While I was learning about Oliver Cromwell this week, I not only thought about what it was that he did, but I also thought about what it was like for all the people under his rule. What was life like for them?
A little history about Cromwell: He was a member of the Parliament until King Charles I was beheaded in early 1649. The remaining monarchy fled from England. Cromwell was then elected to the position of Lord Protectorate. He was left with a country to control and loads of power along with it.
There is no doubt that the people of Britain did not always completely agree with Oliver or his beliefs, especially the Irish and Scottish. Cromwell instigated terrible invasions upon both Ireland and Scotland within a one year period. He wanted to unite Scotland, Ireland and England all under the one religion of the Church of England, or the Anglican Church. These three areas of Scotland, Ireland and England were forced into practicing Catholicism and Protestantism, along with other things, in secret.
Cromwell created some very silly rules as well! One of them was that you could not sing or listen to music unless it was for the church service. It was one rule that seemingly had no real good reason for being created except to oppress the people more by denying them even little pleasures. As time went on, the people began to realize a bit of instability within the power and reign of Oliver Cromwell. He began to share less power with others and became more absolutist in his rule.
Eventually, Cromwell’s rule came to an end in 1658 with his death. The people were very happy when the monarchy was introduced back into the government. The people believed that having the true heir and rightful king come back meant that there would be stability in England again.
They were right of course, but there was no denying that Cromwell’s rule had most definitely been very scary. It was not at all pleasant for the whole of Great Britain and Ireland.
To me, Cromwell seemed to be all over the place. First, he wanted to unite the whole of Great Britain and Ireland under one religion. It wasn’t a terrible thing to do, but it had been done many times before and the people were done with it. Then he become a stickler for perfectionism, enforcing his law and being the sole ruler over everything. It also seemed that Cromwell didn’t really quite know how to lead.
RPC Student and not a tyrant:)