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After the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell took over as protector of England. There are many different interpretations of him for example, the Jews thought Cromwell was a hero however the evidence more strongly suggests that he was a villain. The poor believe he was a hero because he gave them the extra tax money that was increased on the rich. This shows he had no care for the people that help him in Parliament and in other areas of managing England, such as controlling land.
The Puritans also thought he was a hero as he was introducing a Puritan lifestyle. However, this is not correctly true as he and some other Puritan leaders made this lifestyle in the Civil War for the New Model Army and therefore he could be making England a model, perfect (in his view) country Cromwell was the leader of the Republicans, therefore making him their hero. Fairly enough, however their idea of not everyone being able to rule in Parliament and representing the country could not be fulfilled as he carefully chose Puritans and people fully devoted to him who would vote and support him as protector.
The Jews were admitted back into England for the first time since the 13th century as one of Cromwell’s changes. They were allowed to practice their religion freely as long as they otherwise lived a Puritan lifestyle. They could not live this lifestyle as such things such as their sabbath days were difrequent affecting work and reducing income.
Women did not like Cromwell because their little rights were taken away by Cromwell although he did order a law that prevented people from killing women and children. However, he then contradicted himself by carrying out massacres on groups such as the levellers and the Irish. The Levellers fought with Cromwell in the Civil War however their ideas scared him. The levellers wanted parliament to solely rule with every man, poor or rich, able to vote, truly representing the public. Lots of the New Model Army were Levellers which Cromwell owed pay, creating tensions. He then decided that he would stop ruling with parliament, angering them.
He then comisioned the Burford Church Incident in which Cromwell captured 300 Levellers, locked them in a church and made them watch their leaders get shot. The Irish hated Cromwell as he became a tyrant in Ireland. He killed and exported Irish Catholics, regardless of age or gender, again contradicting his own laws. The 12,000 exported went to the West Indies, showing the amount killed. After he had taken over Ireland, he imlanted English Protestants to control and rule over the land. The rich did not like Cromwell as he increased taxes on them which was given to the poor. They believed their hard earned (& inherited) money should not be given to peasants who scavenge for work just to slightly improve their life. The royalists liked the monarchy and fought with the king in the Civil War.
Oliver Cromwell killed their king, he was the enemy and he abolished the monarchy, obviously causing a hatred for Cromwell. They thought of the king as a father and leader and the monarchy was the only way of life they knew. The forced (& adopted) Puritan lifestyle in England was the complete opposite lifestyle of what the non-Puritans wanted to live. They were used to the swearing, drinking, gambling, sport, theatre or anything relatively sociable. These were part of a non-Puritan lifestyle which got taken away from them. Conclusively, I think the evidence strongly suggests that Cromwell was a villain. This is because the Puritan lifestyle he enforced was not at all originally Puritan. He adopted many of these aspects of the lifestyle, lied to loyal men and even contradicted his own rules. Overall, Oliver Cromwell was a deciving con artist and therefore a villain.
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