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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, ColoradoRise of Nation State England

Rise of Nation State England
Scotland -
Alexander III, John Balliol, William Wallace,
Robert Bruce, King Edward II

The Hammer of the Scots
Unlike Wales, Scotland had its own line of kings. They ruled over a country, which fell into two distinct halves. South of the Firth of Forth there lived many families of English and Norman descent. Here land was shared out among feudal lords, and the way of life was similar to that in England. But, the wild Highlanders of the North were much more like the Welsh - wandering herdsmen with their own language and customs.

Alexander III
Scotland was peaceful, prosperous and united under a strong king, Alexander III. Alexander was thrown from his horse while riding alone along the northern shore of the Firth of Forth. Unfortunately for Scotland, Alexander left no son to follow him. The throne was vacant, and no less than thirteen Scottish nobles claimed it - all distant relative of the dead King.

John Balliol, Lord of Galloway
There was a risk of civil war breaking out, so Edward I was invited to help. After several meetings with lawyers and leading nobles, they chose John Balliol, Lord of Galloway, to be king in 1292. The decision was fair, but Edward insisted that John must do homage to him as his overlord. It soon became clear that John Balliol was a "puppet king."

The Scots hated this English interference and finally forced John to go against Edward's wishes. Edward's answer was to gather an army, march into Scotland, and force Balliol to give up the throne in 1296.

William Wallace
Lasting peace between England and Scotland was not to be achieved by force. As soon as Edward turned his back, the Scots rose in rebellion, led by humble knight named William Wallace.

Edward marched north to teach the Scots the lesson he had taught the Welsh. His army contained a strong force of arches armed with longbows. These deadly weapons, up to two meters high, could fire iron-tipped arrows through chain mail. Edward's archers quickly settled the issue at the battle of Falkirk. The following year Wallace was captured, after seven years on the run. William Wallace was taken to London and hanged.

Robert I Bruce (1306 - 1329)
Robert Bruce was grandson of one of the thirteen who had claimed the throne after the Maid of Norway's death. Bruce gained the respect of the nobles and was crowned King of Scotland in 1306. Within a year, he had lost two battles and could only wander, homeless, and as an outlaw.

Seal of King Robert I Bruce
Great Seal of King Robert I Bruce, king of Scotts

King Edward II (1307 - 1327)
Edward I was now old and in poor health. He traveled north with a powerful army. He left orders that his bones should be carried at the head of the advancing army. But his son, now King Edward II, lacked his father's fighting spirit. He called off the fight and took dad to Westminster Abby to be buried.

Edward IIKing Edward II
Left: King Edward II is holding the symbols of kingship, an orb and scepter, and is standing on a royal lion. Right: King Edward II is seated on a cushioned bench, holding a scepter, shown in the act of surrendering his crown to his elder son, Edward III.

Just before the old King's death the tide turned for Bruce, support flocked to his side and he began to win battle and skirmishes against the English. In later years, a story was told of how he had been ready to give up the struggle as he sat one day in a cave, watching a spider try to make its web. One by one, he captured English-held castles.

Edward II could not let Stirling fall without a fight. In 1314, he crossed the Border with about 20,000 men. Bruce's army was outnumbered by three to one, but was well-placed. After suffering heavy losses, the English fled in disorder.

King Edward III (1327 - 1377)
In 1328, the new King Edward III finally made peace with Bruce and accepted him as the rightful ruler of Scotland.

Edward III crownedEdward III, David II
Left: Illuminated manuscript of the coronation of Edward III, fourteen years old.
Right: King Edward III (right) with King David II of Scotland. David had been
captured at Neville's Cross in 1346. He was later ransomed for 100,000 marks.

Edward I's plan to unite both crowns would have to wait 300 years until 1603. Until then, the both countries would go on quarreling and fighting.

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Mr. Sedivy's Lecture Notes & Historical Info

The Celts
| Gallic He-Men | Celtic Culture, Trade, Religion, Women |
| Threat of the Celts - Celtic Battles and Conquests |

- Rise of Nation State England -
| Roman Conquest of Britain | Christianity in Britain |
| Customs: Thanes, Churls, Thralls, Wergeld, Folk-Moot |
| Dark Ages: Alfred the Great, Edward the Elder, Athelstan |
| The Return of the Vikings |
| Kings of Britain: Aethelred, Cnut, Edward the Confessor |
| Bayeaux Tapestry, William the Conqueror,
Edward the Confessor, Harold Godwinson, Harold II
| The Crusades: Richard Lion Heart, Pope Urban |
| King John, Innocent III, Archbishop Stephen Langton |
| Magna Carta / First Parliament |

Wales and Scotland
| Wales: Edward I, Llewellyn, Snowdonia |
| Scotland: Alexander III, John Balliol,
William Wallace, Robert Bruce, King Edward II

The 100 Years War
| Edward III, Longbows at Crecy, Edward IV, Black Prince |
| Henry V, King Charles VI, Battle at Calais, Treaty of Troyes |

More Information
| Other Kings of the Dark and Middle Ages:
William II, Henry I, Henry II
| The British Monarchy's Peerage: Dukes, Viscounts,
Marquess, Earls, Baronets, and Barons

Class Activities
Roman Conquest Comparison
Battle of Agincourt

Related Information
Mr. Sedivy's World History - The Middle Ages
The Complete Bayeux Tapestry
Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages / Crusades
The Hundred Years War
King Henry VIII
The Interesting Life of Elizabeth I
The Stuarts - James I, Charles I, Charles II, James II
Oliver Cromwell



Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Advanced Placement Modern European History | Rise of Nation State England | World History |
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