TS: Oliver Cromwell vs Abraham Lincoln

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Not without emasculating hereditary rulership.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Sunday, 27 February 2000 02:31 (twenty-two years ago) link

I can't wait for Squirrel_Police to change his name to Secret_Police.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 27 February 2000 02:32 (twenty-two years ago) link

Tricky Dick Deux.

This made me laugh. (But he wasn't beheaded; he just died mysteriously in his cell - probably deliberately starved to death or poisoned, so still brutal).

This microcosm of a thread suggests how controversial a figure OC is, while there seems to be more consensus on AL. Most people seem to recognise that OC was a nasty git, while debating the extent of this nastiness.

the OC did try and set sonny boy up to succeed him

IIRC, his son ruled for about a year before parliament begged Charlie II to return from exile to become King.

(Finally, praise to SP for discovering the joy of the full line WITHOUT A LINE BREAK.)

salexandra (salexander), Sunday, 27 February 2000 02:38 (twenty-two years ago) link

six years pass...
do you prefer the "lord protector" who presided over the english civil war, did away with the nasty old king and presided as military dictator for five years, who was revered while he was alive but had his corpse dug up a couple years after his death and treated rather rudely, or the "great emancipator" who presided over the US civil war, beat up the south and freed the slaves, who was widely despised while he was alive but elevated to caesar status upon his death?

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 04:29 (fifteen years ago) link

I'll vote for the Directory.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 04:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Best question ever!

M. V. (M.V.), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 04:32 (fifteen years ago) link

For geekery reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Cromwell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 04:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Draft riots notwithstanding, I have a good guess where the Irish stand on this one.

literalisp (literalisp), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 05:04 (fifteen years ago) link

John Lillburne

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 05:14 (fifteen years ago) link

Cromwell is a very hard character to judge and very easy to paint as pragmatist, counter-revolutionary, murderer. peacemaker, nationalist...

A best a pragmatist who held briatin together through the second civil war and beyond and probably did as much as anyone to lead Britain away from the wars of the late reformation and the European succession wars that followed and so indirectly laid a foundation stone for the stability that allowed Britain to grab more of the world than anyone else.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 07:33 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, the Stuarts might've played out their petty revenge on Cromwell's body, but he broke absolute monarchy in the UK and helped to create, alongside the Netherlands, the most progressive state the World would see for the next 150-odd years.

I Supersize Disaster (noodle vague), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 07:40 (fifteen years ago) link

OC was a monster: Drogheda, Wexford his treatment of enemies.

AL seems alright really.

Kv_nol (Kv_nol), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 07:47 (fifteen years ago) link

he broke absolute monarchy in the UK and helped to create, alongside the Netherlands, the most progressive state the World would see for the next 150-odd years.

Indeed - the Stuarts might have tried to return to absolute monarchy, but that lasted less than 30 years before we had another revolution and the Bill Of Rights was passed.

Forest Pines (ForestPines), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 07:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Drogheda and Wexford, as brutal as they were pale into insignificance when compared to some of the atrocities happening in Europe at the time. This is not to diminish the brutality of these events but to put them in the context of the time in which they happened.

Many of the professional soldiers on both sides of the conflict were veterans of european wars and of the civil war in england and whilst the massacres of drogheda and wexford were worse than anything perpetrated in England. I'm sure some of the soldiers there had witnessed atrocities by catholic troops as least as bad and probably taken part in similar atrocities before.

You can't simply lay the blame at the feet of cromwell, although he should take his share and I am no fan of his.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:03 (fifteen years ago) link

And were Cromwell's actions in Ireland really any worse than the standard issue brutality meted out by most armies at the time? And, if they were, how much did Cromwell have to do with it? And, also, why, given all that, was Oliver such a popular name in Ireland? See Oliver St. John Gogarty, Oliver Goldsmith...

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:07 (fifteen years ago) link

Oops, Ed beat me to it! Instead of asking the Irish what they think of Cromwell, maybe you could ask the Jews.

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Cromwell hated fun and banned Christmas. Lincoln freed the slaves. No contest. Lincoln!

Angel In Love With Her Own Pedals (kate), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Ask the 8000 peasants that Thomas Müntzer lead to their deaths what they think of treatment of prisoners in mid 17th Century Europe.

(speaking of which who was it was going to recommend me a good book on the reformation? anyone?)

The Major Generals' Banned Christmas (of which Cromwell was one). It was reinstated before the protectorate was over IIRC

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:19 (fifteen years ago) link

rogue apostrophe there

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Ned spoke very highly of this book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0140285342/ref=wl_it_dp/202-3526781-5273426?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2EF90314TJMVH&colid=T5LTN4HKAXW6

I haven't gotten round to reading it yet.

Have you read Q?

I Supersize Disaster (noodle vague), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:22 (fifteen years ago) link

I have read Q which is what piqued my interest a while back.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Did Cromwell ever give anyone 40 acres and a mule? I don't think so! Lincoln wins again!

Angel In Love With Her Own Pedals (kate), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Oops, Ed beat me to it! Instead of asking the Irish what they think of Cromwell, maybe you could ask the Jews.

Also ask Simon Schama while you're about it!

The fun-hater characterisation and banning of Christmas is what everyone always seems to remember! Could it be that we generally dislike people who don't enjoy a bit of lust, gluttony and merriness?

Cromwell was also incredibly divisive - i.e. separating the population into the godly and the ungodly; those who deserved to be saved and those who deserved to be damned. This happened without him, but he was the figurehead for the movement.

salexandra (salexander), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:44 (fifteen years ago) link

The fun-hater characterisation and banning of Christmas is what everyone always seems to remember!

I think the bloody massacres tend to stick in a few minds.

Onimo (GerryNemo), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:47 (fifteen years ago) link

Royalist propaganda

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:49 (fifteen years ago) link

Just wait until the Merkins wake up and then it'll be all "Oliver who?"

Angel In Love With Her Own Pedals (kate), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:50 (fifteen years ago) link

"Isn't he the guy who was in "Babe" and, uhhhhhhhhhh, "LA Confidential"?"

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:51 (fifteen years ago) link

He moderated a lot of the worst demands of the puritans (and stomped on the early communists as well) and for better or worse preserved the episcopacy which probably lead to the weak but pragmatic anglican church or later eras.

The American Civil War is round 5 or 6 of the English civil war anyway.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:54 (fifteen years ago) link

I haven't read that book but Diarmaid MacCulloch is both an excellent historian and good writer, so it should be pretty kickass.

Ireland despite, I fall on the side of Cromwell; mostly cos I read too much Christopher Hill at a tender&impressionable age. He was offered the crown of england and refused it! He insisted on his portraits being 'warts and all'! He was possibly a Seeker! ...I can't remember what the protectorate was like colonially, though, (something involving Jamaica?) maybe I should reread god's englishman today.

I find the whole 'he banned christmas! mean fun-hater' thing a real misdirection.

stop moving. (cis), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:55 (fifteen years ago) link

I think the bloody massacres tend to stick in a few minds.

The emphasis on different aspects of the Puritan Revolution depends on where you live. Many histories tend to be England-centred so accentuate the effects on English politics and society; increasingly, historians like Morill have rectified that in recent times by examining Scotland and Ireland. In a typical university history course though, you can bet the Christmas factor will always get mentioned.

salexandra (salexander), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Drogheda and Wexford, as brutal as they were pale into insignificance when compared to some of the atrocities happening in Europe at the time. This is not to diminish the brutality of these events but to put them in the context of the time in which they happened.

I am not from other parts of Europe, I am Irish and a history graduate. The context of these massacres in a European setting while appreciated doesn't really influence how I feel about OC I'm afraid.

This is all I am saying in this thread, I'll leave you all to it.

Kv_nol (Kv_nol), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 08:56 (fifteen years ago) link

...probably did as much as anyone to lead Britain away from the wars of the late reformation and the European succession wars that followed

Huh? IIrc, OC presided over the first of four Anglo-Dutch wars, the end result of which was the conquest of Dutch imperial posessions, the re-establishment of William of Orange as Stadtholder (in most provinces) in '72 and his ascension to the thrones of Britain after the Glorious Revolution as one of the heroes of European protestantism, something neither Charles II nor James II could claim and Britain went on under Anne to be fully involved in the War of the Spanish Succession to counter the Bourbon attempt to 'get rid of the Pyrenees' and establish a Catholic Franco-Spanish superpower. As the general who finally determined the legitimacy and dominance of a low church version of protestantism in England, he can hardly be said to have done as much as anybody to keep Britain out of late 17th century European conflicts.

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 13:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Still, rather be a Proddy than a Tim, eh?

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 13:32 (fifteen years ago) link

The American Civil War is round 5 or 6 of the English civil war anyway.

he broke absolute monarchy in the UK

I'd rather honor someone like Fairfax or Pym than a man who started fighting the unfettered power of the executive and finished by claiming it for himself. He was no Cincinnatus.

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 14:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Curse you, my amazon basket is looking mighty huge right now.

I still think that is absolutism had been maintained, or at least parliamentary authority curtailed by a loss in the first or second civil wars England would have been much more deeply embroiled in European wars of the late 17th century.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 14:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Both were really ugly motherfuckers, but Lincoln wins because Gore Vidal never wrote a book about Cromwell.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Ned spoke very highly of this book

Yes, very great. If anything I'd say it might stand as the definitive take on the subject (in the English language) for this generation at least. The next will find its own.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:18 (fifteen years ago) link

I take your paint, Ed, but ironically, it was the Restoration and the subsequent 'Glorious' Revolution under Jimmy Deux that established parliament's keystone status in British (or at least English) constitutional history.

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, that was the one I offered to loan you and then immediately forgot, Ed. If you're coming to Poptimism tomorrow, I could bring it along?

I think the thread, short as it is on discussions of whether Abraham Lincoln is a complete cunt, offers a clear answer to the question :)

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:42 (fifteen years ago) link

"see Oliver St. John Gogarty, Oliver Goldsmith.."

Will I be the first to point these out as Anglo-Irish?

"To hell or to Connacht" said Cromwell (allegedly, well it was certainly the policy) and drove people off their land by act of Parliament resuliting in the Cromwellian Plantation. My family name is a Norman one from the south-east and our family ended up in Mayo, thanks we're pretty sure to this bout of ethnic cleansing. I turned out alright though! In any case plenty of people were shoved on to poor land with farm sizes around 80 acres, causing poverty to be endemic for centuries to come (up until the Land Commision's efforts started to have an effect in the late C19th) Also see the Irish he shipped of to the west-indies where they worked in sugar plantations. And this is nothing but punishment for Irish Royalism (Imagine, Irish Royalism, they should have been thankful considering what came later) and hatred of Irish Catholics in general.

Was it Cromwell that crushed the Diggers and the Levellers movements?
And he didn't refuse the Crown outright, he sat on his arse and thought for a full month if I remember correctly.

But blah blah blah, Abe's better, partly because he was played by Henry Honda and that's what's important!

Major Alfonso (Major Alfonso), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 15:58 (fifteen years ago) link

And this is nothing but punishment for Irish Royalism

Royalism deserves to be punished

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:01 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, but Richard Harris and Tim Roth played Ollie.

xpost

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:01 (fifteen years ago) link

Cromwell a hateful ideologue as opposed to Charles I's democratic pragmatism?

I Supersize Disaster (noodle vague), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:09 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm surprised no-one's compared him to Osama Bin Laden yet

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:11 (fifteen years ago) link

as opposed to Charles I's democratic pragmatism?

C'mon, he allowed Catholic-sympathizing, Scottish-blooded monarchs the vote.

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Your attitude is very cavalier.

I Supersize Disaster (noodle vague), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:33 (fifteen years ago) link

ARF!

Major Alfonso (Major Alfonso), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Was it Cromwell that crushed the Diggers and the Levellers movements?

Indulge a moment of grumpiness and let me point out that fanatically religious egalitarians like these do not deserve their iconic status. Can you imagine more dull company?

M. White (Miguelito), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah but I blame Cromwell for Richard Hawley not winning the Mercury Prize. So there

Major Alfonso (Major Alfonso), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:40 (fifteen years ago) link

I find it hard to be too critical of The OC when I consider who and what he was fighting against

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:40 (fifteen years ago) link

M. White otm.

Aimless (Aimless), Wednesday, 6 September 2006 16:41 (fifteen years ago) link

what's the best book on cromwell? i've got christopher hill's book, but to be honest i'd like to read something simpler and more straightforward first - more 'just the facts' than analysis.

i must take issue with the charge that abe was ugly. next to every other president - discounting the ones we only have paintings of - in history, he was a dreamboat. espec with the beard.

(aside from woodrow wilson and ronald reagan, have we ever had a conventionally good-looking commander in chief?)

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:02 (fifteen years ago) link

wasn't grant good looking in a hemingway way?

Major Alfonso (Major Alfonso), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:12 (fifteen years ago) link

My take: yes, Cromwell was brutal, yes he was a dictator, but wasn't he a fairly popular dictator (in England?)? Also, simply beheading a king of England was a major positive step towards downplaying the medieval mystique of kingship and hereditary power.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:18 (fifteen years ago) link

This "positive" step had already been made, over 200 years earlier--Tricky Dick Deux. Which reminds me: isn't it giving Cromwell too much credit re: avoiding continental embroilment? My understanding has always been that the (end of the) 100 Years War was the decisive moment in England's European posture ...

(read: not so much with the conquering (French) land, more with the manipulating everybody to gang up on whoever looks preeminent at the moment.)

literalisp (literalisp), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:31 (fifteen years ago) link

I guess I just think that ANY monarch-beheading is a positive step. Hereditary rulers are totally illegitimate.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:35 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, Robespierre would wholeheartedly approve.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Well c'mon. Hereditary rulership is exploitative and unfair. How can you disagree with that?

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:40 (fifteen years ago) link

No argument there. But then, the OC did try and set sonny boy up to succeed him, so ...

literalisp (literalisp), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I can disagree with it for money.

Give me the Sultan of Brunei and a fat pay check and I'll learnt to waltz for him.

Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Norway seem to get along fine.

Major Alfonso (Major Alfonso), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:41 (fifteen years ago) link

(Finally, praise to SP for discovering the joy of the full line WITHOUT A LINE BREAK.)

hey ... you makin' some kinda hereditary succession joke?

literalisp (literalisp), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:18 (fifteen years ago) link

here are some other national "heroes" with lotsa blood on their hands -- charlemagne, bohdan khmelnytsky, peter the great, otto von bismarck, muhammed jinnah, ataturk, david ben-gurion.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:19 (fifteen years ago) link

matter of fact, OC reminds me a LOT of BK --> bohdan khmelnytsky!

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:21 (fifteen years ago) link

I can disagree with it for money.

Give me the Sultan of Brunei and a fat pay check and I'll learnt to waltz for him.

Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Norway seem to get along fine.

-- Major Alfonso (GOOGILFREEdelexica...), September 6th, 2006. (later)

Not without emasculating hereditary rulership.

-- Squirrel_Police (goblinatri...), February 26th, 2000.

Nice time warp we've stepped through.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:33 (fifteen years ago) link

i was gonna say!

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:38 (fifteen years ago) link

What happened to the date??

hey ... you makin' some kinda hereditary succession joke?

No, that was completely unintentional! Have
you not encountered any of
SP's posts before?

salexandra (salexander), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:44 (fifteen years ago) link

GREAT SCOTT

http://www.trilogy3.com/images/bios/lloyd.jpg

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:48 (fifteen years ago) link

as far as english bad-asses go, wasn't edward I ten time worse than cromwell? i mean, he beat the shit outta EVERYONE (welsh, scots, jews, you name it).

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 7 September 2006 01:59 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah, totally scary dude, but he was that totally scary dude you could see having a drink with ...

literalisp (literalisp), Thursday, 7 September 2006 02:28 (fifteen years ago) link

IIRC, his son ruled for about a year before parliament begged Charlie II to return from exile to become King.

From what I remember, the Army - and particularly, General Monck - were more significant in forcing the Restoration; and immediately before, in the early months of 1660, many people expected Monck to seize government himself. This is based purely on hazy memories of the first few months of Pepys' Diary, though.

Forest Pines (ForestPines), Thursday, 7 September 2006 06:41 (fifteen years ago) link

so is Iraq like Britain during Cromwell's time?

Or Vietnam furing Charlemagne's reign?

Or Thre mile island during the reign of Jimmy Carter the Peace Loving?

OR WHAT?

Fuck, I need to got pack some more.

Major Alfonso (Major Alfonso), Thursday, 7 September 2006 09:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Monk brought his army back into England and offered the throne to Chas Zwei (following the Declaration of Breda) to forestall what he felt would have been a further internecine bloodbath amongst the factions in the army. He was instrumental in pacifiying England and in the dissolution of the last remnants of the Long Parliament, the successor to which, voted the restoration on May 1, 1660. Dicky Cromwell had been ousted from power in early '59.

Discarding the examples of regicide from William Rufus to Edward II to Henry VI and Edward V as having been enginereed by relatives or powerful nobles, Richard II was essentially deposed due to deep unpopularity, but the agents of his loss of power were the nobility which rallied behind Bolingbroke. He was brought before Parliament, however, and made to renounce his throne.

Hereditary rulers are totally illegitimate

Unless they're popular. Given that many societies have organized their 'executive' as essentially a war leader and high judge, the question remains: how does one choose this dux bellorum? Cromwell, like so many dictators after him, was also in many was no different than many early European kings. He felt that the Lord Protector should choose his own successor, regardless of popular sentiment and unrestrained by popular mandate, and it just so happened that his choice was his son. Historically, amongst the germanic peoples that overran Europe at the twighlight of Roman hegemony, their king was chosen, often by the arguably 'democratic' acclamation of the freeborn men of the tribe and usually from a vigorous line who often claimed (yet another version of the 'mandate of heaven' or 'the dvine right of kings') descent from a popular deity. If you look at the pre-Christian claims of descent for most of the royal families of the heptarchy, for example, it would seem that Odin, especially, had spread his seed out widely. only a cynic like Voltaire would point out that "the first king was (merely) a lucky soldier."

Given that the process of finding a king to 'acclaim' from amongst the favored family (a process replayed in practically every Mafia movie of our time) often involved cunning uncles outmanoeuvering their green nephews despite the king having formally chosen them as a successor, the process of primogeniture became increasingly de rigueur as a means of making the succession surer and more straightforward, and the number of royal sons that were crowned during the reign of their fathers is a telling indication of the worry many kings felt about stability.

That stability should be available to a Castro, a Cromwell, a Hitler, a de Rosas should seem self-evident; instead of relying on the accident of biology, they could nominate their successor. However without the validation of tradition, especially in its more superstitious forms such as heridity and divine mandate, the lucky star such dictators tend to enjoy is not passed on and such institutions as they manage to create, are as Montesquieu noted in De l'esprit des lois governed by fear more than honor and tend to require a good bloodletting before everyone is sufficiently scared to submit to the new boss. The Roman Imperial legacy of acclamation of a military victor followed by heriditary succession and punctuated occasionally by coups is a sort of 'third way' between these two and it has existed amongst their successor as well, most notably in the deposition of the Merovingians and the establishment of the Carolingian line in France.

The Japanese were, up to yesterday, mulling over extending access to the Imperial throne to women, so questions of tradition in inheritance amongst different peoples evolve according to the circumstances that they face.

However we choose our highest executives, either by blood, or by submission to conquest by a 'genius', or by election, the long history of human blunders as much as the record of certain people presently in power might lead a reasonable person to conclude that the potential for major fuck-ups is always present.

M. White (Miguelito), Thursday, 7 September 2006 14:11 (fifteen years ago) link

here are some other national "heroes" with lotsa blood on their hands -- charlemagne, bohdan khmelnytsky, peter the great, otto von bismarck, muhammed jinnah, ataturk, david ben-gurion

Napoleon!

Ich Ber Ein Binliner (Dada), Thursday, 7 September 2006 14:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Heh, I sat there for about five minutes thinking to myself "gosh, was M. White hanging around here in 2000?"

Mädchen (Madchen), Thursday, 7 September 2006 14:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Forgive me, mademoiselle, if I fail to grasp your meaning exactly, since I was not here in 2000. Is it a reference to the verbosity of my post?

M. White (Miguelito), Thursday, 7 September 2006 15:03 (fifteen years ago) link

No not at all -- there was a weird glitch yesterday that showed some posts as being from February 2000.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 7 September 2006 15:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Ah, cool. T y, Ned.

M. White (Miguelito), Thursday, 7 September 2006 15:13 (fifteen years ago) link

david ben-gurion

?

The Real DG (D to thee G), Thursday, 7 September 2006 15:15 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah wtf Ben Gurion isn't nearly as blood-soaked as the rest of those guys. maybe he meant Menachem Begin.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:45 (fifteen years ago) link

no, i MEANT david ben-gurion. though begin WAS worse, i concede.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 7 September 2006 16:49 (fifteen years ago) link

The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed.

no shit

The Real DG (D to thee G), Thursday, 7 September 2006 17:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Mr. White, thanks for your take on primogeniture, very interesting and well thought out. But just because a hereditary ruler has a stable or prosperous reigns does not make him legitimate or right. It's about the wrong and the right of it. Isn't the modern resurgence of democracy and individual freedom a natural response to other, oppressive systems, that were gradually, painfully chipped away? Aren't we living the legacy of the London revolts, the Enlightenment, the political progress that has come before? It's not like democracy is a new idea. It just took a long, long time to flourish.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Friday, 8 September 2006 01:47 (fifteen years ago) link

It's about the wrong and the right of it.

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

M. White (Miguelito), Friday, 8 September 2006 20:32 (fifteen years ago) link

Unfair to compare Abe and Ollie.

Still, the latter was cruel to the Irish, but everyone should remember that everyone hated the Irish as they were backwards primitives anyway. Even though he crushed the Scots, it is great to think of a time when they were actually a real military threat.

Cromwell sucks, but most people do. The end result of his actions was for the better. And yes, Tim Roth rocks.

The Ultimate Conclusion (lokar), Friday, 8 September 2006 21:58 (fifteen years ago) link

And were Cromwell's actions in Ireland really any worse than the standard issue brutality meted out by most armies at the time?

I've noticed some revisionist Irish books recently which discuss Cromwell's campaign in Ireland in terms other than equating it with some Waffen SS sweep through Ukraine. I think they say that the storming of Drogheda (where the defending garrison was massacred) would not have been considered out of order by anyone at the time - the city's wall was breached, the garrison were offered a chance to surrender, they declined to take it. Storming cities in that setup typically saw attacking forces take enormous casualties (see Cromwell's later loss of around a thousand guys in an unsuccessful attempt to storm Clonmel); the accepted rule was that if defenders brought it to this by not surrendering after the walls were breached (if given the chance) then their lives were forfeit.

I don't know what the revisionists say about Wexford, where Cromwell's army massacred the entire population of the town.

One thing that should be said about Cromwell in Ireland is that he insisted that his blokes buy things off the locals rather than just taking them, and unlike the armies in Ireland of the Royalists, Covenanters, and Confederates, his guys did not go round raping and pillaging on a casual basis, so one must thank him for some things. However, there is still this real sense of him as a crazed nutter with a lust for blood... one of his letters back home after the siege of Drogheda recounts how the garrison fled into a church, which was then set alight by Cromwell's troops, "And from within they cried 'I burn, I burn'. Scary man.

DV (dirtyvicar), Saturday, 9 September 2006 17:51 (fifteen years ago) link

The real reason I dislike Cromwell is that by crushing the Levellers he eliminated any long-run basis for republican government in Britain.

DV (dirtyvicar), Saturday, 9 September 2006 20:48 (fifteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
> "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Hi, Aleister Crowley.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 00:09 (fifteen years ago) link

> "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Hi, Aleister Crowley.

Or someone else...

mikef (mfleming), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 05:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Is there any choice?

HONEST ABE, BITCHES

EsteBAN LOUIS JAGGER (ESTEBAN BUTTEZ~!!!), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 06:35 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't know what the revisionists say about Wexford, where Cromwell's army massacred the entire population of the town.

Not true

Am I Re-elected Yet? (Dada), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 07:56 (fifteen years ago) link

OK, then the revisionists probably say that he did not massacre the entire population of the town, and maybe they are right.

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 08:02 (fifteen years ago) link

Well, it's disputed. Also disputed how much Cromwell had to do with it. Usual revisionist stuff.

Am I Re-elected Yet? (Dada), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 08:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Cromwell would still kick Abe's ass!

Stone Monkey (Stone Monkey), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 09:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Usual revisionist stuff.

to be honest, the way you learn about Cromwell in school in Ireland is so obviously demonising of him that I bet his army marched around Ireland handing out sweets to little children and playing with little bunny rabbits.

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 10:20 (fifteen years ago) link

His army didn't, but he did

Am I Re-elected Yet? (Dada), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 10:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Whatever else may be said of the demonising of Cromwell (and I do not doubt that this has been overplayed), the fact is that Protestants not only hated and (perhaps understandably) feared Catholics but that the English looked upon the Irish as little more than savages. Since the threat of an Irish Royalist Army under Stafford had been one of the sparks that set off the Civil War, Cromwell was trying to brutally eradicate the threat of armed Irish intervention in English affairs and the savagery of his army may be overstated but it is pretty undeniable.

M. White (Miguelito), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 12:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Well - the savagery of Cromwell's Ireland boils down to two incidents, the storming of Drogheda and Wexford and the massacares that followed. The Drogheda massacare (mainly of English Royalists) was entirely within the rules of war as then understood by everyone. The events in Wexford are more muddled and I cannot comment on them.

So the savagery of Cromwell's army in Ireland is deniable. I have read recent scholarship about how his army was less savage towards Irish people than the army of the Irish catholic Confederates (more inclined to buy things from locals, less inclined to rape and pillage).

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 15:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, but what has Sinead O'Connor have to say about him?

Am I Re-elected Yet? (Dada), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 15:50 (fifteen years ago) link

four years pass...
eight years pass...

Reminder that the Los Angeles federal courthouse has a statue of Abraham Lincoln where he's a shirtless young stud suggestively tugging at his waistband like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model: pic.twitter.com/32bjqEERYi

— Zack Stentz (@MuseZack) February 20, 2019

omar little, Thursday, 21 February 2019 05:42 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

Really nice rev by Keith Thomas on an odd book on Cromwell, which has many descriptions of the English land (and sky) scape.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2022/06/23/the-making-of-oliver-cromwell-hutton-thomas/

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 19 June 2022 17:05 (one week ago) link

Highly ironic to revive this on Juneteenth in order to give a shout out to Cromwell.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Sunday, 19 June 2022 18:16 (one week ago) link


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