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About Oliver Cromwell

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Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) was a English general and politician, Puritan leader of the Parliamentary side in the Civil War.

He raised cavalry forces (later called Ironsides) which aided the victories at Edgehill in 1642 and Marston Moor in 1644, and organized the New Model Army, which he led (with Gen Fairfax) to victory at Naseby in 1645. As Lord Protector (ruler) from 1653, he established religious toleration, and Britain's prestige in Europe on the basis of an alliance with France against Spain.

Cromwell was born at Huntingdon, North-West of Cambridge, son of a small landowner. He entered Parliament in 1629 and became active in events leading to the Civil War.

Failing to secure a constitutional settlement with Charles I 1646-1648, he defeated the 1648 Scottish invasion at Pre ston. A special commission, of which Cromwell was a member, tried the king and condemned him to death, and a republic was set up.

The democratic Leveller party demanded radical reforms, but he executed their leaders in 1649. He used terror to crush Irish clan resistance 1649-1650; and defeated the Scots (who had acknowledged Charles II) at Dunbar in 1650 and Worcester in 1651.

In 1653, having forcibly expelled the corrupt 'Rump' Parliament, he summoned a convention ('Barebone's Parliament'), soon dissolved as too radical, and under a constitution (Instrument of Government) drawn up by the army leaders, became Protector (king in all but name).

The Parliament of 1654-1655 was dissolved as uncooperative, and after a period of military dictatorship, his last parliament offered him the crown; he refused because he feared the army's republicanism.

Tags: politician, general, prestige, resistance

Category: Others  - ( Others Archive)

Date Added: 19 December '11

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