First Protectorate Parliament assembles (108 words)

Historical Context Note

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Oliver Cromwell had dissolved the Rump Parliament in April 1653, after disputes about the form of the representative body that should replace it, and how it should be elected. It was first replaced by the Nominated Assembly, a non-elected body based on the Old Testament idea of 70 ruling 'saints'. Divided between moderates and radicals, however, it quickly became unworkable, and its moderate members soon engineered its dissolution. The constitutional void left by the collapse of these experiments led to Oliver Cromwell being proclaimed Protector. The first Parliament of this new system met in September 1654, and was a uni-cameral body of 460 MPs, including 30 representatives from each of Scotland and Ireland.

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