Do Not Try To Make Oliver Cromwell A Sympathetic Figure
Got that? Good.
Why am I so vehement about this?
Because the Interregnum was a period of religious persecution where theatre was banned, you weren't allowed to do anything on a Sunday and you were required to fast on Christmas day.
It was a pain in the neck if you were a Protestant and heaven forfend that you were Catholic.
The reason that making him a sympathetic figure fails on the most basic level is that when the Civil War was happening, he was right.
Charles I was a tyrant. He was an enemy of freedom and we really were better off without him.
But don't you dare forget that Cromwell is a man who dissolved parliament because the MPs didn't live up to his ridiculously high moral standards.
Charles I didn't even dissolve parliament and he was a tyrant who believe in the divine right to rule.
Furthermore, the period of religious persecution was so bad that even though he was initially right about Charles I, people remember the bad things he did more than they remember what Charles did.
This was such a catastrophic failure of democracy that not having a monarch still seems like a really bad idea.
A lot of the harsher religiously based laws were because Cromwell was happy to let himself be bullied into them by the Scots.
History has been about as kind to this man as he deserves.
Us being kind to him is massively problematic for one reason.
|Also a dickbag.|
Is it because she's a woman that we call her Bloody Mary and remember her as one of history's monsters, or is it because she was Catholic?
Come on, what is it?
Why are people kind to the tyrannical Lord Protector, but not to the tyrant queen?
Remember, this is a woman who saw her father abandon her mother (which would technically render her a bastard), was left by the wayside when her sister and brother were born, saw two of her step mothers executed, saw her brother attempt to circumvent her dead father's wishes by installing a cousin on the throne, lived with the very real possibility that she may have to have her sister killed and had her father take the entire country out of a religion that she truly and sincerely believed in.
Mary had a really bad lot in life for being a royal.
Let's also not forget that her husband was a total dickbag and she died of a wasting sickness that made her believe that she was pregnant.
This is a sympathetic monster of history. Cromwell is just a monster.