Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

History and Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Ron Delph


In 1154 Henry II gained the throne of England after a long civil war between Henry and King Stephen of England. When Henry was crowned king England was in a chaotic state. The nobles had used the conflict to vastly increase their power at the expense of the king. Royal authority was at a low and the influence of the king had been greatly reduced by the war. Setting out to reassert the royal power of his grandfather Henry I of England, Henry II established massive reforms to the administration of justice and created Common Law in England. Through his contributions to the law and his military prowess, Henry was able to curb the power of the barons and regain status for the throne. In addition to this Henry clashed with the Church in matters of the law and royal jurisdiction.