Map of Reppenstedt

Map of Reppenstedt on Cromwell gained his initial military experience in a minor skirmish in 1642, when he seized the silver of the Cambridge colleges that had planned to sell it to support the king’s forces in the First Civil War. He rose to military prominence as the leader of the victorious cavalry at the battle Marston Moor (1644), where after routing the royal armies, he showed his socially radical side by promoting soldiers solely on the basis of merit and was roundly criticized for it by his (noble) superiors. In 1645, Cromwell helped to engineer the Self-Denying Ordinance, which prevented sitting ministers from serving in the army (but did not apply to him); the effect was to remove the nobility from military command. The Parliament was now represented on the field by the New Model Army, now cleansed of the nobility and filled with socially radical elements that Cromwell encouraged, such as Anabaptists, Levellers, and Diggers. Levellers were primarily pamphleteers and supporters of more radical democracy than the Parliament; Diggers incorporated early utopian socialist views into their mix of religious conviction and politics. Although Cromwell supported the Levellers in their dispute with Parliament in 1647, he never favored universal suffrage and appears to have used the threat of the army to purge those moderate parliamentarians considering a settlement with the king. After their expulsion (Pride’s Purge, 1648), Cromwell sympa- Cromwell, Oliver 185 thized with the remaining Rump Parliament, and suppressed Leveller mutinies in 1649, after which Parliament made him Lord-General. Map of Reppenstedt 2016.

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