History of Great Britain – maturitná téma


 Téma: History of Great Britain

 Predmet: Angličtina

 Zaslal(a): Honza M.


Early historyFirst settlers – the first people to inhabit the British Isles arrived about 3.000 BC. They lived in the south of England. They built Stonehenge. It is a huge circle of standing stones.


The Celts – invaded Britain from the 10th century BC


The Romans – occupied the country from 55BC to 5th AD. Britain got its name – Britannia. They were trained soldiers. They organized Britain as a province. They brought civilization. They built roads, camps. The Latin word for a camp is CASTRA.  Nowadays it is the root of many English city names – Chester – Winchester, Manchester.  The country prospered. They built the Hadrian’s Wall to protect Britain from people from the north. They never conquered Scotland.


The Angles and Saxons from Germany, Denmark, Netherlands –  the 5th century. England got its name – Anglo-land. The legend of king Arthur – strong king. A long poem – Beowulf. Christianity was brought- The first Archbishop of Canterbury.


ScandinaviaThe Vikings arrived from S- the 9th century. Brought some vocabulary – egg, sister, steak, knife, husband.


The  House of Normandy (1066-1154) – from France – invaded the country from1066, The Battle of Hastings – 1066.The English (king  Harold) were defeated by a French army ( William, Duke of Normandy). He became King William I of  England  – William the Conqueror. They divided the land among French noblemen (Norman Knights). They brought Feudalism – every man had a lord, every lord had a land. They brought the language. English is rich in vocabulary – There are usually 2 words or expressions while other languages mostly 1 word. Normans expressions more polite ( chair, stomach, arrive) Anglo-Saxons expressions easier ( stool, belly, get to)


These invasions pushed the Celts into Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The English are the descendants of all the invaders- but mostly of the Anglo-Saxons.


The House Plantagenet (1154-1399) – Richard the Lion-hearted, John, Robin Hood, Magna Carta. Richard I – most time fighting abroad, heavy taxes on the country, was killed in a battle, his brother John became the king. His name was – John the Lackland. He was cruel and coward. Barons were  dissatisfied with him. He lost land across the channel. He quarreled with the Church.  People hated him. Robin Hood( outlaw) fought against him. 1215 – he was forced to sign a document called MAGNA CARTA. The document limited the power of the king. It gave more rights to barons. Because of his bad reputation, no later an English king was named JOHN.


The Hundred Years War – (1337-1453) – Wars between England and France- the reasons were wealthmoney, to enlarge the land, growing trade,  new trade roads. The beginningEnglish king Edward III claimed the throne of France. He landed in (invaded ) Normandy. Events – Joan of Arc. She led the French. She was captured by the French and sold to the English. She was burnt at the stake as a witch (life is not fair, is it). The end – the French defeated the English. The English lost everything on the continent except for Calais.


The Black Death ( about 1349) – sort of plague struck England population was reduced by half. Feudalism declined–  lots of land but only few workers. They demanded money! The beginning of the end of feudalism.


War of Roses ( symbols of the fighting families were roses)– A struggle for the throne. Two English families – The Houses were fighting for the English throne. The House of York (white rose)  against The House of Lancaster (red rose).


The end – Elizabeth of Y + Married + Henry of L. Later on, from other relations – Richard III  (1483-1485) – also a famous tragedy by Shakespeare.


1485 – The Battle of Bosworth Field- Richard III against  Henry Tudor. Richard was defeated. The period of The House of Tudor began.


The Tudor Period  – The House of Tudors ( 1485- 1603) – Decline of feudalism, trade grew, merchant class, period of great voyages and discovery, Henry VIII.


Henry VIII – inherited great wealth, was vain, keen on sports, pleasure. He had 6 wives – divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. His first wife – Catherine of Aragon – She changed the history! She did not give him a son. Henry wanted to divorce her. He needed the Pope permition. He asked the Pope. The Pope refused!!! The central power of the Church was in Rome – at the Popes hands. The Pope was the head of the Catholic Church – all over the world.  Because of that  – Henry VIII  established new Church – The Church of England ( anglikánská církev). It was independent from Rome. He proclaimed himself the Head of the Church. The Pope got really angry. The property of meny monastics were confiscated, the symbols of the Catholic Church heavily destroyed! Burnt! Those who doubted about the new Church were beheaded – for example – Sir Thomas More.


Elizabeth I (1558-1603) –  it was called the Golden Age of English history. Her reign was called Elizabethan age. Queen  Elizabeth was called the virgin queen because she never got married. In this way she managed to keep peace. She ruled by female diplomacy. Many European kings wanted to control England. However, she remained unmarried. Spanish Armada – Spanish huge fleet – wanted to conquer England. Due to a storm, Armada was defeated – Great Victory!


Great voyages, discovery, Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh. He explored the coast of North America and founded  first English there. The colony was called – VIRGINIA – in honour of Elizabeth I. There were lots of conquests during her reign.


The House of Stuart (1603-1714) – James I, Guy Fawkes, Pilgrim Fathers, Oliver Cromwell, England-Republic. James I – (1603-1625) – wanted to rule without parliament, wanted all rights for the king. DIVINE RIGHT – The king was chosen by a god so only the God can judge him. James I was a despotic ruler. It resulted in – Guy Fawkes Night – He wanted to blow up the king and the Parliament. 1620 –  Pilgrim Fathers, Mayflower, a colony in Plymouth, Thanksgiving Day. A group of English people escaped from James I. They left for the New World (America). They wanted to purify The Church of England from vanity. They looked for religious freedom. They were called separatists or puritans.


1628 – There was a struggle between the King and the Parliament. Too much power for the king, parliament wanted more power! No taxes without Parliamentary agreement, no imprisonment without a trial.


1642 – CIVIL WAR – The king supported by Royalists against Parliament supported by puritans- roundheads– cut their hair short, strict beliefs, closed theatres. Oliver Cromwell – parliamentary leader – in fact more despotic than the king. He got the king beheaded, he established republic, he dismissed the Parliament, He ruled by a committee of parliament, He called himself – The Lord Protector. He was in fact a dictator. He ordered massacres in Ireland and Scotland.


1775-83 – The loss of America – colonists refused to pay such heavy taxes- no taxation without representation, Boston Tea Party, War of Independence – Declaration of Independence established The USA  on July 4, 1776. It was adopted by 13 original colonies. Britain recognized  the independence of the USA in 1783. American constitution was adopted in 1788 (76, 83, 88).


1789 – Revolution in France, 1793 – wars between GB and F, France wanted to conquer some area.  Napoleon against Admiral Nelson – Nelson won at the battle of Trafalgar 1805 at  the cape of Trafalgar near Spanish coast. It was a NAVY Battle – fleets, Spain+France against Britain. Trafalgar Square in London commemorates the battle.


The House of Hanover – Victoria (1837-1901) –  The Victorian  Age. She was the symbol of stability. The British Empire grew. She greatly enlarged British wealth. The British were becoming urban people. More schools were built, more members of a new middle class. However, Britain at that time is also known for its slums and Victorian morality –  writer – Charles Dickens The first monarch to live in Buckingham Palace. She reigned for 64 years. The British Empire reached its greatest power. Britain controlled the key points, such as – Gibraltar, The Cape of Good Hope,. British colonies (belonged to Britain) – Australia, New Zealand, India, Egypt, Hong Kong, Singapore……On the other hand – Great Famine in Ireland. During her reign, there were lots of advances – postage stamps, underground railway, The Great exhibition – showed new age of industry and science, more roads were built, canals cut. After she died, British Empire was coming to its end.


1926 – The British Commonwealth of Nations was declared. It is a free association of equal states under one sovereign.


The House of Windsor – Elizabeth II (1952-…….). The Current  British Royal family, Queen Elizabeth II, her husband – Duke of Edinburgh, Philip, their son – Prince Charles, his ex-wife,  Lady Diana. She died in a car crash in Paris while being chased by paparazzi. His current wife – Camilla Parker Bowles. Children of Charles and Diana – William and Henry. William got married to Kate. They have got a son – George.


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