Philosophies of Depth, and Britain in the Middle Ages

More zettelkasten guts, I'm afraid. First, a bit from Deep Work, and then more history for my Life in the UK test. Note, on the latter, how the Home Office tiptoes through the brambles that are English troops landing on the shores of an independent Ireland:

The English first went to Ireland as troops to help the Irish king and remained to build their own settlements.

Like he needed help getting his socks on, or some such, was my partner's comment. ;–)

The Philosophies of Depth

Four philosophies: (Pg 102-117) – Monastic: near-complete isolation – Bimodal: long stretches, of at least a day in length, often as part of a retreat from one's normal routine – Rhythmic: scheduled, regular, shorter periods (e.g., 5.30am to 7am each day) – Journalistic: not for the faint of heart – Slipping in and out of deep work as the moments arise – Newport creates a straw-man at the start of each week, and then updates that at the start of each day, as required – Requires great confidence in one's abilities, normally backed by an extensive portfolio – Be realistic in your choice; your lifestyle will dictate the philosophies that are open to you.

Britain in the Middle Ages

Tags: #lituk #history

  • AD 476 to 1485, with a focus on the period following the Norman conquest
  • In 1284, King Edward I of England annexed Wales with the Statute of Rhuddlan.
    • Castles Conwy and Caernarvon were built to secure this power.
    • The last of the Welsh rebellion was defeated by the mid 15th century.
  • Scotland remains unconquered.
    • In 1314, Robert the Bruce defeated the English at the Battle of Bannockburn.
  • The English first came to the independent country of Ireland as troops supporting the Irish king. By 1200, they ruled the Pale (around Dublin). Some important lords in other parts of Ireland also recognised the authority of the English king.
  • Many English knights took part of the Crusades.
  • English kings also fought a long war with France, called the Hundred Years War (which lasted 116 years).
    • In 1415, King Henry V's vastly outnumbered army defeated the French.
  • The English largely left France in the 1450s.
The Black Death
  • In 1348, a disease (likely a plague) killed one third of the population in England (and similar proportions in Wales, and in Scotland).
    • Feudalism — the system of land ownership used by the Normans — began to strain as a reduced population:
      • Put less demand on cereal crops; and
      • Meant there was a labour shortage.
    • Peasants demanded higher wages.
    • People moved to towns.
    • New social classes emerged, including landowners (the beginnings of the gentry).
    • England's hold on the Pale weakened.
Politics and the Law
  • A fledgling Parliament forms; a king's council of advisors, initially, including important noblemen and leaders of the Church.
  • In 1215, King John and all future monarchs are limited by the Magna Carta (or Great Charter): the king is now the same, in the eyes of the law. It also protected the rights of the nobility, and limited the king's ability to collect taxes, and make or change laws.
  • Parliaments were called for the king to consult his nobles, particularly when funds were needed. These became more popular, and two Houses were established.
    • The Commons was largely composed of knights, and wealthy city folk; they were elected, but few could participate.
    • The Lords were just that, and bishops, and wealthy landowners.
  • In Scotland, a Parliament of three Estates came to be: the lords, the commons and the clergy.
  • Legal systems took shape, with a nascent separation of judiciary from the running of government, in both England and Scotland:
    • In England, common law was established, based on previous decisions and tradition.
    • In Scotland, laws were codified (i.e., written down).
  • By 1400, in England, English was the preferred language of the royal court, the Parliament, and official documents.
    • This developed from a melding of Norman French — spoken by the nobility — and Anglo-Saxon — spoken by the peasantry.
  • The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer was one of the first books printed by England's first printing-press-driven publisher, William Caxton.
  • In Scotland, many people continue to speak Gaelic. The Scots language also develops, and poets begin writing in it (e.g., John Barbour's The Bruce, based on his famous battle).
  • English wool becomes a sought-after commodity.
  • Many people come to England, bringing special skills:
    • French weavers
    • German engineers
    • Italian glass-makers
    • Dutch canal-builders
  • The glass in York Minster dates from this time. Some other cathedrals and castles from this time have also survived.
The War of the Roses
  • This period ends with the Battle of Bosworth Field, in 1485. King Richard III, of the House of York, is killed. Henry Tudor, of the House of Lancaster, becomes King Henry VII, taking the former monarch's niece, Elizabeth, as his bride.
  • This thirty-year civil war ends with the birth of the House of Tudor; its symbol, York's white rose inside Lancaster's red.

End of notes

End of Day 51

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