For those who are not aware the English people are a variety of ethnicities. Two ethnicities that are worth mentioning are the Normans and The Saxons. Normans are from Normandy France. Prior to France the Normans were from Scandinavia. Norman means “north man”, men from the north.
Saxons are a Germanic people from the general area of where Germany is today. The Saxons spoke a Germanic language and Normans spoke french.
In 1066 The Normans conquered England, prior to that England was ruled by Saxon people. The Normans became the people of the upper classes and the Saxons became the peasants. This is why words associated with food and business are of French origin in the english language and words associated with peasants and working classes are of Saxon origin(words like tailor and smith).
The story of Robin Hood is about the Norman-Saxon tensions. After the Norman conquest the highest rank a Saxon could be was a rank of yeoman. A yeoman is a small land owner. Robin Hood was a of yeoman extraction and was in conflict with the Norman overlords. The Norman rule is sometimes referred to as the Norman yoke.
Norman saw on English oak.
On English neck a Norman yoke;
Norman spoon to English dish,
And England ruled as Normans wish;
Blithe world in England never will be more,
Till England’s rid of all the four.
-Sir Walter Scott poem Ivanhoe
The current British monarchy is descended from the original Norman conquerors, the guy who became king after the Norman conquest was William the conqueror.
The British monarch queen Elizabeth II is a descendant of William the conqueror. The family lineage is chronicled in the link below.
And William the conqueror was descended of a conqueror of Normandy called Rollo. Legend has it that Rollo was exiled from Norway due to piracy.
Rollo is the great-great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror. Through William, he is an ancestor of the present-day British royal family, as well as an ancestor of all current European monarchs and a great many pretenders to abolished European thrones.
Rollo was a Danish Prince according to the Norman Dudo of Saint-Quentin (“De Moribus et Actis Primorum Normanniae Ducum”). Rollo, or Rolf, was the son of Rögnvald, Earl of Möre. Chronicle sources, which are not always reliable, note that he was exiled from Norway because of lawlessness
Parliament was established as a compromise between the interests of The Normans and the interests of The Saxons. Prior to the establishment of parliament the Normans exercised absolute rule. Now though the parliament does not represent the interests of the Saxon people rather it swindles the working classes in favor of international capitalists interests.
The word parliament is derived from the word parler which means “to speak” in Old French
Basically the parliament was devised as a means of allowing the peasants to have a place for their voices to be heard by their representatives.
American style democracy takes things one step beyond the original parliamentary system because the American style government abolished all forms of nobility and so instead of the nobles allowing the peasants to have a voice the situation evolved in America to a point where the nobles didn’t even exist. And currently the British model has progressed to a similar place as the American model because the British aristocracy has been stripped of most of their power.
American thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson saw America as a Anglo-Saxon rebellion against Norman rule. The tribal chiefs of The Saxons were said to have been elected and so American thinkers saw it as a good idea for the rulers of America to be elected.
So the basic ideal in America is “the right of the governed to be governed by their consent”, And the Norman ideal is “the right of a ruler to rule by the right of conquest, to conquer is justification for rule”.
In essence the Saxon ideal came to be understood as being embodied in the principles upon which America was founded, one where the concept of nobility was seen as an anathema.
Site on Normans, Saxons, And Vikings
Saxons and Normans in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy
British Aristocracy and Normans