Richard Cromwell (Oliver’s son) abdicated in 1659, after twenty years of civil strife, bringing an end to the Commonwealth. There was, inevitably, a strong national desire for the resumption of stable government in England.The restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, in 1660, was generally greeted with approval. The Church was also restored, with the re-establishment of Anglicanism in the place of the Puritans’ Presbyterianism. In 1662, the Book of Common Prayer was reimposed as the national liturgy. Dissenting Protestants and Roman Catholics were effectively suppressed, both ecclesiastically and socially. Although there was a terrible plague in 1665 and the great fire in London in the following year - both interpreted as divine retribution for the debauchery of Charles II’s court - the fortunes of England began to advance in this period to the extent that, within a century, she had become a world power. While religious matters had been decisively settled, the political situation after the Restoration proved to be more volatile.
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