In 1662, General George Monck became Lord Protector after Parliament's refusal to restore Charles Stuart to the throne, focused the country toward fighting a war to the finish. The Royalist rebels in England were defeated in 1664 (all but in the South East) and Scotland was conquered in 1665. In the United Provinces dropped out of the war in 1664 and Ireland was conquered by 1666. Spain dropped out of the war in 1667 and France finally gave up attemtpting to invade England in 1668. The Commonwealth gained recognition from these nations, and also gained territory in North America, taking Cuba and Hispaniola from Spain and Acadia from France (though they handed back New Netherland as a condition for the Dutch dropping out).Churchill restores order by PJYWhen Monck died in 1670, the British Isles returned to a system of total domnation of Parliament. The Commonwealth didn't have a head of state or Government, all MP's were nominally equal. Several factions formed all the same.
The British didn't get involved in Continental affairs for the rest of the century, instead increasing their naval power, safeguarding their colonies (the Commonwealth and the Dutch fought another brief war in 1677-1679 that came to nothing), increasing their trade and turning themselves into a 'great nation' through men like Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren.
In 1700, the Commonwealth did begin to get involved in Contiental affairs once more when the King of Spain died and stated that he wished for Philippe de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou to succeed him. Philippe was the grandson of Louis XIV, and Parliament feared that Louis would control Spain and her colonies, thus making her a rival for British colonial amitions.
The war began in 1702 and ended in 1713 with a victory for the alliance of the Commonwealth, the United Provinces and the Holy Roman Empire.
During this period, life in Parliament became extremely chaotic and even verged on violence and civil war. The factions in Parliament (the radical aristocrat Whigs, the traditionalist republican Mosstroopers and the ultra-puritan Roundheads) hated one another and came to blows very often. After one particularly violent episode in 1714, when some leading Moostroopers called in the guard to arrest some of their opponents, many leading Whigs called upon the British hero John Churchill to return and impose order. He did.