Alexander the Great and His Empire
William the Conqueror’s early life was filled with threats and wars. William’s early life must be studied in order to understand these events. William was born in Falaise, Normandy in 1028 from Robert I of Normandy and Arlette. Unfortunately, these two were not married and William became their illegitimate son. William had another nickname during his life, William the Bastard. (http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page18.asp) After giving birth to William, his mother immediately married Herluin, the Vicente of Canteville. Herluin and Arlette would have two children together, Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux, and the Earl of Rent. (Douglas, David. Page 15).
William wanted to attack England and was able to because of several factors. Normandy was filled with wealth; there were many monasteries and Vikings with other enemies who were attacking them to take money. The Normans were at constant warefare with the Vikings and within themselves to gain territory. Normandy was becoming stronger and gaining a lot of territory. Due to the fact that Normandy was becoming very wealthy, when William took power, it was easy for him to fund the war with England. One would think that constant warefare would weaken a nation because of all the soldiers and money being lost but it is the complete opposite in this case. This war provided the people with a fighting attitude. Everyone wanted war because it was all they knew and war with England was just another battle with their bitter rivals.
While Normandy was experiencing something similar to a Golden Age, England on the other hand was in a depression. England was in similar state as Normandy in the fact that they were in a war with everyone. Many large nations such as the Bikings were constantly raiding the coastal areas and stealing from those cities. England was barely holding out against these attacks. England was becoming weaker and weaker with every raid. The people of England were becoming restless. They were nervous because they knew their land could be conquered any day. When William wanted to attack he knew it was perfect because the English were weal, and the Normans were at their most powerful state thus far.
The Normans were in a completely different state of being during this time. Duke Robert I died in 1035 and William became Duke of Normandy at the age of seven. When he was crowned Duke, there were many rebellions. Many people wanted the throne, and they thought a child at the head was the perfect time to revolt. Adding to the fact that many people wished for power, nobody wanted a seven-year-old child in power. These rebellions were not just to gain power but also to kill this child. To protect him, his tutor would sleep in the same room with him. There were many nights in which William had to leave his cottage because he was under attacked. On William’s eighteenth birthday, he officially became the Duke of Normandy. Because William was now an adult, his tutor would no longer stay with him to protect him. A rebellion immediately, and in doing so, secured his position as Duke Normandy.
Similar to his childhood, William’s adulthood spanned many wars. Of these wars one was with King Henry of France. Other wars included Brittany, Maine and Anjou. Through many of these wars, a great mass of land was conquered. In 1049 William married Matilda, the daughter of Count Baldwin V of Flanders. With this marriage came an alliance between the two most powerful Northern nations. IN approximately 1060, William was known all over Normandy as a great soldier because of his success in the wars. Many of these battles were won with the odds stacked against William, and thus embellished his military reputation. After each battle won, William was paid in land. This land could be from two places: the land he conquered or from any of the vassals he thought could become rebellious. To gain more supporters he would take these newfound lands and distribute...
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