Alfred the Great (871 - 899) defeated Vikings in 9 battles and made a treaty with them in 886. By the terms of this treating it was called a Piece of Wedmore. The Danes excepted Christianity. They also agreed to live in an area north of a line dravn from the River Tees to the Solway Firth - the Danelaw. His position in southern England - the king Alfred coppied Danish methods revealed London as garrisoned town and set up a new administration deviding his teritorry into shires made of several localities. He also founded school for which he wrote textbooks - an educated king. The English founded towns like Derbia, Lester, Nothingham and Stampford. Established trade between England and countries beyond the North sea. York was a leading Viking town and trading centre.
By 944 - Wessex had concered the Danelaw but later under the Viking king Ethelred II. (879 - 1016) new waves of Danish fighters led by king Sweyn attacked the south of England. King Ethelred tried to buy them of with the money races from a land tax, called Danegeld. The poor became poorer and even the rich suffered. Therefore after Ethelred´s death, the royal council the Witan decided to give the country to Sweyn´s son Canute, the king of Norway and Denmark who thus became the king of England. He governed the country from Winchester - the capital of England.
The period of Danish influence brought very favourable results for England. The Scandinavians brought back the sea habits which Saxons had already lost. It was also due to them that town life was revived in England and trading elements were reinforced because English wool and cloth were in great demand.
Canute (1016 - 1035) died in 1035 and his son died shortly after in 1040. The Witan chose Edward one of Ethelred sons to be a king. Edward the Confessors - he ruled (1042 - 1066). Edward´s mother was the Norman princess. He was brought up in Normandy. Many of his Norman friends were in high positions in a country and in the Church. He was a religious man who spent much of his time in prayers and Church services. Had no children. When he died Godwin´s son Harold became king. His right to become a king was immediatly challenged by Duke Wiliam of Normandy. He claimed the English throne because he was distantly related to Edward, and Edward had promised him to get a throne.
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Alfred the Great
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