Neither Wales nor Scotland had a chance for sovereign existence in a situation where neighboring England “grew stronger and more prosperous with each century”. History does not accept such whims. The one of the English kings who most effectively pushed the dreams of their own sovereign state from the heads of the Welsh people was Edward I, also known as Edward the Long-legged. Another nickname for Edward, more reflecting the character and achievements of this ruler, is the Hammer of the Scots. We could meet the unpleasant character of Edward I, who fights with the nice Mel Gibson, in the movie “Braveheart”
History has its rules and Hollywood has its own. One Hollywood rule regarding filmmaking makes it clear: If likeable Mel Gibson is William Wallac, Edward I cannot be likeable. It must be said, however, that William Wallace from the monument in front of the Royal Theater in Aberdeen looks like a guy for whom we wouldn’t even give up our old bicycle.
Aberdeen, William Wallace Memorial
The image of Edward left by history is in no way inferior to Gibson, let alone the editor Prokop. About 190 cm tall, which was unusual in the Middle Ages, blonde hair, shapely face. Contemporary beauty. At the same time, a brave knight – a crusader, conqueror of Nazareth, a skillful politician, a wise legislator and a ruler who cares about the economic interests of his subjects.
Compatriots taking an accelerated history course already know that the ruler – in the past – by fulfilling his ambitions, served his subjects, and today a politician, e.g. the prime minister, the president are people whose duty it is to serve their fellow citizens, compatriots, and the country. Of course, personal ambitions are nothing to blame. If the condition of servitude towards fellow citizens is not met, we are dealing with politicians on foreign service.
Edward’s conquest of Wales took place in two campaigns – blitzkriegach: the first in 1277, the second in 1282-83. During the second invasion, Edward made sure that the Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was the last, independent ruler of Wales, thus giving no chance historians, and to this day, they must call Llywelyn ap Gruffud, Llywelyn the Last.
Llywelyn the Last’s grandfather was more fortunate, Llywelyn Fawr, known by historians as Llywelyn the Magnificent, who, like our Sigismund III Vasa, stands on a column in Conwy and looks menacingly towards England, towards the river crossing.
The actual conquest and colonization of Wales took place after the cessation of military operations. The grassroots work began, investments on an unprecedented scale were launched and the so-called “Edward’s steel rim” or a system of locks a day’s march apart, castles manned by English garrisons … and this most effectively discouraged the Welsh from taking up arms, although uprisings and revolts occasionally broke out. Conquering is easier, keeping the prey is more difficult, as we know best.
There are over 400 castles in Wales, of which more than 100 are in full readiness to defend to date, which gives Wales an absolute priority in Europe. This is the result of several centuries of living in peace, so the Welsh do not complain about the occupiers. The first castle erected by Edward was Conwy, a majestic structure that guards the entrance to Wales to this day.
The pace of the builders of the time is impressive. The construction of the castle and surrounding Conwy with walls took only 4 years. Since Edward I was more French than English, before he became King of England he ruled the Duchy of Guyenne, so at his court he maintained quite a large French crowd, among which was the building master of the master James of Saint George, and we owe him that the economical, ever-green Wales resembles a little Savoy.
Is it bad or good that today there are no two independent states on the map of Europe: Scotland and Wales, members of the European Union? It is unknown.
Because the so-called alternative visions of history cannot provide evidence as to whether a different course of events would have been better, so things must remain as they are.
Source: Salon24.pl: Strona główna by www.salon24.pl.
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