Due: January 11, 2013
Oliver Cromwell rose from his humble heritage in English society to become the Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, the first and only man without royal blood to do so. His played a prominent role in bringing about the trial and beheading of King Charles I; he took control of the Parliament's professional Army and went forth on the most cruel military action England had ever undertaken against the neighbouring nations; and he accomplished a level of religious freedom that had been unaccepted in England for the past hundred years. Oliver Cromwell was indeed a unique leader, one who wanted what was best for his fellow countrymen and completely devoted himself to his life as a Parliamentarian. Oliver Cromwell should be judged by history for his actions as a visionary who championed Parliamentarian values.
Everything Cromwell did was what he believed to be in the best interest of England and its people. Oliver Cromwell supported the Parliament and continued to be an active member of it even though King Charles I had distanced himself from the Parliament and was ruling according to his own will with no regard to the law. Cromwell had played a substantial role in the execution of King Charles I, not because he entertained any selfish ideas concerning Charles' throne, but because he truly believed England would be better off without the trouble-causing head of state. Through this, he taught the people the fundamental value of holding their rulers accountable. Cromwell also helped to form the New Model Army. The New Model Army was a professional army formed in a sense by the people for the people. Social class had no worth in the Army, all men were equal and were recruited according to ability, not wealth or social status. Cromwell was well known for his aptitude for military tactics and strategies; he lead his regiment, the Ironsides, to victory in every battle they fought. He fought to protect England from invaders, from the disputing neighbours, Scotland and Ireland, and also to keep 6
the order of government he believed would work best for both the upper and lower class of citizens. Cromwell used the authority given to him as the Lord Protector in an attempt to reform the people of England, in what he called “Godly reformation”. Cromwell devised a programme designed to cleanse the people of their sinful habits such as drinking, immorality and general trouble-making. He was a man who sought to give England “not what they want, but what is good for them.” Oliver Cromwell was not the sort of man to support a ruling of the Parliament and then sit back and hope it was carried through; he personally ushered in the end of the English Civil War by defeating an uprising of Charles II supporters in 1650 & 1651. Despite continued opposition throughout his years, Cromwell did not back down or leave the public to fend for themselves, instead he led them ceaselessly until there was peace once more among the countries. The definition of a visionary is someone who acts bravely in support of an idea, despite all odds and then popularizes it. An example of Cromwell having done this was with the proposal of overthrowing Charles I, as Cromwell was a big contributor to that final decision, not merely because of his voiced support but also the leading effect he had on people. They were prone to following his lead, not only because he was a very influential and intelligent man, but also because he was not afraid of changing tradition and he constantly had England's best interests in mind. During his lifetime, Oliver Cromwell successfully served England as a Member of the Long Parliament, as the New Model Army's leader and as their Lord Protector.
Oliver Cromwell's strong Puritan beliefs lent an extremist edge to his decisions and actions during his life, however, faith did not hold superiority over his Parliamentarian...