How accurate a term is "Angevin Empire" when describing the Plantagenet Kings' lands?


The term "Angevin Empire" was coined in 1887 by Kate Norgate. How accurate is this modern term?
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How accurate a term is "Angevin Empire" when describing the Plantagenet Kings' lands?
  1. The Angevin Empire refers to the collection of lands held by the Angevin Kings (The Plantagenet Rulers)
    1. Plantagenet comes from 'planta genista' the Latin name for the Broom plant which legend says Geoffrey of Anjou (Henry II's father) wore in his hat
    2. Dates of land acqusition 1. Normandy 1144, 2. Maine Anjou and Touraine 1144, 3. Aquitaine 1152 (by marriage), 4. England 1154, 5. Brittany 1166
      1. Angevin (noun) can be defined as: A native, inhabitant or rule of Anjou. Or something relating to Anjou
        1. Empire (noun) can be defined as: An extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy or a sovereign state e.g. the Roman Empire. Or an extensive sphere of activity controlled by one person or group.
          1. The term "Angevin Empire" was coined by Kate Norgate in 1887 and is as such a modenr and retrospective term. (The Angevin Kings never called it an Angevin Empire)
            1. "Angevin Empire" as a term is too general it is like saying Richard was the best king of England and John the worst. WHY?
              1. King Henry II never saw his collection of lands as an Empire or even particularly Angevin
                1. Henry II referred to his patchwork of lands as "our kingdom and everything subject to its rule wherever it may be"
                  1. This indicates that England is the focus rather than Anjou as England was the only kingdom he presided over
                  2. By labelling the lands as "Angevin" historians place Anjou at central importance to Henry and the rest of the Empire but this is not the case
                    1. Anjou was important politically and geographically as it shared borders with Aquitaine and other important lands
                      1. This proved useful when defending England from Louis' attacks across the channel
                      2. Anjou was a central land geographically and this eased communications between Henry's northern and southern lands
                        1. TONY MCCONNELL said the lands were "founded on inheritance, marriage and battle" and did not reflect anything "imperial"
                          1. Although the large set of lands were ruled by one leader it did not exhibit the qualities traditionally associated with an Empire
                            1. Empire denotes a "extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy or a sovereign state"
                              1. This definition supports the idea of Henry's lands as an empire because they were ruled over by one man: Henry, so at face value the term "Angevin Empire" is accurate
                                1. Contrastingly the above definition of the word describes what the word Empire is, it doesn't define what an Empire is
                              2. Several sources state that the characteristic that defines an Empire is the fact that alongside being a colleciton of lands ruled by one person they must be unified or under a unified authority
                                1. It is under a general unified authority: Henry II
                                  1. Not unified politically - each land had their own leaders and separate and independent justice and government systems
                                    1. Henry = overlord in name only. Subordinates ruled the independent states for him
                                  2. Lands were not all unified georgrpahically
                                  3. Angevin can be a suitable term to describe the collection lands
                                    1. Anjou was a politically and geographically central land. Also Henry II's homeland
                                      1. This has limitations how can any of the lands be central in any sense when none of them were unified
                                        1. Anjou is Henry II's heritage
                                      2. As no land is particularly central in any sense they are therefore all equal in importance
                                        1. Is it more appropriate to call it the "Aquitainian Empire" after the extensive lands Eleanor of Aquitaine brought to Henry
                                          1. Is it more appropriate to call it the "Norman Empire" because the dynasty of Kings started with his conquest in 1066. And Normandy was the longest surviving continental land
                                            1. Is it more appropriate to call it the "English Empire" because in order of power the King is the most important role and England was the only land they managed to successfully keep hold of.
                                            2. PROFESSOR BOUSSARD: interpreted the nature and concept of the "Angevin Empire" as a "conceptual administrative and geographical whole"
                                              1. She also said that "Empire" is not an applicable word because they were unified only "by their borders". Each state was strong and individual within the feudal network
                                              2. FRANK MCLYNN's book "Lionheart and Lackland" he described the Empire as a system "peculiarly vulnerableto break-up" and a "ramshackle structure"
                                                1. TONY MCCONNELL: asked in his work "Is it right to use a non-contemporary label to describe a period of history?"
                                                  1. HOLT: argues that "it was not designed as an Empire"
                                                    1. Henry intended to split his lands up upon his death to distribute between his sons. His assimilation of lands was not so much for an Empire but for an iinheritance
                                                    2. If we want to be really accurate why don't we just call them "Henry's Lands"?
                                                      1. That label is boring and conveys no image. Empire conveys a sense of scale and importance, power and might and grandeur
                                                        1. Empire also identifies Henry with other powerful men and his skill at collecting all these lands
                                                      2. The French don't call it the "Angevin Empire" they call it "la espace Plantagenet" - the Plantagenet Space
                                                        1. This is an accurate term but again lacks grandeur and scale and power and military skill
                                                        2. HOLT: the lands were "cobbled together"
                                                          1. CLANCHY: an "unholy combination of princely greed and genealogical accident"
                                                            1. Better terms we could use to describe the "Angevin Empire"
                                                              1. Henry's Lands
                                                                1. A Federation
                                                                  1. The Plantagenet Empire
                                                                    1. la espace Plantagenet
                                                                      1. Plantagenet Sovereignity
                                                                        1. I would say this is most accurate. It denotes a collection of lands ruled by the Plantagenet family, ultimately governed by a Sovereign, the King of England, whether Henry II, Richard I or John I
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