The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

20th century

Voting and Government

Great  Britain  is  a  monarchy,  but  the  Queen  of  Great  Britain  is  not  absolute,  but  constitutional.  Her  powers  are  limited  by  Parliament.  But  the  power  is  hereditary,  and  not  elective. The  Prime  Minister  is  usually  the  leader  of  the  party  that  has  a  majority  in  the  House  of  Commons.  All  the  affairs  of  the  state  […]

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00 Early period

The Earliest Men»

PRIMITIVE  SOCIETY  ON  THE  TERRITORY  OF  THE BRITISH  ISLES At  the  dawn  of  their  history  the  peoples  on  this  planet  lived  in  primitive  societies.  These  primitive  peoples,  wherever  they  lived,  began  their  long  path  of  progress  with  stone  tools,  but  they  did  not  reach  the  same  level  of  civilization  at  the  same  time  in  different  countries.


00 Roman Britain

Roman Britain in Roman Empire»

ROMAN BRITAIN In  the  1st  century  В.  C.  when  the  inhabitants  of  the  British  Isles  were  still  living  under  the  primitive  communal  system,  the  Roman  Empire  became  the  strongest  slave-owning  state  in  the Mediterranean. It  was  the  last  and  greatest  of  the  civilizations  of  the  ancient  world.  The  Romans  ruled  all  of  the  civilized  world  and  in  […]


09th century

Changes in the Administration»

By  the  beginning  of  the  9th  century  changes  had  come  about  in  Anglo-Saxon  society.  There  were  now  big  landed  estates  with  bond  peasants  working  on  them  for  the  owners.  With  the  development  of  feudal  relations  great  changes  were  taking  place  in  administration  too.  Rich  landowners  were  given  great  power  over  the  peasants.


11th century

New Attacks of the Danes»

At  the  end  of  the  10th  century  the  Danish  invasions  were  resumed.  The  Anglo-Saxon  kings  were  unable  to  organize  any  effective  resistance  and  they  tried  to  buy  off  the  Danes.  The  Anglo-Saxon  kings  gave  them  money  to  leave  them  in  peace.  The  result  was  that  they  came  again  in  greater  num­bers  the  following  year  to  […]


12th century

How the Norman Conquerors Lived in England»

The  new  masters  were  strangers  in  the  country.  They  had  different  manners,  customs  and  laws  from  those  of  the  conquered  people.  They  spoke  a  foreign  tongue  and  the  Anglo-Saxon  peasants  could  not  understand  their  speech.  The  conquerors  were  few  in  number  but  they  were  harsh  and  cruel  rulers.  They  punished  those  who  dared  to  disobey  […]


13th century

The Town Under a Medieval Lord»

PRIVILEGES  OF  THE  MEDIEVAL  TOWNS The  people  of  the  first  towns  were  not  free. All  the  land  in  feudal  England  was  divided  into  manors  and  the  lord  of  the  manor  governed  the  townspeople  who  lived  on  his  land  and  made  them  perform  feudal  services. Now  we  shall  read  about  the  privileges  the  medieval  towns  gained  […]


14th century

DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE IN ENGLAND IN THE 13th-14th CENTURIES»

In  the  13th-14th  centuries  the  inhabitants  of  the  bigger  towns  had  to  rely  more  and  more  on  the  neighbouring  country-side  for  their  foodstuffs  and  raw  materials  for  their  crafts. Trade  between  the  town  and  the  country-side  began  to  develop. Now  we  shall  learn  more  about: -  the  trade  connections  between  the  town  and  the  village; […]


16th century

ENGLAND UNDER HENRY THE EIGHTH»

King  Henry  the  Eighth  was  just  eighteen  years  of  age  when  he  came  to  the  throne.  People  said  he  was  a  handsome  boy,  but  in  later  life  he  did  not  seem  hand­some  at  all.  He  was  a  big,  burly,  noisy,  small-eyed,  large-faced,  double-chinned  fellow,  as  we  know  from  the  portraits  of  him,  painted  by  the  […]


17th century

ENGLAND UNDER JAMES THE FIRST»

Elizabeth’s  “cousin  of Scotland”  was  ugly,  awkward,  and  shuffling  both  in  mind  and  person.  His  figure  presented  a  most  ridiculous  appearance,  dressed  in  thick  padded  clothes,  as  a  safe­guard  against  being  stabbed  (of  which  he  lived  in  continual  fear),  of  a  grass-  green  colour  from  head  to  foot,  with  a  hunting-horn  dangling  at  his  side  instead  […]


18th century

London Corresponding Society (L. C. S.)»

In January 1792 the radical movement among the “low­er classes” produced its first organisation — the London Corresponding Society. Its main programme was manhood suffrage and equal representation, but in August a Public Address was issued which pointed out that an honest and genuinely representa­tive Parliament could remove the grievous oppressions of the common man: […]


19th century

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CHANGES IN ENGLAND IN THE 18TH AND 19TH CENTURIES»

One  of  the  most  significant  things  about  the  industrial  development  of  the  eighteenth  century  was  the  requirement  of  extensive  capital  to  carry  on  industrial  undertakings  on  the  larger  scale  which  now  became  the  rule.  It  is  obvious  that  a  factory  could  not  be  built  without  a  huge  amount  of  capital  for  the  building,  the  expensive  […]


Famous people

SHAKESPEARE, THE POPULAR PLAYWRIGHT»

A national poet must be known by the people of his na­tion. Shakespeare has now been allowed the last word in honours — his head on the same stamp as the queen’s. Only Dickens has peopled our imaginations with any­thing like so many types. Macbeth is part of our image of what guilt is, just […]