The History of England

from Celts through 20th century


Here you can find answers for the following questions:

18th Century Britain

The New Regime

  1. Why did William III have to do much to secure his hold?
  2. What event has been celebrated in Northern Ire­land since 1690?
  3. What followed the new conquest of Ireland?
  4. Was there much opposition to the new regime in Scotland?
  5. What was added to the constitution after William III and Mary II had been declared King and Queen?
  6. What Acts were passed by Parliament?

The Great Wars of the Early 18th Century

  1. What brought England into wars with France?
  2. The political situation in the late 17th cen­tury Europe.
  3. What created a kind of vacuum in Europe?
  4. What great wars were fought in the late 17th — early 18th century? Why did they break out?
  5. The changes that took place in the technical character of war in the late 17th — early 18th century.
  6. Were there any military advantages that England possessed?
  7. Was the War of the League of Augsburg a decisive one in settling the European political disputes?
  8. What happened after the death of the King of Spain?
  9. What is the 1st Duke of Marlborough famous for?
  10. What happened in 1712?
  11. What were the results of the War of the Spanish Succession?
  12. The Treaty of Utrecht stands at the beginning of a long period of peace. How long was that period and what was characteristic of it?

The Union between England and Scotland

  1. Who succeeded William III?
  2. When was the Kingdom of Great Britain formed?
  3. In what way did the Union strengthen the coun­try?
  4. What did the Scots part with?
  5. What did the Scots gain?
  6. Why did the elector of Hanover succeed Queen Anne?

Political Parties

  1. How many political parties were there in England during the English Civil Wars of the 17th century?
  2. What parties had formed by the late 17th century?
  3. What is the origin of the term “the Whigs”?
  4. What can you say about the origin of the term “the Tories”?
  5. What did the Whigs boast of?
  6. The early days of the Whig Party.
  7. Had the Whigs any political allies?
  8. Who did the Whig Party support?
  9. What did the Tory Party abandon in the course of William Ill’s reign?

From Limited Monarchy to Parliamentary Government

  1. What can you tell about the events of 1715?
  2. What made James Edward try his chance in 1715?
  3. What did the failure of the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 mean?
  4. A few words about Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke.
  5. What opportunity did the Tories loose when Queen Anne died?
  6. What system of government emerged in the early 18th century Britain?
  7. The historical role of King William III.
  8. Why did it become clear that the Crown must fall into dependence on Parliament?
  9. How many members were there in the House of Commons in 1707?
  10. Were the parts of the country equally represented in Parliament?
  11. Why is it possible to maintain that there was no universal right to vote in the country?
  12. What did the Commons acquire by the 18th centu­ry?
  13. The membership of the Commons was varied.

The Privy Council and the Cabinet

  1. Who did the House of Commons represent?
  2. Why was the monarchy limited?
  3. What were the functions of the Privy Council in William III’s time?
  4. How big was the Privy Council?
  5. Why did the Cabinet emerge?
  6. How often did the Cabinet meet?
  7. Were these meetings formal or informal?
  8. Who did the Cabinet consist of?

Robert Walpole, the First Prime Minister

  1. How did Robert Walpole become George I’s chief minister?
  2. Why was Walpole able to build up and dominate a government machine?
  3. In what way did Walpole prepare the meetings of the efficient Cabinet?
  4. When did Britain lose her advantages of being an island?
  5. Was King George I a gifted politician?
  6. Did King George II influence British policy?
  7. Why has Walpole been regarded as Britain’s first Prime Minister?
  8. Did everybody support Walpole in the House of Commons?
  9. Was the parliamentary opposition united?
  10. What political system was Walpole fostering?

The Decades of Conflict

  1. Why was Walpole accused of pro-French foreign policy?
  2. What party emerged in Parliament in the late 1730′s?
  3. Why did Britain declare war on Spain?
  4. What wars broke out in the middle of the 18th century?
  5. When did the Jacobites make their last major at­tempt to recover the British throne for the Stuart dynasty?
  6. Who was called the Young Pretender?
  7. What battle was the last one to be fought on the British soil?

Rivalry with France in India

  1. Why did Britain concentrate on a war upon the French colonial possessions?
  2. Who was the first to arrive in India, the French or the British?
  3. What company was established in England to take profit from India?
  4. Why did the Directors of the East India Company complain of their servants?
  5. How were the private armies of the English and French created in India?
  6. What did the creation of these armies result in?
  7. When did the British become the virtual rulers of a great part of India?
  8. When were the French confined to a few trading stations in India?
  9. In what way did the British make profit from In­dia?
  10. What Act systematized the exploitation of India?

The Conquest of Canada

  1. Where were the main French settlements in Ame­rica situated?
  2. Why did the fighting between the French and the British begin in America?
  3. What were the advantages of the French?
  4. Who overran Canada in 1758-1760?
  5. What did the British conquest of Canada also in­volve?
  6. Why did Britain prefer Canada to Guadeloupe?
  7. When did the British Empire attain her greatest dimensions?

Population in the 18th century

  1. When was the first accurate estimation of the popu­lation of England and Wales made?
  2. How many people lived in England, Wales, Scot­land and Ireland in the late 17th century?
  3. Where was the greatest concentration of popula­tion?
  4. How big was the population of London then?
  5. How many people in England and Wales lived in the country?
  6. Where did the majority of workers live?
  7. What were the main occupations of the popula­tion?
  8. Who formed the backbone of the country?
  9. Why did the landlords spend a great deal of time improving their estates?
  10. What city was the cultural centre of the country?
  11. What other city’s culture was comparable to that of London?
  12. Had Glasgow a European outlook in 1700?
  13. What population was Dublin reputed to have in 1700?
  14. What were most Englishmen?
  15. What crops were raised in England?

Towards the Industrial Revolution

  1. What were the wars of the 18th century followed by?
  2. What did the continuous increase of colonial wealth and trade provide?
  3. What stimulated the development of industry?
  4. Why did the wars give golden opportunities to those who had the capital or the credit to take up army contracts?
  5. What great changes happened in the British social structure?

Industrial  Revolution

  1. Were there many industries in 1700?
  2. The main areas of cloth production in Britain.
  3. What clothes were made in England?
  4. What great inventions stimulated the development of industry?
  5. Could machinery transform the world without a new source of power?
  6. What remained the principal sources of power in the early 18th century?
  7. When was the first steam engine built?
  8. What was the principal difference between Save-ry’s and Newcomen’s steam engines?
  9. Who made the vital advance in the construction of steam engines?
  10. Where were Watt’s steam engines used?
  11. What provinces was the 18th century England di­vided into?
  12. Some of the industrial provinces. What did they specialize in?

Improvements in Agriculture

  1. What invention was one of the first steps in ma­king agriculture more productive?
  2. What did Jethro Tull invent?
  3. What crop management techniques were introduced in the early 1700′s?
  4. Point out some factors that benefited the livestock raising.
  5. What did improvements in agriculture lead to?

Enclosures of the 18th Century

  1. What was the difference between the enclosures of the 18th century and the earlier ones?
  2. Who was forced to sell out?
  3. What led to general consolidation of holdings?
  4. How many acres were enclosed in the 18th centu­ry?
  5. When did the enclosures reach their height?
  6. What attracted capitalists to invest in landed pro­perty?

Population Growth

  1. When did the first official census take place in Bri­tain?
  2. How big was the population of Britain by the end of the 18th century?
  3. Why were the following decades marked with the rapid growth of population?
  4. What became the Britain’s leading export?
  5. When did Britain become the “workshop of the world”?
  6. How big was the population of London in 1801?
  7. What had made London the largest city in the world by 1851?

The Rise of the Middle Class

  1. What made the British middle class larger and more influential?
  2. What did the landed aristocracy firmly resist?
  3. What brought political influence to the middle class?
  4. What lifestyle had the middle class at the time of the Industrial Revolution?
  5. Did this lifestyle change later?
  6. Why did people in the middle class criticize the poor?

The State of the Poor

  1. What was Britain to do in order to keep production costs low?
  2. Why was a detailed study of the labouring classes needed?
  3. What vices of the poor were criticized by respect­able Englishmen?
  4. What ways of reformation were considered?
  5. What was F. M. Eden’s work about?
  6. What did Th. Malthus publish in 1798?
  7. Was Malthus a philanthropist?
  8. What morality did he preach?
  9. What did social reformers want to change?
  10. What was Jeremy Bentham particularly interested in?
  11. Where could Bentham’s ideas be applied?

Child Labour

  1. What were the living conditions of the town workers?
  2. Why did children have to work?
  3. Were there any trades in which young children could make themselves useful?
  4. Why were sweeping boys kept half-starved?
  5. Where did sweepers usually get their boys?
  6. How many hours a day did children work?

The Early Years of King George III’s Reign

  1. In what quality did George III try to enter politics?
  2. By what means did he try to play a direct role in governing his country?
  3. What was the new king criticized for?

Consequences of the American Revolution

  1. What attempts did American colonists resent?
  2. When was the First Continental Congress called?
  3. Why was the First Continental Congress called?
  4. What countries were brought into the war on the American side?
  5. When did Britain recognize American independence?
  6. Why did King George HI grow very unpopular?
  7. What industry was severely hit by the disruption of overseas markets during the American Revolu­tion?
  8. Economic changes that took place in the last decades of the 18th century.

Reforms and Reformers

  1. What reforms were introduced in the wake of the American War?
  2. Who became Prime Minister in 1783?
  3. How long did William Pitt the Younger remain in office?
  4. Did the French Revolution inspire any of the Bri­tish reformers?

19th Century Britain

The Union with Ireland

  1. Which country was more affected by the French Revolution, England or Ireland?
  2. What did the United Irishmen demand?
  3. Who did Wolfe Tone combine against England?
  4. Did Tone persuade the French Directory to help the Irish in their struggle?
  5. The reasons that made Tone seek help in France.
  6. When was a state of insurrection declared in Ire­land?
  7. What measures were taken to make the rising in Ireland ineffective?
  8. Why was the rebellion hopeless?
  9. What led to the Act of Union with Ireland?
  10. Why did this document cause indignation in Ire­land?

The Napoleonic Wars Begin

  1. Did Britain always do well in the wars with the Napoleonic France?
  2. What battle was one of the hours of the British Navy brightest glory?
  3. What military successes had Napoleon achieved before he set sail from Tulon?
  4. Where did he sail for in the end of June 1798?
  5. Why was the English Mediterranean fleet watch­ing the course of Napoleon’s great armament?
  6. How strong was the French fleet?
  7. The British and French fleets that fought in the battle of the Nile.
  8. Why did the French have to remain at anchor out­side the harbour of Alexandria?
  9. Did the French expect the British attack?
  10. How did Nelson describe the battle of the Nile?
  11. What did the destruction of Napoleon’s fleet mean?

The Napoleonic Wars Go On

  1. When did the war with revolutionary France enter its second phase?
  2. How were the French armies welcomed in foreign countries?
  3. Why did the people of the conquered countries change their attitude to the French?
  4. What happened in 1802?
  5. When did war break out again?
  6. What victory saved Britain from invasion?
  7. What have you learned about the battle of Trafalgar?
  8. What countries was Napoleon finally broken upon?
  9. Why did that happen?
  10. In what way did Napoleon try to strike at Britain?
  11. Arthur Wellesley’s activity in the Pen­insula.
  12. How did the French find themselves opposed to nations in arms?
  13. When did the allies enter Paris?
  14. What happened after Napoleon had been dethroned?
  15. What problems were discussed at the Congress of Vienna?

Britain after Waterloo

  1. Did the ending of the war open a vast market for British goods?
  2. Why did exports and imports fall in 1815?
  3. What causes intensified the post-war crisis?
  4. What prevented the rapid recovery of industry?
  5. Why did machine wrecking become widespread?
  6. Where did the Luddite riots centre?
  7. What meetings were held in 1819?
  8. Which of the meetings resulted in the “Peterloo Massacre”?
  9. What Acts were passed in 1819?
  10. Why did Radical agitation diminish?

The Reform Bill

  1. What led to a demand for Parliamentary Reform?
  2. Why was the Reform necessary?
  3. What did the Reform Bill regularize?
  4. Which part of the Bill was the most popular?
  5. When did the Bill pass into law?
  6. What consequences had the Reform Act?

The Poor Law of 1834

  1. Why was it necessary to amend the Poor Law?
  2. When was the Poor Law Amendment Act passed?
  3. What did the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 , state?
  4. What was the principle of the new Poor Law?
  5. Why did workhouses become homes of meanness and cruelty?
  6. How were the inmates of workhouses kept?
  7. Why did people dread workhouses?

The Corn Laws

  1. What was the object of the Corn Laws of 1815?
  2. Were the Corn Laws popular?
  3. Were there any attempts to improve the Corn Laws?
  4. What League was formed in 1838?
  5. What did its leader expect?
  6. When were the steps taken towards Free Trade?
  7. When were the Corn Laws repealed?
  8. Who worked to repeal them?
  9. What was the effect of the Corn Laws repeal?
  10. How did the manufacturers gain by repeal of the Corn Laws?

The Chartist Movement

  1. What was the Chartist movement?
  2. Who drafted the “People’s Charter”?
  3. What did the Chartists demand?
  4. How many people signed Charter petitions?
  5. How many Charter petitions were presented to the House of Commons?
  6. What brought an end to the Chartist movement?
  7. What did the Chartist movement symbolize?
  8. Why did this movement die out?

The Police Force

  1. When was the modern British police force founded?
  2. Why was it created?
  3. Had there been any structures to ensure social or­der before?
  4. Who got the direct control over the police?
  5. Who was the moving force behind the new police?

Factory Legislation

  1. Why were the hours of work risen in the earliest stages of the Industrial Revolution?
  2. What was started when the facts about factory conditions became generally known?
  3. What did Robert Owen show?
  4. Where were hours and conditions the worst?
  5. When did it become less economical to keep hours extremely long?
  6. When was the first Factory Legislation passed?
  7. What did the Cotton Factories Regulation Act forbid?
  8. Were the early Factories Regulation Acts effective?
  9. When was the first effective Factory Act passed?
  10. For who were the hours limited in 1847?
  11. Did the Acts of 1847 apply to all industries?
  12. What did the Factory Acts lead to?

Child Labour in the 19th Century

  1. How many children of London had any schooling in 1840?
  2. Have you read any books by Charles Dickens?
  3. Which of Dickens’s novels reflected his childish ex­perience of work in the blacking factory?
  4. What employment could children between five and fifteen find?

Queen Victoria

  1. Who did Victoria succeed?
  2. When did the great Victorian epoch start?
  3. How old was Victoria when she ascended the throne?
  4. Who helped Victoria to learn the business of being a queen?
  5. Why did Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert en­able her to increase her influence?
  6. Was their marriage a happy one?
  7. How many children were there in their family?
  8. What life did Victoria live after the death of her husband?
  9. Speak about Victoria’s personal qualities.

The Great Exhibition

  1. Who got the idea to organize the Great Exhibition?
  2. When was the Great Exhibition held?
  3. Where was the Great Exhibition held?
  4. How many people visited the Great Exhibition?
  5. What building was erected to house the exhibits?
  6. When was the Great Exhibition opened?
  7. Was the opening of the Great Exhibition a specta­cular ceremony?
  8. What was exhibited in the Crystal Palace?
  9. Where did exhibits come from?
  10. How did the visitors perceive the Great Exhibition?

Mid-Victorian Prosperity

  1. What was the expansion of British manufacture and commerce in the mid-19th century due to?
  2. Why did the working of the Californian and Aus­tralian goldfields increase the circulating medium of the world?
  3. What changes in transport took place?
  4. Why did the threat of foreign competition lead to improvements in technique?
  5. Did machinery help to increase the wheat growing land productivity?
  6. What stimulated the use of machinery between 1845 and 1859?
  7. Why did the size of farms increase?
  8. When did the period of prosperity in agriculture end?

The Railway Age

  1. Which country was the first to create a railway system?
  2. When was a boom time for building roads?
  3. Were the roads built in the 18th century good enough?
  4. Who devised methods of building roads on which heavy goods could be carried?
  5. Was water transport widely used?
  6. When was the first steam locomotive built?
  7. When was the Stockton-Darlington Railway opened?
  8. Why were vast amounts of capital poured into build­ing railroads?
  9. Did the capital invested into building railroads bring in immediate profit?
  10. How did the railway building influence the deve­lopment of heavy industry?

The Crimean War (1853—1856)

  1. What did Tzar Nicholas I wish to profit from?
  2. Why did the Crimean War begin?
  3. Why was the war supported by the British people?
  4. What was the effect of the war?
  5. Why was the war full of casualties?
  6. Who made public the British army’s problems?
  7. What did Florence Nightingale do?  .

National Struggle in Ireland

  1. What was the Act of Union with Ireland followed by?
  2. What secret organizations struggled against the British rule in Ireland?
  3. What did Daniel O’Connell create?
  4. What did O’Connell achieve?
  5. Why was Ireland important to Great Britain?
  6. What is known as the Great Famine?
  7. The Irish saying, “Providence sent the po­tato plight, but England made the famine.”
  8. What did the Young Ireland Movement advocate?
  9. How was the insurrection planned by the Young Ireland Movement forestalled?
  10. Why did the population of Ireland fall?
  11. What did the Fenians struggle for?
  12. When was the Home Rule Party formed?
  13. Who was the leader of the Home Rule Party?
  14. Did Parnell believe in terrorism?

Growing Rivalries

  1. Which country was the most industrialized one in the middle of the 19th century?
  2. What did the mid-Victorian boom give way to?
  3. What countries overtook Britain in the production of steel and other manufactured goods?
  4. What was Wilhelm II’s ambition?
  5. Why was Britain troubled by Wilhelm’s order to construct a modern battle fleet?
  6. What increased friction between Britain and Ger­many?
  7. What guaranteed British control of the oceans in wartime?
  8. What was France worried about?
  9. When did Germany become Britain’s main rival?
  10. Why did Britain find herself outdistanced in the end of the 19th century?
  11. Where did the Anglo-German rivalry centre?
  12. Why could the redivision of the world only be ef­fected by war?

British Interest in Egypt and the Sudan

  1. Why did Egypt become especially important for Britain after 1869?
  2. Why did Egypt turn to London?
  3. Were the operations in Egypt profitable to British bankers and industrialists?
  4. Why did the government of Egypt sell its shares in the Suez Canal to Britain?
  5. What followed this bargain?
  6. When did Egypt take control of the Suez Canal?
  7. What made the Sudan especially valuable to Britain?

The Boer War

  1. Which event is the most characteristic one in Bri­tish colonial policy in the end of the 19th century?
  2. How many Boer Wars were there?
  3. How did Britain become a ruler of the Boers?.
  4. Why were the Boers displeased with the British?
  5. What made a conflict between the Boers and the British almost inevitable?
  6. When did the first conflict begin?
  7. When did the second Boer War begin?
  8. Speak about the Boer War of 1899-1902.
  9. When did the Boers receive Dominion Home Rule?
  10. What was constituted in 1909?

British Colonies in West Africa

  1. What colonies did Britain develop in West Africa?
  2. Did the British try to penetrate the interior?
  3. Slave trade in West Africa.
  4. How was the foundation of the British power in West Africa laid?
  5. What goods were shipped from West Africa?
  6. Were there any plantations under direct European control in West Africa?
  7. What system of indirect exploitation of West Afri­can colonies was created?

The British Empire

  1. What was the growth of the British Empire due to?
  2. When were the first English trading companies set up?
  3. Where did they establish colonies?
  4. What caused the “swing to the East” in British colonial policy?
  5. The British colonies in America.
  6. What do you know about Australian colonial history?
  7. What factors weakefted the British Empire?
  8. What presaged the Empire’s dissolution?
  9. What happened when Britain’s hold on her colo­nies had loosened?

20th Century Britain

Edwardian Britain

  1. How old was Edward VII when he ascended the throne?
  2. Why was Edward VII called a merry monarch?
  3. What country was Edwardian Britain?
  4. Who was Edward VII’s nephew?
  5. Did the king like his German nephew?
  6. What political alliances were formed in the first decade of the 20th century?
  7. What important events took place in Edwardian Britain?
  8. When were the foundations of the welfare state laid?
  9. Who laid these foundations?
  10. Were there any social protests in Edwardian Bri­tain?

Britain in the World War I

  1. What prompted Britain to declare war on Germa­ny?
  2. What made a quick German victory impossible?
  3. What was fighting on the Western Front like?
  4. For how many years were the efforts to break through the trench barrier made?
  5. What important battles were fought in the West­ern Front?
  6. How did the Great October Socialist Revolution influence the situation in the Western Front?
  7. When was the Peace Conference held?
  8. Where was it held?
  9. Was the British Empire enlarged by former Ger­man colonies?
  10. What organization was founded on the initiative of the American President Wilson?

Changes Brought by the War

  1. Was the reaction to the war the same in Great Britain and Ireland?
  2. What happened in Ireland in 1916?
  3. How did the civil war in Ireland end?
  4. Did all the Irish counties form the Irish Free State in 1921?
  5. In what way did the World War I.influence the British women?
  6. Who was granted the vote in 1918?
  7. Who was granted the vote in 1928?
  8. Did the post-war economic boom last long?
  9. Were there many unemployed in the country in the 1930′s?

The Most Royal Romance

  1. Who was King George V succeeded by?
  2. Why did Edward VIII abdicate?
  3. Why would the government never consent to have Mrs. Simpson as Queen?
  4. What did Edward VIII broadcast on the night of 11 December 1936?

The World War II Breaks Out

  1. What problems did Britain face in the first years of King George VI’s reign?
  2. What historic interview took place at Bershtesgaden?
  3. What was it preceded with?
  4. What was the result of the Munich Agreement?
  5. What news did Britain receive on 23 August?
  6. When did Britain declare war on Germany?

Britain in the World War II

  1. What did Germany open on 1 September 1939?
  2. Why was the British government getting ready for bombardment of the British territories?
  3. Who became the head of the war cabinet?
  4. What urgent measures were taken to save people?
  5. How was the German invasion plan foiled by the British?
  6. Which country had more fighters?
  7. Who forged the “Grand Alliance”?
  8. Speak about the Anglo-American campaign against Italy.
  9. What began on 6 June 1944?
  10. How is this day called?
  11. Why is it called so?
  12. When did the German government make uncondi­tional surrender to the Allies?

Post-War Britain

  1. What party won the majority of vote in 1945?
  2. What measures did Attlee’s government take?
  3. Why was the war followed by an era of austerity?
  4. When did Britain join the NATO?
  5. Why did Britain join the NATO?
  6. Why did the Labour Party loose the general elec­tion of 1951?
  7. What did the early 1950′s bring?
  8. Did the Conservatives attempt to reverse the wel­fare programme after they had won the general election of 1951?
  9. When did Elizabeth II become Queen?
  10. What did Colonel Hunt do on the day of the Queen’s coronation?
  11. How long did the Conservatives remain the go­verning party?
  12. When did the next Labour government come into power?
  13. Were the 1950′s the period of economic revival?
  14. Were the British satisfied with their Conservative governments?

Modem Ethnic, National and Religious Problems

  1. Why did the people of,Great Britain stop to be purely “European”?
  2. Where did immigrants arrive to Britain from?
  3. At what rate did they arrive in the mid-1950′s?
  4. Why did the rapid growth of population result in serious problems?
  5. What problems it bring?
  6. Have the British already succeeded in building a multiethnic society?
  7. Has the Irish problem been settled?
  8. What is the modern state of the Irish problem?
  9. Is there a burning national problem in Scotland?

The Sixties and After

  1. What did Britain experience in 1960′s?
  2. What were the manifestations of the revolution in fashion?
  3. How did these new trends in fashion influence eco­nomy?
  4. What was the main goal of the Conservative go­vernment led by Heath, Wilson, and their follow­ers?
  5. When did Thatcher become Prime Minister?
  6. How long did Thatcher remain in her office?
  7. Was her policy a success?
  8. Why was Thatcher nicknamed the “Iron Lady”?
  9. What did her critics accuse her of?
  10. Who became Prime Minister after Thatcher?