The English civil war occurring between 1642 and 1651 was a controversy between the executive headed by King Charles I, and the English legislature. In all his time of leadership, King Charles I had a perception that God Himself granted him leadership to lead England.
In his dictatorial capacity, King Charles I refused to recall parliament and instead, went ahead to rule eleven years until when bankruptcy faced his regime. In order to raise money to run government affairs, King Charles I had to recall parliament to enact policies, which will see his regime acquire money through increased taxes.
However, the angry members of parliament declined this offer and eventually, controversy ensued. The country was heading towards the worst. King Charles I decided to raid the House of Commons and managed to apprehend several members of parliament.
There was high probability that war could ensue ant time. Since there were two warring sides, each citizen had to choose which side to support. Consequently, divisions became nigh. Proprietors and rural folks backed the King even as rich businesspersons and urban dwellers became parliament lieutenants.
The sequence of fortified disagreements and political machinations led into a bloody war that claimed lives of many people. Just like in any contest where there is a winner and a looser; parliament triumphed over King Charles I and deposed him. Although the war stopped, parliament went ahead to try King Charles I of treason and found him blameworthy.
In 1649, the English monarchy collapsed as King Charles I died through execution while his son, King Charles II went on exile. The Commonwealth of England took over from the authoritarian English monarchy and continued up to 1653 when Oliver Cromwell led the Protectorate until his death in 1658.
Oliver Cromwell played a significant role during the English Civil War, which saw England change its leadership structure from a monarchy to a republic. Later on, Oliver Cromwell ruled the ephemeral commonwealth of England before being the head of Protectorate between 1653 and 1658. Historical literature depicts Oliver Cromwell as a fascinating icon in the British history.
This is because, his leadership styles dominated incongruous verdicts for example, backing parliamentary system of governance, constitutional mandate to dissolve parliament, and supporting religious freedom but at the same time, assassinating heretics.
The availability of plenty information on his ascendancy into British power alludes him as a historical personage. Oliver Cromwell came from a family that owned large trucks of land. While studying at Cambridge, Oliver Cromwell entered Puritanism and integrated his political, religious and personal life into an entity.
The landed family decided to send Oliver Cromwell to parliament in order to represent their interests. The fact that Oliver Cromwell hailed from a family of landed gentry, saw him side with other parliamentarians to oppose the royalists. Astonishingly, in 1642, Oliver Cromwell malformed his political career and became an endowed military head notwithstanding his negligible understanding on military operations.
Oliver Cromwell led the parliamentary troops (Roundheads) to defeat Charles I’s Cavaliers and finally took over.
The long-economic struggle was now underway. The long serving feudal system composed of few aristocracies and Anglican Church goers who wanted to control land and richness. On the other side, there were Roman Catholics who never wanted anything to do with economic, social and scientific advancement. Roman Catholicism was the backbone of feudalism, which made Europe a single political system.
King Charles I sided with Roman Catholics church and favored its taxation system. Nevertheless, this resulted into anger from Presbyterian bourgeoisie and commercial capitalists. Luckily, this faction composed several members in parliament. The feudal system could not allow expansion of trade and industries as businesspersons had to pay huge taxes imposed by the system.
On the other hand, lack of scientific, social and economic growth acted as trade barriers. Feudal landowners suppressed the landed gentry that composed of middle families like that of Cromwell. Consequently, an economic crisis ensued in 1641 and later royal and parliamentarian war.
Cromwell led the Protectorate towards economic developments. As the Lord Protector, Cromwell dreamt of forming a stable nation and ensure peace reigned in a once war tone nation. Nevertheless, social reforms took precedent ahead of government jurisdictions. Cromwell wanted to reach out rich capitalists for economic development.
He instituted reforms in the judicial system in order to quell the risen political animosity, reduced hefty taxation and formed diplomatic relationship with the Dutch aimed at concluding First Anglo-Dutch War. Secondly, Cromwell engaged in communal and ethical reorganizations aimed at liberty of conscience and religious sanctity.
Additionally, although favoring evangelical Puritanism as the best mode to worship, his desire to economic development saw Cromwell accept Jewish worship. This is because; the Jews were rich people who had led Holland into economic success.
In fact, Cromwell encouraged them to return from Holland in order to set up the basis of economic recovery thwarted by the English Civil War.
The main aim of doing this was to end feudalism and instead, replace it with capitalism. The revolution was imperative because, it commenced British capitalism that led to industrial revolution and expansion of trade regionally and internationally. Historians do agree that the Cromwell regime though marred with some acts of authoritarianism, laid economic basics, which made Britain an economic powerhouse by nineteenth century.
The British bourgeoisie led by Cromwell instituted a powerful revolution whose principal role was to oust feudalism favored by royalists, large landowning nobilities and upper crust Anglican Church members.
Historical legitimacy accounts Cromwell together with his army troops as the people behind British capitalism. Cromwell targeted the lower class constituting majority and who felt economic hardships more than any class to ensure triumph over the old order and monarchy.
In schools, students learn that Cromwell fought the monarchy in order to end feudalism, which had led to economic stagnation. Without this revolution, Britain would not have set long-term economic development enjoyed today by Britons.
Although majorly viewed by many as a constitutional clash between the monarch and parliament, the interregnum period saw alteration from feudalism to long-term economic development through capitalism. It is from the Cromwellian regime that parliament controls British economy even up to today.
In a number of occasions, the bourgeoisie rule instituted by Cromwell regime has controlled economic oppressions like hefty taxations and instead enacted policies that favor liberation of the plebeian. With time, the capitalist order became archaic and in its place, Her Majesty’s Parliament has established long-term economic development.
Nevertheless, this is an economic reality coming from the revolution led by Cromwell revolution. Although Cromwell died in 1658, later on war ensued even as monarchy triumphed this time round, the revolution remained imperative towards economic, social and scientific progress hence, long-term economic developments.
Hughes, Ann. The Causes of the English Civil War. London: Macmillan publishers, 1991.
International Communist League. “Oliver Cromwell and the English revolution.” Workers Vanguard No. 918. 1 August 2008.
[Accessed July 25, 2010].
Sherwood, Edward. Oliver Cromwell: King In All But Name, 1653-1658. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997.
The Cromwell Association. “Causes of Civil War.” 3 February 2005. The Cromwell Website.
The Cromwell Association. “Causes of Civil War.” 3 February 2005, The Cromwell Website,
Ann Hughes, The causes of English Civil War (London: Macmillan Publishers, 1991), 1-22.
Edward Sherwood, Oliver Cromwell: King In All But Name, 1653-1658 (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1997), 3-28.
International Communist League. “Oliver Cromwell and the English revolution.” Workers Vanguard No. 918, 1 August 2008,