Anglo saxon england

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  • Anglo-Saxon England
    • Powers of the king:
      • Law making made only by the king
      • chosen by God
      • decided which tax was paid and how much
      • could grant land to any of his followers and take it away at any time
    • The Witan was a council that advised the king. The king decided who was appointed, he did not have to follow the witan, he decided on what the witan should advise him on
    • Earls governed large areas of land on the king's behalf
      • collected taxes
      • Oversee law and order, judged cases and decided punishments
      • the Earls were the kings generals who lead the thegns in batttle
      • WEAKNESS large earldoms meant earls could be very powerful
    • Edward the Confessor
      • Advantages
        • as a religious leader people believed that God was guiding him
        • He was married to Edith, daughter of rich and powerful earl Godwin
        • He was respected as a good lawmaker
      • Disadvantages
        • He had been exiled in normandy most of his life so had few english supporters
        • No Children to succeed him
        • He struggled to keep control of Godwin
    • Responsibilities of the shire reeve (sheriff)
      • Collect taxes from the land and geld tax
      • Collect fines from the shire court
      • Make sure and army is provided when  needed (Fyrd)
      • Ensure all roads and defences are maintained
    • Key words
      • An earldom was divided up into SHIRES which were divided into HUNDREDS which were divided into TITHINGS
      • CEORLS were peasant farmers
      • FYRD the men of the anglo saxon army
      • WRIT written orders from the king
    • Law and Order
      • HUE AND CRY someone in the community calls on the others to  help them track down a criminal
      • COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY one member of the tithing broke the law, the rest were responsible for bringing him to court or were punished themselves
      • TRIAL BY ORDEAL  the court asked God to judge cases were the community could not decide
      • STRENGTHS Depended on everyone in the community knowing each other very well
        • WEAKNESSES powerless to prevent powerful men breaking  the law
    • Why was the economy so strong?
      • Good climate for farming
      • Strong trade links with Scandinavia, Normandy and Flanders
      • Efficient tax system
      • Central control of money supply meant money kept its value and trade could be taxed, benefiting the nobility
      • 90% of the population were ceorls
    • Burhs
      • fortified main town of each shire
      • People from countryside could take refuge when vikings were around
      • 10% lived in towns in 1060
      • Strong walls made it difficult for vikings to attack
      • By law, all dignificant trade had to be carried out within the burh. This trade was then taxed
    • The Church
      • Bishops were rich and important. Witan always had a bishop. controlled large church districts
      • Very few people were literate. Church provided all the King's clerks and record keepers
        • Church was reisitant to reforms
      • Local preists farmed like peasents, were married and illiterate

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