Why Was William of Normandy Able to Defeat Opposition to His Rule?

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20/03/11.
Assess the reasons why William
was able to defeat opposition to his rule.
William was able to defeat opposition to his rule for quite a number of reasons. Firstly, and I think that this is the most important reason, is because of the lack of leadership and various causes that the rebels had for rebelling. If they had had one single cause, for example to overthrow the King and take charge of England for themselves, then with that one cause for their rebellion it would have been possible for the rebels to stand behind one leader, and that would have most likely been Edgar Aetheling, who was a direct blood descendant to the throne of England. Instead of having one united rebellion, the rebels made the mistake of doing them in small groups and at different times, which made it easy for William to crush them, sometimes he even managed to overpower them without being present, for example when Edric the Wild attacked- we think that he attacked because he had had his lands laid waste by Richard fitz Scrob- he attacked on the Welsh border but was never an actual threat to William’s rule, although he was more of a constant annoyance. Edric failed mainly because he didn’t have enough followers, and this was most likely because he only had a personal cause, and not a reason that other people would follow him for, as they wouldn’t get anything out of it. This lack of leadership could have happened because of the effects of the battle of 1066; most of the men who could have acted as leaders for the rebels, for example Harold Godwinson’s brothers or his warrior elite, had been slaughtered and killed during the battle, so the people of England were left with no true leader. The only person that could have lead the rebels would have been Edgar Aetheling, but every time he got a chance to do so, he ran away to Scotland, to the court of his cousin Malcom, the King of Scotland. So this is just one reason why William was able to defeat opposition to his rule....
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