The Black Death

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The Peasants' Revolt of 1381
Grasp how both religious frustrations and economic grievances stemming from the dislocations of the Black Death combined to bring about the most significant event in Richard II's early reign: the Middle Age's most serious revolt against the English crown.
King John and the Magna Carta
Experience the disastrous reign of King John. His technical violation of a feudal oath to the French king led to the loss of Normandy and several expensive efforts to regain his lost land - efforts that ultimately led to the signing of the Magna Carta.
The Anarchy of Stephen's Reign
Experience the 14 years of civil war that erupted 4 years after Henry's death in 1135, with his daughter and nephew battling over Stephen's throne - largely because England's barons had no wish to be ruled by a queen.
Wagner and Twain—King Arthur in the Late 1800s
In his two overtly Arthurian operas, observe how Richard Wagner adapted and modified the Arthurian legend to dramatize social and religious ideals, linking these ideals with Germany itself. On our own shores, grasp how Mark Twain satirized the saga in Connecticut Yankee, critiquing both European aristocracy and American society.
King Arthur in Wales—The Mabinogion
Grasp how Arthur became a cultural touchstone early in Welsh history. In texts such as the Black Book of Carmarthen and the Triads of the Island of Britain, uncover key references to the Arthurian saga. In the tales of the Mabinogion, observe the portrayal of Arthur as an exalted royal…
King Arthur in the Latin Chronicles
Now explore some of the most significant early witnesses to the Arthurian legend. In Latin texts by the chroniclers Gildas (6th century) and Nennius (9th century) and in the Welsh Annales Cambriae, study accounts of Arthur's exploits and death in battle. Learn how 11th- and 12th-century texts later embellished the…
England in 1485
Process everything you have learned in a final lecture that explains what England had become at the beginning of the Tudor dynasty. A thorough integration of the course's major themes leaves you with a clear understanding of what has taken place and a solid foundation for understanding the future of…
Richard III - Betrayal and Defeat
Let yourself be riveted by one of history's most dramatic chapters, highlighted by the imprisonment of Richard III's two nephews in the Tower of London and their probable murder, and a battlefield demise immortalized--though with considerable license--by Shakespear himself.
The Wars of the Roses
Take a look at the reign of the Yorkist Edward IV and the last effort of the Lancastrians to unseat this popular but notoriously lazy king, whose unexpected marriage to a socially inconsequential widow alienated many of his important followers.
Henry VI - Defeat and Division
The tensions over dynastic succession were made even more problematic by a multitude of ambitious royal cousins and were forced to the surface by growing discontent over the failing campaign in France. They ultimately led to the Wars of the Roses between the Yorkists and Lancastrians.
Henry V and the Victory at Agincourt
Resume the chronology of England's evolution as war with France is renewed and Henry V wins a historic victory at Agincourt in 1415. But gains of this great triumph of the Hundred Years War would ultimately prove only temporary.
Daily Life in the 15th Century
Examine how the population losses of the plague years finally produced the low rents and high wages that were once the goal of the Peasant's Revolt. The position of the gentry could also be precarious, with landowners often forced to defend their holdings in court or at sword point.