Canute the Great

Topics: Denmark, Cnut the Great, Viking Pages: 5 (1551 words) Published: May 18, 2013

Table of Contents

Canute the Great3
What achievements did Canute the Great make?4
What role did religion play in Canute’s leadership?5
What were Canute’s strengths and weaknesses?6

Canute the Great

Canute was a Viking king. He was son of Sweyn Forkbeard, the king of Denmark. Canute ascended the Danish throne upon the death of his father in 1018. But in 1016, as the prince of Denmark Canute successfully conquered England. Thus by the time Canute became the king of Denmark he was the king of a vast empire that included England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, parts of Sweden and Germany from 1018 to 1035. He came into power during a time of turmoil but Canute established an era of peace and prosperity to a once divided kingdom. His rule was known as a peaceful and orderly time throughout his entire kingdom. By the time of his death in 1035, Canute was not only known as a successful king but also a monarch and religious figure. This report will discuss the achievements of Canute, his strengths and weaknesses and how religion played a role in victorious leadership.

What achievements did Canute the Great make?

One of Canute’s greatest achievements was he was successfully able to use his skill as a leader and military commander and become the ruler of an empire that included England, Denmark, Norway, western Sweden, and northern Germany. Although Canute was a Dane ruling English land one of his other great achievements was bringing peace and prosperity to England. Over the twenty years of his reign Canute ensured that the ties of England and Denmark were strong and good. Canute also developed and maintained a strong legal and fiscal system to ensure his empire was orderly and calm.

Even though Canute was a Viking and during the early part of his reign he was very ruthless, and his actions were barbaric he became a wise ruler who made many great decisions that benefited his empire. For example, he secured recognition from three Scottish kings after 1027. He also made English trade more profitable by controlling the Baltic trade root. In addition, Canute was able to obtain a reduction in tolls and charges for people wanting to travel to Rome for pilgrimage. This highlights Canute’s achievements in foreign affairs.

Canute was also known as a religious king and he his achievements in promoting Christianity was seen for example when he encouraged the church to undertake missionary work in Scandinavia. Canute also ensured that those who were not Christians we not punished and was able to work with them for the benefit of his country. For example, he led an army that was largely mostly pagans and thus created a rule that was peaceful and orderly.

Canute made many great achievements but perhaps one Canute’s greatest achievements was winning the English crown. England was a land in ruin in 1013 and only a strong and powerful king could unite this divided nation. The people of England recognised that only Canute had the will and power to unite their land and in 1016 Canute was declared king of England in Lincolnshire.

What role did religion play in Canute’s leadership?

Canute was an extremely religious king who was known for his close relationship with the church. He associated himself with key religious figures such as Wulfstan, the Archbishop of York. He was also known for his generosity toward the church, giving impressive gifts and relics to the English...
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