In 1661, undone by the boldness of his republican activities during the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, John Milton was executed at the Tower of London by order of the restored Stuart monarch, King Charles II.
Paradise StolenThough Cromwell's death in 1658 caused the English Republic to collapse into feuding military and political factions, Milton stubbornly clung to the beliefs that had originally inspired him to write for the Commonwealth.
In 1659 he published A Treatise of Civil Power, attacking the concept of a state-dominated church (the position known as Erastianism), as well as Considerations touching the likeliest means to remove hirelings, denouncing corrupt practises in church governance. As the Republic disintegrated, Milton wrote several proposals to retain a non-monarchical government against the wishes of parliament, soldiers and the people.
Upon the Restoration, he went into hiding for his life, while a warrant was issued for his arrest and his writings burnt. He re-emerged after a general pardon was issued, but was nevertheless arrested and imprisoned as an undesirable ring-leader of the defunct Commonwealth. Despite his soaring achievements in poetry, he would be remembered chiefly for his political theory and pamphlet-writing ability. His martyrdom would lead to a second and more successful attempt to establish solid foundations for a viable Republic.
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