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The Anglo-Saxon peoples spoke languages belonging to the Germanic group of languages. The speech of the Anglo-Saxons predominated in England and formed the basis from which the English language developed.

The Anglo-Saxons were pagans and worshipped different gods: the sun, the moon, and such nature gods as Odin (Woden) and Thor. Their names are reflected in the names of the days of the week: Tiu (Tuesday) was the god of war, Woden (Wednesday) was the supreme god and the god of kings, Thor (Thursday) was the god of storm, Frigga (Friday), Woden's wife, was the goddess of nature and of love.

St. Augustine, a missionary from Rome, brought Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons in the south. He converted Kent in the late 590s and founded the Church of England in 597.

1.3. Struggle against the Viking raiders  

In the late 700's, Vikings, seafaring people from Scandinavia, raided several European countries for plunder. The Vikings from Denmark (the Danes) went mostly to England and Wales, and those from Norway (the Northmen) went mainly to Scotland and Ireland.

Vikings first raided the Wessex coast in 789. They raided the Hebrides in 794 and Ireland in the next year. Their raids became more frequent in the 800s. They attacked rich monasteries. They plundered and burnt villages, took slaves, and left survivors to starve.

The Anglo-Saxons understood that their small kingdoms must unite to struggle against the Danes successfully. At the beginning of the 9th century, Wessex became the leading kingdom. Egbert, the king of Wessex, united several neighbouring kingdoms and became the first king of the united country. Since 829, the greater part of the country was united under the name “England”. An important event that contributed to the unification of the country and the development of culture was the adoption of Christianity in England in 664. Wessex united the rest of England in the fight against the Danes.

In the 9th century, the latter conquered and settled the extreme north and west of Scotland, and also some coastal regions of Ireland. Danish Vikings first settled permanently in England in 851. By 870, they had conquered every English kingdom except Wessex.

Their conquest of England was halted when King Alfred the Great (871-901) defeated them in 886. This resulted in a treaty that divided England between Wessex and the Danes.

By the terms of this treaty, the Peace of Wedmore, the Danes accepted Christianity. They also agreed to live in an area north of a line drawn from the River Thames to Chester, and south of a line drawn from the River Tees to the Solway Firth. This area was called the Danelaw.

Danish Vikings founded the towns of Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, and Stamford. They also established trade between England and countries beyond the North Sea. York was a leading Viking town and trading centre.

By 954, Wessex had conquered the Danelaw. Nevertheless, new Danish raiders arrived in the later 900's. King Ethelred II tried to buy them off with money raised from a land tax called Danegeld. But by 1013, the Danes had conquered most of England. However, the cultural differences between the Anglo-Saxons and Danes were comparatively small. They led roughly the same way of life and spoke two varieties of the same Germanic tongue. Moreover, the Danes soon converted to Christianity. These similarities made political unification easier, and by the beginning of the eleventh century, England was one kingdom with a Germanic culture throughout. Danish influence is still felt in some place-names ending in -by, -toft, such as Appleby or Lowestoft, as well as in the presence of some words in the English language.

In 1016, Canute, king of Denmark and Norway, became king of England. On Canute's death in 1035, his empire collapsed. In 1042, Ethelred's son, Edward, became king.

The northern part of Britain, meanwhile, was the home of the Picts and Scots. After the conquest of the Picts by the Scots in the ninth century this northern territory came to be called Scotland and a united Scottish kingdom, at least in name, was formed in the 11th century.

Lecture #5

Theme: The Norman Conquest  (1066-1337)


1. The Norman Conquest

2. Life under the Normans

1.1 The Norman Conquest (1066-1337)

King Edward, known as the Confessor, because of his interest in religious matters, ruled from 1042 to 1066. He had no son, and a struggle for power developed.

When Edward the Confessor died, Godwin's son Harold became king with the Witan's support. His right to become king was immediately challenged by William, Duke of Normandy (now part of northwestern France). The Normans were a people descended from Vikings (the Northmen) who had settled around the River Seine. They had adopted Christianity and the French language and had become powerful. William claimed the English throne because he was distantly related to Edward. Edward had been brought up in Normandy and supported William's claim. However, Edward's death left power with Godwin's family, so Harold II came to the throne.

In September 1066, Tostig, Harold's brother, together with King Harald Hardrada of Norway, invaded northern England. Harold II defeated them at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. But he had to turn south at once to oppose a landing in East Sussex by William. At the Battle of Hastings on October 14, the Normans defeated the Saxons and Harold was killed. The Norman conquest of England followed the Battle of Hastings.

William I was crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey, London, on Christmas Day, 1066. He is known in popular history as ‘William the Conqueror’. The date is remembered for being the last time that England was successfully invaded.  

The Normans settled in the country, and the French language became the official language of the ruling class for the next three centuries. This explains the great number of French words in English. Unlike the Germanic invasions, the Norman invasion was small-scale. There was no such thing as a Norman village or a Norman area of settlement.

The successful Norman invasion of England in 1066 brought Britain into the mainstream of western European culture. Previously most links had been with Scandinavia. Only in Scotland did this link survive.

William was a Norman king who saw England as an extension of his French domains. He exercised strict and systematic control over his conquests. He raised taxes and redistributed land, granting most of it to barons (noblemen).

In return for their land, William's barons had to perform certain services. They and the bishops served as members of William's Council, which replaced the Anglo-Saxon Witan. The barons also had military obligations to serve as knights (army commanders) for William.

All land was divided into manors. Most manors contained a village. A baron was tenant-in-chief and had several manors. He passed on part of his military obligations to his tenants, who held manors from him. The tenants of each manor performed specific regular services for their lord. This type of land tenure and manorial and military organization is known as feudal tenure. Feudalism had been practised in Anglo-Saxon times, but under the Normans, it became more organized. The peasants were the English-speaking Saxons. The lords and the barons were the French-speaking Normans. This was the beginning of the English class system. The monarchy, which was established by William and his successors, was, in general, more effective. The feudal system contributed to the growth of power of the state, and little by little, England began to spread its power.

In 1086, William's officials surveyed much of England to record the ownership, extent, and value of each manor. Their records formed the Domesday Book, which provided information for William's tax officers.

William II and Henry I, the sons of William I, continued their father's strong rule. Nevertheless, England was torn by civil war between 1135 and 1154, when Matilda, the daughter of Henry I, challenged the right of the fourth Norman king, Stephen, to rule. Most of the lords supported Stephen, believing that he would allow them more power. Before his death, Stephen promised that Matilda's son would become king as Henry II.

Henry II was the first Plantagenet king. He was a descendant of the French House of Anjou, whose emblem was a sprig of broom. The Latin for broom plant was planta genesta, which gave rise to the name Plantagenet. Henry reigned from 1154 to 1189. He proved to have a strong, authoritative personality. His successors were less effective. Richard I (the Lion Heart), who reigned from 1189 to 1199, wasted England's resources on crusades in the Holy Land. John, Richard's brother, reigned from 1199 to 1216. He clashed with his barons and lost many of his French lands. Henry III, John's eldest son, was just as unsuccessful a ruler during his reign (1216-1272), and his barons waged war against him.

Henry's heir, Edward, crushed the rebellious barons. In 1272, he succeeded Henry III as King Edward I. Like Henry II, Edward was a man of authority. He passed important laws and skillfully influenced the development of Parliament. He suppressed a Welsh rebellion and annexed(joined) Wales to England in 1282. The annexation was not confirmed by a political Act of Union until 1536. Apart from a revolt led by Owen Glendower (Owain Glyn Dwr) in the 1400s, Wales's political independence was ended by Edward I’s military victories. Edward also brought Scotland under English control for a time.

Edward's son, Edward II, lost much that his father had won. He proved unpopular and easily influenced by favourites. His noblemen eventually forced him to give up the throne. His son, Edward III, sought to win back England's lands in France, and in 1337, began a war against the French—the Hundred Years' War.

1.2 Life under the Normans

The lord of a manor held all the manor's land as the king's tenant-in-chief. The lord kept some land as his demesne. He let other land go to freeholders, who could leave his manor if they wished. The rest was farmed by villains, who were bound to stay on the manor and had to give the lord part of their produce. They also had to work on the demesne.

Some land around the manor was common land for keeping cattle, poultry, and sheep. People gathered fuel from the woodland and grew hay on the meadowland.

The law.There was no single source of justice. The king's council was the supreme court, and the king was the fount of justice. However, normally only great lords were tried by him. Freemen were usually tried by their fellow freemen in regional or local courts, called shire or hundred courts.

Under Anglo-Saxon law, a person could be cleared by the oaths of a group of men who believed the person to be innocent. But a person who was a known criminal or who had been caught in the act might have to undergo trial by ordeal. In the 1200's, trial by jury began replacing trial by ordeal.

Henry I extended royal control over criminal cases and appointed royal officials in shire courts. Henry II sent judges throughout the country to hold royal courts.

In 1215, the barons rebelled against King John's taxation. Under the leadership of Archbishop Stephen Langton, they forced him, at Runnymede, in present-day Surrey, to promise to observe their rights. They also forced him to accept Magna Carta, a charter that brought benefits to the common people as well as the barons. In Henry III's reign, Simon de Montfort led the barons in a rebellion against the king. This rebellion, called the Barons' War, ended with de Montfort's defeat at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. De Montfort had been the first person to summon ordinary citizens to discuss affairs of state with the barons and bishops. This idea led to the growth of Parliament.








Lecture #6

Theme: Britain in the second millennium


1. The Medieval period

2. Widening horizons: England in the period of 1485-1603

1.1. The Medieval period (1337-1485)

Years of conflict.The strong system of government that the Anglo-Norman kingdom had was the most powerful political force in the British Isles. Not surprisingly therefore, the authority of the English monarch gradually extended to other parts of these islands in the next 200 years.

Wales was the first to be conquered by England. Before they were conquered by the English in the thirteenth century different Welsh tribes were continually fighting one another. In 1282 Prince Llewellyn was killed in battle and King of England Edward I started a successful campaign to conquer Wales. Eventually the country was subdued, but the English never felt safe there because of Welsh opposition. This explains why the English built so many castles here.

At the same time Edward I of England made his eldest son, his heir, bear the title Prince of Wales in 1301 (at which time the custom of naming the monarch’s eldest son the ‘Prince of Wales’ began).

Though Wales was conquered by England, the Welsh continued to struggle for their independence. But the situation was seriously changed when in 1485 the English throne passed to Henry VII of the Welsh House of Tudor. In 1536 and 1542, Henry VIII brought Wales under the English parliament through special Acts of Union. Since the 16th century, Wales has been governed from London. In today's Government, there is a special department and minister for Welsh affairs.

Scotland managed to be independent for quite a long time, though the English tried hard to conquer it. In the 14th century, Robert Bruce led the struggle against the English, but he was defeated by the English king Edward I. Bruce managed to organize a new armyand defeated the English. However, some years later Edward II, the new English king, decided to attack Robert Bruce in Scotland. He managed to cross the border but in the battle of Bannockburn (1314), the English were very seriously defeated, and Scotland continued to be independent for the next three centuries.

Life in the period. The cultural story of this period is different. Two hundred and fifty years after the Norman Conquest, it was a Germanic language (Middle English) and not the Norman (French) language that was spoken by all classes of society in England.

Despite English rule, northern and central Wales was never settled in great numbers by Saxons or Normans. As a result, the (Celtic) Welsh language and culture remained strong. The Anglo-Norman lords of eastern Ireland remained loyal to the English king but mostly adopted the Gaelic language and customs.

The political independence of Scotland did not prevent a gradual switch to the English language and customs in the lowland (southern) part of the country.

It was in this period that Parliament began its gradual evolution into the democratic body, which it is today. The word ‘parliament’ which comes from the French word ‘parler’ (to speak), was first used in England in the thirteenth century to describe an assembly of nobles called together by the king. In 1295, the Model Parliament set the pattern for the future by including elected representatives from urban and rural areas.

In the mid-1300's, the feudal way of life began to decline. This decline was speeded by the Black Death, a plague that spread from China across Europe. It killed many people in Britain in 1348 and 1349. So many people died that the manorial system was totally disrupted.

The barons became less important owing to changes in the military system. Expanding trade brought the development of towns and of a wealthy middle class. Fresh, challenging ideas spread from Italy to Britain and other parts of Europe. The new ideas coincided with the growth of education and the invention of printing.

The decline of feudalism.The years from 1337 to 1485 were marked by long periods of war, which brought about important military changes. Campaigns became longer, and kings needed soldiers to fight longer than the period of feudal obligation. Kings preferred to take money—instead of military service—from tenants. With the money, they hired professional soldiers.

The effects of the Black Death hastened changes on the manor that had already started. As early as the 1100's, some manor owners had found it convenient to accept money as rent from their tenants instead of service. With the money, the lord could hire labourers. The system whereby a villain had rent changed from services to money payment was called commutation.

During the 1300's, lords of the manor who relied upon hired labourers found that the shortage of labourers after the Black Death caused a demand for higher wages. However, rents paid by manorial tenants were fixed by custom and therefore remained unchanged.

In 1351, Parliament passed a Statute of Labourers, which banned increased wages for agricultural workers. A preacher named John Ball whipped up discontent over the law. In 1381, Wat Tyler, a blacksmith, led an uprising in southern England. Nevertheless, commutation continued and eventually replaced feudal service.

The Hundred Years' War between England and France also contributed to the decline of feudalism in England. This war was actually a series of wars that lasted from 1337 to 1453.

The wars began well for King Edward III, with two major English successes. The French recovered during the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV. Henry V resumed the attack on France in the early 1400s. When the war ended in 1453, England had lost all its French possessions except Calais.

The English noblemen returned to England with their soldiers, many of whom became unemployed. These soldiers knew no craft but fighting.

Two years after the end of the Hundred Years' War, the private armies began to fight a series of civil campaigns called the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485). Two groups of nobles, Lancastrians and Yorkists, fought for control of the throne. For badges, the Lancastrians wore red roses, and the Yorkists wore white roses. The wars resulted from the conflicting claims of two royal houses. The House of Lancaster was descended from Henry IV, and the rival House of York was descended from another son of Edward III, Edmund, Duke of York.

Henry VI, a Lancastrian king, was a weak-minded man incapable of governing. In 1461, the Yorkists, led by the powerful Earl of Warwick, deposed Henry VI and made Edward of York king as Edward IV. Edward survived attempts to dethrone him, and except for a few months in 1470 and 1471, he remained king until his death in 1483. Edward's son, a boy of 13, became king in 1483 as Edward V. But he was never allowed to reign and later died mysteriously, probably having been murdered. Edward IV’s brother then became king as Richard III, but he soon lost popular support. In 1485, Henry Tudor, a Lancastrian claimant, landed in Wales with an army. He defeated and killed Richard in a battle at Bosworth Field in Leicestershire, and became king as Henry VII.

1.2. Widening horizons: England in the period of 1485-1603

The Tudors. In 1485, England and Wales came under the strong rule of the Tudors (1485-1603). The Tudor monarchs increased the power of the Crown and achieved good government and internal peace and order. Changes in farming and in manufacturing brought increased prosperity. The exploits of seamen led to the expansion of trade and the beginnings of colonization.

The Tudor dynasty established a system of government policy. Parliament was split into two ‘Houses’. The House of Lords consisted of the feudal aristocracy and the leaders of the Church; the House of Commons consisted of representatives from the towns and the less important landowners in rural areas. It was now more important for monarchs to get the agreement of the Commons for the policy-making because that was where the newly powerful merchants and landowners were represented.

Henry VII brought about the conditions for later Tudor greatness. He set up a Court of Star Chamber andused it to make the barons disband their private armies. He restored royal finances by collecting taxes strictly and by forcing wealthy people to make loans to his treasury. He extended royal control over local government through the local magistrates called justices of the peace.

Henry VIII, the son of Henry VII, was at first loyal to the Pope, who in 1521, gave Henry the title Defender of the Faith for writing a pamphlet defending the Church's doctrines. But his failure to secure papal agreement for his divorce led Henry to break from Rome's authority.

From 1512 to 1514, England fought both France and Scotland.

In the early 1500s, parts of Europe became Protestant. Protestant influences reached England and increased religious discontent there. Many English people resented papal taxation and clerical privilege and wealth. Many wanted an English Bible and church services in English instead of Latin.

The English Reformation coincided with Henry VIII's attempt to get papal agreement for his divorce. The Reformation abolished the pope’s authority over the Church of England. In 1534, Parliament made Henry head of the Church of England. Henry did not favour Protestant ideas, so worship changed little during his reign. However, an English Bible was placed in every church for people to read. This translation of the Latin Bible was largely the work of Miles Coverdale.

In the late 1530, Henry dissolved the monasteries and took over their land and wealth. The monks received pensions, and some were compensated in other ways as well. Henry VIII sold most of the monastery lands to strengthen his treasury and pay for his overseas wars and ambitions. Speculators bought much of the land and quickly resold it for profit. A new class of landowner came into being in England.

Henry VIII also tried to subdue Ireland. But the Fitzgeralds, a noble Irish family, challenged his power. In 1537, Henry hanged the Earl of Kildare (a Fitzgerald) and his five uncles at Tyburn, in London. In 1541, the Irish Parliament granted Henry the title King of Ireland.

When Henry VIII died in 1547, his 9-year-old son, a child dogged by illness, became king as Edward VI. Because Edward was under legal age, a lord protectorgoverned the kingdom. The first lord protector, the Duke of Somerset, was overthrown by the Duke of Northumberland in 1551. During Edward's reign, the Protestants made more changes in the Church of England. Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, wrote the Book of Common Prayer in English for use in church services.

When Edward VI died in 1553, the Duke of Northumberland proclaimed Jane Grey, a second cousin of Edward, as queen. But most of the people supported Mary Tudor, Edward's half-sister. Mary became queen within a few days. Jane was arrested and later executed. Mary, a Roman Catholic, restored papal authority over the Church of England and enacted a policy of persecution against Protestants. More than 300 people were burned at the stake during her short reign, earning her the nickname "Bloody Mary."

In 1554, Mary married Philip, the son of the Hapsburg Emperor Charles V. In 1555, her husband became Philip II of Spain. The marriage was unpopular in England. By the marriage treaty, Philip became king of England with limited power. When Mary died childless in 1558, Philip's power in England ceased.

Elizabeth, Mary's half-sister, became queen in 1558. She again abolished papal authority over the English Church. In foreign affairs, she played for time, avoiding war with Spain until England became strong at sea.

The Elizabethan Era.The reign of Elizabeth I was a prosperous period. Clothiers organized the expanding cloth industry into the domestic system. They offered good prices for wool, and sheep farming became profitable. Some lords of the manor enclosed land in order to keep sheep. They thereby deprived tenants of their land-holdings. Some tenant farmers became homeless beggars. Parliament passed several laws to deal with this situation. An important law of 1601, the Poor Law, regulated the treatment of beggars to provide them with relief. In time, England's growing prosperity provided new jobs.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus reached the Americas, and five years later, Vasco da Gama sailed a new route to India. These discoveries made Spain and Portugal rich. In 1496, Henry VII of England authorized John Cabot and his son, Sebastian, to sail northwestwards to seek another way to India. They failed, but discovered Newfoundland, on the east coast of North America, with its valuable fishing grounds. Henry VIII built 50 more ships, including the flagship Mary Rose. He set up Trinity House in 1514 to maintain pilots at ports and beacons on the coast.

During Elizabeth's reign, many English seamen continued to seek alternative routes to India. Others sought trade with Spanish colonies in America. But after Captain John Hawkins was attacked by the Spaniards in a Mexican port in 1567, many English seamen became privateersand attacked Spanish ships and ports.

Rivalry between England and Spain finally led to war. In 1588, Philip II launched a huge armed fleet called the Armada against England. But English seamen defeated it.


Theme: England in the seventeenth century (1603-1702).

Plan: 1. The Civil war in England

2. England in the Years of transition

1.1 The Civil war in England

England in the 1st half of the century. Elizabeth I never married and had no children. But her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, whom she had executed for treason in 1587, was the mother of James VI of Scotland. When Elizabeth died in 1603, the Scottish king also became king of England as James I. The two kingdoms kept their own laws and parliaments. A new national flag, the Union Flag, symbolized the union. This flag, which was adopted in 1606, combined the English flag of St. George with the Scottish flag of St. Andrew.

James I faced many difficulties. The Roman Catholics tried to regain the influence that it had had before Elizabeth I's reign. In 1605, a group of extremist Roman Catholics tried to kill James and the Members of Parliament. Their conspiracy is known as the Gunpowder Plot. The Puritans (strict Protestants) also opposed James I. They wished to reform the Church of England to remove the ritual practices that had remained in its services after its break with Rome.

Puritan members of Parliament continually sought religious changes unacceptable to James. Parliament also wanted a greater share in the government. James denied its requests, claiming divine right(authority direct from God).

English sailors made further voyages of discovery. William Baffin and Henry Hudson sailed into the frozen north of Canada, where several geographical features still bear their names. The first permanent English colony, Jamestown, in Virginia, was founded in 1607. Another successful English colony was established about 1612 on the island of Bermuda in the North Atlantic.

Plymouth, in Massachusetts, was founded in 1620 by the Pilgrim Fathers. The Pilgrim Fathers were English Puritans who sailed in the ship Mayflower to seek a place where they could worship freely.

After Charles I became king in 1625, the dispute between the Crown and Parliament worsened. In 1628, Parliament angered Charles by passing a Petition of Right. This laid down the areas of government in which Parliament sought control. From 1629 to 1640, Charles ruled without Parliament. He raised taxes in various ways, including some that many people thought illegal. He levied on all parts of the country a tax called ship money, ostensibly to pay for the rebuilding of the navy.

Charles supported the religious policy of William Laud, who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633. Laud punished clergymen who refused to use the official Prayer Book. This action caused many Puritans to follow the Pilgrim Fathers to North America.

In 1637, Charles and Laud attempted to make the Scottish Presbyterians use the Prayer Book. In 1638, thousands of Scots signed the Solemn League and Covenant, in which they promised to defend their religion. Charles sent an army into Scotland, but no fighting occurred. His ablest minister, the Earl of Strafford, then advised him to call a Parliament. This Parliament refused to grant Charles money, and he dismissed it immediately. It became known as the Short Parliament.

Charles raised another army, which was defeated by the Scots. He then called another Parliament, afterwards called the Long Parliament. This Parliament, led by the Puritan John Pym, continued to oppose Charles. It imprisoned and later executed both Strafford and Laud. It abolished the Court of Star Chamber, first set up by Henry VII and used by Charles against his opponents, and prohibited Charles from raising money without Parliament's permission. Charles reacted angrily to these moves, and in 1642, events moved rapidly towards the outbreak of the English Civil War in August.

The Civil War was fought between the Parliamentarians (supporters of Parliament) and the Royalists (supporters of Charles I). It proved an intensely bitter conflict that split communities and even families. Parliamentarians wished no harm to Charles. They merely wanted him to be reasonable and stop listening to bad advice from his counsellors. However, Charles would not betray his friends, and he let the war drag on. The decisive factor that brought his defeat was the rise of the New Model Army, a professional force that had as one of its commanders a Huntingdonshire landowner called Oliver Cromwell. Through the army's insistence, Charles was tried and executed in 1649.

Prince Charles, the son of King Charles I, had taken refuge in France in 1646. He returned to Britain to claim the monarchy. But Cromwell defeated him at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, and he fled abroad again.

The Commonwealth.After the execution of King Charles I, the monarchy and the House of Lords were abolished. A new kind of government called the Commonwealth was set up. Cromwell was the most powerful person in Britain because the army supported him. He wished to develop a new and permanent form of government. But he met much opposition. Cromwell suppressed a democratic group called the Levellers, and he used troops to dissolve the Long Parliament.

In 1653, the army set up a military dictatorship called the Protectorate. Cromwell became lord protector, but the House of Commons challenged his rule. In 1655, Cromwell dissolved Parliament, and for about a year, ruled through officers called major generals. Yet another Parliament, which was elected in 1656, was dissolved in 1658.

The Commonwealth government won successes overseas. It passed a Navigation Act in 1651, which ordered all imports to be carried in English ships or in ships of the country of origin. This brought war with the Dutch, who shipped goods for the commercial nations of the world. A war with Spain, about British rights to trade with Spanish colonies in America, lasted from 1655 to 1659. Jamaica was won from Spain and thereby became the first English colony to be taken in war. Cromwell's soldiers also carried on a ruthless campaign in Ireland.

Nevertheless, the Commonwealth remained unpopular with many people. The Puritans forbade people to use the Prayer Book. They also suppressed theatres, bear-baiting, and other amusements. People resented the army's rule and the heavy taxes imposed for its upkeep.

When Cromwell died in 1658, his son, Richard, became lord protector. But he soon resigned. General George Monk, military governor of Scotland, marched to London and recalled the Long Parliament. Parliament restored the monarchy, and Prince Charles returned to England to be crowned King Charles II in 1660.

The Restoration.Charles was a popular, pleasure-loving king. But Charles was also a man of culture and vision. Under his patronage, the Royal Society and Royal Observatory were founded, marking the beginning of modern science in Britain.

Charles II also helped to foster the more relaxed social atmosphere into which the country emerged after the restrictions of Puritanism were removed. London became a lively and colourful city. Theatres reopened. The first coffee houses appeared, and some of them developed into the first clubs. However, two successive disasters marred the gaiety: the Great Plague in 1665 and the Great Fire in 1666.

The reign of Charles II was a time of artistic, intellectual, and social development. More English colonies were established in North America. They included Pennsylvania, founded by the Quaker William Penn in 1682.

The state continued its hostility to Roman Catholics. In 1673, Parliament passed a Test Act, reserving official posts for members of the Church of England.

When Charles II died in 1685, James became king as James II. His Roman Catholicism caused a Protestant rising in the west to occur. The rebels wanted to depose James and make the Duke of Monmouth king. But Monmouth was defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor and was later executed. James broke the law by appointing Roman Catholics to state and Church posts. He tried to win Puritan support by issuing a Declaration of Indulgence, ending discrimination against Roman Catholics and Puritans.

James had two Protestant daughters. Many members of Parliament felt that they could endure James, provided that one of his daughters succeeded him. But in 1688, James had a son, whom he planned to bring up as a Roman Catholic. This frightened some politicians. They invited the Dutch ruler William of Orange, husband of James II’s elder daughter, Mary, to invade Britain. William landed in Dorset and marched on London, where he was welcomed. James fled to France.

The Glorious Revolution.People called the events of 1688 the Glorious Revolution because the change of rulers came almost without bloodshed. Parliament made William and Mary joint rulers, as William III and Mary II. Parliament also passed the Bill of Rights, limiting royal power. This law forbade Roman Catholics to succeed to the throne and enforced frequent meetings of Parliament. Parliament also passed a Toleration Act, granting freedom of worship to Protestants outside the Church of England but not to Roman Catholics.

James led a rebellion against William in Ireland. But in 1690, William defeated James at the Battle of the Boyne. This event is still celebrated by Protestant Irish people nicknamed Orangemen (supporters of William of Orange). James fled back to France.

William IIIremained the ruler of the Netherlands. He sought to defend the Netherlands against France and enlisted England's support for an alliance called the League of Augsburg. The league fought France from 1689 to 1697 and saved the Netherlands. The English government's need for money in the war encouraged William Paterson to found the Bank of England in 1694. The Bank's subscribers lent the state 1,200,000 English pounds.

Mary II died in 1694, leaving William IIIno children to succeed him. In 1701, Parliament passed the Act of Settlement to ensure that future monarchs would be Protestants. According to the Act, if Mary's sister, Anne, had no surviving children at her death, the throne would pass to the Electress Sophia of Hanover, who was a granddaughter of James I, or to her heirs.

William died in 1702 and was succeeded by Anne.

1.2 England in the Years of transition (1702-1837)

England in the 18th century.At the beginning of the 1700's, England was still mainly a nation of rural villages and country towns. By the middle of the 1700's, the Industrial Revolution was underway. It swept away many aspects of rural life. The modern system of an annual budget for the approval of Parliament was established. So, too, was the habit of the monarch appointing one principal, or “Prime” Minister from the ranks of Parliament to head the government.

Anne’s reign saw the emergence of two new political parties, the Whigs and the Tories. The Whigs, supported the Protestant values of hard work and thrift, and believed in government by monarch and aristocracy together. The other group, the Tories, had a greater respect for the idea of the monarchy and the importance of the Anglican Church.These two groups had first appeared during the Exclusion Bill crisis of 1683. The Tories had supported the exclusion of James and were largely a Protestant-based party.

The most important constitutional event of Anne's reign was the Act of Union, passed in 1707. This act made the kingdoms of Scotland and England into the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Scotland sent members to the Parliament at Westminster, but the Church of Scotland and Scottish law system, more similar to continental European system, remained unchanged.

When Anne died in 1714, she was succeeded by Sophia of Hanover's heir George. King George I, a middle-aged German, never mastered the language of his new kingdom. Soon after George's succession, the Whigs returned to power. A Cabinet Council consisting of the most important ministers came into being. But because George did not speak English well, he did not attend ministers' meetings regularly. Therefore, Sir Robert Walpole, the greatest political figure of the time, who was then a senior minister, began to run the Cabinet and to manage Parliament. Walpole's power lasted from 1721 to 1742, and he was regarded as the prime (first) minister. He is considered Britain’s first Prime Minister

George I’s son George II (1727 – 1760) was more English than his father, but still relied on Sir Robert Walpole to run the country. George was the last English king to lead his army into battle at Dettingen in 1743. George III (1760 – 1820) was the first English-born and English-speaking monarch since Queen Anne. His reign was one of elegance and the age of some of the greatest names in English literature - Jane Austen, Byron, Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth. George IY (1820 – 1830) is known as the 'First Gentleman of Europe. During William IY’s (1830 – 1837) reign, England abolished slavery in the colonies in 1833. 

In 1798, the Irish rebelled but were suppressed. By the Act of Union, William Pitt, Britain's prime minister, abolished the Irish Parliament and established the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The Irish flag of St. Patrick was incorporated in the Union Flag.

During this century the first British Empire had reached its largest extent.

Industrial Revolution. The increased trade, which resulted from the links with the new markets, was one factor which led to the Industrial Revolution. The many technical innovations in the areas of manufacturing and transport during this period were the other important contributing factors.

The vast technological changes that brought the Industrial Revolution began in the early 1700's. Between 1709 and 1750, Abraham Darby and his son successfully smelted iron ore with coke rather than charcoal. After 1750, coke smelting became general. The iron industry grew rapidly. British iron production increased twelvefold in the 1700's and boosted demand for coal.

A steam-engine, invented by Thomas Newcomen in the early 1700's, was improved by James Watt. In 1815, Sir Humphry Davy invented a safety lamp for miners that gave light but would not ignite explosive gases.

The tremendous growth in iron production after 1750 was partly responsible for the production of machines. Machines were first used on a large scale in the cotton industry. In 1733, John Kay had invented the flying shuttle, which enabled weavers to double the speed of hand-weaving and to make wider cloth. In 1764, James Hargraves speeded the spinning of thread by inventing the spinning jenny. Richard Arkwright's water frame of 1769, Samuel Crompton's spinning mule of 1776, and Edmund Cartwright's powerloom of 1785 were driven by water wheels.

When industrialists began to use machinery and steam power, they also started to establish factories.

So in the later 1700s, great economic and technological changes occurred. Historians have called this series of changes the Industrial Revolution. By 1830, Britain was changing from an agricultural to an industrial society. Rapid industrial growth made Britain powerful.

Industrial development led to improved transport. Various important improvements in farming made it possible to clothe and feed Britain's rapidly rising population. But the industrial changes had serious social consequences. For many poor people, housing and working conditions were appalling. The use of machines caused many people to lose their jobs.

The period also saw drastic changes in agriculture. Many wealthy merchants became landowners and wanted to live like country gentlemen and to make their farms successful. The rise in population and the growth of towns increased the demand for food and made farming profitable. The efforts of the landlords to improve their estates led to what historians call the Agrarian Revolution.

In England, the growth of the industrial mode of production, together with advances in agriculture, caused the greatest upheaval in the pattern of everyday life since the Anglo-Saxon invasions. Areas of common land, which had been available for use by everybody in a village for the grazing of animals since that time, disappeared as landowners incorporated them into their increasingly large and more efficient farms. (Some pieces of common land remain in Britain today and are used mainly as public parks. They are often called “the commons”). Hundreds of thousands of people moved from rural areas into new towns and cities. Most of these new towns and cities were in the north of England, where the raw materials for industry were available. They provided the cheap working force that also made possible the Industrial Revolution. In this way, the north, which had previously been economically backward compared to the south, became the industrial heartland of the country.

In the south of England, London came to dominate, not as an industrial but as a business and trading centre. By the end of the century, it had a population close to a million.

Social changes.The Industrial and Agrarian revolutions raised Britain's wealth and living standards considerably. But the rapid changes also created social problems. The use of machines forced people out of work, and in the early 1800's, gangs of Luddites wrecked the machines that they claimed had robbed them of their jobs. Some workers formed trade unions as a means of opposing their masters. However, trade unions were forbidden by Combination Acts that remained in force until 1824.

In many country areas, the decline of the domestic system of industry brought hardship. To deal with rural poverty in Berkshire, the local justices of the peace met in 1795 at Speenhamland (now part of Newbury) and decided that a farmworker whose wages fell below a set level should receive an extra payment from the authorities out of rates. This raised the rates of farmers and landowners, who reacted by paying their workers low wages. The Speenhamland system was imitated throughout Britain, but because of it, many farm labourers became paupers. It was replaced in 1834 by the Poor Law Amendment Act.

In the 1820s, Sir Robert Peel reformed the penal code, and in 1829, he founded the London Metropolitan Police Force.

The rapid social changes of the period, made worse by an economic depression that hit Britain in 1815 after war with France, brought demands for radical social reform. A reform meeting held at St. Peter's Field, Manchester, in 1819 was brutally suppressed by troops. Some people died, and the incident was called Peterloo, after the Battle of Waterloo.

Nevertheless, reforms did come. In 1829, Parliament passed a Catholic Emancipation Act, which freed Roman Catholics from many of the restrictions that they had lived under since the 1600s. In 1830, Earl Grey led a Whig government into office and began pushing through Parliament a measure to modernize the electoral system.

By 1830, the British electoral system was out of date. Few men had the right to vote. Voting took place openly at hustings (public platforms), and bribery or intimidation of voters was easy. Every county and every borough returned two members to Parliament. Some members of Parliament represented rotten boroughs, towns that had become greatly reduced in population. Others represented pocket boroughs, where one landowner controlled the votes. Few of the industrial towns in northern England and the Midlands were boroughs. Manchester, for example, had no member of Parliament, because it was not a borough.

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