.289) 13 Milton and the Protectorate
Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England

Blair Worden

Oxford University Press

John Milton welcomed both the coups of 1653. Defensio Secunda supports the attacks of Oliver Cromwell and the army officers on the character of the Rump, endorses its expulsion, and approves its replacement by an assembly chosen by Cromwell and the army officers. Those sentiments were not coloured by retrospect. The passage of Defensio Secunda that reveals the most about Milton's attitude to the Rump was written shortly after its dissolution, with the intention of vindicating Cromwell's action. At that time Milton aimed to please Cromwell. He first proposed, and then approved, the appointment of civilian advisers whom Cromwell chose. The men he named would form the core of the Cromwellian party in Barebone's, and would then sit on the ruling council of the protectorate.

Keywords:   John Milton, Defensio Secunda, Oliver Cromwell, Rump, Cromwellian party, protectorate

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