After the execution of the King a new form of government was needed and the Rump was the name given to the Parliament who ruled after the execution of the King. Firstly it only consisted of the Member's of Parliament (MPs) who had agreed to the trial and execution of the King and it was also a small part of an elected party, which gave the Rump some legitimacy. Their position was not strong and in 1649 they had many problems, as they had much opposition from most political and religious groups in England and abroad. Pride's purge in December 1648 had done far from guarantee the loyalties of Parliament, but instead served only to raise suspicion against the army, through its use of force against them. In spite of this fear of the army, the rump was very dependent upon them for protection both internal and external. Army mutineers led by Levellers uprisings were soon put down by Cromwell, reducing the political threats towards the Parliament.

The rump had been left there to make a change. To create a social and legislative reform. The very reasons that had led to a decade of civil war and political dithering half-heartedness were still evident in the Rump however. As soon as the Rump came to power its most obvious threats came from problems abroad. Disputably the Rump's biggest threat came from within the United Kingdom.

There had been rebellion in Ireland for almost ten years and the Scots had continuously invaded England in the civil wars, both could provide a strong base for Charles II to establish a foothold. Cromwell was sent to stop the rebellion in Ireland in March 1649, not arriving until August. This delay may well have been due to his desire to remain in the country for as long as possible, casting a watchful eye over Parliament. Cromwell returned in May of the following year, having put pay to the Irish resistance.