English Monarchy Established
In the 800s A.D., the island of Great Britain was divided among several small kingdoms. Like the rest of Western Europe, these small kingdoms faced significant threats from the Vikings in the North.
These kingdoms were made up of the Anglo-Saxons. They shared a common language and culture. In 886 A.D., an Anglo-Saxon leader by the name of Alfred the Great was able to unite these kingdoms into one nation, which he called Angleland. This would later be changed to England.
Alfred the Great created a strong central government and was able to use his strength to defeat the Vikings, as well as other threats in the area.
Alfred sought to bring about cultural reform in his kingdom. To do this he established schools and had a number of literary works translated into the language of the Anglo-Saxons.
The Anglo-Saxon kings would rule England for the next 200 years. In 1066 A.D., the last Anglo-Saxon king of England died. His name was Edward the Confessor. After his death, three different individuals claimed the right to rule the nation.