History of Great Britain Crash Course

History of Britain Great Britain, also shortly known as Britain is the main territory of United Kingdom and it lies at the western coast of Europe. Most of the times, Great Britain is referred as UK but it should be clear that United Kingdom and Great Britain are completely different and United Kingdom is the combination of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is again the combination of three nations and those are England, Scotland and Wales. Long back about thousands years ago, Great Britain was covered with ice completely. However, gradually the weather became warmer and the ice started melting. As a result the sea level too rose to a certain level and Great Britain became an island. Britain was not formed quickly rather several people came, live and ruled there one by one and then finally it gave birth to the modern Britain. We will discuss that part in more details. Prehistoric Britain Earlier Britain was fully covered in forest and most of the Northern Europe and Britain was filled with ice. However, as the climate started to get warm, ice melted down and it became an island. European started migrating to Britain from Europe and it was almost 6000 years back when Britain was transformed into an island. With the change of climate, people started to live there, they also started farming and it was the time of Stone Age. People first used to make weapons and tools of copper and slowly bronze was replaced with copper. However later on, iron came into existence. The farmers started to form small villages and also the celtic people arrived there from the central Europe. Roman Britain After the end of prehistoric Britain it was almost 6000 years back when the Romans started migrating in Britain. Romans lived there for a quite long and made their stay a remarkable one. They ruled Britain for almost 400 years and finally withdraw from Britain in 401 AD. But during then they did a lot such as establishments of public road, buildings, empire, language of administration, medical practice and more. It was in 43 AD when Britain became a part of Roman and they conquered Wales. In 143 AD they conquered Scotland and the then emperor Hadrian built a big wall on the border of Scottish. However, with time in 401 AD, the Roman started leaving Britain and it was the end of Roman Britain. Even though the Romans have left Britain but their mark is found everywhere even today on the fort, road, building etc. Anglo Saxon Britain The Anglo Saxons ruled Britain during the time frame 450 AD to 779 AD. After the end of Roman Britain, The Saxons started migrating from Northern Germany, Holland and Denmark. Even though they ruled Britain for almost quite long but never were able to conquer Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. During then England was divided by the Saxons only into seven kingdom and these are Anglia ,Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, Essex, Sussex and Kent. The Saxon Hengist settle down in Kent and this was the time when Christianity was first brought to England. It was St Augustine to spread Christianity to England from Rome and the then King Ćthelberht was impressed by this religion. So he too became an inspired Christian and also gave the man a land in Kent for building a church. He was a very powerful king during that time. Over time Northumbria became the supreme kingdom in Britain and Edwin became the first Christian king of Northern England. Viking Britain The Viking age started almost 1200 years back and they ruled Britain for 300 years. The Viking too came across the North Sea like the Saxons and they made the first attack in Dorset. This was the beginning and it continued for long. Iona, Scotland etc. were attacked one by one by the Vikings. The king of Northumbria was killed by the Viking in 867 AD and they captured York. Next in 869 AD, the king of Angles, Edmund was killed by the Viking. The murder was very pathetic. The Vikings beheaded the king and threw his head somewhere else to prevent the burial ritual. But the head was finally found and the full body was formed to bury the king in his royal residence. That place is now known as Bury St. Edmunds. Norman Britain - The middle age This is a long period in Britain that lasted for too long. This age started in 1066 AD with the invasion of king Harald Hardrada in England. He conquered at the battle of Fulford and their time started. But Harald Hardrada was first defeated and killed by Harold II. Next, Williams of Normandy landed in Pevensey which is at the East coast of England and he defeated and killed king Harold II. The Norman time started. He was crowned as the first Norman king of England, King William I. The Norman Britain started during 1066 and lasted till 1485. So, the time period is really huge and the Normans built castles, church etc. to bring a great change in Britain. Several kings were crowned during this middle age and they brought several changes to the country. Here is a list of the king who ruled England over time. King William I – crowned on 25th December, 1066 AD 1087 AD - King William II was crowned and during his time the Oxford University was founded. 1100 AD - Henry I was the next man to be crowned as king. Henry I expired on 1135 AD and his nephew Stephen was crowned as the next king. 1154 AD - Henry II was crowned and the work on Wells Cathedral started in his time. The population of London crossed around 30,000 then for the very first time. 1190 AD - Henry II died and his son Richard I join the third Crusade. But he died soon on 1199 and the Richard I’s brother John won the crusade. It was then on 1209, when the Cambridge University was established. The Civil was started at 1255 AD and Henry III was crowned as the king of England. Another Civil war started on 1321 AD and continued for a year. Edward III was then crowned as the king on 1327 and after few years the big war with France started. It lasted for a century (1337-1453). Soon on 1348 AD the Black Death started in England which took almost half of population. Gradually Edward IV and Edward V were selected as the next king and the last king of Norman Britain was Richard III who was defeated by Henry Tudor on 1485 AD at the battle of Bosworth. This was the end of Norman Britain and another age started. Tudor Britain The Tudor dynasty started after the defeat of Richard III by Henry VII at the battle of Bosworth on 1485 AD. The Tudor period started on 1485 AD and lasted till 1603 AD. The Tudor age ended soon as the granddaughter of king Henry VII died with no child and as a result the power was transformed to the hand of his cousins, the Scottish Stuarts. It was during the time when the involvement of British and India was first observed. The East India Company was formed on 1600 AD and the population became huge, more than 4 millions in Britain. Stuart Britain This is a remarkable time in Britain which witnessed several stuff for the very first time. The Stuart Britain falls under the time period 1603-1714 AD. It was then when Scotland and England united and became one country officially on 1703 AD, named as Great Britain. James VI of Scotland crowned James I of England to be the next king and three nations Ireland, England and England were united and they came under one Monarch. The war of England with Spain that was happening very intermittently for almost 20 years saw an end finally and the peace between England and Spain lasted for another 50 years. The union flag was announced as the National flag during Stuart time and also another interesting incident which this time witnessed is the execution of king. Yes, during 1649, Charles II was executed at the London Hall and no Monarch was actually in existence. England became republic for long 11 years from 1649-1660 AD. Tea arrived England during that time. The monarch was restored finally on 1660 AD by the king Charles II. Great fire of London that is known to destroy almost two third of the city took place in 1666 AD that continued for almost 3 days from 2-5 September. Georgian Britain George Britain age lasted from 1714-1834 AD. During 1714 AD, the George of Hanover Germany succeeded over Queen Anne to the Throne which saw the starting of Georgian Britain age. Sir Robert Walpole was selected as the first Prime Minister and he ruled the nation for 21 years from 721-1742 AD. This age saw the initiation of factory age with the British establishing the first cotton mill. The first cast iron bridge of world was built in England during this George age and the industrial revolution was started. The first census took place in around 1800 AD and the population reached to over 8 million for the first time. Also, many other stuff were established one by one such as the steam locomotive passenger service opened for the first time in the world between Darlington and Stockton and also the Metropolitan police force was set up by Robert Peel on 1829 AD. Georgian did other good things as well among which the restriction of slavery in British Empire and the time limitation of work for the women, children was noticeable. Also, it was mandatory for the children to receive education of up to 13 ages. Victoria Britain William IV was the last king of Georgian Britain and after that the Victoria Britain age started. It includes the time frame 1837-1901 AD. So, the Victoria age lasted for more than 60 years. Victoria became the queen at the age of 18 when her uncle William IV expired. Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert. Queen Victoria brought several changes to Britain and the population of Britain at this time reached about 40 million. She abolished the slavery ritual completely. Britain saw many more improvements in the Victoria age which includes introduction of Income Tax, the first post box, opening of the first public flushing toilets, introduction of voting by secret ballot, opening of Albert Hall, the first public electric lighting, first electric railway, invention of telephone by Alexander Bell, invention of Gramophone, free education, several vaccination for the poor etc. During 1901 AD, Queen Victoria died at the age of 81 and it was the end of Victoria age. Edward VII, eldest son of Victoria was the next successor and it was the starting of modern Britain. Modern Britain 20th century Britain in 20th century witnessed many improvements gradually and the population too started rising over time. Several useful law, rights and act were invented and executed for the well being of citizens which include National insurance Act, Old age pension, opening of first Olympic game etc. During 1912, Titanic sank which caused loss of more than 1500 lives. Also, another terrible disease Spanish flu was there which claimed more than 200,000 lives only in Britain and it took more than 50 million lives all over the world. The first world started in 1914 and lasted for 4 years. The war took place when Britain declares war against Germany due to the invasion of Belgium. The first film with dialogue was introduced on 1928. Women got right for voting while they were also allowed in the Oxford University and they got the opportunity to join in all kind of work as well. Eventually the Second World War started in 1939 and lasted till 1945. Over time the National Health Service was introduced, the first ITV broadcast took place while homosexuality was legalized. The 20th century is still going on and Britain is witnessing many more developments almost every day. Today Great Britain has reached a place where everything depends on machine which has reduced the human effort greatly.

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