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Monday, July 18

A Loyal Foe + War of the Roses

The Wars of the Roses was a period that saw the deaths of kings, the extinction of royal dynasties and the brutal slaughter of much of England’s nobility, but they were much more than a simple fight to the death between two royal houses...

The Wars of the Roses were fought between two families: the House of Lancaster (who were represented by a red rose) and the House of York (who were represented by a white rose). The two houses were both branches of the royal House of Plantagenet. It was a Civil War that lasted for thirty-three years (1455-1487) and caused much death and destruction. At the start of the Wars, Henry VI from the House of Lancaster, was King.

The reasons behind the wars were complex. Both houses claimed to have a right to the English throne as descendants of King Edward III. It didn't help that the current king, Henry VI, was mentally ill and was being advised by corrupt and unpopular nobles. Henry VI was a very weak king, and the House of York wanted to seize power from him.

His cousin, Edward IV (House of York) was an excellent king, but had a weak claim to the throne.  When Edward IV died, his brother became King Richard III.  Richard is accused of killing Edward IV’s sons—his own nephews—so that he could become king.  Richard III locked away the princes in the Tower of London, and is believed to have ordered their murder.

Richard III was a Yorkist, and there were still many Lancastrians who did not support him as King - they supported Henry Tudor instead.  Henry Tudor was a Lancastrian from Wales who killed Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field.  He thus became Henry VII, the first Tudor King.  Richard III’s remains were found in 2013 near the location of Bosworth Field.

Henry VII was the first Tudor King.  He managed to bring peace to England after defeating Richard III.
 One of the main ways in which Henry VII, a Lancastrian, achieved this was by marrying the daughter of Edward IV from the House of York.  This union between the two warring houses, Lancaster and York, was represented in the Tudor Rose, which is a white rose surrounded by a red rose.

  • 1455 - The Wars of the Roses begins with the Battle of First St. Albans on May 22, 1455.  At this battle, Richard of York defeated the army of Henry VI.  Richard put Henry VI in prison and became the "Lord Protector" of England. 
  • 1460 - The Lancastrians win a major victory at the Battle of Wakefield on December 30, 1460.  Richard of York is killed. 
  • 1461 - Richard of York's son, Edward IV, defeats the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton.  Edward IV is declared king of England.  Queen Margaret flees to France. 
  • 1470 - The Earl of Warwick and Queen Margaret forge an alliance.  They return to England and restore Henry VI to the throne. 
  • 1471 - Edward IV gathers a new army and once again defeats the Lancastrians at the Battles of Tewksbury and Barnet.  He sends Henry VI to the Tower of London where Henry VI dies in April of 1471. 
  • 1483 - Edward IV dies and his twelve-year-old son, Edward V, becomes king.  However, his uncle, Richard III, has him sent to the Tower of London where he disappears from public view.  Richard III becomes king of England. 
  • 1485 - Henry Tudor defeats Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485.  Richard III is killed and Henry is declared king. 
  • 1487 - The House of Tudor, Led by Henry VII, defeats the House of York at the Battle of Stoke Field.  This brings the Wars of the Roses to an end. 

Our spine read for this unit is A Loyal Foe (Ivy Bolton)

Get the entire unit in the World History Bundle!

Includes ten unit studies (plus a bonus!) covering World History. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning from Ancient Hawaii to modern-day. There is also a study of archaeological concepts. Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.
These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

Product samples:   Motel of the Mysteries & Encounter

  • Motel of the Mysteries
  • Island Boy
  • Encounter
  • The Odyssey
  • A Loyal Foe
  • Indigo Girl
  • Gold Rush Girl
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Number the Stars
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • House of the Seven Gables (bonus)

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