Mitchell Heisman's suicide note, evolution of liberal democracy

Best viewed at decades zoom - p 19 Stated briefly, a longterm consequence of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 was a nepotistic “class” system imposed over the defeated Anglo-Saxons. Yet, as Thomas Jefferson put it, “although this constitution was violated and set at naught by Norman force, yet force cannot change right. A perpetual claim was kept up by the nation” for “a restoration of their Saxon laws.”1 This ongoing kinship-ethnic conflict broke out most radically as the English Civil War (1642-1651), the American War for Independence (1775-83), and the American Civil War (1861-65). Liberal democracy in the English-speaking world originated, in part, through the evolution of this tribal struggle.

Main

p 638-39 If ‘Plan A’ was the revolt during the first five years following the Conquest then ‘Plan B’ was the revolution in social and political relations that constitutes modern democracy. The revolution of 1776 accomplished, in part, what the Anglo- Saxon revolts of 1066-1071 did not. [...] The problem of legitimacy was resolved through the superior military force of the Normans — for a time. Yet the disinherited Anglo- Saxons never completely lost hope of reinheritance. Nor did the new political lineages ever completely lose the infamy of hereditary enemies. The Normans may have won the Battle of Hastings in that famous year, but had they won the war of generations?

Normans arrive in Italy

999

Norman Conquest of England Begins

1066

Eleven Years Tyranny

1629 - 1640

p 782 Refusing to be bound by the Petition of Right, Charles I
ruled from 1629 to 1640 without Parliament. This period
became known as the “Eleven Years Tyranny.” In 1640 a
rebellion in Scotland forced the king to call a new
Parliament. Refusing to grant the taxes that their sovereign
demanded, tensions mounted. By 1642, England was in a
state of civil war. When Parliament emerged victorious in
1649, not only was King Charles I beheaded, but the
hereditary House of Lords was abolished.

English Civil War

1642 - 1651

Glorious Revolution

1688 - 1689

p 795 By recognizing how these conflicts were rooted in a
foreign invasion of French-Normans in 1066, one can
comprehend how a foreign invasion of Dutchmen could be
perceived as a resolver of internal English conflict in 1688.

The Netherlands was controlled by Franks in 4th to 8th
century and Charlemagne’s empire in the 8th and 9th
centuries. They were subsequently ruled by Burgundy and
the Austrian Habsburgs. It was rule by Catholic Spain in the
16th and 17th century, however, that highlighted the
common historic experience of the Dutch and the Anglo-
Saxons under Latinate imperialists.
King Phillip II of Spain sailed his famous Armada in 1588
with the intention to invade and conquer England. The Spanish
Armada had revived conquestphobia, and reignited, in the
Anglo-Saxon mind, a mental association of Spanish
imperialism and Norman-like tyrannical conquerors. This
experience must be kept in mind when considering Anglo-
Saxon perceptions of the Spanish conquest of the
Netherlands.
Dutch revolt against the Spanish Empire took place over a
period of eighty years (1568-1648) and ended with the birth
of the Dutch Republic. It is only the tired tradition of
mindless submission to belief in the rightness and
inevitability of the Norman Conquest that still blinds people
to the strength of this convergence of historic experience.
The parallel here is between culturally Germanic
(“Protestant”) Dutch and Anglo-Saxons struggling against
culturally Latinate (“Catholic”) Spanish and French-
Normans. It was the inspirational Dutch example of revolt
against the Latin Yoke that helped awaken the Anglo-Saxons
from their political slumber under the Norman Yoke. The
Dutch rebellion against Spain helped inspire the Anglo-
Saxon rebellion against the Normans that was the English
Civil War. Thus, when we trace the genealogy of revolution
it is really the Dutch, and not the English or the French, who
were the first de facto pathbreakers towards modern liberal
democracy.

American Revolution

1775 - 1783

American Civil War

1861 - 1865

Theme

The Norman Yoke

1066 - 1651

p 685 [Christopher] Hill described the basic theory of the Norman Yoke as such:

Before 1066 the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of this country
lived as free and equal citizens, governing themselves
through representative institutions. The Norman Conquest
deprived them of this liberty, and established the tyranny of
an alien King and landlords. But the people did not forget
the rights they had lost. They fought continuously to recover
them, with varying success. Concessions…were from time
to time extorted from their rulers, and always the tradition
of lost Anglo-Saxon freedom was a stimulus to ever more
insistent demands upon the successors of the Norman
usurpers.453

It was an entirely secular theory which

united the Third Estate against Crown, Church, and
landlords, branding them as hereditary enemies of the
people. It suggested that the ruling class is alien to the
interest of the majority of the population…The people could
conduct its own affairs better without its Norman rulers,
whose wealth and privileges are an obstacle to equality. The
nation is the people.454

A yoke usually refers to a wooden bar or frame by which
non-human animals are joined to work them together, but it
can also mean a similar arched device that is laid on the neck
of a defeated person. The idea of the Norman Yoke, then,
associates the human slavery of non-human animals with
slavery among human groups. The English Civil War could
thus be viewed as an attempt to overthrow the Norman
slavery that was in inherent conflict with the freedom of the
Anglo-Saxon nation.

Stubbs' "Golden Age" of slavery in England

1066 - 1297

p 843 The idea that these first centuries following Hastings
constituted a genuine form of slavery and English liberties
were inspired from the struggle against the Normans
oppression in this formative period was held by the
influential nineteenth century English historian of the
English constitution, William Stubbs. He believed that the
Norman Conquest “helped to develop and concentrate the
wasted energies of the native race...[the Normans’] restless
activity and strong political instinct roused the dormant
spirit and disciplined even while it oppressed it.”601 Stubbs
helped to reveal how the Norman Conquest was truly a
historical turning point: Norman oppression catalyzed the
English need for freedom by creating the need for freedom
from the conquerors in the first place. This verdict is evident
in the conclusion of his great historical survey:

[H]ow was English liberty won? It was not won all at once;
it was not a paper constitution written out at will of a liberal
sovereign, or extorted from a needy one according to the will and pleasure of a school of theorists. It was the growth
of two hundred and thirty years of labour and sorrow [1066-
1297]...it was a gradual limitation of oppression and
oppressive power that was indeed in itself a usurpation, but
was a discipline needed to bring strength out of weakness.602

The Normans may have even catalyzed the Anglo-Saxon
work ethic that ultimately out-industrialized them.

p 1114 If there was a period
that could be called the age of Anglo-Saxon slavery it is what
the great historian of English constitutionalism, William
Stubbs, called “two hundred and thirty years of labour and
sorrow” from 1066 to 1297.

Apartheid of kinship, language, and culture

1066 - 1266

p 766 Dr. Keats-Rohan further documented that close to no
intermarriage occurred between the Norman aristocracy and the English in the first hundred years following the
Conquest and no intermarriage at all in the top ten Norman
families for over two centuries. For four generations, the
intermarriage rate was less than five percent among a
further two thousand Norman families. This social and
ethnic separatism she calls ‘a medieval forerunner of
apartheid’.534 This study “stands on its head the old
assumption that from the start there was substantial
intermarriage between the conquerors and the conquered,”
observed Michael Wood. “In reality, it would appear that the
Normans considered themselves to be socially and ethnically
superior”.535 The elite Normans considered themselves a
genuine family-aristocracy; the best, at the very least, at a
military-political kin selective strategy.
It is hard to not see the origins of “English class system”
in this apartheid of kinship, language, and culture. Within
this system, the Anglo-Saxons were relegated to an inferior
order of human being. Put another way, this convergence of
tribe, culture, and “class” was really a caste system. English
“class” hatred originally differed only in degree from what
is now called “race” hatred.
The “class”-apartheid followed naturally from the kin
selective values that propelled the Conquest. If kin-cohesion
was a crucial element of the superiority that allowed them to
become conquerors, then to maintain that superiority over
the long-term requires the preservation of Norman kin-
cohesion. The perpetuation of the “class” system thus
originated in “strong family values”. Conquest is a maximal
strategy of genetic adaptation, but it can retain this
maximization only if maintained through apartheid.

Plan A

1066 - 1075

Original Conquest Order Begins to Break Down

1154 - 1216

p 770 Assimilation, intermarriage, new line of partly Saxon/partly non-Norman kings

p 772 The charter issue came up only about one hundred and
fifty years after the Conquest. As the Keats-Rohan study
indicated, there was no intermarriage among the very top
Norman families at this point. If there be doubt regarding
who produced the great charter, one only need look at the
French or Latinate names of the 25 surety barons who signed
the charter, 22 of which were related by blood or marriage.
Magna Carta was very much a family affair. It aimed to
preserve the special caste privileges of the barons against the
nationally unifying and homogenizing tendencies of
assimilation and against the national unity of a single
hierarchy dominated by the king. Magna Carta was the legal
expression of the long-term effort to establish a baronial
oligarchy, already evident under Stephen, where the
remains of elite Norman kin cohesion was asserted against
the miscegenation of both king and commons.

The Peculiar Revolution

1775 - 1861

read "The Peculiar Revolution" p 665

p 801 The North and South of America’s British colonies could
support the revolution of 1776 for incompatible reasons
because each was hereditarily alienated from the British
compromise of 1688 for incompatible reasons. While the
Northern cause emphasized alienation from Britain’s old
Frenchified Norman aristocracy, the Southern cause
emphasized alienation from the Saxon “progress”
represented by the Hanoverian kings. The encroaching
success of Anglo-Saxon political representation in England
thus helped to catalyze Southern conversion to revolution in
America.

The Anglo-Saxon Yoke

1865 - 2013

Plan A: Revolt

Observations of Ordericus Vitalis

1068

p 634 The fate of England, portrayed in the words of English monk and historian Ordericus Vitalis (1075-1142), was still being fought for in 1068: After large numbers of the leading men of England and Wales had met together, a general outcry arose against the injustice and tyranny which the Normans and their comrades-in-arms had inflicted on the English. They sent envoys into every corner of Britain to incite men openly and secretly against the enemy. All were ready to conspire together to recover their former liberty, and bind themselves by weighty oaths against the Normans. In the regions north of the Humber violent disturbances broke out. The rebels prepared to defend themselves in woods, marshes and creeks, and in some cities. The city of York was seething in discontent, and showed no respect for the holy office of its archbishop when he tried to appease it.

Anglo-Saxon revolts, Harrying of the North

1069 - 1071

The murder of Earl of Northumbria, Robert de Commines

January 28 1069

The greatest of the Anglo-Saxon revolts began with the murder of the Norman who had been appointed Earl of Northumbria, Robert de Commines. The massacre of Robert and his men on January 28, 1069 was followed by the slaughter of Robert fitzRichard and many of his Norman companions by native forces. In retaliation, William returned from a visit to Normandy, “came upon them by surprise from the south with an overwhelming army, and routed them, and killed those who could not escape, which was many hundreds of men”.393 Afterwards, he established a new castle to hold York.

Freedom Fighters Failed, Hereward

1070

Waltheof is beheaded

1075

p 1042 In 1075, Waltheof, the native English earl of Northumbria, joined the rebellion of a Norman earl and a part English, part Breton earl.805 Did he really expect, in his position, that his will would be respected within this new order? This easily quelled rebellion provided an excuse to implement the double standard that characterized the Conquest: while the Frenchmen were deprived of their position and land, Waltheof was beheaded.

p 1043 "Waltheof’s death marked the elimination of the last Englishman in the top ranks of society and the formal end of the English resistance to the Conquest."

Plan B: Revolution - England

abbot removed from position

1085

p 1047 Right from the beginning ethnic hostility between Anglo-
Saxons and Normans found expression in the form of
religious intolerance. Since Normans were in a political
position to cast judgment upon the English, intolerance
could and was extended, not only to Anglo-Saxon religious
practices, but to Anglo-Saxon religious authorities. In 1085,
for example, an abbot was removed from his position
because, as one chronicler put it, “he was English and
hateful to the Normans.”

Domesday Book is completed

1086

p 1682 By 1086, all revolt against the Norman invaders had been crushed. The iron grip of military occupation had lodged itself over the nation in what would become a permanent English “class” institution. The Norman question of English history had been given an authoritative, historical answer.

Henry Huntingdon ashamed to be English

1130

ca. 1130

p 1266 English historian Henry Huntingdon (c.1080-1160) wrote that it was shameful to be called English after the condition the Normans had reduced them to.

Stephen

1135 - 1154

Baronial anarchy reigned during the rule of King Stephen (1135-1154) and the sense of slavery among the majority intensified.

p 768 Norman barons possessed the liberty to plunder from “those whom they thought to have any goods”. In that Norman liberty, one can discern the social scenario that modern Lockean notions of the right to private property retaliated. “The anarchy” further illustrates how modern private property rights rest on an even more basic right: the right to own one’s self. The Norman liberty to “torture them with pains unspeakable” implied that the conquered were Norman property and the barons thus reserved the right to treat Anglo-Saxons, especially the wealthiest in “gold and silver”, like slaves.

p 986 Part of the deeper, inherited, Virginian, intellectual justification for a slave holding, aristocratic society evolved out of Magna Carta’s liberalized rights of conquest — selectively altered and mutated into an argument for states rights. America’s British inheritance can be detected in that federalism (along with the president) corresponds to the King, states rights corresponds to the Lords, and democratically accounted individual rights corresponds to the Commons. “States rights” may have aspired to something approaching the aristocratic freedom (and anarchy) extant during the reign of England’s Norman King Stephen (1135-1154). If one views the major Norman barons as akin to “state governors” and England divided into “states” under the relatively “anti-federal” King Stephen, one can discern the earliest precedent for the peculiar kind of liberalism represented by “states rights”.

p 1134 Genealogist L. G. Pine was a moderate Christian, not a Marxist. He nonetheless observed that “[i]t was not until the ravages of the Black Death that the villein class began to lose its chains. If ever the slogan of the 19th and 20th centuries had any meaning—workers unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains—it was in the period after Hastings—from the 11th to the 14th century,” the period that included the extreme oppression and “anarchy” of Stephen’s reign (1135-1154).

Henry II

1154 - 1189

p 770 The rule of Henry II (1154-89), began a highly significant shift, a reversal of a trend set since the Conquest. Whereas previous Norman rulers had kept down the English populace, Henry II recruited English to help control the Norman nobility. By demanding money from the barons instead of military service, he could hire native English mercenaries loyal to himself alone. There was an observable correlation between the partly Saxon or non-Norman Ancestry of the king and more mutually altruistic behavior with the Anglo-Saxon populace.

The lawless and terroristic liberties that the barons had taken advantage of under Stephen were brought under royal constraint during his less ‘liberal’ rule. Hundreds of unlicensed castles built under Stephen’s reign were demolished. The king also developed a highly effective royal administration system that centralized governmental power. The trends of Henry II’s rule increased kingly despotism at the expense of the barons. This trend would help stimulate a path to civil war under his son, King John. By the time John took the throne near the beginning of the thirteenth century, it was increasingly evident that the original order established by the Conquest was coming undone. From assimilation, intermarriage, and a new line of partly Saxon and partly non-Norman kings, a new English reality emerged. The simpler division of Norman masters and subjugated Saxons could no longer be held.

Richard de Luci reminds ruling order to remember triumph at Hastings

1157

p 852 “The first brutal point blank which strikes anyone in considering the Norman Conquest,” explained L. G. Pine, “is that an entirely new administrative personnel had been clamped upon England. Not merely a new dynasty of kings, not merely an alien race planted in the country, but an all-pervading control which filled the administrative posts in
Church and State.”607

From this traumatic event in England’s childhood matured the Orwellian nightmares of 1984. The kin-cohesive basis of the upper class “conspiracy” has slipped through in the words of Richard de Luci, Henry II’s justiciar. In 1157, he extolled the victory at Hastings to members of the ruling order, reminding them that it should forever be remembered “by you, lord king, and by all us Normans”. In the name of “all this gathering of Norman nobles”, he prayed that the abbey that commemorated the triumph at Hastings be protected “above all against the stratagems of the English!”608

Long after the immediate reality had passed, the partly unconscious cultural attitudes towards government remained. The fear of a deceptive and disguised but all-pervading and all-controlling enemy generalized into an entire Anglo-Saxon political philosophy. Through this inheritance, American politics has so often remained tyrannized by the fear of tyranny, passing the torch of a congenital suspicion of political malfeasance towards even those occasions when no such warrant for it can be found.

Are Americans of the twenty first century still skeptical towards their government? Not skeptical enough! Admittedly, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re really not out to get you. However that may be, these Anglo-Saxon political-cultural traits constitute a centuries old tradition.

Richard de Luci avoids speaking publicly about Conquest

1157

p 744 Where did the Norman-Cavalier masters of the South get the audacious idea that they possessed the hereditary right to the fruit of the labor of other races?

Present at a meeting of the English court in May 1157 was Richard de Lucy, ‘one of the most powerful barons of the kingdom’. He told King Henry that Battle Abbey, built on the ground upon which Hastings was fought, should be revered by himself and all Normans. It was “your chapel and the emblem of your royal crown” for it stood on the very ground upon which the renowned King William, by the will of God and with the aid and counsel of our kinsmen, overcame his foes, who sought to deprive him of the realm and crown of England.

There he acquired the realm and crown for himself and for his successors. All the people of this realm rejoice that through closeness of consanguinity to him and by hereditary right you now reign on his throne, while we possess abundant possessions and riches through the benefices which he conferred, and by succession to our kinsmen.510

Call it the gentle mafia. A Norman gentleman understood that it is not polite to talk publicly about the Norman Conquest. That would only aggravate “class” tensions in ways that are counterproductive to their own “class” interests. In the candid quote above, the “veil of propriety” slipped enough to glimpse the kin selective assumptions behind the Conquest. A polite, unspoken social rule of avoiding direct, and especially public, talk about the Conquest was deceptively clever because it worked through absence; it leaves no empirical, historical trace of evidence. If this is correct, then any scientific investigation of the Norman Conquest could be skewed by the Machiavellian function of such social rules.

This raises the further question of the nature of the connection between the medieval Norman aristocracy and the branch that became the Cavaliers of the American South. How conscious was this connection? Was there a “Normanism ideology”? Would such an ideology have been necessary for the connection to exist and persist? While an overt and intense consciousness of a distinctive aristocratic, Norman-Cavalier-“Southron” identity emerged below the Mason-Dixon Line only around 1850, an“ideological” kinship or ethnic self-consciousness itself is not a requisite for engaging in kin selective behavior. This is a key point, for while I will occasionally use the term “Normanism” to loosely describe a general, nepotistic, Norman-aristocratic way of life, there is no need to assume that Normans themselves explicitly raised such a principle themselves. There is no reason to think that Normans or any other people require any explicit or conscious
intellectualization of the kinship principles that underlies their actual behavior.

Richard Fitznigel, writes about Domesday

1170

ca. 1170

p 1682 1086 was the year that the Normans led an almost
systematic survey of the spoils of their conquest. The
findings of the survey were collected into a book so that
native English assets could be accounted for and taxed
accordingly. In the 1170s, treasurer Richard Fitznigel wrote
in the “Dialogue concerning the Exchequer”

This book is metaphorically called by the native English
Domesday, that is, the “Day of Judgement”. For just as the
verdict of that strict and terrible last account cannot be
evaded by any skillful subterfuge, so when this book is
appealed to on those matters which it contains, its sentence
cannot be quashed or set aside with impunity. That is why
the book is called “The Book of Judgement” (Domesday
Book), not because it contains judgements on various
difficult questions, but because its decisions, like those of
the Last Judgement, are unalterable.1317

Domesday implied the imposition of a verdict from which
there was no appeal. It implied that William behaved as if he
was God. The Conquest had been blessed by the pope and,
reigning upon this authority, William’s will appeared to
many as the will of God.

First Washingtons in England

1180

p 672 According to one source, the very first Washington in
England was originally named William fitzPatric (Norman
French for son of Patric). He changed his name to William de
Wessyngton when he adopted the name of the parish in
which he lived circa 1180 A.D.441 Another source, the late
English specialist in Norman genealogy L. G. Pine, related
that George Washington and his family “has plenty of
Norman ancestry”. He confirmed that this family was on
record as owners of Washington Manor in Durhamshire in
the twelfth century and of knightly rank.442 Since George
Washington was the possessor of “a carefully traced decent
from Edward I”,443 this implies that the first president of the
United States was also a descendant of William the
Conqueror. None other than the twenty-eighth president of
the United States, Woodrow Wilson, affirmed in his biography of Washington that his Cavalier ancestors “hated
the Puritans” and that the first Washingtons in Virginia were
born of a “stock whose loyalty was as old as the
Conquest...They came of a Norman family.

Richard I

1189 - 1199

Layamon describes the arrival of the Normans

1190

ca. 1190

p 855 Imagine, in the time before the Conquest, an English
peasant, rooted in the soil, living a largely unreflective, sensory existence, untroubled by abstractions, but aware of the knotted nooks and crannies of his everyday existence.

Then came the Normans with their evil power…they harmed this nation declared the English priest Layamon in the historical poem Brut (ca. 1190).609

The differences implanted with these French foreigners, their foreign language, their bizarre customs, their haughty attitudes, their distinctive physiognomies, and their imposing energy would all be plainly, palpable in a visceral, common sense way to even the least intelligent Englishman. That three hundred year period following the Conquest wherein the upper class apartheid of kinship and culture was most overt and obvious was the crucial formative period in setting the cultural Anti-Normanism tone. In the same way that children are most impressionable to early childhood experiences, this traumatic experience in England’s childhood left imprints that the matured Anglo-Saxon nations are inclined to dismiss and repress.

Coeur de Lion at 3rd Crusade, Conf. Fitzhugh Lee proud of Norman ancestors

1192

p 701 The proud Norman surname of Fitzhugh has also been used as a first name in the case of Fitzhugh Lee (1835-1905) of Virginia. A Confederate cavalry general, U. S. Army general in the Spanish-American War, and Governor of Virginia, he as a nephew of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. In Fitzhugh Lee’s biography of his nephew, General Lee, he wrote with heartfelt pride in their common ancestors:

By the side of William the Conqueror, at the battle of Hastings, in 1066, Lancelot Lee fought, and a later descendant, Lionel Lee, followed Richard Coeur de Lion, taking part in the third crusade to Palestine, in 1192, at the head of a company of “gentleman cavaliers,” displaying great bravery at the siege of Acre.464

This is not meant to be evidence of genealogical accuracy. It is, however, evidence that the Lees believed themselves to be the heirs of the traditions of Norman conquerors. Other sources trace the Lee lineage to a John de la Lee I (ca. 1209)
and ultimately Hugo “Hugh” de Lega who “came with the Conqueror”.

John

1199 - 1216

Gerald of Wales publishes his sentiments

1200

ca. 1200

p 678 To understand what the election of Abraham Lincoln and his basic unwillingness to compromise with legal, lawful, Constitutional slavery meant to the Anglo-Saxons, one must go back to the first two centuries after the Conquest. Gerald of Wales (1146-1223), a churchman, scholar, and chronicler of three-quarters Norman and one-quarter Welsh descent wrote

The English are the most worthless of all peoples under
heaven, for they have been subdued by the Normans and
reduced by the law to perpetual slavery.445

After the Conquest, and especially under the “anarchy” of the Norman King Stephen, many Anglo-Saxons were treated by many Normans as akin to “niggers” who deserved their hereditary slavery. If the Norman Conquest was legitimate, then reducing Anglo-Saxons to “perpetual slavery” by law was legitimate. The legitimacy of this peculiar form of slavery depended on the legitimacy of the Conquest itself. Why would William need to be a conqueror at all if he was considered a legitimate heir to the throne by the people of England?

John looses Normany and almost all other French possessions

1204

p 771 By the time John took the throne near the beginning of the thirteenth century, it was increasingly evident that the original order established by the Conquest was coming undone. From assimilation, intermarriage, and a new line of partly Saxon and partly non-Norman kings, a new English reality emerged. The simpler division of Norman masters and subjugated Saxons could no longer be held.

Then came John’s loss of Normandy and almost all other French possessions in 1204. The loss of the Normans’ French homeland was not only a colossal political defeat. The barons were increasingly severed from their old French connections on all sides and this forced them to rethink both their identity and their strategy. With the original kinship- culture boundaries crumbling away, this new situation posed problems that could not be sorted out with old answers.

The famous Magna Carta of 1215 was wrested by the barons from King John under duress and threat of civil war. The circumstances of John’s political failures and despotic manner brought the issue of the ground of their privileges to a head, but it became an issue because cultural and genetic assimilation blurred the original group divisions established by Conquest. If kin cohesion was leading to de-cohesion through intermarriage and assimilation, was a hereditary right of conquest also blurred? If the conquerors were blending with the conquered, this trend could ultimately lead to a reversal of a hereditary Norman right of conquest.

Magna Carta

1215

see Magna Paradox

Simon de Montfort’s rebellion

1265

p 1109 The uprisen peasants demanded “that there should be no law within the realm save the law of Winchester”. Winchester was the capitol of England in the days of Saxon King Alfred the Great. Was the peasant revolt bound up with an early form of Anglo-Saxon nationalism? Could it be, as Michael Wood has suggested, that

[t]hey believed that England was an old nation whose rulers had brought in too many foreigners who had grown fat on the nation’s wealth. Foreigners were riding on the backs of the native English who did indeed have a sense of being apart of “our land…our people…our nation” distinct from its Frenchified rulers. It should not be surprising that in one case, in a village called Peatling Magna during Simon de Montfort’s
rebellion in 1265, peasants told the king’s men, armed intruders, that they were against the very communitas regni
(the community of the realm).878 The charge, it seems, was that they were against the commonwealth, not unlike the conception of “Commonwealth” later formed through Puritan Revolution.
Hatred of foreigners with riches in London was only an
extension of the hatred directly against the rich descendants
of the conquerors profiting from and exploiting their nation.
The logic underlying the behavior of both the exploiters and
the exploited was the logic of kin selection. Put another way,
this inexplicable typhoon of violence cannot be understood
without a sociobiological understanding of the collective
unconscious

p 1303 Those attempting to understand the Puritan Revolution,
American Revolution, and the American Civil War can learn
from Wagner’s belief in revolutionary forces that lie within
the unconscious. He envisioned völkisch-national regeneration through emotional and unconscious forces that were hindered by the intellect. The composer offered a relatively coherent expression for what, among Anglo-Saxons, was an inexplicable hostility to things Norman-French.

Consider a scenario told by a historian of the medieval
period about an incident after Simon de Montfort was
defeated and killed following his revolt against Henry III in
1265. In an English village called Peatling Magna:

The king’s men come into the village armed to the teeth. The
peasants tell them to get out, because they are against the
community of the realm, the communitas regni. Think of it.
The peasants tell the king’s men that they are against the
community of the land! Why? How had they grasped that?
And where did the idea come from?

Edward I

1272 - 1307

p 756 Ultimately, William superiority over the other claimants to England’s throne was superiority in force of arms. The brute fact of the Conquest speaks for itself: any Anglo-Saxons who believed William’s rule was legitimate were saddled with a new Norman aristocracy. Any Anglo-Saxons who believed William’s rule was illegitimate were saddled with a new Norman aristocracy. The fait accompli was justified through a legitimate principle of the European civilization of that time: the ight of conquest.

When Earl Warenne was challenged by quo warranto judges of Edward I (1239-1307), he objected, “My ancestors came with William the Bastard and conquered their lands with the sword.” He buttressed his claim by pointing out that “[t]he king did not conquer and subject the land by himself, but our forebears were sharers and partners with him.”529 The Earl of Gloucester similarly claimed “that he holds these lands and liberties by his and his ancestors’ conquest”.530 Could these judges not see the justice of their case through ancestral right of conquest? It was the justice of the Norman trial by battle writ large.

The attempt to find a fully legitimate justification for the Norman conquest of England is almost like trying to legitimize the plunderous Viking raids which landed their ancestors in Normandy to begin with. The hereditary connection to England was almost as decisive to the motive of the Conquest as it was to the Norman conquests of southern Italy, Sicily, and Antioch where there was no pretense of any hereditary connection. What Emma’s son Edward the Confessor provided was a formal hereditary legitimation of Norman kin selective predation.

Normans introduce Jewish community to England, expelled 1290

1290

p 1472 While it would have been impossible to predict this in the year 1066, it could be argued that the long-term influence of the Norman Conquest was one of the best things that ever
happened to the cause of “civilization”. Its very
contradictions ultimately advanced the cause of “humanity”
in general, and the Jews in particular. The Normans
introduced a Jewish community into England which
survived until their expulsion in 1290 (and only reemerged
in the mid-seventeenth century). This, in itself, only
demonstrates how the Normans opened up England to the larger civilization of the West. While Jews had no influence
on the event itself and could hardly appreciate the long-term
political evolution that the Conquest would ultimately
spawn, the fate of the Jewish people has nonetheless become decisively interwoven with the fate of the English-speaking world because of 1066.

Charles I

1629 - 1640

p 782 Refusing to be bound by the Petition of Right, Charles I
ruled from 1629 to 1640 without Parliament. This period
became known as the “Eleven Years Tyranny.” In 1640 a
rebellion in Scotland forced the king to call a new
Parliament. Refusing to grant the taxes that their sovereign
demanded, tensions mounted. By 1642, England was in a
state of civil war. When Parliament emerged victorious in
1649, not only was King Charles I beheaded, but the
hereditary House of Lords was abolished.

Charles I beheaded, House of Lords abolished

1649

Plan B: Revolution - U.S.

Outside of England & U.S.

Normans capture Bari, Italy

1071

p 641 Discussion of "The Norman Empire"

English refugees in Domapia, Varangians, "New England"

1075

Search title words. Chronicon universale anonymi Laudunensis

Byzantine Emperor Michael VII abdicates his throne

1078

p 644 ...a striking parallel to the justification of the Norman invasion of England existed in the betrothal of Guiscard’s daughter to the son of Byzantine emperor Michael VII. When Michael’s fortunes plummeted and he abdicated the throne in 1078, this marriage alliance became the Normans’ excuse for an attack of the in-laws. If Michael could be restored then
Guiscard’s daughter, Helena, could be the hereditary link to Norman inheritance of the old Roman Empire. Just as William the Conqueror’s claim to the throne of England was staked on a single hereditary link of an English king’s marriage to Emma of Normandy, Helena could justify a Norman conquest of this ancient Roman Empire.

Battle of Dyrrhachium

1081

p 644 At the Battle of Dyrrhachium in 1081, remains of the
Anglo-Saxon aristocracy faced off against the self-same
Norman race that had humiliated them and their native
country.

p 645 These Anglo-Saxon warriors escaped and survived the
cataclysm of 1066 only to be burned alive in what other
sources identify as the Church of the Archangel Michael.
Does this event capture the true spirit of early Norman “holy
war”? In Sir Charles Oman’s military-historical perspective,
these two great Norman victories, Hastings and
Dyrrhachium, represented the victory of a progressive
“feudalism” over the backwards “old infantry tactics of the
Teutonic races….The supremacy of the feudal horseman was
finally established.”

Southern Italian Normans rescue Pope Gregory VII

1084

p 642 One of the Normans’ good Christian deeds was the rescue of Pope Gregory VII in 1084. Besieged in his own city of Rome, the pope called for the help of the Southern Italian Normans in his conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor. Word of the advance of Guiscard’s men proved to be enough to compel the Emperor to flee to the north. The Normans conquered Rome after a short siege.

Following Gregory’s restoration, hostility between the Norman army and the Roman townspeople exploded into violence. Demonstrating the superior power of their civilization, the Normans plundered and burned Rome, with greater physical devastation than the sacks of the Visigoths and Vandals that pronounced the death of the old empire in the fifth century. Many of Rome’s leading citizens were sold into Muslim slavery by Guiscard’s followers. Like the Anglo-Saxons before them, Rome itself now knew that they were dealing with the new “superior civilization” of the Normans.

Siege of Antioch

1098

p 641 The Norman conquests of England, Sicily, and southern Italy bear common witness to the explosion of Norman power in the latter half of the eleventh century. The Norman lands in France and England became what John Le Patourel has called “The Norman Empire”. Normans also formed a crucial contingent of the First Crusade. In 1098 Guiscard’s son Bohemund led the capture of what became the Norman principality of Antioch in parts of present day Turkey and Syria. In fact, among Christians, “the concept of Holy War which coloured so much of the political activity of Europe during these years owed a great deal to the Normans.”

after a failed campaign against the Byzantines

1107

p 643 Chronicler Geoffrey Malaterra thought, “the Normans are a crafty race, they always revenge wrongs done to them, they prefer foreign fields to their own in the hope of gain, they are greedy for booty and power.”409 According to Orderic Vitalis, after a failed in a campaign against the Byzantines in 1107, a Norman soldier told his leader Bohemond:

No hereditary right drew us to this daring attempt…but
desire to rule in the domains of another persuaded you to
undertake such a difficult task…and desire to gain enticed
us.410

Unlike the conquest of the English, there was not even a pretense that this Mediterranean Norman empire was founded in an original hereditary right.

Aristocratic Norman colonization of Scotland began with Scottish king David I

1124

reigned from 1124 to 1153

p 757 We can consider the consequences of this peaceful conquest through this question: Was King of Scots, Robert the Bruce (1274-1329), a native “Scottish” patriot who fought for national independence against “the English”? Not quite. Robert de Brus acquired his namesake through his ancestors from Brieux, Normandy. Every subsequent Scottish monarch
(except Edward de Balliol [1282-1364]) and every British monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603 was descended from Robert the Bruce.

Irish Kings admit their defeat to the Normans

1171

p 757 Moreover, when this pattern of Norman behavior is put into perspective, one can see that the Norman kin selective strategy from Normandy into England was only a stepping stone in a noteworthy imperialistic expansion. English genealogist L. G. Pine recognized the same predatory strategy of this “nefarious crew” that Eleanor Searle had observed in the period leading up to the conquest of England. “Where”, inquired Pine in They Came with the Conqueror, “…was fresh land to be founded for the brood of sons whom each Norman lord spawned so liberally?”531 History tells us.

The infamous “English” interference with Ireland began under a guise similar to the conquest of England. It would appear that Norman blood was considered holy as well as noble, and the pope yet again blessed the domination of a land too free from the grip of Rome. The invasion of Ireland began under the initiative of the “Welsh” Norman, Richard “Strongbow” FitzGilbert de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, and was eventually backed by Henry II. The Irish Kings admitted their decisive defeat in 1171.

Robert the Bruce

1274 - 1329

p 757 Aristocratic Norman colonization of Scotland began
under the rule of Scottish king David I (1124-1153). We can
consider the consequences of this peaceful conquest through
this question: Was King of Scots, Robert the Bruce (1274-
1329), a native “Scottish” patriot who fought for national
independence against “the English”? Not quite. Robert de
Brus acquired his namesake through his ancestors from
Brieux, Normandy. Every subsequent Scottish monarch
(except Edward de Balliol [1282-1364]) and every British
monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603 was
descended from Robert the Bruce.

Wales was fully conquered by 1282

1282

p 757 Wales was fully conquered by 1282

Other

St. Anselm offers his ontological proof for the existence of God

1078