Династия Плантагенетов в истории Англии — страница 4

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Cistercian and Gilbertine houses. The ransom, although never paid in full, caused Richard’s government to become highly unpopular.” (8) Richard also faced some unwillingness on the part of his English subjects to serve in France. A plan to raise a force of 300 knights who would serve for a whole year met with opposition led by the bishops of Lincoln and Salisbury. Richard was, however, remarkably successful in mastering the resources, financial and human, of his kingdom in support of his wars. It can also be argued that his demands on England weakened that realm unduly and that Richard left his successor a very difficult legacy. John Lackland (1199-1216 AD) Richard, mortally wounded at a siege in France in 1199, was succeeded by his brother John, one of the most detested of

English kings. John was born on Christmas Eve 1167, Henry II’s youngest son. John’s reign was characterized by failure. Yet, while he must bear a heavy responsibility for his misfortunes, it is only fair to recognize that he inherited the resentment that had built up against his brother and father. Also while his reign ended in disaster, some of his financial and military measures anticipated positive development in Edward I’s reign. Loss of French possessions. “John had nothing like the military ability or reputation of his brother. He could win a battle in a fit of energy, only to lose his advantage in a spell of indolence. After repudiating his first wife, Isabella of Gloucestor, John married the fiancée of Hugh IX the Brown of the Lusignan family, one of his

vassals in Poitou. For this offense he was summoned to answer to Philip II , his feudal ovelord for his holdings in France. When John refused to attend , his land in France were declared forfeit.” (9) In the subsequent war he succeeded in capturing his nephew Arthur of Brittany, whom many in Anjou and elsewhere regarded as Richard I’s rightful heir. Arthur died under mysterious and suspicious circumstances. But once the great castle of Chateau Gaillard, Richard I’s pride and joy, had fallen in March 1204, the collapse of Normandy followed swiftly. “By 1206 all that was left of the inheritance of the Norman kings was the Channel Islands. John, however, was determined to recover his losses.”(10) Revolt of the barons and Magna Carta. For 200 years of ruling of Norman kings

the country was ruled over on such principles: King took money from barons, especially for wars. Those who refused to pay were arrested and kept in prison and they could not defend themselves. Their children or their relatives had to pay for them. The end of such situation came at reign of John Lackland. He was very unpopular with his barons. In 1215 John called on for his barons to fight for him in the war against Normandy and pay money for it. The barons, no longer trusting John refused to pay and there began a revolt. Barons gazed much to London and were joined by London merchants. “On June 15, 1215 the rebellion barons met John at Rennemede on the Themes. The King was presented with a document known as the Articles of the Barons, on the basis of which Magna Carta was drawn

up. Magna Carta became the symbol of political freedom. It promised two main things: 1.  All “free man” protection of his officials 2.  The right to afair and legal trial It was the first official document when this principle was written down. It was very important for England. Magna Carta was always used by barons to protect themselves from a powerful king.” (11) But we should say that Magna Carta gave no real freedom to the majority of people in England (only 1/3 of population were free men). Nobles did not allow John and his successors to forget this charter. Every king had to recognize the Magna Carta. This document was the beginning of limiting the prerogatives of crown and on the other hand by limiting king’s power Magna Carta restricted arbitrary action

of barons towards the knights. Magna Carta marked a clear stage in the collapse of the English feudalism. “After king’s signing the document barons established a committee of 24 barons to make sure that John kept his promise. This committee was a beginning of English Parliament.”(12) From the very beginning Magna Carta was a failure, for it was no more than a stage in ineffective negotiations to prevent civil war. John was released by the pope from his obligations under it. The document was, however, reissued with some changes under John’s son, with papal approval. John himself died in October 1216, with the civil war still at an inconclusive stage. “Summing up the events of the late 12th century and the early 13th century historians describe as “Plantagenet spring