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Medieval Research Papaer Essay

1081 words - 5 pages

English history was changed forever by one battle. The Battle of Hastings was between the armies of the Normans, led by William the Conqueror, and the English, led by Harold Godwinson. Both men were vying for the throne of England that had been vacated by Edward the Confessor. The Norman army won with the aid of their archers and created changes in England that altered the course of history. The Battle of Hastings was the most influential battle of English history because of the changes it created in Medieval England and Europe. The usage of archery, changes in social structure, and alteration in language caused by the battle made it so meaningful.
The weaponry used in the ...view middle of the document...

After Hastings, archers became more and more prevalent in medieval warfare. They were used throughout the dark ages and even inspired folk tales such as Robin Hood. Archery was one of the most deadly forms of weaponry in Europe until the discovery of gunpowder and the archers deployed by William altered the course of medieval battles for the remainder of the time period. Because of their usage of archery at Hastings, the future of British Battles would be reshaped. This shows how Hastings was such an influential battle in English history.
Another influence the battle had was it created drastic social changes in England. After William the Conqueror was crowned King on Christmas 1066 after winning at Hastings, the English nobility practically disappeared. With a new king who claimed all the power, the nobles were afraid they would meet the same fate as Harold. With a Norman ruler, the Norman minority quickly filled the roles of importance in governing the land. William claimed the land for himself and distributed it among chosen nobles. This created several problems between the people of England and their foreign rulers and feudal lords. There were multiple conflicts and uprisings protesting William's rule for a few years after his coronation. William also most notably declared himself king and eliminated all positions in English government that posed a threat to the king's rule. He established the power the English monarchy is known for having. Because William was a foreigner, the social structure of England was altered to better suit the Normans. They rose up the ranks of the class system to positions of nobles. The change in power and distribution in wealth was the cause of many revolts. Because of Hastings, a chapter of English history with a Norman ruling class exists and the English monarchy gained much more power, establishing future for England with a king controlling the nation.
Not only did the Battle of Hastings influence who was in charge in England, it had effects on the language of the people too. Before William invaded, people spoke Old English. This is the language that Beowulf was written in. Once William took the throne he declared the national language...

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