History & Culture
Oliver Cromwell : The Lord Defender Of England
Category : History & Culture
Country : United Kingdom

Oliver Cromwell was born on 25th April 1599 in the upper middle class family in Huntingdon. He won the first English civil war and was the important personality in the execution of Charles1. He was one of the most controversial personalities in the history of the British Isles, regarded as a regicidal autocrat and a military dictator by some historians, but a hero of liberty by others. After the death of Charles I in 1649, he was one of the signatories as a member of the Rump Parliament and set to change the lawful framework to a limited extent through the foundation of the Blue Laws against cursing, drunkenness and adultery. On 20th April 1653 he abandoned the Rump Parliament by setting up a temporary recommended assembly called the Barebones Parliament. Later, he became the Lord Defender of the Commonwealth of Scotland, Ireland and England. An extremely religious person, he profoundly thought that God was helping in his conquests.

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He sold most of his Huntingdon properties and moved to farmstead in Cambridge. He established the important links with leading families in Essex and London. In 1628 he was an elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon and Cambridge in the 1640(Short Parliament) and 1640-49(Long Parliament). He also took a part into the English Civil War on the side of the “Roundheads” or Parliamentarians. Cromwell was a deputy under the command of Thomas Fairfax, they started New Model Army which was quickly routed the main Royalist force marking the beginning of remarkable victories that within a year forced Charles I to surrender. After this in 16th December 1653, he requested by his fellow leaders to rule as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. He was backed by the army, sent home MP’s and became the effective leader of England from 1653 to 1658. He divided England into eleven divisions, each one was governed by a major general who was trusted by him. He played a standout part in the victory over the royalist forces. He also influenced the short-lived Commonwealth of England.

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In his leadership he accomplished an aggressive and effective foreign policy. He went to Sussex College in Cambridge for his study and then a college with a strong Puritan ethos. He left his college without taking any degree or certification because of the sudden death of his father. All the responsibilities of his widowed mother and seven unmarried sisters came on his shoulders. In 1658 he died because of malaria and kidney stone, which was a natural death and buried in Westminster Abbey. After the Royalists came back to control in 1660, they had his dead body dug up, suspended by chains, and beheaded. In Britain in a 2002 BBC poll, Cromwell was chosen as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time. However, his actions against Catholics in Ireland and Scotland have been marked as massacre and his record is severely denounced.

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