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

Why and with what degree of success did Cromwell attempt to expand English interests in Ireland and the West Indies?

Extracts from this document...


Why, and with what degree of success, did Cromwell attempt to expand English interests in Ireland the West Indies? Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland between the years 1653, until his death in 1658. A key theme of Oliver Cromwell's reign as Lord Protector was his aggressive foreign policy aims and goals. Cromwell attempted to expand English interests in both Ireland and in the West Indies. In 1649 Cromwell as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland led the parliamentarian conquest of Ireland between 1649 and 1651. Cromwell also ordered the naval expedition to the West Indies in late 1654. To truly assess the reasons why Cromwell attempted to expand English interests in both Ireland and in the West Indies it is important to examine the key themes of imperialism and religion, while also bearing in mind other factors such as security concerns and economic reasons. While Cromwell experienced success in Ireland to a large extent, the same cannot be said for the West Indies which has largely been seen as a failure. Firstly it is important to assess the reasons for why Oliver Cromwell attempted to expand English interests in Ireland. ...read more.


Much of this land confiscated was given to Protestants and also veterans of the New Model Army as a payment for their services. Cromwell also managed to push a large amount of Irish Catholics to the west and into the Connacht region, which was away from Dublin and important ports such as Cork. Although it is fair to say that Cromwell's policies in Ireland left ?anti-Britishness' hostility in Ireland for years to come. Cromwell still to this day remains a deeply controversial figure in Ireland. This is due to the atrocities which took place during the conquest, especially at the Siege of Drogheda in 1649 and the Sack of Wexford 1649, in which many civilians were massacred. Mann states that Cromwell has since been seen as a 'boogey-man' figure in Ireland and fuelled Irish hostility towards English rule.[6] Despite this, overall Cromwell's conquest in Ireland was still a clear success. It is also important to determine the reasons for why Cromwell attempted to expand English interests in the West Indies. In late 1654 Cromwell as Lord Protector ordered a naval expedition to attack Spanish territory in the West Indies. ...read more.


In terms of religion in both Ireland and in the West Indies Cromwell was eager to reduce the Catholic influence of the Spanish and Gaelic Irish. Cromwell also held imperial ambitions, in the West Indies Cromwell was keen to expand the English commonwealth's possession through the Western Design and in Ireland he was eager to continue the plantation progress and to create a 'little England'. Finally economics was also a significant motive; Cromwell wanted to expand the commonwealth's trading network in the West Indies. In terms of success it is clear that Cromwell enjoyed a greater degree of success in Ireland than in the West Indies. In Ireland Cromwell managed to put down the most of the Royalist threat, suppress and punish the Catholic Irish and also increase the plantation process through mass confiscations of Catholic land. However in the West Indies Cromwell failed to decrease the influence of Catholic Spain. Cromwell's Western Design failed and his naval expedition was defeated by the Spanish. Cromwell's main aim to capture Hispaniola failed and instead he was left with only Jamaica. This was a resounding failure and a massive humiliation for Cromwell. Therefore it is clear to see that Cromwell was successful in Ireland to a large extent, however in the West Indies Cromwell largely failed to expand English interests. ...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)

    Alehouses were shutdown and people were arrested for working on the Sabbath. It was a policy very few people agreed with so it was always going to be a struggle to get it to work. In Coventry people even rioted against the closure of some alehouses, emphasising the dislike of the reforms Cromwell was attempting to put in place.

  2. Oliver Cromwell - Hero or Villain?

    Some of the things that Oliver Cromwell did were terrible! One of the things that he sent his army to do was nail a baby, an innocent baby, to a church door. What was the point of that? I mean what was he trying to prove?

  1. Why did Cromwell become Lord Protector In December 1653?

    Nevertheless, they were pleased when a few months later Cromwell created a new, unselected assembly of men nominated by his army commanders. These were mostly Puritans who Oliver praised as 'saints'. They first met on 4 July 1653. The assembly took its work far more seriously than even Cromwell himself had first expected.

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

    As radical as he was, Cromwell was no Leveller and they thought he was a hypocrite using God to cover up for his true conservatism. This can be seen in a Leveller pamphlet of 1649, "He [Cromwell] will... call God to record, weep, howl and repent, even while he doth smite you under the first rib".

  1. Was Oliver Cromwell a hero or a villain?

    When civil war flared up again in 1648 he commanded a large part of the New Model Army, which first crushed rebellion in South Wales and then at Preston defeated a Scottish-royalist army of invasion. After the trial and execution of the King, Cromwell led major military campaigns to establish English control over Ireland (1649-50)

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

    Therefore, this source can be seen as having reliability problems, this can also be shown through Ludlow portraying them as harsh dictators, which is again untrue. Moreover, Ludlow picks one individual case, 'a farmer in Berkshire' who was 'demanded to pay his tenth' to try and put his point across

  1. To what extent did the hunger strikes in Northern Ireland become the most successful ...

    the People's Democracy wanted to join Sinn Fein after the hunger strikes, that would suggest that the strikes had been successful in gaining support eve from within other organistations in the nationalist community. In December 1969 the IRA (Irish Republic Army)

  2. How did the elderly fare in welfare terms under the English New Poor Law?

    It is a social issue that has still yet to be absolutely addressed. The necessary figures required to properly describe the plight of the elderly under the New Poor Law are simply unavailable. The reason for this is the aforementioned lack of concern for the aged, yet this alone cannot

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