Kingdom of England


October 17, 2021

The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state northwest of continental Europe from 927 to 1707. At its peak, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain (including both modern-day England and Wales) and several smaller surrounding islands; which today comprises the jurisdiction of England and Wales. It had a land border with the Kingdom of Scotland to the north. At the beginning of the period, its capital and principal royal residence was Winchester, but Westminster and Gloucester were accorded almost equal status, with Westminster gradually taking precedence. England as a nation-state began on 12 July 927 after a meeting of kings from all over Britain at Eamont Bridge, Cumbria, but broadly traces its origins to the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain and the heptarchy of small states that followed and eventually united. The Norman invasion of Wales of 1067-1283 (formalized with the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284) brought Wales under English control, and Wales came under English law with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. On May 1, 1707, England was united with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707. Although it is no longer a sovereign state, modern England remains one of the countries of the United Kingdom. By the early 12th century, the city of Westminster in London had become the de facto capital. In fact, London has always served as the capital, first of the Kingdom of England, then of the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707-1801) and then of the United Kingdom. Main dynasties that ruled were the House of Normandy (1066-1154) after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the House of Plantagenet (1154-1399) after the Anarchy, the House of Tudor (1485-1553) after the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485) between Houses York (1461-1485) and House Lancaster (1399-1471), and House Stuart (1603-1707) by marriage and inheritance. The Angevin Empire of the Plantagenets in France, a legacy of the French origins of the royal family, was lost in the Anglo-French War of 1202-1214 and finally at the Battle of Bouvines. Only the Duchy of Aquitaine and the County of Gascony remained in the hands of the English royal family as vassal of the King of France. This lost war also led to the Magna Carta charter and the curtailment of royal power. The remaining fief of Guyenne led to the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) with the King of France and the House of Valois a century later. Henry IV of England (1399-1413) was the first king since William the Conqueror's invasion, after more than 300 years, to speak English as a native language. Henry VIII of England (1509-1547) broke with Rome and founded the Church of England (Anglican Church) in 1534. Elizabeth I of England (1558-1603) supported the English piracy of John Hawkins and Francis Drake in the West Indies, which was partly the trigger for the Anglo-Spanish War (1585-1604), and in 1600 founded the British East Indies company. The first successful attempt at colonization of North America was Jamestown in 1607, the start of the British Empire. The English Civil War (1639 and 1651) broke out during the reign of Charles I of England (1625-1649), of the Catholic-minded Scottish House of Stuart, and brought Oliver Cromwell to power, from 1649 as head of state of the English Commonwealth. English Shipping Acts of 1651 on shipping to and from England and the English colonies led to the Anglo-Dutch wars. The Catholic James II of England (1685-1688) lost power during the Glorious Revolution to his daughter Mary II of England (1689-1694) and her husband William III of Orange (1689–1702), stadtholder of the Republic of the Seven United Nede

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