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

Rise of Nation State England
Kings of Britain -
Æthelred II, Cnut, Edward the Confessor

King Æthelred II (978 - 1016)
The king, Ethelred, was not cut out to be a war leader. Today he is remembered as Ethelred "The unready," but in fact, he was know as the "Unraed," which meant "without good advice." Ethelred collected extra taxes and bribed the invaders to go away with large sums of money called "Danegeld" (Dane payment). The Viking leaders rewarded their warriors and sailed away. But, they were soon back for more.

Aethelred II penny
Silver penny of King Æthelred II. Many of these coins have been found in Scandinavia,
where they were taken as danegeld payments.

Year after year, the Vikings seemed content to come just for Danegeld. But finally, Swein Forkbeard, King of Denmark, decided to conquer England. Ethelred came back, but he soon faced an army led by Swein's son Cnut / Canute. Tired of the struggle, the English accepted Cnut as their king. He was only 23 years old.

King Cnut the Great (1016 - 1035)
Cnut / Canute was strong and cruel. He grew up in a hard world, surrounded by violence and bloodshed. Cnut's subjects feared him. But in time, they also learned to respect him as a king who ruled firmly and justly. To give himself a link with the English royal family, Cnut married Emma, Ethelred's widow. (Looks like Emma gets around!)

Cnut and EmmaKing Cnut penny
Left: King Cnut and his queen, Emma of Normandy, the widow of King Æthelred II, present a gold altar cross to the New Minisiter c.1031. Right: Silver penny of Cnut, king of the English, Danes, and Norwegians.

Cnut called together a great assembly of nobles and Church leaders.

He promised to rule fairly and to keep the laws of Edgar.

English nobles were allowed to keep their estates and positions of power.

Cnut also promised to help the Christian faith.

True to his word, he built churches.

For most of his 19-year reign, he was King of Denmark and England. The English were safe from Viking attacks when Cnut reigned! Cnut died in 1035, leaving Harold and Harthacnut, his two sons. Seven years later, both sons were dead and Cnut's great North Sea empire had broken up.

Edward the Confessor (1042 -1066)
The English crown went to Edward, son of Ethelred. Edward grew up in Normandy for safety. Edward knew less about England than the Danish Kings that he followed. He was the great, great, great grandson of Alfred, and this won him support. (The Norman Conquest.)

Edward the Confessor
The coronation of Edward the Confessor on Easter Day

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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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