How and why has the rule of Oliver Cromwell been interpreted differently?
There are lots of opinions about Cromwell and they have differed a lot. Historians still disagree about him even today! ‘His cruelty and ruthlessness have left a mark and a memory that the last 300 years have not been able to wipe.’ C V Wedgwood mentioned in the 1950’s-60. He wrote many books about the life of Charles I and this shows that his opinion of Cromwell wasn’t a very nice one. He has stated that Oliver Cromwell has scarred life and they have not been able to get rid of that nasty memory. Although Wedgwood disagrees about Cromwell, there are others that differ. ‘Cromwell was the national hero…the greatest because the most typical Englishman of all time.’ S R Gardiner stated in 1902. Gardiner was a descendent of Cromwell and supported the idea of a Puritan Revolution. This source shows that he was a great fan of Cromwell and he believed that he was the most typical Englishman of all time. I think he might have supported the Puritan Revolution idea because he might be a puritan himself and respected the ideas Cromwell had. I think both of these statements are biased as Gardiner was a descendant of Cromwell and Wedgwood wrote many book about Charles; Cromwell agreed to execute Charles. In this essay I am going to explain how and why his rule has been interpreted in different ways and why he was such a controversial man? Oliver Cromwell was a military and political leader who overpowered the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was born at Cromwell House in Huntingdon on the 25 April 1599 to Robert Cromwell and Elizabeth Steward and he was a puritan. Cromwell was a commander of the New Model Army which defeated the royalists in the English Civil War. He was elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in 1628 and for Cambridge in 1640. He entered the English Civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians and became a key military leader. Nicknamed "Old Ironsides", he was quickly promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to command of the entire army. Lots of people turned against Cromwell; and he turned against people to. The levellers were the most famous people who turned against Cromwell and his ruling. The levellers were a political group during the civil war. The levellers list developed with growing conflict within the New Model Army in the wake of the First Civil War. The leveller’s believed in religious freedom, end to imprisonment for dept and that all male population should be able to vote for parliament and this should happen every 2 years. But Cromwell didn’t think this. “What the levellers say is that the poorer people should have as much riches as richer people. Either you must cut them in pieces or they will cut you in pieces” is what Cromwell is reported to say. But is this what the levellers wanted? No, it wasn’t. Cromwell made out that they were making the poorer people be as rich as the richer people when all they wanted was for all male population to vote every 2 years etc. This might add on to the reason people still disagree with the choices he made today. John Lilburne was the leader of the levellers and had much support. The Levellers made full use of the printing press to circulate pamphlets and petitions, effectively developing the first mass political propaganda techniques to be used in Britain. In 1649, Lilburne was imprisoned in the tower of London. Whilst he was there he wrote a letter, “we have much cause to distrust you; for we know how many broken promises that you have made to the kingdom.” He sent this letter as Cromwell met up with the leveller group every week to discuss ideas. For a long time Cromwell agreed with them, and after the king was executed the levellers thought they could change. But then Cromwell turned against them. I know this from the sources I have seen in class. On the other...
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