One of the chief tendencies of the English history is the struggle between the king and the people. This is a struggle to decide which of them is supreme. One of the most important moments in this long struggle came in the seventeenth century.
During this period the political parties as we know them began to form. Charles I was on the throne. He hated the Parliament. He thought that its only function was to vote for his laws. At last people realized that they had to resist him by force. In 1642 the Civil War broke out.
Most rich men and noblemen of the country supported Charles. They were called Royalists. They were well trained and had skilful leaders.
People who supported the Parliament, the Parliamentarians, were Puritans. Puritans wanted a simpler religion. But their courage and religion was not enough to win the battles. They needed training and a good leader. It was Oliver Cromwell who became their leader.
Cromwell was a country gentleman. He was born in 1599, 25 April in Wales. He got his education at a grammar school. He became a member of the Parliament and was famous there as a rough man. He was also known for his strength of character and sincerity. He saw that if the Parliament army wanted to win victories, it must be as well trained as Charles’ army.
Cromwell gathered soldiers in the eastern part of England and trained his men. He wanted them to fight for freedom, Parliament and religion. Then, when they were ready, he led them into the battle. Several battles were won by the Parliamentarians. In 1645 at Naseby the king’s army was defeated. In these battles Cromwell made dizziness martial career. In 1642 he was a captain. In 1643 he was promoted to colonel.
Cromwell was in 1645 leader of the whole Parliamentary forces. In 1649 the king gave himself up and was put into prison. Finally he was brought to trial in London for being an enemy to his country. He was found guilty and beheaded.
In the same month a Parliamentary government came to power. Cromwell became the ruler of England, not as King, but as “Protector of the Commonwealth”. O. C. died in 1658, September 3. His successor must have been Richard Cromwell, his elder son, but being worthless, incapable, Richard in 1689 had had to renounce from the name of Protector.