‘Commonwealth and Protectorate’ argues that government during this period was something of a paradox, attempting societal and constitutional innovation, whilst securing the legal system, property rights and a national church. After the Rump Parliament initially governed without assurance, but with some military success, the army demanded further godly reformation. To that end, Oliver Cromwell attempted to set up the compliant Barebones Parliament, the failure of which led to him becoming Lord Protector. Only Cromwell could govern as he had the army behind him. With the exception of religious toleration, his reign was illiberal, as he ruled without consent, believing he was doing God's work for the future.