Battle of Hastings at CMS
The Battle of Hastings was fought once again at the California Middle School football practice field Nov. 12, which was 947 years and one month from the date of the original battle. This historic battle was a watershed in history for the North American way of life. Ed Ziegs' World Culture classes at CMS divided up to re-enact the famous battle.
Battle of Hastings
William of Normandy had been promised the throne of England by Edward the Confessor before he died. There was only one trouble, Edward under pressure from the Godwins (the richest family in England) gave the throne to Harold Godwinson, who was crowned Harold II. William secured the blessings of the Pope then invaded England. On Sept. 25, 1066, Harold met an army led by King Harald Hardratta of Norway and Harold II's brother Tosig. The Battle of Stamford Bridge saw the invaders decimated and the army that took 800 ships to bring them to England went back to Norway with 24 ships carrying survivors. Shortly after the battle, Harold II got word that William had invaded England from Normandy. He led what was left of his army and recruited new members as he marched south. He made it in 11 days, which is viewed by historians as a move similar to Pattons 3rd Armys astoundng swing north to relieve Bastogne at the Battle of the Bulge in WW II. Howver, the impetious Harold, eager to drive the invading Norman Army from English shores, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by engaging William a day too soon. With his back to the sea and no ships to save him and his army, William threw himself against the hopeless odds of Harold's seasoned army and won the day in a last ditch effort before defeat.
Harold became the last of the Saxon Kings of England, the French language was introduced to the court of King William and eventually melded with the common language to become what we speak every day. The Viking system of a twelve man jury of peers was paracticed throughout England and became a cornerstone of our justice system. Combined arms (the use of archers, infantry and cavalry) became the norm and not the exception to battle. The Doomsday Book was compiled, which allowed William to create a tax code but more importantly a first hand account of what life was like in England in the mid to late 11th century.