Founded towards the end of 1066, the tower of London is a historic castle in Central London. The tower was established as a reminder of the Norman Conquest of England military architecture. The origin of the tower dates back to the Roman Empire when the city of London was founded. London residents were able to see the tower from all corners of the town since it was very tall. This served to remind them that they were under the rule of William the Conqueror. The dictatorial rules imposed by William’s administration made the monarchy very unpopular over the generations. To date, the constitutional monarchy in the United Kingdom is not active enough in strategizing and implementing the various functions of the government. The decline of this power can be traced back in the William’s ruling when he built the tower of London.
The entire name of the castle originates from the white tower that was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and people resented it since it was a symbol of the oppression that they faced from the new ruling elite. Although it was not primarily meant to be a prison, it was occasionally used as one and the execution site in the 16th century under the Tudor monarchs. People who were executed in the tower of London included Henry VIII wives, Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn (Wilkinson 342). Princess Elizabeth and Elizabeth I was held captive in the towers’ prison. The tower that comprise of several buildings has undergone several expansion phases. The development mainly took place in the 12th and 13th centuries under the rule of Edward I, Henry III and Richard the Lionheart.
Today, the tower of London has 22 towers. The Tower of London is very significant in the history of England since it was an important element in controlling the country. Apart from being used as a prison and an execution site, it was also used to store weapons and public records in the offices. Further, the tower was used to mint money for the economy and also it served as a treasury. The damage to the tower during the Second World War was repaired, and it was opened to the public. It is one of the major tourists’ attractions today. The tower was used as a royal residence as well. In present times, the tower is used as a venue for holding concerts and special events during the summer.
One of the most significant towers is the white tower which is 15 feet thick, 90 feet high and a width of 100 feet. The building of the white tower begun in 1078 and was completed in 1100s. It has small windows that were used for defensive purposes and openings from which the archers used to fire arrows. In 1988, the tower of London was declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO since it is a representation of the Norman military architecture. The city of London was founded by the Romans who built a wall around it. Later the tower was built using some of the materials from the wall after the William conquered England at the Battle of Hastings.
In 1066 during the Norman conquest of England, Harold II was killed, and the monarch was overtaken by William the Conqueror, who built the tower of London as a reminder to the people that he was in charge. William wanted to expand French territories that led to a civil war. The foreign policy prioritized French expansionism. This resulted in a 9-year war where the Dutch and England ganged up against France. The cost of intervention in Europe was high and this cost the economy. He, therefore, established a bank in England that raised funds for the war. His advisors were resented, and they were forced out of the country in 1699.
The various purposes of the tower of London made it very unpopular and people did not take the tower as a symbol of governance but to many it served as a reminder of the oppression they went through under the elite ruling. The constitutional monarchy acts as a symbol of unity in the nation where the powers of the ruler are strictly defined by the constitution that can either be written or unwritten. The monarchy does not give the citizens powers to set public policies or elect the leader of their choice since the leadership is hereditary. Critics of the monarchy refer to it as a system where the leaders reign, but they do not rule. Other functions of the monarchy include dissolution of parliament and granting of royal assent that are performed mostly as a formality than a constitutional role.
In conclusion, the tower of London has a significant role in the history of England. The tower can be said to have significantly contributed to the decline in the monarchy power in England. Some of the rules such as hereditary leadership that were used during the reign of William the Conqueror are still effective. This has decreased the power of people to decide on the leaders they prefer and also the public policies.
Wilkinson, Philip. The British Monarchy for Dummies. Chichester: John Wiley, 2006. Print.