William of Normandy defeats Harold Godwinson at Hastings and becomes king of England and Normandy.
Edward “the Confessor” more interested in the Church than in kingship. There was a church in almost every village. Pattern of the English village, with its manor house and church, dates from this time.
Henry II was the first unquestioned ruler of the English throne for a hundred years and he was ruler of far more land than any previous king.
- Henry used his feudal right to appoint bishops. He delayed the appointment of a new archbishop for five years, enabling him to get all the financial income of Canterbury.
Edward I ruled over Wales and in Ireland he controlled Dublin and “the Pale” the surrounding area, but he did not control Scotland. In 1290 a crisis took place over the succession to the Scottish throne. Among the most likely to succeed (of 13 candidates) were John de Balliol and Robert Bruce, both Norman-Scottish knights. In order to avoid civil war the Scottish nobles invited Edward I to settle the matter. Edward invaded Scotland and put John de Balliol on the throne. Edward made him provide money and troops for the English army and the Scottish nobles rebelled. Edward invaded again and captured all the main Scottish castles. A popular resistance movement arose, led by William Wallace
Henry VII: believed that business was good for the state. avoided wars -> left 2 million pounds
Henry VIII: wasteful, political power in Europe. Spain (Catherine of Aragon) and france, CHURCH OF ENGLAND, , Anne Boleyn
Edward VI: child when he became king, so the country was ruled by a council
Mary: was the Catholic daughter of Catherine of Aragon. She was the first queen to actually rule England. marry King Philip of Spain. . She then began burning Protestants.
Elizabeth I became queen in 1558. She wanted to find a peaceful answer to the problems of the English Reformation. Elizabeth kept her cousin, Mary, as a prisoner for twenty years. named Philip as her heir to the throne of England, Mary had become a serious threat, and Elizabeth agreed to her execution in 1587.
In 1588 news of this Armada reached Elizabeth. She realized that the Spanish had to be fought at sea. The English defeated the Armada, helped by the weather, and England became a major sea power.
captured Robert (his elder brother). Now Henry ( Henry I) ruled Normandy and England.
During the next century the Plantagenets, Edwards, Richards, and after 1400 Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI from the Lancaster side of the family, kept trying to win back large territories in France. They claimed a right to the French throne and fought the so-called ‘Hundred Years War’ (1337-1453). Initially they were successful, but things didn’t go so well in England: during 1348-1349 the plague, better known as the Black Death, swept through the country and more than one-third of the population died.
The modern British parliament has a legacy that stretches back to just after the Norman Conquest, when an informal group of nobles and high-ranking clergy met to advise the kings of England. Soon it developed into a more formal assembly, the Great Council, meeting three times a year to assist the king in governing his kingdom and making laws.
Included inheritance and tax reforms
Henry was restored to power, the growing importance and power of Parliament was now irrefutable and Henry was forced to make some conciliatory moves, which were recognized under the Statute of Marlborough, passed in 1267. Many of the clauses in that document remain in force today.
Edward I went one stage further in 1295 summoning to Parliament two knights and lesser Church figures from each county and, from each of various towns, two representatives that did not belong to the clergy or aristocracy. His motive was to gain more widespread support and raise money for his military campaigns. Termed by historians in the 19th century as the Model Parliament, this set the pattern that was to follow. Two years later he consented not to collect taxes without parliamentary consent.
William organized the kingdom according to the feudal system.
Principles of feudalism:
- Every man had a lord, and every lord had land. The king was connected through this ‘chain’ of people to the lowest man in the country. At each level a man had to promise loyalty and service to his lord. Each lord had responsibilities to his vassals. He had to give them land and protection
The nobles also had to give their king part of the produce of the land. Greater nobles gave part of their lands to lesser nobles, knights, and other ‘freemen’.
- Some freemen paid for the land by doing military service, others paid rent. The noble kept ‘serfs’ to work on his own land, who were not free to leave and often were little better than slaves.
William wanted to know exactly who owned which piece of land, and how much it was worth. He needed this information so that he could plan his economy, how much he could ask in tax. He sent a team of people all through England to make a complete economic survey.
Replaced by his brother John (greedy)
John unpopular: took more money from his subjects and offered no protection. He also quarreled with the pope and the pope closed every church in England.
recapture Normandy. His lords no longer trusted him and refused, they marched to London, where they were joined by angry merchants. John was forced to sign the Magna Carta .