Non-violent opposition to Cromwell's Commonwealth and Protectorate

Aug 2013
956
Italy
#1
Most of the opposition to Oliver Cromwell's regime was of a non-violent nature. Although the Protector closed down theatres and exercised strict censorship over the English press, many dissenters secretly (sometimes even openly) published pamphlets, plays, essays and satirical literature of all sorts as a form of protest against the dictatorial policies and measures of Cromwell. Numerous examples of this propaganda, which is often but not exclusively monarchist/loyalist in tone, have survived; many are wonderfully witty, and they make delightful reading.

Cromwell sent dissenters to prison, and branded all opposition to his holy-holy tyranny as "ungodly sedition"; but the opposition continued and thrived up until the Restoration.

"Winter Fruit: English Drama 1642-1660", by Dale Randall, is one of the very best books on this subject. It concentrates on drama but analyses also other types of literary opposition to Cromwell.
 
Mar 2017
286
Hussletown
#2
Yes, this period was important for the use of propaganda by the various factions, some of it malliciously scurrilous. Both the Royalist and Parliamentarians made effective use of pamphlets and newsbooks, so much so that they have coloured our view of aspects of the history of the period. A good example is the propaganda published in Britain regarding the 1641 rebellion in Ireland and the so-called atrocities perpetrated by Irish Papists on Protestants.

Both Charles I's and Cromwell's government tried to control what was published using a licencing system but the underground press still thrived. It was a war of words for the hearts and minds of the people. You would not get away today with some of the stuff that was published back then. A good source for reading the originals is the website Early English Books Online (EEBO) if you have access to it.
 
Jun 2015
5,723
UK
#3
he was no more punitive than Charles I, or Charles II. the standard punishments for treason were hanging, drawing or quartering, and Charles I started the deportation of criminals and Irish dissenters to the Caribbean. Cromwell only expanded it, and it continued under Charles II. Cromwell gave pardons to Royalists, and favoured religious tolerance, though he didn't punish non-Puritans directly. his followers did, which he condemned.
 
Mar 2017
286
Hussletown
#4
You either have religious toleration or you do not. There is no in between. There was no toleration of Catholics. The Cromwellian regime was one of the vilest where Catholics were concerned, especilly in Ireland.
 
Aug 2013
956
Italy
#5
You either have religious toleration or you do not. There is no in between. There was no toleration of Catholics. The Cromwellian regime was one of the vilest where Catholics were concerned, especilly in Ireland.
This is correct. Cromwell tolerated only his own fanatic brand of "Christianity"; everything else was heresy or papism to him, and politically smacked of sedition.
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,932
Romania
#6
This is correct. Cromwell tolerated only his own fanatic brand of "Christianity"; everything else was heresy or papism to him, and politically smacked of sedition.
I am far from being a fan of Cromwell, on the contrary I may say, but who taught that there should be various "brands" of Christianity and that they should be all tolerated? Lord Jesus Christ? The holy apostles?
 
Aug 2013
956
Italy
#7
I believe it's quite obvious that, historically and doctrinally speaking, there has never been just one unique, universal Christianity, although Christ himself did teach one unique, universal message. Over the centuries, this world has seen almost uncountable versions, interpretations, distortions and propagandizing travesties of what Jesus really taught. Which is why we may speak of non-authentic, man-made or man-manipulated "christianities" as opposed to pure original Christianity: that which Christ gave to us.
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,932
Romania
#8
I believe it's quite obvious that, historically and doctrinally speaking, there has never been just one unique, universal Christianity, although Christ himself did teach one unique, universal message. Over the centuries, this world has seen almost uncountable versions, interpretations, distortions and propagandizing travesties of what Jesus really taught. Which is why we may speak of non-authentic, man-made or man-manipulated "christianities" as opposed to pure original Christianity: that which Christ gave to us.
Who taught you that? The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ?
 

Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,932
Romania
#9
In what I am concerned, I am not so disgusted by those who make a mockery of our religion from outside as by those who make a mockery of our religion claiming to be inside.
 
Feb 2014
103
Australia
#10
Cromwell tolerated any religous belief, as long it did not threaten the state. (Quaker's often harangued him and he put up with them.) Cromwell allowed Jews back in England (after 4 centuries)
Catholicism at this stage in history was perceived as a threat to the English state. England's greatest enemies over the last couple of century had ben Catholic countries, who the Pope encouraged and blessed to attack England. Defeating the Armada was part of England's mythic self understanding. (ie Who are we? We are England, who bet the Armada and thumbed our noses at the evil Pope, who bismirched our beloved Queen Bess) Catholics were seen as fifth column ready to support any foreign power in invading England (and Scotland) Protestants had seen first hand what a Catholic ruler would due to Protestants in France, they were not keen for a St Bartholomew masacre in the streets of London.
 
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