Anarchy 12th Century
From a modern day perspective, many people think of the twelfth century in a very stereotypical manner. As people grow up they have this idea that people in the twelfth century were all these noble knights and that everything was constantly in order. I was very surprised to find that it was actually the opposite. There was massive anarchy throughout this time.
The struggles were all over the disbursement of power, seeing that the current King obtained the throne in an unjust manner. King Stephen was the undeserving King who snatched the throne from the previously deceased King Henry I. Stephen’s acts are what caused the twenty-year war throughout the twelfth century. People who rebelled were forced to build their own prisons. Another stereotypical belief of the twelfth century is the form of torture. As most people think today, a beheading was the main form of torture or death penalty, but most people were tortured in many different creative and disgusting ways. The forms of torture were very detailed and ridiculous; men and women were hung by weird places to stay alive for long periods of time. They also tortured prisoners with animals such as snakes and toads. Some prisoners were killed with stones. Regardless the form of torture, there was many and they were frequent. If prisoners were not worth anything they were basically just considered a fresh kill. Any prisoner that was worth any money was milked for anything that they could get.
After seeing these terrible events that took place over this twenty-year period, I have really opened my eyes and changed my perspective on the twelfth century. After the near twenty years of war King Stephen was killed and King Henry II took over the throne. Many people were lost and it was a very dark period during a century that has been so well respected.
Conclusively, the Middle Ages were a dark period of time that hosted a war that would take the lives of so many innocent people. This was the biggest damper on the twelfth century lasting them a long nineteen years until the righteous king would step up. After all was in order people returned to their normal lives and abandoned their way of life for the past nineteen years even though it wasn’t their traditional way of life.
“Anarchy in 12th Century England,” EyeWitness to History, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2005).