A History of Britain: Season 1, Episode 4

Nations (18 Oct. 2000)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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18 October 2000 (UK)  »

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17 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"In the last decades of the 13th Century the nations of Britain found their voices. . . and they were raised against England." This episode relates the history of Britain, almost entirely within the life of Edward I (Longshanks), "after a century of Norman rule, the first truly English king." The Provisions of Oxford--1258--Henry III was forced to accept the Provisions, a plan under which England would be ruled by Parliament, via a council led by Simon de Montefort. Even then, Edward (as heir apparent) was a very active player.

Edward leads an army to the Battle of Evesham, kills de Montefort, and overthrows the Provisions of Oxford. He is crowned in 1274 as a fully-empowered King of England.

Edward conquers Wales (for the time being!) at huge costs in lives and treasure, and establishes a stranglehold of mighty castles. Lewallen ap Griffith.

Edward offers to mediate between claimants to the throne of Scotland, demands suzerainty, and ends up conquering Scotland, which is what he intended all along.

William Wallace -- a sober factual account of "Braveheart" Robert the Bruce -- Defeated the English, re-established a Scottish kingdom; then ravaged the north of England, and opened a second front to "liberate" Ireland. Scottish forces, unsupplied, ravaged Ireland for subsistence; and an Irish civil war erupted as pro- and anti-Scottish groups fought. The one bright spot of this was that it was the beginning of the concept of an Irish nation.

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