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tiistai 3. tammikuuta 2017

United Kingdom, Cool Facts #160

<= 159. Ireland                                                                                                                   161. USA => 

1. Four Kingdoms of Great Britain

Great Britain comprises countries that were previously part of four different kingdoms, the kingdoms of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. Northern Ireland and Ireland were separated in 1922. Here's a timeline of the history of how Great Britain was formed.

Wales becomes part of Kingdom of England 1535-1542
1535-1542 Wales became a full and equal part of the Kingdom of England after the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Before the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 Wales had been already conquered by Edward I of England between 1277 and 1283 before they were effectively incorporated into the Kingdom of England.

Kingdoms of Scotland and England form Great Britain 1707
In 1707 Scotland entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England forming the new Kingdom of Great Britain.

Kingdom of Ireland forms a union with Great Britain 1801
In 1801 Ireland entered into political union with the Kingdom of Great Britain forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Northern Ireland and Ireland become separated 1922
In 1922 Northern Ireland remained part of Great Britain as Ireland became independent as the Irish Free State that year.

Flag of Great Britain 
The flag of Great Britain is a combination of the crosses of the patron saints of England, Scotland and Ireland.

2. Periods in English history 

Roman Britain c. 43-410

Province of Britannia within the Roman Empire
Anglo-Saxon c. 500-1066
Early medieval England existing from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman conquest. It consisted various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until King Athelstan united them in 927 as the Kingdom of England. Between 1016-1035 it became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England, Denmark and Norway.

Map of England in 878

Norman 1066-1154
William the Conqueror ended the Viking rule in Great Britain in 1066 and started the Norman rule.

Locations of some of the events of the Norman conquest in 1066

Plantagenet 1154-1485

Great Britain in 1370

Tudor 1485-1603
 - Elizabethan 1558-1603

The 5 Tudor rulers between 1485-1603

Stuart 1603-1714
 - Jacobean 1603-1625
 - Carolean 1625-1649
 - Interregnum 1649-1660
 - Restoration of monarchy 1660-1688

Stuart rulers of Great Britain

Georgian 1714-1830
 - regency 1811-1837

The era with kings of House of Hanover, a German royal house, which provided monarchs of Great Britain and Ireland between 1714 until 1901 when Queen Victoria died.

Victorian 1837-1901

Queen Victoria

Edwardian 1901-1914

King Edward VII

First World War 1914-1918

British Empire in 1914

Interwar Britain 1918-1939

British Empire in 1921

Second World War 1939-1945

British forces during the Namsos Campaign

Post-war Britain 1945-

Queen Elizabeth, ruler of Great Britain since 1953

3. Constitutional monarchy

Civil Wars
Between 1642 and 1651 there were three civil wars fought in Great Britain. The wars were fought between the Parliamentarians and Royalists supporting the king.

Maps of territory held by Royalists and Parliamentarians

Abolition of monarchy
In 1649 King Charles I was executed and Oliver Cromwell replaced the monarchy by establishing the republican Commonwealth.

Oliver Cromwell
Restoration of monarchy
In 1660 Oliver Cromwell died and monarchy was restored as Charles II, the son of the executed King Charles, was restored to the thrones of the three realms.

Constitutional monarchy 
England became a constitutional monarchy in 1688 after the Declaration of Rights, which was made after the Glorious Revolution where King James II of England was overthrown. The English parliament substituted the king with Mary II of England and his dutch husband Wilhelm of Orange. Wilhelm used the name William III when he became the king and his wife Mary II of England was actually the daughter of the overthrown King James II of England. The two jointly ruled England with the parliament. This was a turning point in British history, starting the age of constitutionalism.

Mary II and William III

4. Pax Britannica

The period of relative peace in Europe between 1815-1914. In Latin Pax Britannica means "British Peace".

The beginning of Pax Britannica 
After victorious Napoleonic Wars against France, Great Britain became the global hegemonic power in 1815 until the First World War. Great Britain had almost none serious international rivals, except Russia in central Asia.

Major wars during Pax Britannica

1839-1842 First Opium WarGreat Britain against Qing Dynasty China
1853-1856 Crimean War: Great Britain and France defeated Russia protecting the Ottoman Empire
1856-1860 Second Opium War: Great Britain and France against Qing dynasty China
1859 Second Italian War of Independence: Second French Kingdom and the Kingdom of Sicily against the Austrian Empire
1866 Austro-Prussian War: Austria-led German Confederation states against Prussia-led German Confederation states
1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War: Second French Kingdom against the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia

Technology helping Great Britain 
The industrial revolution had started in Great Britain in the late 1700s accelerating the speed of new technology emerging and economic growth. The steamship and the telegraph inventions that helped Great Britain to control and defend its empire. In 1902 the British Empire was linked together by a network of telegraph cables, which was called the All Red Line.

Victorian Era 1837-1901
Queen Victoria reigned the British Empire for the majority of time of the Pax Britannica. During her reign Great Britain was the world's richest and most powerful state. Queen Victoria is one of the most famous British rulers in history.

Great Britain did a lot of things that benefitted also other countries all over the world. The Royal Navy suppressed piracy and blocked slave trade. USA and Great Britain had outlawed Atlantic slave trade in 1807 and later in 1833 slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire.

End of Pax Britannica
There were many things that started the decline of British supremacy. Here's a list of causes:

- Breakdown of the continental order, which had been established by the Congress of Vienna
- Emergence of new powerful states like Italy and Germany
- The industrialization of Germany, Japan and USA

British Empire in 1886

5. British territories

Great Britain has still 14 territories that were part of the British Empire that haven't chosen independence or have voted to remain British territories. Most of the territories that are inhabited are autonomous, with the UK retaining responsibility for defense and foreign relations.

British Overseas Territories (BOT)
  1. Akrotiri and Dhekelia 
  2. Anguilla 
  3. Bermuda
  4. British Antarctic Territory
  5. British Indian Ocean Territory
  6. British Virgin Islands 
  7. Cayman Islands 
  8. Falkland Islands
  9. Gibraltar
  10. Montserrat
  11. Pitcairn Islands 
  12. Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha 
  13. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 
  14. Turks and Caicos Islands 

British Overseas Territory map (2012)


2000BC Stonehenge was built
500BC The Celtic tribes arrived from Central Europe
55BC The Celts were driven to the north and to Ireland after the Romans with Julius Caesar started conquering Britain
120 Hadrianus built a wall to defend from the Scottish tribes, thus Ireland and Scotland remained outside of Roman power
400s Germanic tribes started arriving to Great Britain after the fall of the Roman Empire
500s Christianity was adopted
700-800s Vikings from Denmark and Norway made trips to the British islands
827 King Egbert of Wessex unified the Anglo-Saxon small kingdoms under his power and Kenneth MacAlpine unified Scotland
1066 Battle of Hastings, William, the Duke of Normandy conquered England from Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England 
1337-1453 The Hundred Years' War was waged between the rulers of the Kingdom of England and the rulers of the Kingdom of France 
1453 The Hundred Years' War ended, England lost all of its areas in the mainland Europe
1534 Henry VIII started the English reformation separating the Church of England from papal authority and appointed himself the head of the Church of England
1600 British East India Company was founded
1603 James VI, King of Scots inherited the crowns of England and Ireland as the Tudor rule ended after the death of Elizabeth I
1642-1646 First English civil war
1648-1649 Second English civil war
1649 King Charles I was executed and Oliver Cromwell replaced the monarchy by the establishment of the republican Commonwealth
1649-1651 Third English civil war
1660 Cromwell died and monarchy was restored as Charles II became the king
1688 Glorious Revolution, King James II of England was overthrown and the Dutch Wilhelm III of Orange became the king as William III of England 
1688 After the Declaration of Rights England became a constitutional monarchy
1688-1746 Jacobite Uprisings sought to remove the Protestant House of Hanover from the British throne and to restore the Catholic House of Stuart
1700s Great Britain was involved in the Atlantic slave trade by transporting an estimated 2 million slaves from Africa to West Indies
1707 The united Kingdom of Great Britain came into being after the parliaments of England and Scotland ratified the 1706 Treaty of Union 
1775-1783 American Revolutionary War between Great Britain and its thirteen North American colonies
1783 Great Britain recognized the independence of USA
1801 Ireland became part of Great Britain 
1807 Great Britain banned slave trade
1815-1914 Pax Britannica, a relatively peaceful time in Europe and the world during which the British Empire adopted the role of global policeman
1833 Great Britain banned slavery 
1837-1901 During Queen Victoria's reign Great Britain became the world's most influential state
1914-1918 Great Britain fought victoriously with France, Russia, USA and other allies against Germany and its allies in the First World War
1922 Northern Ireland remained part of Great Britain but present-day Ireland became independent with Dominion status as the Irish Free State
1939 Great Britain entered World War II by declaring war on Germany after the nazis had invaded Poland and Czechoslovakia
1947 India and Pakistan became independent
1949 Great Britain was one of the founding members of Nato
1960 Great Britain was one of the 7 founding members of EFTA
1960s Almost all the rest of the British colonies became independent
1973 Great Britain joined EEC, the predecessor of EU 
1979 Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of Great Britain
1982 The British won the Falkland War against Argentina
1997 Scotland and Wales got their own parliaments
2014 In a referendum of Scottish independence 55% of voters rejected independence
2016 Great Britain voted to leave the European Union 

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