Lesson video

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Hello, I'm Mr. Olivey.

And I'm reading a different book today about the English Civil Wars.

This one's called God's Englishman by Oliver Cromwell.


Now we've finished.

We're nearly done.

We're at the final lesson of our inquiry.

I can't wait to see the things you're going to produce at the end of this lesson.

In fact, I get to have a Blue Peter moment 'cause here is one I made earlier.

'Cause you're going to make something that looks like this, only better.

Now in order to make something that looks like this, only better, you'll need to go and get a pen and some paper.

So pause the video if you haven't done that and go and do that now.


You've got a pen and some paper, you can now make something like this.

Um, second thing, find a reasonably quiet place to work because artistic genius, it requires, it requires time and it requires calm.

So please, please ensure that you have those in abundance.


I can't wait to answer our inquiry question.

So let's go and do that now.

So this is the final lesson of our sixth lesson inquiry and the title for today is 'The World Turned Upside Down'.

And our inquiry question that we're going to answer this lesson is: In what ways was Britain turned upside down in the 17th century? And we've looked, over the previous five lessons, at this cartoon a lot.

And we thought about the world in which this image was produced.

A world where a King was going to war with his Parliament and a world that would like to see the King executed and replaced by Cromwell and the Puritans.

And we are now nearly ready to answer this question, in what ways was Britain turned upside down in the 17th century? But before we can start thinking about how we might answer this, we first need to go over that story again.

So this is the story of Britain from 1642 to 1658.

Now you might notice that there's a little star, an asterisk, by the word Britain there, that I put, or should I say the British Isles? And that's because the official Act of Union, where Great Britain as we know it today, becomes a sort of a political union of different kingdoms that only happens in 1707.

And that's about 50, 60 years after our period of study here.

So even though I've used the word Britain a lot, what I really mean is the British Isles, or very often, I'm primarily talking about England.

So yeah, just thought that's worth clearing up.

But anyway, we'll learn more about that in another inquiry.

For now, it's the story of Britain from 1642 to 1658.

Let's get going.

So we start it off then.

We have King Charles.

He believed that he had a divine right to rule from God.

However, some other people did not believe this, namely his Parliament.

In fact, they really disliked some of the things Charles was doing so they went to war with him in the first English Civil War.

And then the people in this New Model Army started to challenge the leaders of the army and they said, we want rights.

We want votes for all men who are 21 and over.

But sadly, the Putney Debates ended in failure for the Levellers and a Second Civil War broke out between Charles and Parliament.

But once again, Parliament won and this time they were not so keen to negotiate with Charles.

And Charles was put on trial by the Rump Parliament on the 20th of January 1649 and 10 days later, he was executed.

And this shocked the people of England.

They could not believe it.

They thought that the Rump Parliament had killed God's representative on earth.

They were utterly, utterly shocked.

And out of this shock and chaos emerged all kinds of different groups.

Like the Quakers, who argued that you don't need the hierarchies of the established church.

And that actually there is an 'inner light' that comes from all people and that anyone can preach the gospel, even women and the poor.

There were also groups like the Diggers who said that, property is all about basically just enriching the wealthy and that the earth should be seen as a common treasury for all men and women to share.

Again, these ideas terrified the English ruling elites.

And that's not even to mention the Ranters, who even though histories are not sure whether they existed, claimed that sinning brought them closer to God.

And obviously, this absolutely terrified the top people at the top of English society.

They could not believe that there were people fighting and drinking and swearing and running around the town naked, stealing things.

They thought that this was terrifying.

And all of these new religious ideas were soon met with very, very harsh attacks in books and pamphlets, like this one by Thomas Edwards, where he compared groups like the Diggers and the Ranters to Gangrene, a disease that rots the flesh of people.

Now, eventually Cromwell became fed up with the Parliament that was left behind, the Rump Parliament that had executed Charles I, and he decided to rule England as Lord Protector.

He was not a king.

Instead, England was a Republic with Cromwell as its Lord Protector.

And his followers, did all kinds of things that shocked people.

They massacred Irish Catholics in Drogheda and in Wexford.

And this led to Cromwell being known as the 'Butcher of Drogheda' in parts of the Republic of Ireland today.

And the Puritans also banned lots of very popular pastimes in England.

They banned theatre, they banned dancing excessively, they banned celebrating Christmas, they banned football because they wanted to purge the country of any kind of, what they saw as sin.

And this made the Puritans very unpopular.

In fact, they were so unpopular that a couple of years after Cromwell died, his head was dug up and was stuck on a pike outside the city of London.


That was quite a long story.

Well done if you've been able to follow along.

Let's sort these statements about that story into whether they are true or false, 'cause that will help you understand everything that we've covered so far in our inquiry.

So pause the video now, true or false.


Let's find out the answers.

So the Civil War was not fought between England and France.

It was fought between England and England because it was a civil war happening within a country.

It was fought between Parliament and the King, between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers.

It is true that the Levellers wanted votes for all men over 21 in 1647.

But it's false that most English people wanted Charles I to be executed in 1649.

In fact, most English people were still quite keen to negotiate with the King at that point.

So also false that Gangraena praised the Ranters, Diggers and Levellers.

If anything, it was incredibly critical of them because it compared them to a horrible disease called Gangrene.

It's true that Cromwell massacred Irish Catholics in Drogheda in 1649.

And it's also true that Puritans banned dancing and theatre in the 1650s.

Well done if you've got those right.

We've now finished the story of our inquiry.

And we can now move on to doing some analysis.

And thinking about how we can answer this question, in what ways was Britain turned upside down in the 17th century? So I'd like you to pause the video, read the slides on the next page and answer the comprehension questions and resume the video once you've finished.


Let's go through the answers to those comprehension questions.

So these are our four questions that you've just answered.

Question one.

Name three categories that historians use to describe different types of changes over time.

So the correct answer would be society, politics, and religion.

These are different categories that historians might look at having changed or stayed the same.

That's a correct answer.

A better answer would be, society refers to how people lived and what they thought about their lives.

Politics referred to how people were ruled and who had power.

Religion refers to what people believed about the church and God.

Question two.

Give an example of a social change that took place in Britain between 1642 and 1658.

Correct answer would be something like, the Diggers wanted to share the land.

The better answer would be, groups like the Diggers challenged England's strict social hierarchy.

Winstanley and his followers saw the earth as a 'common treasury'.

They wanted to share food and farmland with all people.

Number three.

Give an example of a political change that took place in Britain between 1642 and 1658.

Correct answer would be something like, the Levellers wanted to give ordinary people a say in politics.

But a better answer would be, the Levellers wanted most men aged 21 and over to be given the vote.

Some even considered involving women in politics.

These were radical ideas.

There are lots of other political changes and social changes you could have mentioned by the way.

So don't worry if you picked a different one.

This is just a kind of thing you might've probably written.

Finally, question four.

Give an example of a religious change that took place in Britain between 1642 and 1658.

You could say something like the Quakers emerged in the 1650s.

But a better answer would be, the Society of Friends, Quakers, gained lots of members in the 1650s.

The Quakers were pacifists who believed that all people had an 'inner light'.

They challenged established church hierarchies.

Okay, well done for answering those comprehension questions.

We now then know about some of these different kinds of ways that Britain was turned upside down.

We know about social changes.

We know about political changes.

And we know about religious changes.

So those might be new terms to you, and that's okay, because the way historians talk about change, is they talk about different types of change.

You know they don't say, the world was completely turned upside down.

They might say, this aspect of politics changed dramatically or this aspect of society or this aspect of religion.

And that's why we've introduced those words.

To check, we know what they mean though.

I want to try and sort these nine statements into whether they are social, political or religious changes.

So these track through the story that we've learned over the previous five lessons.

And if it's social, put it in that sort of green, I guess we could say that's a green colour? If it's political, put it in the pink and if it's religious, put in the blue colour.

So sort through those, pause the video and then unpause to see if you've got them right.

And by the way, some of them could fit into multiple categories, okay? There isn't really a right answer with some of these and that's fine.

So pause the video now.



So let's see, social, political or religious changes.


So number one, the English Civil War divided families and communities.

Now I'm going to say that that one is mainly a social change 'cause that's referring to the way it affected families and communities, as opposed to sort of the political leadership.

Number two.

The Levellers wanted votes for most men aged 21 and over.

I think that's definitely a political change 'cause they wanted a change in who is involved in politics.

Number three.

Charles I was accused of being a tyrant and a traitor.

Again, I think that's definitely a political change.

The King's power is being challenged.

And again, number four.

There could be an element of social change here because of the trauma that it left the English society in, as a whole.

But I've again said that this is a mainly a political change because it's the power of the King being, well taken away 'cause he's been killed.

Okay, number five.

The Quakers disliked the established church and its priests.

Now I think that's definitely a religious change.

The Quakers came along and they challenged and changed the way lots of people approach religion and their relationship with God.

Number six.

The Diggers saw the earth as a 'common treasury'.

Okay, I think this is more of a social change because the Diggers are challenging the social hierarchy in England.

And they're saying that actually the land should be shared with everyone.

No one should have to be poor or hungry.

Number seven.

Cromwell massacred Irish Catholics in Drogheda and Wexford.

Now I think that is definitely primarily a religious change.

Catholics faced a very, very brutal treatment in Ireland, and in actually in England and Scotland as well, during this period because they were associated with Charles I.

Number eight.

Cromwell ruled England as 'Lord Protector' from 1653-58.

I think that's definitely a political change.

We've seen at the beginning of the period we have a king and at the end of the period we have no king and instead a Lord Protector.

And finally number nine.

The Puritans banned dancing, footfall and theatre.

I think that's a social change.

They are banning all of these sort of social pastimes that made all of the people of England very, very happy.

It's obviously with them being banned, people were quite upset.


Well done if you've got those right.

And if you've got a few of them slightly different, that's fine.

These categories that historians use are open to interpretation and you could argue that some of these political changes are more social and you could say, actually that's not really so much social, that's political and that's fine.

As long as you can give a good reason rooted in evidence for it, I think that, that's completely okay.

So why have I got us to do this then? Well, it's because the way we're going to answer our inquiry question is, we're going to come back to this cartoon for one final time and we're going to think about creating our own version of this, that shows how the world was turned upside down.

And what I'd like you to do is create an image that looks something like this but hopefully a bit better.

Now I've drawn this and there's some things on there that are not very good or very clear.

But what I've tried to do is show the social, religious and political changes that took place in 17th century Britain.

So I've included things like, in the social changes, the number of people that died in the Civil War.

The fact that women and children were widowed and orphaned.

The fact that the Diggers challenged the ruling elites.

And the fact the Puritans banned all these past times.

In the religious changes, I've talked about Puritanism, the massacres of Irish Catholics, the Quakers, and even the Ranters.

And in political changes, I've got the Civil War, the Putney Debates, the execution of Charles and Cromwell as Lord Protector.

So what I would like you to do is create an image that looks a bit like this one of, 'The World Turned Upside Down'.

You can pause it on this slide if you're looking for some inspiration but I deliberately missed off lots of stuff because I think you can certainly make yours look better than mine.

I mean my drawings are pretty terrible.

So that's what I'd like you to do.

That's how we're going to finish our inquiry.

You're going to create a 17th century style political cartoon that shows the ways in which the world was turned upside down.

And I think it would be helpful to discuss social changes, religious changes and political changes.

If you think something is somewhere between the two, why not have it appear twice or maybe an arrow showing it blending into the two categories.

That would be fine as well.


So pause the video now and answer our inquiry question.

In what ways has Britain turned upside down in the 17th century? By producing an image that looks a bit like this.


Well done for finishing your picture.

Well done because you've answered our inquiry question.

If someone asked you, in what ways was Britain turned upside down in the 17th century? You could now give them a very long answer because you've spent six lessons learning about that, mastering that story and thinking about the different types of changes that happened.

So very well done.

If you'd like to, please ask your parents or carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, tagging @OakNational and #LearnwithOak.

Well done for completing that inquiry.

I've really enjoyed teaching it to you.

And I think your pictures should be a really interesting way of sort of summing up everything we've studied so far.

That's bye from me for now.

Thank you for all your hard work.