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From Legend to History (A.D. 449-1485)

From Legend to History (A.D. 449-1485). The Conquest of Britain. Two groups of Celts from Southern Europe invades Britain between 800-600 B.C. The Britons settled on the island of Britain The Gaels settled on what is now Ireland Both were farmers and hunters organized into clans.

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From Legend to History (A.D. 449-1485)

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  1. From Legend to History(A.D. 449-1485)

  2. The Conquest of Britain • Two groups of Celts from Southern Europe invades Britain between 800-600 B.C. • The Britons settled on the island of Britain • The Gaels settled on what is now Ireland Both were farmers and hunters organized into clans. Priests called druids settled disputes

  3. Next came the Romans • Began invading in 55 B.C. • Julius Caesar made some hasty invasions • The true conquest took place 100 years later • Roman rule lasted for 300 years • Last Roman legions left to defend Rome in A.D. 407

  4. The Anglo-Saxons • As Romans left, the Anglo-Saxons began invading from what is now Germany • They were deep sea fisherman and farmers

  5. The Coming of Christianity • By the 4th century, the Romans had accepted Christianity and had introduced it to Britain. • A century later, when the Celts fled the Anglo-Saxons, they took their Christian faith with them. • Even after Rome fell in A.D. 476, the Celtic Christian church continued to thrive.

  6. Coming of Christianity continued • Monks gained converts in North and established monasteries • St. Augustine established a monastery at Canterbury and began converting rulers • Church provided counsel to quarreling rulers, promoted peace, and helped unify the English people

  7. Danish Invasion • Comprised of the Norse of Norway and the Danes of Denmark (collectively known as Vikings) • Rising populations in these two countries led to them pirating and settling in the British Isles • They destroyed monasteries, entire villages, sacred relics, and manuscripts

  8. In 871, Alfred the Great ascended to the Wessex throne. Stopped Danish encroachment. • Negotiated a truce where he controlled southern England and the Danes controlled the East and North • Alfred preserved remnants of pre-Danish civilization and encouraged rebirth of learning and education

  9. Danes continued to push for control in England. • 1042, Edward the Confessor ascended to the throne. His death in 1066 led to the end of the Anglo-Saxon period of history.

  10. The Norman Conquest • These were descendants of the Vikings who invaded the coast of France in the 9th century. • William, Duke of Normandy, had family ties to Edward the Confessor. • When Edward died in 1066, Saxon council of Elders elected Harold II to be king

  11. William claimed that Edward had promised him the throne. • He crossed the English Channel to assert his claim by force • At Battle of Hastings, Harold II was killed, and William emerged victorious • Over next five years he suppressed Anglo-Saxon nobility, and he confiscated their lands

  12. He saw to it that Normans controlled the government and that business was conducted in Norman French or Latin • Remade England by implementing the Feudal System

  13. The Feudal System • Involved the exchange of property for personal service • Theory • King owned all land • He parceled it out to his powerful supporters • He gave these supporters titles-usually “Baron” • They in turn paid taxes and supplied a certain number of Knights should the king need them

  14. Knights received smaller parcels of land for their services These parcels were called manors The peasants who worked on these manors were called serfs, and they were the lowest class in the feudal system

  15. The Reign of the Plantagenets • Norman rule ended in 1154, when Henry Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, came to the throne as Henry II. • His concern with legal matters led him into a conflict with the church • When the archbishop of Canterbury died, Henry appointed his friend, Thomas Becket to the position. He thought Becket would go along with royal policy

  16. Instead, Becket defied the king and appealed to the Pope. This angered Henry • In 1170, thinking they were doing the king a favor, four of Henry’s knights murdered Becket in his cathedral • Henry quickly condemned the action and tried to atone for it by making a pilgrimage to Becket’s tomb

  17. Since then, a pilgrimage to Becket’s shrine at Canterbury became a common English means of showing religious devotion

  18. The Magna Carta • The next king after Henry II was Richard I • Richard spent most of his reign doing overseas military expeditions • This proved to be quite costly King John ended up inheriting these debts John tried to pay these debts by raising taxes The barons resisted these measures and forced King John to sign the Magna Carta

  19. The Magna Carta was a document where the king stated he couldn’t raise taxes without first meeting with the barons. • This restriction on the King’s power was the first step towards a constitutional government in England

  20. Lancasters, Yorks, and Tudors • In 1399, the House of Lancaster replaced the Plantagenets on the throne. • These kings included Henry IV, V, VI all of whom were central characters in Shakespearean historical dramas • Through the 15th century, York and Lancaster competed for the throne • This led to the war of the Roses (1455-1485)

  21. Henry Tudor, distant cousin and supporter of Lancaster, led a rebellion against the unpopular York king-Richard III- and killed Richard in battle • Henry Tudor was crowned Henry VII and married Richard’s niece • This united the house of Lancaster w/ York, thus ending the War of the Roses

  22. Decline of the Feudal System • After the Plague swept across England in 1348 & 1349, massive labor shortages increased the value of peasant work. • Peasants began to get paid and experience more freedom • The peasants staged a revolt that was crushed, but the seeds were planted for a more liberal future

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