• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An honourable soldier and statesman. Assess this view of Cromwell in his dealings with enemies of the Commonwealth.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"An honourable soldier and statesman". Assess this view of Cromwell in his dealings with enemies of the Commonwealth. After the execution of King Charles, the Commonwealth was created in an attempt to legitimatise the Republic. However, despite the efforts of Oliver Cromwell, there were still many enemies of the Commonwealth, namely the Irish, Scots, Rump MPs and the Levellers. In August 1649, Cromwell led an expeditionary force to Ireland. He felt that this was necessary because the Irish posed the biggest threat to the new Republic, particularly after the Irish Confederates and English Royalists signed an alliance. In Ireland, Cromwell had two important military victories: at Drogheda and Wexford where an estimated 2000 died at each place. The accusation of indiscriminate slaughter of civilians has been made by numerous historians; but when Cromwell's actions are viewed in the context of 17th century warfare, they appear to be lawful and legitimate. ...read more.

Middle

However, Cromwell's military leadership was not as great as his previous military engagements. He was constantly outmanoeuvred by the Scottish commander, David Leslie, and had to be saved on numerous occasions by his subordinate John Lambert. Despite these defeats, Cromwell was still able to engineer the pivotal victory at Worcester. This suggests that just like during the first civil war Cromwell was again instrumental in the victory and strengthens the claim that he was honourable to the Commonwealth. Therefore, it would appear that Cromwell's actions against the Irish and Scots indicate he was honourable because he fought successfully against enemies who threatened the security of the Commonwealth. Another enemy of the Commonwealth was the Rump MPs who governed the country after the regicide of King Charles. They consisted mainly of merchants and lawyers and were thus unwilling to proceed with some aspects of the godly reformation such as legal reform. ...read more.

Conclusion

before crushing them. The Levellers' frustration and resentment at Cromwell is epitomised by Lilburne's pamphlet "England's New Chains"; they felt that Cromwell had used them, indicating dishonourable conduct. However, the Levellers had been using the New Model Army to advance their radical political demands. Therefore, the claim of Cromwell using the Levellers appears to be hypocritical. Furthermore, in getting rid of the Levellers, Cromwell can be viewed as protecting God's instrument and thus is once more acting in God's interest rather than his own. Therefore, Cromwell's actions against the Levellers are yet another demonstration of him being an honourable statesman and soldier for the Commonwealth. When viewed alongside Cromwell's dealings with other enemies of the Commonwealth, it appears that Cromwell has consistently showed honourable behaviour. In conclusion, "an honourable soldier and statesman" is a valid and rightful interpretation of Cromwell in his dealings with the Irish, Scots, Rump MPs and Levellers. His actions reveal that he was consistently honourable in defending the integrity of the new Republic and trying to introduce godly reformation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Assess the validity of the view that the Rump and Barebones parliaments had no ...

    Also it must be mentioned that what it did achieve was in the face of a situation never encountered before. No people before had executed a monarch or had any tradition of republican thought in England. Thus in this unprecedented position of being both a government and a parliament, the

  2. History Independant study - Oliver Cromwell

    Cromwell's use of the army to dissolve ineffective parliaments, to win a civil war and the establishment of the major generals to rule the country made Cromwell, to some extent a military dictator that used the army to run the country.

  1. Was Oliver Cromwell a hero or a villain?

    According to Cromwell, God might have made Charles lose, and thus, God wanted Charles to die. The second reason is that Charles could not be trusted, because he talked peace before but then he deceived the ordinary people and started another war.

  2. An unmitigated disaster. How valid is this assessment of Oliver Cromwells experiment with the ...

    that as a regime, Oliver Cromwell's Major Generals were a reasonable success, thus meaning they cannot be considered to be an unmitigated disaster. In relation to Catholics, Royalists, Republicans, 5th Monarchists and Levellers, the Major Generals were instructed to disarm such people, 'All others who are dangerous to the peace of the nation, be disarmed' (Instructions to the Major-Generals, 1655)

  1. East of Eden: An Interpretation

    reinventing itself through each of the generations of the Trask family; the cruelties perpetrated by characters whose names begin with C (Charles, Cathy, and Caleb) to the characters whose names begin with A (Adam, Aron, and Abra); the honest confusion and moralistic uncertainty of all of the characters whose names

  2. Oliver Cromwell.

    After parliament was dismissed, Cromwell returned home and returned back to his normal routine. During the dismissal of parliament, in 1633, William Laud became Archbishop of Canterbury. And in 1637, a man called John Hampden refused to pay the temporary tax, known as Ship Money.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work