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The Protectorate

The Protectorate was the period during the Commonwealth when England and Wales, Ireland and the English overseas possessions were governed by a Lord Protector as a republic. The Protectorate began in 1653 when, following the dissolution of the Rump Parliament and Barebone's Parliament, Oliver Cromwell was appointed Lord Protector of the Commonwealth under the terms of the Instrument of Government. In 1659, the Protectorate Parliament was dissolved by the Committee of Safety as Richard Cromwell, who had succeeded his father as Lord Protector, was unable to keep control of the Parliament and the Army; this marked the end of the Protectorate and the start of a second period of rule by the Rump Parliament as the legislature and the Council of State as the executive. Since 1649 and prior to the Protectorate, England and Scotland had been governed as a republic by the Council of State and the Rump Parliament; the Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth, which established England, together with "all the Dominions and Territoryes thereunto belonging", as a republic, had been passed on 19 May 1649, following the trial and execution of Charles I in January of that year.

All of Ireland came under the same governance with the appointment of a Parliamentary military governor in Dublin. Scotland was invaded and placed under an English military governor first appointed in 1651; the process of placing the governance of Scotland on a more long term constitutional footing began shortly after the defeat of the Scottish Royalists and Charles II at the Battle of Worcester. On 28 October 1651 the English Rump Parliament passed a declaration for union of the English and Scottish parliaments, but the process was not completed until an Act of Union was passed on 26 June 1657. On 20 April 1653, after learning that Parliament was attempting to stay in session despite an agreement to dissolve, having failed to come up with a working constitution, with the backing of the Grandees in the Army Council, marched soldiers into the debating chamber and forcibly ended the Rump's session. Within a month of the Rump's dismissal, Oliver Cromwell on the advice of Thomas Harrison and with the support of other officers in the Army, sent a request to Congregational churches in every county to nominate those they considered fit to take part in the new government.

On 4 July a Nominated Assembly, nicknamed the "Assembly of Saints" or Barebone's Parliament, took on the role of more traditional English Parliaments. However it proved just as difficult for the Grandees to control and was in addition a subject of popular ridicule, so on 8 December 1653 MPs who supported Cromwell engineered its end by passing a dissolution motion at a time of day when the house had few members in attendance; those who refused to recognise the motion were forcibly ejected by soldiers. The collapse of the radical consensus which had spawned the Nominated Assembly led to the Grandees passing the Instrument of Government in the Council of State which paved the way for the Protectorate. After the dissolution of Barebone's Parliament, John Lambert put forward a new constitution known as the Instrument of Government modelled on the Heads of Proposals, it made Cromwell Lord Protector for life to undertake “the chief magistracy and the administration of government”. He had the power to call and dissolve parliaments but was obliged under the instrument to seek the majority vote of the Council of State.

However, Cromwell's power was buttressed by his continuing popularity among the army, which he had built up during the civil wars, which he subsequently prudently guarded. Cromwell was sworn in as Lord Protector on 16 December 1653; the first Protectorate parliament met on 3 September 1654, after some initial gestures approving appointments made by Cromwell, began to work on a moderate programme of constitutional reform. Rather than opposing Parliament's bill, Cromwell dissolved them on 22 January 1655. After a royalist uprising led by Sir John Penruddock, Cromwell divided England into military districts ruled by Army Major-Generals who answered only to him; the fifteen major generals and deputy major generals—called "godly governors"—were central not only to national security, but Cromwell's moral crusade. The generals supervised militia forces and security commissions, collected taxes and ensured support for the government in the English and Welsh provinces. Commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth were appointed to work with them in every county.

While a few of these commissioners were career politicians, most were zealous puritans who welcomed the major-generals with open arms and embraced their work with enthusiasm. However, the major-generals lasted less than a year. Many feared, their position was further harmed by a tax proposal by Major General John Desborough to provide financial backing for their work, which the second Protectorate parliament—instated in September 1656—voted down for fear of a permanent military state. However, Cromwell's failure to support his men, sacrificing them to his opponents, caused their demise, their activities between November 1655 and September 1656 had, reopened the wounds of the 1640s and deepened antipathies to the regime. During this period Oliver Cromwell faced challenges in foreign policy; the First Anglo-Dutch War which had broken out in 1652, against the Dutch Republic, was won by Admiral Robert Blake in 1654. Having negotiated peace with the Dutch, Cromwell proceeded to engage the Spanish in warfare, through his Western Design.

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Georg Hoffmann

Georg Hoffmann was a German freestyle, breaststroke swimmer and diver who competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics and 1906 Intercalated Games. Hoffmann competed in three events at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, in the 100 yard backstroke there was only six swimmers and he finished in second place to win a silver medal behind fellow German Walter Brack, the next day he competed with three other swimmers in the 440 yard breaststroke and came in last place. Hoffmann competed in the controversial platform diving event, where he came second behind American George Sheldon but only after protesting claiming the German dives where more fancy than the Americans, it was a week until it was decided that the original result stood. Two years he was back on the Olympic scene competing at the 1906 Intercalated Games in Athens, he again competed in the platform diving event, again he finished second this time behind another German, Gottlob Walz, he competed in the 100 metres freestyle swimming event, but didn't come in the top five in his heat so didn't qualify for the final

Andrea Di Vito

Andrea Di Vito is an Italian comic book artist. Di Vito was born in Rome, showed a love for drawing from an early age, his first published work appeared in the form of two short stories in the Italian magazine Intrepido. He was first published in America in Marvel Comics' Marvel Shadows and Light, with one of his pinups appearing in the comic book. Di Vito was asked to join the CrossGen staff as an associate penciller and became a fill-in artist for the comic books The First and Scion, becoming the official penciller of the former six months later. After nine issues on The First, Di Vito worked with Chuck Dixon and Rob Schwager on a new project, Brath. After over a year of work on this title, Di Vito decided to expand his horizons, lending his talents to other companies, he has pencilled such high-profile Marvel series as Young Avengers. He worked with IDW, becoming the regular penciler for Dungeons & Dragons and ], he penciled the World War Hulk: X-Men limited series. He is working on The Union after having penciled The Savage Sword of Conan #12.

Brath #1-5, 7-14 Brath Prequel #1 The First #6, 15-20, 22-24 Saurians: Unnatural Selection #1-2 Scion #10, 12, 28 Annihilation #1-6 Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 Black Panther #33 Captain America and the Falcon #8 Civil War: House of M #1-5 Dungeons and Dragons Marvel Comics Presents #1-7 Nova #22-24, 26-28, 31-33, 35 Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill #1-6 Thing #1-5 Thor #80-85 Young Avengers #7-8 What If Aunt May Had Died Instead of Uncle Ben? World War Hulk: X-Men #1-3 Avengers: Edge of Infinity Avengers: Shards of Infinity Black Panther: The sound and the Fury Ant-Man & The Wasp: Living legends Captain Marvel:Movie prelude Guardians of the Galaxy: Living the dream Marvel: Future Fight Marvel: Strike Force Spider-Man: Morning Rush The Savage Sword of Conan #12 The Union #1-5 Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files Annihilation Saga Stormbreaker: The Saga Of Beta Ray Bill #1-6 Thing #1-8 X-Factor #19 ] ] Andrea Di Vito at Marvel Comics