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

Discuss the view that Cromwells part in the search for settlement with the King after the first civil war showed a lack of consistency.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the view that Cromwell's part in the search for settlement with the King after the first civil war showed a lack of consistency. Many of Cromwell's actions during 1646-1649 appear to contradict each other. He first joined parliament to negotiate with the king but then left in 1647 to join the army. He wanted harsh terms on the king but the Heads of Proposals proved to be more lenient that the Newcastle Propositions. He tried to find a monarchical settlement but eventually supported the execution of Charles. The most evident inconsistency in Cromwell's search for a settlement is his transition from parliament to the army. At first, Cromwell returned to parliament to support parliamentary negotiations with the king. His support for parliament is seen when he went to Saffron Walden urging the army to remain loyal to parliament. However, in June 1647 Cromwell left parliament to join the army because he felt the army offered a better opportunity to achieve healing and settling and religious toleration. Political and religious Presbyterians had been attacking the army and causing a split between the king's opponents. Cromwell also found that his parliamentary colleagues did not share his radical religious views, nor did they want a harsh limitations imposed upon Charles. ...read more.


It would appear that both Cromwell's conversion from parliament to army and the terms of the Heads of Proposals were consistent because they were aimed at accomplishing religious toleration and guaranteeing stability after four years of civil war, though the methods he used to pursue those objectives were inconsistent and contradictory. Another inconsistency during Cromwell's time in the army is seen at the Putney debates. Cromwell offered the Leveller a chance to express and discuss their demands and appeared to endorse the army's political radicalism by saying that the Grandees were not "wedded and glued to forms of government", i.e. he was considering a democratic republic even though he had made it clear earlier that he intended to reach a monarchical settlement. But, given Cromwell's actions and words at the end of the Putney debates, one might consider his words at Putney were merely to appease the Levellers and maintain army unity. The Levellers' demands and manifesto, the Agreement of the People, had hampered Cromwell's attempts to negotiate a settlement with Charles. Cromwell felt that the Agreement of the People threatened the likelihood of attaining religious toleration via the Heads of Proposals. Therefore, one sees Cromwell attempting to delay the Leveller's demands at Putney because it endangered religious toleration: an aim he had hoped to achieve since the civil war. ...read more.


What changed Cromwell's mind was the Second Civil War. Cromwell deemed it as Charles deliberately starting war against his own people with the use of a foreign army and so going against god. As a result, Cromwell thought Charles had to be brought to justice. Considering Charles' unwillingness and lack of faith in negotiations, Cromwell realised that a monarchical settlement could not be reached and therefore prioritized attaining religious toleration. This suggests that Cromwell had tried to reach a monarchical settlement but was unsuccessful because of Charles' reluctance in negotiating a settlement. Presbyterians in parliament repealed the Vote of No Addresses, which made it possible for a parliamentary settlement with the King. This threatened the Heads of Proposals and hence religious toleration. Cromwell understood that if religious toleration was to be achieved, parliamentary negotiations with the king had to be terminated and therefore Pride's Purge had to happen. With parliament purged Cromwell and his allies were able to bring Charles to justice for the Second Civil War. In conclusion, one can see that Cromwell was consistently seeking religious toleration and also trying to achieve a monarchical settlement which would bring stability, although his methods of achieving those two aims were inconsistent and contradictory. However, as negotiations went on, he recognized that a monarchical settlement was impossible and so he strived for religious toleration and the execution of the king because of necessity and providence. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Did Oliver Cromwell achieve his objectives from 1642 to 1658?

    5 star(s)

    Despite it's efficiency Barebones did not win Cromwell much support from the conservatives, nor the army. Eventually, Cromwell decided to dissolve Barebones. Cromwell was later made Protector. Two Protectorate parliaments followed, both of which frustrated Cromwell and he closed them both down.

  2. Oliver Cromwell - Hero or Villain?

    Was this the way, or could he have gone about it another way? I think so. That wasn't it! Oh-no! There was more! He passed harsh laws. Lots of them. The worst, being 'banning public assemblies.' Apart from that, there were plenty more!

  1. Was Oliver Cromwell a hero or a villain?

    So there were both good and bad points relating to Cromwell and the New Model Army. During the trial of the King, the King was still popular with the people of his kingdom. However, Cromwell wanted to be popular, so that could be one reason why he signed the treaty.

  2. Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution, c.1642 - c.1658 - Did Oliver Cromwell ...

    The Major-Generals were possibly the closest Cromwell actually came to creating the godly nation he sought for. This objective was never fully achieved, but there was at the very least a reformation of manners - to turn people to do the will of God - which he achieved for a while.

  1. What were Cromwell's Religious aims?

    Also, Cromwell allowed the Catholics to worship in private and accepted the Anglicans because he needed their support as Royalists. Cromwell wanted all godly ministers to work together to establish Christian behaviour and social discipline in every parish - Cromwell hoped that through this he would 'reform manners'.

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

    In the letter it is clear that Whalley is seeking help to find a document so he is able to remove Boteman, 'I could desire it might be found to help him out (of) here'. (Major-General Edward Whalley to Secretary Thurloe, 24 November 1655)

  1. Cromwells contribution was greater off the battlefield than on it. How far do you ...

    Although this battle did not decide the final fate of the First Civil War, it gave parliament hope and confidence; after the battle parliamentary soldiers were euphoric. This suggests that, just as in 1643, Cromwell's military leadership not only resulted in victories but also increased the morale and confidence of the parliamentary army in general.

  2. Assess the view that the importance of Cromwells military role in the Civil War ...

    the battle when all three of his commanding generals had given it up for lost?. The actions of Marston Moor were seen to recognise Cromwell as an ?extraordinary character?. Interpretations A, C and D all show evidence of Cromwell?s use of religion within war and how it was successful in his cavalry.

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