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1066- England as a Wishbone for the Flaxen-Haired Vikings

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  • 1066- England as a Wishbone for the Flaxen-Haired Vikings

    In 1066, England was invaded twice.

    King Harald Hardraada was unsuccessful in his bid to unify England with Norway, but he did whack the English pretty hard (thanks to few English quislings) before he got the "seven feet of English earth" he had been promised.

    A few weeks later, another Viking, albeit one with a Norman mailing address, was more successful at Hastings against an exhausted English Army and all the babes of the isles were his for the taking.

    What if Hardraada had been successful and had rebuffed Harold of England's counterattack, and had driven south, to meet William the Bastard and his mercenary army, fresh from Hastings on their way north.

    What would the results have been for England? Scotland? Norway? The world?
    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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    "Never pet a burning dog."

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  • #2
    Originally posted by Janos
    In 1066, England was invaded twice.

    King Harald Hardraada was unsuccessful in his bid to unify England with Norway, but he did whack the English pretty hard (thanks to few English quislings) before he got the "seven feet of English earth" he had been promised.

    A few weeks later, another Viking, albeit one with a Norman mailing address, was more successful at Hastings against an exhausted English Army and all the babes of the isles were his for the taking.

    What if Hardraada had been successful and had rebuffed Harold of England's counterattack, and had driven south, to meet William the Bastard and his mercenary army, fresh from Hastings on their way north.

    What would the results have been for England? Scotland? Norway? The world?
    Interestingly enough this same question is asked in the book, What if? 2. I can’t remember the exact details but the general outcome was that the UK was oriented towards the Scandinavian world and away from Europe. Now I have managed to ramble on and not answered your question in any way so I’ll go back to my corner and be quite.
    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tsar
      Interestingly enough this same question is asked in the book, What if? 2. I can’t remember the exact details but the general outcome was that the UK was oriented towards the Scandinavian world and away from Europe. Now I have managed to ramble on and not answered your question in any way so I’ll go back to my corner and be quite.
      Interestingly, Great Britain could have several countries on it: Scotland, Wales, England, and Danelaw (of whatever it would have wound up calling itself). Without a United Kingdom, would anyone have challenged Spain in the late 1500s? Would England have settled colonies in America, or would Danelaw have done so? -- it may be that England's predominance is what stifled Scandinavian westward movement. What would the impact have been on North America? France and Germany?
      Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
      Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


      "Never pet a burning dog."

      RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Janos
        Interestingly, Great Britain could have several countries on it: Scotland, Wales, England, and Danelaw (of whatever it would have wound up calling itself). Without a United Kingdom, would anyone have challenged Spain in the late 1500s? Would England have settled colonies in America, or would Danelaw have done so? -- it may be that England's predominance is what stifled Scandinavian westward movement. What would the impact have been on North America? France and Germany?
        I could point out that there was no 'United Kingdom' in the late 1500s. Scotland was independently ruled and Ireland only nominally governed by the English.

        I think unification was inevitable, at least regarding the mainland. England would probably have become a major maritime power more swiftly than historically but with its trading focus more on Scandanavia, North-Western Europe and possibly the American East Coast. I think the greatest impact would have been on France. Without the Hundred Years War would there have been the impetus to unite under a single ruler? If France had not been united, what of the Habsburg-Valois rivalry on the continent? Could France have been subsumed into a great Holy Roman Empire?
        Signing out.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Full Monty
          I could point out that there was no 'United Kingdom' in the late 1500s. Scotland was independently ruled and Ireland only nominally governed by the English.
          Roger...I knew that and worded it wrong. Thanks for the correction.
          Originally posted by Full Monty
          I think unification was inevitable, at least regarding the mainland. England would probably have become a major maritime power more swiftly than historically but with its trading focus more on Scandanavia, North-Western Europe and possibly the American East Coast. I think the greatest impact would have been on France. Without the Hundred Years War would there have been the impetus to unite under a single ruler? If France had not been united, what of the Habsburg-Valois rivalry on the continent? Could France have been subsumed into a great Holy Roman Empire?
          Excellent points.
          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
          Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


          "Never pet a burning dog."

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          • #6
            The English language would not have latinate words (not as many anyway) and would not have the double words in law, such as breaking and entering or last will and testament.
            Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong
              The English language would not have latinate words (not as many anyway) and would not have the double words in law, such as breaking and entering or last will and testament.
              On the other hand, verb endings (for example -e for the first person singular, -est for the second person, etc.), which had only recently dropped out of English due to the need to communicate with Danes in the Danelaw, may have returned or been replaced by their Old Norse versions.

              if you'd like to hear a rock version of a medieval Old Norse Viking song, visit http://www.tyr.net/videors.asp?Cmd=9&ID=55 and listen to Regin Smiđur. It's in Faroese, which is almost indistinguishable from Old Norse. Cool video, too, if you're into Vikings.
              Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
              Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


              "Never pet a burning dog."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Janos
                On the other hand, verb endings (for example -e for the first person singular, -est for the second person, etc.), which had only recently dropped out of English due to the need to communicate with Danes in the Danelaw, may have returned or been replaced by their Old Norse versions.

                if you'd like to hear a rock version of a medieval Old Norse Viking song, visit http://www.tyr.net/videors.asp?Cmd=9&ID=55 and listen to Regin Smiđur. It's in Faroese, which is almost indistinguishable from Old Norse. Cool video, too, if you're into Vikings.
                Thanks, I'll check it out. I consider my Danish and Yorkshire English lines close to Vikings. They(Robert Graves) say, English verse has its rythmn from the rowing cadence of Vikings ships.
                Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 06 Mar 06, 13:28.
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                • #9
                  Actually, I question whether Hardraada would have defeated William (btw, the Normans were more French than Norse by this point). The Norman/European army was far better prepared for an extended campaign in England and the use of cavalry would probably have been of strategic importance.
                  The Purist

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Purist
                    Actually, I question whether Hardraada would have defeated William (btw, the Normans were more French than Norse by this point). The Norman/European army was far better prepared for an extended campaign in England and the use of cavalry would probably have been of strategic importance.
                    Isn't it possible that he could have acquired a fair amount of support for his (and Harold's brother's) cause? Would William's cavalry then been enough to offset Hardraada's larger army?
                    Signing out.

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                    • #11
                      It should be pointed that had Hardraada been successful, Hastings wouldn't have occurred at all. William would have come ashore unopposed.

                      What would of happened next depends on Harold. If he had died in the battle with Hardraada it probably would have been a great duel between Hardraada and William. However, had Harold escaped, he probably could have still been able a army (albeit a mostly peasant one), that would have given headaches to the invaders. Not to mention the fact, that widespread peasant revolt would have also started arising in support of Harold, had he survived.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Consul
                        It should be pointed that had Hardraada been successful, Hastings wouldn't have occurred at all. William would have come ashore unopposed.

                        What would of happened next depends on Harold. If he had died in the battle with Hardraada it probably would have been a great duel between Hardraada and William. However, had Harold escaped, he probably could have still been able a army (albeit a mostly peasant one), that would have given headaches to the invaders. Not to mention the fact, that widespread peasant revolt would have also started arising in support of Harold, had he survived.
                        I suspect William would have faced a revolt in the south (assuming it all turned out that way) but not Harald in the north -- most of that area had been happily under the Danes until not long before.
                        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                        Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                        "Never pet a burning dog."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Janos
                          I suspect William would have faced a revolt in the south (assuming it all turned out that way) but not Harald in the north -- most of that area had been happily under the Danes until not long before.
                          Although I think you're correct in your belief about Harald being regarded 'favourably' (especially with Harold II's brother with him) I'm not sure that 'living happily under the Danes' is quite they way to put it. Up until Canute (or Cnut) enthronement in 1016 it had been an area of dispute between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings. Maybe 'an area with strong Danish connections' would be better.

                          Comment coutesy of 'Nit-Pickers 'R' Us'
                          Signing out.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Full Monty
                            Comment coutesy of 'Nit-Pickers 'R' Us'
                            Roger. Good comments.
                            Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                            Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                            "Never pet a burning dog."

                            RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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                            http://www.sca.org
                            http://www.scv.org/
                            http://www.scouting.org/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Full Monty
                              Isn't it possible that he could have acquired a fair amount of support for his (and Harold's brother's) cause? Would William's cavalry then been enough to offset Hardraada's larger army?
                              Possible, but I think it would depend on how the population viewed Hardraada after he killed Harold. The return of the Godwine family from exile in 1051-52 and the subsequent rise of the family to unprecedented power had undone a lot of the influence of Cnuts partial(?) conquest of England. Almost all the large earldoms belonged to Harold's family (namely him and his brothers) but the north, under Tosti and then Morcar, was always a problem. The power to 'make the king' may have been decided there.

                              All things considered though, I think that had Hardraada been the 'invader', and killed off much of the Godwine line at Stamford Bridge as actually happened at Hastings, William may have been viewed as more "Liberator" than "Conqueror". Neither Hardraada nor William had a very strong case for the throne.
                              Last edited by The Purist; 10 Mar 06, 18:03.
                              The Purist

                              Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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