Trace progress in English history, starting with Alfred and ending with Henry VIII. Use examples from at least 2 sources which have to be from books (Google books are good sources as well). Some of the good examples are the rise of the Common Law out of the royal courts brought over to England by Henry II and the origin of Parliament by election of knights, burgesses, and citizens to the parliamentum of barons, bishops, royal officers in the time of Edward I. There are also nice sections at the beginning of several chapters about the developing society of the English.
But in every sources (English history books) there are more examples. Feudalism brought order and peace to the country, preparing the way for national unity. The Crusades enlarged the mentality of medieval Europe. Magna Carta was the first great step toward liberty under law. The hearing of petitions for a redress of grievances in the earliest Parliaments began the process of legislation and to the eventual contest between king and parliament over the sovereignty of the state. Even defeats like the failure to unite England with Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, between John’s loss of Normandy and Edward III’s attack on France at the start of the Hundred Years’ War, contained the germs of future progress, as in the use of the Welsh long-bow and Wales’ involvement in the Wars of the Roses, which put a Welsh Tudor lord on the English throne as Henry VII. The Scottish people’s defeat of the English at Bannockburn, when even their barons supported Edward, reflected the rise of “democratic patriotism,” which would replace feudalism. Irish culture survived.
Some school of historians’ perspective is progressive. The authors do not idealize the past — the barons at Runnymead were not thinking of universal rights — nor do they evade setbacks like the reign of Steven or Henry VI. But despite retrograde movements, they see English history as progressive. Write a paper showing that progress.
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