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Zoe asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

how did Richard the lionheart lose control lose control over the angevin empire?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Richard has been a much maligned figure in history like Macbeth and Richard III. He was actually a good king in a troubled time. Just remember that at this time you had the troubadours, extra marital affairs among other things hitting Europe. His family was a mess, as soon as his back was turned, his brother John tried to usurp the throne. As for spending most of his time in France - that is where the fighting was. Even with John, as unpopular as he was, the English still defeated the French invasion of England! Richard had to deal with greedy and unscrupulous men like Phillip Augustus, the Holy Roman Emperor and many others. Even when his ransom was arranged, these men raised the total, and this flagrant breach of the rules brought much protest. But England ransomed him.

    As for the crusade, Saladin died within months of Richard's departure, leaving Jerusalem ripe for the picking. Richard defeated him soundly time and time again, and proved his worth as a general. Phillip Augustus, seeing the opportunity to seize Angevin lands, pretended to be sick so he could return to France. He took an oath of honour to respect Richard's kingdom - which he openly dishonoured as soon as he was back in France.

    As for his governance of England, he simply took the view of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it". Most people overlook the fact that he established a system that held up against his brother John while he was away.

    Once Richard was released, he returned to England to celebrate and make ready to wage war on Phillip Augustus, who had overrun most of the Angevin holdings in Europe. In a space of four years Richard took back everything that Phillip Augustus had taken. Tragically, he feel victim to a crossbow bolt while besieging a rebellious lord.

    Most people overlook the fact that he was busy his whole life, was a brilliant planner, and built a legendary castle in his own time. It was said that "it could be held even if it's walls were made of butter". Richard copped bad press, as he showed up Phillip Augustus and made him look like a fool.

    Remember that Richard was a European dynast, who strove to hold his lands against a French dynasty, the Capetians, who had started off with the Ile de France and only took France after many centuries of war and suffering. In Richard's time, France was divided into the Landuedoc, Toulouse, Burgundy, the Capetians and the Angevins. Hope this has helped. The sad part is that Richard temporarily lost control of his kingdom because he trusted the wrong people. The crusade was a joint operation undertaken with Phillip Augustus based on mutual trust, as the two were friends.

    Source(s): "Lionheart" by Richard Barber is an excellent and informative read, and a lot of the source material is interesting, eg, Roger of Wendover etc.
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  • 1 decade ago

    When you are King you must pay attention to the kingdom. Richard was more interested in his crusade and in fighting than in making decisions and ruling although it didn't help that he made good on his father's promise to lead a crusade and was captured and held for ransom, leading to rumors of his death. In addition, his younger brother John was ambitious and his other, Eleanor had shaped Richard's preference for his French territories over his English kingdom.

    There was considerable in-fighting between father and son and among Richard and his brothers as they competed for the throne. A salient fact is that of the ten years he was King of England, Richard spent only 6 months there.

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  • 1 decade ago

    He lost control because he was gone all the time fighting in the Crusades.

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