The history of Britain

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Autor: Chlapec studak
Typ práce: Maturita
Dátum: 28.01.2012
Jazyk: Angličtina
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The history of Britain

There were six invasions in the history of Britain:
1.  The first inhabitants
The first inhabitants were the Iberians who came from Spain 3000 BC. They introduced farming, pottery and stone tools. They built Stonehenge – a huge circle of standing stones on the Salisbury Plain. We don’t know what it was used for – maybe a calendar, temple or a landing area for extraterrestrial civilization…
2.  Celtic Tribes
The first Celtic tribes came around year 750 B.C. They lived in tribal organization and the country was divided into many small units. One of the tribes was called Britons, and that’s why the whole island was named Britain.
3.  Roman tribes
The first roman invasion was led by Julius Caesar in 55 B.C., but Britain wasn't conquered. In 43 AD the Romans invaded Britain again and it became a roman colony. The Celts were driven more and more to the west – Wales. The Hadrian’s Wall was built by Romans to protect the northern border (against the Celts).
61 – Boadicea’s revolt – the Celtic queen led her tribe against the Romans and she nearly won, then she poisoned herself.
The Romans had to leave when the Germanic tribes spread all over Europe and invaded Britain at the beginning of the 5th century.
4.  The Angles, Saxons and Jutes
The Angles, Saxons and Jutes came from Germany, Netherlands and Denmark in the 5th century. They conquered Celts and drove them to the west and north (Scotland, Wales). They established small kingdoms: Essex, Wessex, Sussex, Middlesex, East Anglia, Northumbria and Mercia.
At the end of the 6th century a group of Roman missionaries led by St Augustine landed in Kent and started the conversion of the Angles and Saxons to Christianity.
The best-known Saxon king was Alfred the Great – he was very intelligent and well educated and started the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
5.  The Vikings
Vikings arrived from Scandinavia during the 9th century, accepted Christianity and didn’t bother the local people. Alfred the Great defeated them and made a treaty with them.
Ethelred was the Saxon king in the 10th century. He decided to pay to Vikings to stay away – “Danish money” – set taxes on his people.
Edward the Confessor – Ethelred’s son, very religious, stared to build Westminster Abbey, promised the throne to the Duke of Normandy – William the Conquer.
Harold – chosen to be the next king instead of William, because the Saxon nobles didn’t like Normans. He was very weak after he defeated the Danes in the north.
6.  Normans
In 1066 a French army led by William landed in England. Harold was defeated and killed in the Battle of Hastings.
William the Conqueror was very strong and competent king, he established a Doomsday book – a complete inventory of the property, he had a perfect survey of all the property in his kingdom, and he set the taxes according to this book.
Henry II – Norman king in the 12th century, he married Eleanor of Aquitaine and he gained Aquitaine which is a part of south France.
Richard I the Lionhearted – son of Henry II – brave, warlike, good soldier, he took part in a lot of crusades, didn’t care about administration
John (the Lackland) – brother of Richard, he had to sell royal property to pay a ransom for Richard, in 1215 he signed Great Charter – Magna Carta – a symbol of political freedom, it restricted the power of the king
 
Edward III1337 – he claimed he had the right to the French throne, which was a reason for starting a war, the French fought back and The Hundred Years War broke out, in 1348 there was a huge plague epidemic (called black death), the English population decreased.
In the 14th century the enormous Peasant’s Revolt broke out, led by Wat Tyler – called Tyler Rebellion, it wasn’t successful
In 1453 the Hundred Years War ended with the victory of France, England lost power in France (only a port of Calais was under their control)
The Wars of Roses broke out in the 15th century – a dynastic struggle for the possession of the Crown between the House of York (represented by white rose) and Lancasters (represented by red rose).
The wars finished when the last king of York, Richard III the Crookback was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 by Henry VII (Tudor).
Henry VII was distant relative of Lancaster, he married Elizabeth of York and they founded a new dynasty – the Tudors.
 
THE TUDORS
Henry (VII) Tudor – distant relative of Lancaster, after the Wars of Roses he married Elizabeth of York and they founded the Tudor dynasty. He was good ruler, he saved money and he stabilized England
Henry VIII – his son, cruel, wasted the money, he established the biggest and most powerful navy, and he had 6 wives.
· 1st wife – Catherine of Aragon – she couldn’t gave him a son, only a daughter Mary, so he wanted to divorce her, but the pope didn’t want his divorce (and only a pope can divorce a marriage), so Henry made himself a head of Church of England
· 2nd wife – Anne Boleyn – they had a daughter Elizabeth, she was accused of cheating and beheaded in the Tower of London
· 3rd wife – Jane Seymour
· 4th wife – Anne of Cleves – she was very ugly
· 5th wife – Catherine Howard – she was beheaded
· 6th wife –Catherine Parr – she looked after him, when he was old and ill, older than him
Edward VI – son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, very weak, died at the age of 16, protestant
Lady Jane Grey – she was cousin of Edward VI, she was queen for 9 days, then Mary (daughter of Catherine Aragon) took control of the kingdom and Jane Grey was executed.
(Bloody) Mary – she was called Bloody, because she hanged and burnt Protestants
Elizabeth I
· daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
· called Virgin Queen because she never got married
· protestant – she enforced the Protestant religion by law
· England prospered during her reign, she defeated Spanish Army in a sea battle in the English Channel
· England became the leading power on the sea
· the time of Shakespeare
· her catholic cousin Mary Stuart (Scottish Queen) plotted against her, she was in prison for 19 years and then she was executed
 
THE STUARTS
Trouble-making dynasty – they quarreled with Parliament, the only executed English king was Stuart (Charles)…
Elizabeth recommended his nephew James I to be the next king (he was son of Mary Stuart)
James I – clever, well educated, quarreled with Parliament over money, his daughter Elizabeth married Friedrich Palatine
Charles I – son of James, quarreled over money even more than James, during his reign the civil war broke out – Royalist vs. Republicans (wanted to establish a republic), Charles was beheaded, Britain became a republic
Oliver Cromwell – he became Lord Protector, he had more power than King Charles, his dictatorship was extremely unpopular
Richard Cromwell – unable to rule the country, monarchy restored
Charles II – was invited to rule the country, died childless
James II – his brother, his wife was a Catholic and she openly tried to bring back the Catholic Church
1688 - Glorious Revolution – Parliament decided to give a crown to his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange (protestant ruler of Holland) -> Britain had both queen and king at the same time
William III (of Orange)1689 the Parliament passed the Bill of Rights – it limited power of king and parliament was more powerful than king
– Act of Settlement –only a protestant can inherit the English crown
Anne – the last of Stuarts, had 17 children but none survived her
1707 – Parliament passed the Act of Union – Scotland was joined to England and Wales, the new kingdom was called Great Britain
After Anne’s death there was no protestant heir, so the distant German cousin of Anne was chosen as a king – George I – from Hanover.
 
THE HANOVERIANS
George I – never learned English, didn’t like England
George II – also born in Hanover and didn’t care about the country
George III – 1st of Hanoverians born in England, very pious, quite popular
1776 – The North American colonies declared their independence, so the Britain suffered a great loss
The beginning of the 19th century was influenced by Napoleonic wars, Britain decided to fight France on the sea, because it had strong navy
1805 The Battle of Trafalgar Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated the French fleet, was killed there
1815 – Napoleon was finally defeated by the allied armies led by Duke of Wellington at Waterloo

Victoria
· during her reign Britain doubled its territory
· the 1st monarch who lived in Buckingham Palace
· married a German Prince of Saxe-Coburg  -> they founded the house of Saxe-Coburg-Ghota
· in the Victorian Era Britain became of the strongest world power (industrial, financial, commercial, sea, colonial power)
· conservative and liberal parties were formed
 
HOUSE OF SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA
· in 1914 the WWI broke out
· in 1918 the war ended with the victory of Allies
· in 1919 southern Ireland separated from Northern Ireland and was recognized as a separate dominion
· in 1921 the Irish state was created
· in 1926 the Commonwealth of Nations was declared as association of former British colonies
· the most famous queen was Elizabeth I (called queen mum), she married George VI
· in 1939 the WWII broke out, it started when Germany attacked Poland
· the war end in 1945 with the victory of Allies
 
HOUSE OF WINDSOR
Elizabeth II
· daughter of George VI and Elizabeth I
·  she married prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
· she has 4 children – Anne, Charles, Edward, Andrew
· 2 important political parties –  Labourist and Conservative
· the 1st woman PM was Margaret Thatcher – called iron lady for her toughness
· the present PM is David Cameron - Conservative
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