British history

The celts arrived 2500 to 3000 years ago.England was added to the Roman Empire in 43 AD.Under Queen Elizabeth I(second half of 16. century) Britain became a major sea power.Large parts of Africa and Asia were added tot he empire during the reign of Queen Victoria(second half of the last century).
Say Canterbury and people will start talkking about a beatiful cathedral and Thomas Becket, about the „Canterbury Tales“ and the pilgrims as well as about the Black prince.Yes, Canterbury has been an important place for centuries.Nowadays, it is the mother city of the Church of England and the seat of the Archbishop.Thomas Becket lived in the 12th century.He was the Archbishop of Canterbury and a frind of King Henry II.As time went by, Thomas and the King started to have different opinions and Thomas was sent to exile to France.After he came back, he was murdered in the cathedral in canterbury on December 29th 1170.He was not forgotten as the king wished.People wanted to see the place where Thomas had been killed and so for centuries pilgrims travelled to Canterbury from all over the country and abroad.Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a book about these pilgrims Canterbury Tales are the stories which the pilgrims told each other on their way to make the journey shorter and more pleasant.In the Middle Ages Canterbury became one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Europe.The cathedral as we can see it today is mainly from the 15th century but some parts are much older.A lot of famous people were buried there.Among them, the Black Prince.He mmight be the most interesting for Czech people because he fought, on the English side of course, at the Battle of Crecy in 1346 where our king Jan Lucemburský lost his life.
The interesting period werw the Normans.In thata time the English king was Edward the Confessor.He died in 1066 witjout a direct heir(přímý potomek).Nobody knew who could be the king.Finaly Edward’s brother-in-law Harold became the king.But a Norman Duke , William, want to seize(zmocnit se) the throne.He defeated Harold at the Bittle of Hastings in 1066.Than he became king as William the Conqueror.He brought French to Englend and it was the official language at courts.Willam had The Tower of London built, too.He wanted to impress and frightened the English.
In the 15th century there was a struggle(zápas) for the throne between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.This was called the Wars of the Roses, because Yorkists used a white rose as its emblem and Lancasters had a red rose as a symbol.Henry Tudor, who came from the House of Lancaster, wan the Bottle of Bosworth Field in 1485.In this year the Tudor period started.
This period is important for the decline(pokles, úpadek) of fedaulism.It was a time of rapid changes, great voyages of discovery, too.
Henry Tudor became as Henry VII.He married the heiress of the House of York Elizabeth of York and he stopped the war, he made the peace with Yorkist.He arranged(zařídit) marriages between his daughter and the king of Scotland and between his son Henry and Catherine of Aragon to strenghten(zesílit) his position.
Henry VII. And Elizabeth of York had 4 children.Arthur, the oldest son, died before he could become king, and his younger brother became king as Henry VIII.He inherited(zdědit) great wealth, because his father had been very thriftly(šetrný).He is very famous, too, because of his 6 wives.Henry wanted to have a son, but woth his first wife Catherine of Aragon they only had a dauhter Mary I.After 18 years of marriage, he became impatient and wanted to get rid of Catherine.He asked the pope for permission to divorse.The pope refused.And so Henry VIII. Established his own church, the Church of England and he became the head of this church.Then he devorsed Catherine.Their only child Mary I. is called Bloody Mary, too, because she was a strong catholic, she persecuted Protestants.She had. Some Protestant burnt at the stake, too while she was a Queen.
Henry’s second wife was Ann Boleyn, who gave him only a douhhter, too.Her name was Elizabeth and her mother was executed.
Henry’s third wife’s name was Jane Seymour and she gave birth to a boy, Edward.The other Henry’s wives didn’t give him any children.
Edward and Mary died soon, than Elizabeth I. came to the throne in 1558.She was a protestant unlike her half-sister Mary.The period, when Elizabeth I ruled, is called the Golden Age.
King Philiip II. of Spain wanted to conquer England.England was in grave danger.But the Englishter English ships defeated a huge spanish fleet called Armada and won a battle in the English Chanel in 1588.
Elizabeth I. never married, so when she sied, in 1603, there was nobody who could became king or queen.Elizabeth’s nearest ralative was James VI. Of Scotland.And so he became the king of Scotland ane the king of England too.

Eight miles north of Salisbury is a large circle of stones, which is called Stonehenge.Nobody knows why it was built or what it was used to.Was it an ancient(starověký) cemetery?There are many graves around the monument.Was it a kind of observatory, where astronomers studied the stars and the planets?Was it a place where witches and magicians offered human sacrifices(oběť) to the gods?Or was it a temple, where the ancient Britons worshipped(vzívat) the Sun?The monument faces the point on the horizon where the sun rises on Midsummer’s Day.We shall never know the real answer.
Work started on Stonehange around 1800 BC, but the monument, whose ruins you can see today, was built four hundred years later, around 1400 BC.
The ruins stand in the centre of a huge circle in diameter.The circle is formed by a bannk and a ditch.The bank is now less high, but it was probably much higher when it was built.
The ruins consist of two stone circles and two stone horseshoes.In the centre of the inner horseshoe there is a long stone called the Altar stone.These stones were joined by a continous line of stones, which lay on the top of the uprights.But most of theese have fallen down.

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