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Why did castles play such a key role both in the implementation of rebellion by nobles and in its suppression by rulers between 1066 and 1224 - Essay Example

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Castles dominate areas of the British landscape, and many of these date from the Norman conquest of England in the early part of this millennium. They illustrate a key part of British history, particularly those that date from the early part of the Norman era and William the Conqueror’s rule as they are part of an era of political dissent and distrust of the crown…
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Why did castles play such a key role both in the implementation of rebellion by nobles and in its suppression by rulers between 1066 and 1224
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Why did castles play such a key role both in the implementation of rebellion by nobles and in its suppression by rulers between 1066 and 1224

Download file to see previous pages... They illustrate a key part of British history, particularly those that date from the early part of the Norman era and William the Conqueror’s rule as they are part of an era of political dissent and distrust of the crown. The rebellion of nobles against the crown, as exemplified by the Revolt of the Earls in 1075 and other acts of dissent, played a crucial role in the need for these castles, particularly as many were used to supress such uprisings. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role that castles played in the rebellions and their suppression, and the reason why they played such a crucial role in these events of history. It will also highlight the political importance of castles and their role in times of crisis, particularly with respect to who held control of these dominant buildings. In doing this, it will become clear why the Norman era is so inextricably linked with the huge surge in the number of castles that dominate the British landscape and why so many of these elements of history can be found still standing today. The first true British castles began to be built upon the Norman invasion of 1066 by William the Conqueror1....
As previously mentioned, the Norman invasion of England was not taken lightly by the aristocracy that already resided in the area, and William the Conqueror’s rule was marred by uprisings and rebellion by nobles, a hint at the struggles for political power to come in the next two centuries. One of the most significant struggles for power is known as the Revolt of the Earls, and occurred in 1075. Ralph de Gael, the Earl of Norfolk, and Roger de Breteuil, the Earl of Hereford, began to conspire to overthrow William as the King of England due to a number of conflicts, one involving the sanctioning of a marriage agreement4. Norwich Castle, one of the most important examples of Norman castle building efforts, was the site of Ralph’s efforts to remain protected during the rebellion, and for many months was successful in evading Norman involvement. However, Ralph returned to his native Brittany, leaving the castle in control of his wife, whereupon it became besieged and used for protection of the Norman troops5. This early event in castle history shows how useful castles were to both uprising nobles and the reigning Norman leaders of the era, as the structures change political ownership as a reflection of power in the region6. Many English castles during the reign of William the Conqueror and subsequent kings were under the control of the reigning leader (royal castles) whilst the remainder were controlled by the aristocracy. This kind of conflicting control was not to stay static during the era, but a series of relocations of ownership through friendly and unfriendly requests was to occur.7 The castles themselves were additionally important because they were not simply standalone property, but ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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