Monarchies the Evolution of Monarchy Essay

Total Length: 608 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 1

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Egbert was the first English national King. In 1066, William the Conqueror took the crown by force. William ordered the first census, known as the Domesday Book which was used to create the first central tax system for England. William introduced elements of French culture into England, while many of the lower classes kept the old Anglo-Saxon language and customs, French was the language of choice for nobility. William continued to expand English territory into France (Internet Medieval Sourcebook)

When Henry II took the throne, he married the powerful French duchess, Eleanor of Aquitane. Together they ruled all of England and half of France. Technically, this made English kings vassals of French kings. However, in practice, the English monarchs were much stronger and essentially ignored their feudal obligations to the French monarchy. In the 1200s, nobles became worried that English monarchy was beginning abuse its power. They drafted the Magna Carta, which after a rebellion, led to the formation of the first Parliament and the first restriction of the powers of the English monarchy.
Henry II was the first of the House of Plantagent, who ruled England until 1399 when it was overthrown by the House of Lancaster. The House of Lancaster ruled until 1471 when it was overthrown by the House of York, who held English power until 1485 (Internet Medieval Sourcebook)

The story of the Monarchy of England is one of politics, power and conquest. Each successive monarch had two goals, first to retain control of the crown and secondly, to expand their holdings. Changes in the monarchies that ruled England were often bloody overthrows and political games, as was the case with all of the monarchies throughout history.

Bibliography

Halstall, P. "Internet Medieval Sourcebook." Fordham University.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook2.html (accessed May 29, 2010)......

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