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Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1658) is a major figure in British history. As a result of the British Civil Wars in the mid-17th century, he became a soldier and statesman of lasting fame and influence. He is the only commoner ever to have been the head of state in England. Oliver Cromwell, with others, was responsible for the trial and execution in 1649 of Charles I, which led to the establishment of the Commonwealth and the Republic that lasted until the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660.

Cromwell is still a very controversial figure in British history, hated by some, held as a great man by others.

Regardless of one’s opinion, he is one of Britain’s defining historical figures. The origins of our democracy and our modern army can be traced back to him, and he continues to be quoted and referenced today.