In William the Conqueror: the Norman Impact upon England, David Douglas examines the reasons for the Norman Conquest, studies Anglo-Norman history, and outlines the known facts of William’s life. Douglas supports his arguments with a plethora of sources located in the footnotes and appendices. He documents the tumultuous era of William’s minority in Normandy and how those events prepared William for his role as duke and eventually king. Throughout the book, Douglas also demonstrates how the conquest was perhaps the most revolutionary event in England prior to the Reformation because the conquest changed the monarchy, created a new style of feudalism, and developed new political and intellectual ideas. Continue reading
In The History of the English People 1000–1154, Henry of Huntingdon tells the story of the decline of the English kingdom, the Norman invasion, and the establishment of Norman rule after the victory at the battle of Hastings. He chronicles the reigns of each king from William the Conqueror to Stephen. Henry includes every aspect of medieval life: murder, courtly intrigue, treachery, miracles, and saints. His work contains the first written record of Cnut confronting the ocean’s waves and the death of Henry I from eating too many lampreys. Henry’s overarching interpretation of history is that man’s pride and glory are worthless since man is nothing without God. Continue reading
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People offers a glimpse into a period of English history from Caesar’s invasion in 55 BC to Bede’s life c. 731 AD. Although Bede’s narrative documents English history, his primary focus is the conflict between the Christian Church and paganism. Bede tells of how Augustine brought Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons in 597, how pagans opposed the spread of Christianity in the various regions, and how ultimately the Council of Whitby was a major turning point in English history. Bede typifies his era by demonstrating tales of the miraculous and heavily disputing the correct way to calculate the date for Easter. Bede also openly advances his own views on politics and religion throughout the book. Continue reading
The City of God was written to refute the charge that Christianity was to blame for the fall of Rome. In books one through five, Augustine tells the history of Rome from its founding to AD 408 and refutes pagan arguments such as the assumption that Rome had thrived when the Roman gods were still worshipped. He shows that Christians are faithful taxpayers, take care of their families, and are peaceable. In the next five books Augustine points out the inconsistencies in pagan beliefs while demonstrating the truth of Christianity. In the latter twelve books Augustine broadens his argument to a general discussion of good and evil represented by earthly and heavenly cities. Continue reading
The Glorious Revolution of 1688, a continuation of the English civil war, is one of the most spectacular events in history. Prior to the Glorious Revolution, England reinstated the monarchy with Charles II in hopes of ending the civil war. However, several events checked the renewed monarchy and eventually caused the revolution: the popish plot, James II’s son, and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Continue reading
The main political principle that France gave up under Napoleon’s rule was freedom on the individual, regional, and religious levels.
On the individual level, first there was no freedom of education. No women or poor men could attend the lycees because there was a high tuition and an entrance examination. The schools were also centralized in Paris. Second, in business, a person did have the freedom to change jobs, but all power lay in the hands of the employers, not the employees. Third, the people were not socially equal anymore, because the elite bourgeoisie rose in prominence and a different elite group of aristocrats returned. Fourth, the freedom of speech for the intellectuals was sacrificed. If someone didn’t agree with Napoleon’s ideas, then he was exiled. No intellectia allowed. Fifth, the people suffered politically. There was no bill of rights or habeas corpus. While universal manhood suffrage existed, there were no direct elections. There were plebiscites but Napoleon manipulated the timing of them. Continue reading
Spain was a major power under Philip II in four ways: religiously, politically, economically, and commercially.
Religiously, Spain was a staunch Catholic nation. The Inquisition was notorious and infamous. Spain wielded her religious powers over the pope, the Spanish Netherlands, France, the Holy Roman Empire, and even England. Spain fought several religious wars on the continent because Philip II’s goal was to spread Catholicism everywhere. Missions were established in the New World. Under Philip II’s reign, Catholicism was the dominant religion in Europe despite the Calvinist and Lutheran rebellions. Continue reading
In 1698, after three wars, Louis XIV of France was tired of fighting. The other European countries agreed to a peaceful partitioning of land in order to avoid future war. Continue reading
Muhammad made several concessions to the Jews, Christians, and Arabs in an attempt to make them accept Islam. He made these concessions because he desired to expand the Islamic faith and promote his doctrine. Some of the concessions only promoted hostility from the Muslims and the other peoples. He threw out some of the concessions and returned to his original revelations. Continue reading
The Doctrine of Abrogation in the Koran originated when Muhammed claimed that Muslims should worship the three daughters of Allah. After realizing his mistake, he denounced those quotes. Since then, a thousand verses have been abrogated (deleted) from the Koran. These verses are claimed to have come from Satanic temptations. Some of the verses were from the concessions Muhammed made to the Jews, Christians, and Arabs. Continue reading