A look at British history - Cours d'Anglais avec Maxicours - Collège

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A look at British history

1. The Roman period
Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 BC, and again in 54 BC, and finally in 43 AD. The Romans left England in 410 AD.
2. The Norman conquest
In 1066, William the Conqueror and his Normans invaded Britain and fought King Harold for the throne of England at the Battle of Hastings. That was the last time Britain was invaded.
3. The Medieval times and the Middle ages
a. Thomas Beckett
Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, refused to obey the King of England, Henry II, and was assassinated in 1170 in his cathedral. In spite of that, the Church became subordinate to Rome.
b. The War of the Roses, 1455-1485
Name given to a serie of battles fought by two rival branches of the Plantagenet dynasty for the control of the English throne in the 15th century.
Each family had a rose as its emblem – white for the York family, red for the house of Lancaster.
4. The Tudors and the 16th century
a. The reign of Henry VIII, 1509-1547
Famous King of England who had six wives : he divorced two, he killed two, one died and one survived him. The Pope refused to annul his first marriage, so he broke with the Catholic Church and proclaimed himself the Head of the Church of England (the Anglican Church) in 1534.
b. The reign of Elizabeth I, 1558-1603
Daughter of Henry VIII, called the Virgin Queen because she never married and didn't have any descendants. She established the autonomy of the Church of England. In order to protect herself against her cousin Mary Stuart, the Catholic Queen of Scotland, she had her imprisoned in 1568 and executed in 1587. She made England a great maritime power and was an admirer of the arts. Shakespeare wrote most of his famous plays during the reign of Elizabeth I.
5. The 17th century
a. The English Civil War
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), a Puritan general, opposed the Anglican King Charles I and had him executed. Under his terrible rule the Puritan laws stifled (réprimer) literature.
b. The Gun Powder Plot
In 1604, some Catholics decided to blow up (exploser, faire exploser) the Parliament and kill the Protestant King James I. They were arrested and executed.
c. The Great Fire of London
In 1666, a fire destroyed the greater part of London. Sir Christopher Wren, the main architect, rebuilt the city for about thirty-five years.
6. The 18th century
Some famous men :
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Discovered the theory of universal gravitation.

James Cook (1728-1779). English explorer. Took possession of Australia in 1770.

Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). English admiral. He defeated Napoleon's French fleet at Trafalgar in 1805.

The U.S. War : Britain acknowledged American Independence in 1782.

7. The 19th century
a. Napoleonic wars (1803-1815)
Wellington (1769-1852) directed the British army to victory over Napoleon at Waterloo in June, 1815 thus strengthening the British Empire.
b. The Victorian era
Victoria's reign (1837-1901) was the longest in English history and was marked by the prosperity and expansion of the Empire. Queen Victoria was 82 when she died.
8. The 20th century
a. The Great War (1914-1918)
Great Britain entered the conflict when Germany violated the neutral Belgian territory, and fought with France and later on with the United States. 770. 000 English soldiers died during the Great War.
b. The World War (1939-1945)
In 1940, Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister. He symbolised the determination never to yield. He formed a coalition government. In 1944, the British and American troops landed in Normandy and drove out the Germans of France. Before giving in, Germany dropped her V I's and V II's on London. 23.000 people died in London in 1940.

Elizabeth II becomes Queen of England in 1952.

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