Oliver Cromwell – hero or villain?

Posted: November 8, 2009 in Year 8
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There is still controversy today about Oliver Cromwell. Was he good for the people of England or did his reputation for actions abroad reflect what he was really like? One’s judgment on Cromwell may well depend on where you come from and what your views on warfare are. However you should always try to find more evidence. You will improve your understanding and may even change your opinion. All historical figures are like this. Cromwell is the subject of a Year 8 assessment but you could also include King John for Year 7 and Field Marshall Haig for Year 9. The Youtube clip below is an interesting source to analyse but I am sure the websites below are more useful…

BBC article on Cromwell as a hero or villain

Encyclopedia entry

A website all about Oliver Cromwell

When you are analysing Cromwell you must include the different interpretations of him. Furthermore you must explain why there are such different interpretations. To achieve the highest grades in the assessment, you should also put Cromwell in context. How does he compare to other leaders in the 17th century for example? How has history judged him and has this interpretation changed at all since his death? You could include how the media portrays him and even make geographical arguments. To help you analyse any character in history, it may be advisable to analyse a current important figure. Presidents Obama and Bush are both figures who are argued over in school so why are there so many different opinions of them. Use this thinking to analyse why people in history are viewed differently.

If you are aiming for the top grade, research is required. I can teach the Battle of Drohegda over two lessons for example for you get a clear understanding. The more evidence you have the more developed your judgment will be. We will go study the pupil’s judgments once all the assessments are marked so you understand what could have been done to achieve the highest grades. Good luck!

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