The Vikings In The Middle Ages. Thesis: The Invasions Of The Vikings Into England Throughout The 8th, 9th, And 10th Centuries Had A Great Impact On The People And History Of That Time

1107 words - 5 pages

Throughout the years "The word 'Viking' has come to describe a whole new age in Europe between about 800 [CE] and 1150 [CE]" (Ritchie 3). Really this word generally describes one who pillages, plunders, and sails; a pirate. In the Middle Ages, especially during the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries, there were constant raids in England and all throughout Europe by these pirates, and "during the 9th century these raids became increasingly large-scale" (Millett 1). Naturally these invasions had drastic negative affects on the people who were victimized. The Vikings who invaded England and Europe were from Norway and Denmark (Ritchie 3). "Nowhere was safe from the Vikings" (Ritchie 2), especia ...view middle of the document...

The development of this "army" was a great achievement for these Danish and Norwegian pirates. Because of this large group numbering in the thousands, they were able to steal many valuables and conquer a great deal of land. "The Vikings arrived, unexpectedly, by plundering, burning, killing, or enslaving the inhabitants and then leaving the conquered lands" (Koeller 1), and this was their savage method of attack. These Vikings greatly impacted the lives of the English. The English never knew when, or if, the Vikings would suddenly arrive, and when the Vikings did they would steal whatever they could, from money to lives. The King of England at the time, King Aethelred, was able to get the Vikings to calm down for a period of time by giving them a large amount of land. However, this did not last for long and "when the Danes began to raid again, King Aethelred was forced to pay them tribute of silver in exchange for peace" (Cook 4).In the year 1002 CE King Aethelred ordered that all of the Danes in England were to be killed, but this order was not carried out. When the Vikings learned of this order they became even more determined then ever to conquer all of England (Davies 1). King Aethelred, who realized that he could not beat the Vikings, decided instead to continue to pay them a tribute to keep the peace between them and his people. Being greedy, the Vikings continued to return and threateningly asked for more money from King Aethelred. Knowing that soon the English could no longer pay this tax, King Aethelred realized he had no choice but to fight the Danes. As expected, King Aethelred's army was nothing compared to the Great Army. In 1016 CE Cnut, the Viking leader, became King Cnut of England (Cook 4). However, this was not a bad step for the people of England at all. King Cnut was able to apply his Viking past to his new role, and he rose to the occasion of being a marvelous King. It was easy to see by his actions that "Cnut was a Christian when he became King but he retained the mental...

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