New Player? Create your FREE Empires of History account today!
The Kingdom of England
Starting Resource: 32
-- From Land: 29
-- From Trade: 3
Capital Territory: London
Nation Class: Large
Total Starting Military
Ships of the Line: 2
Click on the map to view your nation's position and starting troops
Stone Age hunter-gatherers eventually gave way to farmers and permanent settlements, with an
advanced megalithic civilisation arising in western England some 4,000 years ago. It was
replaced around 1,500 years later by Celtic tribes migrating from continental western Europe,
mainly from France. These tribes were known collectively as "Britons", a name bestowed by
Phoenician traders an indication of how, even at this early date, the island was part of a
Europe-wide trading network.
The Britons were significant players in continental affairs and supported their allies in Gaul
militarily during the Gallic Wars with the Roman Republic. This prompted the Romans to invade
and subdue the island, first with Julius Caesar's raid in 55 BC, and then the Emperor Claudius'
conquest in the following century. The whole southern part of the island roughly
corresponding to modern day England and Wales became a prosperous part of the Roman Empire.
It was finally abandoned early in the 5th century when a weakening Empire pulled back its
legions to defend borders on the Continent.
Unaided by the Roman army, Roman Britannia could not long resist the Germanic tribes who
arrived in the 5th and 6th centuries, enveloping the majority of modern-day England in a new
culture and language and pushing Romano-British rule back into modern-day Wales and western
extremities of England, notably Cornwall and Cumbria. Others emigrated across the channel to
modern-day Brittany, thus giving it its name and Breton language. But many of the Romano-
British remained in and were assimilated into the newly English areas.
The invaders fell into three main groups: the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. As they
became more civilised, recognisable states formed and began to merge with one another, the
most well-known state of affairs being the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. From time to time throughout
this period, one Anglo-Saxon king, recognised as the "Bretwalda" by other rulers, had
effective control of all or most of the English; so it is impossible to identify the precise
moment when the Kingdom of England was unified. In some sense, real unity came as a response
to the Danish Viking incursions which occupied the eastern half of England in the 8th century.
Egbert, King of Wessex (d. 839) is often regarded as the first king of all the English,
although the title "King of England" was first adopted two generations later by Alfred the
Great (ruled 871 to 899).
In 1066, William the Conqueror and the Normans defeated the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of
Hastings and conquered the existing Kingdom of England. They instituted an Anglo-Norman
administration and nobility who, retaining proto-French as their language for the next three
hundred years, ruled as custodians over English commoners. Although the language and racial
distinctions faded rapidly during the Middle Ages, the class system born in the Norman/Saxon
divide persisted longer arguably with traces lasting to the modern day.
England came repeatedly into conflict with Wales and Scotland, at the time an independent
principality and an independent kingdom respectively, as its rulers sought to expand Norman
power across the entire island of Great Britain. The conquest of Wales was achieved in the
13th century, when it was annexed to England and gradually came to be a part of that kingdom
for most legal purposes, although in the modern era it is more usually thought of as a
separate nation (fielding, for example, its own athletic teams). Norman influence in Scotland
waxed and waned over the years, with the Scots managing to maintain a varying degree of
independence despite repeated wars with the English, in particular the Wars of Scottish
Independence, and serious attempts at conquest were abandoned after the Treaty of
Edinburgh-Northampton. Although it was on the whole only a moderately successful power in
military terms, England became one of the wealthiest states in medieval Europe, due chiefly
to its dominance in the lucrative wool market.
England also found itself in conflict with France, in particular during the Hundred Years' War.
At on epoint England held more than half the lands in France, but by 1483 France had managed to
reclaim its lands and had driven England from the mainland of Europe. England was just coming
through a mild civil war known as the War of the Roses and is now poised to seek expansion once
more. Its only land border is with Scotland. Scotland itself is not much of a threat of a decent
border force is maintained, but actual conquest of the little kingdom may prove challenging.
Sorting out Scotland, either through conquest or alliance is likely to prove most beneficial
when looking to expand the empire onto the European mainland.