The Development of Landed Power in Tenth-Century England
This article discusses the development of landed power in England during the tenth century and how it played a crucial role in the country’s political and social structures. The concentration of wealth in fewer hands led to the extensive subjection of peasants to lords and ultimately favored kings, giving them a unique advantage in Europe. The article also looks at the conversion process in Scandinavia, which was a slow process due to the weakness of political structures and the reluctance of kings to demand conversion from their countrymen.
Table of Contents
- The International Dimension of Tenth-Century England
- The Coherence and Importance of Oaths in Tenth-Century England
- The Battle of Maldon and its Representation of English Identity
- The Revolution in Land Tenure and Concentration of Wealth
- The Development of Political and Social Structures in Europe during the Medieval Period
Q: How influential were Carolingian influences on tenth-century England?
A: Carolingian influences played a significant role in the development of tenth-century England. The English kings’ integration into Continental politics increased, and cultural relationships developed, leading to the borrowing of literature from Carolingian Francia. However, the English court used writing less than the Carolingians, and royal orders were largely (although not always) verbal across the century.
Q: What was the importance of oaths to the king in tenth-century England?
A: The importance of oaths to the king greatly widened the scope of “treason” in England. It was easier in England to lose land and lives because of the king’s displeasure. This system allowed the king to maintain control over the political structures of the country.
Q: Could you discuss the significance of The Battle of Maldon?
A: The Battle of Maldon celebrates the fight to the death by Ealdorman Byrhtnoth of Essex and his entourage against the newly invading Vikings at Maldon in 991. The poem depicts a cross-sectional representation of English identity and loyalty, highlighting the coherence of the English kingdom.
Q: How did the concentration of wealth lead to the development of political structures in tenth-century England?
A: The concentration of wealth led to an exchange economy, with an expanded network of inland centers, a capillary urban network, at least one per shire. The crystallization of property rights in England allowed for aristocratic dominance but also allowed kings to maintain control over political structures.
Q: How did the development of landed power in England differ from other European countries during the medieval period?
A: The development of landed power in England differed from other European countries during the medieval period due to the concentration of wealth in fewer hands. By the tenth century, English kings controlled a higher percentage of land than Charlemagne did, giving them a unique advantage in Europe.
The development of landed power in England during the tenth century had a significant impact on the political and social structures of the country. The concentration of wealth allowed for aristocratic dominance but also allowed kings to maintain control over the political structures of the country. Furthermore, the country’s coherence during the period is evident in The Battle of Maldon, showcasing the representation of English identity and loyalty. The article also highlights how the development of political and social structures differed across Europe during the medieval period.