How did the Restoration of 1660 affect England?The historical impact of restoration in England..

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Stephen Holliday eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Restoration of 1660 replaced the Commonwealth Interregnum, led by Oliver Cromwell and fellow Puritans, with King Charles II, whose father, Charles I, had been beheaded when the "Roundheads" (called this because of their bowel-shaped haircuts) took power.

Perhaps the most significant historical effect of the Restoration was the replacement of Cromwell and his son's military dictatorship by the rule of Parliament and of the civil law.  Cromwell and his son had just about turned England into a Puritan military state by persecuting the upper class and aristocracy, who were generally of the Anglican faith.  Although Charles II took revenge specifically on those Roundheads who were known the have participated in the death of his father, Charles I, the new king also made room in his government for especially talented Puritans not implicated in the death of Charles I.

When Charles II took the throne he began restoring lands and titles to the aristocracy who had supported his father during the Civil War.  More important, however, he re-established the Anglican Church as the official Church of England and began to eradicate the religious non-conformity that characterized the Commonwealth Interregnum.

In general, the Restoration brought about a sense of freedom of thought and creativity in the arts and literature that Cromwell's reign discouraged, so we see the develop of the comedy of manners, the novel, poetry (especially the lyric), and a return to the influence of classical Greek and Roman literature.