Oliver Cromwell was an English peasant who became one of the most influential, effective and controversial leaders ever to rule England. A great military leader, he ultimately overthrew the King and, for the first time, changed his country from a monarchy to a Republic. Despite the fact that he was a strong leader, Cromwell’s goal and achievement of eliminating the monarchy did not last long after his death. Oliver Cromwell was and remains a controversial figure in history, reviled by many and revered by many others.
Oliver Cromwell came from humble beginnings. Although he ended up briefly ruling England, he was not born a noble. He was born on April 25, 1599, to Robert and Elizabeth Cromwell in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. He frequently visited his grandfather, who hosted parties that nobles and other important figures often attended. It is thought that these connections might have been what first landed Cromwell a spot in Parliament. He attended Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, which was very Puritan, but did not finish studying there as a result of the death of his father in 1617. He married a woman named Elisabeth Bourchier, with whom he had nine children.
Cromwell was first invited to join Parliament for Huntington in 1628. He was a largely unremarkable member and did not participate much, remaining a member for a single year. He did not rejoin Parliament until 1640. By this point he had experienced a spiritual awakening and was a devout Puritan with unshakeable beliefs. This time, he was a very active member of the two Parliaments, Short and Long, of that year.
Oliver Cromwell continued to steadily climb the ranks, becoming a powerful leader. He was governor of Ely, the town in which he had inherited a bi...
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...’s execution. Cromwell’s head was kept on a stake for many years after his posthumous execution. On the other hand, many others consider him a great and powerful leader who achieved what was necessary for England at the time. In fact, he was recently voted number ten in the 2003 BBC poll “100 Greatest Britons.” Whether beloved or detested, there is no doubt that Oliver Cromwell remains one of the most influential and powerful leaders England has known.