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History of British Literature. Background Info Settlement: – Saxons: South and West – Angles: East and North – Jutes: Isle of Wight and Mainland Opposite.

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Presentation on theme: "History of British Literature. Background Info Settlement: – Saxons: South and West – Angles: East and North – Jutes: Isle of Wight and Mainland Opposite."— Presentation transcript:

1 History of British Literature

2 Background Info Settlement: – Saxons: South and West – Angles: East and North – Jutes: Isle of Wight and Mainland Opposite Had separate kingdoms, but shared a similar language and similar customs

3 Customs The King’s Power – Was not hereditary – Depended solely on the king’s ability to win battles This provided land, treasure, and slaves to give to his supporters – Had to keep fighting to hold the throne – Passing the throne to sons was not a foregone conclusion Any relative of the old king could make a bid for the throne by mustering supporters – This is why the kingdoms came and went so quickly – The power of any kingdom was only as solid of the strength of the king in battle

4 Kings/Kingdoms A.D. 43: Romans drove out Celtics A.D. 49: Germanic tribes—Angles, Saxons, and Jutes crossed the North Sea and occupied the island the Romans called Albion. – “Angle Land” became England A.D. 597: Roman Cleric led by St. Augustine – More peaceful – Converted to Christianity the pagans who were there – Their Bible was written in Latin

5 Kings/Kingdoms – 8 th Century: Danes arrived Raided and looted towns and monasteries of the northeast – Eventually settled there Responding to population pressures in their homeland, they wanted new lands to settle Using fortified settlements to make bases in order to expand Use of helmets, shields, and long handed battle axe made them better armed than most of their foes Tried to overrun the rest of the island Were stopped by Alfred the Great

6 Kings/Kingdoms Alfred the Great – Was King of Wessex who struggled to withstand the invasion of the Danes – Was pushed back to a small corner of the marshes around Altheney in 877 – In a surprise attack, Alfred pushed Guthrum (Danish king) back to his base and besieged him for two weeks – The Danes retreated and Alfred begin consolidating his gains – He was an innovator and successful warrior – Encouraged the building of fortified town The settlers provided a defense force in exchange for free plots of land – He established schools and the dissemination of knowledge – Brought Anglo-Saxon England into a golden age of stability and artistic accomplishment – He looked beyond his personal gain to a future of well-being

7 Kings/Kingdoms Normans-1066 – Will the Conqueror --Last successful invasion of England – Spoke French – Brought a form of government, social order, and feudalism-holding land in exchange for service or labor – 1215, a group of nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta which limited the powers of the king This marked the beginning of parliamentary government in England Other kings faced more violent opposition and two were deposed and assassinated (Edward II, 1327; Richard II, 1399)

8 England is Formed The Black Death (plague), 14 th Century – Killed an estimated 1/3 of the population – Intermittent series of wars with France—dragged out more than one hundred years – Brutal civil war: – Henry VII came to the throne – All forces came together to form a newly unified state – An incredible period of discovery and expansion followed

9 Independent Assignment Create a timeline of British history, labeling all the information that you deem as pertinent as it pertains to the development of the culture.


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