Oliver Cromwell A Hero For Some But A Villian For Many

866 words - 4 pages

Oliver Cromwell is – and has always been – one of the most controversial characters in British and Irish history. There are few people in Great Britain and Ireland today who have not yet heard of Oliver Cromwell and either loathe him or see him as a hero. Yet, the world is not black and white and so is the truth about Cromwell. In order to understand his role in both countries as a whole, one has to look at the perspective of both nations, Cromwell’s beliefs and his motives.

Oliver Cromwell’s religious belief was one of the most important influences on his doings and shaped his way of thinking immensely. Cromwell was a highly religious man and member of Puritans. Basically, the word ...view middle of the document...

What is more, Cromwell reorganized the national church and even readmitted Jews into England. During his reign, he enabled a certain degree of religious freedom and tolerance.

Throughout history, Cromwell has been portrayed in very different lights, especially in Great Britain. It is an undeniable fact that Cromwell contributed some good to his country. For instance, numerous laws were made less severe and politics as well as justice less corrupt. In matters of religion, he granted freedom of worship. Yet, after his death Cromwell was seen as a tyrant and a king slayer and the people were tired of living under such strict rules. Regarding politics, debates arose about what effect he had on the political system after his death. It is incontrovertible that his rule was one of the turning points in British history, as Cromwell ensured that a king would never be able to rule on his own.

However, nowhere is Cromwell more associated with fevered anti-Catholicism and murder than in Ireland. Cromwell came to Ireland in 1649 pursuing two objectives: to place the island firmly under the control of British leaders and to suppress those Royalists who wanted to return to the status quo, in which English monarchy ruled. Those Loyalists and also Irish Catholics were especially a thorn in the side of Cromwell, as he believed they were all potential traitors and willing to help any Catholic uprising that wanted to attack England. Cromwell personified the anti-Catholicism of his time and he believed he was carrying out the...

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