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Introduction

Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdon on twenty fifth April in the year one thousand, five hundred and ninety nine. His uncle gave him a baptism name. Cromwell was baptized at St. Johns Church.  His father lived at Huntingdon and was a farmer. His mother managed a brew house. Profits from the brew house supplemented what his father got from farming.  His mother, Elizabeth, was a descendant of a middle class Norfolk family of steward.  Oliver’s father was a man of sober Puritanism. Oliver attended the free school of the town under Dr. Bear, the author of the book, The Theatre of Gods Judgment Display. People believed that success or failure was an indication of divine favor or disfavor (Harrison, 1888).

 Oliver Cromwell matriculated at Sidney Sussex Cambridge College in the year one thousand six hundred and sixteen. Up to date, his portrait adorns the walls of the college hall. His father died before he finished his university studies and, therefore, he went home to look after his windowed mother and his five sisters. Oliver Cromwell was the only son in his family of six children. Afterwards, he went to London to study law. While in London, he met Elizabeth Bourchier, who later became his wife in the year one thousand, six hundred and twenty. Oliver was twenty one years old when he married his wife.  Elizabeth was a daughter of a city merchant, and unlike other women of that time; she did not involve herself with politics. Elizabeth concentrated on domestic matters. She was affectionate to her husband, and always reminded him the importance of performing little acts of courtesy. After marriage, Cromwell settled in Huntingdon. He farmed the land that he had inherited from his family. Cromwell, from childhood had aims of being an honest man, serving God and His people and fulfilling his duty to commonwealth.

 In year one thousand, six hundred and twenty eight, Cromwell was elected in parliament, to represent Huntingdon.  After his election in the House of Commons, he remained silent during debates on petition of Right. Naturally, Cromwell expressed his thoughts when he felt deeply moved. Mostly, he had greater concern of the religious matters than the political issues. However, he made his first speech in year 1629. During this time, the House was in its second session, and there were more religious questions than political. Cromwell was an English Puritanism. He had a strong character, and his nature could not allow him to associate with his age mates.

The parliament was dissolved until thirteenth March of the year one thousand, six hundred and forty.  During this time, he lived at st. Ives and later at Ely. Here, he managed a small firm in the fens and participated in the local affairs. Cromwell was then forty one years old, and he was elected Member of Parliament to serve in the short term parliament. However, this parliament served for three weeks after which, it was dissolved. Afterwards, a second parliament was called, and Cromwell became the Member of Parliament representing Cambridge. This long parliament decreased gradually in number. Due to this, it was called the rump. The secession of the royalist and exclusion by the army of Presbyterian party were the causes for the decrease in number of the parliament (Coward, 1992).

The king tried to promote the practices of the Church of England, and this brought conflict between the king and the parliament.  The parliament tried to come to terms with the king, but they failed. This saw the break of the first civil war between the years one thousand, six hundred and forty two and one thousand, six hundred and forty six. The parliament had victory at Marston in year one thousand, six hundred and forty four followed by Naseby in the following year. The war ended whenthe royalists surrendered. Later, Scotts invaded England and Cromwell defeated them at Preston. In year one thousand, six hundred and fifty, Cromwell invaded Scotland and defeated them at Dunbar on third September the same year. Cromwell fell ill, and this stopped him from fighting until June the following year.  In the year one thousand, six hundred and fifty one, Cromwell defeated an army at Worcester which had invaded England. Charles II led this army. Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax, formed the New model Army, which was mainly composed of independents. The long parliament was to deliver sufferers from arbitrary government by punish the men used by the king to establish the arbitrary government and amend the constitution so that; the arbitrary government could not be formed again. While, in the long parliament, Cromwell petitioned, and delivered John Hilburn who was a prisoner in the fleet.

When the civil war begun, Cromwell moved to the townsmen of Cambridge. He raised two companies of volunteers and appointed captains over them. He later disciplined the troop for its duty. He seized the magazine of the castle and prevented royalists from carrying the plate that belonged to the University of Cambridge. Later, Cromwell was appointed the captain of a troop of horses during war.  Cromwell fought at Edge hill and did his duty faithfully to the head of his troop of Cambridge townsmen.  He was active in associations. Later, he was appointed to an important command in the army which was enrolled to cooperate with the Scotch. Cromwell later joined the parliamentary forces in the north with the scotch. They prepared to meet the royalists. The royalists were strengthened by the English men from Ireland. 

In year one thousand, six hundred and fifty one, and year one thousand six hundred and fifty two, army and, the parliament disagreed over payment and disbanding of the army soldiers. In the year one thousand, six hundred and fifty three, Cromwell and some of his officers forcibly ejected the fifty three members, who had remained of the long parliament. Cromwell set up a council of army officers to govern the country.  Parliament was composed of Puritarian ministers and able men who were nominated by Cromwell and his council of officers. This parliament proved ineffective and religious fanatics resigned within one year.  The army leaders came up with a new constitution which was called the instrument of government. Cromwell was elected Lord Protector of the commonwealth. He had a council of twenty one advisors.  Later, Cromwell became the sole governor of England. In the year one thousand, six hundred and fifty five, the English expedition was defeated by the Hispaniola. Cromwell retired in his room for a whole day because of this defeat (Gaunt, 2004).

Cromwell was to be made the Lord Protectorate in the catholic splendor of West minister Hall. This is where the government held its meetings. This hall had been there even at the birth of Cromwell, and it was destroyed in fire in year one thousand, eight hundred and forty three. On his day of appointment, Cromwell was taken a short distance from the palace of White hall to the West minster Hall. The palace of white hall was the centre for both the royal and the republican governments. Cromwell was accompanied by his mounted life guard and many chief officers. Government officials and members of the judiciary were also present. Cromwell was preceded by Major John Lambert as he entered the West minster hall. John was carrying the sword of the state. Olive Cromwell wore a black push suit and cloak. He had a golden band around his hat. Cromwell took an oath. He swore to uphold the constitution.  He swore to govern in accordance to laws, statutes and customs. He said he would seek peace and ensure that justice and law are equally administered.

 The Lord Mayor of London surrendered his sword to Cromwell. This was a sign of acceptance of Cromwell’s authority over the city. Cromwell was the first English ruler to have a standing army. He was also the first ruler, to get a regular professional regiment, as a personal body guard. This was in the year one thousand six hundred and forty nine. Cromwell was made the Lord Lieutenants journey to Embarkation Bristol. He was also made the Lord Protectorate in Publin.  Cromwell occupied Lincolnshire and protected it from invasion by the royalists in the year one thousand, six hundred and forty four. He was assigned the duty of ridding in the country. He relieved his party from serious and increasing evil. Cromwell became the most influential person in the army because of his victories. He also defeated the Duke of Hamilton who, surrendered himself and was later beheaded for treason. Cromwell’s victories earned power and influence to the independent party.

Cromwell was a puritan. Puritans had faith based on personal faith in God. They promoted as a moral reform in the society. The Church of England, on the other hand, had faith based on outward ceremony and ritual. Cromwell was moved by the ideas of Puritanism, and he experienced a religious conversion. This was associated with a deep, personal crisis that amounted to a nervous breakdown. During this term of parliament, he was treated of depression. Cromwell believed that God would direct his life and actions. He believed that he would see the hand of God in his major events, in his life. These strong religious convictions drove him to participate actively in politics. Cromwell was royal and obedient to the king. Conflict arose when the king tried to promote the actions of Church of England (Gardiner, 1901).

 In year one thousand, six hundred and fifty eight, Cromwell convened an Upper House of parliament. In this House, his nominees sat as peers. Members of parliament questioned the titles, rights and legitimacy of the upper house.  In the year, one thousand, six hundred and fifty eight February, Cromwell dissolved the second Protectorate parliament. Failure to settle the constitution and reconcile the puritan sects in a national church discouraged him.  Cromwell health declined particularly after his daughter died of cancer. During his reign, Cromwell divided England in to eleven areas. Each area was governed by a major general. He banned Christmas since he wanted it to be a religious celebration day.  He also believed that women and girls should dress conservatively. They wore long black dresses that almost covered their toes. They were to avoid too colorful dresses. Women did not apply makeup and an army went round in town looking for women who had makeup. Men wore black suits and maintained their hair short. During his reign, he sent an army to Wexford and Drogheda who, surrendered to his army after being defeated in war.  He ordered all the Irish children be sent to sugar plantations as slaves. Cromwell died in the year one thousand six hundred and fifty eight, and his coffin was taken to West minster Abbey, where he was buried. His son Richard Cromwell took over leadership. Cromwell contribution to England was remarkable though was characterized with a series of successes and some failure as pointed out by several authors and historical record.

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