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Anglo-Saxon and Norman England


... vassals to the king He scattered fiefs throughout England to make sure the nobles would not unite against him This set foundations of a very strong ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England

Anglo-Saxon and Norman England
  • Kings and lords often struggled for power
  • Some lords were as powerful as kings and served
    the kings when they wished
  • Some kings tried to control nobles
  • From this struggle for power the kingdoms of
    England and France emerged
  • Over time the power of monarchs in these kingdoms
    became supreme

Anglo-Saxon England
  • By 450 Roman rule in Britain ended and Germanic
    tribes moved into the island
  • The culture that emerged from this Germanic
    settlement was name Anglo-Saxon after two
    of the tribes
  • Overtime the Anglo-Saxons formed several
    independent kingdoms in England
  • Eventually they divided these kingdoms into
    governmental districts called shires
  • A shire was governed by a shire-reeve, which
    became the word sheriff

Alfred the Great
  • By the early 800s the kings of Wessex controlled
    almost all of England
  • There power was challenged by the Viking
  • In 871 Alfred the Great came to the throne of
    Wessex determined to drive the Danes (Vikings)
    from the island
  • In 876 he attacked the Danes, by 886 the
    Danes were exhausted and weakened
    and sued for peace
  • They signed a treaty allowing them to live in
    parts of England

Danish Rule
  • During the 900s Alfreds successor won back more
    territory from the Danes
  • They also unified the country, and spread
  • By 1013 the Danes again controlled the entire
  • 1016 King Canute of Denmark took the throne of
    England and most of Scandinavia
  • By 1042 the Danish line had died out and the
    Anglo-Saxon nobles chose Edward the Confessor as
    their new king

The Norman Conquest
  • Edward the Confessor was part Anglo-Saxon and
    part Norman
  • He died without leaving an heir in 1066
  • Duke William of Normandy, a distant
    relative, claimed the English throne
  • Anglo-Saxons refused to recognize his claim
  • Instead they selected Edwards brother-in-law,
    Harold of Wessex, to be king
  • Duke William was determined to win the throne of

William the Conqueror
  • Duke William crossed the English Channel with a
    powerful force of Norman knights
  • William defeated Harolds Anglo-Saxon army at
    Hastings in 1066
  • William was crowned King of England that very
    same year
  • William, known as William the Conqueror, soon
    overcame armed Anglo-Saxon resistance to his rule
  • Soon England grew to combine elements of both
    Anglo-Saxon and Norman cultures

The Conqueror and His Successors
  • William ruled England from 1066 to 1087
    bringing with him from France, feudalism
  • William made the king, not the nobles,
    have the supreme authority in England
  • He made nobles swear loyalty to the
    king, making the lords vassals to the king
  • He scattered fiefs throughout England to make
    sure the nobles would not unite against him
  • This set foundations of a very strong centralized
    government and a strong monarchy in England

The Conqueror and His Successors
  • William also sent royal commissioners around
    to all parts of his kingdom
  • Their task was to count each shires people,
    assess landholdings, and measure type and value
    of property
  • The results of this great survey helped the king
    to set up an accurate, central tax system
  • The records that were gathered became known
    as the Doomsday Book

Reforms under Williams successors
  • Henry I was one of William the Conquerors
  • He set up the exchequer to handle the kingdoms
  • He also made important contributions to Englands
    legal system
  • Sent traveling judges throughout the country
    to try cases
  • This weakened the feudal lords and their justice

Henry II
  • Henry II also made decisions that increased
    royal authority
  • Instead of performing feudal military service to
    the king, his vassals could pay a fee
  • This money could be used to hire
    mercenaries, or soldiers from different places
  • This made the army loyal to him
    because he was paying them

Henry II
  • Traveling judges continued to strengthen royal
    law throughout England
  • The 12 member jury developed in the court system
  • They decided civil and criminal trials
  • Trial by jury to determine guilt or innocence
    replaced the feudal trial by ordeal
    and combat
  • Henry also tried to increase the authority of his
    royal courts by trying members of the clergy who
    had been tried already in church courts

Thomas Becket
  • Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury,
    would NOT allow his clergy to be tried in
    royal courts
  • Henry and Becket once friends, became enemies
  • The knights of Henry, who thought they were
    helping, murdered Becket in his cathedral
  • Henry II denied any part in the murder but did
    penance to appease the church
  • Becket was named a saint

Henry II
  • The last years of Henry II reign were troubled
  • His sons plotted against him and also his
    marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine was stormy
  • His marriage brought England into conflict
    with France
  • Henry II rule had strengthened the English
    monarchy at the feudal lords expense

King John and Magna Carta
  • Henry II son, King John, is known
    for his actions that led to a revolt
    among Englands nobles
  • King John demanded that the nobles
    pay more taxes to support his wars
    in France
  • In 1215 a powerful group of nobles joined
    together against the king and his demands
  • Their threats forced King John to accept a
    document known as Magna Carta

Magna Carta
  • This protected the liberties of the nobles
  • Provided limited outline of rights
    for Englands ordinary people
  • Couldnt collect any new or special
    taxes without the consent of the great council
  • The acceptance of the Magna Carta meant that the
    king had to obey the law just
    like his subjects
  • Magna Carta became the supreme law of the land

Parliament and Common Law
  • Two other major developments took place in
    England in the years following Magna Carta
  • The first was the growth of
    Parliament and the beginnings of representative
  • The second was the growth of common law,
    law based upon customs and judges decisions,
    rather than upon written codes

Simon de Montfort
  • A widespread revolt of nobles against King Henry
    III in the 1260s rocked England and again
    threatened the monarchy
  • Simon de Montfort led the revolt and aimed to
    build middle-class support for the nobles cause
  • Wanted these groups to combine efforts against
    the king
  • In 1265 Simon de Montfort asked for
    representatives from the middle class to
    meet with the nobles and clergy

  • The practice of having members of the middle
    class meet with the clergy and the nobles in the
    Great Council remained
  • This representative body eventually became the
    English Parliament
  • Overtime the Parliament divided into two parts,
    called houses
  • Nobles and clergy made up the House of the
  • Knights and burgesses made up the
    House of the Commons
  • Parliament mainly served to advise the king
    but also had the right to refuse taxes sought by
    the king

Common Law
  • Edward I ruled England from 1272 to
    1307, he was one of Englands greatest
  • He divided the kings court into three
  • The Court of the Exchequer kept track
    of the kingdoms financial accounts
  • The Court of Common Pleas heard
    cases between ordinary citizens
  • The Court of the Kings Bench conducted trials
    that concerned the king or the government
  • The decisions made by the new royal courts were
    collected and used as the basis for future court
  • This collection of decisions became known as
    common law because it applied equally and in
    common to all English people

Rise of the Capetian Kings of France
  • The last Carolingian king died in 987, a group of
    nobles chose Hugh Capet to be King of France
  • Started a line known as the Capetians who ruled
    France for more than 300 years
  • Capet ruled only a small area while feudal lords
    ruled the rest of France called duchies
  • Capetians aimed to develop a strong central
    government and to unite the duchies of France
    under the rule of the monarchy

The Growth of Royal Territory
  • The Capetians sought to increase the lands under
    their control in several ways
  • Marry noblewomen whose dowries included great
  • Take control of lands of noble families that had
    died out
  • Take English holdings in France

Strengthening the Central Government
  • The Capetian kings appointed well-trained
    officials to run the government
  • Extended the jurisdiction of
    the royal courts
  • Parliament of Paris became a kind
    of supreme court
  • Philip IV, ruled from 1285 to 1314, he increased
    royal power by taxing the clergy
  • Pope Boniface VII opposed this tax and Philip had
    him arrested
  • Philip influenced the election of the next
    pope, Clement V

Philip IV of France
  • Philip convened the Estates General, a
    representative body made up of the three major
    social classes in France
  • Commoners, nobles, and clergy
  • This was a way for Philip to gain widespread
    support in his struggle against the church
  • Despite the centralizing reforms these many
    people achieved, France remained largely feudal
    in its political organization
  • Capetian kings failed at their idea of
    unification under the monarchy