Braveheart - Maxicours

Braveheart

1. Summary
Braveheart refers to William Wallace, the courageous Scottish who fought against the English in the 13th century. In 1286, Alexander III of Scotland died and with him the dynasty of Canmore who had been reigning in the country for about 200 years. His granddaughter Margaret was his only heir but, as she was only four years old, a regency was set up. Unfortunately, the little girl fell sick soon afterwards and died. So, two men demanded to rule over Scotland: Robert the Bruce and John Balliol. As the Scots did not know whom to choose, they asked Edward I, the king of England, to settle the matter. He chose John Balliol because he knew perfectly well that he was easier to manipulate than Robert the Bruce. Indeed, as soon as Balliol’s reign began, Edward I treated him as his vassal. Even a weak king like Balliol could not accept those conditions, and in 1295 he rebelled against Edward I and signed the ‘Auld Alliance’ with France and Norway. Now their common enemy was England. In fact Edward I expected and hoped for this reaction. With 30,000 soldiers he marched on Scotland, plundered and burnt the cities he went through and massacred the population. Edward captured Balliol whom he locked in the Tower of London. The Scottish nobility swore allegiance to the king of England, and to humiliate the Scots, Edward I took the Stone of Scone. One man had enough courage to stand against Edward I, and this man was of course William Wallace.
2. Keywords
- Scotland
- England
- Auld Alliance
3. Vocabulary
to wage a battle/ to wage war: faire la guerre
heir: héritier
a regency was set up: une régence a été fondée
to settle the matter: résoudre le problème
feudal rights of England over Scotland: les droits féodaux de l'Angleterre sur l'Ecosse
the allegiance of the new king: l'allégeance du nouveau roi
‘Auld Alliance’ with France and Norway: la Vieille alliance avec la France et la Norvège
plundered and burnt: pillé et brûlé
nobility swore allegiance to the king of England: la noblesse a juré l'allégeance au roi de l'Angleterre
his hatred:
sa haine
to keep word: tenir parole
to side with somebody: se mettre du côté de quelqu'un
to head for: se diriger vers
to remain alive: rester vivant
to track down: traquer
hanged, drawn and quartered: accroché, tiré et écartelé

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