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Poet and political activist John Milton after a period of radical political revolution religious turmoil and his near execution published the twelve book edition of Paradise Lost a poem describing the biblical text of Genesis filled with hidden political meaning Paradise Lost enraged those who supported the restoration of Charles II was praised by seekers of religious toleration and attacked by the Anglican Church Critics denounced Paradise Lost for its construction subject and political meaning England in the seventeenth century was a land of political instability and religious persecution Dissention among the British people began during the reign of the Stuart Charles I 1629-1640 Charles I along with kings in France Spain and Germany created absolute monarchies Cheyney 419 Charles I in 1629 dissolved Parliament and ruled 11 years without Parliament Charles I was a member of the Anglican Church and didnt sympathize with various sects of Christianity that were persecuted by Anglicans Cheyney 419 These sects included Puritans Quakers Scottish Presbyterians and Catholics In response to Charles religious intoleration Scottish Presbyterians threatened the English border Irish Catholics rebelled and Oliver Cromwells Calvary attacked the Royalist army Cromwell and the Scotch defeated the Royalists at Marstoon Moor on July 2 1644 Cheyney 434-444 Parliament took control of the new English Commonwealth in 1649 resulting in the beheading of Charles I Halliday 118 The English Commonwealth however was short lived In 1653 Oliver Cromwell took control of the Commonwealth Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament Parliament that took over after Charles I taxed Royalists imprisoned mutineers crushed Irish rebels routed Scottish rebels at Dunbar and Worcester secured colonies in the Caribbean such as Jamaica and defeated the Dutch regaining British naval superiority Halliday 120-122 Cromwell died in 1658 leaving the control of England to rival generals During Cromwells military rule however religious toleration was achieved In 1660 the Stuarts reign was restored as Charles II assumed control Cheyney 513 Milton during the time of revolution against Charles
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