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The Origins of the English Empire

For this narrative of history to make any sense to a reader unfamiliar with the history of England, it is first necessary to set the stage for the titanic events that would lead to the birth of the British Empire and its hegemony in the 19th century.

To begin with, we must first look at the geographical positioning of England in Western and Northern Europe, with England and France approximately 23 miles or 37 km apart across the English Channel.

According to the geopolitical analysis Peter Zeihen, half of the United Kingdom, England, Wales, and Scotland, more than half of the land is useless due to the mountainous terrain, mainly in Scotland and Wales.

During the medieval ages, this was even worse, with East Anglia’s primary swamplands and the north of England being disconnected due to swamps and rivers, which made that piece of territory hard to control from Winchester and London during the period of England’s Anglo-Saxon and first Norman came within the Conqueror.

This history is significant to understand the context of how England, predominantly England, transformed itself from a backwater into a power at its height in 1922.

It was the largest empire the world had ever seen, covering around a quarter of Earth’s land surface and ruling over 458 million people.

The Historian David Starkey stated that “the British Empire is just England with add-ons.” The statement may be inflammatory for the Scots and the Welsh, but this statement has a significant truth.

Certain nations are destined to fail due to the limitations of geography.

This argument is supported by thinkers such as Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners of Geography, and Peter Zeilhen, author of The End of the World is Just the Beginning, who use geography to demonstrate the limitations and advantages of different global powers.

The geographical limitations of Scotland and Wales led to them being eventually conquered or incorporated peacefully, in the case of the Scots with the Act of Union 1707 and the Edwardian conquest of Wales in the late 13th century.

The origin development of the English Empire was born from the failure, conquest, and dynastic politics, starting with the Anglo-Saxon/Old English being conquered by William the Conqueror in 1066 CE.

Unfortunately, modern-day people often forget that William II, Duke of Normandy, had a substantial holding in northern France. Before his invasion in 1066 CE, three years previously, he conquered Maine, which lands were controlled by Angevin Count of Anjou.

It’s also necessary to point out that in northern France, the Dukes of Normandy and Dukes of Brittany, Counts of Anjou and Flanders, and finally, the kings of the Franks were engaged in campaigns of dominance to gain control or hegemony of northern France.

For this history, the most important fact is that from the 1050s CE, starting with King Henri I, King of the Franks, and Duke William II of Normandy, until the ending of the Hundred Years War in 1453 CE, the kingdoms or accurately the dynasties of Normandy-Plantagenet ruled England from 1066 VCE to 1485 CE and the Capet Kings and Valois Kings of France fought wars over control various touches and even the crown of France for over 500 years.

The English crown had, multiple times, controlled more lands in France than the King of France.

Still, over a series of conflicts and the defeat of the English during the Hundred Years War from 1337 CE to 1453 CE, the English were reduced to control in the city and port of Calais possession from 1347 CE to 1558 CE.

The Origins of the English Empire

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