Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector

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Ever since Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England there have been different interpretations of him. In the nineteenth century historians considered Cromwell to be a great reformer and a man of principle. In modern times many historians use examples from his actions in Ireland to say Cromwell was an inhuman monster.

Between 1649 and 1658 Cromwell had more than anyone else in Britain. In 1649 he took the New Army to Ireland. During the English War Cromwell had heard terrible stories from Protestants in . He heard that Catholics committed horrible cruelties such as cutting off people’s hands and and beating women’s brains with poles. There were many such stories.
Whether the stories were true we don’t really know – but Cromwell believed them. He was a , a strong Protestant. Puritans believed it was their duty to punish the . He went to Ireland determined to do just this!

When Catholic rebels in Drogheda refused to to Cromwell, he ordered his soldiers to kill all the rebel soldiers. Hundreds of them hid in a church, but Cromwell ordered it to be set alight - many were burnt , and all the local priests were killed. People began to worry that Britain was sliding into the madness of wars.

The son of the dead Charles I soon caused Cromwell trouble, leading a army against England. Cromwell beat this army but Charles (as Charles I’s son was called) escaped and lived abroad for nine years. Cromwell also expected to improve the country. All MPs (Members of Parliament) who had supported the King were not allowed into Parliament after 1648. There 60 remaining MPs had turned Britain into a republic called the . Yet these MPs were greedy and used taxes to make themselves .
Oliver Cromwell

In 1653 Cromwell had enough. He took 30 soldiers to the House of Commons and threw the MPs out. Cromwell ran the country himself for the following five years as Lord . Despite Cromwell trying many different ways of ruling, people became keen to have a again. They asked Cromwell to become the King. Cromwell to become King, but took extra powers and it was agreed that his son would become Lord Protector when he died. Many of Cromwell’s enemies said that Cromwell was and had taken all the power of the King, yet just without the name.

Cromwell allowed other Puritans to have a lot of power. All Puritans wanted to end all ‘wicked ’. Theatres were because Puritans said the devil used them. Dancing around May Poles was . Many inns were shut and popular of bull and bear baiting were prohibited. Nobody was allowed to work or even play on Sundays! Even Christmas day was made a day of (no eating allowed). This was strictly enforced with used to remove meat from ovens in London homes. If caught swearing you would have to pay a .