England in the High Middle Ages

England in the High Middle Ages (until 1300) Part I

Europe

Feudalism

While older research still assumed that the Norman conquest led to an almost revolutionary break with the past, today, in addition to the innovations, there are also remarkable signs of continuity. When he was coronated, Wilhelm I promised to respect the traditions and laws of his predecessor. As an innovation, however, the continental feudal system was introduced, which put the relationship between the king and the aristocratic upper class, including the higher clergy, on a new basis and significantly redesigned the military constitution of the country through the introduction of the vasallite knightly service. The Anglo-Saxon greats were replaced by the Franco-Norman followers of Wilhelm I. who not only moved into the high church and state offices, but also – as the Domesday Book created on behalf of Wilhelm I shows – in 1086 provided almost all crown vassals who held the entire property of the country, insofar as it was not owned by the Crown itself was administered as a fiefdom. In addition, Wilhelm I. however, it also relies on the tried and tested ruling institutions of the Anglo-Saxon period, such as the county and hundreds of thousands under the control of royal sheriffs, the traditional judicial system and the old financial and tax system, and had all landowners take a general oath of allegiance based on the Anglo-Saxon model. The connection between the Norman feudal monarchy and the national legal and administrative traditions of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom laid the foundation for permanent monarchical central power, which was established by the legislation of Henry I. (1100–35), especially in the Charter libertatum of 1100, was confirmed in a constitutional manner. Favored by the fact that numerous crown vassals also had possessions on the mainland, England opened up from now on to a particularly large extent to the continental Latin culture. Since the new masters spoke French, the Anglo-Saxon language was displaced in the area of ​​the aristocratic upper class (English language).

Since the middle of the 11th century,  according to Topb2bwebsites,the development in England – as in the rest of the West – was characterized by steady population growth, which accelerated dramatically in the 12th and 13th centuries, the number of residents of the country until the beginning of the 14th century increased from about 1.5-2 million to about 5-6 million. As on the continent, the increased need for food led to the development of new cultivation areas and thus to an increase in agricultural production, which in turn triggered a general economic and social dynamic that encompassed almost all areas of life and led to a long-lasting upswing in the monetary economy, trade and industry as well as the Creation of a tight network of cities and markets. The favorable agricultural economy with relatively high agricultural prices and low wage costs prompted numerous landlords to manage a large part of their property in their own administration and to sell the production that exceeded their own needs on the markets (“high farming”). In the field of trade and commerce, the wool trade took a special position, the v. a. expanded in the 13th century and made wool the country’s main export good. While domestic cloth production in the countryside, which produced for the local market, prospered throughout, the cloth industry in the cities, which had shifted to export, suffered a severe setback in the 13th century due to competition from Flemish cloth manufacturers, from which it suffered did not recover until the middle of the 14th century. to manage a large part of their property in their own administration and to sell the production in excess of their own needs on the markets (“high farming”). In the field of trade and commerce, the wool trade took a special position, the v. a. expanded in the 13th century and made wool the country’s main export good. While domestic cloth production in the countryside, which produced for the local market, prospered throughout, the cloth industry in the cities, which had shifted to export, suffered a severe setback in the 13th century due to competition from Flemish cloth manufacturers, from which it suffered did not recover until the middle of the 14th century. to manage a large part of their property in their own administration and to sell the production in excess of their own needs on the markets (“high farming”). In the field of trade and commerce, the wool trade took a special position, the v. a. expanded in the 13th century and made wool the country’s main export good. While domestic cloth production in the countryside, which produced for the local market, prospered throughout, the cloth industry in the cities, which had shifted to export, suffered a severe setback in the 13th century due to competition from Flemish cloth manufacturers, from which it suffered did not recover until the middle of the 14th century.

England in the High Middle Ages