The split between the New Model Army and parliament was widening, as the former became increasingly radical, particularly the Levellers faction. At the famous Putney Debates, revolutionary ideas (including universal suffrage) were openly discussed. Cromwell swung from revolution to counter-revolution in his attempts to mediate between the propertied parliamentarians and the army. Meanwhile, the stage was being set for the trial, and eventual execution, of King Charles.

In this opening speech from the 2020 International Marxist University, Alan Woods (editor of In Defence of Marxism) discusses the historic significance of the coronavirus crisis and the perspectives for world revolution.

International Marxist University ended last night, following four increadibly successful days of political discussion and revolutionary optimism (read our full report here). If you weren't able to attend, or want to relive your favourite moments, we've included videos of all the sessions below.

With the victory of Cromwell's army at the Battle of Naseby, the first English Civil War came to an end. The defeated King handed himself over to the Scots, hoping to play the New Model Army (likened to a combination of the Soviets, the Red Army and the Bolshevik Party) off against the propertied classes in parliament, who were increasingly worried about this armed, disciplined body of lower-class radicals. Just like after the Russian February Revolution and the fall of the Tsar, England entered into a state of dual power.

After some losses at the hands of the Royalists, Oliver Cromwell and his new army, the 'Eastern Association' (later to become the New Model Army) scored a decisive turning point with a crushing victory at the battle of Marston Moor. But divisions were opening up on the parliamentary side between the radical and conservative elements.

With the Parliamentarians in a favourable position at the outbreak of the Civil War, thousands of men enlisted to fight on their side. The Royalists, relying on the less economically developed regions, were dependent on superior cavalry and a stubborn unwillingness to surrender. The stage was set for a colossal engagement between the two sides, which put a stop to any hope of compromise.

King Charles' patience with his rebellious parliament ran out, and he launched an attempted coup d'état, leading to one of the most famous scenes in English history, with Charles arriving at parliament with a list of names for arrest, only to find "the birds [had] flown" – and leaving empty handed to defiant calls of "privilege!" The city of London was soon in a state of revolutionary insurrection. A fight within the privileged classes had spilled out onto the streets. The masses were in control of the capital. The Civil War had begun.

If King Charles thought Strafford's execution would calm the situation in England, he was dead wrong. Aside from continued opposition from Pym and parliament, the masses were becoming bolder, arming themselves, acquiring revolutionary force, and even starting to worry the more-moderate parliamentarians.

We publish the following interview with Alan Woods (editor of, conducted by the Exit Theatre Group in Iran. Over the course of a long discussion, Alan talks about the role of culture and the arts in society, politics and revolution.

Interview with Erika Roedl, an International Marxist Tendency activist in Minneapolis and writer for Socialist Revolution, where she explains the movement against the racist police murder of George Floyd, the role of the Democrats, the emergence of neighbourhood committees and the perspectives for the movement.