How different was the Cromwell of the Protectorate from the Cromwell of the Civil Wars?
The transformation that Cromwell underwent in his career can be explained in his differing policies during the Civil Wars and the years of the Protectorate. When the English Civil War erupted in 1642, Cromwell instantaneously became a significant player in the success of the battles. His natural talent of leadership and his gift of inspirational speeches provided him with the opportunity to perfect his directorship skills that he would demonstrate and employ in his later career as Lord Protector. The Historian Roger Howell identified Cromwell as ‘a leader associated with national vigour, pride and prosperity.’5 Although, there is a clear distinction growth between the inconsequential man present at the turn of the English Civil War to the domineering, authoritative, disciplinary man who emerged during the Protectorate years, the popular patriotic, reformist, religiously radical nature of Cromwell remained constant from the beginning of the Civil Wars to his death in 1658.
The progression of Cromwell character can also be examined in his change of perspective. During the civil war, Cromwell’s sole goal was to