Comisario's Miscellanea

Discussion in 'Post Test Messages Here' started by Comisario, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Heat Wenn es dir nicht gefällt lies es nicht Gone Fishin'

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    It's all just very REEEEEEEEEEEE, I need a moment
     
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  2. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

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    1908-1910: H.H. Asquith (Liberal majority)
    1910-1915: H.H. Asquith (Liberal minority with IPP confidence and supply)

    1910 (January): Arthur Balfour (Conservative), John Redmond (IPP), Arthur Henderson (Labour), William O'Brien (All-for-Ireland)
    1910 (December): Arthur Balfour (Conservative), John Redmond (IPP), George Nicoll Barnes (Labour), William O'Brien (All-for-Ireland)

    1915-1917: H.H. Asquith (Liberal leading National Government)
    1917-1918: John Simon (Liberal leading National Government)
    1918-1924: Austen Chamberlain (Conservative majority)

    1918: John Simon (Liberal), Arthur Henderson (Labour), Éamon de Valera (Sinn Féin), Arthur Sherwell ('Peace' Liberal)
    1922: Ramsay MacDonald (Labour), John Simon (Liberal), Arthur Ponsonby (British Peace Party), Albert Inkpin (Communist)

    1924-1927: Wilfrid Ashley (Conservative majority)
    1927-1930: Wilfrid Ashley (Conservative-Liberal coalition)

    1927: Ramsay MacDonald (Labour), Robert Hutchison (Liberal), Arthur Ponsonby (BPP), Albert Inkpin (Communist)
    1930-1930: Austen Chamberlain (Conservative-Liberal coalition)
    1930-1932: Douglas Hogg (Conservative-Liberal coalition)
    1932-1934: George Lansbury (Labour-Communist-BPP coalition)

    1932: Douglas Hogg (Conservative-Liberal Alliance), Albert Inkpin (Communist), A.A. Milne (BPP), Percy Harris (Democratic Action Group)
    1934-1935: Ernest Thurtle (Labour-Communist-BPP coalition)
    1935-1935: Ernest Thurtle (Labour-BPP minority coalition)
    1935-: Philip Cunliffe-Lister (National majority)

    1935: Ernest Thurtle (Labour), Charles Roden Buxton (DAG), A.A. Milne (BPP), Sylvia Pankhurst (Communist), J.H. Thomas ('Anti-Comintern' Labour)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
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  3. Gonzo What Would Gilbert Do?

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    The fact the IPP doesn't even show up in 1918 is quite concerning, did their 'pact' with SF in some seats where the Unionists could win mean that the party was effectively wiped out in all but one seat in Ulster, Waterford City, and their GB mainland seat of Liverpool Scotland?
     
  4. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

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    I usually don't include the IPP in 1918 because they're usually pushed into complete irrelevance by SF. So, that's not it.

    I added bits last night but forgot to click 'Save Changes', so things should make a tiny bit more sense if you read on.
     
  5. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

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    1. The Agadir Crisis of 1911 sparks war between the Anglo-French Entente and Germany. Traditional history book style with a focus on the war effort and politics during and after the war (Britain, France, USA and Germany, especially).

    2.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  6. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

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    Was Oliver Cromwell a successful ruler of England?


    Oliver Cromwell, as a historical figure and former ruler of England, is a subject of great significance for a good number of reasons. To assess his legacy and success from his years as effective leader of Parliamentarian England during the years of the English Civil War and as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland is to rediscover an overlooked part of English history. His period of rule – often referred to as the “Interregnum” – can be argued as the birth of modern democracy in the British Isles and as the pinnacle of the oft-forgotten radical English tradition that has permeated our culture through politics, religion, and the arts since the period Christopher Hill referred to as the “English Revolution”. However, his period of rule can also be viewed through the perspective of the conservative, for whom Cromwell is the embodiment of both social anarchy and military dictatorship. In this view, the “English Revolution” is treated as an aberration, rather than the true instigation of a democratic epoch in British history. Regardless of these two views, I shall be judging “success” based upon Cromwell’s actions towards making England a more modern, democratic and internationally powerful nation. These three areas of Cromwell’s rule offer us the bases upon which England’s significance, in the 1600s and in the centuries following Cromwell’s death, can be accurately judged.

    Born in 1599 in Huntingdon, Oliver Cromwell was raised in a family of the middle gentry in the Fenlands of East Anglia. During the 1630s, he underwent a conversion to the views of an Independent Puritan, taking a position of tolerance towards other dissenting Protestant sects and becoming a fervently religiously man. In 1628, he was elected MP for Huntingdon and, after King Charles’ dissolution of Parliament the following year, he was only to return to parliamentary politics when he was elected to the seat of Cambridge in 1640. During that period, he became an outspoken critic of King Charles I and his loyal MPs and lords in Parliament. In 1642, the First English Civil War broke out when King Charles I tried to arrest a group of MPs hostile to his policies. Charles raised an army to reassert his authority against Parliament, provoking the division of England into the Royalist and Parliamentarian camps. He rose through the ranks of the administrative and military organisations of the Parliamentarian faction, eventually rising to become the leader of said faction and reforming the army into the New Model Army. He dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England after signing the death warrant of Charles I in 1649 and serving as a member of the Rump Parliament from 1649 to 1653. He took command of the Commonwealth’s campaigns in Ireland and Scotland, thus becoming the principal commander of the Commonwealth’s military forces. In 1653, he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force and set up an assembly known as Barebone’s Parliament, which then gave way to Cromwell’s rule as Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland from the 16th December 1653. During this time, he ruled alongside his Council of State and attempted to reform the country at home and abroad. In 1658, his rule as Lord Protector came to an end and his son, Richard Cromwell, took over to become a weak and ineffective ruler. In 1660, the Royalists returned to power in England and ended the republican experiment that Cromwell had helped conceive. Since that time, historians of all stances have been divided over the actions, words and legacy of Cromwell, with no consensus forming on his rule of England in the 350 years since his death.

    To take the positive view of the democrat, both past and present, and the negative view of the royalist, predominantly in the 1600s, Cromwell helped to instil the virtue of meritocracy in English public life. Oliver Cromwell’s own letter to Sir William Spring (a fellow Parliamentarian and close correspondent of Cromwell) in September 1643 contains one of the man’s most recognisable quotes on the subject – “I had rather have a plain russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a gentleman and is nothing else”[1]. The context for this quote is given by Jean and Ray Lock in their essay on the figure of Sir Raphe Margery, who was one such “russet-coated captain” in the area of Suffolk[2]. In September 1643, the Suffolk Committee – an organisation with the responsibility for organising the Parliamentarian war effort within the county of Suffolk and under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Association – refused to promote Raphe Margery, a “conscientious” man of low social standing, to the position of captain of horse. “The tone of the letter suggests that their reluctance to recognise Margery was due to his not being of the gentry,” assert the Locks in their essay. Cromwell, in vouching for Margery and making clear that the identifier of class should have no bearing upon promotion, takes a stance against the traditionalist perspective of hierarchy and promotion based upon lineage. This single event, however, only goes so far in illustrating the meritocratic nature of Cromwell’s authority over England. Christopher Hill, the esteemed Marxist historian of the English Civil War period, further vindicates this view of Cromwell as an advocate for meritocracy. “Even in the 1650s,” Hill wrote in God’s Englishman, “it was Oliver’s practice, Thurloe later told Charles II, ‘to seek out men for places, not places for men’”. The social order of royalty, gentry, yeomen and commoners was subverted by “his [Oliver’s] insistence on promotion on merit in his army, and on the career open to the talents generally”[3]. Without data pertaining to promotions within the civil structure of Cromwell’s England and the New Model Army, the veracity of these arguments is hard to judge with any great accuracy. For him to maintain this view of promotion beyond his initial radicalism in the 1640s and into his rule as Lord Protector clearly demonstrates how Cromwell took practical steps to redress the social imbalance of Stuart England in a permanent way. Oliver Cromwell, in subverting the traditional social order and inducing a revolutionary sense of meritocracy in an otherwise starkly stratified nation, can be justly called a successful ruler of England for those reasons.

    However, the extent of Cromwell’s radicalism can be overstated and, in accounts by scholars of sympathetic opinion to Oliver Cromwell, is often done so to reaffirm certain political biases and narratives. Between Ronald Hutton, who “has been more hostile to Cromwell than most modern historians”[4], and Christopher Hill, historians from a broad political spectrum have made criticism of Cromwell’s “failure” as a radical. Oliver Cromwell, according to Ronald Hutton, was “a conservative country gentleman yoked with a millenarian dreamer”[5]. Thus, whilst there is recognition of some idealism within Cromwell’s character, the “conservative” side to his personality takes precedence. Hutton goes on to qualify his statement based on the subject of appointments and meritocracy, thusly: “As the 1650s wore on, he slowly filled civil and military government with men personally attached to himself”. This contradicts the evidence given by Hill as to the meritocratic nature of Cromwell’s rule, especially as it mentions the 1650s as an era where appointments and promotions based upon personal connections were rife. The evidence for this, however, is not presented within Hutton's book, but there were a handful of cases. Thomas Whetstone, for example, was a nephew of Oliver Cromwell and saw many promotions within the navy come from Cromwell’s pressures. Another, and much more substantive, example is the appointment of his son, Richard Cromwell, to be his successor after his death in 1658. With this explicit nepotism, it could difficult to argue against the position of some that Cromwell made changes to the constitution of England with any great sincerity or radical candour. But, given the isolated nature of this nepotism, it also makes it difficult to apply this to all of Cromwell’s appointments and thus counter the notion of any kind of “success” on Cromwell’s part in ruling England and transforming it into a more modern and democratic state. The aforementioned examples of Cromwell’s letter concerning Sir Raphe Margery and John Thurloe’s description of Oliver Cromwell’s appointment process show this assertion of nepotism to be false to some degree. There are, of course, other arguments to be made. Just as those of a radical political viewpoint have done in their analyses of Cromwell, there is an argument to be made that Cromwell was quick to break with radicalism once it became politically necessary. Hill, in God’s Englishman, wrote that “in 1653, he [Cromwell] was reported as telling London aldermen ‘that the King’s head was not taken off because he was King, nor the Lords aside because Lords… but because they did not perform their trust’”[6]. According to Hill, these substantial constitutional changes that led to the creation of the Commonwealth were driven by pragmatism on the part of Cromwell’s own dictatorial tendencies and not as part of a progressive ideological plan that Cromwell has been claimed to have had. Roger Howell, in Images of Oliver Cromwell, encapsulated the arguments against Cromwell’s perceived radicalism and laid out the fundamental principles upon which Cromwell’s more conservative nature was based – “He believed firmly too in a ‘natural’ magistracy and in a system of ranks and orders”[7]. This shows that Cromwell was not a true believer in the principles that the radicals surrounding him and encouraging his revolution held as their cause, with the Lord Protector himself even going so far as to ask, “… did not that Levelling principle tend to the reducing all to an equality?”[8]. The idea of “reducing all to an equality” suggests that Cromwell viewed the principles of the Levellers and lowering humanity to the lowest orders rather than raising the commoners to the higher ranks, thus signalling an approach too radical for Cromwell to countenance.

    The extent to which Oliver Cromwell was a dictator is another debate to be had in order to determine the “success” of Cromwell in fostering a more democratic society. Certainly, contemporary opinion was not positive in this regard. “This man, against the desires of all noble persons, took the throne of three kingdoms. Without the name of king, but with a greater power and authority than had been claimed by any king,” according to the Earl of Clarendon, who wrote The History of the Rebellion during the English Civil War and Cromwell’s Protectorate[9]. Here, Cromwell is derided by Clarendon for taking excessive power. The idea that Cromwell was a dictator was a prevalent one amongst his enemies, such as Royalists like Clarendon who did not see the hypocrisy in championing the absolute power of Charles I whilst also deriding Cromwell’s power. But, it was also a charge brought against him by radicals, such as the Leveller leader, John Lilburne. In the summer of 1648, Lilburne printed denunciations of Cromwell for his role in suppressing the Putney Debates and silencing the Levellers within the New Model Army, and these denunciations included the labelling of Cromwell as a “usurper, tyrant, thief, and murderer”[10]. The use of the word “tyrant” is to be expected, given the actions of Cromwell in attempting to stifle democratic debate within the army and the tyrannical connotations of such an action. The word “usurper”, however, would indicate an illegitimacy surrounding Cromwell’s power. It can be assumed that Lilburne, being a republican and implacable enemy of the Royalist cause, is not referring to any usurpation of power from King Charles I. Instead, it can be surmised that he is referring to Cromwell “usurping” power from the people through his dictatorial rule. From Lilburne’s perspective, the people of England are the legitimisers of any regime and Cromwell, by trying to undermine their liberty to debate, had thus lost the will of the English. This argument that Cromwell was a dictator is also found amongst individual historians in the post-Civil War period, espousing opinions not at all dissimilar to those expressed by Cromwell’s contemporary opinions. W.C. Abbott, a scholar writing in the 1930s, identified Cromwell as “a military dictator, whose rule was more distasteful to the men of his own time – even his own party – than even the Stuart tyranny, which he replaced”[11]. This appraisal of Cromwell, marking him out clearly as a man who came to power through illegitimate military means and was substantially worse than the tyranny of the Stuarts is particularly scathing, especially given the fact that Abbott was the man who compiled and published a collection of Cromwell’s own speeches and writings, hinting at a possibly more favourable attitude to the Lord Protector than Abbott’s words demonstrate. It would be pertinent to mention that Abbott, in identifying Cromwell as a “military dictator” who ruled “with an iron hand”, links his argument with the wider context of his writing. He asserted that Cromwell’s “immediate methods and results were not as different from those of the dictatorships of our time as we should like to think”, thus hinting that there was some totalitarian tendency within Cromwell that would warrant a comparison to the dictators of Abbott’s time of writing: Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin. By comparing his rule to theirs, Abbott makes a pointed political statement that Cromwell’s rule was proto-fascistic, anti-democratic and actually regressive in terms of social progress when compared to the rule of the Stuarts that preceded it.

    There is, however, some credibility to the argument that Cromwell was “successful” in fostering a more democratic society in England. A.D. Lindsay, for example, wrote that “[w]hat Cromwell has learned from his experience of the small democracy of the Christian congregation, is the insight into the purposes of life which the common life and discussion of a democratic society can give… This is his position – toleration and recognition of differences… combined with insistence that individual views shall submit to the criticism of open discussion”[12]. Here, we see that Cromwell’s religious principles were bound up with the principles of liberty and debate. The reference to a “democratic society” also furthers the notion that Cromwell was willing to implement his principles across the entirety of England and to foster debate as a virtue of the state, rather than relegating democracy to the “Christian congregation” from which his progressive ideals sprung. Lindsay’s description of Cromwell’s ideas can also counter the assertions of W.C. Abbott, who was writing at a similar time to Lindsay. There is no reference to the “dictatorships of our time” in Lindsay’s work, even though tyrannies existed in such places as Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Russia, and there is a total lack of linkage found between the rule of Oliver Cromwell and the contemporary dictatorships of the 1920s and 1930s. The idea that Cromwell was specifically a “military dictator” is also challenged by Austin Woolrych, who believes that Cromwell’s rule constituted a “military dictatorship” only on a “superficial level” and was only such insofar as Cromwell was an “active commander-in-chief as well as head of state”[13]. But, regarding the label of “dictator”, Cromwell was not thus because “his powers were limited by a written constitution”, just as the modern-day President of the United States has many executive powers that limited by the check of the United States Constitution. Therefore, to say that Cromwell was a dictator when he was working in a clear framework of checks and balances proves to be a fallacy. Lilburne’s idea that Cromwell was also a “king” in all but name falls down when one considers how readily Cromwell accepted the checks upon his own power, which would never have happened under the absolutist rule of Charles I – the very man who ruled without Parliament for eleven years from 1629 to 1640 – and the “Stuart tyranny” that W.C. Abbott references in his criticism of Cromwell. Furthermore, the democratic principle of cooperation is something that Cromwell appears to have championed in his dealings with Parliament. “What we and they gain in a free way is better than twice so much in a forced way, and will be more truly ours and our posterity’s”. This, quoted from Cromwell in Charles Harding Firth’s Oliver Cromwell and the Rule of the Puritans in England[14], shows that coercion was not a policy to which Oliver Cromwell subscribed as a leader. Instead, as is demonstrated by Cromwell’s call for moderation with the Agitators of the New Model Army in 1648, Cromwell was given to the need for debate, deliberation, and action with the prerequisite of consent. To believe in these fundamentals of democracy and enact them against his enemies, the Agitators, is to demonstrate a style of governance outside of the anti-democratic tradition and proto-fascism often ascribed to the Cromwellian rule of England.

    Aside from the debate about Cromwell’s domestic ambitions, there is also a scholarly debate to be had concerning the success of the Lord Protector’s foreign policy. Slingsby Bethel, a contemporary of Oliver Cromwell’s and republican MP, wrote that the state of British international power and trade prior to Cromwell’s ascension had brought the Dutch – in his words, the “Hollanders” – “upon their knees” and was “keeping all other nations in awe”[15]. This state of affairs would not last, according to Bethel, especially when “Cromwell began his usurpation” and decided upon a course that “neglected all our golden opportunities”. The Dutch, as Britain’s main rivals in trade but also as fellow Protestants in a Europe still dominated by Catholicism, occupied a peculiar place in the foreign policy ambitions of Cromwell’s government. Bethel argues that this peculiar place was above Britain, propped up by Cromwell’s negligent government in Britain. One of the main criticisms of Cromwell’s foreign policy is the signing of the Treaty of Westminster in 1654, which ended the First Anglo-Dutch War and, in Bethel’s words, “misimproved the victory God had given us over the United Netherlands”. These words, written in 1668 and following the Second Anglo-Dutch War, thus condemn Cromwell’s actions as preserving some kind of equality between the English and Dutch powers without regard to the fact that the Commonwealth of England actually succeeded in defeating the Dutch for primacy in overseas trade and establishing an English monopoly. Instead, Bethel sees Cromwell’s negotiations as weak and far too lenient upon England’s former enemies. Furthermore, it is claimed by Bethel that Cromwell chose the wrong side in the Baltic and allowed Sweden, a growing regional power in Northern Europe at the time, to dominate the trade on the Baltic Sea. Unfortunately, the lack of surviving data limits the analysis one can make upon these claims. The criticisms are not just limited to those who lived through the Commonwealth years and experienced the immediate effects of Cromwell’s foreign policy decisions. Menna Prestwich, for example, took aim at Cromwell’s Baltic policy in 1950 by describing it as “muddled and ineffective”[16], thus reinforcing Slingsby Bethel’s negative perspective on Cromwell’s policies in that particular region. Prestwich also criticises Cromwell’s policies with regards of Dutch influence, further reinforcing the criticisms of Bethel. Graham Goodlad, in Oliver Cromwell, explains Prestwich’s criticisms as Cromwell’s failure “to promote English trading interests”, going to war with Spain, and “the disruption of long established patterns of English trade and the consequent lack of support for the Protectorate from the merchant community”[17]. Thus, we see the criticisms of foreign policy cross into the economics of Cromwell’s England, highlighting the fact that Cromwell’s ambitious foreign policy was harmful to England’s interests in international trade and in the relationship between mercantile interests and the government of the Commonwealth. For all of these reasons, the argument that Cromwell’s governance of England on the international stage was a failure definitely has a lot of credibility and support from across generations of scholars.

    However, there is also a case to say that Cromwell was successful in his direction of English foreign affairs. Barry Coward, in The Cromwellian Protectorate, wrote that “[l]ooked at from a wider perspective, though, the Protectorate’s foreign policies had made England (if only temporarily) a major European power, a foretaste of what it was to become again, and for a much longer period, from the early eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth”[18]. This is a bold claim that contradicts the picture of stagnation and meekness created by Cromwell’s detractors, thus creating a counter-narrative of success abroad in trade and international diplomacy. Christopher Hill, drawing upon a range of historical opinions and evidence of positive developments in Cromwell’s “world strategy”, makes the case in favour of Cromwell succeeding in the field of international affairs[19]. Indeed, Hill claims that “[t]he governments of the 1650s were the first in English history to have a world strategy”. Cromwell, he claimed, had major designs for England’s influence in global issues. Indeed, he directly counters Slingsby Bethel’s idea that “the alliance with France against Spain had made possible the subsequent preponderance of Louis XIV”: from Hill’s perspective, the blame for the ascendancy of Louis XIV in the following decades can be laid upon Charles I’s misguided policies in the “disbandment of Oliver’s army, neglect of the navy and sale of Dunkirk”. Whilst Hill acknowledges the isolationist arguments of the Levellers and the subsequent revisionism of scholars opposed to Cromwell’s “global imperial designs” in God’s Englishman, Hill recognises that Cromwell was instrumental in transforming England’s place in the world. In the words of W.C. Abbott that Hill quotes, England “began to turn definitely from its position as an island chiefly agricultural to a world power chiefly industrial and commercial”[20]. Thus, instead of economic ruin brought about by Cromwell’s policies, there seems to be an assertion that the long-term economic modernisation of England was actually a product of Cromwell’s global policies. Hill also argues that England’s international status prior to the Civil War was a lowly one amongst the powers of Europe: in the Calendar of State Papers, Venetian 1632-6, it was observed that England in 1633 “has no minister of her own at any court of Europe” and had little international clout with which to pursue its global aims[21]. But, by the 1650s, England appeared to be a major European power once more and was able to boast ministers “as far afield as Russia, Poland, Brandenburg” and many other nations that hitherto had seemed beyond the reach of English diplomacy. “In 1655 the Prince of Transylvania sent an envoy to beg Cromwell’s help; in 1656 the Duke of Courland did the same”. Further, Cromwell adopted a friendly attitude towards the Jews, who “sought re-admission into England under Oliver’s protection”, and thus improved the nation’s reputation on an international level amongst religious minorities and the persecuted in an almost humanitarian manner. These kinds of requests, beyond Western Europe and concerning areas beyond Cromwell’s immediate interests, exemplify the extent to which the stagnating state of England’s international affairs had been reversed by Cromwell’s proactive approach of a “conscious use of sea power on a world scale that was new in execution if not in conception”. This served as the basis for England’s later prosperity and expansionism – “foretaste of what it was to become again”, in the words of Barry Coward – and thus it could be said that what Cromwell had created in his time as ruler of England from 1649 until his death in 1658 was, in fact, the foundation for the later British Empire.

    There is, in conclusion, no totally clear answer to the title question. Success is so often subjective and, as shown through the range of sources used and the political that lay behind them, it is clear that Cromwell’s historical reputation has been disparaged and celebrated in equal measure by both radicals and conservatives for majorly differing reasons. Radicals and their sympathisers, to a broad extent, do try to stress Oliver Cromwell’s attempts at political and social reform due to their own political sympathies with this course of action. However, as Roger Howell points out, Cromwell’s policies were based more on a sense of conservative order than in a radical ideology. Christopher Hill, as a Marxist and sympathiser of the radical Parliamentarians, would feel that Cromwell’s loyalty to a “system of ranks and orders” constitutes a failure; Ronald Hutton, as a conservative, would feel that Cromwell’s conservativism was a positive check upon the radicalism of groups such as the Levellers and the Diggers. Cromwell’s support for democracy also finds itself contested between scholars and contemporaries of varying political allegiances, with figures as diverse in political opinion as John Lilburne and the Earl of Clarendon decrying Cromwell as a “tyrant”. Those who champion his sense of democracy, however, use the fact that Cromwell’s powers were directly limited and the more abstract background to Cromwell’s political thinking – “the small democracy of the Christian congregation” – to illustrate both the practical inability of Cromwell to act as a tyrant and the man’s underpinning philosophies. On foreign policy, however, the arguments come down to differing impressions of Cromwell’s trade policy. With each area scrutinised and appropriate arguments compared, I can say that my own view of Cromwell as a “successful ruler of England” has developed into a positive one: I can say that, despite the evidence put forward for the man’s own conservativism and timidity, Cromwell’s rule of England helped to turn the nation away from absolute monarchy and towards a more democratic and pluralistic constitutional monarchy with Parliament’s primacy ensured. This was not totally dissimilar to my original, mainly positive, view of Cromwell, but I lacked the evidence and the nuances of the arguments for and against Cromwell to accurately judge him as a leader of England. One major difference in my understanding of Oliver Cromwell is the extent to which he promoted English power on the international stage, allowing England to establish an international naval presence and a network of trade that directly benefited the nation. I had a much lower view of his involvement in international affairs before beginning my research, but I now believe him to be highly successful in turning around the stagnating foreign policy of the Stuart era.

    In regards of the relevance of my research, I believe that the arguments surrounding Cromwell’s rule of England can serve a purpose in modern Britain. We live in an age where the forces of conservatism and liberalism are at a point of heightened tension, where the battlefields are moving into our culture and provoking us to ask questions about our identity. Oliver Cromwell, representing progressivism in some minds and conservatism in others, embodies that struggle between two sides of England’s national conscience. Through studying the man and how he shaped England’s politics and society, we can learn how to come to terms with resolving the paradox of being both patriotic and progressive. This debate about patriotism and progressivism in England also speaks to England’s radical tradition and how it has been forgotten over the past hundred years: a tradition that has re-emerged in today’s political environment through the calls for English devolution, a resurgence of English nationalism, and the Labour Party’s difficulty in reconciling its radicalism with the rising calls for patriotism in England. Jon Cruddas, a Labour MP and important political thinker within the socialist movement, has promoted the “traditions of English liberty” and has said that “it will be a difficult task to retrieve this tradition and re-establish an authentic English Labour voice”[22]. This shows that Oliver Cromwell, the era in which he lived, and the England he shaped through his rule all still have relevance to the modern world.

    Looking back upon the methods of my research, I believe that there are important parts where improvements could be made. In finding sources of information, I feel like I should have looked broader than simply historical text books and the primary sources available online. To look further into physical primary sources, thereby gaining a much deeper understanding of what Cromwell’s rule of England meant for the nation, would have proved a great bonus to my research. Another significant area of improvement would be interviews with historians and scholars who specialise in the area I was researching, for I was unable to obtain any replies to my requests for interviews and thus I was unable to discover what scholars, in the present day and without the constraints of published non-fiction, currently understand about Oliver Cromwell and the implications of his leadership of England.


    [1] CARLYLE, Thomas. Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches. 1846.

    [2] LOCK, Jean and Ray. Captain Raphe Margery, A Suffolk Ironside. 1987.

    [3] HILL, Christopher. God’s Englishman: Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution. Penguin Books, 1997.

    [4] SHARP, David. Oliver Cromwell. Heinemann, 2003

    [5] HUTTON, Ronald. The British Republic 1649-1660. Macmillan, 2000.

    [6] See footnote 3.

    [7] HOWELL, Roger. Images of Oliver Cromwell: Essays for and by Roger Howell. Manchester University Press, 1993.

    [8] See footnote 1.

    [9] HYDE, Edward, 1st Earl of Clarendon. History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England: Begun in the Year 1641. 1702-1704.

    [10] PEACEY, J.T. John Lilburne and the Long Parliament. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

    [11] ABBOTT, W.C. The Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, (4 Vols). Oxford University Press, 1988-1989.

    [12] LINDSAY, A.D. The Essentials of Democracy. Oxford University Press, 1930.

    [13] WOOLRYCH, Austin. Britain in Revolution: 1625-1660. Oxford University Press, 2002.

    [14] FIRTH, Charles. Oliver Cromwell and the Rule of the Puritans in England. Oxford University Press, 1953.

    [15] BETHEL, Slingsby. The World’s Mistake in Oliver Cromwell. The Rota at the University of Exeter, 1668.

    [16] PRESTWICH, Menna. ‘Diplomacy and trade in the Protectorate’ in the Journal of Modern History. 1950.

    [17] GOODLAD, Graham. Oliver Cromwell. Humanities-Ebooks, 2007.

    [18] COWARD, Barry. The Cromwellian Protectorate. Manchester University Press, 2002.

    [19] See footnote 3.

    [20] See footnote 11.

    [21] HINDS, Allan B. Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 23, 1632-1636. His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1921.

    [22] CRUDDAS, Jon. ‘Labour is lost in England’, a speech to the Mile End Institute, Queen Mary University of London. 2015.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  8. Utgard96 99% unortodox gaszdaságpolitika

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    Essay time?
     
  9. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

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    Location:
    Mile End, London
    This was from my last year of Sixth Form and I keep mentioning it whenever we discuss Cromwell, so I thought I'd post it up now that I've got access to my old laptop.
     
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  10. Gonzo What Would Gilbert Do?

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    Belfast, Orange (Better) Ireland, United Kingdom
    That is a stellar essay @Comisario, I found the Cruddas quote to be quite interesting in relation to the essay as a whole ngl.
     
  11. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    The North
    Very good essay! If I were being pedantic I'd say the beginning is somewhat clunky, but other than that it's very good :)
     
  12. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    Cheers - it's nearly two years old now, but I do remember that it got 59/60. It's an exemplar essay for 'Global Perspectives' (which is a piss course like General Studies).
     
  13. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    The North
    Ahh, that seems better than General Studies which is stupidly easy but also incredibly boring...
     
  14. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Gonzo What Would Gilbert Do?

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    Belfast, Orange (Better) Ireland, United Kingdom
    It's awfully grey... :p
     
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  16. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    Waldron Smithers
    Ernest Benn
    Lord Leverhulme
    Spencer Summers
    Ralph Assheton
    Douglas Hacking
    Leonard Lyle
    Richard Kidston Law
    Lord Horder
     
  17. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    1940-1942: E.F.L. Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax (Conservative leading National Government)
    1940:
    1942-1946: Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook (Conservative leading National Government)
    1946-1952: Philip Noel-Baker (Labour majority)

    1946:
    1950:
    1952-1957: Ralph Assheton (Unionist majority)
    1952:
    1957-1959: Philip Noel-Baker (Labour majority)
    1957:
    1959-1970: Maurice Edelman (Labour majority)
    1961:
    1965:
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  18. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    1990-1997: John Major (Conservative majority)
    1992: Neil Kinnock (Labour), Paddy Ashdown (Liberal Democrat)
    1997-2004: Tony Blair (Labour majority)
    1997: John Major (Conservative), Paddy Ashdown (Liberal Democrat)
    2001: Michael Howard (Conservative), Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrat), Alan Sked (UKIP)

    2004-2005: John Hutton (Labour majority)
    2005-2008: David Willetts (Conservative majority)

    2005: John Hutton (Labour), Alan Sked (UKIP), Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrat)
    2008-2009: David Willetts (Conservative minority with UUP confidence and supply)
    2009-2010: Mark MacGregor (Conservative minority with UUP confidence and supply)
    2010-: Iain Gray (Labour majority)

    2010: Peter Whittle (UKIP), Mark MacGregor (Conservative), Lynne Featherstone (Liberal Democrat), Keith Taylor (Green)
    2014: Peter Whittle (UKIP), Keith Taylor (Green), David Laws (Liberal Democrat-Conservative Alliance), David Davis (Vote Leave)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  19. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    1924-1930: Stanley Baldwin (Conservative majority)
    1924: Ramsay MacDonald (Labour), H.H. Asquith (Liberal)
    1929: Ramsay MacDonald (Labour), David Lloyd George (Liberal)

    1930-1931: Neville Chamberlain (Conservative majority)
    1931-1935: George Lansbury (Labour majority)

    1931: Neville Chamberlain (Conservative), John Simon (Liberal), Albert Inkpin (Communist)
    1935-1940: Arthur Greenwood (Labour majority)
    1936: Neville Chamberlain (Conservative), John Simon (Liberal), Harry Pollitt (Communist)
    1940-1940: Arthur Greenwood (Labour leading War Government with Conservative and Liberal)
    1940-1941: Walter Elliot (Conservative leading War Government with Labour and Liberal)


    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Nazi occupation era)
    1941-1942: Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry (Conservative leading Peace Government with National Labour, 'Peace' Liberal and National Action)
    1942-1947: Archibald Maule Ramsay (National Action leading Peace Government with Conservative and National Labour)
    1947-1949: Archibald Maule Ramsay (National Action majority)

    1947: Unopposed
    1949-1957: Harry St John Philby (National Action majority)
    1952: Unopposed
    1957-1957: Maxwell Knight (National Action majority)
    1957: Unopposed

    Chairman of the Provisional Government of Great Britain
    1957-1959: Philip Noel-Baker (Labour leading Popular Front with Constitutionalist, Alliance for Liberty, Scottish National and Communist)

    Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Great Britain
    1959-1964: Victor Rothschild (Labour-Scottish National-Communist coalition)
    1959: David Eccles (Constitutionalist), Oliver Smedley (AfL), Arthur Donaldson (Scottish National), John Gollan (Communist)
    1964-1970: Victor Rothschild (Labour majority)
    1964: Randolph Churchill (Constitutionalist), Oliver Smedley (AfL), Arthur Donaldson (Scottish National), Denis Healey (Communist)
    1968: Randolph Churchill (Constitutionalist), Jo Grimond (AfL), Denis Healey (Communist), Arthur Donaldson (Scottish National)

    1970-1972: Sidney Greene (Labour majority)
    1972-1974: Angus Maude (Constitutionalist minority)

    1972: Sidney Greene (Labour), Jo Grimond (AfL), Christopher Hill (Communist)
    1974-1977: David Ennals (Labour-AfL coalition)
    1974: Angus Maude (Constitutionalist), Michael Winstanley (AfL), Christopher Hill (Communist)
    1977-1985: Jim Prior (Constitutionalist majority)
    1977: David Ennals (Labour), Michael Winstanley (AfL), Ken Gill (Communist)
    1982: Norman Willis (Labour), John Hoskyns (Liberty), Ken Gill (Communist), Dick Taverne (Social Liberal)

    1985-: Peter Vanneck (Constitutionalist majority)
    1986: Norman Willis (Labour), John Hoskyns (Liberty), Ken Gill (Communist), Dick Taverne (Social Liberal)
    1990: Brenda Dean (Labour), Geoffrey Howe (Liberty), Arthur Scargill (Communist), Mick Ashdown (Social Liberal)


    President of the Commonwealth of Great Britain
    1959-1964: Herbert Bowden (Labour)
    1959: Derick Heathcoat-Amory (Constitutionalist), Selwyn Lloyd (AfL), Rajani Palme Dutt (Communist)
    1964-1974: Quintin Hogg (Constitutionalist)
    1964: Herbert Bowden (Labour), Selwyn Lloyd (AfL), Vic Feather (Communist)
    1969: Frank Cousins (Labour), Vic Feather (Communist)

    1974-1979: Peter Parker (Labour)
    1974: John Cordle (Constitutionalist), Peter Thorneycroft (AfL), Hugh Scanlon (Communist)
    1979-1989: Henry Plumb (Constitutionalist)
    1979: Peter Parker (Labour), Alfred Sherman (AfL), Christopher Hill (Communist)
    1984: Judith Hart (Labour/Social Liberal), Norris McWhirter (Liberty), Ted Parkinson (Communist)

    1989-: Bruce Millan (Labour/Social Liberal)
    1989: Ian Gow (Constitutionalist), Norris McWhirter (Liberty), Ted Parkinson (Communist)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017 at 5:13 AM
  20. Comisario Proud Romford Albanian FC supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Location:
    Mile End, London
    [​IMG]
     
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