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Anglis Anglia,
or England for the English

[1]

Detail, George Vertue, King Edward I, 1734.

2,706 words

In many ways, America and Britain’s sociopolitical circumstances parallel those of the reigns of King John, King Henry III, and King Edward I, a period of 108 years. [1] [2]

Jewish financial swindles and cultural corruption plagued England, as well as involvement in foreign quagmire wars in France, Sicily, and the Levant. Foreign advisors were also influencing the King. Some things aren’t as relevantDuring this time, the political elite of England and France were all related by blood or marriage. Earls and barons had their own castles and private armies. Political disputes were settled by combat, although the defeated rebels were usually pardoned after paying a fine.

Additionally, French was the language of the Royal Court of England and the judicial courts. This was a legacy of the Norman conquest in 1066 under the leadership of William, Duke of Normandy. William was a cousin to Edward the Confessor and had a decent claim to the throne.

[3]

The Normans were descended from a group of Vikings who settled France. After a treaty with the French King, they ruled the Duchy of Normandy officially. The Norman Viking settlers adopted Christianity, intermarried with Breton and Gallo-French locals, and spoke French. From Wikipedia. [4]

After the conquest, the Normans started to intermarry with the Saxon English by 1070. William the Conquer married one of his nieces to a Saxon earl, and the lower ranks of the Normans likewise married local Saxons. Not all was perfect — the Saxon elite that didn’t intermarry were utterly displaced, there was the Harrying of the North [5] and several insurgencies, but after this died down, England ceased being constantly invaded by Vikings and a considerable degree of internal stability followed. It could be possible that the sense of fair play and the stiff upper lip the English pride themselves upon only appeared after the Norman conquest.

After the Conquest, England’s new Norman upper class still had large properties in France. Over time, they expanded their control over other parts of France. When King Henry II passed away, the English Crown controlled an empire that stretched from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees.

[6]

When Henry II died, his holdings included all of western France.

Henry II was followed by his son Richard the Lion Heart. King Richard I was mostly involved in foreign campaigns and intrigue, so he had little impact on domestic reform. Richard died of infection after being hit with a bolt from a crossbow in France. He was followed by King John, England’s worst king. 

King John

England’s tax system was efficient for its time, stemming from paying the Danegeld during the Viking Age, but it was still pretty clunky. Revenues were counted on a large table with a checkerboard cloth, the exchequer. The officer in charge of revenues became known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Collecting the full tax was always an iffy proposition, so the King was required to raise money through truly coercive methods. No King was quite as coercive as John. His trick was to use his governmental network — sheriffs, judges, etc. — to fine or imprison persons of means to extract money from them. Needless to say, this tax policy was highly unpopular.

The Magna Carta

King John was very good at raising money, but poor judgement meant his efforts often ended in disaster. He probably killed his nephew with his own hands while drunk, he imprisoned and starved his enemies to death, he was sexually reckless, and he surrounded himself with foreign advisors and knights. This foreign entourage usually had a burning desire to use English force (and English blood and treasure) against their rivals in France and encouraged King John to be aggressive. Operations in France went badly.

[7]

English holdings in France before and after King John. From Wikipedia. [8]

Meanwhile, Norman barons were more concerned with pursuing English interests in Great Britain than being taxed to death for Royalist wars in France and the crusade in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 1215, the barons revolted. To achieve peace, King John cut a deal with them and signed the Magna Carta. This codified what came to be known as the Rights of Englishmen.

The first version of the Magna Carta has sections that indicate there was a Jewish problem in England:

If anyone who has borrowed a sum of money from Jews dies before the debt has been repaid, his heir shall pay no interest on the debt for so long as he remains under age, irrespective of whom he holds his lands. If such a debt falls into the hands of the Crown, it will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.

If a man dies owing money to Jews, his wife may have her dower and pay nothing towards the debt from it. If he leaves children that are under age, their needs may also be provided for on a scale appropriate to the size of his holding of lands. The debt is to be paid out of the residue, reserving the service due to his feudal lords. Debts owed to persons other than Jews are to be dealt with similarly.

England’s Jewish Problem

The Catholic Church banned Christians from lending money with interest, allowing Jews to occupy this lucrative economic niche. The Jews arrived in England after the Norman Conquest and quickly set up shop. The moneylending Jew Aaron of Lincoln (ca. 1125-1186) eventually became wealthier than the King.

King John died of dysentery just days after he took a disastrous shortcut with his treasury and retinue across a part of England called The Wash [9]. When the tide came in, he lost some of his horses, men, and treasury. His son Henry, age nine, took the crown.

When Henry III was crowned King, the Baron’s Revolt was still ongoing. His crown was secured by an able assistant named William Marshal. Marshal re-issued the Magna Carta to gain the support of the revolting barons, but without the Jewish clauses. (Obviously, Jewish bribes and lobbying efforts had an impact upon the 1216 charter.)

Meanwhile, Jewish behavior was continuing to cause problems in England. There was a reaction to this. The Jews had arrived in England sometime after 1066. With the recent example of the Jewish problem in Postville, Iowa [10] as a reference, it is likely that problems with the Jews probably started the moment the first one set foot in England, but it took 78 years for any sort of organized resistance on the part of the English to occur.

This materialized in the East Anglian town of Norwich. A twelve-year-old boy [11] doing a job in the Jewish area of the town disappeared. He was presumed to have been killed in a Jewish ritual murder. A similar event occurred later, involving a boy named Hugh in Lincoln in 1255.

Today, these murders are presumed to be false accusations — “blood libel.” 

The fact that Jews were England’s premier money lenders created a moral hazard for the King and his ministers. The King could tax the Jews easier than he could tax the landowners and other classes of England. When he needed money, the King could squeeze the Jews, who in turn would squeeze the English, from the barons [12] down to the yeomen [13]. On the occasions when the King cracked down on Jewish excesses, favored English nobility could acquire ownership of the debt and use that as an opportunity to dispossess their ethnic kin.

When King Henry III started to curb Jewish financial swindles, the wealthy English who purchased ownership of the debts proceeded to become swindlers themselves: 

[T]here was nothing to stop an unscrupulous Christian speculator from demanding immediate repayment of the entire sum — repayment that, naturally, the unfortunate debtor would not be able to produce. This being the case, the speculator could simply foreclose on the debt and seize whatever lands had been put up as collateral. A modern analogy would be a bank suddenly deciding to sell its mortgages to an individual who refused to respect the repayment terms, and who began repossessing the properties on which the mortgages had been secured. [2] [14]

The Earl of Leicester, Simon de Montfort, brother-in-law to King Henry III, expelled the Jews from Leicester in 1231. When Edward I took the crown, he likewise continued to justly manage Jews for the benefit of his own people. He forbade Jews from practicing moneylending and encouraged them to become honest tradesmen and merchants. (They resisted this fiercely.)

In 1278, Edward I realized that if he wanted to improve trade, he needed to issue new coins. The problem was coin clipping. This is a form of white-collar crime where parts of a coin are chipped off and melted down into ingots that could be sold. The coins eventually become unusable. A sting operation focused on finding coin clippers netted hundreds of Jews, many of whom King Edward I later hanged.

After the coin clipping issue, Jews in England continued to behave badly. Finally, King Edward I ordered their removal in 1290:

The knights of the shire were so pleased at the prospect of being rid of the Jews that they had agreed to a generous grant of one-fifteenth of their goods. Its yield, a massive £116,000, was not only the biggest of the whole reign, but the single biggest tax collected in Britain during the entire Middle Ages. The Church was so delighted with the king’s pious performance that they voted a thank-you tax of their own in the autumn. Without doubt, the expulsion of the Jews was the most popular act Edward ever committed. [3] [15]

That £116,000 turned out to be a great investment. The English gained control over their own finances. Part of the English-speaking world’s rise across the world is the ability to manage debt. With Englishmen lending money to other Englishmen, the laws evolved to be more just towards both creditors and debtors. Most importantly, English laws provide creditors a way to get their money back. Therefore, investing in the English-speaking world turns out to be a reasonable thing to do. Nations unable to get credit without Jews tend to have shaky financial systems. Spain, which didn’t expel its Jews until 1492, never developed a stock market until 1831 — long after it had ceased to be a global superpower.

Quagmire Wars and Foreign Advisors

An important, but unappreciated figure during this time was a monk named Matthew Paris [16]. In one of his many books, he wrote the Latin phrase Anglis Anglia, or England for the English. Matthew Paris was the metapolitical genius of the Middle Ages. This concept deeply influenced the English barons.

About this time, King Henry III received an offer from the Pope to take control of Sicily. The terms of the offer were about the same as a shifty fellow offering to sell a bridge in Brooklyn. Everyone but King Henry III himself realized this. This dubious operation prompted England’s barons, led by Simon de Montfort, to stage an armed protest. The barons went to the King, left their swords at the door, and petitioned him to turn away from the Sicily adventure and hire an English staff of advisors instead of a French/European staff. In other words, England for the English.

[17]

Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester.

To make a long story short, due to the controversy and the workings of the Magna Carta, Simon de Montfort became head of the first English parliament. This parliament was at odds with Henry III, and there was a battle in Sussex in which Henry and his son Edward I were captured. For a time, de Montfort had the upper hand and it appeared as though things would be stable, but a new conflict broke out between the Royalists and de Montfort. The latter was killed and his body mutilated.

When King Edward I came to the throne, he called for a parliament, but he worked hand-in-glove with that body. Edward I also engaged in some considerable metapolitics. He used the popularity of a book about King Arthur by a Welshman named Geoffrey of Monmouth called History of the Kings of Britain [18] to give the English people more pride in their past. After an ugly rebellion in Wales, Edward I annexed the territory but kept many Welsh laws in effect in Wales.

Today, Wales effectively remains a vassal of England, but the language and culture survive. One of the most powerful British prime ministers, Lloyd George, was Welsh.

Unfortunately, King Edward I didn’t withdraw from France in a position of strength when he had the chance. The last part of France held by the English was Calais, which fell in 1558. The long retreat from France and the financial losses suffered by the English upper class brought about the Wars of the Roses, a disastrous civil war that ended the Plantagenet Dynasty.

Conclusion

Of the three Kings described, it is clear that Edward I was the best of them all. His best trait was surrounding himself with good people. He got outstanding engineers to build his castles in Wales, employed great lawyers and administrators, and recruited able knights and soldiers. He was able to defeat his worst enemies and make half-hearted enemies such as the Welsh his allies. Anyone who wishes to do well in life would be wise to follow Edward I’s personal example.

King Edward I’s most lasting effort was to align his government to meet the needs of the English. “For the first time since the Norman Conquest, England had a government that was perceived to be working in the interests of the majority of its subjects.” [4] [19]

Edward I was persuaded to become such a king because he was partially forced to. If it wasn’t for the Baron’s Revolt, there would have been no Magna Carta. If it wasn’t for de Montfort, there would be no Parliament, and England would have continued to be burdened with foreign advisors to the King. The Magna Carta and a policy of Anglis Anglia didn’t fall out of the sky overnight. Persuasive, hard-thinking men like Matthew Paris developed a solid metapolitical agenda long before various crises came.

Today we face some similar issues. Economic problems in America and Britain exist, but they are more related to the problem of big tech, “free trade,” and woke capital than Jewish moneylenders. The modern Jewish problem is centered on Jewish crafting of a punitive immigration policy against white nations, Jewish support for quagmires in the Middle East, Jewish subversion of electoral processes, and Jewish cultural distortion through their control of Hollywood and the mainstream media. Furthermore, in Edward I’s time, no narrative in England claimed the Jews do no wrong as is the case today. Jewish opium peddlers hide behind the Holocaust narrative and the Anglo political elite just can’t do anything about it.

As far as avoiding foreign quagmires, the question is “Wales or France?” The answer comes down to race, culture, and cost. English operations in Wales turned out to be far less bloody and expensive than their operations in France. Wales had many supporters of King Edward I. Welsh legends — such as that of King Arthur — were appreciated by the English, but French heroes — like Joan of Arc — were the Other to the English. The French also attacked the English year after year.

Today, Americans and our kin across the Anglosphere should consider Wales or France, geopolitically speaking. If the population is not racially or culturally much different, deployments are likely worthwhile. If the situation is like that in France in the 1200s, it is probably best to cut the losses.

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Notes

[1] [23] King Edward I wasn’t the first King of England named Edward. He was named after Edward the Confessor, the penultimate Saxon King of England. Edward the Confessor was a personal hero to King Henry III, Edward’s father.

[2] [24] Mark Morris, A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain (New York: Pegasus Books, 2009), p. 87.

[3] [25] Ibid., pp. 227-228.

[4] [26] Ibid., p. 371.