December 6 - 1648 - Pride's Purge
When the New Model Army's leaders wanted the English Parliament to put King Charles I on trial for treason, they faced the problem that most Members of Parliament did not want to put the King on trial. So Colonel Thomas Pride and his Regiment of Foot were placed on the steps of Parliament, only allowing sympathetic members inside. Essentially, Pride's Purge was a coup d'etat which happened so easily no one even fought back. Partly, this was because Parliament had been fighting the King for eight years. In a Civil War, England had seen pitched battles where Parliament's New Model Army, led by Oliver Cromwell, beat the Royalist forces of Charles I. Officially, Charles had accepted Parliament's demands, until he decided to flee. That led to a second Civil War, which saw a military occupation of London, where Thomas Pride was a commander. That's why the New Model Army stationed his Regiment of Foot in the way of Parliament. The strategy worked so well that only 200 of the 471 Members were left in what became known as the "Rump Parliament." It was that Parliament that would subsequently and swiftly try King Charles and execute him.