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Midas
June 19th, 2010, 05:22 AM
Any PoD post-1000 where the Anglo Saxons remain in control of England. Basically two questions:

How? and what happens. Just for the sake of it being a thought experiment (wondering what happens in a TL I might do), what would the short-term effects of an Anglo-Saxon elite enduring in England? And any long-term effects, if we just assume history goes as is for as long as the most liberal interpretations of the butterfly effect be stretched :D.

And as a side note, I've read the Anglo-Saxons and Byzantines had pretty good relations, is there any chance of them going Orthodox or anything wack like that?

Eigenwelt
June 19th, 2010, 06:05 AM
And queue the linking of Uncleftish Beholding in 5, 4, 3,...

Midas
June 19th, 2010, 06:12 AM
And queue the linking of Uncleftish Beholding in 5, 4, 3,...

*EDIT: Ah, I've heard of that- but that focuses more on linguistics than geopolitical implications doesn't it? Very interesting nonetheless, and certainly reflective of many linguistic/cultural differences that would've arisen.

robertp6165
June 19th, 2010, 06:53 AM
Any PoD post-1000 where the Anglo Saxons remain in control of England. Basically two questions:

How? and what happens. Just for the sake of it being a thought experiment (wondering what happens in a TL I might do), what would the short-term effects of an Anglo-Saxon elite enduring in England? And any long-term effects, if we just assume history goes as is for as long as the most liberal interpretations of the butterfly effect be stretched :D.

And as a side note, I've read the Anglo-Saxons and Byzantines had pretty good relations, is there any chance of them going Orthodox or anything wack like that?

Well, the effect is going to depend in great part on the specific choice of POD. As for possible PODs...

1) The obvious one...Harold Godwinson beats (and preferably kills) William the Bastard at Hastings.

2) Another, less obvious one...Edward the Exile lives long enough to succeed Edward the Confessor when he dies in 1066, and rules for about a decade afterward, giving Edgar the Atheling the chance to mature and succeed to the kingship when Edward the Exile dies (say in 1075-1080). The succession passes lawfully from one King to another, and the Normans never get a foothold in England.

3) An even earlier one. Edmund Ironside (don't you just love Anglo-Saxon nicknames?) defeats and kills Canute at the Battle of Ashingdon on October 18, 1016 and re-establishes the hold of the House of Wessex on the crown. He lives to the age of 60, surviving until 1048, when he is succeeded by his son, Edward (Edward the Exile in OTL). In this ATL Edward probably marries an Anglo-Saxon lady, rather than a Russian or Hungarian (the origins of his OTL are uncertain), and the OTL Edgar the Atheling is never born. Instead, another prince born of Edward and his ATL wife is born and inherits when Edward dies, lets say, for fun, in 1066. Once again, the Normans never get a foothold in England.

4) An even earlier one...Aethelred the Unready never marries Emma of Normandy. The Normans do not get a dynastic connection which gives them a claim, however tenuous, on the English throne. There is no Edward the Confessor. Couple this with a POD where one of King Aethelred's six sons by his first wife survives to inherit after the death of Canute, and you most likely have a surviving Anglo-Saxon England.

All of these will have different effects.

--A POD that involves the defeat of Canute by Edmund Ironside, while preserving the marriage between Aethelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, will likely lead to an England which is somewhat oriented toward France due to the Norman bloodline within the Anglo-Saxon royal family.

--A POD where Edmund defeats Canute, but the marriage between Aethelred and Emma never took place, might see Anglo-Saxon England not orienting itself to either Scandinavia or France, but trying to proudly maintain it's own traditions.

--A POD based on the victory of Harold Godwinson at Hastings likely leads to an England oriented toward Scandinavia and away from France. The Godwinsons were partially of Scandinavian heritage, and Harold and his successors would likely reject France and French influence because of French support for the Normans.

--A POD based on the survival of Edward the Exile might still see conflict with Normandy, but with stronger internal support for the Anglo-Saxon monarchy due to the succession being seen as more legitimate (there were many who viewed Harold Godwinson, with good reason, as a usurper).

So you see, it's really all a function of which POD you pick. And there are many more to choose from. The above is just a quick list of the more obvious ones.

Midas
June 19th, 2010, 07:37 AM
Awesome, that was a really quick, succinct list of a lot of possibilities for more longevity of the Anglo-Saxons in England. I'll do some readings in a bit, but the most enticing one to me is Aethelred the Unready not marrying Emma of Normandy. I'm doing a PoD in 1000-'02 as well for a Vinland TL, so that seems like the most logical one to try.

Would there be any reprocussions of Aethelred not marrying Emma? I'm not too familiar with the history of that particular incident- as in, would Normandy take offence or would it just have been politics of the time.

kellineil
June 19th, 2010, 09:17 AM
And as a side note, I've read the Anglo-Saxons and Byzantines had pretty good relations, is there any chance of them going Orthodox or anything wack like that?

There will be plenty of people suggesting potential POD's regarding Anglo-Saxon England surviving.

With regards to Anglo-Saxon England siding with the Eastern Roman church in the great schism, they did in OTL. In 1066 this was more political than anything, the 2 churches having not diverged that much by this point. The split was (officially) about leadership in the church.

However, the church in the British Isles was always quite divergent from accepted practice. For instance, by 1066 most of the church that looked to Rome strongly disapproved of clergy marrying. This was not the case in England, and for that matter what would become the Eastern Orthodox Church. The rest of the British Isles would also probably move away from Rome if England had allied herself with the Patriarch of Constantinople. The Roman Church had at this point only acquired supremacy over the Celtic Church in the preceding 200 years. At this point you could easily have a resurgence in the Celtic Church

In the long run I don't think a union of the Constantinople and Celtic churches would be sustainable. The theological differences between the 2 were to great. However a short term political union against Rome is possible and may end with a Celtic Patriarch. The Celtic Church may also end up being dominant in Scandinavia

Just thoughts

Mikestone8
June 19th, 2010, 09:52 AM
One more way.

Harald III of Norway dies any time prior to the Summer of 1066. He was about fifty, by Viking standards an old man, so it could be natural, and Norse rulers often died by violence. Take your pick.

That means no Stamford Bridge, so Harold's army isn't weakened by the northern campaign. He polishes off William with little trouble.

Cuāuhtemōc
June 19th, 2010, 12:41 PM
English is certainly going to not have the French-Norman influence it would have in OTL and probably adopt more loan words from either the Celtic languages or the Scandinavian

Sam
June 19th, 2010, 01:41 PM
With regards to Anglo-Saxon England siding with the Eastern Roman church in the great schism, they did in OTL. In 1066 this was more political than anything, the 2 churches having not diverged that much by this point. The split was (officially) about leadership in the church.


Do you have a cite for that?

Midas
June 19th, 2010, 01:57 PM
Do you have a cite for that?

I've actually read it in past threads, maybe I'll dig them up later. It's what got me interested. I know Harold was excommunicated, but since I'm going for an earlier PoD that's not a factor. But in terms of general discussion on the matter (which is why I started the thread) it's completely relevant.

A big-if that comes to me is "foreign policy". I know we're talking about the medieval ages but just in terms of general trends: would you think it's right to assume that if I don't go with a PoD that involves dynastic claims involving Normandy and a ressurgence of the Anglo-Saxon House of Wessex- AS England is going to be more oriented towards Scandanavia or even inwardly to the isles? Just within the next 50-60 years at least.

Janprimus
June 19th, 2010, 03:07 PM
English is certainly going to not have the French-Norman influence it would have in OTL and probably adopt more loan words from either the Celtic languages or the Scandinavian

Not to the same extant as IOTL, but IIRC Edward the Confessor was influenced by Normans, however more important is the fact that France was culturally dominant. So there will be some French (cultural) influence and probably more than Celtic or Scandinavian influences, but obviously not nearly as much as IOTL.
Besides if England has problems with Normandy, than the house of Capet (kings of France), but also Brittany and Anjou, become very useful allies.

Korporal Nooij
June 19th, 2010, 03:44 PM
Not to the same extant as IOTL, but IIRC Edward the Confessor was influenced by Normans, however more important is the fact that France was culturally dominant. So there will be some French (cultural) influence and probably more than Celtic or Scandinavian influences, but obviously not nearly as much as IOTL.
Besides if England has problems with Normandy, than the house of Capet (kings of France), but also Brittany and Anjou, become very useful allies.

Wouldn't that be an amazing constructed language for someone to create? :D

Lysandros Aikiedes
June 19th, 2010, 06:55 PM
I didn't know of the pre-conquest English Witan flirting with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, although it seems alot of dispossessed Anglo-Saxon landowners did reportedly flee to the Byzantine Empire in the years following 1066. Some of them served in the Varangian Guard. I often wondered that, during the joint Byzantine-Crusader siege of Nicaea in 1097, antagonism between the Norman element (those commanded by Robert Curthose) of the Crusader forces and the Englinbarragonoi troops (if they were present) could have added friction between the allied camps.

Valdemar II
June 19th, 2010, 08:01 PM
Linguistic I doubt we will see that much greater amount of Celtic loanwords, the Anglo-Saxon seemed unwilling to adopt them in OTL, we will still see some Normannic influence, but what we really are going to see are Low German and Low Franconian influence on the english language, maybe enough that Englisc stay mutual intelligible with the continental West Germanic languages.

Cultural while England will still look somewhat to France, I think the low lands, Denmark and North Germany will be the primary focus of English foreign politic, we may see the Hansetic League establish themself in England, especially without the Normannic destruction of much of the native aristrocracy, England will likely stay much more decentral duplicate to repeat French and German attempts to centralise their states. Maybe they repeat the French experience or end up like the German with a much more fragmented structure.

Janprimus
June 19th, 2010, 08:05 PM
Linguistic I doubt we will see that much greater amount of Celtic loanwords, the Anglo-Saxon seemed unwilling to adopt them in OTL, we will still see some Normannic influence, but what we really are going to see are Low German and Low Franconian influence on the english language, maybe enough that Englisc stay mutual intelligible with the continental West Germanic languages.

Cultural while England will still look somewhat to France, I think the low lands, Denmark and North Germany will be the primary focus of English foreign politic, we may see the Hansetic League establish themself in England, especially without the Normannic destruction of much of the native aristrocracy, England will likely stay much more decentral duplicate to repeat French and German attempts to centralise their states. Maybe they repeat the French experience or end up like the German with a much more fragmented structure.

IIRC England already had good functioning state by standards of that period before the Normans took over England. William the Conqueror left a lot of those institutions intact (but not the old aristocracy).

Valdemar II
June 19th, 2010, 08:21 PM
IIRC England already had good functioning state by standards of that period before the Normans took over England. William the Conqueror left a lot of those institutions intact (but not the old aristocracy).

So had Germany under the Hohenstaufen, but like Germany where the nobility the old Stem Duchies served to help weaken the central power, the local nobility of Saxon, Anglo and Danish descend in the former independent statelets may push to weaken the central state, many of them have good claim to local power. The Normans right to the land build on it being given to them by the new rulers, the old nobility right to the land build on them being the original rulers.

MerryPrankster
June 19th, 2010, 08:54 PM
IIRC the Holy Roman Emperors were not hereditary. The English monarchy was.

That alone means central authority is going to be strengthened, as an elected monarchy has to buy off the electors and a hereditary ruler doesn't.

robertp6165
June 19th, 2010, 09:27 PM
IIRC the Holy Roman Emperors were not hereditary. The English monarchy was.

That alone means central authority is going to be strengthened, as an elected monarchy has to buy off the electors and a hereditary ruler doesn't.

I think the comparison with the HRE is more apt than one might think, and that characterizing the monarchy of Anglo-Saxon England as "hereditary" is way off the mark. The Kings of Anglo-Saxon England were selected by the Witan. In a way, it's not so much different from what was happening in the HRE during this period.

It is true that the son of the king normally was elected...it was the same way in the HRE during this period, too. However, the Witan need not, and did not, always select the son of the recently deceased king as his successor. There were occasions when a brother or other relative of the King, rather than a son, was selected, for example. And in the most notorious example, the Witan went out of the House of Wessex entirely and selected Harold Godwinson, while leaving the legitimate heir...Edgar the Atheling...out in the cold. It was only after the Normans came that the rule of primogeniture was firmly stamped on the monarchy of England.

We tend to think of the Holy Roman Emperor being a weak monarch, judging it by what it became in the later Middle Ages. But during the period of Anglo-Saxon England, Germany was actually well on the road to an eventual centralized monarchy. The kings/emperors were accumulating more power for themselves, the nobility were getting weaker. What changed that was the Investiture Controversy between the Emperors and the Pope beginning in the late 11th century and continuing on through at least the end of the 13th century. By the time Germany emerged from that long process, the Emperors had been stripped of most of their power, which had accrued to the greater nobility, and Germany was doomed to spend the next five hundred years as a disunited jumble of competing states. Something similar could well have happened in Anglo-Saxon England, too.

Tyr
June 19th, 2010, 09:49 PM
Celtic loan words could perhaps come in via Ireland, it could perhaps establish itself as a part of the modern world with no Norman invasions. But generally yeah, they wouldn't be very many.


The cliched thing in this scenario is for English to remain a utterly Germanic language. This though is a big no.
Just look to Dutch and the Scandinavian languages- no French rule there yet still a fair few French words. With the French as rich neighbours this would be very apparent on English. Not to mention the latin effect which will be strong.



The big thing I wonder- what of the north?
Would England reconquer the lands recently lost to the Scots?
What of Straithclyde?
I would well see Scotland kept as a small celtic highland nation with the English reasserting themselves in the low lands.

robertp6165
June 19th, 2010, 11:13 PM
So had Germany under the Hohenstaufen, but like Germany where the nobility the old Stem Duchies served to help weaken the central power, the local nobility of Saxon, Anglo and Danish descend in the former independent statelets may push to weaken the central state, many of them have good claim to local power. The Normans right to the land build on it being given to them by the new rulers, the old nobility right to the land build on them being the original rulers.

That's not actually true. The old ruling houses of the Anglo Saxon kingdoms, except that of Wessex, were wiped out during the Viking invasions. Wessex then reconquered the lands siezed by the Vikings and consolidated them into the Kingdom of England.

The Ealdormen who served in Mercia, East Anglia, Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Northumbria after the year 900 or so were either cadet branches of the House of Cerdic (the ruling house of Wessex) or in some cases (notably Northumbria and East Anglia) the descendants of Viking Jarls who had submitted to the Kings of Wessex during the reconquest. These non Cerdician families themselves became linked to the House of Cerdic through marriage as time went on.

So none of the Earls of England at the time of the Norman Conquest were ruling by right of descent from an original ruling house except possibly the Earl of Wessex*.

*Harold Godwinson is said to be descended from the House of Cerdic via Aethelmaer the Stout, one of the sons of Aethelred the Unready. However, there is a good deal of controversy about the linkage between Aethelmaer and Godwine, Harold's father. Godwine's father was said to be a man named Wulfnoth Cild, who was a "thegn of Sussex." But it is very uncertain that this Wulfnoth was actually a descendant of Aethelmaer or, indeed, a member of the House of Cerdic at all. Indeed, Harold Godwinson himself never claimed such a linkage when he was angling for the throne, and there are some documents which identify Godwine's father as a ceorl, or a commoner. So the linkage between the Earls of Wessex at the time of the Norman Conquest and the House of Cerdic is tenuous at best.

Midas
June 20th, 2010, 12:46 AM
Celtic loan words could perhaps come in via Ireland, it could perhaps establish itself as a part of the modern world with no Norman invasions. But generally yeah, they wouldn't be very many.


The cliched thing in this scenario is for English to remain a utterly Germanic language. This though is a big no.
Just look to Dutch and the Scandinavian languages- no French rule there yet still a fair few French words. With the French as rich neighbours this would be very apparent on English. Not to mention the latin effect which will be strong.

I completely agree. I think where it's going to diverge significantly from OTL is in administrative words. In proto-Middle English (only thing I can think of calling transitionary 11-13th century English :P) a lot of Germanic words remain- what declined was the use of declension, gender and Germanic words for administration. Because the gov't was Norman French, we adopted a lot of their words to describe things. So instead of "empire", "reign" and "tax" we might have rīce, rīcsung and scat (for a time). However I imagine just as IOTL, French words would be imported and corrupted en masse during this time as well- so you might very well have something like "excise" imported via. Dutch (via. French) to mean tax in the end anyway.

The main difference I think will ultimately come up in that the language will not be forced on the English necessarily. Without the Normans to entrench a lot of French words in basic English vocabulary, much of common speech is going to remain primarily Germanic. Most notably, it's probably going to stay that way largely in legal language (where IOTL it's very French/Latin influenced). On the other hand, the English should still do a ton of borrowing from Latin, French, the Low Countries and Scandanavia- particularly in emerging areas of speech such as foreign policy, probably a lot in religion, etc. I would still expect French words to make up a significant part of our vocabulary but like German and Dutch, they've largely been imported as administrative descriptors and first "translated" via. English declension rules (which I would surmise hold together better in an Anglo-Saxon England).


The big thing I wonder- what of the north?
Would England reconquer the lands recently lost to the Scots?
What of Straithclyde?
I would well see Scotland kept as a small celtic highland nation with the English reasserting themselves in the low lands.

Would this have long term demographic impacts? Other threads seem to make it sound as if the Anglo-Saxons would ultimately reconquest some of the lands lost to the Scots, but that by and large their rulers (House of Wessex) weren't incredibly interested in uniting the isles or anything.

MerryPrankster
June 20th, 2010, 12:15 PM
Something similar could well have happened in Anglo-Saxon England, too.

Anything can happen, but how likely is it?

Especially as England is not going to have something like the Investiture Crisis happen to it, since there's no Pope-Emperor struggle.

Boto von Ageduch
June 20th, 2010, 12:54 PM
Linguistic I doubt we will see that much greater amount of Celtic loanwords, the Anglo-Saxon seemed unwilling to adopt them in OTL, we will still see some Normannic influence, but what we really are going to see are Low German and Low Franconian influence on the english language, maybe enough that Englisc stay mutual intelligible with the continental West Germanic languages.

Celtic influence was basically completed by the beginning of the first written witnesses in the 8th century, and it was quite meager back then.

The Norse influence is conditional on many factors, e.g. whether there will still be a Danelag.

But mutual intelligibility with continental languages is impossible even centuries before. The Saxon dialects of (pre-Norman) Anglo-Saxon are further away from Old Saxon on the continent than the latter from Bavarian. Of course such statements are always arguable; but Anglo-Saxon had a lot of own developments as nasalization-denasalization, a complete new vowel system, including umlaut shifts many centuries before the analogous German changes, palatalization of certain gutturals, and of course weird verb prefigation with subtle implications ("thy kingdom to-be-come"). Chances are better with the Frisians, but how significant would that be ... ?

Of course, apart languages can converge to each other, as Swedish and Danish did towards German after the Reformation. But you would need a good reason for "narrowing the Channel" ...


The cliched thing in this scenario is for English to remain a utterly Germanic language. This though is a big no.
Just look to Dutch and the Scandinavian languages- no French rule there yet still a fair few French words. With the French as rich neighbours this would be very apparent on English. Not to mention the latin effect which will be strong.



There is a difference in how intimately lean words and lean structures intrude into a language. Most European languages are loaded with Latin influence - but such a strong effect French (and Norse) had on English is something special.

I don't see the strong influence of French on Scandinavian languages you describe. And the Dutch were under French rule, at least some of them, but for much longer than England; those are called Flemings.

Essentially - yes, English would have remained a clearly Germanic language, and not become a Germanic-Romance transitional language.

However, if Norse influence would be even stronger than IOTL, this might create a West-North Germanic transitional English ... :D

Midas
June 20th, 2010, 02:01 PM
Essentially - yes, English would have remained a clearly Germanic language, and not become a Germanic-Romance transitional language.

However, if Norse influence would be even stronger than IOTL, this might create a West-North Germanic transitional English ... :D

Which is really cool from a linguistic perspective. Just as thought-vomit, would English still be reconcilable linguistically with Frisian? I remember when I read about Old English way back in the day there was a bit on Frisian and Old English being very, very closely related. Would it diverge very significantly in the future do you think? Totally a wild guess, since it must depend a lot on politics- but just for thinking's sake if we imagine outside of England things went as in OTL (ASB, but whatever it's just for thoughts)- would Frisian diverge enough from English that they're completely unintelligible?

Or would they be like Low Franconian dialects to High German: different enough that they can't understand each other but close enough that learning one to the other is easier than picking up French or Swahili.

Boto von Ageduch
June 20th, 2010, 08:50 PM
I thought about writing a little bit in "pure English" not long ago, i.e. English with all the sound changes that have happened IOTL, but without the Norse and Norman lean words.

This reminds me of a, well - "caricature" I doodled back then:

105369

robertp6165
June 21st, 2010, 02:49 AM
Anything can happen, but how likely is it?

Especially as England is not going to have something like the Investiture Crisis happen to it, since there's no Pope-Emperor struggle.

Well, in OTL, England did have it's own version of the Investiture Crisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investiture_Controversy#English_investiture_contro versy_of_1103_to_1107). The Norman kings were able to work things so that the end result was a strengthened monarchy. But an Anglo-Saxon England whose regional Earls still held great power might well not be so fortunate.

MerryPrankster
June 21st, 2010, 03:14 AM
Well, in OTL, England did have it's own version of the Investiture Crisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investiture_Controversy#English_investiture_contro versy_of_1103_to_1107). The Norman kings were able to work things so that the end result was a strengthened monarchy. But an Anglo-Saxon England whose regional Earls still held great power might well not be so fortunate.

How powerful were the vassals of the Norman Kings and how did they compare with the earls of the Anglo-Saxon period?

IIRC you had the Anarchy, baronial revolts (like the kind that led to the Magna Carta), etc, so it's not like Norman England was hyper-centralized either.

Dathi THorfinnsson
August 3rd, 2010, 03:11 PM
In the long run I don't think a union of the Constantinople and Celtic churches would be sustainable. The theological differences between the 2 were to great. However a short term political union against Rome is possible and may end with a Celtic Patriarch. The Celtic Church may also end up being dominant in Scandinavia


Such as?


Personally, I suspect that the (modern) Orthodox model of autocephalous national churches would be just the thing for Britain and Scandinavia. Of course, they really hadn't developed that very well yet...

DAv
August 3rd, 2010, 03:42 PM
There is an excellent TL called 'These Hills Sing Of Saxon Kings' which I'd really recommend for this scenario.

stodge
August 13th, 2010, 08:17 PM
One possibility I've not seen considered is the failure of the Norman Conquest or rather its end before it could get properly established so it would be seen rather like the Danish period under Cnut as an interregnum.

Robert, William's eldest son, raised a rebellion against his father and actually fought him briefly in 1079. Had William been killed by Robert, it's likely there would have been civil war among the Normans with rivals claiming support for both Robert and William Rufus.

In the same way as the feud between Harold I and Hardacnut weakened and ultimately ended Danish control over England, so a protracted conflict between the sons of William would have devastated both Normandy and England and perhaps paved the way for the Anglo-Saxons to regain control of England with perhaps Edgar the Aetheling emerging as the new king of England in 1087.

stevep
August 13th, 2010, 09:11 PM
Would this have long term demographic impacts? Other threads seem to make it sound as if the Anglo-Saxons would ultimately reconquest some of the lands lost to the Scots, but that by and large their rulers (House of Wessex) weren't incredibly interested in uniting the isles or anything.

Very interesting question. The southern kings had less interest in the northern lands but they would probably have been more attractive as alternative rulers than the Normans.

If an English king had restored Lothian to England than it could well have made a major impact on Anglo-Scottish interactions. With a strong presence there its likely that Strathclyde would tend toward English rather than Scottish domination. That would put the bulk of the central valley into English hands and hence greatly reduce the population and military potential of Scotland. This would mean that the potential for conflict in the border region is likely to be less violent. Scotland simply wouldn't have the strength to make a major threat to England while a southern based English monarchy is going to be a lot less aggressive than the Normans. There might be the basis for much better relations between the two nations under those circumstances.

Steve

Mikestone8
August 14th, 2010, 08:33 AM
Well, the effect is going to depend in great part on the specific choice of POD. As for possible PODs...

1) The obvious one...Harold Godwinson beats (and preferably kills) William the Bastard at Hastings.


Variant on that. WI Edward the Confessor lives a few years longer, or else Harald of Norway dies before 1066.

At the time of his death at Stamfoprd Bridge harald was 51, quite old for a Viking chief. His sons were much lesser figures, unlikely to go for the invasion of England. So Harold II has only one enemy.

CaliBoy1990
August 14th, 2010, 09:43 AM
No real advancement of civilization; England stays backwater, and even worse, the English language probably never gets created.........look forward to a total dystopia here :(

Odysseus
August 14th, 2010, 09:51 AM
No real advancement of civilization; England stays backwater, and even worse, the English language probably never gets created.........look forward to a total dystopia here :(

Ah yes, without England the world collapsed into total anarchy.

Simply put, no.

The Anglo-Saxons would do perfectly fine on their own and there are other nations that could easily fill the power niche.

stevep
August 14th, 2010, 12:51 PM
No real advancement of civilization; England stays backwater, and even worse, the English language probably never gets created.........look forward to a total dystopia here :(

CaliBoy1990

Alternative view. England stays a rich and prosperous state with much stronger [although still weak compared to modern times] rule of law. It does see much of its population de-housed to enable the new rulers to build grand castles and churches, reduced to slaves to provide forced labour and later many bled off into wars in Ireland, and France. Its social development is not put back by a century or two by a deeply autocratic system.

It may or may not develop into a great power, although many of the key inputs are still there. However it would be a lot wealthier and happier, at least in the next few generations.

Steve

Janprimus
August 14th, 2010, 05:53 PM
CaliBoy1990

Alternative view. England stays a rich and prosperous state with much stronger [although still weak compared to modern times] rule of law. It does see much of its population de-housed to enable the new rulers to build grand castles and churches, reduced to slaves to provide forced labour and later many bled off into wars in Ireland, and France. Its social development is not put back by a century or two by a deeply autocratic system.

It may or may not develop into a great power, although many of the key inputs are still there. However it would be a lot wealthier and happier, at least in the next few generations.

Steve

I agree with most of it, including the part about France, but not with the part about Ireland (and Scotland and Wales). Without the OTL 'French distractions' any ambitious expansionist English king(dom) will focus on the British Isles; they won't be Normans, but even the Anglo-Saxons will have their fair share of expansionist rulers (just like other European kingdoms during that period). Especially when the wealth, resources and population of England is compared with the other states in the British Isles.

stevep
August 14th, 2010, 09:02 PM
I agree with most of it, including the part about France, but not with the part about Ireland (and Scotland and Wales). Without the OTL 'French distractions' any ambitious expansionist English king(dom) will focus on the British Isles; they won't be Normans, but even the Anglo-Saxons will have their fair share of expansionist rulers (just like other European kingdoms during that period). Especially when the wealth, resources and population of England is compared with the other states in the British Isles.

Janprimus

There is the potential but not the same incentive that the Normans had with their continued expansion, looking for more land for their families. The Anglo-Saxons seem to have been markedly more insular. It took several years of border raids before Harold was finally send to end the Welsh attacks and then despite totally defeating the Welsh he was content with removing the problem without even a claim of overlordship by the English monarchy. With Ireland there was contact for quite a while before 1066 and it seems to have been very cordial. In fact it was often a place where exiled English sought refuge.

A powerful and agressive king might have been tempted to make gains against either the Welsh or Scots but given the somewhat de-centred nation of the English system he would have had problems mobilising an army for an extended campaign of conquest. Also, at least while the monarchy was based in Wessex and the south there would have been less interest in conquests in the north, especially since it would largely boost northern earls, who would be potential rivals.

Steve

david31
August 15th, 2010, 09:19 AM
So none of the Earls of England at the time of the Norman Conquest were ruling by right of descent from an original ruling house except possibly the Earl of Wessex*.

*Harold Godwinson is said to be descended from the House of Cerdic via Aethelmaer the Stout, one of the sons of Aethelred the Unready. However, there is a good deal of controversy about the linkage between Aethelmaer and Godwine, Harold's father. Godwine's father was said to be a man named Wulfnoth Cild, who was a "thegn of Sussex." But it is very uncertain that this Wulfnoth was actually a descendant of Aethelmaer or, indeed, a member of the House of Cerdic at all. Indeed, Harold Godwinson himself never claimed such a linkage when he was angling for the throne, and there are some documents which identify Godwine's father as a ceorl, or a commoner. So the linkage between the Earls of Wessex at the time of the Norman Conquest and the House of Cerdic is tenuous at best.

In the will of the Atheling Athelstan, elder brother to Edmund Ironside who died in 1014/5, he restores to Godwin, son of Wulfnoth Cild, an estate at Compton which his father had lost thanks to the naval fiasco of 1009. In the will of Alfred the Great this estate had been granted to the sons of his elder brother Ethelred I. Technically speaking if true this meant Harold had a better claim to the throne than Edward the Confessor.

The fact that he didn't make anything of it was probably due to his not needing to, and if his grandfather was descended from Ethelred I it would explain some of the dynamics of the events of 1009.