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History, Politics & Society
History of England
The Battle of Hastings

What was the Norman conquest?


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April 06, 2016 10:43PM

According to Wikipedia: The Norman conquest of England began in 1066 AD with the invasion of the Kingdom of England by the troops of William, Duke of Normandy ("William the Conqueror"), and his victory over Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, at the Battle of Hastings.

This resulted in Norman control of England, which was firmly established during the next few years. The Norman Conquest was a pivotal event in English history for several reasons. It largely removed the native ruling class, replacing it with a foreign, French-speaking monarchy, aristocracy and clerical hierarchy. This in turn brought about a transformation of the English language and the culture of England.

By subjecting the country to rulers originating in France it linked England more closely with continental Europe, while lessening Scandinavian influence, and set the stage for a rivalry with France that would continue intermittently for more than eight centuries. It also had important consequences for the rest of the British Isles, paving the way for further Norman invasions in Wales and Ireland, and the extensive penetration of the aristocracy of Scotland by Norman and other French-speaking families.