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Significance of the Year 1066

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The year 1066 is arguably one of the most important years in English history, it is the year of the battle of Hastings and the subsequent changes that the victor, William the Conqueror brought. It was also a turning point of England and its European ties, arguably without the Norman victory England would have remained cut off from the rest of Europe, more Scandinavian in attitude - due to Harold and his Norse heritage - than mainland. Within a hundred years of the Norman Conquest, England was surrounded by a vast European empire that controlled many of the lands located in France, more so than the French King at that time – this empire was “The Plantagenet Empire of Henry II. After the conquest in 1066 many Normans migrated into England and began to mingle with the Saxons, learning and furthering off of each other – the new Norman barons gained the Scandinavian – resulting model of parliamentary governance which in itself would led to Magna Charta, resulting from the fight against the rebellious Barons in 1215, as well as Simon de Monfort - Montfort is regarded today as one of the progenitors of modern parliamentary democracy and arguably without the Norman conquest of 1066 occurring, democracy today would not be as we know it. One of the largest effects of the Norman conquest was the melding of a new language, French words became a norm in the English language – further evidence of this shift was the usage of names in England that would be more commonly found in France, this were names such as William, Robert and Richard – staple ‘English names’ in today’s modern world. In terms of societal changes the elimination of slavery was perhaps the biggest, we are able to see how this occurred via the Domesday book, there were roughly 28,000 slaves listed in Domesday Book in 1086, less than had been tallied for 1066; in some places, such as Essex, the weakening in slaves was 20 per cent for the 20 years. The chief reasons for the decay in slaveholding appear to have been the condemnation of the Church as well as the cost of supporting slaves who had to be sustained completely by their possessors. Clearly 1066 was an extremely significant year in that it enabled this cascade of reform in England – William the Conqueror and his successors transformed England into a European power, rather than it merely being an outsider watching in. 1066 was not only the end of Scandinavian rule in England, but the last successful invasion of the British isles – evidencing the large impact the year 1066 had on the future of England.

* * *,_6th_Earl_of_Leicester.html
* England and its Rulers: 1066–1307 written by M.T. Clanchy * Ruling England 1042–1217 written by Richard Huscroft

[ 1 ]. (second paragraph)
[ 2 ]. (last paragraph)
[ 3 ].,_6th_Earl_of_Leicester.html (first paragraph)
[ 4 ]. England and its Rulers: 1066–1307, pg 323, written by M.T. Clanchy
[ 5 ]. Ruling England 1042–1217, pg 94, written by Richard Huscroft

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