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Lecture

Ethnicity - Welsh, Scots, Irish

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Department
History
Course
HIS102Y1
Professor
Jennifer Mori
Semester
Fall

Description
Ethnicity – Welsh, Scots, Irish • Over course of 16 c. (period of tudor dynasty) what was taking place was expansion of England – politically, legally, militarily over british isles • This process is necessary before any kind of overseas expansion taking place; it is England starting in early 19 c. that leads british drive towards colonization • exploration of wider world taking place under Elizabeth is determinous with territorial settlement of main land • wales, north, and Ireland are test tubes (experimental grounds) for all kinds of policies (e.g. plantation) to be tried out then extended later • processes by which crown comes to control its rebellious subjects • problem #1 for England: up until reign of tudors, English only controlling southern half (rule of law undisputed) vs north lies in hands of quasi- independent lords with own armies, own fights, policies • 2 processes: reformation; elizabeth’s relation/struggles with northern nobles that brings the situation under control • By time mary queen of scots is executed and last of catholic plots is put down (1587) – catholic north is subdued • Cross-broader feuding b/w England and Scotland coming to end, after centuries of virtual warfare in border region • 1485 – no recognized border b/w England and Scotland – caval raiding endemic b/w villages and families on both sides of border • Most of this cross-border feuding done b/w “the names” – groups of … vs • What Elizabeth and Scottish regency do is encourage local resistance in these lands; police conflict – significant role in taming/pacifying region and restore some peace • Process completed, starting in 1603 – James I of England and James VI of Scotland takes throne – uniting thrones of both countries and integrating a partial union of govt; not a full union (not complete until 1707) but accession sets final seal on creating more amicable relations • In this process, the north is also subdued • Other factors contributing to subjection of north of England: cultural – language – related to spread of Protestantism and gradual spread of literacy • Contributes to spread of standardized English – not complete until 20 c.h • England a patchwork of local dialects; until end of 19 c. – compulsory national educational programs – all kids have to learn some standard English • Introduction of an English language bible (national level) assists in integration of country • but ppl didn’t stop speaking own language (Cornish, welsh, irish) • language is a useful tool for peaceful assimilation – thisths why it is part of tudor’s surrender/re-grant policy applied to Ireland in 16 c. – if you can get rebellious irish nobles to adopt English culture/customs, then it is easier to make them think like you • big anomaly in British history –wales – political subjugation complete by Elizabeth’s succession (1558-9) • but wales kept its language – living tongue, even though it has lost its political autonomy • Ireland – gained independence from England but lost its language • Scotland – kept some measure of political freedom but gaelic only effective in far north • Why does wales keep language but not political autonomy vs the other parts? – largely an issue of pleasance – after acts of union (1546, etc) wales is fast to conform to English model of govt, adopt English courts of law, institutions – left alone by tudor authorities • Wales is geographically mountainous – split off – terrain is traverse; not feasible to send troops • Welsh eager to welcome tudor b/c they are originally from a welsh family – they are seen as legitimate rulers of wales • Real problem in terms of kingship with wales and Ireland is that their native lines of high kings/powerful nobles had died out or subdued by English – on those grounds did medieval English kings claim right to rule • Although as foreigners they were not entirely accepted by indigenous nobility • Story of how prince of wales (heir to English throne) got his title – dates back to Edward I who conquered wales and made future Edward II prince of wales • Welsh resisted to Edward I’s conquest, declared they wouldn’t accept ruler who spoke English; at which point Edward pointed to baby Edward II and said you have him • As a story it illustrates resistance and the view of English rule as a form of foreign domination • Therefore, it is to the advantage of tudors that welsh bards, poets decide that henry VIII is straight out of the legends of marlin, king arthur’s court, a figure of ancient prophecy - “saviour of the nation” – rescue the welsh from centuries of tyranny and subjugation • It is proclaimed that he is going to bring justice to the ppl • English are content to leave them alone – resource issue; not politically causing trouble • Welsh are proud of own language, customs – permitted to maintain • Proud of indigenous legal system – Celtic values/culture that is threatened and disappears as a result of imposition of English govt/ institutions • That happens all over Celtic parts of British isles under British control • Resistance – prayer book revolt (1549) – didn’t like English manual getting from Cranmer – distant from London • British society tribal in origins – seen when roman armies of ceaser set foot – created roman colony of Britannia • Romans never got to Ireland – too distant and intractable; not to Scotland • Went to north of England – 2 walls (Anthony; adrian?) to keep invaders out • After romans, Britain over-run by Scandinavians (Vikings) • English origins – celtic; shared by scots and welsh; mixed with romans; Scandinavian; French – interbred ppl • Why is British society tribal? – land is wooded (not suitable for agriculture); pastoral agricultural or forest-based social organization – explains social organization • By 1485 – primarily south of England that is cleared and peaceful to support intensive
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