Britain from 1066 to 1660
Norman Conquest to Cromwell
With the Normans, England became a unified country for the first time since the Romans left 600 years earlier. The Norman kings consolidated their hold on England, then took control of Wales and Ireland.
There followed a long period during the Middle Ages of squabbling over the throne, culminating with the Wars of the Roses, the house of Lancaster against the house of York. The Battle of Bosworth on 1485 saw the end of these wars with the victory of Henry VII.
The rule of the Tudors, including Henry VIII (he of the wives) and Mary and Elizabeth I, represented a period of rising English influence on the world - a series of continental wars and the age of the British navy. Colonisation of the Americas began.
The death of Elizabeth left no immediate successor, and the throne of England was offered to the Scottish King James. He was James VI of Scotland and became James I of England. This united England and Scotland for the first time in history though the official Act of parliament, the Act of Union was not passed for another hundred years.
The Stuart kings believed that they had a divine right to govern, and in a world that even then was starting to become democratic, this view caused increasing resentment. The struggle for supremacy between Parliament and the King as to who really ruled the country led to Civil War in 1641. The king, Charles I was defeated, and executed in 1649. Oliver Cromwell became head of state, and Britain continued with this form of government only for a brief period. Cromwell died, his son became head of state, but was not a popular choice. Parliament invited the son of the dead king to re-take the throne. So Britain resumed a monarchy under Charles II in 1660
|The Norman Kings||William I,William II,Henry I, Stephen, Henry II|
|Lancaster versus York||Wars in France, revolts in England, Wars of the Roses|
|Tudor Kings and Queens||Henry VII, Henry VIII, Mary and Elizabeth|
|The Stuarts, Civil War and Cromwell||The turmoil of Civil War|
|Go on to next history page - The Norman Kings|
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