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British History

Part 2 After the


Late British History

After the Normans, British history can be
divided into Dynasties

Late Medieval

(1066 1215)
(1216 1347)
(1348 1484)
(1485 1602)
(1603 1713)
(1714 1836)
(1837 1900)

Who were the Normans?

The Normans were

originally Vikings
(North Men) from
They settled in a part
of France called
The Normans were
the last people to
successfully invade

The Norman Conquest (1066)

In 1066 the Anglo-Saxon King of England

died without an heir

Two people claimed the Kingdom:

1. Harold, The Earl of Wessex
2. William, The Duke of Normandy

Harold had himself crowned King but his

position was not secure.

By August 1066 William had assembled a

force of about 5,000 knights for invasion

William defeated Harold at the Battle of

Hastings (Oct 14 1066).

This resulted in profound political,

administrative, and social changes in the
British Isles.

William the Conqueror

William was crowned in

Westminster Abbey on
Christmas Day 1066.
However, native revolts
continued until 1071.
England was divided among
180 Norman tenants in chief
(basically Lords)
William brought about many
changes in British culture

Anglo-Normans (1066 1215)

Military conquest followed by settlement

and firm administration led to the
Normanisation of England, Wales and
lowland Scotland.

William's victory brought England into

closer contact with western Europe.
Cultural and economic links with France
and continental Europe were reestablished.

Stone castles became a common sight,

serving as administrative centres as well
as military and economic strongpoints.

What the Normans did

There were considerable changes

in the social structure of the
British kingdoms as a new
aristocracy was introduced

However, the Anglo-Saxon central

and local governments and
judicial system were retained

The English language

disappeared in official documents,
it was replaced by Latin, then by

Written English slowly reappeared

in the 13th century.

Knights & Feudalism

Feudalism originated in France, and was

brought to England by the Normans

The obligations and relations between

lord, vassal and fief form the basis of


Lords (Land owners),

Vassals (Knights)
Fiefs (Land).


In exchange for use of the fief, the vassal

would provide military service to the lord.

Knights were supported by peasants who

worked to produce food and ideologically
supported by the church.

The Domesday Book (1086)

The Domesday Book was the result of

a great survey by William I
He sent officials to 13,418 places to
find out who lived there and what they
The purpose of the survey was for tax
collection, or possibly as a way of
resolving disputed titles and lands.
Domesday was the most complete
record of any country at that time and
continued to be consulted on legal and
administrative matters into the Middle

The Middle Ages (1216-1347)

During the thirteenth century, England

and Scotland developed clearer selfidentities.

In England's case, this was as a result

of the loss of most of her continental
possessions which focused the
monarchy's attention closer to home.

There were large constitutional

changes and the period saw the
beginning of parliament to advise the

Wales was conquered by the military

campaigns of Edward I but his wars in
France, Scotland and Ireland were
less successful.

The Beginning of Parliament 1236 - 1307

The first reference to a 'parliament' was made in 1236

In 1254, the first meeting of a parliament took place

Representatives were two knights from each shire.

Parliament developed through the reign of Edward I to a role

beyond that of 'high court'.

Late Medieval (1348 1484)

This period was dominated by the long period

of conflict known as the Hundred Years' War

Profound social and economic changes were

brought about by the Black Death (bubonic

The popular and successful Edward III

reigned for fifty years, presiding over a mixed
period of success for England in France.

Parliament continued to develop and English

rather than French became the language of
daily use.

A new dynasty - the Stewarts - was

established Scotland. They would eventually
rule England

The Black Death (1348)

In 1348, the bubonic plague arrived in

Britain through the southern coast
Known as the Black Death, the disease
was spread by fleas living in the fur of
The plague reached London by
September 1348 and Scotland, Wales
and Ireland in the winter of 1349.
Between 10-30% of the population died
The plague returned periodically until
the seventeenth century. The first few
outbreaks severely reduced the fertility
and density of the population.
Labour became scarcer
Poorer land was simply abandoned,
and many villages were never reoccupied.

Tudors (1485 1602)

Known as the Early Modern period of British


The Tudors ruled in England and the Stuarts in

Scotland. In both realms, as the century
progressed, there were new ways of approaching
old problems.

Henry VIII of England and James IV of Scotland

were both cultured, educated Renaissance princes
with a love of learning and architectural splendour.

Henry broke away from the Catholic Church to

form the Church of England (of which he had
himself proclaimed Head).

The early modern period was an era where

women exercised more influence:
Catherine de Medici in France, Elizabeth and Mary
in England and Mary in Scotland ruled as their
male counterparts had done before them.

Circumnavigation of the globe 1578 - 1580

On 13 December 1577, Francis Drake,

on board his ship the Pelican, left
Plymouth on a voyage that would take
him round the world.
In August 1578, Drake passed through
the Magellan Strait (the south of South
America) and entered the Pacific
By June 1579, Drake had landed on
the coast of modern California (which
he claimed for England as 'New
On 26 September 1580, the navigator
returned to Plymouth in his ship,
renamed as the Golden Hind.
The following April, Drake was knighted
by Elizabeth I on board ship.

The Stuarts (1603 1713)

King Charles I was unable to work

with Parliament so he attempted to
rule without it.
This lead to a civil war, and the
execution of Charles I.

England became a republic (no Kings

or Queens) for a short time until the
restoration of the monarchy 1660.

Shortly afterwards, a devastating

plague swept through the country
followed by the Great Fire of London

Compromise between the crown and

Parliament finally achieved a
balanced government and the two
kingdoms of England and Scotland
were joined in the 1707 Act of Union.

The Gunpowder Plot (1605)

On 5 November 1605, a plot

was discovered to blow up
parliament with gunpowder
stored in the cellar.

Guy Fawkes was one of the

conspirators. He was captured
and executed.

King James I declared 5

November a day of national

Guy Fawkes Day is still

celebrated today

The Rise of the Industrial Revolution

From 1430, people in Europe discovered sea routes to Asia and

England made great gains from overseas trade.
England became wealthy and people invested in the making of
machines and setting up factories.
The large overseas market encouraged people to produce more
products quicker and of better quality, so they invested in the
production of machines in England.
A banking system developed - the banks lent money to
industrialists who used the money for industrial development,
which led to the Industrial Revolution.
The fast growth of science and technology since the 17th century
helped the rise of the Industrial Revolution. It led to population
growth, the basis for the invention of machines and the
Agricultural Revolution.

Why the Industrial Revolution started

in Britain

Britain was able to succeed in the Industrial Revolution

because of its plentiful resources.
Britain had a dense population for its small geographical size.
The agricultural revolution made a supply of labour readily
available (urbanisation).

Local supplies of coal, iron, lead,

copper, tin, limestone and water power,
resulted in excellent conditions for the
development and expansion of industry.

The stable political situation in Great

Britain from around 1688

The First Steam Engine (1712)

One the most significant

inventions of the Industrial
Revolution was the steam
This was originally invented for
draining mines, but was rapidly
put to use in factories and later
on the railways.
The first successful engine was
built in 1712 by Thomas
Newcomen and developed over
the next ninety years by James
Watt and Richard Trevithick

The Georgians (1714 1836)

The Georgian period was one of change.

There was a new dynasty and the infrastructure of Britain was changing.
Agricultural developments were followed by industrial innovation.
This, in turn, led to urbanisation and the need for better communications.
Britain became the world's first modern society.
With these changes came
increased population and
increased wealth (for some).
Politically, the Georgian period
was a period of confrontation.
Britain became involved in
conflicts with India, her American
colonies and continental Europe.
Because of its financial, naval and
military strength, the British
government tended to prevail.

The Napoleonic wars 1803 - 1815

After the French Revolution, Napoleon I of France began a series

of European wars. He wanted to rule all of Europe.
In 1805, Napoleon's planned invasion of Britain from France failed
at Trafalgar.
Napoleon then decided to invade Russia but was defeated by the
Russian resistance, losing some 380,000 men.
Britain, Prussia, Russia,
Austria and Sweden
formed a new coalition,
which defeated Napoleon.
He returned to Paris in
1815, but was finally
defeated at Waterloo by
Wellington and his
Prussian allies, on 18

Colonisation of the Antipodes - penal

colonies 1788

The colonisation of Australia and New Zealand began with the

desire to find a place to put prisoners after the original American
colonies were lost.
The first shipload of British convicts landed in Australia in 1788, on
the site of the future city of Sydney.
The majority of these convicts
were young men, many of
whom had committed only petty
New South Wales opened to
free settlers in 1819. By 1858,
transportation of convicts was

The union with Ireland and adoption

of the Union Flag 1801

Because of fighting between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland,

the Prime Minister, William Pitt, concluded that direct rule from
London was the only solution.

After bribery of the Commons

and gentry, Britain and Ireland
were formally united, with
seats for 132 Irish members in
The red cross of St Patrick
was incorporated in the Union
flag to give the present flag of
the United Kingdom

The Victorians (1837 1900)

During Queen Victoria's reign, the

revolution in industrial practices
continued to change British life.
With it came increased urbanisation
and a burgeoning communications
network (Railways, canals, telegraph).
The industrial expansion also brought
wealth and, in the nineteenth century,
Britain became a champion of Free
Trade across her massive Empire.
Both industrialisation and trade were
glorified in the Great Exhibitions,
However by 1900, Britain's industrial
advantage was being challenged
successfully by other nations such as
the USA and Germany.
The Empire witnessed renewed
conflict, although Victoria' reign can be
seen as the imperial Golden Age

Irish famine 1845 - 1850

When the potato crop failed (a staple of the Irish diet),

over 1,000,000 Irish citizens died.
A further 1-2,000,000 emigrated (mainly to Britain and
the United States).
The Irish rural economy
had come to rely on the
potato too much as a
cheap and available
source of food.
The crisis was not
helped by poor weather,
epidemic disease and a
slow response from the
British government.

Education Act 1870

This act provided mass

education on a scale not
seen before.
The State became more
involved in the running of
Elected school boards were
given powers to enforce
attendance of most children
below the age of thirteen
By 1874, over 5,000 new
schools had been founded.

The British Empire


British Empire was the world's first global

It was a product of the European Age of
Exploration following the discovery of the
Americas in the 15th century.
By 1921, the British Empire governed a
population of about 470570 million people
(1/4 of the world's population)
It covered about 37 million square kilometers,
almost a third of the world's total land area.