After the end of the civil war, the army got into a despised and miserable status. The soldiers’ war had not been waged for the gentry’s power or for the warriors’ own lifelong slavery. The more discontent the army was, the more the king would benefit from it. Charles I was striving for preserving his throne. The Parliament’s stance was to make Puritanism the state’s official religion.
In June, 1647, the custodial guard of the king passed to the army. Oliver Cromwell was negotiating with the king by himself. The Parliament was withdrawn from the game. The army’s commanders were ready to accept any conditions which would enable them to get involved in the state decision-making with the freedom of puritans protected.
Charles I was convincing the generals in his influential power. But gradually, he was retreating under the necessity to restrict the royal reign by sharing substantial authorities with Parliament. Cromwell, in turn, reassured the king that the monarchy would be respected and reckoned with. The king was ready to establish the radical puritan church along with the traditional religion.
Therefore, England reached a certain phase of democracy involving the freedom of choice and pluralism in a general sense. A compromise seemed to be attained between Cromwell and the captive monarch. In the eyes of Cromwell, Charles I appeared to be the most honest man in the whole country.
Meanwhile, new pamphlets evoking radicalism appeared. Their authors called themselves the Levellers. Levellers made a new revolutionary political movement. According to the pamphlets, both the poor and the rich should be equaled in their rights. The right of vote was a spotlight in the pamphlets. The first suffrage was conducted then with a simple question: “Who needs the king?”, and the answers were: “Nobody needs the king”, “Freedom to England”, “Equality to soldiers”. Women who had defended their homes and families during the first Civil War also required the right of vote.
But the revolutionary spirit was still scarce in the population. The exhausted people generally were not hostile to the king. They were even disposed to greet the monarch anew as a guarantor of peace and stability.