I submit Normans never conquered England

Oct 2017
186
United States
#1
This is better as a paper but since I guess I don't really write papers anymore for school I guess I just feel the need to get these ideas out somewhere like historum...

But essentially the idea is that there was no meaningful difference between the time of the Norman invasions (or conquest as it's presented for several reasons)

1. The invasions more or less paralleled the viking invasions several centuries later when Alfred and others repelled the invaders only at the very late stages of the invasion with only a few remaining subjects to do so.

2. During the Norman invasion, many English fled the country into hiding in wales Ireland, and even the Byzantine Empire, many of them claiming some degree of credibility to the throne and other things.

3. The conquest of the Normans never really extended over the whole of England, and with the English using redoubts in other places never touched by the Normans, I would consider this no different than the places in hiding and so on used by Alfred at the earlier date.

4. By using a series of tactics in this manner, the English never truly lost complete authority although the overwhelming majority were subjugated, as a consequence I would simply say the Norman conquest was in fact a Norman near-conquest, which is a term that I'm just inventing, the near-conquest as distinguished from a complete conquest.

In that event, maybe if the Normans had actually allied with the Irish or closed off any manner of retreat, than none of the nobility would have been able to leave and basically keep the possibility of returning to victory.

Most of England considered Wales as a part of England at the time and while William was tremendously close to taking parts of Wales, he never succeeded, thus while it isn't the Somerset Leaves, it would seem to me logical to consider England as extending bigger than what the Normans conquest.

Besides, every major battle took place after this "decisive battle" the "rebellions" could easily have been termed defensive battles by the still legitimate English king.

And these countless "rebellions" often the claimed the lives of numerous, in sometimes massive numbers of Normans, to the point where it would seem to me you should logically classify it as massively Pyrrhic victory or simply a loss.
 
Nov 2010
7,666
Cornwall
#2
Not really my subject, but just for debate:

1) You mean earlier?

2) This isn't what normally happens. people tend to stay with their families and transport is difficult

3) The Normans extended over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Robert the Bruce (De Brus) was part Norman

Ireland:
Norman Ireland: Medieval Ireland

They were a forceful lot and built a fair castle.
 
Feb 2016
4,424
Japan
#3
Weak argument.
They may not have replaced the native population but the native male aristocracy was essentially replaced killed, fled or bred out. Many religious Big Nobs remained English but replaced by Normans eventually. Native resistance was put down and French became the language of power for the next 300 years, feudalism ... replaced the native English social structure, Norman style churches and castles replace the Anglo Saxon style...

I agree that the Anglo Saxons/English were not wiped out in 1066 but they were conquered. There was sporadic resistance... unsuccessful in the main. But they were reduced in status to being peasents and low level warriors. All power, nationwide ended up in Norman hands.
 
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Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
#5
Not really my subject, but just for debate:

1) You mean earlier?

2) This isn't what normally happens. people tend to stay with their families and transport is difficult

3) The Normans extended over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Robert the Bruce (De Brus) was part Norman

Ireland:
Norman Ireland: Medieval Ireland

They were a forceful lot and built a fair castle.
And southern Italy.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,284
Dispargum
#6
Not really my area but I think the strongest evidence arguing against a Norman conquest is the survival of the English language. Eventually the Normans gave up speaking French. This is by no means a compelling argument. Most of the other evidence supports that the Normans did, in fact, conquer England and eventually the rest of the island.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,034
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#7
Well - after the Norman conquest, there were considerably fewer Ranulfs and Ethelreds and quite a few more Roberts and Williams.
 
Jan 2015
2,946
MD, USA
#8
I'm sorry, to me this just sounds like "You didn't really buy that house because the walls, floors, and ceilings are all the same as before!"

Who ever even suggested that the Norman conquest exterminated all trace of Saxon England, or even intended to??? The Normans arrived and replaced the Saxon royalty and much of the nobility. Norman law was put in place, without needing to erase a number of existing institutions and procedures. There followed a LOT of French influence on the English language.

How can that possibly be interpreted as "never conquered"?? I'm just baffled.

Matthew
 
Apr 2017
1,499
U.S.A.
#9
Not really my area but I think the strongest evidence arguing against a Norman conquest is the survival of the English language. Eventually the Normans gave up speaking French. This is by no means a compelling argument. Most of the other evidence supports that the Normans did, in fact, conquer England and eventually the rest of the island.
Modern English has large amounts of French and Latin words in it, which is directly a result of Norman influence.
 
Sep 2016
552
天下
#10
Not really my area but I think the strongest evidence arguing against a Norman conquest is the survival of the English language. Eventually the Normans gave up speaking French. This is by no means a compelling argument. Most of the other evidence supports that the Normans did, in fact, conquer England and eventually the rest of the island.
What has language to do with conquest? Conquest is just the act of taking territory, ethnic or language change is not necessarily a part of it. The OP's premise is flawed from the very beginning.