Past and Furious

William the Conqueror, King John, Joan of Arc

William the Conqueror

“See I grasp England in my hand.”

Background Info

William the Conqueror was born in Falaise, Normandy and is the son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy and Herleva of Falaise. He inherited the duchy after the death of his father in 1035. I would describe him as a leader and clever.

Memorable Moments

William is most famous for his victory in the Battle of Hastings. The last Anglo-Saxon king of England was defeated in the battle. Another conflict was his feud with his distant cousin Harold in 1051. After the king of England Edward died in 1066, Harold, Earl of Wessex took the throne. But in 1051, William claimed that Edward had promised him the throne. Harold later sworn to support the claim. William the Conqueror was a descendant of Viking raiders. One quote spoken from him was when he had stepped off his boat and slipped, falling into the mud. He picked himself up but realized that the occurrence would make him seem like a bad omen with his men. So, he clenched the soil in his hands and said, “See I grasp England in my hand.”

Importance

William the Conqueror was very important because he created a feudal state with a strong government. He also created a survey (The Domesday Book) in England to help the king set up a central tax system. William the Conqueror shows the true quality if leadership through his conquests and political skills.

King John

"Here have we war for war and blood for blood,
Controlment for controlment: so answer France."

Background Info

King John was born in December 24, 1167 in Oxford, United Kingdom. He is the youngest son of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was called John Lackland because his father did not grant him an appanage on the Continent at first. King John was one of the most villainous kings of England.

Memorable Moments

His arbitrary ways led to the Magna Carta which was the first “Bill of Rights” in the history of the English-speaking peoples. King John wanted to kill his father and mother. Nobles came to him in “gay military array” to grant them liberties. In Shakespeare's play of King John, the king appears in scene one saying, "Here have we war for war and blood for blood, Controlment for controlment: so answer France."

Importance

Even if he didn't want to, he accepted the Magna Carta which says that he cannot collect taxes from nobles without their consent or take their property without paying for it. The Magna Carta is like the first "Bill of Rights". It was also know as the Great Charter. The king had to obey the laws just like his subjects. It is important because it keeps the country in order and the government in order. Think of it like Checks and Balances; we need it to balance out the branches' powers. The Magna Carta kept the power equal and fair.

Joan of Arc

"I am not afraid... I was born to do this."

Background Info

She was born in 1412 in Domremy, France. Joan was also known as the “Maid of Orleans”. Joan of Arc is brave and faithful because of her strong belief and her courage to recover France, even if it lead her to an untimely death.

Memorable Moments

She was very religious and thought she saw God in her visions. She was a very young warrior being 15 and leading French soldiers to victory over the English at the Battle of Orleans. During the 100 Years War, she helped Charles VII become king of France. At the age of nineteen, she was burned at the stake for several violations. One of which was for wearing pants.

Importance

Joan of Arc was a big religious influence. She was later a Catholic saint and a symbol of French patriotism. Because of her brave actions, she recovered France from England. This person is a symbol of bravery and faith, which are things that can move people forward in life and make a difference in the world.