The Role of Cromwell

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  • Oliver Cromwell
    • Early Life
      • grew up in a declining 'mere gentry' family
        • 1617: became head of his family; mother and 5 sisters
          • 1628: elected MP for Huntingdon
            • Forced to move to St Ives after an argument with the mayor of Huntingdon
              • In the 1630s: had a religious conversion
                • 1636: his uncle left him a house in Ely along with some money
                  • 1640: elected MP for Cambridge
              • slipped to the socio-economic level of a tenant farmer
                • suffered from depression
      • Role in the Long Parliament
        • acted as a messenger between the Lords and the Commons
        • presented petitions against the bishops and against the persecution of John Lilburne
          • moved that Lord Saye and Sele be appointed the guardian for Charles Stuart
    • The First Civil War
      • First Civil War
        • committed to military victory
        • 1642: captain of a troop of horse, prevented university silver being sent to CI
          • 1643: Colonel of a regiment of horse, first victory at the Battle of Winceby
            • 1644: Lieutenant-general of Horse in the Eastern Association, member of the Committee of Both Kingdoms
              • 1645: given an exception from the Self Denying Ordinance. Second in Command of the New Model Army
                • June: Battle of Naseby
                • By the end of the first civil war he was the only person in the Kingdom to combine both military and political power
                • July: Battle of Langport
              • July 1644: Marston Moor: established his credentials as a very skilled cavalry commander
      • Opposition to the Presbyterians
        • Defended the interests of the Army, in particular the rank and file, in Parliament
          • defended the right of his soldiers to freedom of worship
            • opposed intolerance of sects
            • 'Religion was not the thing first contested for, but God brought it to that issue at last
            • strong belief in Providence to give him direction
          • willing to promote anybody, regardless of class
            • caused more concerns that the army threatened social order
    • The Search for Settlement
      • 1646
        • wanted CI returned to the throne with safeguards
        • wanted parliament to do right by the Army
          • pay arrears
          • take care of widows and orphans
        • wanted freedom of conscience and religion
      • 1647
        • Presbyterian party in the majority
          • turned against the army, planned to demobilise
          • Cromwell tried to prevent a break between the army and parliament
            • May: assured Parliament that the Army would follow orders
        • June: CI kidnapped by the Army
          • July: Cromwell argued for the Heads of the Proposals, against the more radical army agitators
        • Oct-Nov: Chaired the Putney debates
          • respected the Levellers' views but wanted them to drop their more radical demands
        • November: CI escapes to the Isle of Wight: shows that the king was not to be trusted
          • forced an end to the Putney debates
          • 23 Nov: Urged parliament to suppress the Levellers
      • 1648
        • 3 Jan: the Vote of No Addresses
          • Cromwell, supports this, warns that further negotiation with Charles would lead to dissatisfaction, possibly action from the radicals
        • Second Civil War
          • His attitude towards Charles hardened as he felt he had gone against Providence
          • Anger at parliamentarians who had switched sides (eg Colonel Humphrey Matthew
          • Defeated the much larger Scottish army at Preston
          • Felt that the blame lay with Parliament and the Army for showing too much leniancy to CI
        • August 1648: Parliament revoked the Vote of No Addresses
          • Pride's Purge (December) Cromwell was possibly involved but geographically removed- defibitely not as implicated as Ireton
            • he said he hadn't known about it, but he didn't think they were wrong
      • 1649
        • Jan 1649: supported CI's execution (his signature was third on the death Warrant)
          • But he and Whitelock had tried to negotiate between Pride's Purge and Christmas
            • After he failed he resigned himself to the regicide (Providence)?
            • Wanted CI's abdication in favour of his youngest son
    • The Rump
      • Irish Campaign (1649-50)
        • the 'back door' to the commonwealth
          • said he took command because it was necessary, not for power
        • Cromwell demanded his army be properly funded and paid
        • Drogheda: accused of indiscriminate slaughter, definitely killed the entire garrison
          • Wexford: Cromwell tried to negotiate surrender, but the castle was surrendered during teh negotiations, Cromwell's army stormed the town
            • Cromwell saw the accidental deaths of civilians at Wexford as Providential
              • Campaign ended April 1650
      • Scottish campaign
        • Fairfax refused to fight his former allies
          • Cromwell gained the full command
        • Forced to retreat to Dunbar afyer sickness/ lack of supply due to Leslie's scorched earth policy
          • The Battle of Dunbar: cut off by Leslie's army, he expected a major defeat, but under cover of night realised they could attack
            • aggressivly outflanked Leslie's army during the night- the Scots army was completely taken by surprise and disintegrated
        • Battle of Worcester July 1651: Cromwell described this as his 'crowning mercy'
          • destroyed the Scots army which had invaded England
      • Decision to disband the Rump
        • Unpopular: no general elections since 1641, High taxation due to the cost of the dutch war and the army
        • Resentment between the Rump and the Army: plans to disband the army and sell Hampton Court
        • Failure to heal nation : sold over 700 Royalist estates, did not provide for war wounded and widows
        • Failure to reach a religious settlement
          • Presbyterian settlement neither repealed nor developed
          • Sectaries were demanding more radical reform
          • Had attacked the Committee for the Propagation of the Gospel in Wales for being too radical
        • Failure to hold elections to replace the Rump
        • Failure to carry out Godly Reform
        • His own desire to be in control of things
    • The Cromwellian Protectorate
      • Aims of the Protectorate
        • 'Healing and Settling'
          • reconcile former enemies
          • rebuild everyday life
          • 'the royalist problem'
            • Rump: 1651 Act of Oblivion
              • but had then put 780 Royalist estates up for sale
            • Cromwell instructed judgs to show former Royalists favor where possible
        • Political Stability
          • wanted a political settlement similar to the 1647 Heads of the Proposals
            • Power divided between parliament and an executive (Cromwell)
          • Lambert: The Instrument of Government
            • split power between a single person and parliament
            • must have elections
            • must have liberty of conscience
            • Control of the Army should be split
          • Made all MPs take an Oath of Recognition before being admitted (80 refused)
        • Foreign Policy
          • normalise relations with Scotland and Ireland
          • Provide for England's security and Trade
          • End Anglo-Dutch Trade War
          • Make England respected and recognised in Europe
        • Godly Reformation
          • believed that he and the Army had been entrusted with providential reformation by God
          • liberty for protestant sects
          • spread Godly religion
          • improve the clergy
          • modernise the law to help the poor
          • 'reformation of manners'
      • Events of the Protectorate
        • Instrument of Government
          • First Protectorate Parliament (Sept 1654)
            • People had been alienated by successive political crises
            • Haselrig and Bradshaw: led a republican faction which attacked Cromwell's legitimacy
            • 80 Mps refused to take the Oath of Recognition
            • December: 'Government Bill'- Parliament to approve foreign policy and taxation
            • Jan 1655: Cromwell dissolves parliament
            • Cromwell's 'Personal Rule'
              • March: Royalist Rebellion
              • Rule of the Major Generals
                • Second Protectorate Parliament (Sept 1656)
                  • Humble Petition and Advice
                    • Offered in March 1657: meant to signify a return to civilian rule
                      • Returned the House of Lords
                      • Parliament had to approve all tacess: no garuantee of funding for the Army
                      • Added more ritual and a Succession
                      • offer of the Crown
                    • Cromwell acccepted the petition but he refused the Crown (due to pressure from the army?)
                  • expenditure was outrunning income by £230 000/yr
                  • Spanish War
                  • very few army candidates won the elections
                    • the council of State excluded 100 MPs
                  • originally more successful: Spanish War was popular
                  • Case of James Nayler: a Quaker whipped and branded for blasphemy. Convinced Cromwell that the Instrument had to be modified to check the Commons' judicial power
                  • Jan 1657: Commons rejected Major generals Decimation Bill
                • divided England and Wales into 11 military districts, each giverned by a major-generl
                • meant to continue godly reformation and reform local government
                  • But the major generals were generally of lower social class than JPs
                • Army enforced laws on the reformation of Manners and helped the Ejectors
                • unpopular
                  • seen as minority military rule
                  • expensive: Cromwell tried to pay for it by a decimation tax on Royalist estates- but this didn't raise enoughmoey
              • July: Western Design failed
              • Cromwell was alarmed that God seemed to have abandoned the Good Old Cause
          • Dec 1653- Sept 1654: Cromwell rules without parliament
          • Religion: Triers Ordinance, Ejectors Ordinance Reformation of Manners
          • Law: Reformed the Court of Chancery, More Humane Laws (eg disembowelment of traitors ended)
            • High Court of Justice to distinguish between former and current Royalists
          • Ended Anglo-Dutch War
          • Healing and Settling: cut taxes, dealt with petitions (eg Richard banaster), Abolished Oath of Engagement
      • How successful was the Protectorate?
        • Foreign Policy
          • April 1654: made peace with the Dutch. English merchants recieved compensation and England got an island in the East Indies
            • Good for international trage (spice trade) and prestige
          • The Western design: aimed at capturing Spanish territory in the Caribbean (Pandered to Puritan prejudices against Spain)
            • total failure/ Caused a crisis in confidence for Cromwell
          • Support for protestants in Piedmont: spreading the forces of puritanism and fighting international catholicism
          • 1655-57: War with Spain- cost a lot of money but was a military success. The English obtained control of Dunkirk
        • Political Stability
          • British Policy: Charles Fleetwood appointed Deputy of Ireland (but conflict between army and Irish, and cost a lot. Henry Cromwell 1655-8: transfer of land to protestants, but no attempt to convert catholics
            • Scotland: no attempt to convert presbyterians. Scotland had a lot of freedom
          • Humble Petition: gained civilian support but lost armys? Arguably, this constitution was set up so that the only person who could balance was Cromwell
          • deep financial crisis
        • Godly Reform
          • He passed several ordinances for a 'reformation of manners'
          • reformed the chancery court to make it more accessible
          • passed laws for the relief of prisoners and other very poor people
          • was generally not harsh with enforcement
            • major generals differed in enforcement levels
          • there was some opposition: people liked church festivals, sports etc
        • Religious Reform
          • Cromwell managed to create a settlement that was more tolerant of sects
          • However he came up against zealous enforcers
            • Case of Nayler
          • Ejectors: made sure ministers were godly and obeyed the basic puritan doctrines
  • Cromwell's 'Personal Rule'
    • March: Royalist Rebellion
    • Rule of the Major Generals
      • Second Protectorate Parliament (Sept 1656)
        • Humble Petition and Advice
          • Offered in March 1657: meant to signify a return to civilian rule
            • Returned the House of Lords
            • Parliament had to approve all tacess: no garuantee of funding for the Army
            • Added more ritual and a Succession
            • offer of the Crown
          • Cromwell acccepted the petition but he refused the Crown (due to pressure from the army?)
        • expenditure was outrunning income by £230 000/yr
        • Spanish War
        • very few army candidates won the elections
          • the council of State excluded 100 MPs
        • originally more successful: Spanish War was popular
        • Case of James Nayler: a Quaker whipped and branded for blasphemy. Convinced Cromwell that the Instrument had to be modified to check the Commons' judicial power
        • Jan 1657: Commons rejected Major generals Decimation Bill
      • divided England and Wales into 11 military districts, each giverned by a major-generl
      • meant to continue godly reformation and reform local government
        • But the major generals were generally of lower social class than JPs
      • Army enforced laws on the reformation of Manners and helped the Ejectors
      • unpopular
        • seen as minority military rule
        • expensive: Cromwell tried to pay for it by a decimation tax on Royalist estates- but this didn't raise enoughmoey
    • July: Western Design failed
    • Cromwell was alarmed that God seemed to have abandoned the Good Old Cause

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