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What was it like to be looked upon as the most noble group of people in a nation as important and vast as England? The most powerful positions of the royal family were the king and queen of course, depending on who had the crown at that time. When one became the king he would inherit all of the riches and powers that come along with being the king. If he were to marry a woman then she would become part of the royal family, but not really be a ruler with the king. If one were not part of the royal family they would never live the glamorous life they lived. The king and queen could show their power through public executions, making new laws, and their ability to do whatever they wanted to. The royal family changed the course of history by bringing about new religions, theories, the English Reformation, the changing of boundaries, taking part in the Enlightenment, and countless other things.
The royal family was brought about in the mid-1000’s when King Edward the Peaceful was crowned at Bath. Many Viking invasions and King Ethelred’s weakness to be a powerful king forced him out of the monarchy, and his son, Canute, took control of the nation. King Canute made England the heart of his Scandinavian Empire and was admired by all he ruled. When Canute died and his stepson, Edward, then took the throne blending many traditions since he was not originally from England. After Edward’s death and Harold of Norway was killed in battle, the first distinctively important king of the royal family took over, William I started the first major family in royalty, the Normans. After the Normans ended there were six more dynasties of families to rule England at one time or another. The next of these was the Angevin Empire which started the time period when the English monarchy "became the first European power to work out a concept of government, the "community of the realm," which significantly broadened participation in government and altered the relationships between king and subject" (Plumb 58). The other five families--the Plantagenets, the House of Lancaster, the House of York, the Tudors, and the Stuarts -- were significant during their time but all occurred before the time period being studied.
The first empire that deals with Western civilization after 1715 is The House of Hanover, which starts in 1714 with King George I.
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Without the royal family, England as well as the world wold not be the same as they are today. New religions, theories, the changing of territories, taking part in the Enlightenment, the outcome of the World Wars, and numerous other things would not have ended up the way they did if it were not for the royal family. The kings and queens have shown their power not through dominating, but through making smart and witty decisions that helped them as individuals and also helped society and the world as a whole. If there were never the concept of a royal family started in England, the world would not be what it is today.
- Fraser, Antonio. The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England. Berkeley and Los
Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1995.
- Plumb, J.H., IV, et al. The English Heritage. St. Louis, Missouri: Forum Press, 1978.
- Woodward, E.L. History of England. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1962.