Was Oliver Cromwell A Hero Or A Villain Essay

Was Oliver Cromwell A Hero Or A Villain Essay-37
Charles I’s death warrant was signed by 59 of his judges, with Cromwell the third to inscribe his name.

Charles I’s death warrant was signed by 59 of his judges, with Cromwell the third to inscribe his name.

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Cromwell, now raised to prominence, was among those who wanted to parley with the King for a peaceful settlement, but Charles threw in his lot with the Scots, who invaded England to try to restore him to the throne.

Cromwell’s men crushed Royalist hopes at Preston (1648). Although not the initiator of the idea to prosecute the King for going to war against Parliament and half of the country, once he decided “Providence and necessity” required such action, he became a relentless supporter.

The Interregnum, when monarchy was abolished and England experimented with being a republic, lasted just 11 years from 1649–60, yet it wrought irrevocable change. To even begin to answer the question we need first to follow his extraordinary rise from regular country gentleman to head of state.

His roots lie in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, where he was born in 1599 into a distinguished but relatively impoverished squirearchal family.

He attributed his success on the battlefield to God’s will, although no doubt his bravery and innate abilities played their part too.

At the first major encounter of the war, at Edgehill in 1642, Cromwell’s troops stood firm when others had fled, while after action at Marston Moor in 1644, Cromwell observed, “truly England and the church of god hath had a great favour from the lord, in this great victory given us.” The first chapter of the war came to an end at Naseby in 1645, with victory for the Parliamentarians’ highly organised New Model Army.Following clashes over taxes, power and the King’s High Church policies, hostilities erupted into civil war on 22 August 1642 when Charles raised his standard at Nottingham.Over the next seven years Parliamentarian Roundheads and Royalist Cavaliers tore the country apart.Cromwell pushed home gains by leading military campaigns to establish English control over Ireland (1649–50) and Scotland (1650–51), and to defeat Charles II and another Scottish-Royalist army at Dunbar (1650) and Worcester (1651).However, his massacre of defenders and civilians of Drogheda in 1649 and his order for similar action at Wexford spilled an indelible bloody stain on Cromwell’s reputation that Ireland would never forget.Young Cromwell attended the local grammar school, now The Cromwell Museum, where artefacts and documents highlight the life and legacy of ‘God’s Englishman’.From April 1616 he studied at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, leaving suddenly after a year due to the death of his father.In 1628 Cromwell had been elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon and in 1640 he became MP for Cambridge, gaining a reputation as a blunt speaker with a fiery temperament.This would soon propel him into the limelight as Parliament wearied of King Charles I’s tyrannical disregard of its authority and his belief that the sovereign stood above Church and State.Cromwell declined, saying, “I will not build Jericho again.” A year later, following illness, he died at the age of 59.The Protectorate, dependent on Cromwell’s authority and on force not consent, now quickly unravelled as his nominated successor, his son Richard, proved unequal to the task.


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