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Oliver Cromwell: Hero Or Villain


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#16 Jessica1996

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 08:27 PM

i am doing oliver cromwell: hero or villain too and does anyone know how oliver gained more power for parliament?
due for tomorrow so ASAP answer would be great :P
thanks anyway :)

#17 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 10:30 PM

i am doing oliver cromwell: hero or villain too and does anyone know how oliver gained more power for parliament?
due for tomorrow so ASAP answer would be great :P
thanks anyway :)


I am not quite sure what you mean, but here is a little information.

Cromwell wasn't very important before the English Civil War, although he was an M.P. (Member of Parliament) However, during the Civil War he became one of the most successful and important Parliamentary commanders. Among other achievements, Cromwell played a major part in creating the New Model Army which helped win the Civil War for Parliament. He was also very important in the battle of Naseby (1645) which meant the beginning of the end for King Charles and the Royalists.

Hopefully this is helpful. Please bear in mind that the teachers who help on this forum do so in their own time; therefore we can't guarantee to answer quickly.

#18 bfg

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:19 AM

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>12 Reasons Cromwell is a HERO</span>

Oliver Cromwell is my hero, so here's some things he did that are great:
1. He substantially won the Civil War, when the rest of the Parliamentary commanders - posh, half-baked lords - would have lost it.
2. He set up the New Model Army which has to be one of the best armies the world has ever known - merciless and motivated fighters.
3. He could be ruthless when needed (eg against the Levellers, and at Drogheda and Wexford). Nowadays, in our politically-correct, wishy-washy liberal society, everybody goes 'ooo no, what a nasty man - he is the 'British Stalin'' at this. But AT THE TIME that was what people responded to (compare what was happening in France and Spain at the same time). The result was that England and Ireland HAD PEACE, because of Cromwell. Only someone of immense strength and imposing character could have FORCED such a warlike situation into peace.
4. He absolutely wopped the Scots AND the Irish - always a crowd-pleaser.
5. He pushed through the execution of the king, thus getting rid of a TOTAL TYRANT and establishing in English politics that a king CANNOT be absolute. Thus we owe our democracy to him - he is sometimes called 'the daddy of democracy'. How's about that for a hero?.
6. He threw out the old corrupt Rump Parliament in 1653. Everybody agrees that they deserved it. He really tried to establish a 'righteous' parliament in its place (eg the Barebone's Parliament).
7. He refused the crown when it was offered him - he genuinely did not want power for power's sake - just to get ENGLAND safely through this troubled period. Decent guy.
8. He abolished bear-baiting, and punished drunkenness. Perhaps he went too far for our tastes nowadays (he also abolished dancing, Christmas and the theatre) but this is what godly people wanted in those days. He was just trying to make people be good by the lights of the time.
9. He allowed Jews to return to start living in England, and allowed them religious toleration. He allowed everybody else to believe what they wanted - in their own homes - this was religious toleration way ahead of its time.
10. He built up the British navy - this was the real start of England's naval supremacy.
11. He captured Jamaica from the Spanish - and thus began the British Empire.
12. He was a good, decent family man, who enjoyed a joke and was kind to his children, and he always spent the day in prayer before he did any really outrageous thing. When he had lords to a meal, he would let them eat for so long - after which he would bang a drum, at which the ordinary soldiers were allowed to come in and take anything they wanted off the table.



Well...you have a strong opinion but what about the other sides' opinion??????? - please help me!!!!!!!!

#19 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:53 AM

Well...you have a strong opinion but what about the other sides' opinion??????? - please help me!!!!!!!!

First of all, can I recommend READING the thread before you throw in the towel.
You;ve no idea how helpful they can be - especially this post, which tells you what you need to know.

To be fair, this is a very advanced essay for your age group.

Start off by writing:
"Some people think that Oliver Cromwell was GREAT!!! The kind of things they say are..."
- then use the post you quoted to summarise the ideas and points made to show that Oliver Cromwell was 'a hero'.
Finish this section of your essay by writing. "So we can see that some people have lots of reasons to argue that Cromwell was a hero."

Miss a couple of lines.

Then write this:
"HOWEVER, other people think that Oliver Cromwell was DREADFUL!!! The kind of thinsg they point out are..."
- then do exactly the same, only summarising the arguments against Cromwell in post 13 of this thread, which I linked you to above. Finish this section of your essay by writing. "So we can see that some people have lots of reasons to argue that Cromwell was a villain."

Miss a couple of lines.

Finally, write this:
"OVERALL, taking all these ideas into account, this is what I think..."
- then say what you think of Oliver Cromwell and why.

#20 Georgia Lupton

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 04:45 PM

Hello.
I have just done a exam on Oliver Cromwell and its a bit late know for answears but was it oliver cromwell who wanted the NUTMEG to cure some country? thankyou Georgia! :)

#21 Georgia Lupton

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 04:48 PM

Oliver cromwell did not gain power, he was chosen to be the King but refused and said his son can be it next! He just wanted to be lord protector! He had the power of the king so he might as well have been king!:D <_<

#22 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 08:24 PM

Oliver cromwell did not gain power, he was chosen to be the King but refused and said his son can be it next! He just wanted to be lord protector! He had the power of the king so he might as well have been king!:D <_<

But does that make him good, or bad?
I think it makes him a good man, because he stuck with his principles. It would have been easy for him just to become king, and to take over from Charles.
But he didn't want that and he hadn't fought for that - he had fought for Parliament, and and wanted PARLIAMENT to rule the country. Even when he was Lord Protector, he was trying only to keep things going until a Parliament would get up and going which could rule the country. So he refused to be king.
As you know, I think he was a great guy.
Or do you disagree?

#23 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 08:36 PM

Hello.
I have just done a exam on Oliver Cromwell and its a bit late know for answears but was it oliver cromwell who wanted the NUTMEG to cure some country? thankyou Georgia! :)

Wow - I don't know!
What I have been able to find out is that the East India Company, before it got involved in tea, tried to fight it out with the Dutch for the control of the spices trade (of which nutmeg was one).
They more-or-les lost that war, and all but collapsed, but it was Oliver Cromwell who stopped them from going bankrupt.
Perhaps he did not because he wanted Britain to have a share of the spice trade?

In the 17th century, nutmeg was regarded - as well as an important spice for food - as a medicinal cure. It was used to treat memory loss, dizziness and blood in the urine. It was also used as people use Viagra today. There is a book called Nathaniel's Nutmeg which describes how Europe at this time was mad after nutmeg and other spices, and how they fought to the death for it in the islands of the Indian Ocean. Perhaps that is what you were thinking of.

#24 ilovehistory_1

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:02 PM

hi did oliver cromwell like hear that Christians were doing something to the Irish? like killing them or something?
please i heard it somewhere but i need to know if it's true for an essay ??? :)

#25 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:07 PM

hi did oliver cromwell like hear that Christians were doing something to the Irish? like killing them or something?
please i heard it somewhere but i need to know if it's true for an essay ??? :)

One of the causes of the Civil War was an irish rebellion in 1641, when the Irish Catholics killed a number of Protestants.
Oliver Cromwell was a Protestant, and when he won the civil war he went over to ireland and subdued Ireland violently. Many Irish were killed on the grounds that they were 'rebels', and at the sieges of Drogheda and Wexford (1649) Cromwell followed the strict rules of warfare by letting his soldiers massacre the garrison when it was overrun; many Catholics said and still say that he should have been more merciful.

Is this what you meant?

#26 ilovehistory_1

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 07:26 PM

yes, thank you so much! :D

#27 Owlie...

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:21 PM


<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>12 Reasons Cromwell is a HERO</span>

Oliver Cromwell is my hero, so here's some things he did that are great:
1. He substantially won the Civil War, when the rest of the Parliamentary commanders - posh, half-baked lords - would have lost it.
2. He set up the New Model Army which has to be one of the best armies the world has ever known - merciless and motivated fighters.
3. He could be ruthless when needed (eg against the Levellers, and at Drogheda and Wexford). Nowadays, in our politically-correct, wishy-washy liberal society, everybody goes 'ooo no, what a nasty man - he is the 'British Stalin'' at this. But AT THE TIME that was what people responded to (compare what was happening in France and Spain at the same time). The result was that England and Ireland HAD PEACE, because of Cromwell. Only someone of immense strength and imposing character could have FORCED such a warlike situation into peace.
4. He absolutely wopped the Scots AND the Irish - always a crowd-pleaser.
5. He pushed through the execution of the king, thus getting rid of a TOTAL TYRANT and establishing in English politics that a king CANNOT be absolute. Thus we owe our democracy to him - he is sometimes called 'the daddy of democracy'. How's about that for a hero?.
6. He threw out the old corrupt Rump Parliament in 1653. Everybody agrees that they deserved it. He really tried to establish a 'righteous' parliament in its place (eg the Barebone's Parliament).
7. He refused the crown when it was offered him - he genuinely did not want power for power's sake - just to get ENGLAND safely through this troubled period. Decent guy.
8. He abolished bear-baiting, and punished drunkenness. Perhaps he went too far for our tastes nowadays (he also abolished dancing, Christmas and the theatre) but this is what godly people wanted in those days. He was just trying to make people be good by the lights of the time.
9. He allowed Jews to return to start living in England, and allowed them religious toleration. He allowed everybody else to believe what they wanted - in their own homes - this was religious toleration way ahead of its time.
10. He built up the British navy - this was the real start of England's naval supremacy.
11. He captured Jamaica from the Spanish - and thus began the British Empire.
12. He was a good, decent family man, who enjoyed a joke and was kind to his children, and he always spent the day in prayer before he did any really outrageous thing. When he had lords to a meal, he would let them eat for so long - after which he would bang a drum, at which the ordinary soldiers were allowed to come in and take anything they wanted off the table.


Well...you have a strong opinion but what about the other sides' opinion??????? - please help me!!!!!!!!


Wow, this'll really help... oh, and I think that Cromwell based most of his tactics and etiquette when fighting battles on medieval manuscripts relating to the Just War. Is this true?

#28 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 06:07 PM

Wow, this'll really help... oh, and I think that Cromwell based most of his tactics and etiquette when fighting battles on medieval manuscripts relating to the Just War. Is this true?

I'd like to know where this comes from.
Now I may be wrong, but personally my gut feeling would be that it is NOT true.

I suspect it comes from the fact that apologists for Cromwell's massacres at Drogheda and Wexford point out that they refused to surrender and that, by the laws of war at the time, gave him the right to kill all the garrison.

By as for following the rules of war...
Cromwell was in fact outraged by the Parliamentary Commanders in the early years of the war, who arranged 'pitched' battles, refused to fight before breakfast, nobly let the king slip away with his army intact even though they had defeated him, assumed that the king's cavalry would always win because they were 'gentlemen' etc.
That was why he formed the New Model Army and pushed through the Self-Denying Ordinance.
Cromwell was regarded as outrageous at the time because he DIDN'T fight by the rules - he fought to WIN.
He did things like attacking the enemy when they were having their tea.
The King's cavalry, under Rupert, when they defeated the Parliamentary cavalry, chased and yoo-halloed them through the countryside for miles. Cromwell's cavalry, when they defeated the King's cavalry, made sure they were running away ... and then wheeled round and turned on the King's footsoldiers.

So, no, I suspect that Cromwell did NOT follow the rules of a "Just War" in the medieval sense; he believed he was fighting "God's War", and that God had strengthened his arm to defeat them.
Lots of what Cromwell said about war was leavened with phrases from the Bible about destroying the enemies of God. For instance, he wrote about the massacre at Drogheda:

"I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands in so much innocent blood and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are satisfactory grounds for such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret."


And note also:

God made them as stubble to our swords.
Letter to Colonel Valentine Walton (5 July 1644)


We study the glory of God, and the honour and liberty of parliament, for which we unanimously fight, without seeking our own interests... I profess I could never satisfy myself on the justness of this war, but from the authority of the parliament to maintain itself in its rights; and in this cause I hope to prove myself an honest man and single-hearted.
Statement to Colonel Valentine Walton, 5 or 6 September 1644



#29 JBJ

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 02:34 PM

Why did the Victorians think that Cromwell was a hero

(could do with soem help)

#30 MrJohnDClare

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 07:30 PM

Why did the Victorians think that Cromwell was a hero

(could do with soem help)

Don't forget to say please, JBJ, please - everyone does on this forum.

This is a really difficult question.
It all comes down to what is sometimes called 'the Whig interpretation of History'.
According to Victorian historians (Macaulay being the most famous), the whole of British history was a development to take Britain through to the point it found itself in during the Victorian era - a Protestant democracy with a thriving economy and a huge empire.
They looked back and interpreted EVERYTHING in terms of how it contributed towards moving Britain towards that point.
So the defeat of Charles (who was interpreted as a would-be tyrant trying to restore absolute rule) by Oliver Cromwell was seen as a GREAT POINT in the securing of deomocracy in this country.
And because he was a Puritan and very straight-laced, it seemed to the Victorians that he was a good protestant.
It helped that Cromwell conquered Jamaica, which was seen as the beginning of the British empire.
And they liked the way he dealt with the Irish (Catholics, and supporters of the absolutists) too.




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