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Word Count: 781
Oliver Cromwells rise to prominence by 1646 has been a matter of much historical debate with many historians disagreeing about the importance of Cromwells personal and social ties before the Civil War Many such as John Morrill have played down the significance of these tenuous ties he inherited by birth re-assessing the traditional view of Cromwells early life up until 1640 Indeed Cromwells achievement in progressing from the lower end of the gentry being described as a country gentleman and later tenant farmer to then become Lord Protector in 1653 is without doubt a most remarkable feat However I feel that Cromwells links before the Civil War are relatively insignificant and that it was primarily his military success that brought him to political pre-eminence Firstly concerning his social status Cromwell was simply a gentleman farmer from Huntingdon who lived in relative obscurity until the Civil War provided an outlet for his leadership skills In fact historians have argued that Cromwells humble beginnings did in reality become humbler and his social status decline upon his move to St Ives whereby he was thought to have worked the land himself rather than employed labour Therefore declining the importance of his social ties due to his apparent fall in social standing Indeed Cromwells family connections in being related to fellow MPs such as John Hampden and Oliver St John who were leading opponents of the King in the Long Parliament have been used by some traditional historians to signify Cromwells early and therefore ongoing opposition to the monarchy However I feel these ties have been overplayed because as Barry Coward states family relationships are not necessarily a basis for firm political alliances Just because Cromwells relations married into these families does not mean he held the same beliefs as them Despite this and on the other hand I agree that these personal links with other important figures in Parliament may have helped him to play more
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