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1066 - The Norman Conquest

Why were the English unable to prevent the Norman Conquest of England? (Confine your answer to the period 1066-1087)
Medieval History Essay

  • Assessment: essay
  • Mark: B
  • Year: 2005
  • Wordcount: 2093

The Conquest of England by the Normans was not achieved in a single military stroke. With the triumph at the battle of Hastings William the Conqueror gained an important victory but Hastings was just the beginning. The capitals and centres of resistance had to be occupied, English risings and threats from other Nations had to be put down. The castles, which were the military linchpins of the Normans, had to be built and with them the Normans’ status of military superiority had to be established. But for all that the conquest of a whole country needed far more than battles, suppression of rebellions and men at arms. Beside William’s military strength he used in many cases the more elegant method of diplomacy to subdue the English. William implemented political alliances through intermarriages and replaced key ecclesiastical and secular posts to introduce a new leadership. Furthermore, he ensured the loyalty of his English and Norman vassals by letting them swear fealty and homage to him. Thus based on Anglo-Saxon administrative foundations the conquest was a policy of long duration aiming for political and military stability in England and the acceptance of the Norman leadership.

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