The Plantagenets.Henry II, the founder of Plantagenet dynasty, was king not only of England but also of large parts of France and he changed the military service. The barons were allowed to pay a sum of money, called shield money, instead of the military service of their knights. With this money the king could pay mercenaries for his expeditions. Henry II wanted to form a stronger system of justice. Those clerks who committed common crimes were judged by a body of laws called The Constitutions of Clarendon in the king’s court. But Thomas a Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, opposed the king. Furious, Henry II sent him into exile in France for seven years.
HENRY II REFORMS AND BECKET: RIASSUNTO
When Becket returned, four Henry’s knight kill him in his own cathedral. The church made Thomas a martyr and a saint and the king lost important rights for three centuries. Henry also sent his royal judges to every corner of England, where they spread the common law of the land. The king introduced trial by jury, the jury had no power of verdict, as they were only witnesses to the fact. When Henry died England lost a great king who respected the law, trusted his people and ruled the land with courage.
La Guerra delle due Rose
Richard I, called Lion Heart, cared more for his personal glory than for England’s greatness. He left his kingdom join the Third Crusade, giving the government to his brother John, a cruel and selfish man, who oppressed his people with excessive taxes. Richard went to France to defend his French possession and was killed. When John Lackland became king he continued his damaging policy but the feudal nobility and clergy was obliged the king to sign the Magna Carta, recognizing some fundamental principles of freedom for his people. The principles favoured the upper classes but they didn’t represent the poor people.
Henry III was a king of great piety. His devotion to the church of Rome made him an instrument of the pope. His misgovernment provoked a bitter reaction under the leardship of Simon de Montfort, who had the support of the clergy, barons and knights. Montfort defeated the king’s forces and ruled the country for a year. But he was defeated and killed and Henry III was restored to the throne.
Edward I conquered Wales and also tried to conquer Scotland: but the scots resisted under the leadership of William Wallace, preserving their independence for many centuries. Edward I was known as the English Justinian, because he reordered the law and began to issue the statutes of the kingdom. As for parliament Edward reintroduced two knights and two citizens from each city in the kingdom. The parliament was called model parliament: the house of commons he is started here.
Edward II married Isabel, the daughter of king of France, but the barons opposed him and he was probably murdered.
The wars lasted for about ten years. Edward IV of York gainted the throne and cruel war continued. Edward V was to young to rules so his uncle became lord protector with the name of Richard III. Henry Tudor on Lancaster defeated Richard III, ending the Wars of the Roses and became king as Henry VII