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

Using the evidence of Sources 2, 3 and 5, and your own knowledge explain what considerations influenced Cromwell's decision to reject the offer of the Crown in 1657?

Extracts from this document...


a) Using the evidence of Sources 2, 3 and 5, and your own knowledge explain what considerations influenced Cromwell's decision to reject the offer of the Crown in 1657? The new constitution was called the Humble Petition and Advice and was presented to Cromwell in March 1657. It was an attempt to return to the 'good old days' when the monarch's powers were checked by the Privy Council and both Houses of Parliament. Cromwell was also invited to be King. Cromwell struggled over a month as to what he should do. In the end, Cromwell accepted most of the Humble Petition but rejected the crown. This poses the question as to why Cromwell turned down the offer of the crown; different schools of thoughts have proposed different views. Some historians believe Cromwell had been greatly influenced by the army's opposition to the crown. The soldiers had objected because many had fought in the Civil Wars to remove the institution of monarchy and regarded, as 'dangerous to the people of England', and if Cromwell did accept the crown it would mean the end of the 'good old cause'. In addition, by accepting the crown it would have supported the army's charges of hypocrisy and ambition. Therefore, some historians believe that Cromwell was deterred because the majority of his senior officers were against the idea of the crown, as shown by R. Hutton (in Source 5), "Lambert, Fleetwood and Desborough all told the Protector that they would resign", this shows that there was a threat from the senior officers, particularly by those who "loved him". However, other historians find it difficult to believe that the army was prime consideration; this is because Cromwell had outfaced the army on previous occasions. This is supported by Source 3, Earl of Clarendon's book The History of Rebellion, he believes that Cromwell was "not terrified with the opposition from Lambert", however Clarendon advances to say that Cromwell did feel threatened by the "obstinacy of those who he knew loved him", particularly Desborough, this shows that Cromwell was threatened by the army opposition, but to the lesser extent. ...read more.


One of the principal factors which prevented Cromwell from reaching a lasting political settlement was the poor relationship between Cromwell and Parliament. Initially Parliament were angered by the fact that the Instrument of Government (December 1653) had been proposed and imposed by army officers, in particular Lambert, thus the constitution lacked legitimacy. Many MP's objected the powers given by the constitution to Cromwell and the army. The members of the First Protectorate Parliament (September 1654) were not submissive to Cromwell and most had conflicts with some aspect of the constitution. Parliament refused to ratify the constitution, meaning that Cromwell's government had no authority to continue, which weakened the relationship further and moved away from being able to reach a political settlement. Moreover, Parliament failed to pass thee 84 ordinances of Cromwell, which showed that Parliament and Protector were unable to work together, eventually leading to the dissolution after 5 lunar months. Cromwell demanded that all MP's swear an Oath of Loyalty to the Protectorate, this was an attempt to unite Parliament and Protector, but those who refused were excluded, and those who stayed only did so to dismantle the constitution clause by clause. Thus, most of the nation was "boggled" at what the Instrument stood for. The Second Protectorate Parliament (September 1656) soon angered Cromwell, particularly over the case of James Naylor. Cromwell did not agree with harsh punishment, as he wanted to achieve liberty of conscience, thus disrupted the relationship between Parliament and Protector. Source 1 shows the other consequence of the Naylor case, that Cromwell felt it was "time to come to settlement" and to "lay aside arbitrary proceedings", which shows that Cromwell felt that the Instrument of Government was ineffective and there needed to be further checks and balances of power, and he expresses the need for a "judicial power" that could "determine men's punishments"; these issues needed to be addressed, which the Instrument of Government was clearly not able to. ...read more.


Thirdly, the Humble Petition and Advice still had army influence, and they continued to be a major force within the Protectorate. Cromwell used his powers to promote his colleagues to the Upper House, who were predominantly army members. Cromwell's close attachment to the army made it unlikely to gain a long term settlement because the majority opposed the army influence in political affairs. Source 5 shows that the army did have an impact on Cromwell, specifically when he was offered the crown, at first Cromwell "expressed his readiness to accept", however the opposition faced from the army "compelled Cromwell's decision". Undoubtedly, the army did play a role in influencing Cromwell's decision to reject the crown, but to what extent is still debateable. The intervention of the army in politics was definitely a 'fatal internal contradiction' because Cromwell was leading a nation opposed to any military element in government with the army, resulting in everlasting disputes. In conclusion, Cromwell was not able to reach lasting political settlement due to the 'fatal internal contradictions' and there were many of them, which hindered the aim of establishing an inclusive and stable government. Cromwell's crisis was that it "embraced two divergent trends" and because of this, the effects of the two conflicting aims were able to be seen throughout the Protectorate. There were 'fatal internal contradictions' in the sense that there were too many conflicting interests to please, and that the Cromwell was far too closely associated with the army and its politicisation. There were further conflicts between establishing godly rule for which Cromwell needed the army and arriving at political settlement which would be long-lasting. These conflicts within the Protectorate were serious and this became apparent when the republic collapsed. The political settlement was fairly stable in the short-term but it collapsed in the long-term. Cromwell needed to "come to a settlement, and lay aside arbitrary proceedings" but with all the 'internal contradictions', he was not able to establish a lasting political settlement by the time of his death in September 1658. Sarah Raza 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. Select And Explain The Most Important Turning Points In Nelson Mandela's Life

    The United Democratic Front and the informal umbrella, the Mass Democratic Movement, emerged as legal vehicles of democratic forces struggling for liberation. Clerics played a prominent public role in these movements. The involvement of workers in resistance took on a new dimension with the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the National Council of Trade Unions.

  2. "Keeping Nelson Mandela in Prison Between 1964 and 1990 was a mistake" Do Sources ...

    These results were published in a school textbook so we have no reason to believe the information is inaccurate. The source could be seen to suggest Mandela's release hastened the end of apartheid so blacks were able to vote. It doesn't tell us anything directly about Mandela's imprisonment but it

  1. J. S. Mill Despre Libertate

    nepotrivit" astfel ca opinia publica �nlocuieste anumite parti ale caracterului unei persoane cu ceea ce ea considera a fi bun �ndreptatit fara a tine seama de ceea ce doreste acea persoana sau de ceea ce este �ntr-adevar bun pentru individul respectiv.

  2. 'Nationalist Groups in the Sub-Continent played the most significant role in Britain's decision to ...

    At the same time, she continued to act as a world policeman, and was obliged to maintain higher levels of defence expenditure than her international competitors, and this generated few economic benefits. One of the most disappointing features of the British economy after the Second World War has was its

  1. Sharpeville Massacre Sources Question

    Source B says that it was the demonstrators who fired first. In conclusion, Sources C, D and E hardly support the facts stated in Source B at all. Though Source C does not go very far into challenging it either.

  2. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    The Supplementary Vote (SV) For more information about the Supplementary Vote: * A New Voting System: Electing the Mayor (and the London Assembly) How the System works: With the supplementary vote, there are two columns on the ballot paper - one for the first choice and one for the second choice.

  1. Devolution is not a "constitutional settlement" but a dynamic (and potentially destabilising) process. ...

    The election campaign was backed by the new Prime minister, Tony Blair, who had put this issue high on his list of priorities in his winning manifesto. The Scottish Conservative Party however, was humiliated in defeat, and has now been forced to accept devolution as a 'done deal'.

  2. How has the role and impact of military rulers and civilian politicians differed in ...

    According to Askari 'There were also religious- sectarian killings, mainly but not exclusively in Punjab, as two extremist groups of Shia and Sunni Muslims engaged in an armed gang war. The economy also started to falter in 1996. The pressures from IMF, declining foreign exchange reserves, threat of defaulting, inflation,

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