Brits compel their Kings to be accountable, forcing them to guarantee freedom of speech in exchange for tax revenues. Serfs are freed. Christians die for their beliefs.
1400s – FOLLOW THE MONEY
Henry IV is afflicted with several illnesses – possibly syphilis and epilepsy – and a rash of rebellions by disgruntled nobles. He crushes the nobles with the help of funds provided by Parliament.
In return for giving him money, Parliament demands that the King guarantee its members freedom of speech. In the past, Parliamentary debate had been a nerve-wracking experience since members were liable to be arrested for disagreeing with the King's policies. (See Defeating Threats to Freedom for the modern equivalent – a Member of the EU Parliament threatened with imprisonment for questioning the EU President.)
1400s MANXMEN GAIN REPRESENTATION
The Manx people who live on the beautiful and temperate Isle of Man develop a unique system of representation. Originally Irish, Norse, Scottish, and English, the Manx are Gaelic speakers who live on their isle in the Irish Sea off the west coast of England. For more than a thousand years they have gathered in open-air conventions called Tynwalds. Some describe the Tynwald as an early version of Parliament. Annexed by England in the 13th century, the Manx continue their independent ways. Manxmen known as 'Keys,' who represent each of six sheadings on the Isle, interpret the law, and advise the Lords of the Isle.
1401-1414 LOLLARDS RISE
Inspired by John Wycliffe, non-conforming Christians called Lollards oppose the Church’s rituals, power, and wealth. Women as well as men are preachers. Their ideals include:
Lollard ideals are alive today, in part because they were willing to die for them and in part because many people continue to respond to them. The Church and Henry IV declare the Lollards heretics. In 1401 William Sawtrey becomes the first Lollard to be burned at the stake. In 1407, Wycliffe’s Bible is banned, and a number of Lollards are executed. Lollards are mistaken in wanting a theocratic state. Their courage in defence of their beliefs cannot be denied.
15th Century ENDING SERFDOM
The ending of serfdom is a great step forward for freedom. It is accomplished not through legislation but through a change in thinking. A majority of Brits come to believe that a person should be free to work where he likes for a living wage that he freely negotiates.
Brits are obtaining freedoms unheard of elsewhere. (The majority of French and Germans working on the land remain serfs until the end of the 18th century; in Russia, serfdom lasts until 1861.)
Notably, women are seizing opportunities, and working in businesses as manager-owners.
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THE STORY of
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Freedom & justice go hand in hand
A thought-provoking tour that overturns old assumptions about life in the great medieval houses of England and Wales
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Churchill packs vivid details and insights into every page of his history. Volume II begins in 1485, and continues through 1688.
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This wonderful book describes Britain's gifts to the world. Adults will refresh their understanding of profound events in British history, and young people will find inspiration. Warning: This book defies aggressive secularism and unthinking multiculturalism. Written by the co-editors of this website, Share the Inheritance is beautifully illustrated with 125 colour images and a timeline. Available at Amazon UK and at Amazon USA.