This day in 1649 marks the advent of republican government in England. Some might ask what this has to do with America, but it’s important to American heritage as well because it set the stage for our own nation’s constitutional development. At this point in English history, Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans successfully did away with the monarchy and established a republic in its place. You’d think the Puritan-hating liberals would be thankful for this tradition, but they always seem to take our republican form of government for granted.
So lift your glass or bottle in commemoration of this anniversary. This is definitely something we ought to celebrate. The English Commonwealth was the first (and only) period in which England had a written constitution. During this time the rule of law governed, not the “divine right” of absolutist monarchs. The influence of this upon the U.S. Constitution is obvious. In our current day in which the office of president is viewed as something akin to a monarch, we do well to celebrate and remember this part of our nation’s Anglo-Protestant heritage.