England In the High Middle Ages

Essential Question:

How have divisions among leaders and dynasties affected the establishment and growth of England?

   Background Information

England in the high Middle Ages was a time full of different dynasties, leaders and different government systems. At the beginning of this time period, England had a strong military and economy and was a centralized powerful state. Then came the Norman Conquest, an invasion led by Duke William 2. Then, Henry 2 came to power in 1135, and was considered to be the first Angevin king of England. The rulers following Henry 2 generally led to small rebellions and ultimately led to the creation of the Magna Carta, a document limiting royal power. Also, during this time period, the Capetian Dynasty made a name for itself as it is among some of England's oldest royal houses.

The Norman Conquest

Normans: members Vikings, or Norsemen that settled together with their descendants. They Gave their name to normandy, a region in northern France  They also sent out expeditions of conquest and colonization to southern many places but for this specific topic one of great importance, England.

The Conquest: The Norman Conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and his victory at the Battle of Hastings. on 14 October 1066. When Normans settled in England they faced collision and disputes with foreign threats. This lasted 50 years of intrigue, deception, and treachery preceded Williams invasion of England. This conquest brought lasting changes in government, culture, and language, shaping the way we think and our attitudes to present day. The Bayeux Tapestry is work that’s depicts the events leading up the the Norman Conquest.

Impact: TheNorman conquest was a pivotal event inEnglish History..It largely removed the native ruling class, replacing it with a foreign,  French speaking monarchy, aristocracy,  and clerical hierarchy. This, in turn, brought about a transformation of the english language and the culture of England in a new era referred to as Norman England By bringing England under the control of rulers originating in France, the Norman conquest linked the country more closely with continental Europe, lessened other influences, and also set the stage for a rivalry with France that would continue intermittently for many centuries.

Bayeux Tapestry

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Henry II

         Henry the Second of England was the Count of Anjou, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Nantes, and King of England, at certain times in his life, he was the Lord of Ireland and controlled Wales, Scotland and Brittany. He was made the Duke of Normandy at the young age of seventeen and inherited the English throne after Stephen’s death, he was only twenty at the time.

       After his grandfather, Henry the First died, Stephen of Bios became king. Stephen was the cousin of Henry the Second’s mother who was Henry the First’s son. When Henry was born, Matilda tried to get the family back in the throne and was successful, as Stephen recognized Henry as his heir shortly before his death. Henry wanted to restore the kingdom to the way it was when his grandfather Henry the First ruled. In the early years of his rule, he gained control over Wales, Anjou, Maine and Touraine.

         Henry also fought a “cold war” against Louis VII as a result of the land Henry had taken, because it usually came to a disadvantage for Louis VII. Henry was known for greatly expanding his kingdom and sometimes at the price of Louis VII’s land. Henry is also widely known for his conflict with Thomas Becket. Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury and disagreed with Henry II over the privileges of the Church. Soon after that he was assassinated by followers of the king, however it remains unclear if the king had the intent for Becket to be killed or if he had just mumbled something upon hearing of Becket’s behavior.

After watching this video:

1) Who was Henry II's grandfather?

2) Who succeeded Henry I

3) Who did Henry II marry and why?

4) Who was the one person that Henry II trusted more than his wife?

5)  What position did Thomas Becket have?

Capetian Dynasty

     The Capetian Dynasty is also known as the House of France and was founded by Hugh Capet. Hugh Capet was an elected king of France. Then, he created this dynasty. This dynasty remains one of Europe’s oldest royal houses. It was dominated by mostly Catholic rulers, who often took part in the Crusades. These leaders include, Louis VII, Philip Augustus, Louis VIII, Saint Louis, and Philip III.

     The Capetian Dynasty was the ruling house of France during the Feudal States period. They extended their power and therefore created or established the base of the French nation-state.

Edward I: Representative Government: Magna Carta (1215)

Edward I: nicknamed "Long-shanks" due to his great height and stature, was perhaps the most successful of the medieval monarchs. Edward was one of the kings and important people responsible for significant legal and administrative reform in England. He was a powerful and successful king, a skilled military leader and fearsome warrior. He lead many battles. He played a big part in representative government, parliament and with a very historical document, the Magna Carta which was established in 1215.

Philosophies/beliefs: Edward held to the concept of community, and although at times unscrupulously aggressive, ruled with the general welfare of his subjects in mind. He perceived the crown as judge of the proper course of action for the realm and its chief, royal authority was granted by law and should be fully utilized for the public good, but that same law also granted protection to the king's subjects. A king should rule with the advice and consent of those whose rights were in question. The level of interaction between king and subject allowed Edward considerably helping him in achieving his goals.

Relation: With the representative government and Magna Carta, during Edwards 1’s reign his people turned to the charter as a focus for discontentment over his burdensome financial means and with his confirmation or charters, Edward acknowledged that the Magna Carta bound him. Parliament then decided and put articles upon the charter. Then later the reconfirmation of the charter was defined  and the clarification of its meaning.

Timeline for King Edward I Longshanks

Full site- Historical Timeline 800 - Present

1272-Edward learns that he has succeeded to the throne on his way home from the Crusade

1274-Edward is crowned in Westminster Abbey

1282-Edward invades North Wales and defeats Llewellyn ap Gruffydd the last ruler of an independent Wales

1284-Independence of the Welsh is ended by the Statute of Rhuddlan

1290-Edward's wife Eleanor dies at Harby in Nottinghamshire. Her body is brought back to London and a cross erected at each stop along the journey - Geddington, Hardingston, Waltham, and the most famous at Charing Cross.

1292-Edward chooses John Balliol to be the new King of Scotland

1295-Model Parliament is summoned

1295-John Balliol reneges on his allegiance to Edward and signs alliance with King Philip IV of France

1296-Edward invades Scotland, defeats the Scots at Dunbar and deposes Balliol. He then takes over the throne of Scotland and removes the Stone of Scone to Westminster.

1297-Scots rise against English rule and, led by William Wallace, defeat Edward at the Battle of Stirling Bridge

1298-Edward invades Scotland again and defeats William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk

1299-Edward marries Margaret of France

1301-Edward makes his son Prince of Wales, a title conferred on every first born son of the monarchy ever since.

1305-William Wallace is executed in London.

1306-Robert Bruce is crowned King of Scotland

1307-Edward attempts to invade Scotland again, but dies on his way north

Detailed events and times in King Edwards life.

Critical Thinking:

Based on the Dynasty and certain individuals influences on England with what ideas, teachings, and events was England shaped by?


1) "Edward I 'Longshanks' (r. 1272-1307)." The Royal Household © Copyright 2008/09, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014 <http://www.royal.gov.uk/historyofthemonarchy/kingsandqueensofengland/theplantagenets/edwardilongshanks.aspx>.

2) "Essential Norman Conquest - An Interactive Day-by-day Retelling of the Events of 1066." Essential Norman Conquest - An Interactive Day-by-day Retelling of the Events of 1066. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.essentialnormanconquest.com/index.htm>.

3) "Magna Carta, 1215." Magna Carta. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Reading_Revolutions/MagnaCarta/>.

4) "Edward I, Longshanks." Edward I, Longshanks. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs/mon30.html>.

5) "King Edward I Longshanks." King Edward I Longshanks. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. <http://www.britroyals.com/kings.asp?id=edward1>.

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