Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Canute the Great

  Lesson 35 Essay

       Canute the Great lived during the Viking times. Unlike previous Vikings before him, Canute wasn't Anglo-Saxon. He was born to a Scandinavian prince and was the grandson of the first Scandinavian king to accept Christianity.
       Canute's older brother, Harald, was the crown prince and became king of Denmark in 1014. Knowing that he wouldn't become king for a while, Canute set out for England to make a name for himself. He sailed in ships full of soldiers. Canute fought numerous battles against England's king, Edmund Ironside, with Vikings from all over Scandinavia. Canute eventually forced Edmund to work out a peace treaty with him after he besieged London. This treaty stated that Canute would become king after Edmund died, which conveniently happened just three weeks after.
        To further strengthen his claim to the throne, Canute married Emma of Normandy. Wary of being overthrown, he killed any Saxon who had any claim to the throne. He named his son Harthacnut, as the the designated heir. When Harald died, Canute moved back to Denmark to assume kingship there. Canute was now king of England and Denmark. He attended the coronation of Conrad II as Holy Roman Emperor in Rome.
        Kings who appeared to be on good terms with God often had happy, prosperous reigns during this time. Canute strove to reconcile himself with the church and his people after his harsh invasion.
        When he got back from Rome, Canute decided to conquer Norway and crown himself king of Norway. However, he was overthrown after imposing taxes there. Canute died in England in 1035, and was buried in Winchester. His son continued to rule the kingdom until his own death in 1042. The combined kingdoms, England, Denmark, and Norway, over which Canute ruled, returned to their former rulers.