CHY 4U: Cromwell and Revolution

Yesterday, we briefly discussed the fact that the Glorious Revolution (when William and Mary became the rulers of England without firing a shot) was not really much of a revolution. Today, we will step back a few decades and consider an era that may have been a little more revolutionary.

First, however, we need to define revolutions. My definition of revolution is a series of long-term changes that fundamentally alter a system, organization, or society. With this in mind, consider the following statements:

  • Most commercials that claim a product is revolutionary are false. In order to be revolutionary, a product would have to fundamentally change the way we do things; thus, it is hard to imagine a truly “revolutionary” household cleaning solution.
  • The printing press and the computer are both revolutionary. They fundamentally transformed the way we live, work, and communicate.


  1. Below is a list of events that we often see in a revolution. You need to work with a small group to find examples from the time of Oliver Cromwell for all the typical revolutionary events listed. You may use your text, but using devices might be your best choice.
  2. Add both the events listed below and specific examples involving Cromwell to your notes.
  • Corrupt or inept leadership fails to, well, lead (Hint: Charles I was king…)
  • a group of people are fed up. They want change! (Hint: certain members of Parliament were not happy)
  • The group removes the leaders from power, usually by force (extra points for finding out the connection between Charles I and handkerchiefs)
  • A new government is put in place, intended to correct the errors of the previous government
  • Eventually, the new government enacts a series of laws that seem to go against its founding principles (power corrupts, after all)
  • The new regime becomes so oppressive that it differs from its predecessors only in name
  • The government is overthrown, and the people support a new and radically different option

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