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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Essay by 24  •  May 11, 2011  •  4,188 Words (17 Pages)  •  834 Views

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Charles I ruled without a Parliament for the next eleven years having dissolved Parliament, of which Cromwell was a member, in 1629, and alienated many people with his policies of raising extra-parliamentary taxes, and imposing his Catholicism vision of Protestantism on the Church of England. When King Charles was facing a Scottish rebellion known as the Bishop\\\'s War, and forced by shortage of funds to call a Parliament again in 1640, Oliver Cromwell was one of many MP's who bitterly opposed voting for any new taxes, until the King agreed to govern with the consent of Parliament on both civil and religious issues. Failure to resolve these issues led to armed conflict breaking out between \\\'Parliamentarians\\\', MP's and magnates who wished to challenge Charles\\\' interpretation of the monarch\\\'s role in the English constitution concentrated in London, the South-East and Midlands and \\\'Royalists\\\', other MP's and magnates who defended Charles\\\' perceived rights and were themselves concentrated in Wales, the North and Cornwall. Cromwell\\\'s military standing gave him enhanced political power, just as his military victories gave him the confidence and motivation to intervene in and to shape political events. An obscure and inexperienced MP for Cambridge in 1640, by the late 1640s he was one of the power-brokers in parliament and he played a decisive role in the \\\'revolution\\\' of winter 1648-9 which saw the trial and execution of the King and the abolition of monarchy and the House of Lords. As head of the army, he intervened several times to support or remove the republican regimes of the early 1650s.

Some of the good things that Oliver cromwell did :

built the new model army

member of parliament

supported the king in various decisions

became England's ruler and lord protector

Oliver cromwell: dictator

Cromwell was a Puritan. He abolished bishops and congregations were allowed to select their own ministers. He allowed the Book of Common Prayer to be used in private houses. In some sense he can be seen as a benevolent dictator but Cromwell was a constitutional reformer who brought political stability after the civil war and established the constitutional government and religious tolerance which we have known until recently.A member of England's Parliament and a dedicated Puritan, Oliver Cromwell led his forces to victory against King Charles's army. Even though he had no military experience, Cromwell turned out to be a brilliant cavalry leader. The defeat and execution of the king left Cromwell as virtual dictator over England.From 1653 until his death from malaria in 1658, Cromwell ruled as a military dictator, under the title Lord Protector. However, his repeated attempts to institute democratic practices, as well as his refusal of the throne when it was offered to him, indicate that dictatorship was not what he sought; it was forced upon him by the inability of his supporters to establish a workable government. During Cromwell\\\'s tenure, he ameliorated harsh laws, and supported education. An ardent Puritan, he believed in religious toleration, and permitted the Jews to resettle in England.

Though the English Commonwealth failed soon after Cromwell\\\'s death, the monarchs that followed had lost considerable power to Parliament. The end result, a constitutional monarchy with the king subservient to Parliament, was what Cromwell had wanted in 1640.

The Civil Wars 1642-51

The tension between Charles and Parliament was still great, since none of the issues raised by the Short Parliament had been resolved. This tension was brought to a head on January 4th, 1642 when Charles attempted to arrest five members of parliament. This attempt failed, since they were spirited away before the king\\\'s troops arrived.

Charles left London and both he and parliament began to stockpile military resources and recruit troops.

Charles officially began the war by raising his standard at Nottingham in August 1642. Robert Devereux (3rd Earl of Essex) was made parliamentary commander.

At this stage of the wars, parliament had no wish to kill the king. It was hoped that Charles could be reinstated as ruler, but with a more constructive attitude to parliament.

The majority of the country was neutral in the civil wars, and both sides only had about 13,000 men in 1642.

The areas of Royalist support tended to be the North, West and Wales. The richer South and East, including London supported parliament. Parliament also held most of the ports, since the merchants that ran them saw more profit in a parliament-lead country.

Parliament definitely had access to more resources than the king, and could collect taxes. Charles had to depend on donations from his supporters to fund his armies.

The first war stretched from 1642 to 1646, beginning with the king\\\'s raising of the standard.

Charles marched on London, hoping for a quick victory that would negate the benefits of parliament\\\'s resources. Essex met him at Edgehill (Oct 23 1642) and a battle was fought. This battle proved inconclusive, but failed to stop Charles\\\' advance. He was met by another force at Turnham Green, however, and was forced to turn away from London.

Charles withdrew to Oxford, where his headquarters was based for the rest of the war.

In 1643, many battles were fought all over the country.

The royalist forces won at Adwalton Moor (Jun 30), taking control of Yorkshire. They also won at Lansdown and Roundway Down (Jul) in the Southwest, allowing Prince Rupert to take Bristol.

The forces of parliament won at Winceby (Oct 11), taking Lincoln, but on the whole had the worst part of military actions for the year.

At Newbury (Sep), a large battle took place that was inconclusive. After this testing of the major armies, both sides sought allies elsewhere.

Parliament drew up the \\\"Solemn League & Covenant\\\", which promised the Scots religious reforms in return for their help.

Charles negotiated a cease-fire in Ireland that freed English troops for action on the mainland.

In 1644, military actions were more balanced. Parliament won at Marston Moor (Jul 2), allowing them to take York

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