WHI.12 The Late Medieval Period. The Late Medieval Period. During the late medieval period, some of the feudal states of Europe developed into strong nation-states.
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In 987, Hugh Capet established a new monarchy in France. He established the French throne in Paris, and his dynasty gradually expanded their control over most of France.
Along the French coast there was a region called Normandy. In 1066, William, the Duke of Normandy, crossed the English channel. At the Battle of Hasting he conquered England and became known as William the Conqueror.
The English system of law is called common law. It had its beginnings during the reign of Henry II. Common law is law that is developed by decisions through court judges rather than a legislative assembly. It is based on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different occasions. The power of the King of England was limited when King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta.