King Charles I began to make changes to the church in England that were unacceptable to men like Oliver. During his 20s or 30s, Cromwell had experienced a religious conversion and for the remainder of his life he was a zealous Protestant.
He believed that God had chosen him for a purpose which would at some point be revealed to him. He criticised the King in Parliament, his passionate and often angry speeches, driven by his religious zeal.
Was Oliver Cromwell the father of British democracy?
When war broke out between King and Parliament in , Oliver Cromwell was one of the first MPs to take up arms and fight. A Civil War broke out in England in August On one side stood King Charles I, and those who supported his rule. On the other, the men who had come to see him as a tyrant. Those who took arms against the king included some of the aristocracy as well as small landholders and businessmen from the richest parts of the country, London, the ports, and the cloth and clothing areas of East Anglia, Yorkshire, Lancashire and the southwest.
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Men like Oliver Cromwell. The conflict spread to Scotland, Ireland and Wales and lasted nearly nine years. Families and friends found themselves on opposite sides but were prepared to fight each other to the death. Religion also played a part in the collapse of the country into war. England had become a Protestant country under King Henry VIII but there were some, the Puritans, who thought that the reform of the church had not gone far enough.
There was a great fear that England would become a Catholic country again and those that feared this most eventually fought against the king. In the summer of , the relationship between the king and Parliament had broken down irretrievably, but war had not yet been declared.
The Life of Oliver Cromwell
Both sides were trying to win support and raise troops but Oliver Cromwell was one of a very small minority who were prepared to take action. He left London and went straight to his constituency in Cambridge. He was elected to Short and Long Parliaments of and became known as a radical Puritan. During the English Civil Wars he served as a general on the parliamentarian side. From to , he served as lord protector of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
He died on September 3, , in London.
We strive for accuracy and fairness. In June, Cromwell tried to reconcile the king, Charles I, Parliament and the army, but when this failed Cromwell put his full support behind the army. By the late s he was one of the power-brokers in Parliament and he played a decisive role in the winter of , which saw the trial and execution of the King, as well as the abolition of monarchy and the House of Lords.
MP and soldier
Cromwell's signature was third on the king's death warrant. After the execution of the King, a republic was declared, known as the Commonwealth of England.
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The 'Rump Parliament' exercised both executive and legislative powers, with a smaller Council of State also having some executive functions. Cromwell remained a member of the Rump and was appointed a member of the Council. In the early months after the execution of Charles I, Cromwell tried but failed to unite the original group of 'Royal Independents' centred around St John and Saye and Sele, which had fractured during Cromwell had been connected to this group since before the outbreak of war in and had been closely associated with them during the s.
However, only St John was persuaded to retain his seat in Parliament. The Royalists, meanwhile, had regrouped in Ireland, having signed a treaty with the Irish Confederate Catholics.
In March, Cromwell was chosen by the Rump to command a campaign against them, which resulted in the occupation of the country. All Catholic-owned land was confiscated in the Act for the Settlement of Ireland and given to Scottish and English settlers.