British History (OP2)

Hello, fellow travelers!

Throughout the past semester, the class has undergone a precursor course that gave information about life in Medieval England, British history, sites of importance, and the people that made it all happen. One of the topics that I, myself, was unfamiliar with was the British civil war. The time period of the civil war was located in the mid-17th century. A helpful reference for those that are unfamiliar with that time period include Christopher Columbus sailing for the “New World”. While the dates are not the same, it gives reference for what was going on here in America during that time.

The civil war consisted of two sides. The Roundheads on one side and the Cavaliers on the other. The Cavaliers were the ones that were in favor of having a monarch in charge while the Roundheads wanted a more democratic government. Other differences include the overall look of each party. The Cavaliers tended to have long, curly hair, a handsome disposition, flashy and brightly colored clothes, and a care-free attitude. They were more concerned with having fun and having a looser hold on society. If you think about how we use the word “cavalier” today, it tends to have a negative connotation. Part of that reason could be thought to have come from the negative use by the Roundheads during the civil war. The Roundheads, on the other hand, wear their hair shorter, dress more modestly, centered on religion and piety as the way life should be lived, and were more organized in their political and military choices. They relied on discipline, hard work, and God to make their living instead of having fun or, God forbid, become intoxicated because it led to the downfall of the people. The two sides clashed and raged war against each other before finally coming to an agreement. Thus, Parliament was born which provided a democratic opportunity for the government while still having a monarch as a symbol of the British people.

Today, the conflict can still be seen although on a much smaller scale. Each side believes that they are superior to the other and competition tends to break out. However, there are many people that find within themselves a part of both sides. In some areas such as working, life tends to be more Roundhead in nature, whereas the pub scene or a club, tends to be more of a Cavalier attitude. Even within areas such as sports, there are sides that are chosen, but many people exhibit signs of both sides. So while they may claim to be one side or the other, they secretly act both parts.

As for me, I see this here in the States as well. The conflict between regional and political debates play out similarly to that of the English conflict. For us, it is stereotypes between the South and the North; Coastal Areas and Inland Areas; etc. It also plays out between the two biggest political parties, sometimes separating states or communities. While many people claim that are one thing, they also exhibit similarities with people on the other side. It is an interesting dynamic that is hard to handle sometimes. But it is part of our and their history that will remain with all of us.

Ashley H.


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