Was Oliver Cromwell the defender of liberty or a tyrant?

There is no more iconic or controversial figure in Britain during the first half of the 17th Century than Oliver Cromwell.

So, with the help of distinguished academic historians, we are seeking answers to some critically important questions surrounding Oliver Cromwell – the man, his motivations and the consequences of his actions and decisions.

To begin this occasional series which will be published throughout the year, David L. Smith, Fellow and Director of Studies in History, Selwyn College, Cambridge asks:

“Was Oliver Cromwell a principled defender of civil and religious liberties or a bigot and a tyrant?”

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The World Turned Upside Down
The World Turned Upside Down - The British Civil Wars 1638-1651
Was Oliver Cromwell the defender of liberty or a tyrant?
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David L Smith

Fellow and Director of Studies in History, Selwyn College Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of History

I read History at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and then went on to do a PhD under John Morrill’s supervision. I became a Research Fellow of Selwyn in…

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