Oliver cromwell

Essay by pp186 June 2005

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

Downloaded 42 times

In January 1649, King Charles I was executed, his death warrant signed by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell became the new ruler of England and in his reign he achieved some controversial accomplishments. In this essay I will assess whether these acts made him a hero or a villain, using contemporary views, quotes and other sources which give different interpretations.

One of Cromwell's major assets was the New Model Army, which he established and used to defeat the King's army. As a military leader, Cromwell did both good and bad things, and there are differing opinions of whether he and his army overall were heroic or villainous. Some historians believe the New Model Army was disciplined and efficient, with a fantastic founder and military leader. It had only Generals of great ability, not great nobility, unlike the King's army. This may have been the reason for its success; but some say it also had God's hand on its side.

However, in other ways during his time as a military leader Cromwell can be seen as a villain. He may be guilty of nepotism, favouring certain people and promoting common people, as many were on his side. The fact that he had many peasants on his side, unskilled in fighting, provokes the argument that it was numbers, not skill that won him the war. Cromwell himself was in fact just a farmer before the civil war, thus causing people to doubt his ability as a general. But success against the King made Cromwell many enemies during the war, almost cancelling out the allies he made.

Therefore interpretations of Cromwell as a military leader differ because he did things that may be seen as good or bad, like the defeating of the King's army. He believed strongly in the rights of poor...