England and France Develop

Analyze how democratic traditions took shape in England and France.

in the 800's, the britains were attacked by many invadors, including the angles, saxons, vikings, and the normans. the anlges and the saxons stayed, creating an anglo-saxon culture. the invasions of the vikings were so feared that the people of Britain made a prayer that was said in churches, "God, deliver us from the fury of the Northmen." Alfred the Great, an anglo-saxon king managed to turn back the invasions of the vikings. slowly, he nd his successors united the kingdom to become a single rule, England, "the land of the angles."
in 1016, the danish king Canute conquered England and unified the angles-saxons, and the vikings into one people. in 1042, king edward, a descendant from alfred the king took the thron but soon died in 1066 without anyone to take his place, this caused one last invasion, the norman invasion.

picture of alfred the great

The Magna Carta

The English Magna Carta, which is also called the Magna Carta Libertatum, is an English document issued in the year 1215 which required King John of England to claim certain rights belonging to freemen.

The Charter protected the rights of the kings subjects and allowed appeals against unjust imprisonments.

The Magna Carta has been the most significant influence of rule making in the English Speaking World and has influenced many constitutions, such as the United States' Constitution. Most of the Charter's clauses were renewed throughout the Middle Ages and the 18th century.

the invador of the norman group was called william, duke of normandy, who later became known as william the conquerer. the are descendant from the vikings that is why they have the same name vikings were called (as previously said in the special prayer the british people used). he was Edward's cousin and he claimed England and the crown with the help from the norman army.
William's rival, Harold Godwinson, the anglo-saxon who claimed the throne, was equally ambitious. the normans and the anglo-saxons fought in a battle called the battle of Hastings, after Harold died from an arrow wound that pierced his eye, the Normans won the battle.

william the conquerer

after the victory, william declared England be all his property, he kept about 1/5 of england to himself and the lords that were in favor of harold lost their lands. William then gave land to his 200 norman lords who swore oaths of loyalty to him personally. By him doing this, William was able to unify the controlled lands and form a centralized government in England.

England Evolving Government

The next centuries, English Kings atempted to achieve two goals. The first, they wanted to hold and add to ther French lands. Second they wanted to become stronger than the church and nobles.

Wiliiam the Conqueror's descendants owned land both in Normandy and in England. The Enligsh King Henry II added to these holdings by engaging Eleanor of Aquitanine from France. This marrige gave Henry a large piece of land in France called Aquitaine. By this he was a vassal to the French king but also a king on his own right.

Eleanor of Aquitane

Eleonor of Aquitane was a wealthy and powerful woman during the High
Middle Ages in Western Europe. Not only was she Duchess of Aquitane by
born right, but she was also queen of France from 1137 to 1153 and
queen of England from 1154 until 1189. At the age of 15, she succeeded
her father as Duchess of Aquitane and Countess of Poitiers, which made
her Europe's most eligible bride. Three months after her entitlement,
she married Louis VII, son of King Louis VI of France. She
participated in the Second Crusades as the Queen of the Franks but
soon after the Crusade was over, Eleonor and Louis VII decided to
dissolve their marriage because Eleonor wanted divorce. The fact that
they didn't have any male children also contributed.

Eleonor left to Poitiers, and became engaged to Henry II, Duke of the
Normans. Only eight weeks after her annulment of her marriage to Louis
VII, she married Henry. Two years later, on October 1154, Henry was
crowned King of England. In a lapse of 13 years, she gave Henry eight
children, five of them boys from which two - Richard and John - became
kings. Eleonor's marriage to Louis is said to have been full of
arguments and cheating. For instance, their son William and one of
Henry's illegitimate sons, Geoffrey, were born with just months of

Henry II

The Model Parliament

An important step toward to be a democratic government in the kingdom of Edward I was the parliament or legislative group in which later became the Model Parliament because its new makeup served as a model for the next kings. Over the centuries if a king needed to put some new taxes it has to invoke an assembly where they talk about and take the decision of doing it or not. The parliament was like a tool that weakened lord for being greater than they are. As time passed this Model Parliament gained strength just like the Carta Magna, that it provided a check on the royal power.


House of Parliament- England

Juries and common law

Henry ruled from 1154-1189. By sending royal judges to every part of England at least once a year, hr strengthened the royal courts. they collected the taxes, settle lawsuits, and punished crimes. he also presented the use of the jury in English courts. jury trials became a popular means of settling disputes. only the king's courts were allowed to conduct them. the rulings of england's royal judges formed a unify body of law that became known as common law.This and other reforms strengthen his position even more.
´´The comon law system is a legal system that gives great precedential weight to common law, on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different occasions´´(Wikipedia).

Common law History

A seventeenth-century English jurist, Lord Chief Justice Edward Coke wrote several legal texts that formed the principles for the modern common law. surprisinf, his works are still mention or tell by usual or typical law courts around the world.


The next formal and systematic exposition in writing of the common law´s principles is Commentaries on the Laws of England, written by Sir William Blackstone and first published in 1765 - 1769


Sir William Blackstone as illustrated in his Commentaries on the Laws of England.

´´France and England took different paths after 1453. England traveled down the road to political and religious freedom, whereas France persecuted its Christians and deified its kings, particularly during the "Reign of Terror" at the end of the French revolution. The kings of England, who might have liked to enjoy absolute reign like the French kings were nevertheless limited in their power by the people. France controlled its citizens like slaves until late in the 1700’s. This is not to say that England did everything right; however, England in general made better choices. In fact, in the 20th century, France had to be saved twice by Britain and British allies. France’s decline was wrapped up in her history for hundreds of years´´.

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