cromwell, oliver


An English Puritan political leader and general of the seventeenth century. He led the army of parliament to victory over King Charles I in the English Civil War and afterward emerged as ruler of the nation under the title Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. A skillful general and administrator, and a ruthless dictator (see dictatorship), he was particularly harsh in his suppression of rebellion in Ireland. After his death, monarchy was soon restored. (See Restoration.)

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