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Timeline: 1651 to 1660

1651  Cromwell defeats Scottish armies.

1651  In Leviathan, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who dislikes democracy and the passions of the mob, favors a commonwealth, a social contract, with people delegating their powers to a central authority and submitting to that authority.

1652  The Dutch East India Company establishes a toe hold in southern Africa, near the Cape of Good Hope, to serve Dutch ships passing to and from the East. 

1652  Nikita Nikon, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, wishes to return to the purity of previous times. He wants people to cross themselves with three fingers rather than two and creates a great disturbance among the faithful.

1653  A war begins between the English and Dutch, inspired by commercial competition.

1653  Oliver Cromwell dissolves parliament and his army makes him Lord Protector – a dictator.

1654  The Russo-Polish war begins with Cossacks rebelling against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Cossacks request the help of Russia. Russia declares war and captures the cities of Minsk and Vilna.

1657  Ottoman historian Haji Khalifa dies. He saw Ottoman society as sick because of corruption, high taxation and oppression of the masses. 

1657  Edo burns, Japan's biggest urban fire. About 100,000 people die.

1658  In India, Aurangzeb, son of the Mughal emperor Jahan, has defeated his brother, the crown prince, Dara Shikoh. Aurangzeb has imprisonsd his father and his other brother, Murad, and he crowns himself, taking the title Alamgir (Grasper of the Universe). He is to prohibit Hindu fairs and festivals, to re-institute the tax on non-Muslims that his great grandfather removed and to end the semi-independent status that had been given to Hindu kingdoms within the Mughal empire.

1658  Cromwell dies and the English are relieved. They have had their fill of Puritanism.

1659  Near Cape Town, Dutch farmers are taking over Khoikhoi (Hottentot) grazing land. The Khoikhoi attack the Dutch, who successfully defend themselves.    

1660  England's parliament restores the monarchy to the eldest son of Charles I, Charles II, who arrives from France three weeks later amid great celebration.

to 1641 to 1650 | to 1661-1670

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