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A Medieval Soap Opera. A Tutorial for Students of Medieval English History. By Dianna Sachs. Bibliography. Hollister, C.W. (1998). Medieval Europe: A Short History . Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. Background.

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A medieval soap opera l.jpg

A Medieval Soap Opera

A Tutorial for Students of

Medieval English History

By Dianna Sachs


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Bibliography

  • Hollister, C.W. (1998). Medieval Europe: A Short History. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.


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Background

  • As you know, the High Middle Ages were a time of growth throughout Europe. People began to take up trades other than farming, leading to the expansion of towns. National governments and the government of the Church became more organized. Literature and the arts flourished.


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More Background

  • This tutorial is designed to introduce students to several kings and queens of England during the High Middle Ages and the events that occurred during their reigns.


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Format

  • You will read short biographies of each monarch.

  • To go on to the next slide, click on the button at the top of the screen.

  • You will use the buttons on bottom of the slides only when you are taking the quiz.

  • You will then take a quiz to determine how well you have understood the information.

  • If you answer a question incorrectly, you may refer back to the text to find the correct answer.


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Kings and Queens

  • The kings and queens discussed in this tutorial are:

  • King Henry II (r.1154-1189)

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • King Richard I (r.1189-1199)

  • King John (r.1199-1216)


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Henry II

  • Henry II became King of England in 1154.

  • He was the first king from the Plantagenet family.

  • He was the grandson of Henry I.

  • Henry’s father was the Count of Anjou, a region in France.

  • When Henry became King of England, he also ruled over much of France.

Q1


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Henry II

  • Henry got control over more of France when he married Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her father was the Duke of Aquitaine, also a region of France.

  • At this time, Henry ruled over more of France than the French king.

Q2


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Henry II

  • Henry tried to make the government of England more organized.

  • He developed a set of Common Laws, under the jurisdiction of Royal Courts.

  • These laws were designed to apply to all the people in England. Before, each region of England had its own set of laws.

Q3


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Henry II

  • Henry had problems with the Church.

  • He thought the Church had too much power in England. He wanted all the power for himself.


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Henry II

  • Henry decided to make his friend, Thomas Becket, the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

  • He thought that Thomas would help give Henry more power than the Church.

  • But Thomas did not help Henry. Instead, he tried to keep the power with the Church.

Q4


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Henry II

  • Henry was very upset with Thomas. He complained to all the barons in his court.

  • In 1170, four of the barons took it upon themselves to go to Canterbury and murder Thomas in the cathedral.

  • Even though Henry hadn’t asked the barons to kill Thomas, many people held him responsible. He had to publicly apologize and do penance.

Q5


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Henry II

  • Henry and Eleanor had 8 children. Five of them were boys.

  • When Henry died, in 1189, only two sons were still living.

  • Richard was the older, John was the younger.


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine is best known for being the wife of Henry II, and his Queen.

  • But lots of things happened to her before her marriage to Henry.


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • Eleanor was the daughter of the Duke of Aquitaine, in France.

  • When he died, she became the Duchess of Aquitaine.

  • Eleanor married the King of France, King Louis VII.

Q7


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • Eleanor and Louis were not happy.

  • They had two daughters, but no sons.

  • Louis needed a son to inherit his throne.

  • He had their marriage annulled so that he could marry someone else, and hopefully have sons.

Q8


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • A year after her marriage to Louis was annulled, Eleanor married Henry II of England.

  • They had 8 children, including 5 sons.


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • The marriage of Eleanor and Henry was political. They did not spend much time together.

  • Henry spent his time traveling all over England and France.

  • Eleanor mostly stayed on her lands in Aquitaine and Poitiers.


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • Eleanor kept a Court of her own in Aquitaine and Poitiers.

  • She patronized many poets, authors, and troubadours (traveling minstrels) there.

  • Eleanor became a major patron of all the arts, especially those having to do with “Courtly Romance”.

Q9

Q10


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • Eleanor did not love her husband, but she did love her sons.

  • She tried to help her sons get more autonomy from their father.


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • Henry did not want to give any power to his sons, so Eleanor encouraged them to rebel against him.

  • Henry stopped the rebellion of his sons.

  • He forgave his sons, but not Eleanor.

  • He imprisoned Eleanor in Salisbury Castle.

  • She lived there under house arrest until Henry died.

Q11


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • When Henry died, Eleanor was freed by her son, Richard, who was now King of England.

  • Eleanor served as an advisor to Richard, sometimes helping to run the government of England when Richard was off at war.

  • When Richard was captured by the Austrians and held for ransom, Eleanor arranged to collect the money.


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Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • When Richard died in 1199, Eleanor’s youngest son, John, became the new King of England.

  • By this time, Eleanor was almost 80 years old, far older than most people in Medieval Europe.

  • She retired to Fontevrault Abbey in France.

  • She died there in 1204.


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Richard I

  • Richard I became King of England when his father, Henry II, died in 1189.

  • He was known as the “Lion-Hearted”.

  • Richard spent most of his time away from England fighting wars in France and in the Middle East.

Q6

Q12


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Richard I

  • Richard became famous as a general in the Third Crusade, in the Middle East.

  • When he was returning home from the Crusades, he was captured and held for ransom by the Austrians.

  • He was held captive for several years before the ransom could be paid.

  • While Richard was away, the government of England functioned by itself and with some help from Eleanor.

Q13


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Richard I

  • Since Richard was gone so much, his brother John saw an opportunity.

  • John thought he could rebel and become the new king.

  • This is the time that the fictional character of Robin Hood supposedly lived, and fought against John’s rebellion.

  • Richard died in 1199, and John became king anyway.

Q14

Q15


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John

  • John was not as good a king as his father, Henry, or his brother, Richard, and was also seen as cruel.

  • During John’s reign, almost all the lands in France was lost in wars against the French king.

Q16


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John

  • John raised taxes severely for the people of England. This led to a lot of discontent.

  • The barons under John were also disgusted with him.

  • They saw that John kept raising taxes to pay for wars that he always lost.


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John

  • The barons finally got together enough power between them to force John to concede to their demands.

  • In 1215, the barons forced John to sign the “Magna Carta”, or Great Charter.

Q17

Q18


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John

  • The Magna Carta placed restriction on John’s power as the King.

  • It stopped John from abusing the people and the barons.

  • The Magna Carta said that the king could not tax the people too heavily.

  • It also forced the king to give certain powers to the barons.

Q19


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John

  • John did not like the rules of the Magna Carta, but he had no choice.

  • He died only one year later, in 1216.


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End of Biographies

  • Great! You’ve finished reading the biographies.

  • Now let’s see how well you remember the information.

  • The next screen tells you the rules of the quiz.


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Quiz Rules

  • This quiz consists of 19 multiple-choice questions.

  • Click on the answer you think is correct.

  • If you are right, move on the next question.

  • If you are wrong, review the text and try again.

  • You must answer the questions in order.

  • Good luck!


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Question 1

  • Henry II was the first king of which family?

  • Anjou

  • Aquitaine

  • Plantagenet

  • England


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Question 2

  • Henry ruled over more land in France than the French King.

  • True

  • False


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Question 3

  • Henry created a new system of Common Laws in order to:

  • Reduce the power of the Church

  • Have the same laws apply to everyone

  • Regulate trade


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Question 4

  • Who did Henry II appoint to be the Archbishop of Canterbury?

  • Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Richard

  • Boniface X

  • Thomas Becket


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Question 5

  • What happened to Thomas Becket?

  • Murdered by Henry II’s barons

  • Retired to Fontevrault Abbey in France

  • Killed in the Crusades

  • Traveled to American and founded Jamestown


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Question 6

  • When Henry II died, who became the new king of England?

  • Henry III

  • John

  • Richard

  • Louis VII


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Question 7

  • Who was Eleanor of Aquitaine married to before she married Henry II of England?

  • The Holy Roman Emperor

  • Louis VII of France

  • The Duke of Aquitaine

  • Henry I of England


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Question 8

  • Why did Eleanor of Aquitaine’s first marriage break up?

  • Annulment

  • Her husband died

  • Divorce


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Question 9

  • Where did Eleanor spend most of her time patronizing the arts?

  • Paris

  • Salisbury

  • The Middle East

  • Aquitaine and Poitiers


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Question 10

  • What are Troubadours?

  • French Knights

  • Traveling minstrels

  • Fortune tellers

  • Barrel makers


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Question 11

  • Why did Henry II imprison Eleanor of Aquitaine?

  • She tried to murder him

  • She refused to marry him

  • She led her sons in a revolt against him

  • She sided with Scotland against him


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Question 12

  • What was Richard I’s nickname?

  • Robin Hood

  • Ricky

  • Lion-hearted

  • Braveheart


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Question 13

  • Why did Richard I spend so much time in the Middle East?

  • To study the Arabic language

  • To fight in the Crusades

  • To trade with the Arabs


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Question 14

  • When Richard I was away, his brother, John, tried to take over. Which fictional hero helped the English people at this time?

  • Robin Hood

  • King Arthur

  • William Wallace

  • The Venerable Bede


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Question 15

  • When Richard I died, who became the next ruler of England?

  • John

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine

  • Henry III

  • Richard II


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Question 16

  • King John was considered a good and benevolent king.

  • True

  • False


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Question 17

  • In 1215, King John signed what important document?

  • The Treaty of Versailles

  • The English Constitution

  • The Emancipation Proclamation

  • The Magna Carta


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Question 18

  • John was forced to sign the Magna Carta by what group of people?

  • The English peasants

  • His family

  • The English Barons

  • The French


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Question 19

  • The Magna Carta put limits on the power of:

  • The King of England

  • The Pope

  • The English Barons

  • The peasants


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