Saturday, February 24, 2018

England and France

Cnut the Great was King of England, Denmark and Norway with his North Sea Empire from 1016-1035. Henry IV was the first King of England (1399-1413) to have English as his mother tongue since the Norman Invasion in 1066. His mother was born in Lincolnshire while most of the previous Monarch's had married on the continent. By 1172, the Angevin Empire was at its greatest extent. A big chunk of what we now know as France and England were under the control of the same family. While the elite was Anglo-Norman with conquerors mixing with the ruling class, the common people were mostly Anglo-Saxon. Englisherie was the legal status given to a person that was slain that could be proved to be English rather than Norman. If the dead person couldn't be proved to be English, the administrative district was fined. If they were English, the fine was excused. King John lost Normandy to the King of France, and a resulting Civil War led to the Magna Carta with reduced powers for the Monarchy. The Hundred Years' War was fought  1337-1453 between the House of Plantagenet and the House of Valois over who had claim to the Throne of France. This war was part of the building of the national identity as two separate rival nations (read ruling families). If you want a war, you need an enemy.

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