Talk:Oliver Cromwell

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 Definition (1599-1658) English soldier, statesman, and leader of the Puritan revolution, nicknamed "Old Ironsides". [d] [e]

Controverial figure

First, great stuff here. But: "Cromwell is the most controversial figure in all of British history" - that's quite a claim. I realise he is immensely important - indeed, one might judge the most important - but this surely can't be supported? John Stephenson 06:05, 2 June 2008 (CDT)

the "most controversial" but comes from Morrill. Is there someone MORe controversial? It's supported by pointing to the enormous controversy he has generated over the centuries--nobody comes close. (examples are listed like King George V and VI and the allegations of fanatic, genocide, dictator). My impression is that many Irish still HATE him. Professor Barry Coward, President of the Historical Association calls him Britain's "most controversial Head of State." Blair Warden, another leading historian, says: " From his century to ours, Oliver Cromwell has been the most controversial figure of English history." Richard Jensen 06:53, 2 June 2008 (CDT)
OK, I can go along with your argument (and of course, Cromwell is well-known in Ireland), but my point is it's very subjective for an encyclopaedia to declare one figure 'most controversial' - one could construct an argument that e.g. Churchill is more controversial, or other figures who are more widely known because they appear in the history syllabuses (most people in the UK have never heard of Cromwell or know next to nothing about him, as little is taught about that time), e.g. Henry VIII. I'm not sure we should be making a claim like that. As for Coward, that is a good quote - about English history since Cromwell's time, but not for all of British history. Maybe, at the very least, we should say that historians consider him most controversial, though not people generally. John Stephenson 03:57, 3 June 2008 (CDT)
it's not subjective at all; we follow the best historians (as quoted). No one else seems to be close to him in being both loved and hated (nobody calls Churchill a horrible dictator). to be controversial in his case means extreme range of opinion (hero of liberty to genocide) over 350 years. Is Cromwell well enough known? He makes the top 10 (ahead of Queen Victoria) in several BBC polls; indeed he's the #2 political figure after Churchill. I think the deeper question is can CZ report judgments made by scholars. CZ's job is to tell readers what's what. Be Bold! is the motto. Richard Jensen 04:23, 3 June 2008 (CDT)
I suppose who is the 'best historian' can be a matter of interpretation. I see what you mean about Cromwell being well-known, although I do recall that the 'Greatest Britons' poll put Princess Diana ahead of Shakespeare and Darwin, which shows how reliable participants in a phone-in show can be. :) John Stephenson 06:37, 3 June 2008 (CDT)
We still hate Cromwell, by and large. He is what Genghis Khan is to the Persians. Denis Cavanagh 07:53, 3 June 2008 (CDT)
Thanks to J. Noel Chiappa for expert copyediting. In response to John Stephenson's suggestions I have explained in detail why he is so controversial. Richard Jensen 09:24, 5 June 2008 (CDT)

Controversy Settled?

It would appear from the distance of several months that the authorial changes regarding Cromwell's controversial nature were settled to everyone's satisfaction. Is this a reasonable conclusion? It has been suggested by another editor that this one might be ready for approval, so let's start moving it in that direction. Are there any major omissions or outstanding issues that need to be resolved? Given the controversial nature of Cromwell even in the present, I think we ought to add a Debates page and come up with some controversies to list there. I believe that this works reasonably well as a way to give appropriate attention to all sides of a controversial issue or figure. Roger Lohmann 01:47, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't feel I know enough about the man to get into the arguments, though I still say that the stuff about him being the most controversial figure is subjective. I also wonder if we need more focus regarding Ireland.
Also, if anyone approves this article, that person cannot have substantively contributed to it, though can have discussed it on this Talk page. John Stephenson 15:33, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I haven't made any edits, but I'm willing to try to move it to Approval. As a Military rather than History Editor, I'd simply like to know more about the basis of his significant military reputation.
Certainly, coming from the wrong side of the pond, I'm a checker rather than a researcher here. Roger's comments about Debates is an interesting idea.
Hmmm...controversial. Winston Churchill was no shrinking violet, but I'm not sure that he was controversial in the sense here. I won't even touch the Beatles. Howard C. Berkowitz 07:00, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Rash statements

I think this article is some way from being ready for approval. Two small points (1) There is very little known about his early life, and there has been speculation that he might have observed continental warfare. The statement about him being completely inexperienced in this field is a bit strong. (2) There is no way of knowing whether he was the poorest man in the House of Commons, as stated. Also, on Ireland, as far as I can judge, some statements seem too much pro-Cromwell and some too much anti-Cromwell. --Martin Wyatt 19:44, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


"favoured religious tolerance": I read somewhere that this did not extend to Catholics, or even Anglicans. Peter Jackson 10:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

It did extend to Jews, but not to Catholics; don't know about unitarians; as for Anglicans, that depends on how you look at it. Looking at the article again, I have found even more that I disagree with, and will read up a bit more, with a view to fiddling with it. --Martin Wyatt 21:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I have made some changes, correcting what appear to have been misunderstandings by previous contributors, and trying to be a bit more precise on the subject of toleration. However, the article is not well organised, and could do with some rearrangement and probably some more corrections. --Martin Wyatt 19:52, 21 September 2014 (UTC)