Absolutism In Cromwell

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Absolutism and the age of reason
The film Cromwell presented a biased interpretation of its titled character. The film portrays Cromwell as a devout Puritan. Illustrated by a scene where Cromwell practiced iconoclasm in a church, he destroyed crosses and other religious ornaments. While this scene effectively demonstrated Cromwell’s religiosity, the film failed to foreshadow Cromwell’s religious extremism and horrendous treatment of Catholics during his reign as the Lord Protector. In Ireland, Cromwell allowed the slaughter of Catholics at Drogheda and Wexford. This religiously driven war crime damaged Anglo-Irish relations for centuries. His religious beliefs also led to a ban on religious celebrations like Christmas. These policies do not …show more content…

After the Civil War, the film showed the discontent among the commoners as the new parliament failed to represent their interests. But the film did not include the opinions of the masses following Cromwell’s ascension to Protector. Implying the end of civil unrest and the reforms enacted in Cromwell’s government. When in fact, Cromwell was not the champion of democratic rights, he once said to a purged Parliament, “Government, is for the people's good, not what pleases them”. Nor was he a staunched republican. When he was offered the Crown by Parliament in the film, Cromwell is seen to reject the proposal immediately. But in reality, Cromwell took three months to make his decision. The film exaggerates Cromwell’s response to show the audience how anti-monarchical he was. The rejection of the crown would insult his republican officers and perhaps limit his power as head of state. As the role of the crown was more defined than his future office of Lord Protector, thus political expedience possibly played a part in his rejection of kingship. The vagueness of the power of the Lord Protector strays away from the constitutionalism Cromwell stood for in the film, and shows Cromwell willing to sacrifice constitutional principles in order to rule effectively. The film also did not highlight the fact that Cromwell intended the Protectorate to be hereditary, and have his son …show more content…

Locke claims that people are reasonable and inherently good. He believes all people are born equal and are entitled to basic rights such as the right to life, liberty and property. He believed in the social contract theory, he stated that governments should protect individual rights and freedoms, but the people should change the government if it does not serve the people. He believed in religious toleration as well as limited government. On the other hand, Hobbes believed that people are born evil and must be controlled by an absolutist state. An absolutist state that offers protection for its citizens and prevents societal chaos. Hobbes also believed in the social contract theory, which states that the people should give up their freedom in order for the government to provide order and protection. However, Hobbes did not think the people had the right to revolt against the government. I identity with Locke’s philosophy the most. Growing up in a democracy, I believe the government should be representative of the people it governs. I think that humans are born with certain genetic and traits that define us, but we are all open to societal conditioning that mold us accordingly. I think a limited government with checks on its power is the safest, most stable form of government. I strongly disagree with Hobbes’ notion that the people are not entitled to revolt

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how cromwell's film portrays him as a devout puritan. the film fails to foreshadow his religious extremism and horrendous treatment of catholics during his reign as lord protector.
  • Analyzes how the film fostered cromwell's image as a righteous republican that preached rule through the people’s will.
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