For my contribution to our class’s learning about the English Civil War, I studied and presented information about Oliver and Richard Cromwell, the two primary leaders in the Parliament. The main idea of this being how they affected the course of the war, and how they came into the position they were in and maintained that status. With my group, we presented using an interactive timeline, and a modified version of the song Royals. Our group contributed to the class since we gave them the Parliaments side of view, and showing them what went on during the war on their side. This later affected other groups, such as the mock trial of King Charles, since people now knew who they were really discussing, and the back story of each side. To improve our project, I believe that we could have arranged a better date for our timeline presentation, since due to my rugby game I was very pressed for time and had to rush through my part. If we could have been more proactive, and arranged a better time, we could have gone more in depth into our topic, and allowing the class to be more engaged with the interactive timeline. To improve future class assignments, I believe that a schedule should be laid out before hand, so that if anyone has any issues with the amount of time they are given, or when they are scheduled to present, they will have ample warning and time to change it.
Besides my own group’s project, one project that really caught my interest was the court case. I found it very engaging, and their methods of having everyone participate as a witness made everyone be able to be engaged. It helped me get a new insight on to why King Charles was really executed, and changed my feelings greatly towards the politics or the English Civil War and how they impacted the people. For me, this unit only raised a few questions, since most of them have already been answered. Some I still have include why King Charles overlooked how his choice of wife would affect the country, since he should have known that it would cause issues. Another question is why the court case of King Charles had such untrustworthy witnesses, an example of which being a common farmer who took his information from a relative, not even having seen it first hand. While listening to the presentations of other groups, I would take notes each day on what topics in their discussions related to my topic, so that I could get an easy source of information. If I were to do a unit like this again, I would start by getting an overview of the whole situation, and not just my part. Studying only Cromwell ended up being rather confusing, and I think that the whole unit would have been easier if I first put more effort into learning about the entire Civil War. Some things I would like to improve upon is for every group to give a very brief summary of their topic all on one day, within a few days of starting. if the summary was brief, just words and no fancy pictures, people would only need a day or two to do it, and the entire class could have some form of background on the event before diving into it.
I believe that in the English Civil War, we should be cheering for the side of the monarchs. Although this may surprise some, I chose this side since King Charles was attacked without much provocation. The main reason he was attacked is because he married a woman who had a different religion than others, and from there everyone went crazy against the King. If he had stayed in power, taxes would have been raised, but a relative peace would have been kept. There would not have been all the destruction from the parliament, and although he did dissolve them perhaps they should have just gone away peacefully, allowing him to maintain a blasphemous rule for the short years he had left. He was going to die eventually, so a lot of death could have been avoided if the parliament just left him to make ill advised decisions and eventually die, allowing someone else who is perhaps a bit smarter and more fair to take the throne. If we had just left King Charles alone, the entire English Civil War could have been avoided.