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Hello everyone and welcome to your fifth lesson on Vikings and Anglo-Saxons.

My name is Mrs. Tipping and in this lesson we are going to tackle the question how did England become a unified country? In this lesson, we will learn about the actions of significant Anglo-Saxons such as Aethelflaed, Edward the Elder and Athelstan and what they did to try and unify England.

Now for this lesson, it's a good idea to be sat somewhere comfortable without any distractions.

So you can capture all the knowledge from this lesson.

All you're going to need a three things, an exercise book or paper, a pencil or pen, and your fantastic brains.

So if you haven't got any of those things, quickly go and grab them now.

So I'll start with some key words and then we're going to talk about the actions of the Anglo-Saxons Edward the Elder, and Aethelflaed as they tried to unify England.

The next question looks at the first actions of Athelstan.

Then we'll talk about Athelstan's victory at Brunanburh and how he unified England and we'll finish with our end of lesson quiz, which we will do at the end of the lesson.

Okay, so keywords.

The first keyword is territory.

My turn, your turn, territory.

Territory is an area of land under the control of a ruler or state.

The second word is reign.

My turn, your turn, reign.

To reign means to hold royal office, such as being a king or queen.

The third word is fortification.

My turn, your turn, fortification.

A fortification is a defensive wall built to strengthen a place against an attack.

So those are our key words.

So let's keep an eye out for them throughout our lesson.

So let's start with the first question and looking at the actions of the Anglo-Saxons Edward the Elder and Aethelflaed when they tried to unify England.

In 899 AD, Alfred the Great of Wessex died.

At the time of his death, his kingdom was the only English kingdom that had preserved its independence from the Vikings.

Under his son, Edward the Elder, the armies of Wessex began the conquest of the rest of England from the Vikings.

Edward fought for control of the Danelaw.

After defeating the Northumbrian Danes at Tettenhall, he set out in August 912 AD to conquer the Danes of the Eastern Midlands and East Anglia.

From 910, AD to 916 AD, he built a series of around his kingdom of Wessex.

So let's pause and think about this statement.

After his father's death, Edward aimed to conquer the Danelaw.

Is that true or false? Have a think, point to the screen, or say your answer out loud.

Is it true or false? The answer is true! Good job if you got that.

Edward fought for control of the Danelaw.

He defeated the Northumbrian Danes and built fortifications to protect his kingdom of Wessex.

So remember fortifications are those big tall walls around a place.

At the same time, his sister, the Mercian ruler, Aethelflaed, built a series of fortifications in the Northwest Midlands.

For seven years, the Mercian Army was led by Aethelflaed.

She was described as Lady of the Mercians.

She pushed into the territory of the Danes and Leicester submitted to her without a fight.

So she did quite a great job of leading her army and pushing the Vikings back.

She was able to make them submit, to make them admit that they will go to stop and she was in charge.

In 917 AD, Edward and Aethelflaed launched a massive attack, quickly overwhelming the entire Danish army of East Anglia, but in 918 AD, Aethelflaed died at the height of her power and Edward took control of Mercia.

She died just after receiving a formal offer of allegiance from the men of Yorkshire.

By the end of the year, the last Danish armies in the Midlands had submitted.

So here's a quick question, who worked together to defeat the Danes? Was it A, Alfred and Edward, B, Edward and Aethelflaed, or C, Alfred and Aethelflaed.

So, which is the correct answer there? Who worked together to defeat the Danes? Say your answer out loud, point to the screen, or write it down.

The correct answer is Edward and Aethelflaed.

They were brother and sister who helped defeat the Danes.

Now Aethelflaed's reign was so effective that she would overshadow other rulers, such as her brother, Edward the Elder in Wessex.

She had arranged the policies and practises, which resulted in reducing the power of the Danes in Britain.

And it allowed for unification of the land under Edward and then later Athelstan.

So Aethelflaed had a lot to do with the defeat of the Vikings.

She put in lots of policies and agreements and lots of the Vikings, the Danes, had already agreed to submit to Aethelflaed but she unfortunately died earlier than expected.

So I'd like you to pause the video in a moment.

I would like you to answer this question.

Do you think Edward would have been as successful in defeating the Vikings without Aethelflaed? So think about how did she help him? Did she do enough? What he have been able to do it on his own? Have a think and then restart the video once you're finished.

Okay, so your answer could maybe have said something like this.

So there is evidence to suggest that Edward would not have been as successful without Aethelflaed.

Aethelflaed had already defeated the Vikings in lots of different places.

So she had already pushed into the territory of the Danes in Leicester, and she had already made allegiances with the men of Yorkshire.

So the Danes were already submitting to her.

They were already backing down.

So that only helped in defeat the rest of the Viking kingdoms. So that helped Edward massively.

So I'm not sure whether Edward would have been as successful without Aethelflaed, but I suppose we will never know.

So now let's now look at who Athelstan was.

On the death of his father, Edward the Elder, Athelstan became king of Wessex and Mercia in 924 AD.

In 928 AD the Anglo-Saxons, led by Athelstan, attempted to prevent further Viking invasion by striking against the Viking kingdom of York.

The battle was a victory in York for the Anglo-Saxons.

However, this did lead to the nearby Celtic king, Constantine, to become increasingly concerned, worried, over his monarchy.

He worried the Athelstan could continue north and challenge his Celtic territory.

King Constantine immediately reacted and began forging links with neighbouring kingdoms. Constantine married his daughter to Olaf Guthfrithson, the King of Dublin and also a Dane.

Both the Irish and Northumbrian Norseman came under his alliance after the marriage.

In 937 AD, the newly formed Celtic-Norse army began marching south into England, seeking battle against Athelstan.

So I'd like you to pause the video now to have a go at this task.

So answer these questions, who was Athelstan? Which Viking kingdom did he capture? And why was the Celtic king, Constantine, worried about Athelstan? And when you're finished, restart the video.

So here's some answers here.

Who was Athelstan? Well, he was the Anglo-Saxon king of Wessex.

Which kingdom did he capture? Well, he captured York.

And why was King Constantine worried, well he was worried about Athelstan's success in defeating the Vikings.

And he thought that he would also take his kingdom.

So that's why he joined forces with the Danes to fight back.

At the same time as King Constantine was bringing together his army with the Vikings, Athelstan was able to bring together the Anglo-Saxon noblemen and armies with relative ease.

It was in the summer of 937 that the two armies met at Brunanburh for what was to be one of the bloodiest battles ever held on British soil at this point.

As detailed in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicles," no slaughter yet was greater made in this island of people slain before the same, with the edge of the sword.

So a very nasty battle indeed it was.

No one knows where Brunanburh actually is in history.

It's been unknown where that location is, but the sources all agree that Athelstan of Wessex with an army of West Saxons and Mercians caused a crushing defeat on the invaders.

Athelstan is recognised by later historians as an important, crucial figure in British history for his achievements in defeating the last of the Viking fortresses and the whole of England.

Some say it is unlikely, however, that he wouldn't have been able to achieve what he did if it was not for the influence of Aethelflaed of Mercia and what she did previously as well as his father, Edward the Elder.

So I'd like you to pause the video in a moment and think about this statement.

Athelstan was an important figure in British history.

Do you agree or disagree? And can you give at least one reason for your thoughts? So was he an important figure? Have a think and when you're ready, restart the video.

So it's up to you how you answer this question.

You could have agreed or disagreed.

I would say that you could agree and say that Athelstan was an important figure in British history because he did defeat the last of the Viking fortresses.

Even if Aethelflaed and Edward had done some work beforehand, he was still the one that united the armies against the Vikings in those last battles.

So let's now look at how Athelstan managed to unite England.

Athelstan became the first king of all England.

He reigned between 924 and 939 AD.

He was recognised as a courageous soldier who was able to push the boundaries of the kingdom than they'd ever reached yet.

After the defeat of the Danes in York and of Constantine, King of England, all five of the Welsh Kings agree to paid a huge annual tribute.

He also made the peace in Cornwall.

So in all aspects of England, everybody now respected Athelstan as their king and also paid him tributes to show their respect.

Athelstan's laws strengthened royal control over his large kingdom.

Money was regulated to control silver's weight and to punish fraudsters.

Buying and selling was largely restricted to the boroughs, which helped towns become wealthy.

Both his charters and the silver coinage he issued through strictly controlled regional mints, showed the proud title of Rex Totius Brittania, which meant king of all Britain.

So here can see the coins on the screen here.

He would have got the coins made to say king of all Britain on them.

Areas of settlement in the Midlands and Danish towns were merged into the rest of the kingdom.

So it all became Anglo-Saxon Overseas, Athelstan built alliances by marrying off four of his half sisters to various rulers in Western Europe.

He was also a great collector of works of art and religious relics, which he gave to many of his followers and churches to gain their support.

He died in 939 AD and he was buried in Malmesbury Abbey.

This was a fit burial place for him as he had been a passionate supporter of the abbey and provided them with lots of money.

Okay, I'd like you to pause your video in a moment to complete your last task of this lesson.

Which ruler played the most significant role in the defeat of the Vikings? Justify your thoughts.

So out of the three Anglo-Saxons we've learned about, Edward the Elder, Aethelflaed, and Athelstan, which one do you think had the most significant role? So have a real think, use your notes, and think about what each of them did to try and defeat the Vikings and unite England.

Who do you think did the most, could they have done it on their own or did they need each other's help? So write your answer, write down a paragraph on your paper and then restart the video once you're finished It's up to you which you thought played the more significant role in the defeat of the Vikings.

Edward the Elders started to conquer the Vikings.

He wanted to take over the Danelaw and he set up fortifications around his kingdom so that he could try and do that.

Aethelflaed then supported Edward and they defeated them in numerous battles.

And she also created policies and allegiances with the Vikings, which made them submit to her.

And Athelstan defeated them at the Battle of Brunanburh and he took the kingdom of York and he ultimately defeated the last of the Viking fortresses.

So they all played their part and you might have thought one was more impressive or significant than the other, or you may have thought they were all equally so.

And that's the end of our lesson today.

Thank you so much for joining me.

You've worked really hard and I hope to see you in the next lesson soon.

Until then goodbye everyone and take care.