Literature 12 the middle ages (449-1485)

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  • Norman Conquest: Invasion and conquest of England by the French (William the Conqueror). Changed English language significantly, bringing into English a great deal of French vocabulary (especially in the realm of cooking and law). (English became a blend of Germanic and Latin vocabulary). William drafted rules of law that the people of England were now subjected to (centralized government = greater homogenization). It took 250 years for the Normans and Saxons to blend themselves into one English nation

  • Crusades: battle of Christians and Muslims for ideological and geographical dominance.

  • Magna Carta: limited the power of King John and gave greater power to barons (similar to today’s “parliament”) = greater power for the people = more democratic

  • The Plague, Black Death of the Fourteenth Century, decimates the population of Europe.

  • Hundred Years’ War: wars between France and England, whose Norman population still felt it had a hold on France’s possessions.

  • War of the Roses: Fuelled by repressive laws, burdensome taxes, and scarcity of labour, peasants rose up in revolt against the government.

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