History - The Medieval Period (1066 - 1458)

12 important questions on History - The Medieval Period (1066 - 1458)

What happened in 1066?

The battle of Hastings

What is the significance of the year 1066?

On 14 October, 1066 and invading army from Normandy defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings. Most of the English warriors were dead, including their leader King Harold. 

As a result, on Christmas day, the Norman leader Duke William of Normandy was crowned king of England. He is now known as William the Conqueror. The date is remembered as the last time that England was successfully invaded.

What does the Norman invasion has to do with the beginning of the class system? 

It was small-scale. the Norman soldiers who had invaded were given the ownership of land - and the people living on it. Therefore, a strict feudal system was imposed. 

Barons were directly responsible to the King. 
Lesser lords, each owning a village, were directly responsible to a baron. 
Under them were the peasants, tied by a strict system of mutual duties and obligations to the local lord, and forbidden to travel without permission. 
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Discribe the dominance of England over the other nations in the medieval period.

The Anglo-Norman kingdom had a strong government and soon became the most powerful political force in Britain, Eastern Ireland and Wales. Scotland remained politically independant.

Describe the English dominance in the medieval period.

The system of strong government the Normans introduced, made the Anglo-Norman the most powerful political force in Britain and Ireland. Therefore, the authority of the English monarch extended to other parts of these islands. By the end of the thirteenth century, a large part of eastern Ireland was controlled by Anglo-Norman lords in the name of their king and the whole of Wales as well. 
Scotland managed to remain politically independent, but was obliged to fight occasional wars to do so. 

Describe the language and cultural developments in the different nations in the 13th century.

Middle English became dominant in England (along with Anglo-Saxon law over Roman law); Celtic Welsh language and culture (Eisteddfodnational festival of Welsh song and poetrie); Gaelic language and culture in Ireland and English language and culture in Scotland.

Discribe the 'split of Scotland'. in medieval times.

In the south (the Lowlands) were the Anglo-Saxon aristocrats who had fled from the Norman Invasion with English language and culture and in the North (the Highlands) were the Gaelic with the Scottish King and gaelic culture and language.

Who was Robin Hood?

He is a legendary folk hero. In the time King Richard spent most of his reign fighting in the 'crusades' (war between the Christians and the Muslims in the Middle East), England was governed by his brother John, who was unpopular because of all the taxes he imposed. According to legend, Robin Hood and his 'merry men' were stealing from the rich and gave it to the poor. He lived in Sherwood Forest just outside Nottingham.

The English class system distincts classes by language and social class. What language do the peasants speak?


What is the importance of Thomas Becket for 14th century literature?

The murder of Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury, by soldier of King Henry 2d. Becket becomes a popular martyr. The Canterbury tales, written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, recounts the stories told by a fictional group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury.

Important dates in The Medieval period (1066-1458)

  • 1066 = The Battle of Hastings (the most famous date in English history!)
  • 1086 = King William completes his Domesday Book, a very detailed record of the people and their possessions throughout his kingdom.
  • 1170 = The murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • 1215 = Magna Carta
  • 1295 = The model Parliament sets the pattern for the future by including elected representatives from urban and rural areas.
  • 1328 = Scotland is recognized as an independent kingdom

Describe the beginning of Parliament.

It started in the 13th century, with an assembly of nobles called together by the king. (parliament is from the French: parler).

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