This is the fifth lesson out of scheme of work on the English Civil War. Originally designed for the AQA GCSE Paper 2 (Thematic Studies, Power and the People, Challenging Royal Authority) however these resources could be used for any Key Stage 3, 4 or 5 lesson on the English Civil War. This lesson looks at what happened after Charles’ execution and whether Oliver Cromwell was the hero or the villain of the English Civil War. Pupils begin by drawing two differing interpretations of Cromwell (one more favourable than the other). Pupils discuss why there might be differing interpretations of Cromwell before analysing further interpretations on Cromwell and deciding if they portray Cromwell as a hero or a villain. Next, pupils look at changing perceptions of Cromwell over time and plot these onto a time graph (pupils look at changing interpretations of Cromwell both through the story of his head and historiography about Cromwell). Finally, pupils evaluate whether Cromwell was a hero or villain and write a speech either defending or attacking him using the interpretations they analysed either to come to a judgement.
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