British history is an interesting topic with many important events and personalities, which have influenced the history more or less. This topic is so large, that it can be devided into several smaller parts. I can name some very important periods from the whole history, for example the Tudor period, which is mostly known because of one famous king from the house of Tudors, his name is Henry VIII. Next important periods are the period of the Stuarts and the English revolution or the Industrial Revolution and the Era of queen Viktoria’s rule in the second part of the 19th century.
I think, that o the most importants parts of the British history belongs the period of the Primeval Ages, in that were the British Isles settled for the first time. The first inhabitans of England were the Iberians and the Beaker folks.
The next people, who came to England were the Celts. One tribe of them is called the Britons. They crossed the English Channel about 700 years before Christ. They lived in a tribal organisation and they brought many new knowledges to the islands. They were farmers and they already knew the making iron weapons and instruments. Celts had their own religion too – they were polytheistic and they adored many gods. The Celtic tribes were important for England for example because of their contribution of some words to the English language (cradle = kolébka, slogan = heslo).
In the year 55 B. C. England was discovered by the famous roman emperor Julius Caesar, but he said, Britain isn’t deserved for the conquesting and he let it be. Only in 43 A. D. the Romans conquered the island under the command of the caesar Claudius. The Romans named the area as “Britannia”. They occupied England and Wales for 300 years but they didn’t succeed in beating Scotland’s tribes, called the Picts and the Scots. To the contribution of the Romans belong the new system of trade, the knowledge of money and the using of this. They made lots for the people too – they built the tiled (dlážděný) roads and they started to built and use the town bath. We can find even other survivals from this period: all cities and towns, which end with the words –chester or –caster (Manchester, Lancaster, Chesterfield, Leicester atc.) were founded as the roman fortifications.
After the Romans left, Britain was settled by the Teutonic tribes, which came there from the area of Germany. It were three tribes, which were most famous: Anglos, Saxons and Jutes (- ti byli první). In the 7th century they controlled most of the island, which they called Angloland. The Britons were defeated and they had to move to the north and west and their descendants are the people, who live in Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Anglo-saxons made a higher level of the state organisation and they devided England into 7 kingdoms: Wessex, Essex, Sassex, Kent, North-Umbria, Mercia and East Anglia. But there were many struggles between this kingdoms, so there was a need to unite them. The first unification of them was made in the year 829 by the king Egbert from Wessex and it was because of the Danish invasion. There was one legendary king too – king Arthur and his Knights of the Round table. In the period of Anglo-saxons the pope Gregory I. decided to convert the them to Christianity and by the eighth century all England was Christian.
At the end of the 8th century was Britain invaded with the Danish tribes of the Viking raiders. They started to conquer the northern province of Northumbria and they made York as their capital. The Anglos begann to fight against them and the first king, who stopped them was Alfred the Great, who built many fortresses and England’s first fighting ships. He won over them in the battle of Eddington in 878 and he received the peace with them. Since that was England divided into to parts: the area of the Danelaw and the Alfred’s land. After his death the whole England became Danish and it started the period of the Danish kings of the English throne.
The first Danish king on the English throne was Cnut (Knut, Canuta), who started the real feudalism and he ended the tribe system in England. He was king in the Denmark at the same time, but he didn’t make the differences between this two nationalities in England.
After his dead there were many struggles of his sons, which were fighting for the throne and the power of them was weeker and weeker. The next kings after his dead were Edward the Confessor, who changed the capital from Winchester to London, and William the Duke of Normandy, who killed the new king after Edward (Harold) and so he became the English king. It was the beginning of the normand dynasty on the English throne.
27. leden 2008