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Primary Source Essay

904 words - 4 pages

Tyler Fields
Western Civ.
4/9/13
Primary Source Assignment #2
I am Gui le Gros, a Norman abbot, who was born into a very wealthy aristocratic family. My cousin, Henry the Fearful, is the head of our noble family and is in great prominence with the King of France. To commemorate the completion of the king’s new cathedral, my cousin wishes to chronicle the history of our glorious province of Normandy from its beginning in 911 to the current year. My cousin put me in charge of this task, so it is up to me to portray the history of Normandy and its people for the king. During this time European people began to advance economically, politically, and socially. Advancements in agriculture ...view middle of the document...

He sailed across the English Channel and assaulted England. The Anglo Saxon king, Godwinson, was killed at the Battle of Hastings which allowed William to take the throne. William established a feudal system in England and divided the land between his followers. He made all the people swear loyalty to him and recognize him as their lord.
The Norman conquest of Anglo Saxon England also had implications on France because the new king of England, William of Normandy, now owns land in France. Normandy now had more power than the French Kings. Henry I became the ruler after William. He was just as an effective leader as William was. Henry established a financial and law department. Money was very important in maintaining power during this time. The Financial department, or the exchequer, help make sure the kingdom could uphold its financial standing. The law department and courts allowed the king to have control over its vassals. Henry II, Henry I’s successor, continued to use and improved on the same policies that Henry I established. He also increased English power in France through his marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine. This English power would have grown if not for Henry’s successor’s flaws. After his death his eldest son, Richard, became king but he quickly died due to an infected battle wound. His younger John became king which marked a turning point in English rule. Unlike his predecessors, he was not a successful leader and was very unpopular with the people of England. They rebelled against John and attacked London forcing the king to retreat. John was forced to sign the Manga Carta which was a charter that limited the power of the...

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