William I the Conqueror was "one of the greatest soldiers and rulers of the Middle Ages". (Encyclop?dia Britannica, 1997) He was declared, while he was still a child, Duke of Normandy in 1035 after the death of his father, Robert I "the devil". His early years of reign were filled with conflict and strife since they correspond with one of the darkest periods of Normandy. However, he succeeded in crushing all his enemies and his throne was forever secure. During those years, he learned to fight and rule. His long struggle to gain peace during this period marred his character and shaped his outlook on life. In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded England to claim his right to the English throne and on December 25th of that year, England was conquered. Therefore, William thefirst' became thefirst Norman king of that country while at the same time remaining the Duke of Normandy. The conquest of England by William I the Conqueror altered the course of English history. William I, as the French ruler of Normandy, brought in England his French culture which changed England's language and politics system. In the years after the conquest, William set up his government on a firm basis: he established feudalism into England, which was the most significant and major political change in the English system. William'sfirst step to establish his feudal system was to take back all the land out off the hands of the Anglo-Saxons and to carefully redistribute it to his own vassals. When William distributed the lands among his vassals, he avoided giving great territorial concentration to the same hands. This would insure that no one would be a threat to his royal power. His distribution of the lands was a reward for his vassals implication into the invasion of England but it was more to secure their allegiance to him since they had some obligations in having and keeping their land. In dividing up the lands among his …

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