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To What Extent Did Cromwell's Rise To Prominence By 1646 Depend On Personal And Social Ties?

840 words - 4 pages

Oliver Cromwell's rise to prominence by 1646 has been a matter of much historical debate, with many historians disagreeing about the importance of Cromwell's personal and social ties before the Civil War. Many such as John Morrill have played down the significance of these 'tenuous' ties he inherited by birth, re-assessing the traditional view of Cromwell's early life up until 1640. Indeed, Cromwell's achievement in progressing from the lower end of the gentry, being described as a 'country gentleman' and later 'tenant farmer', to then become 'Lord Protector' in 1653 is without doubt a most remarkable feat. However, I feel that Cromwell's links before the Civil War are relatively ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, the social ties that Cromwell achieved through his religion of Puritanism have also been seen to aid his rise to prominence by 1646. Firstly, the fact that he was elected as a member of parliament for the constituency of Cambridge, after only living there for a short while after elections had in fact been called, has been attributed to these socio-religious ties. Indeed, this influence may have appealed to the voters, but instead of any social or personal ties gained through this, it could have specifically been his past experience as an MP for Huntingdon rather than any forged links he had made. Nevertheless, this did provide him with a seat in Parliament which was instrumental to his eventual position, but then again only after the war saw him emerge as a major military figure.Indeed, I believe that the Civil War was vital to Cromwell's rise to prominence as Parliament's victory did in fact owe him an immense debt. For this reason, Cromwell the man of action now gained a widespread reputation and thus further personal and social ties. He could now make use of these links because his prestige as a dynamic cavalry commander at Marston Moor, with several other victories gained under his command made him indispensable to victory and...

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