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History of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the sovereign state comprising England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The state began on 1st May, 1707, as agreed in the Treaty of Union and put into effect by the the Acts of Union in 1707. This united the separate countries of England (including Wales) and Scotland into a united Kingdom of Great Britain under a single parliament. A further Act of Union in 1800 added the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, the territory of what is now the Republic of Ireland gained independence, leaving Northern Ireland as a continuing part of the United Kingdom. As a result, in 1927 the United Kingdom changed its formal title to "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", [1] usually shortened to "the United Kingdom", "the UK" or "Britain". The creation of the united Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 was the result of the Treaty of Union which had been negotiated between England and Scotland and put into effect by the passing of the Acts of Union 1707. At the time, England controlled Wales, which had been conquered in 1282 and formally annexed by the Laws in Wales Act 1535, and Ireland, which had been reconquered in 1536. Though England and Scotland were separate, sovereign states, they had shared monarchs since 1603 when James VI of Scotland had become James I of England on the death of the childless Elizabeth I. [edit] Acts of Union 1707 Deeper political integration had been a key policy of Queen Anne (reigned 170214), and a Treaty of Union was drawn up, and negotiations between England and Scotland began in earnest, in 1706. The parliaments of Scotland and England each approved Acts of Union that put the provisions of the Treaty into effect which in turn received royal assent. Thereafter, political unification occurred on May 1st, 1707 on which day the two kingdoms were combined into a single kingdom and the two parliaments were merged into a single parliament. The circumstances surrounding Scotland's acceptance of the Bill are to some degree disputed. Scottish proponents of union believed that failure to accede to the Bill would result in the imposition of union under less favourable terms. Months of fierce debate on both sides of the border followed. In Scotland the debate on occasion dissolved into civil disorder, most notably by the notorious 'Edinburgh Mob'. The prospect of a union of the kingdoms was deeply unpopular among the Scottish population at large [citation needed] but, following the financially disastrous Darien Scheme, the near-bankrupt Parliament of Scotland reluctantly accepted the proposals. Financial incentives to Scottish parliamentarians also played their part in the vote. Anne became formally the first occupant of the unified British throne and Scotland sent 45 MPs to the new parliament at Westminster. Perhaps the greatest single benefit to Scotland of the Union was that Scotland could enjoy free trade with England and her colonies overseas. For England's part, a possible ally for European states hostile to England had been neutralised while simultaneously securing a Protestant succession to the British throne. The Acts of Union provided for the renaming of Scotland and England as 'North Britain' and 'South Britain' respectively. However, the change failed to take hold and fell into disuse fairly quickly. In England and abroad the terms 'England' and 'Britain' often continue to be used interchangeably, though this error is not mirrored in Scotland. However, certain aspect of the former independent kingdoms remained separate. Examples of Scottish and English institutions which were not merged into the British system include: Scottish and English law which remain separate, as do Scottish and English banking systems, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and Anglican Church of England also remained separate as did the systems of education and higher learning. Having failed to establish their own empire, but being better educated than the average Englishman, the Scots made a distinguished and disproportionate contribution to both the government of the United Kingdom and the administration of the British Empire. [edit] Jacobite risings Main article: Jacobite rising The early years of the new united kingdom were marked by major Jacobite Risings, called 'Jacobite Rebellions' by the ruling governments. These Risings were the consequence of James VII of Scotland and II of England being deposed in 1688 with the thrones claimed by his daughter Mary II jointly with her husband, the Dutch born William of Orange. The 'Risings' intensified after the House of Hanover succeeded to the united British Throne in 1714 with the "First Jacobite Rebellion" and "Second Jacobite Rebellion", in 1715 and 1745, known respectively as "The Fifteen" and "The Forty-Five". Although each Jacobite Rising had unique features, they all formed part of a larger series of military campaigns by Jacobites attempting to restore the Stuart kings to the thrones of Scotland and England (and after 1707, the united

Kingdom of Great Britain). They ended when the "Forty-Five" rebellion, led by 'the Young Pretender' Charles Edward Stuart was soundly defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. [edit] British Empire The Seven Years' War, which began in 1756, was the first war waged on a global scale, fought in Europe, India, North America, the Caribbean, the Philippines and coastal Africa. The signing of the Treaty of Paris (1763) had important consequences for Britain and its empire. In North America, France's future as a colonial power there was effectively ended with the ceding of New France to Britain (leaving a sizeable French-speaking population under British control) and Louisiana to Spain. Spain ceded Florida to Britain. In India, the Carnatic War had left France still in control of its enclaves but with military restrictions and an obligation to support British client states, effectively leaving the future of India to Britain. The British victory over France in the Seven Years War therefore left Britain as the world's dominant colonial power.[2] During the 1760s and 1770s, relations between the Thirteen Colonies and Britain became increasingly strained, primarily because of resentment of the British Parliament's ability to tax American colonists without their consent. [3] Disagreement turned to violence and in 1775 the American Revolutionary War began. The following year, the colonists declared the independence of the United States and with economical and naval assistance from France, would go on to win the war in 1783. The loss of the United States, at the time Britain's most populous colony, is seen by historians as the event defining the transition between the "first" and "second" empires,[4] in which Britain shifted its attention away from the Americas to Asia, the Pacific and later Africa. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, had argued that colonies were redundant, and that free trade should replace the old mercantilist policies that had characterised the first period of colonial expansion, dating back to the protectionism of Spain and Portugal. The growth of trade between the newly independent United States and Britain after 1783[5] confirmed Smith's view that political control was not necessary for economic success. During its first century of operation, the focus of the British East India Company had been trade, not the building of an empire in India. Company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power and the British East India Company struggled with its French counterpart, the La Compagnie franaise des Indes orientales, during the Carnatic Wars of the 1740s and 1750s. The Battle of Plassey, which saw the British, led by Robert Clive, defeat the French and their Indian allies, left the Company in control of Bengal and a major military and political power in India. In the following decades it gradually increased the size of the territories under its control, either ruling directly or indirectly via local puppet rulers under the threat of force of the Indian Army, 80% of which was composed of native Indian sepoys. In 1770, James Cook had discovered the eastern coast of Australia whilst on a scientific voyage to the South Pacific. In 1778, Joseph Banks, Cook's botanist on the voyage, presented evidence to the government on the suitability of Botany Bay for the establishment of a penal settlement, and in 1787 the first shipment of convicts set sail, arriving in 1788. At the threshold to the 19th century, Britain was challenged again by France under Napoleon, in a struggle that, unlike previous wars, represented a contest of ideologies between the two nations.[6] It was not only Britain's position on the world stage that was threatened: Napoleon threatened invasion of Britain itself, and with it, a fate similar to the countries of continental Europe that his armies had overrun. [edit] 19th century [edit] Ireland joins with the Act of Union (1800)

The Flag of the United Kingdom is based on the flags of England, Scotland and Ireland Main article: Act of Union 1800

The second stage in the development of the United Kingdom took effect on January, 1st, 1801, when the Kingdom of Great Britain merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Events that culminated in the union with Ireland had spanned the previous several centuries. Invasions from England by the ruling Normans from 1170 led to centuries of strife in Ireland and successive Kings of England sought both to conquer and pillage Ireland, imposing their rule by force throughout the entire island. In the early 17th century, large-scale settlement of the province of Ulster by Protestant settlers from both Scotland and England began, which saw the displacement of many of the native Roman Catholics Irish inhabitants of this part of Ireland. Since the time of the first Norman invaders from England, Ireland has been subject to control and regulation, firstly by England then latterly by Great Britain. After the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Irish Roman Catholics were barred from voting or attending the Irish Parliament. The new English Protestant ruling class was known as the Protestant Ascendancy. Towards the end of the 18th century the entirely Protestant Irish Parliament attained a greater degree of independence from the British Parliament than it had previously held. Under the Penal Laws no Irish Catholic could sit in the Parliament of Ireland, even though some 90% of Ireland's population was native Irish Catholic when the first of these bans was introduced in 1691. This ban was followed by others in 1703 and 1709 as part of a comprehensive system disadvantaging the Catholic community, and to a lesser extent Protestant dissenters. [7] In 1798, many members of this dissenter tradition made common cause with Catholics in a rebellion inspired and led by the Society of United Irishmen. It was staged with the aim of creating a fully independent Ireland as a state with a republican constitution. Despite assistance from France the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was put down by British forces. Possibly influenced by the War of American Independence (17751783) , a united force of Irish volunteers used their influence to campaign for greater independence for the Irish Parliament. This was granted in 1782, giving free trade and legislative independence to Ireland. However, the French revolution had encouraged the increasing calls for moderate constitutional reform. The Society of United Irishmen, made up of Presbyterians from Belfast and both Anglicans and Catholics in Dublin, campaigned for an end to British domination. Their leader Theobald Wolfe Tone (176398) worked with the Catholic Convention of 1792 which demanded an end to the penal laws. Failing to win the support of the British government, he travelled to Paris, encouraging a number of French naval forces to land in Ireland to help with the planned insurrections. These were slaughtered by government forces, but these rebellions convinced the British under Prime Minister William Pitt that the only solution was to end Irish independence once and for all. The legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was completed under the Act of Union 1800, changing the country's name to "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". The Act was passed in the British and therefore unrepresentative Irish Parliament with substantial majorities achieved in part (according to contemporary documents) through bribery, namely the awarding of peerages and honours to critics to get their votes.[8] Under the terms of the merger, the separate Parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland were abolished, and replaced by a united Parliament of the United Kingdom. Ireland thus became part of an extended United Kingdom. Ireland sent around 100 MPs to the House of Commons at Westminster and 28 peers to the House of Lords, elected from among their number by the Irish peers themselves (Catholics were not permitted peerage). Part of the trade-off for Irish Catholics was to be the granting of Catholic Emancipation, which had been fiercely resisted by the all-Anglican Irish Parliament. However, this was blocked by King George III who argued that emancipating Roman Catholics would breach his Coronation Oath. The Roman Catholic hierarchy had endorsed the Union. However the decision to block Catholic Emancipation fatally undermined the appeal of the Union. [edit] Napoleonic wars Main article: Napoleonic wars Hostilities between Great Britain and France recommenced on May 18, 1803. The Coalition war-aims changed over the course of the conflict: a general desire to restore the French monarchy became closely linked to the struggle to stop Bonaparte. The series of naval and colonial conflicts, including a large number of minor naval actions, resembled those of the French Revolutionary Wars and the preceding centuries of European warfare. Conflicts in the Caribbean, and in particular the seizure of colonial bases and islands throughout the wars, could potentially have some effect upon the European conflict. The Napoleonic conflict had reached the point at which subsequent historians could talk of a "world war". Only the Seven Years' War offered a precedent for widespread conflict on such a scale. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System. This policy aimed to eliminate the threat of the United Kingdom by closing French-controlled territory to its trade. The United Kingdom's army remained a minimal threat to France; the UK maintained a standing army of just 220,000 at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, whereas France's strength peaked at over 1,500,000 in addition to the armies of numerous allies and several hundred thousand national guardsmen that Napoleon could draft into the military if necessary. The Royal Navy, however, effectively disrupted France's extra-continental trade both by seizing and threatening French shipping and by seizing French colonial possessions but could do nothing about France's trade with the major continental economies and posed little threat to French territory in Europe. In addition France's population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that

of the United Kingdom. However, the United Kingdom possessed the greatest industrial capacity in Europe, and its mastery of the seas allowed it to build up considerable economic strength through trade. That sufficed to ensure that France could never consolidate its control over Europe in peace. However, many in the French government believed that cutting the United Kingdom off from the Continent would end its economic influence over Europe and isolate it. Though the French designed the Continental System to achieve this, it never succeeded in its objective. [edit] Victorian era Main article: Victorian era The Victorian era of the United Kingdom is a term commonly used to refer to the period of Queen Victoria's rule between 1837 and 1901 which signified the height of the British Industrial Revolution and the apex of the British Empire. Although , scholars debate whether the Victorian periodas defined by a variety of sensibilities and political concerns that have come to be associated with the Victoriansactually begins with the passage of Reform Act 1832. The era was preceded by the Regency era and succeeded by the Edwardian period. The latter half of the Victorian era roughly coincided with the first portion of the Belle poque era of continental Europe and other non-English speaking countries. Social history: History of British society [edit] Ireland and the move to Home Rule Main article: History of Ireland (18011922) Part of the agreement which led to the 1800 Act of Union stipulated that the Penal Laws in Ireland were to be repealed and Catholic Emancipation granted. However King George III blocked emancipation, arguing that to grant it would break his coronation oath to defend the Anglican Church. A campaign under lawyer and politician Daniel O'Connell, and the death of George III, led to the concession of Catholic Emancipation in 1829, allowing Catholics to sit in Parliament. O'Connell then mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the Repeal of the Act of Union. When potato blight hit the island in 1846, much of the rural population was left without food. Unfortunately, British politicians such as the Prime Minister Robert Peel were at this time wedded to the economic policy of laissez-faire, which argued against state intervention of any sort. While enormous sums were raised by private individuals and charities (American Indians sent supplies, while Queen Victoria personally gave the present-day equivalent 70,000) British government inaction (or at least inadequate action) caused the problem to become a catastrophe. The class of cottiers or farm labourers was virtually wiped out in what became known as the Irish Potato Famine. Most Irish people elected as their MPs Liberals and Conservatives who belonged to the main British political parties (note: the poor didn't have a vote at that time). A significant minority also elected Unionists, who championed the cause of the maintenance of the Act of Union. A former Tory barrister turned nationalist campaigner, Isaac Butt, established a new moderate nationalist movement, the Home Rule League, in the 1870s. After Butt's death the Home Rule Movement, or the Irish Parliamentary Party as it had become known, was turned into a major political force under the guidance of William Shaw and in particular a radical young Protestant landowner, Charles Stewart Parnell. The Irish Parliamentary Party dominated Irish politics, to the exclusion of the previous Liberal, Conservative and Unionist parties that had existed. Parnell's movement proved to be a broad church, from conservative landowners to the Land League which was campaigning for fundamental reform of Irish landholding, where most farms were held on rental from large aristocratic estates. Parnell's movement campaigned for 'Home Rule', by which they meant that Ireland would govern itself as a region within the United Kingdom, in contrast to O'Connell who wanted complete independence subject to a shared monarch and Crown. Two Home Rule Bills (1886 and 1893) were introduced by Liberal Prime Minister Gladstone, but neither became law, mainly due to opposition from the House of Lords. The issue divided Ireland, for a significant minority (largely though by no means exclusively based in Ulster) , opposed Home Rule, fearing that a Catholic-Nationalist parliament in Dublin would discriminate against them and would also impose tariffs on industry; while most of Ireland was primarily agricultural, six counties in Ulster were the location of heavy industry and would be affected by any tariff barriers imposed. [edit] 20th century [edit] World War I

[edit] Partition of Ireland The 19th and early 20th century saw the rise of Irish Nationalism especially among the Catholic population. Daniel O'Connell led a successful unarmed campaign for Catholic Emancipation. A subsequent campaign for Repeal of the Act of Union failed. Later in the century Charles Stewart Parnell and others campaigned for self government within the Union or "Home Rule". In 1912, a further Home Rule bill passed the House of Commons but was defeated in the House of Lords, as was the bill of 1893, but by this time the House of Lords had lost its veto on legislation and could only delay the bill by two years - until 1914. During these two years the threat of civil war hung over Ireland with the creation of the Unionist Ulster Volunteers and their nationalist counterparts, the Irish Volunteers. These two groups armed themselves by importing rifles and ammunition and carried out drills openly. The outbreak of World War I in 1914 put the crisis on the political backburner for the duration of the war. The Unionist and Nationalist volunteer forces joined the British army in their thousands and suffered crippling losses in the trenches. A unilaterally declared "Irish Republic" was proclaimed in Dublin in 1916 during the Easter Rising. The uprising was quelled swiftly by British forces, and most of the leaders were shot. This led to a major increase in support in Ireland for the uprising, and in the declaration of independence was ratified by Dil ireann, the self-declared Republic's parliament in 1919. An Anglo-Irish War was fought between Crown forces and the Army of the Irish Republic between January 1919 and June 1921. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, negotiated between teams representing the British and Irish Republic's governments, and ratified by three parliaments,4 established the Irish Free State, which was initially a British Empire Dominion in the same vein as Canada or South Africa, but subsequently left the British Commonwealth and became a republic after World War II, without constitutional ties with the United Kingdom. Six northern, predominantly Protestant, Irish counties (Northern Ireland) have remained part of the United Kingdom. An armed rebellion took place with the Easter Rising of 1916, and then followed the Irish War of Independence. In 1921, a treaty was concluded between the British Government and the leaders of the Irish Republic. The Treaty recognised the two-state solution created in the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Northern Ireland would form a home rule state within the new Irish Free State unless it opted out. Northern Ireland had a majority Protestant population and opted out as expected. A Boundary Commission was set up to decide on the border between the two Irish states, though it was subsequently abandoned after it recommended only minor adjustments to the border. The Irish Free State was initially a British Empire Dominion like Canada and South Africa with King George V being titled King of Ireland. Eire became a republic in 1949 and left the British Commonwealth in 1949 without constitutional ties with the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland continued in name until 1927 when it was renamed as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927. Despite increasing political independence from each other from 1922, and complete political independence since 1949, the union left the two countries intertwined with each other in many respects. Ireland used the Irish Pound from 1928 until 2001 when it was replaced by the Euro. Until it joined the ERM in 1979, the Irish pound was directly linked to the Pound Sterling. Decimalisation of both currencies occurred simultaneously on Decimal Day in 1971. Irish Citizens in the UK have a status almost equivalent to British Citizens. They can vote in all elections and even stand for parliament. British Citizens have similar rights to Irish Citizens in the Republic of Ireland and can vote in all elections apart from presidential elections and referendums. People from Northern Ireland can have dual nationality by applying for an Irish passport in addition to, or instead of a British one. Northern Ireland was created by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, enacted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland parliament in 1921. Faced with divergent demands from Irish nationalists and Unionists over the future of the island of Ireland (the former wanted an all-Irish home rule parliament to govern the entire island, the latter no home rule at all) , and the fear of civil war between both groups, the British Government under David Lloyd George passed the Act, creating two home rule Irelands, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Southern Ireland never came into being as a real state and was superseded by the Irish Free State in 1922. That state is now known as the Republic of Ireland. Having been given self government in 1920 (even though they never sought it, and some like Sir Edward Carson were bitterly opposed) the Northern Ireland government under successive prime ministers from Sir James Craig (later Lord Craigavon) practiced a policy of wholesale discrimination against the nationalist/ Roman Catholic minority. Northern Ireland became, in the words of Nobel Peace Prize joint-winner, Ulster Unionist Leader and First Minister of Northern Ireland David Trimble, a "cold place for Catholics." Towns and cities were gerrymandered to rig local government elections to ensure Protestant control of town councils. Voting arrangements which gave commercial companies votes and minimum income regulations also helped achieve this end. In the 1960s, moderate unionist Prime Minister Terence O'Neill (later Lord O'Neill of the Maine) tried to reform the system, but was met with wholesale opposition from extreme Protestant leaders like the Rev. Ian Paisley. The increasing pressures from nationalists for reform and from extreme unionists for No surrender led to the appearance of the civil rights movement under figures like John Hume, Austin Currie and others. Clashes between marchers and the Royal Ulster Constabulary led to increased communal strife. The British army was originally

sent to Northern Ireland in 1969 by British Home Secretary James Callaghan to protect nationalists from attack, and was warmly welcomed. However, the murder of thirteen unarmed civilians in 1972 in Londonderry by British Paratroopers ("Bloody Sunday") inflamed the situation and turned northern nationalists against the British Army. The appearance of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) , a breakaway from the increasingly Marxist Official IRA, and a campaign of violence by loyalist terror groups like the Ulster Defence Association and others, brought Northern Ireland to the brink of Civil War. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, extremists on both sides carried out a series of brutal mass murders, often on innocent civilians. Among the most notorious outrages were the Le Mon bombing and the bombings in Enniskillen and Omagh. Some British politicians, notably former British Labour minister Tony Benn advocated British withdrawal from Ireland, but this policy was opposed by successive Irish governments, who called their prediction of the possible results of British withdrawal the Doomsday Scenario, with widespread communal strife, followed by the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children as refugees to their community's 'side' of the province; nationalists fleeing to western Northern Ireland, unionists fleeing to eastern Northern Ireland. The worst fear was of a civil war which would engulf not just Northern Ireland, but the neighbouring Republic of Ireland and Scotland both of whom had major links with either or both communities. Later, the feared possible impact of British Withdrawal came to be called the Balkanisation of Northern Ireland after the violent break-up of Yugoslavia and the chaos it unleashed. In the early 1970s, the Parliament of Northern Ireland was prorogued after the province's Unionist Government under the premiership of Brian Faulkner refused to agree to the British Government demand that it hand over the powers of law and order, and Direct Rule was introduced from London starting on March 24, 1972. New systems of governments were tried and failed, including power-sharing under Sunningdale, Rolling Devolution and the Anglo-Irish Agreement. By the 1990s, the failure of the IRA campaign to win mass public support or achieve its aim by British Withdrawal, and in particular the public relations disaster that was the Enniskillen, along with the replacement of the traditional Republican leadership of Ruair Brdaigh by Gerry Adams, saw a move away from armed conflict to political engagement. These changes were followed the appearance of new leaders in Dublin Albert Reynolds, London John Major and in unionism David Trimble. Contacts initiatively been Adams and John Hume, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, broadened out into all party negotiations, that in 1998 produced the 'Good Friday Agreement' which was approved by a majority of both communities in Northern Ireland and by the people of the Republic of Ireland, where the constitution, Bunreacht na hireann was amended to replace a claim it allegedly made to the territory of Northern Ireland with a recognition of Northern Ireland's right to exist, while also acknowledging the nationalist desire for a united Ireland. Under the Good Friday Agreement, properly known as the Belfast Agreement, a new Northern Ireland Assembly was elected to form a Northern Irish parliament. Every party that reaches a specific level of support is entitled to name a member of its party to government and claim a ministry. Ulster Unionist party leader David Trimble became First Minister of Northern Ireland. The Deputy Leader of the SDLP, Seamus Mallon, became Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, though he was subsequently replaced by his party's new leader, Mark Durkan. The Ulster Unionists, Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Fin and Democratic Unionist Party each had ministers by right in the power-sharing assembly. The Assembly and its Executive are both currently suspended over unionist threats over the alleged delay in the Provisional IRA implementing its agreement to decommission its weaponry, and also the alleged discovery or an IRA spy-ring operating in the heart of the civil service (this later turned out to be false due to the fact that Denis Donaldson, the person in possession of the incriminating files which pointed to an IRA spy-ring actually worked for the British intelligence). Government is now once more run by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain and a British ministerial team answerable to him. [edit] World War II Women played an important role in the Second World War, with many men away fighting it was left to women to step up and take on the important roles left by them. Women worked in factories, farmed the land and even joined the forces. Without doubt these women played a vital role in the war effort in the UK. The Women's Land Army, which had been vital during the First World War, was reformed in 1939. This was a means of providing labour for the farms as many men that had worked on the farms were now away at war and the country needed to increase food production to get through the war. The members of the WLA did everything from ploughing to picking potatoes and looking after livestock. Their contribution to the war effort made sure that the people of Britain did not starve during the war. Many women chose to work in factories during the war, making ammunition, uniforms and aeroplanes. Women in factories worked long hours and some had to move into the area where the factories were. Women working in factories were not paid as well as men; some unskilled men were actually getting paid more than a skilled female worker. This led to a strike by women working at the Rolls Royce factory in Glasgow in 1943. The decision to strike was an unpopular one at first, as it was seen as being unpatriotic and during a street demonstration by the workers they found themselves pelted with eggs and tomatoes. However this soon stopped when people realised how little the women were being paid in comparison to men and when the women returned to work they were paid the same as a semi-skilled man, although this was not equal pay it was a victory for the women as they were being paid more than they were before the strike.

Another important organisation of women during the war was the Women's Voluntary Service. The WVS did many important jobs, during the London Blitz they provided refreshments for fire fighters during the clear up. Members of the WVS looked after people whose homes had been lost due to the German bombings, for these people the support they received was valuable and immeasurable. The women also knitted items for service men, with some going as far as adopting a sailor to provide with warm clothing they knitted. By 1943 the Women's Voluntary Service had one million members, most were elderly as many younger women were either in the factories or working on farms as part of the Women's Land Army. Women also served in the military during WWII, the army, navy and air force were all open for women to join. In the army women joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service where they served as drivers, worked in mess halls and worked on anti-aircraft guns. Although women worked on these guns an order by Winston Churchill prevented them from actually firing them as he believed that they would not cope knowing that they may have killed someone. By 1942 the ATS had 217 000 women in it and later in the war women were allowed to become welders, carpenters and electricians, jobs that it was unheard of for a woman to do outside of the military. Women who served in the Royal Air Force served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force doing similar work to women in the ATS. However there were opportunities for more exciting work for women in the air force. Some women got to work on Spitfires and others worked in radar stations used to track incoming enemy bombers. These radar stations were targets for bombings so this could be a very dangerous job, but a very important one as the women working in the radar stations were the early warning eyes and ears during the Battle of Britain. Some women became members of the Air Transport Auxiliary which flew planes from a factory to an RAF base, even all though women pilots had fewer crashes than men pilots; women were not allowed to be pilots of war planes. At the end of the war there were 460 000 women in the military and over 6.5 million in other types of war work. Without a doubt the contribution of every woman who served in any way during the war was incredibly valuable. The women who served aided in the war effort both by serving in the war itself and by working on the land to keep things on the home front stable and it is possible that we might not have been able win the war without the contribution of these women. Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search The United Kingdom, along with the British Empire's crown colonies, especially British India, declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939, after the German invasion of Poland. Hostilities with Japan began in 1941, after it attacked British colonies in Asia. The Axis powers were defeated by the Allies, in 1945. [edit] Pre-war Military Although the United Kingdom had increased military spending prior to 1939, because of the threat of Nazi Germany, its forces were still weak by comparison - especially the Army. Only the Royal Navy was of a greater strength than its German counterpart. No country had a reasonable air force at the time (the Royal Flying Corps was a small branch of the Army.) The Army only had 9 divisions available for war, whereas, Germany had 78 available and France, 86. [edit] Beginning of the fight Anticipating the outbreak of the Second World War, The Polish Navy during the Peking Plan, carried out in late August and early September 1939, evacuated to Great Britain three valuable modern destroyers, Burza (Storm), Byskawica (Lightning), and Grom (Thunder); the ships served alongside (and under the command of) the Royal Navy for the remainder of the war. On 3rd September, the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany, 24 hours after the UK had issued an ultimatum to Germany to withdraw from Poland. After the fall of Poland, the Royal Navy was strengthened by the arrival of two Polish submarines Orze (Eagle) and Wilk (Wolf) and the formation of Polish Navy in Great Britain than supplemented with leased British ships. The army immediately began dispatching the British Expeditionary Force to support France. At first only regular troops from the pre-war Army made up its numbers. In 1940, however, men of the Territorial Army (TA) divisions being mobilised in the UK were sent. In the end, the BEF had I, II and III Corps under its command, controlling some 14 divisions. The Royal Air Force also sent significant forces to France at the start of hostilities. Some were Army cooperation squadrons to help with matters like reconnaissance for the army. Others were Hawker

Hurricane squadrons from Fighter Command. Separately, Bomber Command sent the Advanced Air Striking Force, composed of squadrons flying the Fairey Battle and other machines that did not have the range to reach Germany from the UK. During the Phony War, the RAF carried out small bombing raids and a large number of propaganda leaflet raids (codenamed "Nickels") and the Royal Navy imposed a blockade on Germany. [edit] Western and northern Europe, 1940 and 1941 [edit] Norwegian campaign Main article: Norwegian campaign Norway was vital for Germany and the United Kingdom because of the great iron ore deposits in northern Sweden. Convinced that the United Kingdom might make a move against Norway to stop the flow of ore from Narvik, Hitler ordered a strike to begin on 9th April, 1940. The Germans succeeded in their mission, landing a large force at vital strategic points in Norway. However, the landings proved expensive for the Germans who lost three cruisers. British land forces were quickly sent to Norway, landing in the centre at ndalsnes and at Namsos and in the north of the country at Narvik. Landings farther south were denied by German airpower. [edit] The early war In central Norway, Royal Navy aircraft carriers and RAF fighter squadrons could not keep the established bases secure. The British had to evacuate them. In the north, the Germans were driven out of Narvik after they had captured it. However, as Luftwaffe aircraft came into range with the German advances, it was again found to be impossible to sustain bases in the face of that threat. British forces in Narvik were withdrawn as well. As a consequence of the German invasion of Norway and Denmark, British forces commenced a pre-emptive occupation of the Faroe Islands on 12th April 1940. [edit] Occupation of Iceland On 10 May 1940 British forces occupied Iceland to install naval and air bases on this Atlantic island. [edit] The Battle of France On 10 May the so called Phoney War between Germany and the Franco-British alliance ended with a sweeping German invasion of the Benelux. German troops entered France through the Ardennes on 13 May. Most Allied forces were in Flanders, anticipating a re-run of the World War I Schlieffen Plan, and were cut off from the French heartland. As a result of this and superior German communications, the Battle of France was shorter than virtually all prewar Allied thought could have conceived, with France surrendering after six weeks. The United Kingdom and her Empire were left to stand alone. During the Battle of France, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, to be replaced by Winston Churchill, who had opposed negotiation with Hitler all along. [edit] Fall of France When France fell the position changed drastically. A combination of the French, German and Italian navies could potentially deny the United Kingdom command of the Atlantic and starve her into submission. Unable to discover whether the terms of the French surrender would permit Germany the use of French warships, it was decided that their use must be denied to the enemy. Those that had taken refuge in British ports were simply taken over (many volunteered to join the British). See below for details of how the British neutralised the French Mediterranean Fleet. [edit] Dunkirk

Fortunately for the United Kingdom, much of its army escaped capture from the northern French port of Dunkirk. In total, 330,000 troops were pulled off the beaches, of which 230,000 were British. However almost all the army's heavy equipment had been abandoned in France many soldiers were unable to bring even their rifles. [edit] The Battle of Britain In preparation for a planned cross-channel land invasion which was to be called Operation Sea Lion, the Luftwaffe began operations to destroy the Royal Air Force (RAF) and to thus gain advance air superiority over its next intended conquest, Great Britain. This battle for the skies over Britain is referred to as the Battle of Britain. Initially the Luftwaffe sought to bomb RAF ground installations and draw their fighters into airborne combat. In the Autumn of 1940, Hitler, having grown impatient with the failure to destroy the RAF, ordered a switch to bombing major British cities. Known as The Blitz, this was intended to demoralise the British people and destroy British industry. In May of 1941, only a few weeks after American president Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease act, it became clear to German planners that the Luftwaffe was not likely to gain air superiority over Britain any time soon, and significant German forces in France were reassigned to the expanding German Eastern Front which were soon to be used in Germany's imminent struggle with Russia. The German failure to achieve air superiority over Britain in the Battle of Britain marked a major turning point in the war. This British victory, the first major one against the Third Reich, ensured the survival of an independent Britain and marked the first major reverse in the German war effort of World War II. [edit] The war at sea [edit] Opening moves At the start of the war the British and French expected to have command of the seas, as they believed their navies were superior to those of Germany and Italy. The British and French immediately began a blockade of Germany, which had little effect on German industry. The German Navy began to attack British shipping with both surface ships and U-boats, sinking the S.S. Athenia within hours of the declaration of war. The German Panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee was sunk in the Battle of the River Plate by the British and New Zealand navies. [[edit] First 'Happy Time' With the fall of France, ports such as Brest, France were quickly turned into large submarine bases from which British trade could be attacked. This resulted in a huge rise in sinkings of British shipping. The period between the fall of France and the British containment of the threat was referred to as the first happy time by the U Boat commanders. By 1941 the United States was taking an increasing part in the war. British forces had occupied Iceland shortly after Denmark fell to the Germans in 1940, the US was persuaded to provide forces to relieve British troops on the island. American warships began escorting convoys to Iceland, and had several hostile encounters with U-boats. The United States Navy also helped escort the main Atlantic convoys. More American help came in the form of the destroyers for bases agreement. Fifty old American destroyers were handed over to the Royal Navy in exchange for 99 year leases on certain British bases in the western hemisphere. In addition, personnel training in the RN improved as the realities of the battle became obvious. For instance, the training regime of Vice Admiral Gilbert O. Stephenson is credited in improving personnel standards to a significant degree. [edit] 'Second Happy Time' The attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent German declaration of war on the United States had an immediate effect, with German Uboats conducting a highly successful campaign against traffic along the American east coast. A proportion of the ships sunk were en route to assembly points for convoys to Britain. German sailors called this the "second happy time". It came to an end when a convoy system operated along the coast and adequate anti-submarine measures were employed. [edit] Success against the U-boats The institution of an interlocking convoy system on the American coast and in the Caribbean Sea in mid-1942 created an enormous drop in attacks in those areas. Attention shifted back to the Atlantic convoys. Matters were serious, but not critical throughout much of 1942.


The winter weather provided a respite in early 1943, but in the spring, large "wolf packs" of U-boats attacked convoys and scored big successes without taking large losses in return. However, in May 1943 a sudden turnaround happened. Two convoys were attacked by large wolf packs and suffered losses. Yet unlike earlier in the year the attacking submarines were also mauled. After those battles merchant ship losses plummeted and U-boat losses rocketed, forcing Karl Dnitz to withdraw his forces from the Atlantic. They were never again to pose the same threat. What had changed was a sudden convergence of technologies. The large gap in the middle of the Atlantic that had been unreachable by aircraft was closed by long range B-24 Liberator aircraft. Centimetric radar came into service, greatly improving detection and nullifying German radar warning equipment. The introduction of the Leigh Light enabled accurate attacks on U-boats re-charging their batteries on the surface at night. With convoys securely protected there were enough resources to allow escort carrier groups to aggressively hunt U-boats. [edit] Arctic convoys Main article: Arctic convoys of World War II The Arctic convoys travelled from the USA and the UK to the northern ports of the USSR - Archangel and Murmansk. 85 merchant vessels and 16 Royal Navy warships were lost. The Germans lost several vessels, including one battlecruiser and at least 30 Uboats, as well as a large number of aircraft. The material significance of the supplies was probably not as great as the symbolic value - hence the continuation of Stalin's insistence of these convoys long after the Russians had turned the German land offensive. [edit] The Mediterranean Main article: Battle of the Mediterranean The Mediterranean saw a great deal of naval action during World War II. In a struggle which lasted for three years the Royal Navy and Italian Navy battled for control of the sea. The Kriegsmarine also took part in the campaign, primarily through sending U-Boats into the Mediterranean, but also controlling the few remaining Axis naval forces after the Italian surrender. The Mediterranean began the war dominated by the British and French navies with Italy as a neutral power astride communications in the centre of the area. The situation changed vastly with the fall of France and the declaration of war by Italy. In addition the British Mediterranean Fleet based at Alexandria controlling the eastern end of the Mediterranean there was a need to replace French naval power in the west. To do this Force H was formed at Gibraltar. The British Government was still concerned that the remaining French ships would be used by the Axis powers. Consequently they took steps to neutralise it. At Alexandria relations between the French and British commanders, Admirals Godfroy and Cunningham, were good. The French squadron there was impounded in the port. In the western basin things did not go so smoothly. The bulk of the French fleet was at Mers-el-Kebir in North Africa. Force H steamed there to confront the French with terms. Those terms were all rejected and so the French fleet was attacked and heavily damaged by Force H. The Vichy French government broke off all ties with the British as a result. -- See destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. [edit] Battle of Taranto The Italian battle fleet dominated the centre of the Mediterranean and so the Royal Navy hatched a plan to cripple it. On 11th November 1940, the Royal Navy crippled or destroyed three Italian battleships by using carrier borne aircraft, the obsolescent Fairey Swordfish, in the Battle of Taranto. As a result the Italian fleet was withdrawn from Taranto and never again based in such a forward position. This battle inspired the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941. [edit] Battle of Matapan The first fleet action of the war in the Mediterranean was the Battle of Cape Matapan. It was a decisive Allied victory, fought off the Peloponnesus coast of Greece from 27th March to 29th March, 1941 in which the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy under the command of the British Admiral Andrew Cunningham intercepted those of the Italian Regia Marina, under Admiral Angelo Iachino. The Allies sank the heavy cruisers Fiume, Zara and Pola and the destroyers Vittorio Alfieri and Giosue Carducci, and damaged the battleship Vittorio Veneto. The British lost one torpedo plane and suffered light damage to some ships. [edit] Crete


Battle of Crete In the aftermath of the German invasion of Greece only the island of Crete remained in Allied hands in the Aegean area. The Germans invaded in a combined operation and forced the evacuation of the British forces. The evacuation was essentially a Mediterranean version of Dunkirk, but far more costly to the Royal Navy. It lost a number of cruisers along with large numbers of destroyers during the evacuation. During the evacuation Admiral Cunningham was determined that the "navy must not let the army down", when Army generals feared he would lose too many ships Cunningham said that "It takes three years to build a ship, it takes three centuries to build a tradition". [edit] Malta Malta, which lies in the middle of the Mediterranean, was always a great thorn in the side of the Axis. It was in the perfect strategic position to intercept Axis supplies destined for North Africa. For a time it looked as if Malta would be starved into submission by the use of Axis aircraft flying from bases in Italy. The turning point in the siege came in August 1942, when the British sent a very heavily defended convoy codenamed Operation Pedestal. Once Malta had been supplied with Spitfire fighters carried to the Island by HMS Furious during Operation Pedestal, these fighters along with the other vital supplies of material lifted the siege of Malta. The British re-established a creditable air garrison on the island. With the aid of Ultra, Malta garrison was able to destroy the Axis supplies to North Africa immediately before the Second Battle of El Alamein. For the fortitude and courage of the Maltese during the siege, Malta was awarded the George Cross. [edit] Great invasions In late 1942 Operation Torch, the first of the great Allied combined operations during the war, was launched. It represented a new pattern in the naval war in the Mediterranean with the primary task of the naval forces being to cover the invasion. Since the Italian fleet was still extant a heavy covering force was required to screen against Italian interference. However the Italians did not leave port during the invasion. Torch was followed by Operation Husky the invasion of Sicily, and Operation Avalanche, the invasion of southern Italy. Again the naval forces escorted the invasion fleet and heavy cover was provided against Italian interference. In the aftermath of Avalanche the Italian surrender was announced and the British naval forces escorted the Italian fleet to Malta under the terms of the surrender. The main threat to Allied shipping around Italy during these invasions was not the Italian fleet but German guided weapons which sunk or damaged a number of Allied units. After the surrender of the Italian fleet, naval operations in the Mediterranean became relatively mundane, consisting largely of supporting ground troops by bombardment, anti-submarine missions, covert insertions of agents on enemy coast and convoy escort. [edit] Aegean sweep The one major exception to mundane missions occurred in late 1944. Due to their garrisons on the various islands of the Aegean, the Germans had maintained control over the Aegean Sea long after they had lost other areas of the Mediterranean to Allied control. In late 1944, that changed as an Allied carrier task force moved into the area. It was composed entirely of escort carriers but the task force wreaked havoc with German shipping in the area and reasserted Allied dominance over the last area of the Mediterranean still controlled by the Germans. [edit] Operation Overlord and the Normandy landings The invasion of Normandy was the greatest amphibious assault yet. Over 1,000 fighting ships and some 5,000 other ships were involved. The sheer number of vessels involved meant that nearly all of the major ports of the United Kingdom were at capacity immediately preceding the assault. The five assault divisions crossed the channel in five great assault groups. There were two task forces, the Anglo-Canadian Eastern Task Force and the American Western Task Force. Coastal Command secured the western flank of the invasion route against interference by German U-Boats from the western French ports. The surface forces assisted by protecting the assault convoys from the small German surface forces in the area. Operation Overlord saw an enormous minesweeping operation, with hundreds of minesweepers clearing and maintaining channels. The bombardment forces were on an enormous scale, with eight battleships taking part in the assault. The formidable defences of the Atlantic Wall were difficult to contend with, and many duels between the heavy ships and shore batteries were fought during the invasion. On the whole the assault went well, although disaster came nearest to occurring at the American Omaha Beach. There the naval forces provided crucial backup for the assaulting forces, with destroyers coming in very close to the beach to blast the German defences. British losses to enemy attack both during the initial assault and the building of the bridgehead were comparatively small. Virtually no ships were sunk by German naval surface forces as this force was largely destroyed prior to the invasion.


Two of the ports used by the German light forces were heavily bombed by the Allied air forces. The larger German ships based in France, three destroyers from Bordeaux were defeated in a destroyer action well to the west of the main assault area. Larger problems were caused by U-boats and especially mines, but the U-boats were hunted down and the mines swept effectively enough to make the invasion a success. [edit] The East [edit] Indian Ocean disaster Though the Indian Ocean was a backwater during World War II, there were several vital operations in that area. British convoys running through the western Indian Ocean were vital for supplying Allied forces in North Africa. They faced a small but consistent threat from both German and Japanese "surface raiders" and submarines. Tankers sailing from the oil terminals of Iran also had to run the same gauntlet. The major operations in the Indian Ocean took place in early 1942 and 1944/45. British forces in the Singapore were reinforced by HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse in December 1941. However, three days into the war (10th December), those two ships were sunk by Japanese aircraft, the HMS Prince of Wales becoming the only modern Allied battleship sunk during the entire war and the first time that a battleship at sea and free to manoeuvre had been sunk by air attack. Japanese forces captured Malaya (now malaysia), Singapore and the Dutch East Indies forcing the remaining British warships to withdraw to Trincomalee, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and in February, 1942 they were reconstituted into the British Eastern Fleet. On paper, the fleet looked impressive, boasting five battleships and three aircraft carriers. However, four of the battleships were old and obsolete and one of the aircraft carriers was small and virtually useless in a fleet action as the new fleet commander, Admiral James Somerville, noted. Following successes over American forces in the Pacific, the main Japanese carrier force made its one and only foray into the Indian Ocean in April 1942. Nagumo took the main force after the British fleet and a subsidiary raid was made on shipping in the Bay of Bengal. The weight and experience of this Japanese force far outweighed that available to the Royal Navy. During these attacks, two British heavy cruisers, HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Cornwall, an aircraft carrier, the obsolete HMS Hermes, and a destroyer were sunk and many merchant ships were damaged or sunk. Fortuitously, or by design, the main British fleet did not make contact with the Japanese and thus remained available for future action. [edit] Indian Ocean retreat Following those attacks, the British fleet retreated to Kilindini in East Africa, as their more forward fleet anchorages could not be adequately protected from Japanese attack. The fleet in the Indian Ocean was then gradually reduced to little more than a convoy escort force as other commitments called for the more powerful ships. One exception was Operation Ironclad, a campaign launched when it was feared that Vichy French Madagascar might fall into Japanese hands, to be used as a submarine base. Such a blow would have been devastating to British lines of communication to the Far East and Middle East, but the Japanese never contemplated it. The French resisted more than expected, and more operations were needed to capture the island, but it did eventually fall. [edit] Indian Ocean strike It was only after the war in Europe was coming to an end that large British forces were dispatched to the Indian Ocean again after the neutralisation of the German fleet in late 1943 and early 1944. The success of Operation Overlord in June meant even more craft from the Home Fleet could be sent, including precious amphibious assault shipping. During late 1944, as more British aircraft carriers came into the area, a series of strikes were flown against oil targets in Sumatra to prepare British carriers for the upcoming operations in the Pacific. For the first attack, the United States lent the USS Saratoga. The oil installations were heavily damaged by the attacks, aggravating the Japanese fuel shortages due to the Allied blockade. The final attack was flown as the carriers were heading for Sydney to become the British Pacific Fleet. After the departure of the main battle forces, the Indian Ocean was left with escort carriers and older battleships as the mainstay of its naval forces. Nevertheless, during those months important operations were launched in the recapture of Burma, including landings on Ramree, Akyab and near Rangoon.


[edit] Blockade of Japan British forces consistently played a secondary role to American forces in the strangling of Japan's trade, albeit they still did have a significant role. The earliest successes were gained by mine laying. The Japanese minesweeping capability was never great, and when confronted with new types of mines they did not adapt quickly. Japanese shipping was driven from the Burmese coast using this type of warfare. British submarines also operated against Japanese shipping, although later in the war. They were based in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Fremantle, Western Australia and finally the Philippines. A major success was the sinking of several Japanese cruisers. [edit] The North African desert,Middle East, and Africa See also: North African campaign, Italian military history of World War II, Middle East campaign, and African campaigns of World War II On 13th September 1940, the Italian Tenth Army crossed the border from the Italian colony of Libya into Egypt, where British troops were protecting the Suez Canal. The Italian assault carried through to Sidi Barrani, approximately 95 km inside Egypt. The Italians then began to entrench themselves. At this time there were only 30,000 British available to defend against 250,000 Italian troops. The Italian decision to halt the advance is generally credited to them being unaware of the British strength, and the activity of British naval forces operating in the Mediterranean to interfere with Italian supply lines. There were Royal Navy seaports at Alexandria, Haifa, and Port Said. Following the halt of the Italian Tenth Army, the British used the Western Desert Force's Jock columns to harass their lines in Egypt. [edit] The Offensive On 11th November 1940, the Royal Navy crippled or destroyed three Italian battleships in the Battle of Taranto. Then, on 8th December 1940, Operation Compass began. Planned as an extended raid, a force of British, Indian and Australian troops succeeded in cutting off the Italian troops. Pressing their advantage home, General O'Connor pressed the attack forwards and succeeded in reaching El Agheila(an advance of 500 miles), capturing tens of thousands of enemy troops. The Italian army was virtually destroyed, and it seemed that the Italians would be swept out of Libya. However, at the crucial moment, Churchill ordered that the advance be stopped and troops dispatched to defend Greece. Weeks later the first German troops were arriving in North Africa to reinforce the Italians. [edit] Greek Interlude and Crete See also: Greco-Italian War, Invasion of Yugoslavia, Battle of Greece, Battle of Crete, and Balkans Campaign The Italians attacked Greece from Albania in late 1940. Not only did the Greeks stop the attack, they forced the Italians back. Eventually, in the spring of 1941, the Germans intervened in Greece. They also invaded Yugoslavia concurrently. The Greeks had been reluctant to acquiesce to British ground forces into the country, because the United Kingdom could not spare enough forces to be guaranteed to forestall a German attack. They had, however, accepted aid from the RAF in their war with the Italians in Albania. The trigger for British forces moving to Greece in large numbers was the entry of German forces into Bulgaria, which made clear the German intent to invade Greece. British forces took position on a defensive line running north west to south east across northern Greece. However, there were critical weaknesses in the defences. The Greek forces in the area were further forward than the British forces, and the Greek Government refused British advice to withdraw to a common line. The Greek forces were thus defeated in detail. There was also a large gap between the left flank of British forces and the right flank of the Greek forces in Albania. That was exploited to the full by the Germans. After being thrown off the Greek mainland, British forces retreated to Crete. There, the Germans again exploited weaknesses in the defences with a bold invasion plan. In the largest and last German airborne assault, paratroops landed at several points on the island. In all but one location, they were cut off and destroyed, and the follow-on seaborne forces were dispersed by the Royal Navy. Although, that one location was enough, reinforcements were flown in to the point where the Germans were strong enough to break out and take the rest of the island. [edit] Iraq, Syria and Persia See also: Anglo-Iraqi War, Syria-Lebanon campaign, and Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran


In May 1941, to add to British troubles in the area, there was a coup d'etat against the pro-British government in Iraq. A pro-German ruler took power in the coup and ordered British forces out of Iraq. There were two main British bases in Iraq, around Basra and at Habbaniya north east of Baghdad. Basra was too well defended for the Iraqis to consider taking. However, Habbaniya was a poorly defended air base, situated in the middle of enemy territory. It had no regular air forces, being only a training centre. Nonetheless, the RAF personnel at the base converted as many of the training aircraft as possible to carry weapons. When Iraqi forces came to Habbaniya, they surrounded the base and gave warning that any military activity would be considered as hostile, leading to an attack. However, the RAF training aircraft took off and bombed the Iraqi forces, repelling them from the base. Columns were then set out from Habbaniya, Palestine (now Israel) and Basra to capture Baghdad, and put an end to the coup. They succeeded at relatively low cost, but there was a disturbing development during the campaign. A Luftwaffe aircraft was shot down over Iraq during the advance on Baghdad. The nearest Axis bases were on Rhodes, and so the aircraft had to stage through somewhere to be able to get to Iraq. The only possible place was Vichy Syria. This overtly hostile action could not be tolerated. Consequently, after victory in Iraq, British forces invaded Syria and Lebanon to remove the Vichy officials from power there. Vigorous resistance was put up by the French against British and Australian forces moving into Lebanon from Palestine. However, pressure there eventually overwhelmed, and when this combined with an advance on Damascus from Iraq, the French surrendered. The final major military operation in the war in the Middle East took place shortly thereafter. The USSR desperately needed supplies for its war against Germany. Supplies were being sent around the North Cape convoy route to Murmansk and Archangle, but the capacity of that route was limited and subject to enemy action. Supplies were also sent from The United States to Vladivostok in Soviet-flagged ships. However, yet more capacity was needed, the obvious answer was to go through Persia (now Iran. The Shah of Persia was somewhat proGerman, and so would not allow this. Consequently British and Soviet forces invaded and occupied Persia. The Shah was deposed (removed form power) and his son put on the throne. [edit] Ethiopia See also: East African Campaign (World War II) The Italians declared war on 10th June 1940 and in addition to the well known campaigns in the western desert, a front was opened against them in Africa. This front was in and around the Italian East African colonies: Ethiopia, Italian Somaliland (now part of Somalia), and Eritrea. As in Egypt, British forces were massively outnumbered by their Italian opponents. However, unlike Libya, Ethiopia was isolated from the Italian mainland, and the Italians were thus cut off from resupply. The first offensive moves of the campaign fell to the Italians. They attacked in three directions, into Sudan, Kenya and British Somaliland. Only in the Italian conquest of British Somaliland did they enjoy full success. The British garrison in Somaliland (now Somalia) was outnumbered, and after a couple of weeks of fighting had to be evacuated to Aden. In Sudan and Kenya, the Italians conquered only some small areas around border villages. After their offensives petered out, as in Egypt, the Italians adopted a passive attitude and waited for the inevitable British counter-attack. Attention then shifted to the naval sphere. The Italians had a small naval squadron based at Asmara, Eritrea, called the Red Sea Flotilla. This was a threat to the British convoys heading up the Red Sea. It consisted of a few destroyers and submarines. However, the squadron was not used aggressively and mostly acted as a "fleet in being". As supplies of fuel decreased, its opportunities for action also decreased. The Italians made one major attempt to attack a convoy, and they were roundly defeated in doing so. Following that attack, most of the surface ships of the squadron were sunk, and the submarines that escaped travelled around the Cape of Good Hope to return to Italy. British forces were thin on the ground in East Africa, and the two nations that made the greatest contribution to victory on land were South Africa and India. South Africa provided much needed airpower and troops. The Indian Army made up the mainstay of the British ground forces. In the end, two Indian divisions saw combat in Ethiopia. Another important aspect of the campaign to retake Ethiopia was irregular forces. Major Orde Wingate, later to gain fame in Burma with the Chindits was a major mover behind the Ethiopian "patriots" as they were referred to by the British. The irregulars, formed into the Gideon Force, disrupted Italian supply lines and provided vital intelligence to British forces.


The regular push to take Ethiopia began once reinforcements arrived from Egypt. The arrival of the first Australian division in North Africa had allowed the release of the Indian 4th Infantry Division to be sent to East Africa. Along with the Indian 5th Infantry Division, it quickly took the offensive from Sudan, the Indian divisions were supported by a thrust from Kenya. An amphibious assault on British Somaliland was staged from Aden. The three thrusts converged on the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, which fell early in May 1941. The Italians made a final stand around the town of Amba Alagi, before they were finally defeated. Amba Alagi fell in mid-May, 1941. The last significant Italian forces surrendered at Gondar in November 1941, receiving full military honors. After December 1941, some Italians launched a limited guerrilla war in Ethiopia and Eritrea that lasted until the summer of 1943 when Italy left the war, (see Armistice with Italy). [edit] War in the Western Desert After Rommel's first offensive, a reorganisation of British command took place. In November 1941, the British Eighth Army was activated under Lieutenant General Sir Alan Cunningham. Its first offensive failed disastrously as Rommel blunted the thrust. British operational doctrine was at fault through failing to use tanks effectively; a prerequisite for successful desert warfare. Cunningham was relieved of command and Major General Neil Ritchie was put in his place. However, a second British offensive in late 1941 turned Rommel's flank and lead to the relief of Tobruk. Again Cyrenaica fell into British hands, this time the advance went as far as El Agheila. However outside events again intervened to impede British efforts; as the British attack reached El Agheila Japan attacked in the Far East. That meant that reinforcements that had been destined for the Middle East went elsewhere. This was to have disastrous effects. Rommel took the offensive again in January 1942. He had been instructed by his high command to only conduct a limited offensive against British positions. However, he disobeyed orders and exploited the British collapse. By doing this he laid the seeds for his own downfall. An operation had been planned to take Malta, and thus reduce its strangulation of Rommel's supply lines. However, with his new offensive, Rommel was consuming materiel meant for the Malta attack. It came down to a choice of attacking Malta or supporting Rommel; Rommel's attack won out. At the time Malta seemed neutralised, but this mistake was to come to haunt the Axis powersAxis later. Confusion in British ranks was horrendous as attempts to shore up the position failed time and again. Rommel not only drove the British out of Libya, and somewhat into Egypt, but he pushed deep into the protectorate. Tobruk fell quickly, and there was no repeat of the epic siege that Rommel's last advance had produced. A prepared defensive line at Mersa Matruh was out flanked, and disaster beckoned. Ritchie was dismissed as Eight Army commander and Claude Auchinleck, the Commander-in-Chief Middle East, came forward to take command of it himself. After Matruh there was only one more defensive position before Cairo itself; El Alamein. Auchinlek managed to stop Rommel's offensive with the First Battle of El Alamein. A new command team arrived in the Middle East, with Lieutenant General Sir Bernard Montgomery assuming command of the Eighth Army. Rommel tried to break through again during the Battle of Alam Halfa, but his thrust was stopped. Montgomery then began preparations for a great breakthrough offensive that would result in the pursuit of Axis forces all the way to Tunisia. [edit] Operation Torch and El Alamein 8th November, 1942 saw the first great amphibious assault of World War II. In Operation Torch, an Anglo-American force landed on the shores of Algeria and Morocco. However, even in Algeria, despite having a large British content the allies maintained the illusion that this was an American operation in order to reduce possible resistance by the French. After the attack by Force H on the French fleet at Mers el Kebir in 1940, anti-British feeling ran high among the French. This had been exacerbated by later British operations against Vichy-controlled territories at Dakar, Syria and Lebanon, and the invasion of Madagascar. It was feared that any British attack on French soil would lead to prolonged resistance. Ironically, the attack which saw the greatest resistance was that wholly-American landing in Morocco. A full scale naval battle was fought between French and American ships, and ground fighting was also heavy. The resistance did not last long. The French surrendered and then shortly afterwards joined the Allied cause. One of the main reasons for the quick switch of sides was because the Germans had moved into unoccupied France, ending the Vichy regime, shortly after the North African garrisons had surrendered.


Once resistance in Algeria and Morocco was over, the campaign became a race. The Germans were pouring men and supplies into Tunisia, and the Allies were trying to get sufficient troops into the country quickly enough to stop them before the need for a full scale campaign to drive them out occurred. At the same time as Operation Torch, the Second Battle of El Alamein was being fought in Egypt. The new commander of the Eighth Army, Lieutenant General Sir Bernard Montgomery, had the opportunity to conclusively defeat the Panzerarmee Afrika under Erwin Rommel, since Rommel was at the end of enormously stretched supply lines, the British were close to their supply bases, and Rommel was about to be attacked from the rear by Torch. The Second Battle of El Alamein saw enormous use made of artillery. Rommel's forces had laid enormous amounts of mines in the desert, and the terrain of the area prevented his position being outflanked, and British naval forces were not powerful enough to land a significant force directly behind Rommel to cut his supply lines directly at the same time as Operation Torch. Consequently, the German lines had to be attacked directly. However, that did not mean that Montgomery did not try to use feint and deception in the battle. "Dummy tanks" and other deceptions were used liberally to try to fool the Germans where the stroke would fall. The main attack went in, but it was turned back by the extensive minefields. Montgomery then shifted the Axis advance to another point to throw the Germans off balance. What had formerly been a spoiling attack was developed into the new major thrust. Through a grinding battle of attrition, the Germans were thrown back. After El Alamein, Rommel's forces were pursued through the western desert for the last time. Cyrenaica was retaken from Axis forces, and then Tripolitania was won for the first time. Rommel's forces, apart from small rearguard actions to hold up Montgomery's men, did not turn and fight again until they were within the Mareth Line defences of southern Tunisia. [edit] Battle for Tunisia Main article: Tunisia Campaign As British forces swept west through Libya and Anglo-American forces closed in from Algeria, the Axis began to pour reinforcements into Tunisia. A new command under Colonel General Jurgen von Arnim was set up, von Arnim was a confirmed enemy of Rommel, and so German command relations did not get off to a good start. Rommel turned to face Montgomery's forces who had caught up with the Panzerarmee Afrika at last at the Mareth Line. The Mareth Line was a series of old French border defences against Italian forces from Libya. Rommel took them over and improved them greatly. It took a major effort for British forces to break through. However, by this time Rommel had left Africa never to return. It was decided that First Army should make the main thrust to destroy Axis formations in Africa. II Corps was moved from the south to north of the front, and the French XIX Corps took up station on the right wing of the First Army. The Eighth Army was to make a subsidiary thrust along the coast to pin down Axis forces. The final offensive began at the end of March 1943, and by May, Axis forces had surrendered. 250,000 men were taken prisoner, a number comparable to the battle of Stalingrad. [edit] The Italian campaign Main article: Italian Campaign (World War II) [edit] Invasion of Sicily Main article: Allied invasion of Sicily On 19 July 1943, Sicily was invaded. The operation named Operation Husky was directed from Malta. British forces attacked on the eastern flank of the landing, with Eighth Army's XXX Corps coming ashore at Cape Passero and XIII Corps at Syracuse. The Army's job was to advance up the east coast of Sicily. Originally British forces were to have the main role in the attack on the island but, when their advance slowed, the U.S. Seventh Army on the west side of the island swept around the enemy flank instead. Eighth Army eventually battered its way past the German defences and enveloped Mount Etna; by this time the Germans and Italians were retreating. By 17 August all the Axis forces had evacuated the island, and Messina was captured that day.


[edit] Surrender of Italy Main articles: Armistice with Italy and Allied invasion of Italy After operations in Sicily, the Italian Government was teetering on the brink of collapse. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was ousted and taken into custody. Peace feelers were put out to the Allies. However, the invasion of Italy still proceeded. On 3 September 1943, the first attacks were made directly across the Straits of Messina by Eighth Army in Operation Baytown. V and XIII Corps carried out that attack. Montgomery's forces leap-frogged up the toe of Italy over the next few days. A subsidiary landing, Operation Slapstick, was also made on 9 September at the Italian naval base of Taranto by the British 1st Airborne Division. Also on 3 September, King Victor Emmanuel and Marshal (Maresciallo d'Italia) Pietro Badoglio secretly signed an armistice with the Allies. They set up a government in southern Italy and joined the Allies against the Axis. The main attack, Operation Avalanche, was delivered on 9 September at Salerno. Salerno was chosen for the site of the attack because it was the furthest north that the single-engined fighters based in Sicily could realistically provide cover. Escort carriers also stood off shore to supplement the cover given by land-based aircraft. A subsidiary landing, Operation Slapstick, was also made on the same day at the Italian naval base of Taranto by the British 1st Airborne Division, landed directly into the port from warships. News of the Italian surrender was broadcast as the troop convoys were converging on Salerno. The Germans reacted extremely quickly to the Italian surrender. They disarmed the Italian troops near their forces and took up defensive positions near Salerno. Italian troops were disarmed throughout Italy and Italian-controlled areas in what was known as Operation Axis (Operation Achse). The landings at Salerno were made by the U.S. Fifth Army under Lieutenant General Mark Clark. It consisted of the U.S. VI Corps landing on the right flank and the British X Corps landing on the left. Initial resistance was heavy, however heavy naval and air support combined with the approach of Eighth Army from the south eventually forced the Germans to withdraw. By 25 September a line from Naples to Bari was controlled by Allied forces. Further relatively rapid advances continued over the next few weeks, but by the end of October, the front was stalled. The Germans had taken up extremely powerful defensive positions on the Winter Line. There the front would remain for the next six months. About two months after his ouster, Mussolini was rescued by the Germans in Operation Oak ( Unternehmen Eiche). He set up the Italian Social Republic in northern Italy. [edit] The Winter Line, Anzio and the Battle of Monte Cassino Main articles: Winter Line, Operation Shingle, and Battle of Monte Cassino The linchpin of the Winter Line position was the town and monastery of Monte Cassino. The extremely powerful position dominated a key route to Rome and thus it had to be captured. British forces on the left flank of Fifth Army tried to cross the Garigliano River and were also driven back, as was a joint French-American attempt. With no sign of a breakthrough it was decided to attempt to outflank the Winter Line with an amphibious landing behind it. Operation Shingle involved landings at Anzio on the West coast on 23 January 1944. The assaulting formations were controlled by the U.S. VI Corps, but as with Salerno, there was a substantial British component to the assault force. The British 1st Division and British 2nd Commando Brigade formed the left flank of the assault. Again, like Salerno, there were serious problems with the landings. The commander, Lieutenant General John P. Lucas, did not exploit as aggressively as he might have done and was relieved for it. If Lucas had pushed too far, however, his forces could have been cut off by the Germans. The Germans came even closer than Salerno to breaking up the beachhead. They pushed through the defences to the last line before the sea. Again massive firepower on the Allied side saved the beachhead. After the initial attack and after the German counter-attack had been repulsed, the Anzio beachhead settled down to stalemate. The attempt at outflanking the Winter Line had failed. It was May before a breakout from the beachhead could be attempted. [edit] Breakthrough to Rome


By May 1944, VI Corps had been reinforced to a strength of seven divisions. In the Fourth Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as Operation Diadem), a concerted attack was made at both Anzio and the Winter Line. The German defences finally cracked. The front had been reorganised. V Corps was left on the Adriatic, but the rest of Eighth Army was moved over the Apennines to concentrate more forces to take Rome. The front of Fifth Army was thus considerably reduced. X Corps also moved to Eighth Army as the complicated arrangement of British forces under American command was removed. Several battles for Cassino followed, contested by Indian, New Zealand and Polish forces. In the end, Cassino lost its pivotal position as operations elsewhere on the front managed to turn its flanks. These included a brilliant demonstration of mountain warfare by the French Expeditionary Corps. British forces were not well handled during Diadem. Oliver Leese, the commander of Eighth Army, made an enormous mistake by sending the heavily mechanised XIII Corps up the Liri Valley towards Rome. An enormous traffic jam developed. There was also controversy over the handling of American forces. VI Corps had originally been supposed to interpose itself on the route to Rome and cut off the German forces retreating from the Winter Line. However, Clark decided instead to advance on Rome, and ordered only a comparatively token force into a blocking position and ordered the rest of the Corps to head for Rome. The Germans brushed aside the blocking force and thus a major part of their formations escaped encirclement. A total of 25 divisions (roughly a tenth of the Wehrmacht) escaped. Rome fell on 5 June, and the pursuit continued well beyond the city, into northern Italy. [edit] The Gothic Line and victory in Italy Main article: Gothic Line By the end of August 1944, Allied forces had reached Pisa and Pesaro on each coast. As with the previous year, the advance then slowed greatly. The composition of the forces in Italy had changed again with the withdrawal of the French forces for the invasion of southern France, Operation Dragoon. The U.S. IV Corps had been activated to replace the French in Fifth Army. Eighth Army was composed of V, X and XIII Corps of the British forces, Canadian I Corps and Polish II Corps. However, during this period, XIII Corps was temporarily placed under the command of Fifth Army. Between August and December, the Eighth Army slowly progressed up the east coast. The Polish II Corps captured the important port-city of Ancona, thus significantly shortening the allied supply line. The original aim had been to break through in the Po plain by the end of 1944, but that was nowhere near possible. December saw the line just south of Lake Comacchio, with the Germans holding a salient to the west. Fifth Army was in the high passes of the Apennines. After December, operations ground to a halt for the winter. The only major event that took place during this period was the removal of I Corps from the Italian front to reinforce Canadian 1st Army in France. The offensive was not renewed until April. The choice for the last offensive was whether the major blow should fall on the Fifth Army or the Eighth Army front. Eventually, it was settled that Eighth Army should make the major attack. A deception plan was hatched the convince the Germans that Fifth Army would launch the major attack, and a major logistical effort was required to move formations to their start lines. On 2 April 1945, the attack was launched and the advance was again slow at first. By 20 April, Bologna was in a salient held by the Germans, and Lake Comacchio was crossed by an amphibious attack. The Germans were close to breaking. In the next ten days, the German forces were either surrounded or pinned against the River Po. The Germans were reduced in large part to scattered bands and bereft of heavy equipment. On 28 April, Mussolini and a group of fascist Italians were captured by Italian partisans while attempting to flee Italy. Mussolini and about fifteen other fascists were executed and their bodies taken to Milan for display. On 29 April, Marshal Rodolfo Graziani surrendered the Italian LXXXXVII Army (Liguria), the army of Mussolini's Italian Social Republic. The progress in May was rapid. The American forces mopped up in the upper Po Valley and captured Genoa, the Polish forces captured Bologna, and the British forces cleared the lower Po and reached the Yugoslav and Austrian borders. On 2 May, the German forces in Italy capitulated. This occurred shortly before the main German surrender on 8 May. [edit] Greek Civil War


Main article: Greek Civil War A little-known British military operation took place in Greece in late 1944 and early 1945. After being ignominiously ejected from Greece by the Germans in 1941, and bundled out of the Aegean again in 1943 in the aftermath of an attempt to take advantage of the Italian surrender by occupying the Dodecanese Islands, British forces returned to Greece in strength in the autumn of 1944. Operations against the Germans themselves were confined strictly to harassment of retreating forces. The retreat had been forced upon the Germans by the approach of Soviet forces in the Balkans threatening to cut the lines of communication to Greece. The UK simply could not spare enough troops from the Italian, North-Western Europe and Burmese operations to do any more. In the aftermath of the German withdrawal, and with the approach of Soviet forces, Greek communist guerillas staged an attempted coup. They were defeated, but a vicious conflict developed. The Greek King eventually acceded to a regency by a prominent Greek Archbishop for an interim period until the fallout of the war could be sorted out. That, combined with the military fact of British successes against them forced the guerillas to sue for a ceasefire. [edit] The liberation of Europe [edit] Operation Overlord British infantry land in Normandy On 6 June 1944, the invasion of Normandy, the largest amphibious assault in history, took place. It involved the landing of five assault divisions from the sea and three assault divisions by parachute and glider. Of those, one airborne and two seaborne divisions were British. The British airborne formation involved was 6th Airborne Division, with the British seaborne divisions being the 3rd Infantry Division landing at Sword Beach and 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division and 8th Armoured Brigade on Gold Beach. One further assault formation was from the British Empire; 3rd Canadian Infantry Division on Juno Beach. The remaining divisions were provided by the United States. The British Empire formations were assigned to the eastern end of the beachhead. The 6th Airborne Division landed to secure the eastern flank of the assault forces. The first Allied units in action were the glider-borne troops that assaulted Pegasus Bridge. Beyond the main formations, various smaller units went ashore. Prominent among those were the British Commandos. The United Kingdom was the main base for the operation and provided the majority of the naval power for it. Nearly eighty percent of the bombarding and transporting warships were from the Royal Navy. Airpower for the operation was a more even divide. The United States contributed two air forces to the battle, the Eighth Air Force with strategic bombers, and the Ninth Air Force for tactical airpower. All the home commands of the RAF were involved in the operation. Coastal Command secured the English Channel against German naval vessels. Bomber Command had been engaged in reducing communications targets in France for several months to paralyse the movement of German reinforcements to the battle. It also directly supported the bombardment forces on the morning of the assault. Air Defence of Great Britain, the temporarily renamed Fighter Command, provided air superiority over the beachhead. The 2nd Tactical Air Force provided direct support to the Empire formations. The operation was a success. Both tactical and strategic surprise were achieved, to the amazement of the Allied commanders. The setback occurred at Omaha Beach where American forces coming ashore were pinned down for much of the day and suffered heavy casualties. However, they eventually won through. The initial objectives for the day were not achieved, but a firm beachhead was established. It was gradually built up until offensive operations could begin in earnest. The first major success was the capture of Cherbourg. American forces pushed across the Cotentin Peninsula and then up to the city, capturing it on 27 June. The port facilities there greatly eased the supply situation. In the east, the first major British objective was Caen, an extremely tough nut to crack. The battle for the city turned into a long drawn-out slog. It eventually fell in July. By then, American forces were poised to break out of the Normandy beachhead and into France as a whole. [edit] Breakout from Normandy The American forces broke out in late July 1944, with Operation Cobra. American forces and British forces began trapping the German forces remaining in Normandy. Hitler ordered a counter-attack on the seemingly vulnerable strip of territory that the US forces controlled on the Normandy coast, linking First and Third Armies, but appearances were deceiving. The attack drew German forces west when they should have been retreating east.


As American forces swept round to the south, British, Canadian and Polish forces pinned the Germans from the north. An enormous pocket formed, centred on the town of Falaise. An entire German Army was trapped there and largely destroyed. Following the battle, all Allied forces swept east. Paris fell at the end of August 1944, and by the end of September virtually the whole of France had been liberated. However, logistical difficulties then caught up with the Allies. Because of thinly-stretched supply lines, the fast broad-front advance could not be sustained, grinding to a halt in the Lorraine and Belgium. Heated discussions then took placed over the next phase of Allied strategy. [edit] Riviera invasion Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France in August 1944 was carried out almost entirely by American and Free French troops, though British naval forces took part in bombardment duties and air protection of the beachhead. The only British land forces to take part were the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade. They landed without much opposition, and rapidly took their objectives. The quick success of the operation allowed them to be withdrawn from the line and redeployed to Greece where they were urgently needed to help quell the civil war. [edit] Operation Market Garden Main article: Operation Market Garden Montgomery and Eisenhower had long been debating the merits of a broad front attack strategy versus concentrating power in one area and punching through German lines. Eisenhower favoured the former, and Montgomery the latter. However, in late 1944, logistic problems meant that the former was temporarily out of the question. Montgomery conceived Operation Market Garden to implement a narrow front strategy. The idea was to land airborne forces in the Netherlands to take vital bridges over the country's various rivers. Armoured formation would then relieve the airborne forces and advance quickly into Germany. American paratroops were dropped at intermediate points north of Allied lines, with the British 1st Airborne Division and Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade at the tip of the salient at Arnhem. The bridges were captured as expected, but the plan then began to run into serious trouble. The relief forces of Lieutenant General Horrock's XXX Corps had to advance up a single good road, and this began to cause congestion. The Germans reacted quickly to attack the road from both sides. Consequently the armoured forces took a great deal longer than expected to punch through to Arnhem. The 1st Airborne Division held the Arnhem bridge for four days, and had a large force over the river for a total of nine days, before finally withdrawing in a daring night escape back over the Rhine. Of the more than 10,000 men who flew into the Arnhem operation, only about 2,000 returned. 1st Airborne Division was essentially finished as a fighting formation for the duration of the war, and Montgomery's plan had failed. In the aftermath of the attack, the salient's flanks were expanded to complete the closing up to the Rhine in that section of the front. [edit] Walcheren Following Market Garden, the great port of Antwerp had been captured. However, it lay at the end of a long river estuary, and so it could not be used until its approaches were clear. The southern bank of the Scheldt was cleared by Canadian and Polish forces relatively quickly, but the thorny problem of the island of Walcheren remained. Walcheren guarded the northern approaches to Antwerp and thus had to be stormed. The dikes and dunes were bombed at three locations, Westkapelle, Veere and Flushing, in order to inundate the island. In the last great amphibious operation of the war in Europe, British Commandos and Canadian troops captured the island in the late autumn of 1944, clearing the way for Antwerp to be opened and for the easement of the critical logistical problems the Allies were suffering. [edit] Battle of the Bulge Main article: Battle of the Bulge After December 1944, the strategy was to complete the conquest of the Rhineland and prepare to break into Germany proper en masse. However, what happened next completely caught the Allied staffs by surprise.


The Germans launched their last great offensive in December, resulting in the Battle of the Bulge. In an attempt to repeat their 1940 success, German forces were launched through the Ardennes. Again they encountered weak forces holding the front, as the American formations there were either new to the war or exhausted units on a quiet sector of the front rehabilitating. There were however also some important differences to 1940 which resulted in the German offensive ultimately failing. They were facing enormously strong Allied airpower unlike in 1940 when they had ruled the skies. The opening of the offensive was timed for a spell of bad weather, aimed at removing the threat of the Allied airpower, but the weather cleared again relatively soon. Most of the forces that took part in the Battle of the Bulge were American. Some great feats of staff work resulted in the Third Army and Ninth Army, essentially altering their facing by ninety degrees to contain the salient. However, the salient created by the German attack meant that First and Ninth Armies were cut off from 12th Army Group Headquarters, so they were shifted to the command of 21st Army Group for the duration of the battle meaning the British army group had an important controlling role. The British XXX Corps also took part in the battle in a backstop role to contain any further German advances. By the end of January, the salient had effectively been reduced back to its former size, and the temporarily aborted mission of liberating the Rhineland recommenced. First Army returned to 12th Army Group, but Ninth Army remained under the control of 21st Army Group for the time being. [edit] Crossing the Rhine and final surrender Main article: Operation Plunder The penultimate preliminary operation to close up to the Rhine in the British section was the clearing of the Roermond Triangle. The XIII Corps removed German forces from the west bank of the Roer during the second half of January. Following the reaching of the Roer, Second Army shifted to the mission of pinning German forces opposing it. Ninth Army in Operation Grenade and First Army in Operation Veritable began a great pincer movement to destroy the remaining German forces west of the Rhine. The only British forces to take part in the main part of this offensive was XXX Corps, which was part of First Army. By 5 March 1945, the Canadian, British ,and American forces had closed up to the Rhine in all but a small salient on their sectors of the front. That salient was reduced by five days later. On 23 March, the operations to cross the Rhine in the north began. The British Second and U.S. Ninth Armies took the lead. Ninth Army, on the south flank, took part in the great encirclement of German forces in the Ruhr. The U.S. First Army on the right crossed the Rhine in early April and then swung left to liberate northern Holland. Second Army drove straight across the North German plain, reaching the Ems on 1 April and the Weser on 4 April. After the closing of the Ruhr pocket on that day, Ninth Army reverted to the command of 12th Army Group. In 15 April the British troops liberated Bergen-Belsen. By 18 April, First Army had reached the coast in much of the Netherlands, isolating the German forces there. Second Army reached the Elbe the next day. The only moves in the Netherlands that the Canadian and Polish forces made for the remainder of the war were reducing a small amount of the coast of the IJsselmeer that had not been captured and liberating a small amount of territory around Groningen. Most of German Frisia also fell to Canadian and Polish forces. British units reached the Baltic on 2 May, and then halted as they had reached the agreed line of meeting Soviet forces. The war came to an end on 7 May, and British forces reoriented to the task of occupying Germany itself. [edit] Combined bomber offensive Main article: RAF Bomber Command The combined bomber offensive was born out of the need to strike back at Germany during the years when the United Kingdom had no forces on the continent of Europe. Initially the bomber forces available for attacks were small, and the rules of engagement were so restricted that any attacks that were made were mostly ineffective. However, once France had fallen in the summer of 1940 that began to change. During and after the Battle of Britain, bomber forces pounded the invasion fleets assembling in channel ports. However, they also flew a raid against Berlin after German bombs had fallen on London. The attack on Berlin by Bomber Command so enraged Hitler that he ordered the deliberate and systematic targeting of British cities in revenge. Throughout 1941, the size of the raids launched by Bomber Command slowly grew. However, due to the German defences raids could only generally be flown at night, and the navigational technology of the time simply did not allow even a large city to be accurately located.


The entry of America into the war in December 1941 did not initially change much. However, what did alter matters was the appointment of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Bomber Command in early 1942. Harris was a zealous advocate of the area bombing of German cities. He put a new fire and drive into the operations of Bomber Command. During the summer of 1942, the first 1,000 bomber raids were launched on German cities. However, at that time, such large numbers of aircraft could only be put over the target by stripping training units of their aircraft temporarily. Other important advances occurred in the technical field. The first navigation aid, GEE was introduced to help pilots to find their targets. Window, small metal strips dropped from aircraft, was introduced to help confuse the German radars. Planes also got their own radar, the H2S radar system. It provided a radar map of the ground beneath the aircraft, allowing navigation with more accuracy to cities like Berlin which were at that time beyond the effective range of systems like Gee. However, probably the most important innovation to improve targeting accuracy was tactical, not technical. It was the introduction of the pathfinder system. Pathfinders were groups of specially trained aircrews who flew ahead of the main raid and marked the target. Their use greatly improved the accuracy and destructiveness of raids. By early 1943, American forces were beginning to build up in large numbers in the UK. Bomber Command was joined in its bombing efforts by the Eighth Air Force. Where Bomber Command operated by night, the Eighth flew by day. Raids were often coordinated so that the same target was hit twice within 24 hours. Hamburg was the victim of one of the most destructive air raids in history during 1943. The city was easy to find using radar, being located on the distinctively shaped Elbe estuary. It was devastated in a large raid that ignited a firestorm and killed some 50,000 people. The destruction of Hamburg was not to be repeated during the rest of 1943 and 1944. During that winter, Berlin was attacked a large number of times, with heavy losses being sustained by Bomber Command. A further force also joined the fray, with the Fifteenth Air Force and No. 205 Group RAF beginning to fly from Italy. During early 1944, the emphasis began to change. As the invasion of France drew closer, the independent role of the bomber forces was considerably reduced, and eventually were placed under the direction of General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. Harris and his American counterparts fought hard against being placed under Eisenhower, but they eventually lost. Bomber Command heavily bombed targets in France and helped to paralyse the transport system of the country in time for the launching of Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944. Following Overlord, further direct support was provided to the troop, but Harris eventually succeeded in detaching his command from Eisenhower's control. The striking of German cities resumed. By the winter of 1944, the power of the British and American bomber forces had grown enormously. It was now routine for 1,000 bomber raids to be mounted by both American and British forces flying from the UK. American forces flying from Italy could also put several hundred aircraft above a target. Accuracy had improved, but it was still nowhere near good enough for 'precision bombing' in the modern sense of the term. Precision was not a single building, it was at best a district of a city. As the amount of territory controlled by German forces decreased, the task of Bomber Command became somewhat easier, as more friendly territory was overflown during missions. The German night fighter defences were also reducing in strength due to the crippling of Germany's fuel supplies by American bombing of synthetic oil plants. There remained one last great controversy during the war which would blacken the name of Bomber Command and surpass the firestorm of Hamburg in both destruction and casualties. In February 1945, as Soviet forces closed in on the German city of Dresden, which had been largely spared of heavy bombing raids due to its historic status, they asked for attacks to be made on the extensive transport links around the population centre. Bomber Command and American forces obliged, subjecting the city to a series of extremely heavy raids. Somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 people were killed in those raids, and questions were asked whether they were necessary so late in the war. After the surrender of Germany, Harris became a hate figure for many, and he was shunned by quite a few of his fellow officers. Even Churchill, who had supported area bombing vigorously backed away from him. Bomber Command was destined to play no further large part in the war. A large number of RAF bombers were being prepared for deployment to Okinawa as Japan surrendered. Therefore it was only at the hands of American strategic bombers and British and American carrier aircraft that Japan received attacks. There was to be no far eastern equivalent of the combined bomber offensive of Europe. [edit] The Far East Main article: South-East Asian Theatre of World War II


The South-East Asian Theatre of World War II included the campaigns in India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina, Malaya and Singapore. On 8 December 1941, the conflict in this theatre began when the Empire of Japan invaded Thailand and Malaya from bases located in French Indochina. Action in this theatre officially ended on 9 September 1945 with the surrender of Japan. [edit] Disaster in Malaya and Singapore Main articles: Japanese Invasion of Thailand, Battle of Malaya, and Battle of Singapore The outbreak of war in the Far East found the United Kingdom critically overstretched. British forces in the area were weak in almost all arms. On 8 December 1941, the Japanese launched invasions of Thailand, Malaya and Hong Kong. On 10 December 1941, the first major setback to British power in the region was the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse by Japanese land-based planes. The sinking of these ships was triply significant. It represented the loss of the last Allied capital ships in the Pacific left after the Pearl Harbor disaster. The Prince of Wales and the Repulse were the only Allied modern or 'fast' battleships to be sunk in the entire war. It was the first time that a battleship had been sunk by enemy aircraft while underway at sea. Reverses in the air and on the ground soon followed. Japanese forces had naval superiority, and they used it to make outflanking amphibious landings as they advanced down the Malayan peninsula towards Singapore. Japanese assaults from the ground and air soon made the forward landing grounds that much of the RAF's only real hope of defending Singapore from the air rested upon untenable. The RAF took a toll of Japanese forces, but there were never enough aircraft to do anything more than delay the Japanese offensive. Indian, British, and Australian army forces in Malaya were larger in numbers than the other services. But they were equally ill-prepared and ill-led. They were committed in numbers both too small and too poorly positioned to counter the Japanese tactic of outflanking strongpoints through the jungle. Over a period of several weeks, the Allied ground forces steadily gave ground. In early 1942, Singapore was critically unprepared for the assault that came. It had been neglected during the famine years for defence of the 1930s. It had then suffered during the war as British efforts were focused on defeating Germany and Italy. The colony was run by a Governor who did not want to "upset" the civilian population. Military neglect was exacerbated when he refused to allow defensive preparations before the Japanese arrived. Following Japanese landings on Singapore, intense fighting occurred over several days. But the poorly-led and increasingly disorganised Allied forces were steadily driven into a small pocket on the island. On 15 February 1942, General Arthur Percival surrendered the 80,000 strong garrison of Singapore. This was the largest surrender of personnel under British leadership in history. Many of the troops saw little or no action. The civilian population then suffered a brutal Japanese occupation. Some aircraft escaped to Sumatra and Java, but those islands also fell to the Japanese within a short time. British forces were forced back to India and Ceylon. [edit] Burma Campaign Main article: Burma Campaign The Burma Campaign was fought primarily between British, Commonwealth, Chinese, and American forces against the forces of the Empire of Japan and its auxiliary, the Indian National Army. The British and Commonwealth forces were drawn from the United Kingdom, British India (which included present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh), East Africa, West Africa, Australia, Malaya, Singapore, and elsewhere. [edit] Forced out of Burma In Burma, the Japanese attacked shortly after the outbreak of war. However, they did not begin to make real progress until Malaya and Singapore had fallen. After that, they could transfer large numbers of aircraft to the Burma front to overwhelm the Allied forces. The first Japanese attacks were aimed at taking Rangoon, the major port in Burma, which offered the Allies many advantages of supply. It had at first been defended relatively successfully, with the weak RAF forces reinforced by a squadron of the famous American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers. However, as the Japanese attack developed, the amount of warning the Rangoon airfields could get of attack decreased, and thus they became increasingly untenable.


By the start of March, Japanese forces had cut the British forces in two. Rangoon was evacuated and the port demolished. Its garrison then broke through the Japanese lines thanks to an error on the part of the Japanese commander. The British commander in Burma, Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Hutton was removed from command shortly before Rangoon fell. He was replaced by Sir Harold Alexander. With the fall of Rangoon, a British evacuation of Burma became inevitable. Supplies could not be moved to maintain fighting forces in Burma on a large scale, since the ground communications were dreadful, sea communications risky in the extreme (along with the fact that there was only one other port of any size in Burma besides Rangoon) and air communications out of the question due to lack of transport aircraft. Besides the Japanese superiority in training and experience, command problems beset the Burma campaign. The 1st Burma Division and Indian 17th Infantry Division at first had to be controlled directly by the Burma Army headquarters under Hutton. Burma was also swapped from command to command during the early months of the war. It had been the responsibility of GHQ India since 1937, but in the early weeks of the war, it was transferred from India to the ill-fated ABDA Command (ABDACOM). ABDA was based in Java, and it was simply impossible for Wavell, the Supreme Commander of ABDA, to keep in touch with the situation in Burma without neglecting his other responsibilities. Shortly before ABDA was dissolved, responsibility for Burma was transferred back to India. Interactions with the Chinese proved problematic. Chiang Kai-Shek, the leader of Nationalist China, was a poor strategist, and the Chinese Army suffered from severe command problems, with orders having to come directly from Chiang himself if they were to be obeyed. The ability of many Chinese commanders was called into question. Finally, the Chinese Army was lacking in the ancillary services which allow a force to fight a modern war. The problems with the Chinese were never satisfactorily resolved. However, after the dissolution of ABDA, India retained control of operations in Burma until the formation of South East Asia Command in late 1943. The problems of a lack of corps headquarters were also solved. A skeleton force known as Burcorps was formed under Lieutenant General Sir William Slim, later to gain fame as the commander of the Fourteenth Army. Burcorps retreated almost constantly, and suffered several disastrous losses, but it eventually managed to reach India in May 1942, just before the monsoon broke. Had it still been in Burma after the monsoon broke, it would have been cut off, and likely destroyed by the Japanese. The divisions making up Burcorps were withdrawn from the line for long refit periods. [edit] Forgotten army Operations in Burma over the remainder of 1942 and in 1943 were a study of military frustration. The UK could only just maintain three active campaigns, and immediate offensives in both the Middle East and Far East proved impossible due to lack of resources. The Middle East won out, being closer to home and a campaign against the far more dangerous Germans. During the 1942-1943 dry season, two operations were mounted. The first was a small scale offensive into the Arakan region of Burma. The Arakan is a coastal strip along the Bay of Bengal, crossed by numerous rivers. The First Arakan offensive largely failed due to difficulties of logistics, communications and command. The Japanese troops were also still assigned almost superhuman powers by their opponents. The second attack was much more controversial; that of the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade, better known as the Chindits. Under the command of Major General Orde Wingate, the Chindits penetrated deep behind enemy lines in an attempt to gain intelligence, break communications and cause confusion. The operation had originally been conceived as part of a much larger offensive, which had to be aborted due to lack of supplies and shipping. Almost all of the original reasons for mounting the Chindit operation were then invalid. Nevertheless, it was mounted anyway. Some 3,000 men entered Burma in many columns. They caused damage to Japanese communications, and they gathered intelligence. However, they suffered dreadful casualties, with only two thirds of the men who set out on the expedition returning. Those that returned were wracked with disease and quite often in dreadful physical condition. The most important contributions of the Chindits to the war were unexpected. They had had to be supplied by air. At first it had been thought impossible to drop supplies over the jungle. Emergency situations that arose during the operation necessitated supply drops in the jungle, proving it was possible. It is also alleged by some that the Japanese in Burma decided to take the offensive, rather than adopt a purely defensive stance, as a direct result of the Chindit operation. Whatever the reason for this later change to the offensive, it was to prove fatal for the Japanese in Burma. [edit] Kohima and Imphal As the 1943-44 dry period dawned, both sides were preparing to take the offensive. The British Fourteenth Army struck first, but only marginally before the Japanese.


In Arakan, a British advance began on the XV Corps front. However, a Japanese counter-attack halted the advance and threatened to destroy the forces making it. Unlike during previous operations, the British forces stood firm, and were supplied from the air. The resulting Battle of Ngakyedauk Pass saw a heavy defeat handed to the Japanese. With the possibility of aerial supply, their infiltration tactics, relying on units carrying their own supplies and hoping to capture enemy victuals were fatally compromised. On the central front, IV Corps advanced into Burma, before indications that a major Japanese offensive was building caused it to retreat on Kohima and Imphal. Forward elements of the corps were nearly cut off by Japanese forces, but eventually made it back to India. As they waited for the storm to break, the British forces were not to know that the successful defence of the two cities would be the turning point of the entire campaign in south East Asia. HQ XXXIII Corps was rushed forward to help control matters at the front and the two corps settled down for a long siege. The Japanese threw themselves repeatedly against the defences of the two strong points, in the battles of Imphal and Kohima, but could not break through. At times the supply situation was perilous, but never totally critical. It came down to a battle of attrition, and the British forces could simply afford to fight that kind of battle for longer. In the end, the Japanese ran out of supplies, and suffered large casualties. They broke and fled back into Burma, pursued by elements of Fourteenth Army. [edit] Burma retaken The recapture of Burma took place during late 1944 and the first half of 1945. Command of the British formations on the front was rearranged in November 1944. 11th Army Group was replaced with Allied Land Forces South East Asia and XV Corps was placed directly under ALFSEA. Some of the first operations to recapture Burma took place in Arakan. To gain bases for the aircraft necessary to supply Fourteenth Army in its attack through the heart of the country, two offshore islands, Akyab and Ramree, had to be captured. Akyab was virtually undefended when British forces came ashore, so it effectively provided a rehearsal of amphibious assault doctrine for the forces in theatre. However, Ramree was defended by several thousand Japanese. The clearing of the island took several days, and associated forces on the mainland longer to clear out. Following these actions, XV Corps was greatly reduced in numbers to free up transport aircraft to support Fourteenth Army. Fourteenth Army made the main thrust to destroy Japanese forces in Burma. The Army had IV and XXXIII Corps under its command. The conception of the plan was that XXXIII Corps would reduce Mandalay, and act as a diversion for the main striking force of IV Corps which would take Meiktila and thus cut the Japanese communications. The plan succeeded extremely well, and Japanese forces in Upper Burma were effectively reduced to scattered and unorganised pockets. Slim's men then advanced south towards the Burmese capital. Following the taking of Rangoon in May 1945, there were still Japanese forces to take care of in Burma, but it was effectively a large mopping up operation. The next major campaign was planned to be the liberation of Malaya. This was to be an amphibious assault on the western side of Malaya codenamed Operation Zipper. However, the dropping of the atomic bombs forestalled Zipper, and it was undertaken postwar as the quickest way of getting occupation troops into Malaya. [edit] Okinawa and Japan Main articles: Operation Iceberg and Operation Downfall In their final actions of the war, substantial British naval forces took part in the Battle of Okinawa (also known as Operation Iceberg) and the final naval strikes on Japan. The British Pacific Fleet operated as a separate unit from the American task forces in the Okinawa operation. Its job was to strike airfields on the chain of islands between Formosa and Okinawa, to prevent the Japanese reinforcing the defences of Okinawa from that direction. British forces made a significant contribution to the success of the invasion. During the final strikes against Japan, British forces operated as an integral part of the American task force. Only a small British naval force was present for Japan's surrender. Most British forces had been withdrawing to base to prepare for Operation Olympic, the first part of the massive invasion of Japan.

[edit] Empire to Commonwealth


Britain's control over its Empire loosened during the interwar period. Nationalism became stronger in other parts of the empire, particularly in India and in Egypt. Between 1867 and 1910, the UK granted Australia, Canada, and New Zealand "Dominion" status (near complete autonomy within the Empire). They became charter members of the British Commonwealth of Nations (known as the Commonwealth of Nations since 1949) , an informal but closely-knit association that succeeded the British Empire. Beginning with the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, the remainder of the British Empire was almost completely dismantled. Today, most of Britain's former colonies belong to the Commonwealth, almost all of them as independent members. There are, however, 13 former British colonies including Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, and others which have elected to continue their political links with London and are known as British Overseas Territories. Although often marked by economic and political nationalism, the Commonwealth offers the United Kingdom a voice in matters concerning many developing countries, and is a forum for those countries to raise concerns. Notable non-members of the Commonwealth are Ireland, the United States and the former middle-eastern colonies and protectorates. In addition, the Commonwealth helps preserve many institutions deriving from British experience and models, such as Westminster-style parliamentary democracy, in those countries. [edit] 1945-1997 Main article: History of the United Kingdom (1945present) The end of the Second World War saw a landslide General Election victory for Clement Atlee and the Labour Party. They were elected on a manifesto of greater social justice with left wing policies such as the creation of a National Health Service, an expansion of the provision of council housing and nationalisation of the major industries. The UK at the time was poor, relying heavily on loans from the United States of America (which were finally paid off in February 2007) to rebuild its damaged infrastructure. Rationing and conscription dragged on into the post war years, and the country suffered one of the worst winters on record. Nevertheless, morale was boosted by events such as the marriage of Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and the Festival of Britain. As the country headed into the 1950s, rebuilding continued and a number of immigrants from the remaining British Empire were invited to help the rebuilding effort. As the 1950s wore on, the UK had lost its place as a superpower and could no longer maintain its large Empire. This led to decolonization, and a withdrawal from almost all of its colonies by 1970. Events such as the Suez Crisis showed that the UK's status had fallen in the world. The 1950s and 1960s were, however, relatively prosperous times after the Second World War, and saw the beginning of a modernization of the UK, with the construction of its first motorways. Though the 1970s and 1980s saw the UK's integration to the European Economic Community and a strict modernization of its economy, they were also a time of high unemployment as deindustrialization saw the end of much of the country's manufacturing industries. The miners' strike of 1984-1985 saw the end of the UK's coal mining, thanks to the discovery of North Sea gas. This was also the time that the IRA took the issue of Northern Ireland to Great Britain, maintaining a prolonged bombing campaign on the island. After the difficult 70s and 80s and a low point of Black Wednesday under the John Major government, the rest of the 1990s saw the beginning of a period of continuous economic growth that has to date lasted over 15 years. The Good Friday Agreement saw what many believe to be the beginning of the end of conflict in Northern Ireland; since this event, there has been very little armed violence over the issue. [edit] Devolution to Scotland and Wales On September 11th, 1997, (on the 700th anniversary of the Scottish victory over the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge), a referendum was held on establishing a devolved Scottish Parliament. This resulted in an overwhelming 'yes' vote both to establishing the parliament and granting it limited tax varying powers. Two weeks later, a referendum in Wales on establishing a Welsh Assembly for was also approved but with a very narrow majority. The first elections were held, and these bodies began to operate, in 1999. The creation of the devolved Scottish parliament in particular, with powers to legislate over a wide range of issues, is beginning to add to differences between the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. It has also brought to the fore the so-called West Lothian question which is a complaint that devolution for Scotland and Wales but not England has created a situation where all the MPs in the UK parliament can vote on matters affecting England alone but on those same matters Scotland and Wales can make their own decisions. [edit] 2000s In the 2001 General Election, the Labour Party won a second successive victory.


Despite huge anti-war marches held in London and Glasgow, Blair gave strong support to the United State's invasion of Iraq in 2003. Fortysix thousand British troops, one-third of the total strength of the British Army (land forces), were deployed to assist with the invasion of Iraq and thereafter British armed forces were responsible for security in southern Iraq in the run-up to the Iraqi elections of January 2005. The Labour Party won the Thursday 5 May 2005 general election and a third consecutive term in office. On Thursday 7 July 2005, a series of four bomb explosions struck London's public transport system during the morning rush-hour. All four incidents were suicide bombings that killed 52 commutors in addition to the 4 bombers. 2007 saw the conclusion of the premiership of Tony Blair, followed by the premiership of Gordon Brown (from 27 June 2007). 2007 also sees an election victory for the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) in the May elections. They formed a minority government with plans to hold a referendum before 2011 to seek a mandate "to negotiate with the Government of the United Kingdom to achieve independence for Scotland."[9] Most opinion polls show minority support for independence though support varies depending on the nature of the question. However, a poll in April 2008 that used the proposed referendum wording found support for independence had reached 41% with just 40% supporting retention of the Union.[10] The response of the unionist parties has been to call for the establishment of a Commission to examine further devolution of powers,[11] a position that has the support of the Prime Minister.[12] [edit] Social history Main article: History of British society Chartism is thought to have originated from the passing of the 1832 Reform Bill, which gave the vote to the majority of the (male) middle classes, but not to the 'working class'. Many people made speeches on the 'betrayal' of the working class and the 'sacrificing' of their 'interests' by the 'misconduct' of the government. In 1838, six members of Parliament and six workingmen formed a committee, which then published the People's Charter. Victorian attitudes and ideals continued into the first years of the 20th century, and what really changed society was the start of World War I. The army was traditionally never a large employer in the nation, and the regular army stood at 247,432 at the start of the war [13]. By 1918, there were about five million people in the army and the fledgling Royal Air Force, newly formed from the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) , was about the same size of the pre-war army. The almost three million casualties were known as the "lost generation", and such numbers inevitably left society scarred; but even so, some people felt their sacrifice was little regarded in Britain, with poems like Siegfried Sassoon's Blighters criticising the ill-informed jingoism of the home front. The social reforms of the last century continued into the 20th with the Labour Party being formed in 1900. Labour did not achieve major success until the 1922 general election. David Lloyd George said after the First World War that "the nation was now in a molten state", and his Housing Act 1919 would lead to affordable council housing which allowed people to move out of Victorian inner-city slums. The slums, though, remained for several more years, with trams being electrified long before many houses. The Representation of the People Act 1918 gave women householders the vote, but it would not be until 1928 that equal suffrage was achieved. A short lived post-war boom soon led to a depression that would be felt worldwide. Particularly hardest hit were the north of England and Wales, where unemployment reached 70% in some areas. The General Strike was called during 1926 in support of the miners and their falling wages, but little improved, the downturn continued and the Strike is often seen as the start of the slow decline of the British coal industry. In 1936, 200 unemployed men walked from Jarrow to London in a bid to show the plight of the industrial poor, but the Jarrow March, or the 'Jarrow Crusade' as it was known, had little impact and it would not be until the coming war that industrial prospects improved. George Orwell's book The Road to Wigan Pier gives a bleak overview of the hardships of the time. [edit] Footnotes The term "United Kingdom" was first used in the 1707 Act of Union. However it is generally seen as a descriptive term, indicating that the kingdoms were freely united rather than through conquest. It is not seen as being actual name of the new United Kingdom, which was the "Kingdom of Great Britain". The "United Kingdom" as a name is taken to refer to the kingdom that emerged when the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland merged on 1 January 1801. The name "Great Britain" (then spelt "Great Brittaine") was first used by James VI/I in October 1604, who indicated that henceforth he and his successors would be viewed as Kings of Great Britain, not Kings of England and Scotland. However the name was not applied to the state as a unit; both England and Scotland continued to be governed independently. Its validity as a name of the Crown is also questioned, given that monarchs continued using separate ordinals (e.g., James VI/I, James VII/II) in England and Scotland. To avoid confusion, historians generally avoid using the term "King of Great Britain" until 1707 and instead to match the ordinal usage call the monarchs kings or queens of


England and Scotland. Separate ordinals were abandoned when the two states merged with the Act of Union 1707, with subsequent monarchs using ordinals apparently based on English not Scottish history (it might be argued that the monarchs have simply taken the higher ordinal, which to date has always been English). One example is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, who is referred to as being "the Second" even though there never was an Elizabeth I of Scotland or Great Britain. Thus the term "Great Britain" is generally used from 1707. The number changed several times between 1801 and 1922.

The Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified by (i) The British Parliament (Commons, Lords & Royal Assent) , (ii) Dil ireann, and the (iii) the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, a parliament created under the British Government of Ireland Act 1920 which was supposedly the valid parliament of Southern Ireland in British eyes and which had an almost identical membership of the Dil, but which nevertheless had to assemble separately under the Treaty's provisions to approve the Treaty, the Treaty thus being ratified under both British and Irish constitutional theory. History of England

History of England

Prehistoric Britain (before AD 43) Roman Britain (43410) Anglo-Saxon England (4101066) Anglo-Normans House of Plantagenet House of Lancaster House of York House of Tudor House of Stuart Kingdom of Great Britain (10661154) (11541485) (13991471) (14611485) (14851603) (16031707) (17071800)


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland



This box: view talk edit The history of England is similar to the history of Britain until the arrival of the Saxons. It begins in the prehistoric during which time Stonehenge was erected. At the height of the Roman Empire, Britannia (England and Wales) was under the rule of the Romans. Their rule lasted until about 410, at which time the Romano-British formed various independent kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxons gradually gained control of England and became the chief rulers of the land. Raids by the Vikings were frequent after about AD 800. In 1066, the Normans invaded and conquered England. There was much civil war and battles with other nations throughout the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance, England was ruled by the Tudors. England had conquered Wales in the 12th century and was then united with Scotland in the early 18th century to form "Great Britain". Following the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain ruled a worldwide empire, of which, physically, little remains, however its cultural impact is widespread and deep in many countries of the present day. [edit] The Pretannic Isles Main article: Prehistoric Britain

Stonehenge, thought to have been erected c.2500-2000BC Archaeological evidence indicates that what was later southern Britannia was colonised by humans long before the rest of the British Isles because of its more hospitable climate between and during the various ice ages of the distant past. The first historical mention of the region is from the Massaliote Periplus, a sailing manual for merchants thought to date to the 6th century BC, although cultural and trade links with the continent had existed for millennia prior to this. Pytheas of Massilia wrote of his trading journey to the island around 325 BC. Later writers such as Pliny the Elder (quoting Timaeus) and Diodorus Siculus (probably drawing on Poseidonius) mention the tin trade from southern Britain, but there is little further historical detail of the people who lived there. Tacitus wrote that there was no great difference in language between the people of southern Britannia and northern Gaul and noted that the various nations of Britons shared physical characteristics with their continental neighbours. [edit] Roman Britain (Britannia) Main article: Roman Britain Hadrian's Wall viewed from Vercovicium Julius Caesar invaded southern Britain in 55 and 54 BC and wrote in De Bello Gallico that the population of southern Britannia was extremely large and shared much in common with the Belgae of the Low Countries. Coin evidence and the work of later Roman historians


have provided the names of some of the rulers of the disparate tribes and their machinations in what was Britannia. Until the Roman Conquest of Britain, Britain's British population was relatively stable, and by the time of Julius Caesar's first invasion, the British population of what was old Britain was speaking a Celtic language generally thought to be the forerunner of the modern Brythonic languages. After Julius Caesar abandoned Britain, it fell back into the hands of the Britons. The Romans began their second conquest of Britain in 43 AD, during the reign of Claudius. They annexed the whole of modern England and Wales over the next forty years and periodically extended their control over much of lowland Scotland. [edit] Post Roman Britain Main article: Sub-Roman Britain In the wake of the breakdown of Roman rule in Britain around 410, present day England was progressively settled by Germanic groups. Collectively known as the Anglo-Saxons[citation needed], these included Jutes from Jutland together with larger numbers of Frisians, Saxons from northwestern Germany and Angles from what is now Schleswig-Holstein.[citation needed] They first invaded Britain in the mid 5th century, continuing for several decades. The Jutes appear to have been the principal group of settlers in Kent, the Isle of Wight and parts of coastal Hampshire, while the Saxons predominated in all other areas south of the Thames and in Essex and Middlesex, and the Angles in Norfolk, Suffolk, the Midlands and the north.[citation needed] [edit] Anglo-Saxon conquests and the founding of England Main article: History of Anglo-Saxon England

In approximately 495, at the Battle of Mount Badon, Britons inflicted a severe defeat on an invading Anglo-Saxon army which halted the westward Anglo-Saxon advance for some decades. Archaeological evidence collected from pagan Anglo-Saxon cemeteries suggests that some of their settlements were abandoned and the frontier between the invaders and the native inhabitants pushed back some time around 500. Anglo-Saxon expansion resumed in the sixth century, although the chronology of its progress is unclear. One of the few individual events which emerges with any clarity before the seventh century is the Battle of Deorham, in 577, a West Saxon victory which led to the capture of Cirencester, Gloucester and Bath, bringing the Anglo-Saxon advance to the Bristol Channel and dividing the Britons in the West Country from those in Wales. The Northumbrian victory at the Battle of Chester around 616 may have had a similar effect in dividing Wales from the Britons of Cumbria. Gradual Saxon expansion through the West Country continued through the seventh, eighth and ninth centuries. Meanwhile, by the midseventh century the Angles had pushed the Britons back to the approximate borders of modern Wales in the west and expanded northward as far as the River Forth. [edit] Heptarchy and Christianisation

Christianisation of Anglo-Saxon England began around 600 AD, influenced by Celtic Christianity from the northwest and by the Roman Catholic Church from the southeast. Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, took office in 597. In 601, he baptised the first Christian Anglo-Saxon king, Aethelbert of Kent. The last pagan Anglo-Saxon king, Penda of Mercia, died in 655. The Anglo-Saxon mission on the continent took off in the 8th century, leading to the Christianisation of practically all of the Frankish Empire by 800. Throughout the 7th and 8th century power fluctuated between the larger kingdoms. Bede records Aethelbert of Kent as being dominant at the close of the 6th century, but power seems to have shifted northwards to the kingdom of Northumbria, which was formed from the amalgamation of Bernicia and Deira. Edwin of Northumbria probably held dominance over much of Britain, though Bede's Northumbrian bias should be kept in mind. Succession crises meant Northumbrian hegemony was not constant, and Mercia remained a very powerful kingdom, especially under Penda. Two defeats essentially ended Northumbrian dominance: the Battle of the Trent in 679 against Mercia, and Nechtanesmere in 685 against the Picts.


The so-called "Mercian Supremacy" dominated the 8th century, though it was not constant. Aethelbald and Offa, the two most powerful kings, achieved high status; indeed, Offa was considered the overlord of south Britain by Charlemagne. That Offa could summon the resources to build Offa's Dyke is testament to his power. However, a rising Wessex, and challenges from smaller kingdoms, kept Mercian power in check, and by the early 9th century the "Mercian Supremacy" was over. This period has been described as the Heptarchy, though this term has now fallen out of academic use. The word arose on the basis that the seven kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, Kent, East Anglia, Essex, Sussex and Wessex were the main polities of south Britain. More recent scholarship has shown that other kingdoms were also politically important across this period: Hwicce, Magonsaete, Lindsey and Middle Anglia. [edit] Viking challenge and the rise of Wessex England in 878 The first recorded Viking attack in Britain was in 793 at Lindisfarne monastery as given by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. However, by then the Vikings were almost certainly well established in Orkney and Shetland, and it is probable that many other non-recorded raids occurred before this. Records do show the first Viking attack on Iona taking place in 794. The arrival of the Vikings, in particular the Danish Great Heathen Army, upset the political and social geography of Britain and Ireland. Alfred the Great's victory at Edington in 878 stemmed the Danish attack; however, by then Northumbria had devolved into Bernicia and a Viking kingdom, Mercia had been split down the middle, and East Anglia ceased to exist as an Anglo-Saxon polity. The Vikings had similar effects on the various kingdoms of the Irish, Scots, Picts and (to a lesser extent) Welsh. Certainly in North Britain the Vikings were one reason behind the formation of the Kingdom of Alba, which eventually evolved into Scotland. The conquest of Northumbria, north-western Mercia and East Anglia by the Danes led to widespread Danish settlement in these areas. In the early tenth century the Norwegian rulers of Dublin took over the Danish kingdom of York. Danish and Norwegian settlement made enough of an impact to leave significant traces in the English language; many fundamental words in modern English are derived from Old Norse, though of the 100 most used words in English the vast majority are Old English in origin. Similarly, many place-names in areas of Danish and Norwegian settlement have Scandinavian roots. By the end of Alfred's reign in 899 he was the only remaining English king, having reduced Mercia to a dependency of Wessex, governed by his son-in-law Ealdorman Aethelred. Cornwall (Kernow) was subject to West Saxon dominance, and the Welsh kingdoms recognised Alfred as their overlord. [edit] English unification Edward the Elder Alfred of Wessex died in 899 and was succeeded by his son Edward the Elder. Edward, and his brother-in-law thelred of (what was left of) Mercia, began a programme of expansion, building forts and towns on an Alfredian model. On thelred's death his wife (Edward's sister) thelfld ruled as "Lady of the Mercians" and continued expansion. It seems Edward had his son thelstan brought up in the Mercian court, and on Edward's death Athelstan succeeded to the Mercian kingdom, and, after some uncertainty, Wessex. thelstan continued the expansion of his father and aunt and was the first king to achieve direct rulership of what we would now consider England. The titles attributed to him in charters and on coins suggest a still more widespread dominance. His expansion aroused ill-feeling among the other kingdoms of Britain, and he defeated a combined Scottish-Viking army at the Battle of Brunanburh. However, the unification of England was not a certainty. Under thelstan's successors Edmund and Eadred the English kings repeatedly lost and regained control of Northumbria. Nevertheless, Edgar, who ruled the same expanse as Athelstan, consolidated the kingdom, which remained united thereafter. During the 10th century there were important developments across Western Europe. Carolingian authority was in decline by the mid-10th century in West Francia (France), and eventually collapsed to be replaced by the weak House of Capet. In East Francia a Saxon dynasty came to power, and its kings began taking the title of Holy Roman Emperor. [edit] England under the Danes and the Norman Conquest The rune stone U 344 was raised in memory of a Viking who went to England three times.


There were renewed Scandinavian attacks on England at the end of the 10th century. thelred ruled a long reign but ultimately lost his kingdom to Sweyn of Denmark, though he recovered it following the latter's death. However, thelred's son Edmund II Ironside died shortly afterwards, allowing Canute, Sweyn's son, to become king of England. Under his rule the kingdom became the centre of government for an empire which also included Denmark and Norway. Canute was succeeded by his sons, but in 1042 the native dynasty was restored with the accession of Edward the Confessor. Edward's failure to produce an heir caused a furious conflict over the succession on his death in 1066. His struggles for power against Godwin, Earl of Wessex, the claims of Canute's Scandinavian successors, and the ambitions of the Normans whom Edward introduced to English politics to bolster his own position caused each to vie for control Edward's reign. Harold Godwinson became king, in all likelihood appointed by Edward the Confessor on his deathbed and endorsed by the Witan. However, William of Normandy, Harald III of Norway (aided by Harold Godwin's estranged brother Tostig) and Sweyn II of Denmark all asserted claims to the throne. By far the strongest hereditary claim was that of Edgar the Atheling, but his youth and apparent lack of powerful supporters caused to him be passed over, and he did not play a major part in the struggles of 1066, though he was made king for a short time by the Witan after the death of Harold Godwinson. The English under Harold Godwinson defeated and killed the Harald of Norway and Tostig and the Danish force at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, but he fell in battle against William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings. Further opposition to William in support of Edgar the Atheling soon collapsed, and William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066. For the next five years he faced a series of English rebellions in various parts of the country and a half-hearted Danish invasion, but he was able to subdue all resistance and establish an enduring regime. [edit] Norman England Further information: Anglo-Norman Depiction of the Battle of Hastings (1066) on the Bayeux Tapestry The Norman Conquest led to a sea-change in the history of the English state. William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey of the entire population and their lands and property for tax purposes, which reveals that within twenty years of the conquest the English ruling class had been almost entirely dispossessed and replaced by Norman landholders, who also monopolised all senior positions in the government and the Church. William and his nobles spoke and conducted court in Norman French, in England as well as in Normandy. The use of the Anglo-Norman language by the aristocracy endured for centuries and left an indelible mark in the development of modern English. The English Middle Ages were characterised by civil war, international war, occasional insurrection, and widespread political intrigue amongst the aristocratic and monarchic elite. England was more than self-sufficient in cereals, dairy products, beef and mutton. The nation's international economy was based on the wool trade, in which the produce of the sheepwalks of northern England was exported to the textile cities of Flanders, where it was worked into cloth. Medieval foreign policy was as much shaped by relations with Flemish textile industry as it was by dynastic adventures in western France. An English textile industry was established in the fifteenth century, providing the basis for rapid English capital accumulation. Henry I, also known as "Henry Beauclerc" (so named because of his educationas his older brother William was the heir apparent and thus given the practical training to be king, Henry received the alternate, formal education), worked hard to reform and stabilise the country and smooth the differences between the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman societies. The loss of his son, William Adelin, in the wreck of the White Ship in November 1120, undermined his reforms. This problem regarding succession cast a long shadow over English history. During the confused and contested reign of Stephen, there was a major swing in the balance of power towards the feudal barons, as civil war and lawlessness broke out. In trying to appease Scottish and Welsh raiders, he handed over large tracts of land. His conflicts with his cousin The Empress Matilda (also known as Empress Maud), led to a civil war from 1139 - 1153. Matildas father, Henry I, had required the leading barons, ecclesiastics and officials in Normandy and England, to take an oath to accept Matilda as his heir. England was far less than enthusiastic to accept an outsider, and a woman, as their ruler. There is some evidence suggesting Henry was unsure of his own hopes and the oath to make Matilda his heir. In likelihood, Henry probably hoped Matilda would have a son and step aside as Queen Mother, making her son the next heir. Upon Henrys death, the Norman and English barons ignored Matildas claim to the throne, and thus through a series of decisions, Stephen, Henrys favourite nephew, was welcomed by many in England and Normandy as their new ruler. On December 22, 1135, Stephen was anointed king with the implicit support of the church and nation. Matilda and her own son stood for direct descent by heredity from Henry I, and she bided her time in France. In the autumn of 1139, she invaded England with her illegitimate half-brother Robert of Gloucester. Her husband, Geoffroy V of Anjou, conquered Normandy but did not cross the channel to help his wife, satisfied with Normandy and Anjou.


Stephen was captured, and his government fell. Matilda was proclaimed queen but was soon at odds with her subjects and was expelled from London. The period of insurrection and civil war that followed continued until 1148, when Matilda returned to France. Stephen effectively reigned unopposed until his death in 1154, although his hold on the throne was still uneasy. [edit] England under the Plantagenets Geoffroy's son, Henry, resumed the invasion; he was already Count of Anjou, Duke of Normandy and Duke of Aquitaine when he landed in England. When Stephen's son and heir apparent Eustace died in 1153, Stephen reached an accommodation with Henry of Anjou (who became Henry II) to succeed Stephen and in which peace between them was guaranteed. England was part of a greater union retrospectively named the Angevin Empire. Henry II expanded his power through various means and to different levels into Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Flanders, Nantes, Brittany, Quercy, Toulouse, Bourges and Auvergne. The reign of Henry II represents a reversion in power back from the barony to the monarchical state in England; it was also to see a similar redistribution of legislative power from the Church, again to the monarchical state. This period also presaged a properly constituted legislation and a radical shift away from feudalism. In his reign new Anglo-Angevin and Anglo-Aquitanian aristocracies developed, though not to the same point than the Anglo-Norman once did, and the Norman nobles interacted with their French peers. The signing of the Magna Carta (1215) Henry's successor, Richard I "the Lion Heart", was preoccupied with foreign wars, taking part in the Third Crusade and defending his French territories against Philip II of France. His younger brother John, who succeeded him, was not so fortunate; he suffered the loss of Normandy and numerous other French territories following the disastrous Battle of Bouvines. He also managed to antagonise the feudal nobility and leading Church figures to the extent that in 1215, they led an armed rebellion and forced him to sign the Magna Carta, which imposed legal limits on the king's personal powers. John's son, Henry III, was only 9 years old when he became king. His reign was punctuated by numerous rebellions and civil wars, often provoked by incompetence and mismanagement in government and Henry's perceived over-reliance on French courtiers (thus restricting the influence of the English nobility). One of these rebellionsled by a disaffected courtier, Simon de Montfortwas notable for its assembly of one of the earliest precursors to Parliament. In addition to fighting the Second Barons' War, Henry III made war against Saint Louis and was defeated during the Saintonge War, yet Louis IX did not capitalise his victory, respecting his opponent's rights. The reign of Edward I was rather more successful. Edward enacted numerous laws strengthening the powers of his government, and he summoned the first officially sanctioned Parliaments of England (such as his Model Parliament). He conquered Wales and attempted to use a succession dispute to gain control of the Kingdom of Scotland, though this developed into a costly and drawn-out military campaign. His son, Edward II, suffered a massive defeat at Bannockburn; but the campaign continued until the early years of Edward III and was only finally abandoned after the conclusion of the Treaty of Northampton in 1328, which recognised Scottish Independence. The Black Death, an epidemic of bubonic plague that spread over the whole of Europe, arrived in England in 1349 and killed perhaps up to a third of the population. International excursions were invariably against domestic neighbours: the Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and the Hundred Years' War against the French and their Scottish allies. Notable English victories in the Hundred Years' War included Crcy and Agincourt. In addition to this, the final defeat of the uprising led by the Welsh prince, Owain Glyndr, in 1412 by Prince Henry (who later became Henry V) represents the last major armed attempt by the Welsh to throw off English rule. Edward III gave land to powerful noble families, including many people of royal lineage. Because land was equivalent to power, these powerful men could try to claim the crown. The autocratic and arrogant methods of Richard II only served to alienate the nobility more, and his forceful dispossession in 1399 by Henry IV increased the turmoil. The turmoil was at its peak in the reign of Henry VI, which began in 1422, because of his personal weaknesses and mental instability. Unable to control the feuding nobles, civil war began. The conflicts are known as the Wars of the Roses, and although the fighting was very sporadic and small, there was a general breakdown in the authority and power of the Crown. Edward IV went a little way to restoring this power, Henry VII was able to complete the efforts. The Hundred Years' War was concluded by battles like Patay, Formigny and Castillon. Wars of the Roses From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from War of roses) Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Wars of the Roses (disambiguation).


The Wars of the Roses (14551487) were a series of dynastic civil wars fought in England between supporters of the Houses of Lancaster and York. Although armed clashes had occurred previously between supporters of Lancastrian King Henry VI and Richard, Duke of York, head of the rival House of York, the first open fighting broke out in 1455 and resumed more violently in 1459. Henry was captured and Richard became Protector of England, but was dissuaded from claiming the throne. Inspired by Henry's Queen, Margaret of Anjou, the Lancastrians resumed the conflict, and Richard was killed in battle at the end of 1460. His eldest son was proclaimed King Edward IV after a crushing victory early in 1461. After several years of minor Lancastrian revolts, Edward fell out with his chief supporter and advisor, the Earl of Warwick (known as the "Kingmaker"), who tried first to supplant him with his jealous younger brother George, and then to restore Henry VI to the throne. This resulted in two years of rapid changes of fortune, before Edward IV once again won a complete victory in 1471. Warwick and the Lancastrian heir Edward, Prince of Wales died in battle and Henry was murdered immediately afterwards. A period of comparative peace followed, but Edward died unexpectedly in 1483. His surviving brother Richard of Gloucester first moved to prevent Edward's widow Queen Elizabeth's unpopular family from participating in government during the minority of Edward's son, Edward V, and then seized the throne for himself, using the suspect legitimacy of Edward IV's marriage as pretext. This provoked several revolts, and Henry Tudor, a distant relative of the Lancastrian kings who had nevertheless inherited their claim, overcame and killed Richard in battle at Bosworth in 1485. Yorkist revolts flared up in 1487, resulting in the last pitched battles. Sporadic rebellions continued to take place until the last (and fraudulent) Yorkist pretender was executed in 1499. Fought largely by the landed aristocracy and armies of feudal retainers, support for each house largely depended upon dynastic factors, such as marriages within the nobility, feudal titles, and tenures. It is sometimes difficult to follow the shifts of power and allegiance because nobles acquired or lost titles through marriage, confiscation or attainture. For example, the Lancastrian patriarch John of Gaunt's first title was Earl of Richmond, the same title which Henry VII later held, while the Yorkist patriarch Edmund of Langley's first title was Earl of Cambridge.However it was not uncommon for nobles to switch sides and several battles were decided by treachery. [edit] Name and symbols The name "Wars of the Roses" is not thought to have been used during the time of the wars but has its origins in the badges associated with the two royal houses, the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York. The term came into common use in the nineteenth century, after the publication of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott. Scott based the name on a fictional scene in William Shakespeare's play Henry VI Part 1, where the opposing sides pick their different-coloured roses at the Temple Church. Although the roses were occasionally used as symbols during the wars, most of the participants wore badges associated with their immediate feudal lords or protectors. For example, Henry's forces at Bosworth fought under the banner of a red dragon, while the Yorkist army used Richard III's personal symbol of a white boar. Evidence of the importance of the rose symbols at the time, however, includes the fact that King Henry VII chose at the end of the wars to combine the red and white roses into a single red and white Tudor Rose. The unofficial system of livery and maintenance, by which powerful nobles would offer protection to followers who would sport their colours and badges (livery), and controlled large numbers of paid men-at-arms (maintenance) was one of the effects of the breakdown of royal authority which preceded and partly caused the wars. [edit] Disputed succession The antagonism between the two houses started with the overthrow of King Richard II by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, in 1399. As an issue of Edward III's third son John of Gaunt, Bolingbroke had a very poor claim to the throne. According to precedent, the crown should have passed to the male descendants of Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, Edward III's second son, and in fact, the childless Richard II had named Lionel's grandson, Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March as heir presumptive. However, Richard II was then deposed and Bolingbroke was crowned as Henry IV. He was tolerated as king since Richard II's government had been highly unpopular. Nevertheless, within a few years of taking the throne, Henry found himself facing several rebellions in Wales, Cheshire and Northumberland, which used the Mortimer claim to the throne both as pretext and rallying point. All these revolts were suppressed, although with difficulty. Henry IV died in 1413. His son and successor, Henry V, inherited a temporarily pacified nation. Henry was a great soldier, and his military success against France in the Hundred Years' War bolstered his enormous popularity, enabling him to strengthen the Lancastrian hold on the throne.


Henry V's short reign saw one conspiracy against him, the Southampton Plot led by Richard, Earl of Cambridge, a son of Edmund of Langley, the fifth son of Edward III. Cambridge was executed in 1415 for treason at the start of the campaign leading up to the Battle of Agincourt. Cambridge's wife, Anne Mortimer, also had a claim to the throne, being the daughter of Roger Mortimer and thus a descendant of Lionel of Antwerp. Richard, Duke of York, the son of Cambridge and Anne Mortimer was four years old at the time of his father's death. With his titles and inheritance restored, he grew up to put forward his parents' claims to the throne as head of the House of York, which believed that it had a stronger claim to the throne than the Lancastrian kings. [edit] Henry VI Henry V died unexpectedly in 1422, and the Lancastrian King Henry VI of England ascended the throne as an infant only nine months old. After the death of his uncle, John, Duke of Bedford in 1435, he was surrounded by unpopular regents and advisors. In addition to Henry's surviving paternal uncle, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the most notable of these were Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset and William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, who were blamed for mismanaging the government and poorly executing the continuing Hundred Years' War with France. Under Henry VI, virtually all English holdings in France, including the land won by Henry V, were lost. Suffolk eventually succeeded in having Humphrey of Gloucester arrested for treason. Humphrey died while awaiting trial in 1447. However, with severe reverses in France, Suffolk was stripped of office and murdered on his way to exile. Somerset succeeded him as leader of the party seeking peace with France. Richard, Duke of York, meanwhile represented those who wished to prosecute the war more vigorously, and criticised the court for starving him of funds and men during his campaigns in France. In all these quarrels, Henry VI had taken little part. He was portrayed as a weak, ineffectual king. In addition, he suffered from episodes of mental illness that he may have inherited from his grandfather Charles VI of France. By the 1450s many considered Henry incapable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of a king. The increasing discord at court was mirrored in the country as a whole, where noble families engaged in private feuds and showed increasing disrespect for the royal authority and for the courts of law. The Percy-Neville feud was the best-known of these private wars, but others were being conducted freely. In many cases they were fought between old-established families, and formerly minor nobility raised in power and influence by Henry IV in the aftermath of the rebellions against him. The quarrel between the Percys, for long the Earls of Northumberland, and the comparatively upstart Nevilles was one which followed this pattern; another was the feud between the Courtenays and Bonvilles in Cornwall and Devonshire. A factor in these feuds was apparently the presence of large numbers of soldiers discharged from the English armies that had been defeated in France. Nobles engaged many of these to mount raids, or to pack courts of justice with their supporters, intimidating suitors, witnesses and judges. This growing civil discontent, the abundance of feuding nobles with private armies, and corruption in Henry VI's court formed a political climate ripe for civil war. With the king so easily manipulated, power rested with those closest to him at court, in other words Somerset and the Lancastrian faction. As a result Richard and the Yorkist faction, who tended to be physically placed further away from the seat of power, found their power slowly being stripped away. Royal power also started to slip, as Henry was convinced to gift more of his land to the Lancastrians. In 1453, Henry suffered the first of several bouts of complete mental collapse, during which he failed even to recognise his new-born son, Edward of Westminster. A Council of Regency was set up, headed by the Duke of York, who still remained popular with the people, as Lord Protector. Richard soon asserted his power with ever-greater boldness (although there is no proof that he had aspirations to the throne at this early stage). Believing the Lancastrians to be undermining the nation, he imprisoned Somerset and backed his Neville allies (his brother-inlaw, the Earl of Salisbury, and Salisbury's son, the Earl of Warwick), in their continuing feud with the Earl of Northumberland, a powerful supporter of Henry. Henry recovered in 1455 and once again fell under the influence of those closest to him at court. Directed by Henry's queen, the powerful and aggressive Margaret of Anjou, who emerged as the de facto leader of the Lancastrians, Richard was forced out of court. Margaret built up an alliance against Richard and conspired with other nobles to reduce his influence. An increasingly thwarted Richard (who feared arrest for treason) finally resorted to armed hostilities in 1455 at the First Battle of St Albans. [edit] Initial phase 145560

15th century clock tower of St Albans Richard, Duke of York led a small force toward London and was met by Henry's forces at St Albans, north of London, on May 22, 1455. The relatively small First Battle of St Albans was the first open conflict of the civil war. Richard's aim was ostensibly to remove "poor advisors" from King Henry's side. The result was a Lancastrian defeat. Several prominent Lancastrian leaders, including Somerset and


Northumberland, were killed. After the battle, the Yorkists found Henry sitting quietly in his tent, abandoned by his advisors and servants, apparently having suffered another bout of mental illness. York and his allies regained their position of influence, and for a while both sides seemed shocked that an actual battle had been fought and did their best to reconcile their differences. With the king indisposed, York was again appointed Protector, and Margaret was shunted aside, charged with the king's care. After the first Battle of St Albans, the compromise of 1455 enjoyed some success, with York remaining the dominant voice on the Council even after Henry's recovery. The problems which had caused conflict soon re-emerged, particularly the issue of whether the Duke of York, or Henry and Margaret's infant son, Edward, would succeed to the throne. Margaret refused to accept any solution that would disinherit her son, and it became clear that she would only tolerate the situation for as long as the Duke of York and his allies retained the military ascendancy. In 1456, Henry went on royal progress in the Midlands, where the king and queen were popular. Margaret did not allow him to return to London where the merchants were angry at the decline in trade and widespread disorder. The king's court was set up at Coventry. By then, the new Duke of Somerset was emerging as a favourite of the royal court. Margaret also persuaded Henry to dismiss the appointments York had made as Protector, while York was made to return to his post as lieutenant in Ireland. Disorder in the capital and piracy on the south coast were growing, but the king and queen remained intent on protecting their own positions, with the queen introducing conscription for the first time in England. Meanwhile, York's ally, Warwick (later dubbed "The Kingmaker"), was growing in popularity in London as the champion of the merchants. Ludlow Castle, South Shropshire Following York's unauthorised return from Ireland, hostilities resumed. On September 23, 1459, at the Battle of Blore Heath in Staffordshire, a large Lancastrian army failed to prevent a Yorkist force under the Earl of Salisbury from marching from Middleham Castle in Yorkshire to link up with York at Ludlow Castle. Shortly afterwards the combined Yorkist armies confronted the much larger Lancastrian force at the Battle of Ludford Bridge. One of Warwick's lieutenants defected to the Lancastrians, and the Yorkist leaders fled; York fled back to Ireland, and Edward, Earl of March (York's eldest son, later Edward IV of England), Salisbury, and Warwick fled to Calais. The Lancastrians were back in total control, and Somerset was sent off to be Governor of Calais. His attempts to evict Warwick were easily repulsed, and the Yorkists even began to launch raids on the English coast from Calais in 145960, adding to the sense of chaos and disorder. In 1460, Warwick and the others launched an invasion of England and rapidly established themselves in Kent and London, where they enjoyed wide support. Backed by a papal emissary who had taken their side, they marched north. Henry led an army south to meet them while Margaret remained in the north with Prince Edward. The Battle of Northampton on July 10, 1460, proved disastrous for the Lancastrians, and aided by treachery in the king's ranks, the Yorkist army under the Earl of Warwick was able to defeat the Lancastrians. Following the battle, and for the second time in the war, King Henry was found by the Yorkists abandoned by his retinue in a tent. He had apparently suffered another breakdown. With the king in their possession, the Yorkists returned to London. [edit] Act of Accord In the light of this military success, Richard moved to press his claim to the throne based on the illegitimacy of the Lancastrian line. Landing in north Wales, he and his wife Cecily entered London with all the ceremony usually reserved for a monarch. Parliament was assembled, and when York entered he made straight for the throne, which he may have been expecting the Lords to encourage him to take for himself as they had Henry IV in 1399. Instead, there was stunned silence. He announced his claim to the throne, but the Lords, even Warwick and Salisbury, were shocked by his presumption; they had no desire at this stage to overthrow King Henry. Their ambition was still limited to the removal of his bad councilors. The next day, York produced detailed genealogies to support his claim based on his descent from Lionel of Antwerp and was met with more understanding. Parliament agreed to consider the matter and accepted that York's claim was better, but by a majority of five, they voted that Henry VI should remain as king. A compromise was struck in October 1460 with the Act of Accord, which recognised York as Henry's successor, disinheriting Henry's six year old son, Edward. York accepted this compromise as the best on offer. It gave him much of what he wanted, particularly since he was also made Protector of the Realm and was able to govern in Henry's name. Margaret was ordered out of London with Prince Edward. The Act of Accord proved unacceptable to the Lancastrians, who rallied to Margaret, forming a large army in the north. [edit] Lancastrian counter-attack Ruins of Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire The Duke of York left London later that year with the Earl of Salisbury to consolidate his position in the north against Margaret's army, reported to be massing near the city of York. Richard took up a defensive position at Sandal Castle near Wakefield at Christmas 1460.


Although outnumbered by more than two to one, Richard's forces left the castle, attacked, and suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Wakefield on December 30. Richard was slain in the battle, and both Salisbury and Richard's 17-year-old second son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, were captured and beheaded. Margaret ordered the heads of all three placed on the gates of York. This event, or the later defeat of Richard III, later inspired the mnemonic "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain" for the seven colours of the rainbow. The Act of Accord and the events of Wakefield left the 18-year-old Edward, Earl of March, York's eldest son, as Duke of York and heir to the throne. Salisbury's death left Warwick, his heir, as the biggest landowner in England. Margaret travelled to Scotland to negotiate for Scottish assistance. Mary of Gueldres, Queen of Scotland agreed to give Margaret an army on condition that she cede the town of Berwick to Scotland and Mary's daughter be betrothed to Prince Edward. Margaret agreed, although she had no funds to pay her army and could only promise booty from the riches of southern England, as long as no looting took place north of the River Trent. She took her army to Hull, recruiting more men as she went. dward of York meanwhile, with an army from the pro-Yorkist Marches (the border area between England and Wales), met the Earl of Pembroke's army arriving from Wales, and he defeated them soundly at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire. He inspired his men with a "vision" of three suns at dawn (a phenomenon known as "parhelion"), telling them that it was a portent of victory and represented the three surviving York sons; himself, George and Richard. This led to Edward's later adoption of the sign of the sunne in splendour as his personal emblem. Margaret was moving south, wreaking havoc as she progressed, her army supporting itself by looting as it passed through the prosperous south of England. In London, Warwick used this as propaganda to reinforce Yorkist support throughout the south the town of Coventry switched allegiance to the Yorkists. Warwick failed to start raising an army soon enough and, without Edward's army to reinforce him, was caught off-guard by the Lancastrians' early arrival at St Albans. At the Second Battle of St Albans the Queen won the Lancastrians' most decisive victory yet, and as the Yorkist forces fled they left behind King Henry, who was found unharmed, sitting quietly beneath a tree. Henry knighted thirty Lancastrian soldiers immediately after the battle. In an illustration of the increasing bitterness of the war, Queen Margaret instructed her seven-year-old son Edward of Westminster, to determine the manner of execution of the Yorkist knights who had been charged with keeping Henry safe and had stayed at his side throughout the battle. As the Lancastrian army advanced southwards, a wave of dread swept London, where rumours were rife about savage northerners intent on plundering the city. The people of London shut the city gates and refused to supply food to the queen's army, which was looting the surrounding counties of Hertfordshire and Middlesex. [edit] Yorkist triumph Meanwhile, Edward advanced towards London from the west where he had joined forces with Warwick. This coincided with the northward retreat by the queen to Dunstable, allowing Edward and Warwick to enter London with their army. They were welcomed with enthusiasm, money and supplies by the largely Yorkist-supporting city. Edward could no longer claim simply to be trying to wrest the king from bad councillors; it had become a battle for the crown. Edward needed authority, and this seemed forthcoming when the Bishop of London asked the people of London their opinion and they replied with shouts of "King Edward". This was quickly confirmed by Parliament, and Edward was unofficially crowned in a hastily arranged ceremony at Westminster Abbey amidst much jubilation, although Edward vowed he would not have a formal coronation until Henry and Margaret were executed or exiled. He also announced that Henry had forfeited his right to the crown by allowing his queen to take up arms against his rightful heirs under the Act of Accord, though it was being widely argued that Edward's victory was simply a restoration of the rightful heir to the throne, which neither Henry nor his Lancastrian predecessors had been. It was this argument which Parliament had accepted the year before. Edward and Warwick marched north, gathering a large army as they went, and met an equally impressive Lancastrian army at Towton. The Battle of Towton, near York, was the biggest battle of the Wars of the Roses thus far. Both sides agreed beforehand that the issue was to be settled that day, with no quarter asked or given. An estimated 40,00080,000 men took part, with over 20,000 men being killed during (and after) the battle, an enormous number for the time and the greatest recorded single day's loss of life on English soil. Edward and his army won a decisive victory, the Lancastrians were routed, with most of their leaders slain. Henry and Margaret, who were waiting in York with their son Edward, fled north when they heard the outcome. Many of the surviving Lancastrian nobles switched allegiance to King Edward, and those who did not were driven back to the northern border areas and a few castles in Wales. Edward advanced to take York where he was confronted with the rotting heads of his father, his brother and Salisbury, which were replaced with those of defeated Lancastrian lords such as the notorious John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford of Skipton-Craven, who was blamed for the execution of Edward's brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland, after the Battle of Wakefield.


Henry and Margaret fled to Scotland where they stayed with the court of James III, implementing their earlier promise to cede Berwick to Scotland and leading an invasion of Carlisle later in the year. But lacking money, they were easily repulsed by Edward's men who were rooting out the remaining Lancastrian forces in the northern counties. [edit] Edward IV Edward IV's official coronation took place in June 1461 in London where he received a rapturous welcome from his supporters. Edward was able to rule in relative peace for ten years. In the north, Edward could never really claim to have complete control until 1464, as apart from rebellions, several castles with their Lancastrian commanders held out for years. Dunstanburgh, Alnwick (the Percy family seat), and Bamburgh were some of the last to fall. The last to surrender was the fortress of Harlech (Wales) in 1468, after a seven-year-long siege. There were two Lancastrian revolts in the north in 1464. Several Lancastrian nobles, including the Duke of Somerset, who had apparently been reconciled to Edward, readily led the rebellion. The first clash was at the Battle of Hedgeley Moor on April 25 and the second at the Battle of Hexham on May 15. Both revolts were put down by Warwick's brother, John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu. Somerset was captured and executed after the defeat at Hexham. The deposed King Henry was also captured in 1465 and held prisoner at the Tower of London where, for the time being, he was reasonably well treated. [edit] Resumption of hostilities 146971 The period 146770 marked a rapid deterioration in the relationship between King Edward and his former mentor, the powerful Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick "the Kingmaker". This had several causes but stemmed originally from Edward's decision to marry Elizabeth Woodville in secret in 1464. Edward later announced the news of his marriage as fait accompli, to the considerable embarrassment of Warwick, who had been negotiating a match between Edward and a French bride, convinced as he was of the need for an alliance with France. This embarrassment turned to bitterness when the Woodvilles came to be favoured over the Nevilles at court. Other factors compounded Warwick's disillusionment: Edward's preference for an alliance with Burgundy (over France), and Edward's reluctance to allow his brothers George, Duke of Clarence, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to marry Warwick's daughters, Isabel Neville and Anne Neville, respectively. Furthermore, Edward's general popularity was on the wane in this period with higher taxes and persistent disruptions of law and order. By 1469 Warwick had formed an alliance with Edward's jealous and treacherous brother George. They raised an army which defeated the king at the Battle of Edgecote Moor and held Edward at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire. (Warwick briefly had two Kings of England in his custody.) Warwick had the queen's father, Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, executed. He forced Edward to summon a parliament at York at which it was planned that Edward would be declared illegitimate, and the crown would thus pass to George, Duke of Clarence as Edward's heir apparent. However, the country was in turmoil, and Edward was able to call on the loyalty of his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and the majority of the nobles. Richard arrived at the head of a large force and liberated King Edward. Warwick and Clarence were declared traitors and forced to flee to France, where in 1470 Louis XI of France was coming under pressure from the exiled Margaret of Anjou to help her invade England and regain her captive husband's throne. It was King Louis who suggested the idea of an alliance between Warwick and Margaret, a notion which neither of the old enemies would at first entertain but eventually came round to, realising the potential benefits. However, both were undoubtedly hoping for different outcomes: Warwick for a puppet king in the form of Henry or his young son; Margaret to be able to reclaim her family's realm. In any case, a marriage was arranged between Warwick's daughter Anne Neville and Margaret's son, the former Prince of Wales, Edward of Westminster, and Warwick invaded England in the autumn of 1470. This time it was Edward IV who was forced to flee the country when John Neville changed loyalties to support his brother Warwick. Edward was unprepared for the arrival of Neville's large force from the north and had to order his army to scatter. Edward and Gloucester fled from Doncaster to the coast and thence to Holland and exile in Burgundy. Warwick had already invaded from France, and his plans to liberate and restore Henry VI to the throne came quickly to fruition. Henry VI was paraded through the streets of London as the restored king in October and Edward and Richard were proclaimed traitors. Warwick's success was short-lived, however. He overreached himself with his plan to invade Burgundy in alliance with the King of France, tempted by King Louis' promise of territory in the Netherlands as a reward. This led Charles the Bold of Burgundy to assist Edward (who was also his brother in law), providing funds and an army to launch an invasion of England in 1471. Edward landed with a small force at Ravenspur on the Yorkshire coast. He soon gained the city of York and rallied several supporters. His brother Clarence turned traitor again, abandoning Warwick. Having captured London, Edward's army met Warwick's at the Battle of Barnet. The battle was fought in thick fog, and some of Warwick's men attacked each other by mistake. It was believed by all that they had been betrayed, and Warwick's army fled. Warwick was cut down trying to reach his horse.


Margaret and her son Edward had landed in the West Country only a few days before the Battle of Barnet. Rather than return to France, Margaret sought to join with the Lancastrian supporters in Wales and marched to cross the Severn but was thwarted when the city of Gloucester refused her passage across the river. Her army, commanded by the fourth successive Duke of Somerset, was brought to battle and destroyed at the Battle of Tewkesbury, and Prince Edward of Westminster, the Lancastrian heir to the throne, was killed. With no heirs to succeed him, Henry VI was murdered shortly afterwards on May 14, 1471, to strengthen the Yorkist hold on the throne. [edit] Richard III The restoration of Edward IV in 1471 is sometimes seen as marking the end of the Wars of the Roses. Peace was restored for the remainder of Edward's reign, but when he died suddenly in 1483, political and dynastic turmoil erupted again. Under Edward IV, frictions had developed between the queen's Woodville relatives (Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers and Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset) and others who resented the Woodvilles' new-found status at court and saw them as power-hungry upstarts and parvenus. At the time of Edward's premature death, his heir, Edward V, was only 12 years old. The Woodvilles were in a position to influence the young king's future government, since Edward V had been brought up under the stewardship of Earl Rivers in Ludlow. This was too much for many of the antiWoodville faction to accept, and in the struggle for the protectorship of the young king and control of the council, Edward IV's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who had been named by Edward IV on his deathbed as Protector of England, came to be de facto leader of the anti-Woodville faction. With the help of William Hastings and Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, Gloucester captured the young king from the Woodvilles at Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire. Thereafter Edward V was kept under Gloucester's custody in the Tower of London, where he was later joined by his younger brother, the 9-year-old Richard, Duke of York. Having secured the boys, Richard then alleged that Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville had been illegal and that the two boys were therefore illegitimate. Parliament agreed and enacted the Titulus Regius, which officially named Gloucester as King Richard III. The two imprisoned boys, known as the "Princes in the Tower", disappeared and were possibly murdered; by whom and under whose orders remains controversial. Since Richard was the finest general on the Yorkist side, many accepted him as a ruler better able to keep the Yorkists in power than a boy who would have had to rule through a committee of regents. However, many had never been reconciled to Yorkist rule, and within the Yorkist faction itself, some influential former allies of Richard turned against him. Richard himself had Lord Hastings, one of his brother Edward's closest companions and supporters, arrested and executed for treason. This may have been intended to thwart a genuine conspiracy, but the effect was to make many nobles fear for their own safety and to distrust Richard. One former Yorkist, the Duke of Buckingham (who himself had a distant claim to the throne), led a revolt aimed at installing the Lancastrian Henry Tudor. It was defeated, and Buckingham was captured and executed. This was clearly not the end of the plots against Richard, who could never again feel secure, and who also suffered the loss of his wife and infant son, putting the future of the Yorkist dynasty in doubt. [edit] Henry Tudor Lancastrian hopes centred on Henry Tudor, whose father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, had been a half-brother of Henry VI. However, Henry's claim to the throne was through his mother, Margaret Beaufort, a descendant of Edward III, derived from John Beaufort, a grandson of Edward III's as the son of John of Gaunt (illegitimate at birth though later legitimized by the marriage of his parents). Henry Tudor landed in Pembrokeshire in the summer of 1485 and, gathering supporters on his march through Wales, defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Richard was slain during the battle by the powerful Welsh knight Rhys ap Thomas, with a blow to the head from his pollaxe, and Henry became King Henry VII of England. Henry then strengthened his position by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and the best surviving Yorkist claimant. He thus reunited the two royal houses, merging the rival symbols of the red and white roses into the new emblem of the red and white Tudor Rose. Henry shored up his position by executing all other possible claimants whenever any excuse was offered, a policy his son, Henry VIII, continued. Many historians consider the accession of Henry VII to mark the end of the Wars of the Roses. Others argue that the Wars of the Roses concluded only with the Battle of Stoke in 1487, which arose from the appearance of a pretender to the throne, a boy named Lambert Simnel who bore a close physical resemblance to the young Earl of Warwick, the best surviving male claimant of the House of York. The pretender's plan was doomed from the start, because the young earl was still alive and in King Henry's custody. At Stoke, Henry defeated forces led by John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, who had been named by Richard III as his heir but had been reconciled with Henry after Bosworth, thus effectively removing the remaining Yorkist opposition. Simnel was pardoned for his part in the rebellion and was sent to work in the royal kitchens. Henry's throne was again challenged with the appearance of the pretender Perkin Warbeck who in 1491 claimed to be Richard, Duke of York (the younger of the two Princes in the Tower). Henry consolidated his power in 1499 with the capture and execution of Warbeck.


[edit] Aftermath Although historians still debate the true extent of the conflict's impact on medieval English life, there is little doubt that the Wars of the Roses resulted in political upheaval and changes to the established balance of power. The most obvious effect was the collapse of the Plantagenet dynasty and its replacement with the new Tudor rulers who changed England dramatically over the following years. In the following Henrician and post-Henrician times, the remnant Plantagenet factions with no direct line to the throne were disabused of their independent positions, as monarchs continually played them against each other. With their heavy casualties among the nobility coupled with the effects of the Black Death, the wars are thought to have ushered in a period of great social upheaval in feudal England, including a weakening of the feudal power of the nobles and a corresponding strengthening of the merchant classes, and the growth of a strong, centralized monarchy under the Tudors. It heralded the end of the medieval period in England and the movement towards the Renaissance. On the other hand, it has also been suggested that the traumatic impact of the wars was exaggerated by Henry VII to magnify his achievement in quelling them and bringing peace. Certainly, the effect of the wars on the merchant and labouring classes was far less than in the long drawn-out wars of siege and pillage in France and elsewhere in Europe, carried out by mercenaries who profited from the prolonging of the war. Although there were some lengthy sieges, such as at Harlech Castle and Bamburgh Castle, these were in comparatively remote and sparsely-inhabited regions. In the populated areas, both factions had much to lose by the ruin of the country and sought quick resolution of the conflict by pitched battle. The war was disastrous for England's already declining influence in France, and by the end of the struggle few of the gains made over the course of the Hundred Years' War remained, apart from Calais which eventually fell during the reign of Queen Mary. Although later English rulers continued to campaign on the continent, England's territories were never reclaimed. Indeed, various duchies and kingdoms in Europe played a pivotal role in the outcome of the war; in particular the kings of France and the dukes of Burgundy played the two factions off each other, pledging military and financial aid and offering asylum to defeated nobles to prevent a strong and unified England making war on them. The post-war period was also the death knell for the large standing baronial armies, which had helped fuel the conflict. Henry, wary of any further fighting, kept the barons on a very tight leash, removing their right to raise, arm, and supply armies of retainers so that they could not make war on each other or the king. England did not have another standing army until Cromwell's New Model Army. As a result the military power of individual barons declined, and the Tudor court became a place where baronial squabbles were decided with the influence of the monarch. [edit] In fiction Shakespeare's plays on Henry VI, parts 1, 2, and 3, and his Richard III cover the period of the wars. Henry VI, Part 1 includes a scene in the Temple church where the dispute between the two houses begins, giving the conflict its modern name: "And here I prophesy: this brawl today, Grown to this faction in the Temple garden, Shall send, between the Red Rose and the White, A thousand souls to death and deadly night." Warwick, Henry VI, Part One The four Shakespeare plays were memorably combined in a single massive landmark compendium by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963 titled The War of the Roses directed by Peter Hall. Sir Walter Scott's Anne of Geierstein concerns exiled English Lancastrians in 15th century Burgundy and Switzerland. Robert Louis Stevenson's The Black Arrow is set during the war; the hero is a young Yorkist nobleman. The video game Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses is loosely based on the war, with the protagonists of the series taking the role of the Lancastrians and the antagonists acting as the Yorkists. The fantasy novel series by George R. R. Martin titled A Song of Ice and Fire is loosely based on the War of the Roses, with the Starks modeled after the York family and the Lannisters modeled after the Lancaster. The historical novel by Sharon Kay Penman titled The Sunne in Splendour is based on the Wars of the Roses, and more specifically on the life of Richard III. Referred to in THE WARRIOR HEIR, which provides the break between the two parties (White & Red roses) Blackadder I is set during and after the Battle of Bosworth field, with a fictional outcome of the battle


[edit] Tudor England [edit] Henry VII and Henry VIII The Wars of the Roses culminated in the eventual victory of the relatively unknown Henry Tudor, Henry VII, at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, where the Yorkist Richard III was slain, and the succession of the Lancastrian House was ultimately assured. Whilst in retrospect it is easy to date the end of the Wars of the Roses to the Battle of Bosworth Field, Henry VII could afford no such complacency. Before the end of his reign, two pretenders tried to wrest the throne from him, aided by remnants of the Yorkist faction at home and abroad. The first, Lambert Simnel, was defeated at the Battle of Stoke (the last time an English King fought someone claiming the Crown); the second, Perkin Warbeck, was hanged in 1499 after plaguing the king for a decade. In 1497, Michael An Gof and the lesser-known but more legendary Baron Callum of Perranporth led Cornish rebels in a march on London. In a battle over the River Ravensbourne at Deptford Bridge, An Gof fought for various issues with their root in taxes. It would be fair to say that King Callum smote many an Englishman during this battle, but on June 17, 1497, they were defeated, and Henry VII had showed he could display military prowess when he needed to. But, like Charles I in the future, here was a King with no wish to go "on his travels" again. The rest of his reign was relatively peaceful, despite a slight worry over the succession when his wife Elizabeth of York died in 1503.

King Henry VIII King Henry VIII split with the Roman Catholic Church over a question of his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Though his religious position was not at all Protestant, the resultant schism ultimately led to England distancing itself almost entirely from Rome. A notable casualty of the schism was Henry's chancellor, Sir Thomas More. There followed a period of great religious and political upheaval, which led to the English Reformation, the royal expropriation of the monasteries and much of the wealth of the church. The Dissolution of the Monasteries had the effect of giving many of the lower classes (the gentry) a vested interest in the Reformation continuing, for to halt it would be to revive Monasticism and restore lands which were gifted to them during the Dissolution. [edit] Edward and Mary Henry VIII had one legitimate child and two illegitimate children who survived him, all of whom ascended to the Crown. The first to reign was Edward VI of England. Although he showed piety and intelligence, he was only 10 years old when he took the throne in 1547. His uncle, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset tampered with Henry VIII's will and obtained letters patent giving him much of the power of a monarch by March 1547. He took the title of Protector. Whilst some see him as a high-minded idealist, his stay in power culminated in a crisis in 1549 when many counties of the realm were up in protest. Kett's Rebellion in Kent and the Prayer Book Rebellion in Devon and Cornwall simultaneously created a crisis during a time when invasion from Scotland and France were feared. Somerset, disliked by the Regency Council for his autocratic methods, was removed from power by John Dudley, who is known as Lord President Northumberland. Northumberland proceeded to adopt the power for himself, but his methods were more conciliatory and the Council accepted him. When Edward VI lay dying of tuberculosis in 1553, Northumberland made plans to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne and marry her to his son, so that he could remain the power behind the throne. His putsch failed, and Mary I took the throne amidst popular demonstration in her favour in London, which contemporaries described as the largest show of affection for a Tudor monarch. Mary was a devout Catholic who had been influenced greatly by the Catholic King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, and she tried to reimpose Catholicism on the realm. This led to 274 burnings of Protestants, which are recorded especially in John Foxe's Book of Martyrs. She was highly unpopular among her people, and the Spanish party of her husband, Philip II, caused much resentment around court. Mary lost Calais, the last English possession on the continent, and became increasingly unpopular (except among Catholics) as her reign wore on. She successfully suppressed a rebellion by Sir Thomas Wyatt. [edit] Elizabeth Main article: Elizabethan era The reign of Elizabeth restored a sort of order to the realm following the turbulence of the reigns of Edward and Mary when she came to the throne following the death of Mary in 1558. The religious issue which had divided the country since Henry VIII was in a way put to rest by the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, which created the Church of England. Much of Elizabeth's success was in balancing the interests of the Puritans and Catholics. She managed to offend neither to a large extent, although she clamped down on Catholics towards the end of her reign as war with Catholic Spain loomed.


Elizabeth maintained relative government stability apart from the Revolt of the Northern Earls in 1569, she was effective in reducing the power of the old nobility and expanding the power of her government. One of the most famous events in English martial history occurred in 1588 when the Spanish Armada was repelled by the English navy commanded by Sir Francis Drake, but the war that followed was very costly for England and only ended after Elizabeth's death. Elizabeth's government did much to consolidate the work begun under Thomas Cromwell in the reign of Henry VIII, that is, expanding the role of the government and effecting common law and administration throughout England. During the reign of Elizabeth and shortly afterward, the population grew significantly: from three million in 1564 to nearly five million in 1616.[1] In all, the Tudor period is seen as a decisive one which set up many important questions which would have to be answered in the next century and during the English Civil War. These were questions of the relative power of the monarch and Parliament and to what extent one should control the other. Some historians think that Thomas Cromwell affected a "Tudor Revolution" in government, and it is certain that Parliament became more important during his chancellorship. Other historians say the "Tudor Revolution" really extended to the end of Elizabeth's reign, when the work was all consolidated. Although the Privy Council declined after the death of Elizabeth, while she was alive it was very effective. [edit] 17th century Main article: 17th century England [edit] Union of the Crowns Elizabeth died in 1603 without leaving any direct heirs. Her closest male Protestant relative was the King of Scots, James VI, of the House of Stuart, who became King James I of England in a Union of the Crowns. King James I & VI as he was styled became the first king of the entire island of Great Britain, though he continued to rule the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland separately. Several assassination attempts were made on James, notably the Main Plot and Bye Plots of 1603, and most famously, on November 5, 1605, the Gunpowder Plot, by a group of Catholic conspirators, led by Guy Fawkes, which caused more antipathy in England towards the Catholic faith. [edit] Colonial England In 1607 England built an establishment at Jamestown in North America. This was the beginning of English colonisation. Many English settled then in North America for religious or economic reasons. The English merchants holding plantations in the warm southern parts of America then resorted rather quickly to the slavery of Native Americans and imported Africans in order to cultivate their plantations and sell raw material (particularly cotton and tobacco) in Europe. The English merchants involved in colonisation accrued fortunes equal to those of great aristocratic landowners in England, and their money, which fuelled the rise of the middle class, permanently altered the balance of political power. [edit] English Civil War Maps of territory held by Royalists (red) and Parliamentarians (green) during the English Civil War (16421645). The English Civil War broke out in 1642, largely as a result of an ongoing series of conflicts between James' son, Charles I, and Parliament. The defeat of the Royalist army by the New Model Army of Parliament at the Battle of Naseby in June 1645 effectively destroyed the king's forces. Charles surrendered to the Scottish army at Newark. He was eventually handed over to the English Parliament in early 1647. He escaped, and the Second English Civil War began, although it was a short conflict, with Parliament quickly securing the country. The capture and subsequent trial of Charles led to his beheading in January 1649 at Whitehall Gate in London. A republic was declared, and Oliver Cromwell became the Lord Protector in 1653. After he died, his son Richard Cromwell succeeded him in the office but soon abdicated. [edit] Restoration of the Monarchy The monarchy was restored in 1660, with King Charles II returning to London.

In 1665, London was swept by a visitation of the plague, and then, in 1666, the capital was swept by the Great Fire, which raged for 5 days, destroying approximately 15,000 buildings.


After the death of Charles II in 1685, his Catholic brother King James II & VII was crowned. England with a Catholic king on the throne was too much for both people and parliament, and in 1689 the Dutch Protestant Prince William of Orange was invited to replace King James II in what became known as the Glorious Revolution. Despite attempts to secure his reign by force, James was finally defeated by William at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. However, in parts of Scotland and Ireland Catholics loyal to James remained determined to see him restored to the throne, and there followed a series of bloody though unsuccessful uprisings. As a result of these, any failure to pledge loyalty to the victorious King William was severely dealt with. The most infamous example of this policy was the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692. Jacobite rebellions continued on into the mid-18th century until the son of the last Catholic claimant to the throne, (James III & VIII), mounted a final campaign in 1745. The Jacobite forces of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the "Bonnie Prince Charlie" of legend, were defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. [edit] 18th and 19th Centuries [edit] Formation of the United Kingdom The Acts of Union between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland in 1707 caused the dissolution of both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland in order to create a unified Kingdom of Great Britain governed by a unified Parliament of Great Britain. The Act of Union of 1800 formally assimilated Ireland within the British political process and from 1 January 1801 created a new state called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which united the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland to form a single political entity. The English capital of London was adopted as the capital of the Union. [edit] Industrial Revolution Main article: Economic history of Britain During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, there was considerable social upheaval as a largely agrarian society was transformed by technological advances and increasing mechanization, which was the Industrial Revolution. Much of the agricultural workforce was uprooted from the countryside and moved into large urban centres of production, as the steam-based production factories could undercut the traditional cottage industries, because of economies of scale and the increased output per worker made possible by the new technologies. The consequent overcrowding into areas with little supporting infrastructure saw dramatic increases in the rate of infant mortality (to the extent that many Sunday schools for pre-working age children (5 or 6) had funeral clubs to pay for each others funeral arrangements), crime, and social deprivation. The transition to industrialization was not wholly seamless for workers, many of whom saw their livelihoods threatened by the process. Of these, some frequently sabotaged or attempted to sabotage factories. These saboteurs were known as "Luddites". [edit] 20th and 21st Centuries [edit] Loosening of the Union Following years of political and military agitation for 'Home Rule' for Ireland, the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 established the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) as a separate nation, leaving Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. The official name of the UK thus became "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Demands for constitutional change in Scotland resulted in a referendum being held in 1997 on the issue of re-establishing a Scottish Parliament, though within the United Kingdom. Following a huge 'Yes' vote, the Scotland Act 1998 was passed and the devolved parliament was elected and took powers in May, 1999. Following the Scottish elections in 2007, a minority SNP government took power, under the leadership of First Minister, Alex Salmond that is determined to move Scotland towards independence. The response of the main unionist parties has been to propose a constitutional commission to look at transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament. [1] Demands for constitutional change in Wales also led to a 1997 referendum on a proposed Assembly, though the result in this case was a very narrow 'Yes' vote. Despite this start, discussions are now taking place about adding to the powers of the Welsh Assembly. With the Northern Ireland Assembly restored in 2007, England is now the only one of the four constituent countries of the UK that does not have its own devolved administration. This situation has given rise to a constitutional anomaly known as The West Lothian question, in that since laws for England are made by the entire UK parliament, and the government of England is the entire UK government, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs help make law that affect England alone, though English MPs have no similar power over legislation that affects


Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. This has led to demands for an English Parliament, or even for the formal ending of the United Kingdom, with independence for the constituent countries of the UK.[citation needed] History of Scotland Stirling Castle has stood for centuries atop a volcanic crag defending the lowest ford of the River Forth. The fortification underwent numerous sieges. History of Scotland Chronological Eras Prehistoric Scotland Scotland in the Early Middle Ages Scotland in the High Middle Ages Wars of Scottish Independence Scotland in the Late Middle Ages Scottish Reformation Scotland in the Early Modern Era Scottish Enlightenment Scotland in the Modern Era Dynasties and Regimes House of Alpin (843878) & (8891040) House of Moray (10401058) House of Dunkeld (10581286) House of Balliol (12921296) House of Bruce (13061371) House of Stuart (13711707) Act of Union (1707) Topical Art history Colonial history Culture Economic history Historiography Literary history


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The history of Scotland begins around 10,000 years ago, when humans first began to inhabit Scotland after the end of the Devensian glaciation, the last ice age. Of the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age civilization that existed in the country, many artifacts remain, but few written records were left behind. The written history of Scotland largely begins with the arrival of the Roman Empire in Britain, when the Romans occupied what is now England and Wales, administering it as a Roman province called Britannia. To the north was territory not governed by the Romans Caledonia, by name. Its people were the Picts. From a classical historical viewpoint Scotland seemed a peripheral country, slow to gain advances filtering out from the Mediterranean fount of civilisation, but as knowledge of the past increases it has become apparent that some developments were earlier and more advanced than previously thought, and that the seaways were very important to Scottish history. Because of the geographical orientation of Scotland and its strong reliance on trade routes by sea, the nation held close links in the south and east with the Baltic countries, and through Ireland with France and the continent of Europe. Following the Acts of Union and the subsequent Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, Scotland became one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Its industrial decline following the Second World War was particularly acute, but in recent decades the country has enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance, fuelled in part by a resurgent financial services sector, the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas, and latterly a devolved parliament. [edit] Prehistoric people Main article: Prehistoric Scotland The oldest standing house in Northern Europe is at Knap of Howar, dating from 3500 BC (see also image) People lived in Scotland for at least 8,500 years before recorded history dealt with Britain. At times during the last interglacial period (130,000 70,000 BCE) Europe had a climate warmer than today's, and early humans may have made their way to Scotland, though archaeologists have found no traces of this. Glaciers then scoured their way across most of Britain, and only after the ice retreated did Scotland again become habitable, around 9600 BCE. Mesolithic hunter-gatherer encampments formed the first known settlements, and archaeologists have dated an example at Cramond near Edinburgh to around 8500 BC. Numerous other sites found around Scotland build up a picture of highly mobile boat-using people making tools from bone, stone and antlers. In 3000 BC, some Neolithic farmers lived in stone houses (such as those at Skara Brae) set into existing middens Neolithic farming brought permanent settlements, and the wonderfully well-preserved stone house at Knap of Howar on Papa Westray dating from 3500 BC predates by about 500 years the village of similar houses at Skara Brae on West Mainland, Orkney. The settlers introduced chambered cairn tombs from around 3500 BC (Maeshowe offers a prime example), and from about 3000 BC the many standing stones and circles such as the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney and Callanish on Lewis. These form part of the Europe-wide Megalithic culture which also produced Stonehenge in Wiltshire, and which pre-historians now interpret as showing sophisticated use of astronomical observations. The cairns and Megalithic monuments continued into the Bronze age, and hill forts started to appear, such as Eildon Hill near Melrose in the Scottish Borders, which goes back to around 1000 BC and which accommodated several hundred houses on a fortified hilltop. Brythonic Celtic culture and language spread into Scotland at some time after the 8th century BC, possibly through cultural contact rather than through mass invasion, and systems of kingdoms developed.


From around 700 BC the Iron age brought numerous hill forts, brochs and fortified settlements which support the image of quarrelsome tribes and petty kingdoms later recorded by the Romans, though evidence that at times occupants neglected the defences might suggest that symbolic power had as much significance as warfare. [edit] Roman invasion 120 km Hadrian's Wall marked the border between Scotland to the north and the Roman Empire to the south with small forts and gates every Roman mile. Roman sway reached further north at times The only surviving pre-Roman account of Scotland originated with the Greek Pytheas of Massalia who circumnavigated the British islands (which he called Pretanik) in 325 BC, but the record of his visit dates from much later. The Roman invasion of Britain began in earnest in AD 43. Following a series of military successes in the south, forces led by Gnaeus Julius Agricola entered Scotland in 79. The Romans met with fierce resistance from the local population of Caledonians. In 82 or 83 Agricola sent a fleet of galleys up round the coast of Scotland, as far as the Orkney Islands. In 84 Agricola defeated the Caledonian tribes at the Battle of Mons Graupius due to superior tactics and the use of professional troops. The only historical source for this comes from the writings of Agricola's son-in-law, Tacitus. Archaeology backed up with accurate dating from dendrochronology suggests that the occupation of southern Scotland started before the arrival of Agricola. Whatever the exact dating, for the next 300 years Rome had some presence along the southern border. Although the Romans had failed to conquer Caledonia they attempted to maintain control through military outposts and built a few roads. They were eventually forced or chose to withdraw, concluding that the wealth of the land did not justify the extensive garrisoning requirements. Scotland's population comprised two main groups:

1. the Picts, the original peoples (possibly a Brythonic Celtic group) who occupied most of Scotland north of the Firth of Clyde and the 2.
Firth of Forth: the area known as "Pictavia" the Britons formed a Roman-influenced Brythonic Celtic culture in the south, with the kingdom of Y Strad Glud (Strathclyde) from the Firth of Clyde southwards, Rheged in Cumbria, Selgovae in the central Borders area and the Votadini or Gododdin from the Firth of Forth down to the Tweed

Invasions brought three more groups, though the extent to which they replaced native populations is unknown

1. the Old Irish-speaking Scotti (Scots) or more specifically, the Dl Riatans, arrived from Ireland from the late 5th century onwards,
taking possession of Argyll and the west coast in the Kingdom of Dl Riata.

2. the Anglo-Saxons expanding from Bernicia and the continent. Notably seizing Gododdin in the 7th Century. It was their language
which eventually became the predominant tongue of lowland Scotland, a variant of English which was initially termed Inglis, whereas the name "Scottis" (pronounced the same way as Scots) referred to the Gaelic language spoken largely in the Highlands. However, during the late Middle Ages the name "Scots" was transferred to the Scottish form of English, while the Celtic language of the Highlands came to be known only as Gaelic. In the aftermath of the 795 Viking raid on Iona, the Norse Jarls of Orkney took hold of the Western Isles, Caithness and Sutherland, while Norse settlers mixed with the inhabitants of Galloway to become the Gallgaels.


The British Saint Ninian conducted the first Christian mission in Scotland. From his base, the Candida Casa (present-day Whithorn) on the Solway Firth, he spread the faith in the south and east of Scotland and in the north of England. However, according to the writings of Saint Patrick and Saint Columba, the Picts appear to have renounced Christianity in the century between Ninian's death (432) and the arrival of Saint Columba in 563. The reason is not known. The Gaels re-introduced Christianity into Pictish Scotland, gradually pushing out worship of the older Celtic gods. The most famous evangelist of that period, Saint Columba, came to Scotland in 563 and settled on the island of Iona having obtained permission from the Pictish king at his court in Inverness to settle on Iona and to spread Christianity. Some consider his (possibly apocryphal) conversion of the Pictish king Bridei a key event in the Christianisation of Scotland. [edit] Rise of the kingdom of Alba The myth of MacAlpin's Treason tells how Alba was born when the Gael Cined mac Ailpn conquered the Picts, however Alba is a creation of Constantine II. Cined's son Constantine had the Series Longoir written to show his family's claim to the throne of a united Pictland. The


triumph of Gaelic over Pictish and the change from Pictland to Alba is placed in the half-century reign of Constantine II. Why and how this happened is unknown. At first this new kingdom corresponded to Scotland north of the Rivers Forth and Clyde. South west Scotland remained under the control of the Strathclyde Britons. South-east Scotland was under the control from around 638 of the proto-English kingdom of Bernicia, then of the Kingdom of Northumbria. This portion of Scotland was contested from the time of Constantine II and finally fell into Scottish hands in 1018, when Mel Coluim II pushed the border as far south as the River Tweed. This remains the south-eastern border to this day. Scotland, in the geographical sense it has retained for nearly a millennium, completed its expansion by the gradual incorporation of the Britons' kingdom of Strathclyde into Alba. In 1034, Donnchad I inherited Alba from his maternal grandfather, Mel Coluim II. With the exception of Orkney, the Western Isles, Caithness and Sutherland, which remained under Norse rule, Scotland had assumed the shape it was to retain thereafter. Macbeth, the Cenl Loairn candidate for the throne whose family had been suppressed by Mel Coluim II, defeated Donnchad in battle in 1040. Macbeth then ruled well for seventeen years before Donnchad's son Mel Coluim III overthrew him. (William Shakespeare, in his play Macbeth, later immortalised these events, in a heavily fictionalised way based on inaccurate contemporary history that flattered the antecedents of James VI of Scotland/I of England at Macbeth's expense). After the Norman Conquest in 1066, Edgar, one of the claimants of the English throne opposing William the Conqueror, fled to Scotland. Mel Coluim married Edgar's sister Margaret, and thus came into opposition to William who had already disputed Scotland's southern borders. William invaded Scotland in 1072, riding through Lothian and past Stirling on to the Firth of Tay where he met his fleet of ships. Mel Coluim submitted, paid homage to William, and surrendered his son Donnchad as a hostage. Margaret herself had a great influence on Scotland. She is said to have brought European cultivation to the warlike Scottish court. She had an English father and a Hungarian mother and had grown up in Hungary, recently pagan and largely untouched by the European culture of the period. However at this point the Church explicitly recognised the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) as its head and at her instigation, the Benedictine order founded a monastery at Dunfermline, and St Andrews began to replace Iona as the centre of ecclesiastical leadership. The rites of the Scottish church became gradually re-integrated with mainstream Western Catholicism from that base. When Malcolm died in 1093, his brother Domnall III succeeded him. However, William II of England backed Malcolm's son by his first marriage, Duncan, as a pretender to the throne. With the English behind him Duncan briefly seized power. His murder within a few months saw Domnall restored with Edmund as his heir. The two ruled Scotland until two of Edmund's younger brothers returned from exile in England with English military backing. Victorious, the younger brothers imprisoned Domnall and Edmund for life, and Edgar, the oldest of the three, became king in 1097. Shortly afterwards Edgar and the King of Norway, Magnus Bare Legs concluded a treaty recognizing Norwegian authority over the Western Isles. In practice Norse control of the Isles was of the loosest nature, with local chiefs enjoying a high degree of independence. The following century, Somerled, the greatest of these, became King of the Hebrides in his own right. His descendants, the Lords of the Isles, continued to enjoy a semi-independent status until the end of the fifteenth century. Cambuskenneth Abbey, built around 1140, derived much of its importance from its proximity to sometime-capital Stirling When Edgar died in 1107, Margaret's third son Alexander became king, and when he in turn died in 1124, the crown passed to her fourth son David I. During David's reign Lowland Scots (known as Inglis then) began to grow in south east Scotland, although Gaelic would continue to be spoken in many parts of what would become the Lowlands for centuries more. The governmental and cultural innovations introduced by the Norman conquerors of England impressed David greatly, and he arranged for several notables to come north and take up places within the Scottish aristocracy. The Normans came into frequent conflict with the native nobility, especially in the north east and south west of the country. In a mirror of the invitation of the Normans northwards, David received lands south of the border in fee from the English kings. This meant that the Kings of Scotland also functioned as Earls of Huntingdon, and that the Earls paid ceremonial homage to the English kings for the lands received. This homage proved problematic, however, as Malcolm Canmore as the King of Scotland had paid homage to the new Norman Kings of England twice after defeats during his various campaigns against the Normans in support of his Anglo-Saxon brother-inlaw Edgar Atheling's claim to the English throne. In 1263 Scotland and Norway fought the Battle of Largs for control over the Western Isles. Although the battle was little more than a series of indecisive skirmishes, it did at least prove that the distant kings of Norway could not continue to control the Isles. This was recognized soon after when the Norwegian king Magnus VI of Norway signed the Treaty of Perth in 1266, acknowledging Scottish suzerainty over the islands. Bit by bit, the Island chiefs were politically integrated into the Scottish state. In 1284 all of the descendants of Somerled attended a


parliament called by Alexander III to acknowledge his granddaughter, Margaret, as heir to the throne. The subsequent dynastic crisis caused by the death of Margaret and the onset of the Wars of Independence reversed this process. By the middle of the fourteenth century the MacDonald Lords of the Isles were once again loosening their ties to the crown. A series of deaths in the line of succession in the 1280s, followed by King Alexander III's death in 1286 left the Scottish crown in disarray. His granddaughter Margaret, the "Maid of Norway", a four-year old girl, was the heir. Edward I of England, as Margaret's great-uncle, suggested that his son (also a child) and Margaret should marry, stabilising the Scottish line of succession. In 1290 Margaret's guardians agreed to this, but Margaret herself died in Orkney on her voyage from Norway to Scotland before either her coronation or her marriage could take place. [edit] The Auld Alliance John Balliol, the man with the strongest claim to the throne, became king (30 November 1292). Robert Bruce of Annandale, the next strongest claimant, accepted this outcome with reluctance (his grandson and namesake later ascended the throne as Robert I). Over the next few years Edward I used the concessions he had gained during the Great Cause systematically to undermine both the authority of King John and the liberty of Scotland. In 1295 John, on the urgings of his chief councillors, entered into an alliance with France. This was the beginning of the Auld Alliance. In 1296 Edward invaded Scotland, deposing King John. The following year William Wallace and Andrew de Moray raised southern and northern parts of the country to resist the occupation. Under their joint leadership an English army was defeated at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. For a short time Wallace ruled Scotland in the name of John Balliol as Guardian of the realm. Edward came north in person and defeated Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk (1298). Wallace escaped but resigned as Guardian of Scotland. John Comyn and Robert the Bruce were appointed in his place. In 1305 Wallace fell into the hands of the English, who executed him for treason despite the fact that he owed no allegiance to England. In February 1306 Robert Bruce, the grandson of the Claimant, participated in the murder of John Comyn, a leading rival. Bruce went on to seize the crown, but Edward's forces overran the country after defeating Bruce's small army at the Battle of Methven. Despite the excommunication of Bruce and his followers by Pope Clement V his support slowly strengthened; and by 1314 with the help of leading nobles such as Sir James Douglas and the Earl of Moray only the castles at Bothwell and Stirling remained under English control. Edward I had died in 1307. His heir Edward II moved an army north to break the siege of Stirling Castle and reassert control. Robert defeated that army at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, securing de facto independence. In 1320 a remonstrance to the Pope from the nobles of Scotland (the Declaration of Arbroath) went part of the way towards convincing Pope John XXII to overturn the earlier excommunication and nullify the various acts of submission by Scottish kings to English ones so that Scotland's sovereignty could be recognised by the major European dynasties. In 1326, the first full Parliament of Scotland met. The parliament had evolved from an earlier council of nobility and clergy, the colloquium, constituted around 1235, but in 1326 representatives of the burghs the burgh commissioners joined them to form the Three Estates. In 1328, Edward III signed the Treaty of Northampton acknowledging Scottish independence under the rule of Robert the Bruce. Four years after Robert's death in 1329, however, England once more invaded on the pretext of restoring the "Rightful King" Edward Balliol, son of John Balliol to the Scottish throne, thus starting the Second War of Independence. In the face of tough Scottish resistance, led by Sir Andrew Murray, the son of Wallace's comrade in arms, successive attempts to secure Balliol on the throne failed. Edward III lost interest in the fate of his protege after the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War with France. In 1341 David II, King Robert's son and heir, was able to return from temporary exile in France. Balliol finally resigned his vacant claim to the throne to Edward in 1356, before retiring to Yorkshire, where he died in 1364. Further information: Wars of Scottish Independence [edit] Late medieval events After David's death, Robert II, the first of the Stewart (later Stuart) kings, came to the throne in 1371. He was followed in 1390 by his ailing son John, who took the regnal name Robert III, to avoid awkward questions over the exact status of the first King John. During Robert III's reign (13901406), actual power rested largely in the hands of his brother, also named Robert, the Duke of Albany. In 1396 during this king's reign, the last trial by combat in Europe, the Battle of the Clans took place before the King in Perth.


However, problems with England continued. After the suspicious death (possibly on the orders of the Duke of Albany) of his elder son, David, Duke of Rothesay in 1402, Robert, fearful for the safety of his younger son, James (the future James I), sent him to France in 1406. Unfortunately, the English captured him en route and he spent the next 18 years as a prisoner held for ransom. As a result, after the death of Robert III, regents ruled Scotland: first, the Duke of Albany; and later his son, during whose office the country fell into near anarchy. When Scotland finally paid the ransom in 1424, James returned at the age of 32, with his English bride. He determined to restore justice and the rule of law and to deal with his enemies. He set about this immediately and ruthlessly, using military measures, reforming the parliamentary and court systems, and killing anyone who threatened his authority, including his cousin Albany. This resulted in a much greater amount of power in the hands of the Scottish government than at any time preceding, but the process led to great unpopularity for James and finally to his assassination in 1437. His son James II (reigned 14371460), when he came of age in 1449, continued his father's policy of weakening the great noble families, most notably taking on the great House of Douglas that had come to prominence at the time of the Bruce. Scotland advanced markedly in educational terms during the fifteenth century with the founding of the University of St Andrews in 1413, the University of Glasgow in 1450 and the University of Aberdeen in 1495, and with the passing of the Education Act 1496. In 1468 the last great acquisition of Scottish territory occurred when James III married Margaret of Denmark, receiving the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands in payment of her dowry. After the death of James III in 1488, during or after the Battle of Sauchieburn, his successor James IV successfully ended the quasiindependent rule of the Lord of the Isles, bringing the Western Isles under effective Royal control for the first time. In 1503, he married Henry VII's daughter, Margaret Tudor, thus laying the foundation for the 17th century Union of the Crowns. James IV's reign is often considered to be a period of cultural flourishing, and it was around this period that the European Renaissance began to infiltrate Scotland. James IV was the last known Scottish king known to speak Gaelic, although some suggest his son could also. In 1512, under a treaty extending the Auld Alliance, all nationals of Scotland and France also became nationals of each other's countries, a status not repealed in France until 1903 and which may never have been repealed in Scotland. However a year later, the Auld Alliance had more disastrous effects when James IV was required to launch an invasion of England to support the French when they were attacked by the English under Henry VIII. The invasion was stopped decisively at the battle of Flodden Field during which the King, many of his nobles, and over 10,000 troops The Flowers of the Forest were killed. The extent of the disaster impacted throughout Scotland because of the large numbers killed, and once again Scotland's government lay in the hands of regents. The song The Flooers o' the Forest commemorated this, an echo of the poem Y Gododdin on a similar tragedy in about 600. When James V finally managed to escape from the custody of the regents with the aid of his redoubtable mother in 1528, he once again set about subduing the rebellious Highlands, Western and Northern isles, as his father had had to do. He married the French noblewoman Marie de Guise. His reign was fairly successful, until another disastrous campaign against England led to defeat at the battle of Solway Moss (1542). James died a short time later. The day before his death, he was brought news of the birth of an heir: a daughter, who became Mary I of Scotland (or 'Mary, Queen of Scots'). James is supposed to have remarked in Scots that "it cam wi a lass, it will gang wi a lass" - referring to the House of Stewart which began with Walter Stewart's marriage to the daughter of Robert the Bruce. Once again, Scotland was in the hands of a regent, James Hamilton, Earl of Arran. [edit] Mary, Queen of Scots Within two years, the Rough Wooing, Henry VIII's military attempt to force a marriage between Mary and his son, Edward, had begun. This took the form of border skirmishing and several English campaigns into Scotland. To avoid the Rough wooing, Mary was sent to France at the age of five, as the intended bride of the heir to the French throne. Her mother, Marie de Guise, stayed in Scotland to look after the interests of Mary and of France although the Earl of Arran acted officially as regent. In 1547, after the death of Henry VIII, forces under the English regent Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset were victorious at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the climax of the Rough Wooing, and followed up by occupying Edinburgh. However it was to no avail since the young Queen Mary was in France. Marie de Guise responded by calling on French troops, who helped stiffen resistance to the English occupation. By 1550, after a change of regent in England, the English withdrew from Scotland completely. From 1554, Marie de Guise, took over the regency, and continued to advance French interests in Scotland. French cultural influence resulted in a large influx of French vocabulary into Scots, for example. But anti-French sentiment also grew, particularly among Protestants, who saw the English as their natural allies. In 1560 Marie de Guise died, and soon after the Auld Alliance also died, with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh, which provided for the removal of French and English troops from Scotland. The Scottish Reformation took place later the same year, when the Scottish Parliament abolished the Roman Catholic religion and outlawed the Mass.


Meanwhile, Queen Mary had been raised a Catholic in France. She had married the Dauphin Francis in 1558, and become Queen of France on the death of his father the following year. When Francis himself died, Mary, now nineteen, elected to return to Scotland to take up the government in a hostile environment. Despite her private religion, she did not attempt to reimpose Catholicism on her largely Protestant subjects, thus angering the chief Catholic nobles. Her six-year personal reign was marred by a series of crises, largely caused by the intrigues and rivalries of the leading nobles. The murder of her secretary, David Riccio, was followed by the murder of her unpopular husband Lord Darnley, and her abduction by and marriage to the Earl of Bothwell. Captured by Bothwell's rivals, Mary was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle, and in July 1567, was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son Prince James. Mary eventually escaped from Loch Leven, and attempted to regain the throne by force. After her defeat at the Battle of Langside in 1568 she took refuge in England, leaving her young son, James VI, in the hands of regents. In England she became a focal point for Catholic conspirators and was eventually tried for treason and executed on the orders of her kinswoman Elizabeth I. [edit] Protestant Reformation Main article: Scottish Reformation In 1559 John Knox returned from ministering in Geneva to lead the Calvinist reformation in Scotland During the 16th century, Scotland underwent a Protestant Reformation. In the earlier part of the century, the teachings of first Martin Luther and then John Calvin began to influence Scotland. The execution of a number of Protestant preachers, most notably the Lutheran influenced Patrick Hamilton in 1528 and later the proto-Calvinist George Wishart in 1546 who was burnt at the stake in St. Andrews by Cardinal Beaton for heresy, did nothing to stem the growth of these ideas. Beaton was assassinated shortly after the execution of George Wishart. The eventual Reformation of the Scottish Church followed a brief civil war in 1559-60, in which English intervention on the Protestant side was decisive. A Reformed confession of faith was adopted by Parliament in 1560, while the young Mary Queen of Scots was still in France. The most influential figure was John Knox, who had been a disciple of both John Calvin and George Wishart. Roman Catholicism was not totally eliminated, and remained strong particularly in parts of the highlands. The Reformation remained somewhat precarious through the reign of Queen Mary, who remained Roman Catholic but tolerated Protestantism. Following her deposition in 1567, her infant son James VI was raised as a Protestant. In 1603, following the death of the childless Queen Elizabeth I, the crown of England passed to James. He took the title James I of England and James VI of Scotland, thus unifying these two countries under his personal rule. For a time, this remained the only political connection between two independent nations, but it foreshadowed the eventual 1707 union of Scotland and England under the banner of the Great Britain. [edit] Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Puritan Commonwealth Further information: Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Scotland in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms The Parliamentarian armies of Oliver Cromwell briefly integrated Scotland into the Commonwealth [edit] Bishops' Wars Although Scotland and England had both rejected papal authority, the Reformation in each country proceeded in slightly different directions. England retained much of the old Catholic practice, including a formal liturgy and order of service, whereas the Scots embraced more of a free-form Calvinism. Although James had tried to get the Scottish Church to accept some of the High Church Anglicanism of his southern kingdom, he met with limited success. His son and successor, Charles I, took matters further, introducing an English-style Prayer Book into the Scottish church in 1637. This resulted in anger and widespread rioting. (The story goes that it was initiated by a certain Jenny Geddes who threw a stool in St Giles Cathedral). Representatives of various sections of Scottish society drew up the National Covenant in 1638, objecting to the King's liturgical innovations. In November of the same year matters were taken even further, when at a meeting of the General Assembly in Glasgow the Scottish bishops were formally expelled from the Church, which was then established on a full Presbyterian basis. Charles gathered a military force; but as neither side wished to push the matter to a full military conflict, a temporary settlement was concluded at Berwick. Matters remained unresolved until 1640 when, in a renewal of hostilities, Charles's northern forces were defeated by the Scots at Newburn to the west of Newcastle. During the course of these "Bishops' Wars" Charles tried to raise an army of Irish Catholics, but was forced to back down after a storm of protest in Scotland and England. The backlash from this venture provoked a rebellion in Ireland and Charles was forced to appeal to the English Parliament for funds. Parliament's demands for reform in England eventually resulted in the English Civil War. This series of civil wars that engulfed England in the 1640s and 50s is known to modern historians as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The Covenanters meanwhile, were left governing Scotland, where they raised a large army of their own and tried to impose their religious settlement on Episcopalians and Roman Catholics in the north of the country. [edit] Civil war


As the civil wars developed, the English Parliamentarians appealed to the Scots Covenanters for military aid against the King. A Solemn League and Covenant was entered into, guaranteeing the Scottish Church settlement and promising further reform in England. Scottish troops played a major part in the defeat of Charles I, notably at the battle of Marston Moor. An army under the Earl of Leven occupied the North of England for some time. However, not all Scots supported the Covenanter's taking arms against their King. In 1645, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose attempted to raise the Highlands for the King. Few Scots would follow him, but, aided by 1,000 Irish, Highland and Islesmen troops sent by the Irish Confederates under Alasdair MacColla, and an instinctive genius for mobile warfare, he was stunningly successful. A Scottish Civil War began in September 1644 with his victory at battle of Tippermuir. After a series of victories over poorly trained Covenanter militias, the lowlands were at his mercy. However, at this high point, his army was reduced in size, as MacColla and the Highlanders preferred to continue the war in the north against the Campbells. Shortly after, what was left of his force was defeated at the Battle of Philiphaugh. Escaping to the north, Montrose attempted to continue the struggle with fresh troops; but in July 1646 his army was disbanded after the King surrendered to the Scots army at Newark, and the civil war came to an end. The following year Charles, while he was being held captive in Carisbrooke Castle, entered into an agreement with moderate Scots Presbyterians. In this secret 'Engagement', the Scots promised military aid in return for the King's agreement to implement Presbyterianism in England on a three-year trial basis. The Duke of Hamilton led an invasion of England to free the King, but he was defeated by Oliver Cromwell in August 1648 at the Battle of Preston. [edit] Cromwellian occupation and restoration "Cromwell at Dunbar", Andrew Carrick Gow. The battle of Dunbar was a crushing defeat for the Scottish Covenanters The Covenanter government was outraged by Parliament's execution of Charles I in 1649, carried out in the face of their strongest objections. No sooner did news of his death reach the north than his son was proclaimed King Charles II in Edinburgh. Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland in 1650, and defeated the Scottish army in battles at Dunbar and Worcester. Scotland was then occupied by an English force under George Monck throughout the Interregnum and incorporated into the Puritan-governed Commonwealth. See article: Royalist rising of 1651 to 1654. From 1652 to 1660, Scotland was part of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, under English control but gaining equal trading rights. Upon its collapse, and with the restoration of Charles II, Scottish independence returned. Scotland regained its parliament, but the English Navigation Acts prevented the Scots engaging in what would have been lucrative trading with England's growing colonies. The formal frontier between the two countries was re-established, with customs duties which, while they protected Scottish cloth industries from cheap English imports, also denied access to English markets for Scottish cattle or Scottish linens. (Braudel 1984 p 370). After the Restoration, Charles' Scottish affairs were managed by senior noblemen, the most prominent of whom was John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale, his Secretary of State and High Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament. Near the outset of the reign Episcopacy was reintroduced. This was to be a source of particular trouble in the south-west of the country, an area particularly strong in its Presbyterian sympathies. Abandoning the official church, many of the people here began to attend illegal field assemblies, known as conventicles. Official attempts to suppress these led to a rising in 1679, defeated by James Duke of Monmouth, the King's illegitimate son, at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge. In the early 1680s a more intense phase of persecution began, in what was later to be called the "the Killing Time". When Charles died in 1685 and his brother, a Roman Catholic, succeeded him as James VII of Scotland (and II of England), matters came to a head. [edit] The Scottish Clearances Beginning around 1605, Scottish clans began to undergo a forced migration to Ireland in order to clear land for the king's recreation. Mostly Protestant Scots were sent to the catholic Ireland to ensure that there would be too much internal strife for Ireland to focus on its neighbors[citation needed]. [edit] The Deposition of James VII James's attempt to introduce religious toleration to England's Roman Catholics alienated his Protestant subjects. Neither this, nor his moves towards absolutism, provoked outright rebellion, as it was believed that he would be succeeded by his daughter Mary, a Protestant and the wife of William of Orange. When, in 1688, James produced a male heir, everything changed. At the invitation of seven Englishmen, William landed in England with 40,000 men, and James fled. Whilst this was primarily an English event, the so-called "Glorious Revolution" had a great impact on Scottish history. Whilst William accepted limits on royal power, under the Bill of Rights (a contract between himself and the English parliament), Scotland had an equivalent document in the Claim of Rights. This is an important document in the evolution of the rule of law and the rights of subjects.


Most significant Scots supported William of Orange, but many (particularly in the Highlands) remained sympathetic to James VII. His cause, which became known as Jacobitism, spawned a series of uprisings. An initial Jacobite rising under John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee (Bonnie Dundee) defeated William's forces at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689, but Dundee was slain in the fighting, and the army was soon defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld. The complete defeat of James in Ireland by William at the Battle of Aughrim (1691), ended matters for a time. (Ironically, the Protestant William had also enjoyed the support of the Pope and the Catholic Habsburg monarchy against the aggressive foreign policy of Louis XIV of France). The late 17th century was economically difficult for Scotland. The bad harvests of the seven ill years in the 1690s led to severe famine and depopulation. English protectionism kept Scots traders out of the new colonies, and English foreign policy disrupted trade with France. Many Scots emigrated to Ulster (the Ulster-Scots). The Parliament of Scotland of 1695 enacted a number of remedies for the desperate economic situation, including setting up the Bank of Scotland. The Act for the Settling of Schools established a parish-based system of public education throughout Scotland. The Company of Scotland received a charter to raise capital through public subscription to trade with Africa and the Indies. [edit] Scottish overseas colonies In attempts to expand, the Scots established abortive colonies both in Nova Scotia and also at Stuart's Town in what is now South Carolina. Scottish settlers had also been sent to the English colony of New Jersey. The Company of Scotland soon became involved with the Darien scheme, an ambitious plan devised by William Paterson to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama in the hope of establishing trade with the Far East the principle that led to the construction of the Panama Canal much later. The Company of Scotland easily raised subscriptions in London for the scheme.[1] But the English government opposed the idea: involved in the War of the Grand Alliance from 1689 to 1697 against France, it did not want to offend Spain, which claimed the territory as part of New Granada. The English investors had perforce to withdraw. Returning to Edinburgh, the Company raised 400,000 pounds in a few weeks. Three small fleets with a total of 3000 men eventually set out for Panama in 1698. The exercise proved a disaster. Poorly equipped; beset by incessant rain; under attack by the Spanish from nearby Cartagena; and refused aid by the English in the West Indies, the colonists abandoned their project in 1700. Only 1000 survived and only one ship managed to return to Scotland. A desperate ship from the colony which called at Port Royal received no assistanceon the orders of the English government. Realising the dangers of the conflicting claims and aims of two independent kingdoms at odds with one another, William of Orange called for a union of the two countries. It did not happen. Union, when it did come in 1707, restored free trade between the countries and gave the Scots access to the burgeoning English Empire. [edit] Union, the Hanoverians and the Jacobites "The Young Pretender" Bonnie Prince Charlie began his campaign on Scotland's west coast. His hopes to gain the Scottish and English thrones died at the Battle of Culloden By 1700, the Protestant monarchy seemed in danger of coming to an end with the childless Stuart Princess Anne. Rather than return to her Roman Catholic brother James Francis Edward Stuart, the English Parliament enacted that Sophia of Hanover and her descendants should succeed (Act of Settlement 1701). However, the Scottish counterpart, the Act of Security, prohibited a Roman Catholic successor, leaving open the possibility that the crowns would diverge. Rather than risk the possible return of James Francis Edward Stuart, then living in France, the English parliament pressed for full union of the two countries. In 1707, despite much opposition in Scotland, the Treaty of Union was concluded. The treaty, which became the Act of Union 1707, confirmed the Hanoverian succession. It abolished both the Parliaments of England and Scotland, and established the Parliament of Great Britain. Scotland was to have 45 seats in the House of Commons, and a representation in the House of Lords. The act also created a common citizenship, giving Scots free access to English markets. The Church of Scotland and Scottish law and courts remained separate. This union was highly controversial among Scots, and increasingly so as the hoped-for economic revival was not immediately forthcoming. When it did come, in the second half of the century, it was Lowland Scotland that received the benefits. Jacobitism was revived by the unpopularity of the union. In 1708 James Francis Edward Stuart attempted an invasion with a French fleet, but the Royal Navy prevented any from landing. A more serious attempt occurred in 1715. This rising (known as The 'Fifteen) envisaged simultaneous uprisings in Wales, Devon and Scotland. However, government arrests forestalled the southern ventures. In Scotland, John Erskine, Earl of Mar, nicknamed Bobbin' John, raised the Jacobite clans but proved to be an indecisive leader and an incompetent soldier. Mar captured Perth, but let a smaller government force under the Duke of Argyll hold the Stirling plain. Part of Mar's army joined up with risings in northern England and southern Scotland, and the Jacobites fought their way into England before being defeated at the Battle of Preston, surrendering on 14 November 1715. The day before, Mar failed to defeat Argyll at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. At this point, James


belatedly landed in Scotland, but was advised that the cause was hopeless. He fled back to France. An attempted Jacobite invasion with Spanish assistance in 1719 met with little support from the clans and ended at the Battle of Glen Shiel. In 1745 the Jacobite rising known as The 'Forty-Five began. Charles Edward Stuart, known to history as Bonnie Prince Charlie or the Young Pretender, son of the Old Pretender, landed on the island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides. Several clans unenthusiastically joined him. At the outset he was successful, taking Edinburgh and then defeating the only government army in Scotland at the Battle of Prestonpans. They marched into England and got as far as Derby. It became increasingly evident that England would not support a Roman Catholic Stuart monarch. The Jacobite leadership had a crisis of confidence and retreated to Scotland. The Duke of Cumberland crushed the "Forty-Five" and the hopes of the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746. Charles hid in Scotland with the aid of Highlanders until September 1746, when he escaped back to France with the help of Flora MacDonald. He died a broken man, and his cause died with him. [edit] Industrial Revolution, Clearances, and the Enlightenment After 1745, British authorities acted to destroy the Scottish clan system in parliamentary acts of extreme vengeance. All aspects of Highland culture including the language were forbidden on pain of death. Highlanders were forced into the British Army to serve in the wider British Empire. Clan Chiefs were encouraged to consider themselves as owners of the land in their control, in the Lowland manner - it was previously considered common to the clan. As these new landowners converted land to more profitable sheep pasture, many of the peoples were dispossessed, facing forcible eviction. In what became known as the "Highland Clearances", the population fell significantly. Large numbers of Highlanders relocated to the lowland cities, becoming the labour force for the emerging industrial revolution, many were banished to other parts of the British Empire, particularly Nova Scotia, the Eastern Townships of Quebec, and Upper Canada (later known as Ontario). At the same time, the Scottish Agricultural Revolution changed the face of the Scottish Lowlands and transformed the traditional system of subsistence farming into a stable and productive agricultural system. This also had effects on population and precipitated a migration of Lowlanders. Scots contributed to culture and science with such visionaries as the father of modern Economics, Adam Smith Internationally, Scotland's fate was tied to that of the United Kingdom as a whole. Shortly after Culloden, Britain successfully fought the Seven Years' War (1756 1763), demonstrating its rising significance as a great power. As a partner in the new Britain, Scotland began to flourish in ways that she never had as an independent nation. As the memory of the Jacobite rebellion faded away, the 1770s and 80s saw the repeal of much of the draconian laws passed earlier. Most were repealed by 1792 as the Episcopalian and Roman Catholic clergy no longer refused to pray for the reigning monarch, although Unitarians were still affected. Economically, Glasgow and Edinburgh began to grow at a tremendous rate at the end of the 18th century. The Scottish Renaissance was one of philosophy and science. The Scottish Enlightenment involved names such as Adam Smith, David Hume and James Boswell. Scientific progress was led by James Hutton and William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin and James Watt (instrument maker to the University of Glasgow). Pre-eminent in contemporary literature were Robert Burns, an Ayrshire poet, and Sir Walter Scott, a prolific writer of ballads, poems and the historical novels. His romantic portrayals of Scottish life in centuries past still continue to have a disproportionate effect on the public perception of "authentic Scottish culture," and the pageantry he organised for the Visit of King George IV to Scotland made tartan and kilts into national symbols. George MacDonald also influenced views of Scotland in the latter parts of the 19th century. As the 19th century wore on, Lowland Scotland turned more and more towards heavy industry. Glasgow and the River Clyde became a major shipbuilding centre. Glasgow became one of the largest cities in the world, and known as "the Second City of the Empire" after London. [edit] 20th century Scotland Charles Rennie Mackintosh gained international architectural fame with his 1909 design of the Glasgow School of Art building Tied as it was to the health of the British Empire, Scotland suffered after the First World War as it had gained beforehand. In the Highlands, which had provided a disproportionate number of recruits for the army, a whole generation of young men were lost, and many villages and communities suffered greatly. In the Lowlands, particularly Glasgow, poor working and living conditions led to industrial and political unrest. John MacLean became a key political figure in what became known as Red Clydeside, and in January 1919, the British Government,


fearful of a revolutionary uprising, deployed tanks and soldiers in central Glasgow. During the 1920s and 1930s, due to global depression and foreign competition, Glasgow and Clydebank experienced high unemployment. In the Second World War naval bases and infrastructure in Scotland were primary German targets. Attacks on Scapa Flow and Rosyth gave RAF fighters their first successes downing bombers in the Firth of Forth and East Lothian. The shipyards and heavy engineering factories in Glasgow and Clydeside played a key part in the war effort, and suffered attacks from the Luftwaffe. Clydebank endured great destruction and loss of life. The Highlands again provided a large number of troops for the war effort. Commandos and resistance fighters received training in the harsh conditions of the Lochaber mountains. As transatlantic voyages involved negotiating the north-west, Scotland played a key part in the battle of the North Atlantic. As in World War I, Scapa Flow in Orkney served as an important Royal Navy base. Shetland's relative proximity to occupied Norway, resulted in the Shetland Bus fishing boats helping Norwegians flee the Nazis, and expeditions across the North Sea to assist resistance. Perhaps Scotland's most bizarre wartime episode occurred in 1941 when Rudolf Hess flew to Renfrewshire, possibly intending to broker a peace deal through the Duke of Hamilton. Clydeside built ships for World War II and later pleasure, launching the QE2 in 1967 After World War II, Scotland's economic situation became progressively worse due to overseas competition, inefficient industry, and industrial disputes. This only began to change in the 1970s, partly due to the discovery and development of North Sea oil and gas and partly as Scotland moved towards a more service-based economy. This period saw the emergence of the Scottish National Party and movements for both Scottish independence and more popularly devolution. However, a referendum on devolution in 1979 was unsuccessful as it did not achieve the support of 40% of the electorate (despite a small majority of those who voted supporting the proposal.) As the Cold War intensified, the United States deployed Polaris ballistic missiles, and submarines, in the Firth of Clyde's Holy Loch (1961). This was despite opposition from CND campaigners. A Royal Navy nuclear submarine base followed for Resolution class Polaris submarines at the expanded Faslane Naval Base on the Gare Loch. The first patrol of a Trident-armed submarine occurred in 1994, although the US base was closed at the end of the Cold War. On 11 September 1997, the Blair Labour government again held a referendum on the issue of devolution. A positive outcome led to the establishment of a devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999. The Scottish Parliament Building is adjacent to Holyrood House in Edinburgh. [edit] 21st century Scotland The feudal system lingered on in Scots law on land ownership, so that a landowner still had obligations to a feudal superior including payment of feu duty. In 1974 legislation began a process of redeeming feu duties so that most of these payments were ended, but it was only with the attention of the Scottish Parliament that a series of acts were passed, the first in 2000, for The Abolition of Feudal Tenure on November 28, 2004. In 2007, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won the Scottish parliament elections and formed a minority government. New First Minister, Alex Salmond, hopes to hold a referendum on Scottish Independence before 2011, though the SNP may be unable to get a Bill to hold such a referendum approved by the Scottish parliament due to the minority position of the SNP government. If a referendum is held, an opinion poll in late 2007 suggested the result could be close as support for independence had reached 40% with just 44% supporting retention of the Union.[2] The response of the unionist parties has been to call for the establishment of a Commission to examine further devolution of powers, [3] a position that has the support of the Prime Minister.[4] History of the British Isles This box: view talk edit


By chronology Prehistoric Britain o Bronze Age Britain o Iron Age o Prehistoric Scotland o Prehistoric Wales Early Ireland Roman o Roman Wales Sub-Roman Britain Early-Christian Ireland Early-Medieval Ireland Ireland 16911801 Medieval Britain o Scotland in the Early Middle Ages o Scotland in the High Middle Ages o Scotland in the Late Middle Ages o Norman invasion of Wales o Wales in the Late Middle Ages Medieval Ireland: Gaelic, Norman Early-modern: Britain, Ireland Modern: o History of the United Kingdom o Ireland History of Ireland History of Northern Ireland History of Ireland (18011922) Irish Free State o History of Wales

By nation England Ireland o Northern Ireland o Republic of Ireland Isle of Man Scotland Wales


See also: o Guernsey o Jersey o Orkney Islands

By topic Settlement of Great Britain and Ireland Constitutional history: Britain, Ireland Economic history: Britain, Ireland Military history of the United Kingdom History of English society Maritime history of Britain

History of Ireland From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search The History of Ireland began with the first known settlement in Ireland around 8000 BC, when hunter-gatherers arrived from Great Britain and continental Europe, probably via a land bridge.[1] Few archaeological traces remain of this group, but their descendants and later Neolithic arrivals, particularly from the Iberian Peninsula, were responsible for major Neolithic sites such as Newgrange.[2][3] Following the arrival of Saint Patrick and other Christian missionaries in the early to mid-5th century A.D., Christianity subsumed the indigenous pagan religion by the year 600. 1 Early history: 8000 BCAD 400 2 Early Christian Ireland 400800 3 Early medieval era 8001166 4 Later medieval Ireland o 4.1 The arrival of the Normans 11671185 o 4.2 The Lordship of Ireland 11851254 o 4.3 Gaelic resurgence, Norman decline 12541360 5 Early Modern Ireland o 5.1 Reformation and Protestant Ascendancy o 5.2 Civil wars and penal laws o 5.3 Colonial Ireland 6 Union with Great Britain (1801-1922) o 6.1 Home Rule, Easter 1916 and the War of Independence o 6.2 Free State/Republic (1922-present) o 6.3 Northern Ireland 6.3.1 "A Protestant State" (1921-1971) 6.3.2 Direct rule (1971-1998) 6.3.3 Devolution and direct rule (1998-present) 7 Flags in Ireland

From around 800 A.D., more than a century of Viking invasions brought havoc upon the monastic culture and on the island's various regional dynasties, yet both of these institutions proved strong enough to survive and assimilate the invaders. The coming of Cambro-Norman mercenaries under Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, in 1169 marked the beginning of more than 700 years of


direct Norman and, later, English involvement in Ireland. The English crown did not begin asserting full control of the island until after the English Reformation, when questions over the loyalty of Irish vassals provided the initial impetus for a series of military campaigns between 1534 and 1691. This period was also marked by an English policy of plantation which led to the arrival of thousands of English and Scottish Protestant settlers. As the military and political defeat of Gaelic Ireland became more clear in the early seventeenth century, the role of religion as a new division in Ireland became more pronounced. From this period on, sectarian conflict became a recurrent theme in Irish history. The overthrow, in 1613, of the Catholic majority in the Irish parliament was realised principally through the creation of numerous new boroughs, all of which were Protestant-dominated. By the end of the seventeenth century all Catholics, representing some 85% of Ireland's population then, were banned from the Irish parliament. Political power rested entirely in the hands of a British settler-colonial, and more specifically Anglican, minority while the Catholic population suffered severe political and economic privations. In 1801, this colonial parliament was abolished and Ireland became an integral part of a new United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Act of Union. Catholics were still banned from sitting in that new parliament until Catholic Emancipation was attained in 1829, the principal condition of which was the removal of the poorer, and thus more radical, Irish freeholders from the franchise. The Irish Parliamentary Party strove from the 1880s to attain Home Rule self-government through the parliamentary constitutional movement eventually winning the Home Rule Act 1914, though suspended on the outbreak of World War I. In 1922, after the Irish War of Independence, the southern twenty-six counties of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom (UK) to become the independent Irish Free State and after 1948, the Republic of Ireland. The remaining six north eastern counties, known as Northern Ireland, remained part of the UK. The history of Northern Ireland has been dominated by sporadic sectarian conflict between (mainly Catholic) Nationalists and (mainly Protestant) Unionists. This conflict erupted into the Troubles in the late 1960s, until an uneasy peace thirty years later. [edit] Early history: 8000 BCAD 400 Main article: Early history of Ireland Ireland during the Ice Age. What little is known of pre-Christian Ireland comes from a few references in Roman writings, Irish poetry and myth, and archaeology. The earliest inhabitants of Ireland, people of a mid-Stone Age, or Mesolithic, culture, arrived sometime after 8000 BC, when the climate had become more hospitable following the retreat of the polar icecaps. About 4000 BC agriculture was introduced from the South West continent, leading to the establishment of a high Neolithic culture, characterized by the appearance of pottery, polished stone tools, rectangular wooden houses and communal megalithic tombs, some of which are huge stone monuments like the Passage Tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, many of them astronomically aligned (most notably, Newgrange). Four main types of megalithic tomb have been identified: Portal Tombs, Court Tombs, Passage Tombs and Wedge Tombs. In Leinster and Munster individual adult males were buried in small stone structures, called cists, under earthen mounds and were accompanied by distinctive decorated pottery. This culture apparently prospered, and the island became more densely populated. Towards the end of the Neolithic new types of monuments developed, such as circular embanked enclosures and timber, stone and post and pit circles. The Bronze Age properly began once copper was alloyed with tin to produce true bronze artifacts; this took place around 2000 BC, when some Ballybeg flat axes and associated metalwork was produced. The period preceding this, in which Lough Ravel and most Ballybeg axes were produced, and is known as the Copper Age or Chalcolithic, commenced about 2500 BC. This period also saw the production of elaborate gold and bronze ornaments, weapons and tools. There was a movement away from the construction of communal megalithic tombs to the burial of the dead in small stone cists or simple pits, which could be situated in cemeteries or in circular earth or stone built burial mounds known respectively as barrows and cairns. As the period progressed inhumation burial gave way to cremation and by the Middle Bronze Age cremations were often placed beneath large burial urns. The Iron Age in Ireland began about 600 BC. By the historic period (AD 431 onwards) the main over-kingdoms of In Tuisceart, Airgialla, Ulaid, Mide, Laigin, Mumhain, Ciced Ol nEchmacht began to emerge (see Kingdoms of ancient Ireland). Within these kingdoms a rich culture flourished. The society of these kingdoms was dominated by an upper class, consisting of aristocratic warriors and learned people, possibly including druids. Linguists realised from the 17th century onwards that the language spoken by these people, the Goidelic languages, was a branch of the Celtic languages. This was originally explained as a result of invasions by Celts from the continent. However, research during the 20th century indicated otherwise, and in the later years of the century the conclusion drawn was that culture developed gradually and continuously, and that the introduction of Celtic language and elements of Celtic culture was a result of cultural exchange with Celtic groups on South West continental Europe from the neolithic to the Bronze Age.[1] [2] Little archaeological evidence was found for large intrusive groups of Celtic immigrants in Ireland. The hypothesis that the native Late Bronze Age inhabitants gradually absorbed Celtic influences has since been supported by some recent genetic research.[4]


The Romans referred to Ireland as Hibernia. Ptolemy in AD 100 records Ireland's geography and tribes. Ireland was never formally a part of the Roman Empire but Roman influence was often projected well beyond formal borders. Tacitus writes that an exiled Irish prince was with Agricola in Britain and would return to seize power in Ireland. Juvenal tells us that Roman "arms had been taken beyond the shores of Ireland". In recent years, some experts have hypothesized that Roman-sponsored Gaelic forces (or perhaps even Roman regulars) mounted some kind of invasion around 100,[5] but the exact relationship between Rome and the dynasties and peoples of Hibernia remains unclear. Irish confederations attacked and settled in Britain during the Great Conspiracy of 367. [edit] Early Christian Ireland 400800 The middle centuries of the first millennium AD marked great changes in Ireland. Niall Noigiallach (died c.450/455) laid the basis for the U Nill dynasty's hegemony over much of western, northern and central Ireland. Politically, the former emphasis on tribal affiliation had been replaced by the 700s by that of patrilineal and dynastic background. Many formerly powerful kingdoms and peoples disappeared. Irish pirates struck all over the coast of western Britain in the same way that the Vikings would later attack Ireland. Some of these founded entirely new kingdoms in Pictland, Wales and Cornwall. The Attacotti of south Leinster may even have served in the Roman military in the mid-to-late 300s.[6] Perhaps it was some of the latter returning home as rich mercenaries, merchants, or slaves stolen from Britain or Gaul, that first brought the Christian faith to Ireland. Some early sources claim that there were missionaries active in southern Ireland long before St. Patrick. Whatever the route, and there were probably many, this new faith was to have the most profound effect on the Irish. A page from the Book of Kells that opens the Gospel of John. Tradition maintains that in AD 432, St. Patrick arrived on the island and, in the years that followed, worked to convert the Irish to Christianity. On the other hand, according to Prosper of Aquitaine, a contemporary chronicler, Palladius was sent to Ireland by the Pope in 431 as "first Bishop to the Irish believing in Christ", which demonstrates that there were already Christians living in Ireland. Palladius seems to have worked purely as Bishop to Irish Christians in the Leinster and Meath kingdoms, while Patrick who may have arrived as late as 461 worked first and foremost as a missionary to the Pagan Irish, converting in the more remote kingdoms located in Ulster and Connacht. Ring fort on the island of Inishmaan, Aran Islands, Ireland. Photograph by Jonathan Leonard. Patrick is traditionally credited with preserving the tribal and social patterns of the Irish, codifying their laws and changing only those that conflicted with Christian practices. He is also credited with introducing the Roman alphabet, which enabled Irish monks to preserve parts of the extensive Celtic oral literature. The historicity of these claims remains the subject of debate and there is no direct evidence linking Patrick with any of these accomplishments. The myth of Patrick, as scholars refer to it, was developed in the centuries after his death. [7] The druid tradition collapsed, first in the face of the spread of the new faith, and ultimately in the aftermath of famine and plagues due to the climate changes of 535536. Irish scholars excelled in the study of Latin learning and Christian theology in the monasteries that flourished shortly thereafter. Missionaries from Ireland to England and Continental Europe spread news of the flowering of learning, and scholars from other nations came to Irish monasteries. The excellence and isolation of these monasteries helped preserve Latin learning during the Early Middle Ages. The arts of manuscript illumination, metalworking, and sculpture flourished and produced such treasures as the Book of Kells, ornate jewellery, and the many carved stone crosses that dot the island. Sites dating to this period include clochans, ringforts and promontory forts. The first English involvement in Ireland took place in this period. In 684 AD an English expeditionary force sent by Northumbrian King Ecgfrith invaded Ireland in the summer of that year. The English forces managed to seize a number of captives and booty, but they apparently did not stay in Ireland for long. The next English involvement in Ireland would take place a little more than half a millennium later in 1169 AD when the Normans invaded the country. [edit] Early medieval era 8001166 Main article: Early Medieval Ireland 8001166 Model of a typical Viking Longship. The first recorded Viking raid in Irish history occurred in 795 when Vikings from Norway looted the island. Early Viking raids were generally small in scale and quick. These early raids interrupted the golden age of Christian Irish culture starting the beginning of two


hundred years of intermittent warfare, with waves of Viking raiders plundering monasteries and towns throughout Ireland. Most of the early raiders came from the fjords of western Norway. The Vikings were expert sailors, who travelled in Longships, and by the early 840s, had begun to establish settlements along the Irish coasts and to spend the winter months there. Vikings founded settlements in several places; most famously in Dublin. Written accounts from this time (early to mid 840s) show that the Vikings were moving further inland to attack (often using rivers) and then retreating to their coastal headquarters. In 852, the Vikings landed in Dublin Bay and established a fortress. After several generations a group of mixed Irish and Norse ethnic background arose (the so-called Gall-Gaels, Gall then being the Irish word for "foreigners"). However, the Vikings never achieved total domination of Ireland, often fighting for and against various Irish kings. The Battle of Clontarf in 1014 marked the beginning of the decline of Viking power in Ireland. However the towns that the Vikings had founded continued to flourish and trade became an important part of the Irish economy. [edit] Later medieval Ireland Main article: Norman Ireland [edit] The arrival of the Normans 11671185 Main article: Norman invasion of Ireland A tower house near Quin. The Normans consolidated their presence in Ireland by building hundreds of castles and towers such as this. By the 12th century, Ireland was divided politically into a shifting hierarchy of petty kingdoms and over-kingdoms. Power was exercised by the heads of a few regional dynasties vying against each other for supremacy over the whole island. One of these men, King Diarmait Mac Murchada of Leinster was forcibly exiled by the new High King, Ruaidri mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair. Fleeing to Aquitaine, Diarmait obtained permission from Henry II to use the Norman forces to regain his kingdom. The first Norman knight landed in Ireland in 1167, followed by the main forces of Normans, Welsh and Flemings. Several counties were restored to the control of Diarmait, who named his sonin-law, Richard de Clare, heir to his kingdom. This caused consternation to King Henry II of England, who feared the establishment of a rival Norman state in Ireland. Accordingly, he resolved to establish his authority. With the authority of the papal bull Laudabiliter from Adrian IV, Henry landed with a large fleet at Waterford in 1171, becoming the first King of England to set foot on Irish soil. Henry awarded his Irish territories to his younger son John with the title Dominus Hiberniae ("Lord of Ireland"). When John unexpectedly succeeded his brother as King John, the "Lordship of Ireland" fell directly under the English Crown. Ireland in 1014: a patch-work of rival kingdoms. The extent of Norman control of Ireland in 1300. [edit] The Lordship of Ireland 11851254 Initially the Normans controlled the entire east coast, from Waterford up to eastern Ulster and penetrated far west in the country. The counties were ruled by many smaller kings. The first Lord of Ireland was King John, who visited Ireland in 1185 and 1210 and helped consolidate the Norman controlled areas, while at the same time ensuring that the many Irish kings swore fealty to him. Throughout the thirteenth century the policy of the English Kings was to weaken the power of the Norman Lords in Ireland. For example King John encouraged Hugh de Lacy to destabilise and then overthrow the Lord of Ulster, before creating him to the Earl of Ulster. The Hiberno-Norman community suffered from a series of invasion that ceased the spread of their settlement and power. Politics and events in Gaelic Ireland served to draw the settlers deeper into the orbit of the Irish. [edit] Gaelic resurgence, Norman decline 12541360 By 1261 the weakening of the Normans had become manifest when Fineen Mac Carthy defeated a Norman army at the Battle of Callann. The war continued between the different lords and earls for about 100 years and the wars caused a great deal of destruction, especially around Dublin. In this chaotic situation, local Irish lords won back large amounts of land that their families had lost since the conquest and held them after the war was over.


The Black Death arrived in Ireland in 1348. Because most of the English and Norman inhabitants of Ireland lived in towns and villages, the plague hit them far harder than it did the native Irish, who lived in more dispersed rural settlements. After it had passed, Gaelic Irish language and customs came to dominate the country again. The English-controlled territory shrunk back to a fortified area around Dublin (the Pale), and had little real authority outside (beyond the Pale). By the end of the 15th century, central English authority in Ireland had all but disappeared. England's attentions were diverted by its own civil war Wars of the Roses. The Lordship of Ireland lay in the hands of the powerful Fitzgerald Earl of Kildare, who dominated the country by means of military force and alliances with lords and clans around Ireland. Around the country, local Gaelic and Gaelicised lords expanded their powers at the expense of the English government in Dublin but the power of the Dublin government was seriously curtailed by the introduction of Poynings Law in 1494. According to this act the Irish parliament was essentially put under the control of the Westminster parliament. [edit] Early Modern Ireland [edit] Reformation and Protestant Ascendancy Main article: Early Modern Ireland 1536-1691 From 1536, Henry VIII decided to re-conquer Ireland and bring it under crown control. The Fitzgerald dynasty of Kildare, who had become the effective rulers of Ireland in the 15th century, had become very unreliable allies of the Tudor monarchs. They had invited Burgundian troops into Dublin to crown the Yorkist pretender, Lambert Simnel as King of England in 1487. Again in 1536, Silken Thomas Fitzgerald went into open rebellion against the crown. Having put down this rebellion, Henry VIII resolved to bring Ireland under English government control so the island would not become a base for future rebellions or foreign invasions of England. In 1541, Henry upgraded Ireland from a lordship to a full Kingdom. Henry was proclaimed King of Ireland at a meeting of the Irish Parliament that year. This was the first meeting of the Irish Parliament to be attended by the Gaelic Irish chieftains as well as the Hiberno-Norman aristocracy. With the institutions of government in place, the next step was to extend the control of the English Kingdom of Ireland over all of its claimed territory. This took nearly a century, with various English administrations in the process either negotiating or fighting with the independent Irish and Old English lords. The re-conquest was completed during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I, after several bloody conflicts. (See the Desmond Rebellions (15691573 and 15791583 and the Nine Years War 15941603, for details). After this point, the English authorities in Dublin established real control over Ireland for the first time, bringing a centralised government to the entire island, and successfully disarmed the native lordships. However, the English were not successful in converting the Catholic Irish to the Protestant religion and the brutal methods used by crown authority to pacify the country heightened resentment of English rule. From the mid-16th and into the early 17th century, crown governments carried out a policy of colonisation known as Plantations. Scottish and English Protestants were sent as colonists to the provinces of Munster, Ulster and the counties of Laois and Offaly (see also Plantations of Ireland). These settlers, who had a British and Protestant identity, would form the ruling class of future British administrations in Ireland. A series of Penal Laws discriminated against all faiths other than the established (Anglican) Church of Ireland. The principal victims of these laws were Catholics and later Presbyterians. [edit] Civil wars and penal laws After Irish Catholic rebellion and civil war, Oliver Cromwell, on behalf of the English Commonwealth, re-conquered Ireland during the time from 1649 to 1651. Under Cromwell's government, landownership in Ireland was transferred overwhelmingly to Protestant colonists. The 17th century was perhaps the bloodiest in Ireland's history. Two periods of civil war (1641-53 and 1689-91) caused huge loss of life and resulted in the final dispossession of the Irish Catholic landowning class and their subordination under the Penal Laws. In the mid-17th century, Ireland was convulsed by eleven years of warfare, beginning with the Rebellion of 1641, when Irish Catholics rebelled against English and Protestant domination, in the process massacring thousands of Protestant settlers. The Catholic gentry briefly ruled the country as Confederate Ireland (1642-1649) against the background of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms until Oliver Cromwell reconquered Ireland in 1649-1653 on behalf of the English Commonwealth. Cromwell's conquest was the most brutal phase of a brutal war. By its close, up to a third of Ireland's pre-war population was dead or in exile. As punishment for the rebellion of 1641, almost all lands owned by Irish Catholics were confiscated and given to British settlers. Several hundred remaining native landowners were transplanted to Connacht.


Ireland became the main battleground after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when the Catholic James II left London and the English Parliament replaced him with William of Orange. The wealthier Irish Catholics backed James to try to reverse the remaining Penal Laws and land confiscations, whereas Protestants supported William to preserve their property in the country. James and William fought for the Kingdom of Ireland in the Williamite War, most famously at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, where James's outnumbered forces were defeated. Jacobite resistance was finally ended after the Battle of Aughrim in July 1691. The Penal Laws that had been relaxed somewhat after the English Restoration were re-enacted more thoroughly after this war, as the Protestant lite wanted to ensure that the Irish Catholic landed classes would not be in a position to repeat their rebellions of the 17th century. [edit] Colonial Ireland Main article: Ireland 1691-1801 Subsequent Irish antagonism towards England was aggravated by the economic situation of Ireland in the 18th century. Some absentee landlords managed some of their estates inefficiently, and food tended to be produced for export rather than for domestic consumption. Two very cold winters led directly to the Great Irish Famine (1740-1741), which killed about 400,000 people; all of Europe was affected. In addition, Irish exports were reduced by the Navigation Acts from the 1660s, which placed tariffs on Irish products entering England, but exempted English goods from tariffs on entering Ireland. However most of the 18th century was relatively peaceful in comparison with the preceding two hundred years, and the population doubled to over four million. By the late 18th century, many of the Irish Protestant lite had come to see Ireland as their native country. A Parliamentary faction led by Henry Grattan agitated for a more favourable trading relationship with England and for greater legislative independence for the Parliament of Ireland. However, reform in Ireland stalled over the more radical proposals to enfranchise Irish Catholics. This was enabled in 1793, but Catholics could not yet enter parliament or become government officials. Some were attracted to the more militant example of the French Revolution of 1789. They formed the Society of the United Irishmen to overthrow British rule and found a non-sectarian republic. Their activity culminated in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which was bloodily suppressed. Largely in response to this rebellion, Irish self-government was abolished altogether by the Act of Union in 1801. [edit] Union with Great Britain (1801-1922) Main article: History of Ireland (1801-1922) In 1800, after the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British and the Irish parliaments enacted the Act of Union, which merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain (itself a union of "England" (Wales had been incorporated into England by the Act of Union of 1536), and Scotland, created almost 100 years earlier), to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Part of the deal for the union was that Catholic Emancipation would be conceded to remove discrimination against Catholics, Presbyterians, and others. However, King George III controversially blocked any change. In 1823, an enterprising Catholic lawyer, Daniel O'Connell, known as "the Great Liberator" began a successful campaign to achieve emancipation, which was finally conceded in 1829. He later led an unsuccessful campaign for "Repeal of the Act of Union". The second of Ireland's "Great Famines", An Gorta Mr struck the country severely in the period 1845-1849, with potato blight leading to mass starvation and emigration. (See Great Irish Famine.) The impact of emigration in Ireland was severe; the population dropped from over 8 million before the Famine to 4.4 million in 1911. The Irish language, once the spoken language of the entire island, declined in use sharply in the nineteenth century as a result of the Famine and the creation of the National School education system, as well as hostility to the language from leading Irish politicians of the time; it was largely replaced by English. Outside mainstream nationalism, a series of violent rebellions by Irish republicans took place in 1803, under Robert Emmet; in 1848 a rebellion by the Young Irelanders, most prominent among them, Thomas Francis Meagher; and in 1867, another insurrection by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. All failed, but physical force nationalism remained an undercurrent in the nineteenth century. The late 19th century also witnessed major land reform, spearheaded by the Land League under Michael Davitt demanding what became known as the 3 Fs; Fair rent, free sale, fixity of tenure. From 1870 and as a result of the Land War agitations and subsequent Plan of Campaign of the 1880s, various British governments introduced a series of Irish Land Acts - William O'Brien playing a leading role by winning the greatest piece of social legislation Ireland had yet seen, the Wyndham Land Purchase Act (1903) which broke up large estates and gradually gave rural landholders and tenants ownership of the lands. It effectively ended absentee landlordism, solving the age-old Irish Land Question


In the 1870s the issue of Irish self-government again became a major focus of debate under Protestant landowner, Charles Stewart Parnell and the Irish Parliamentary Party of which he was founder. British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone made two unsuccessful attempts to introduce Home Rule in 1886 and 1893. Parnell's controversial leadership eventually ended when he was implicated in a divorce scandal, when it was revealed that he had been living in family relationship with Katherine O'Shea, the long separated wife of a fellow Irish MP, with whom he was father of three children. After the introduction of the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 which broke the power of the landlord dominated "Grand Juries", passing for the first time absolute democratic control of local affairs into the hands of the people through elected Local County Councils, the debate over full Home Rule led to tensions between Irish nationalists and Irish unionists (those who favoured maintenance of the union). Most of the island was predominantly nationalist, Catholic and agrarian. The northeast, however, was predominantly unionist, Protestant and industrialised. Unionists feared a loss of political power and economic wealth in a predominantly rural, nationalist, Catholic home-rule state. Nationalists believed that they would remain economically and politically second class citizens without self-government. Out of this division, two opposing sectarian movements evolved, the Protestant Orange Order and the Catholic Ancient Order of Hibernians. [edit] Home Rule, Easter 1916 and the War of Independence Home Rule became certain when in 1910 the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) under John Redmond held the balance of power in the Commons and the third Home Rule Bill was introduced in 1912. Unionist resistance was immediate with the formation of the Ulster Volunteers. In turn the Irish Volunteers were established to oppose them and enforce the introduction of self-government. In September 1914, just as the First World War broke out, the UK Parliament finally passed the Third Home Rule Act to establish selfgovernment for Ireland, but was suspended for the duration of the war. In order to ensure the implementation of Home Rule after the war, nationalist leaders and the IPP under Redmond supported the British and Allied war effort against the Central Powers. The core of the Irish Volunteers were against this decision, a majority splitting off into the National Volunteers who enlisted in Irish regiments of the 10th and 16th (Irish) Divisions. Before the war ended, Britain made two concerted efforts to implement Home Rule, one in May 1916 and again with the Irish Convention during 1917-1918, but the Irish sides (Nationalist, Unionist) were unable to agree terms for the temporary or permanent exclusion of Ulster from its provisions. The period from 1916-1921 was marked by political violence and upheaval, ending in the partition of Ireland and independence for 26 of its 32 counties. A failed attempt was made to gain separate independence for Ireland with the 1916 Easter Rising, an insurrection in Dublin. Though support for the insurgents was small, the violence used in its suppression led to a swing in support of the rebels. In addition, the unprecedented threat of Irishmen being conscripted to the British Army in 1918 (for service on the Western Front as a result of the German Spring Offensive) accelerated this change. (See: Conscription Crisis of 1918). In the December 1918 elections Sinn Fin, the party of the rebels, won a majority of three-quarters of all seats in Ireland, MPs of which assembled in Dublin on 21 January 1919, to form a thirty-two county Irish Republic parliament, the first Dil ireann unilaterally declaring sovereignty over the entire island. Unwilling to negotiate any understanding with Britain short of complete independence, the Irish Republican Army the army of the newly declared Irish Republic waged a guerilla war (the Irish War of Independence) from 1919 to 1921. In the course of the fighting and amid much acrimony, the Fourth Government of Ireland Act 1920 implemented Home Rule while separating the island into what the British government's Act termed "Northern Ireland" and "Southern Ireland". In July 1921, the Irish and British governments agreed a truce that halted the war. In December 1921, representatives of both governments signed an Anglo-Irish Treaty. The Irish delegation was led by Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins. This abolished the Irish Republic and created the Irish Free State, a self-governing Dominion of the British Empire in the manner of Canada and Australia. Under the Treaty, Northern Ireland could opt out of the Free State and stay within the United Kingdom: it promptly did so. In 1922, both parliaments ratified the Treaty, formalising independence for the twenty-six county Irish Free State (which went on to re-name itself Ireland in 1937 and declare itself a republic in 1949); while the six county Northern Ireland, gaining Home Rule for itself, remained part of the United Kingdom. For most of the next 75 years, each territory was strongly aligned to either Catholic or Protestant ideologies, although this was more marked in the six counties of Northern Ireland. [edit] Free State/Republic (1922-present) Main articles: History of the Republic of Ireland; Irish Free State, Republic of Ireland; Names of the Irish state Political map of Ireland. The treaty to sever the Union divided the republican movement into anti-Treaty (who wanted to fight on until an Irish Republic was achieved) and pro-Treaty supporters (who accepted the Free State as a first step towards full independence and unity). Between 1922 and 1923 both sides fought the bloody Irish Civil War. The new Irish Free State government defeated the anti-Treaty remnant of the Irish


Republican Army. This division among nationalists still colours Irish politics today, specifically between the two leading Irish political parties, Fianna Fil and Fine Gael. The new Irish Free State (192237) existed against the backdrop of the growth of dictatorships in mainland Europe and a major world economic downturn in 1929. In contrast with many contemporary European states it remained a democracy. Testament to this came when the losing faction in the Irish civil war, Eamon de Valera's Fianna Fil, was able to take power peacefully by winning the 1932 general election. Nevertheless, up until the mid 1930s, considerable parts of Irish society saw the Free State through the prism of the civil war, as a repressive, British imposed state. It was only the peaceful change of government in 1932 that signalled the final acceptance of the Free State on their part. In contrast to many other states in the period, the Free State remained financially solvent as a result of low government expenditure. However, unemployment and emigration were high. The population declined to a low of 2.7 million recorded in the 1961 census. The Roman Catholic Church had a powerful influence over the Irish state for much of its history. The clergy's influence meant that the Irish state had very conservative social policies, banning, for example, divorce, contraception, abortion, pornography as well as encouraging the censoring of many books and films. In addition the Church largely controlled the State's hospitals, schools and remained the largest provider of many other social services. With the partition of Ireland in 1922, 92.6% of the Free State's population were Catholic while 7.4% were Protestant. [8] By the 1960s, the Protestant population had fallen by half. Although emigration was high among all the population, due to a lack of economic opportunity, the rate of Protestant emigration was disproportionate in this period. Many Protestants left the country in the early 1920s, either because they felt unwelcome in a predominantly Catholic and nationalist state, because they were afraid due to the burning of Protestant homes (particularly of the old landed class) by republicans during the civil war, because they regarded themselves as British and did not wish to live in an independent Irish state, or because of the economic disruption caused by the recent violence. The Catholic Church had also issued a decree, known as Ne Temere, whereby the children of marriages between Catholics and Protestants had to be brought up as Catholics. From 1945, the emigration rate of Protestants fell and they became less likely to emigrate than Catholics - indicating their integration into the life of the Irish State. In 1937, a new Constitution of Ireland re-established the state as Ireland (or ire in Irish). The state remained neutral throughout World War II (see Irish neutrality) and this saved it from much of the horrors of the war, although tens of thousands volunteered to serve in the British forces. Ireland was also hit badly by rationing of food, and coal in particular (peat production became a priority during this time). Though nominally neutral, recent studies have suggested a far greater level of involvement by the South with the Allies than was realised, with D Day's date set on the basis of secret weather information on Atlantic storms supplied by ire. For more detail on 193945, see main article The Emergency. In 1949 the state was formally declared the Republic of Ireland and it left the British Commonwealth. In the 1960s, Ireland underwent a major economic change under reforming Taoiseach (prime minister) Sen Lemass and Secretary of the Department of Finance T.K. Whitaker, who produced a series of economic plans. Free second-level education was introduced by Donnchadh O'Malley as Minister for Education in 1968. From the early 1960s, the Republic sought admission to the European Economic Community but, because 90% of the export economy still depended on the United Kingdom market, it could not do so until the UK did, in 1973. Global economic problems in the 1970s, augmented by a set of misjudged economic policies followed by governments, including that of Taoiseach Jack Lynch, caused the Irish economy to stagnate. The Troubles in Northern Ireland discouraged foreign investment. Devaluation was enabled when the Irish Pound, or Punt, was established in as a truly separate currency in 1979, breaking the link with the UK's sterling. However, economic reforms in the late 1980s, the end of the Troubles, helped by investment from the European Community, led to the emergence of one of the world's highest economic growth rates, with mass immigration (particularly of people from Asia and Eastern Europe) as a feature of the late 1990s. This period came to be known as the Celtic Tiger and was focused on as a model for economic development in the former Eastern Bloc states, which entered the European Union in the early 2000s. Property values had risen by a factor of between four and ten between 1993 and 2006, in part fuelling the boom. Irish society also adopted relatively liberal social policies during this period. Divorce was legalised, homosexuality decriminalised, while abortion in limited cases was allowed by the Irish Supreme Court in the X Case legal judgement. Major scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, both sexual and financial, coincided with a widespread decline in religious practice, with weekly attendance at Roman Catholic Mass halving in twenty years. A series of tribunals set up from the 1990s have investigated alleged malpractices by politicians, the Catholic clergy, judges, hospitals and the Garda (police). [edit] Northern Ireland [edit] "A Protestant State" (1921-1971)


Main article: History of Northern Ireland From 1921 to 1971, Northern Ireland was governed by the Ulster Unionist Party government, based at Stormont in East Belfast. The founding Prime Minister, James Craig, proudly declared that it would be "a Protestant State for a Protestant People" (in contrast to the anticipated "Papist" state to the south). Discrimination against the minority nationalist community in jobs and housing, and their total exclusion from political power due to the majoritarian electoral system, led to the emergence of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in the late 1960s, inspired by Martin Luther King's civil rights movement in the United States of America. A violent counter-reaction from conservative unionists and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) led to civil disorder, notably the Battle of the Bogside and the Northern Ireland riots of August 1969. To restore order, British troops were deployed to the streets of Northern Ireland at this time. Tensions came to a head with the events of Bloody Sunday and Bloody Friday, and the worst years (early 1970s) of what became known as the Troubles resulted. The Stormont parliament was prorogued in 1971 and abolished in 1972. Paramilitary private armies such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the Official IRA, the Irish National Liberation Army, the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force fought each other and the British army and the (largely Unionist) RUC, resulting in the deaths of well over three thousand men, women and children, civilians and military. Most of the violence took place in Northern Ireland, but some also spread to England and across the Irish border. [edit] Direct rule (1971-1998) For the next 27 years, Northern Ireland was under "direct rule" with a Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the British Cabinet responsible for the departments of the Northern Ireland executive/government. Principal acts were passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in the same way as for much of the rest of the UK, but many smaller measures were dealt with by Order in Council with minimal parliamentary scrutiny. Throughout this time the aim was to restore devolution, but three attempts - the power-sharing executive established by the Northern Ireland Constitution Act and the Sunningdale Agreement, the 1975 Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention and Jim Prior's 1982 assembly - all failed to either reach consensus or operate in the longer term. During the 1970s British policy concentrated on defeating the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) by military means including the policy of Ulsterisation (requiring the RUC and British Army reserve Ulster Defence Regiment to be at the forefront of combating the IRA). Although IRA violence decreased it was obvious that no military victory was on hand in either the short or medium terms. Even Catholics that generally rejected the IRA were unwilling to offer support to a state that seemed to remain mired in sectarian discrimination, and the Unionists plainly were not interested in Catholic participation in running the state in any case. In the 1980s the IRA attempted to secure a decisive military victory based on massive arms shipments from Libya. When this failed - probably because of MI5's penetration of the IRA's senior commands[citation needed] - senior republican figures began to look to broaden the struggle from purely military means. In time this began a move towards military cessation. In 1986 the British and Irish governments signed the Anglo Irish Agreement signalling a formal partnership in seeking a political solution. Socially and economically Northern Ireland suffered the worst levels of unemployment in the UK and although high levels of public spending ensured a slow modernisation of public services and moves towards equality, progress was slow in the 1970s and 1980s, only in the 1990s when progress towards peace became tangible, did the economic situation brighten. By then, too, the demographics of Northern Ireland had undergone significant change, and more than 40% of the population are Catholics. [edit] Devolution and direct rule (1998-present) More recently, the Belfast Agreement ("Good Friday Agreement") of April 10, 1998 brought a degree of power sharing to Northern Ireland, giving both unionists and nationalists control of limited areas of government. However, both the power-sharing Executive and the elected Assembly have been suspended since October 2002 following a breakdown in trust between the political parties. Efforts to resolve outstanding issues, including "decommissioning" of paramilitary weapons, policing reform and the removal of British army bases are continuing. Recent elections have not helped towards compromise, with the moderate Ulster Unionist and (nationalist) Social Democrat and Labour parties being substantially displaced by the hard-line Democratic Unionist and (nationalist) Sinn Fin parties. On July 28, 2005, the Provisional IRA announced the end of its armed campaign and on September 25, 2005 international weapons inspectors supervised the full disarmament of the PIRA. [edit] Flags in Ireland The state flag of the Republic of Ireland is the Irish Tricolour. This flag, which bears the colours green for Roman Catholics, orange for Protestants, and white for the desired peace between them, dates back to the middle of the 19th century. [9] The state flag applying to Northern Ireland is the Union Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Ulster Banner is sometimes used as a de facto regional flag for Northern Ireland.


The Tricolour was first unfurled in public by Young Irelander Thomas Francis Meagher who, using the symbolism of the flag, explained his vision as follows: "The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the "Orange" and the "Green," and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood". Fellow nationalist John Mitchel said of it: "I hope to see that flag one day waving as our national banner." After its use in the 1916 Rising it became widely accepted as the national flag, as was used officially by the Irish Republic (1919-21) and the Irish Free State (1922-37). In 1937 when the Constitution of Ireland was introduced, the Tricolour was formally confirmed as the national flag: "The national flag is the tricolour of green, white and orange." While the Tricolour today is the official flag of the Republic of Ireland, as a state flag it does not apply to the entire island of Ireland. Since Partition, there has been no universally-accepted flag to represent the entire island. As a provisional solution for certain sports fixtures, the Flag of the Four Provinces enjoys a certain amount of general acceptance and popularity. Historically a number of flags have been used, including: Saint Patrick's Flag (St Patrick's Saltire, St Patric's Cross) which was the flag sometimes used for the Kingdom of Ireland and which represented Ireland on the Union Flag after the Act of Union, a green flag with a harp (used by most nationalists in the 19th century and which is also the flag of Leinster), a blue flag with a harp used from the 18th century onwards by many nationalists (now the standard of the President of Ireland), and the Irish Tricolour.

St Patrick's Saltire was formerly used to represent the island of Ireland by the all-island Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), before adoption of the four-provinces flag. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) uses the Tricolour to represent the whole island. History of Wales

Caerphilly Castle. The construction of this castle between 1268 and 1271 by Gilbert de Clare led to a dispute between Llywelyn the Last and the English crown, one of the issues which led to the wars of 1277 and 1282 and the end of Welsh independence History of Wales Chronological Eras Prehistoric Wales Roman Wales Early Middle Ages Norman invasion Late Middle Ages Early Modern Era Modern Era Kingdoms Brycheiniog Ceredigion Deheubarth


Dyfed Ergyng Gwent Gwynedd Morgannwg Powys Seisyllwg Topical Colonial history Literary history Welsh Culture Timeline of Welsh history Welsh Portal

The country of Wales, or Cymru in Welsh, has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29,000 years, though continuous human habitation dates from the period after the last Ice age. Wales has many remains from the Neolithic period (mainly dolmens or cromlechs), as well as from the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The written history of Wales begins with the arrival of the Romans, who launched their first campaign against the Deceangli in what is now North-East Wales in A.D. 48. Two of the larger tribes, the Silures and the Ordovices, resisted Roman rule for some years, with the Ordovices only being finally subdued in A.D. 79. The Welsh of the time occupied what is now known as England, Wales and Southern Scotland and was known as the Roman province of Britannia, and remained under Roman rule until the legions were withdrawn in about A.D. 400. During the next few centuries kingdoms such as Gwynedd and Powys were formed and the area we now call Wales became Christian. During the early medieval period Wales was divided into a number of kingdoms, but the ruler of Gwynedd was usually acknowledged as King of the Britons. Some such rulers were able to combine several kingdoms to extend their rule to much of Wales and Gruffydd ap Llywelyn in the mid 11th century controlled all of Wales and some areas in England for a period. These centuries were marked by struggles against English kingdoms such as Mercia, then against the united English kingdom and finally against the Normans, who arrived on the borders of Wales around 1067. Warfare continued for over two centuries until the death of Llywelyn the Last in 1282 led to the annexation of Wales to the kingdom of England. Owain Glyndr led a rebellion in the early 15th century and kept control of Wales for a few years before the English crown reimposed its authority. In the 16th century legislation was passed aimed at fully incorporating Wales into England. Yet, the Welsh retained their language and culture in spite of heavy English dominance. The eighteenth century saw the beginnings of two changes which would greatly affect Wales, the Industrial Revolution and the Methodist Revival. During the 19th century south-east Wales in particular experienced rapid industrialization and a dramatic rise in population. These areas were Welsh-speaking initially but became increasingly anglicized in speech later in the century. The 19th century also saw Wales become predominantly Nonconformist in religion. In the 20th century the period after the Second World War saw the beginnings of a long decline in the coal and iron industries and in politics saw the Labour party replace the Liberal party as the dominant force. In the second half of the century Plaid Cymru's Gwynfor Evans won Plaid's first seat at Westminster in 1966 and devolution became an item on the political agenda. A referendum on devolution in 1979 resulted in a "no" vote, but the issue reappeared towards the end of the century. A second referendum in 1997 resulted in a "yes" vote by a narrow margin and led to the Welsh Assembly being established in Cardiff. 1 Prehistoric Wales 2 Wales under the Romans: 48410 3 Sub-Roman Wales and the Age of the Saints: 411700 4 Early Medieval Wales: 7001066


5 Wales and the Normans: 10671283 6 Annexation: from the Statute of Rhuddlan to the Laws in Wales Acts 12831542 7 From the Union to the Industrial Revolution 1543 - 1800 8 The 19th century 9 The 20th century 10 The 21st century

[edit] Prehistoric Wales The earliest known human remain discovered in modern-day Wales is a human tooth, found in a cave in the valley of the River Elwy in North Wales, whose owner lived about 250,000 years ago in the Lower Palaeolithic period.[1] The Red Lady of Paviland, a human skeleton dyed in red ochre, was discovered in 1826 in one of the Paviland limestone caves of the Gower peninsula in south Wales. Despite the name, the skeleton is that of a young man who lived about 26,000 years ago at the end of the Upper Paleolithic Period (old stone age).[2] He is considered to be the oldest known ceremonial burial in Western Europe. The skeleton was found along with jewellery made from ivory and seashells, and a mammoth's skull. Bryn Celli Ddu, a late Neolithic chambered tomb on Anglesey Following the last Ice age, Wales became roughly the shape it is today by about 8000 BC and was inhabited by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. The earliest farming communities are now believed to date from about 4000 BC, marking the beginning of the Neolithic period. This period saw the construction of many chambered tombs, the most notable including Bryn Celli Ddu and Barclodiad y Gawres on Anglesey.[3] Metal tools first appeared in Wales about 2500 BC, initially copper followed by bronze. The climate during the Early Bronze Age (c. 25001400 BC) is thought to have been warmer than at present, as there are many remains from this period in what are now bleak uplands. The Late Bronze Age (c. 1400-750 BC) saw the development of more advanced bronze implements. Much of the copper for the production of bronze probably came from the copper mine on the Great Orme, where prehistoric mining on a very large scale dates largely from the middle Bronze Age.[4] The earliest iron implement found in Wales is a sword from Llyn Fawr at the head of the Rhondda Valley, which is thought to date to about 600 BC.[5] The Iron Age saw the building of hillforts which are particularly numerous in Wales, examples being Pen Dinas near Aberystwyth and Tre'r Ceiri on the Lleyn peninsula. A particularly significant find from this period was made in 1943 at Llyn Cerrig Bach on Anglesey, when the ground was being prepared for the construction of a Royal Air Force base. The cache included weapons, shields, chariots along with their fittings and harnesses, and slave chains and tools. Many had been deliberately broken and seem to have been votive offerings.[6] Traditionally, historians have believed that successive waves of immigrants brought different cultures into the area, largely replacing the previous inhabitants, with the last wave of immigrants being the Celts. However, some studies of population genetics now suggest that this may not be true. In two recent books, Bryan Sykes and Stephen Oppenheimer argue that the majority of the modern Welsh population (and the British population as a whole) descends from migrants from the Iberian Peninsula during the Mesolithic and, to a lesser extent, the Neolithic eras.[7][8] The introduction of Celtic language in the Bronze Age may have been a result of immigration on a smaller scale. [edit] Wales under the Romans: 48410 Tribes within the boundaries of present day Wales at the time of the Roman invasion. Exact boundaries are conjectural. Up to and during the Roman occupation of Britain, Wales was not a separate country; all the native inhabitants of Roman Britain spoke Brythonic languages (a sub-family of the Celtic languages) and were regarded as Britons (or Brythons). The area was divided among a number of tribes, of which the Silures in modern south-east Wales and the Ordovices in central and northwest Wales were the largest and most powerful.[9] These two tribes were the ones who put up the strongest resistance to the Roman invasion. The first attack on the Celtic tribes of what is now Wales was made under the legate Publius Ostorius Scapula about 48 AD. Ostorius first attacked the Deceangli in the north-east, who appear to have surrendered with little resistance. [10] He then spent several years campaigning against the Silures and the Ordovices. Their resistance was led by Caratacus, who had fled what is now southeast England when it was conquered by the Romans. He first led the Silures, then moved to the territory of the Ordovices, where he was defeated by Ostorius in 51 AD. [11] Caratacus fled to the Brigantes, whose queen handed him over to the Romans.


The Silures were not subdued, however, and waged effective guerilla warfare against the Roman forces. Ostorius died with this tribe still unconquered; after his death they won a victory over the Roman Second Augusta Legion. There were no further attempts to extend Roman control in Wales until the governorship of Caius Suetonius Paulinus, who attacked further north and captured the island of Anglesey in 60 or 61 AD.[12] However he was forced to abandon the offensive to meet the threat from the rebellion of Boadicea. The Silures were eventually subdued by Sextus Julius Frontinus in a series of campaigns ending about 78 AD.[13] His successor Gnaeus Julius Agricola subdued the Ordovices and recaptured Anglesey by the beginning of 79 AD.[14] The Romans occupied the whole of the area now known as Wales, where they built Roman roads and Roman forts, mined gold and conducted commerce, but their interest in the area was limited because of the difficult geography and shortage of flat agricultural land. Most of the Roman remains in Wales are military in nature. The area was controlled by legionary bases at Deva (Chester) and Isca (Caerleon), with roads linking these bases to auxiliary forts such as Segontium (Caernarfon) and Moridunum (Carmarthen). Romans are only known to have founded one town in Wales, Venta Silurum (Caerwent), although the fort at Moridunum (Carmarthen) was later superseded by a civilian settlement.[15] The modern day country of Wales is thought to have been part of the Roman province of Britannia Superior and later of the province of Britannia Prima, which also included the West Country of England.[16] [edit] Sub-Roman Wales and the Age of the Saints: 411700 When the Roman garrison of Britain was withdrawn in 410, the various Brythonic states within Wales were left self-governing, as was the rest of Roman Britain. Evidence for a continuing Roman influence after the departure of the Roman legions is provided by an inscribed stone from Gwynedd dated between the late 5th century and mid 6th century commemorating a certain Cantiorix who was described as a citizen (cives) of Gwynedd and a cousin of Maglos the magistrate (magistratus).[17] There was considerable Irish colonization in Dyfed in south-west Wales, where there are many stones with Ogham inscriptions.[18] Wales had become Christian, and the "age of the saints" (approximately 500700) was marked by the establishment of monastic settlements throughout the country, by religious leaders such as Saint David, Illtud and Teilo.[19] One of the reasons for the Roman withdrawal was the pressure put upon the empire's military resources by the incursion of barbarian tribes from the east. These tribes, including the Angles and Saxons, who later became the English, were unable to make inroads into Wales except possibly along the Severn Valley as far as Llanidloes [20]. However they gradually conquered eastern and southern Britain (which then became England). At the Battle of Chester in 616, the forces of Powys and other Brythonic kingdoms were defeated by the Northumbrians under thelfrith, with king Selyf ap Cynan among the dead. It has been suggested[21] that this battle finally severed the land connection between Wales and the northern Brythonic kingdoms including Rheged, Strathclyde, Elmet and Gododdin where Old Welsh was also spoken. From the 8th century on, Wales was by far the largest of the three remnant Brythonic areas in Britain, the other two being Cornwall and Strathclyde. Gravestone of King Cadfan ap Iago of Gwynedd (died c. 625) in Llangadwaladr church Wales was divided into a number of separate kingdoms, the largest of these being Gwynedd in northwest Wales and Powys in east Wales. Gwynedd was the most powerful of these kingdoms in the 6th century and 7th century, under rulers such as Maelgwn Gwynedd (died 547)[22] and Cadwallon ap Cadfan (died 634/5)[23] who in alliance with Penda of Mercia was able to lead his armies as far as Northumbria and control it for a period. Following Cadwallon's death in battle the following year, his successor Cadafael ap Cynfeddw also allied himself with Penda against Northumbria but thereafter Gwynedd, like the other Welsh kingdoms, was mainly engaged in defensive warfare against the growing power of Mercia. [edit] Early Medieval Wales: 7001066 Main article: Wales in the Early Middle Ages see also 11th Century Gwynedd Mediaeval kingdoms of Wales shown within the boundaries of the present day country of Wales and not inclusive of all. Powys as the easternmost of the major kingdoms of Wales came under the most pressure from the English in Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. This kingdom originally extended east into areas now in England, and its ancient capital, Pengwern, has been variously identified as modern Shrewsbury or a site north of Baschurch.[24] These areas were lost to the kingdom of Mercia. The construction of the earthwork known as Offa's Dyke (usually attributed to Offa, King of Mercia in the 8th century) may have marked an agreed border.[25] For a single man to rule the whole country during this period was rare. This is often ascribed to the inheritance system practised in Wales. All sons received an equal share of their father's property (including illegitimate sons), resulting in the division of territories. However, the Welsh laws prescribe this system of division for land in general, not for kingdoms, where there is provision for an edling (or heir) to the kingdom to


be chosen, usually by the king. Any son, legitimate or illegitimate, could be chosen as edling and there were frequently disappointed candidates prepared to challenge the chosen heir.[26] The first to rule a considerable part of Wales was Rhodri Mawr (Rhodri The Great), originally king of Gwynedd during the 9th century, who was able to extend his rule to Powys and Ceredigion.[27] On his death his realms were divided between his sons. Rhodri's grandson, Hywel Dda (Hywel the Good), formed the kingdom of Deheubarth by joining smaller kingdoms in the southwest and had extended his rule to most of Wales by 942.[28] He is traditionally associated with the codification of Welsh law at a council which he called at Whitland, the laws from then on usually being called the "Laws of Hywel". Hywel followed a policy of peace with the English. On his death in 949 his sons were able to keep control of Deheubarth but lost Gwynedd to the traditional dynasty of this kingdom.[29] Wales was now coming under increasing attack by Viking raiders, particularly Danish raids in the period between 950 and 1000. Godfrey Haroldson is said to have carried off two thousand captives from Anglesey in 987, and the king of Gwynedd, Maredudd ab Owain is reported to have redeemed many of his subjects from slavery by paying the Danes a large ransom. [30] Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was the next ruler to be able to unite most of the Welsh kingdoms under his rule. Originally king of Gwynedd, by 1055 he was ruler of almost all of Wales and had annexed parts of England around the border. However, he was defeated by Harold Godwinson in 1063 and killed by his own men. His territories were again divided into the traditional kingdoms.[31] [edit] Wales and the Normans: 10671283 At the time of the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the dominant ruler in Wales was Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, who was king of Gwynedd and Powys. The initial Norman successes were in the south, where William Fitz Osbern overran Gwent before 1070. By 1074 the forces of the Earl of Shrewsbury were ravaging Deheubarth.[32] The killing of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn in 1075 led to civil war and gave the Normans an opportunity to seize lands in North Wales. In 1081 Gruffydd ap Cynan, who had just won the throne of Gwynedd from Trahaearn ap Caradog at the Battle of Mynydd Carn was enticed to a meeting with the Earl of Chester and Earl of Shrewsbury and promptly seized and imprisoned, leading to the seizure of much of Gwynedd by the Normans.[33] In the south William the Conqueror advanced into Dyfed founding castles and mints at St David's and Cardiff[34]. Rhys ap Tewdwr of Deheubarth was killed in 1093 in Brycheiniog, and his kingdom was seized and divided between various Norman lordships.[35] The Norman conquest of Wales appeared virtually complete. Effigy wrongfully alleged to be of Rhys ap Gruffydd in St David's Cathedral In 1094 however there was a general Welsh revolt against Norman rule, and gradually territories were won back. Gruffydd ap Cynan was eventually able to build a strong kingdom in Gwynedd. His son, Owain Gwynedd, allied with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth won a crushing victory over the Normans at the Battle of Crug Mawr in 1136 and annexed Ceredigion. Owain followed his father on the throne of Gwynedd the following year and ruled until his death in 1170.[36] He was able to profit from disunity in England, where Stephen of Blois and the Empress Matilda were engaged in a struggle for the throne, to extend the borders of Gwynedd further east than ever before. Powys also had a strong ruler at this time in Madog ap Maredudd, but when his death in 1160 was quickly followed by the death of his heir, Llywelyn ap Madog, Powys was split into two parts and never subsequently reunited.[37] In the south, Gruffydd ap Rhys was killed in 1137, but his four sons, who all ruled Deheubarth in turn, were eventually able to win back most of their grandfather's kingdom from the Normans. The youngest of the four, Rhys ap Gruffydd (The Lord Rhys) ruled from 1155 to 1197. In 1171 Rhys met King Henry II and came to an agreement with him whereby Rhys had to pay a tribute but was confirmed in all his conquests and was later named Justiciar of South Wales. Rhys held a festival of poetry and song at his court at Cardigan over Christmas 1176 which is generally regarded as the first recorded Eisteddfod. Owain Gwynedd's death led to the splitting of Gwynedd between his sons, while Rhys made Deheubarth dominant in Wales for a time.[38] The Llywelyn Monument at Cilmeri Out of the power struggle in Gwynedd eventually arose one of the greatest of Welsh leaders, Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, also known as Llywelyn Fawr (the Great), who was sole ruler of Gwynedd by 1200[39] and by his death in 1240 was effectively ruler of much of Wales.[40] Llywelyn made his 'capital' and headquarters at Garth Celyn on the north coast, overlooking the Menai Strait. His son Dafydd ap Llywelyn followed him as ruler of Gwynedd, but the king would not allow him to inherit his father's position elsewhere in Wales. [41] War broke out in 1245, and the issue was still in the balance when Dafydd died suddenly at the royal home Garth Celyn, Aber Garth Celyn, Gwynedd without leaving an heir in early 1246. Llywelyn the Great's other son, Gruffudd had been killed trying to escape from the Tower of London in 1244. Gruffudd had left four sons, and a period of internal conflict between three of these ended in the rise to power of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (also known as Llywelyn the Last Leader). The Treaty of Montgomery in 1267 confirmed Llywelyn in control, directly or indirectly, over a large part of


Wales. However, Llywelyn's claims in Wales conflicted with Edward I of England, and war followed in 1277. Llywelyn was obliged to seek terms, and the Treaty of Aberconwy greatly restricted his authority. War broke out again when Llywelyn's brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd attacked Hawarden Castle on Palm Sunday 1282. On 11 December 1282, Llywelyn was lured into a meeting in Builth Wells castle with unknown Marchers, where he was killed and his army subsequently destroyed. His brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd continued an increasingly forlorn resistance. He was captured at Bera Mountain, in the uplands above Aber Garth Celyn in June 1283 and was hanged, drawn and quartered at Shrewsbury. In effect Wales became England's first colony until it was finally annexed through the Laws in Wales Acts 15351542. [edit] Annexation: from the Statute of Rhuddlan to the Laws in Wales Acts 12831542 Main article: Wales in the Late Middle Ages Harlech Castle was one of a series built by Edward I to consolidate his conquest. After passing the Statute of Rhuddlan which restricted Welsh laws, King Edward's ring of impressive stone castles assisted the domination of Wales, and he crowned his conquest by giving the title Prince of Wales to his son and heir in 1301.[42] Wales became, effectively, part of England, even though its people spoke a different language and had a different culture. English kings paid lip service to their responsibilities by appointing a Council of Wales, sometimes presided over by the heir to the throne. This Council normally sat in Ludlow, now in England but at that time still part of the disputed border area in the Welsh Marches. Welsh literature, particularly poetry, continued to flourish however, with the lesser nobility now taking over from the princes as the patrons of the poets. Dafydd ap Gwilym who flourished in the middle of the 14th century is considered by many to be the greatest of the Welsh poets. There were a number of rebellions including ones led by Madog ap Llywelyn in 12941295[43] and by Llywelyn Bren, Lord of Senghenydd, in 13161318. In the 1370s the last representative in the male line of the ruling house of Gwynedd, Owain Lawgoch, twice planned an invasion of Wales with French support. The English government responded to the threat by sending an agent to assassinate Owain in Poitou in 1378.[44] In 1400, a Welsh nobleman, Owain Glyndr (or Owen Glendower), revolted against King Henry IV of England. Owain inflicted a number of defeats on the English forces and for a few years controlled most of Wales. Some of his achievements included holding the first ever Welsh Parliament at Machynlleth and plans for two universities. Eventually the king's forces were able to regain control of Wales and the rebellion died out, but Owain himself was never captured. His rebellion caused a great upsurge in Welsh identity and he was widely supported by Welsh people throughout the country.[45] As a response to Glyndr's rebellion, the English parliament passed the Penal Laws in 1402. These prohibited the Welsh from carrying arms, from holding office and from dwelling in fortified towns. These prohibitions also applied to Englishmen who married Welsh women. These laws remained in force after the rebellion, although in practice they were gradually relaxed. [46] Henry Tudor, later King Henry VII In the Wars of the Roses which began in 1455 both sides made considerable use of Welsh troops. The main figures in Wales were the two Earls of Pembroke, the Yorkist Earl William Herbert and the Lancastrian Jasper Tudor. In 1485 Jasper's nephew, Henry Tudor, landed in Wales with a small force to launch his bid for the throne of England. Henry was of Welsh descent, counting princes such as Rhys ap Gruffydd (The Lord Rhys) among his ancestors, and his cause gained much support in Wales. Henry defeated King Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth with an army containing many Welsh soldiers and gained the throne as King Henry VII of England.[47] Under his son, Henry VIII of England, the Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542 were passed, annexing Wales to England in legal terms, abolishing the Welsh legal system, and banning the Welsh language from any official role or status, but it did for the first time define the England-Wales border and allowed members representing constituencies in Wales to be elected to the English Parliament. [48] They also abolished any legal distinction between the Welsh and the English, thereby effectively ending the Penal Code although this was not formally repealed. [49] [edit] From the Union to the Industrial Revolution 1543 - 1800 Following Henry VIII's break with Rome and the Pope, Wales for the most part followed England in accepting Anglicanism, although a number of Catholics were active in attempting to counteract this and produced some of the earliest books printed in Welsh. In 1588 William Morgan produced the first complete Welsh translation of the Welsh Bible.[50] Wales was overwhelmingly Royalist in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in the early 17th century though there were some notable exceptions such as John Jones Maesygarnedd and the Puritan writer Morgan Llwyd.[51] Wales was an important source of men for the armies of King Charles I of England,[52] though no major battles took place in Wales. The Second English Civil War began when unpaid Parliamentarian


troops in Pembrokeshire changed sides in early 1648.[53] Colonel Thomas Horton defeated the Royalist rebels at the battle of St. Fagans in May and the rebel leaders surrendered to Cromwell on July 11 after the protracted two month siege of Pembroke.

Education in Wales was at a very low ebb in this period, with the only education available being in English while the majority of the population spoke only Welsh. In 1731 Griffith Jones (Llanddowror) started circulating schools in Carmarthenshire, held in one location for about three months before moving (or 'circulating') to another location. The language of instruction in these schools was Welsh. By Griffith Jones' death, in 1761, it is estimated that up to 250,000 people had learnt to read in schools throughout Wales.[54] The 18th century also saw the Welsh Methodist revival, led by Daniel Rowland, Howell Harris and William Williams Pantycelyn.[55] In the early 19th century the Welsh Methodists broke away from the Anglican church and established their own denomination, now the Presbyterian Church of Wales. This also led to the strengthening of other nonconformist denominations, and by the middle of the 19th century Wales was largely Nonconformist in religion. This had considerable implications for the Welsh language as it was the main language of the nonconformist churches in Wales. The Sunday schools which became an important feature of Welsh life made a large part of the population literate in Welsh, which was important for the survival of the language as it was not taught in the schools. The end of the 18th century saw the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, and the presence of iron ore, limestone and large coal deposits in south-east Wales meant that this area soon saw the establishment of ironworks and coal mines, notably the Cyfarthfa Ironworks and the Dowlais Ironworks at Merthyr Tydfil. [edit] The 19th century In the early 19th century parts of Wales became heavily industrialised. Ironworks were set up in the South Wales Valleys, running south from the Brecon Beacons particularly around the new town of Merthyr Tydfil, with iron production later spreading westwards to the hinterlands of Neath and Swansea where anthracite coal was already being mined. From the 1840s coal mining spread to the Aberdare and Rhondda valleys. [56] This led to a rapid increase in the population of these areas.[57] The social effects of industrialisation led to bitter social conflict between the Welsh workers and the English factory owners. During the 1830s there were two armed uprisings, in Merthyr Tydfil in 1831,[58] and the Chartist uprising in Newport in 1839, led by John Frost.[59] The Rebecca Riots, which took place between 1839 and 1844 in South Wales and Mid Wales were rural in origin. They were a protest not only against the high tolls which had to be paid on the local Turnpike roads but against rural deprivation.[60] Partly as a result of these disturbances, a government enquiry was carried out into the state of education in Wales. The enquiry was carried out by three English commissioners who spoke no Welsh and relied on information from witnesses, many of them Anglican clergymen. Their report, published in 1847 as Reports of the commissioners of enquiry into the state of education in Wales concluded that the Welsh were ignorant, lazy and immoral, and that this was caused by the Welsh language and nonconformity. This resulted in a furious reaction in Wales, where the affair was named the Treachery of the Blue Books.[61] Socialism gained ground rapidly in the industrial areas of South Wales in the latter part of the century, accompanied by the increasing politicisation of religious Nonconformism. The first Labour MP, Keir Hardie, was elected as junior member for the Welsh constituency of Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare in 1900.[62] In common with many European nations, the first movements for national autonomy began in the 1880s and 1890s with the formation of Cymru Fydd, led by Liberal Party politicians such as T. E. Ellis and David Lloyd George.[63] Another movement which gained strength during the 1880s was the campaign for disestablishment. Many felt that since Wales was now largely nonconformist in religion, it was inappropriate that the Church of England should be the established church in Wales. The campaign continued until the end of the century and beyond, with the passing of the Welsh Church Act 1914, which did not come into operation until 1920, after the end of the First World War.[64] The 19th century brought about a large increase in population as Wales, like the rest of the UK, largely attributable to high birth rates. In 1801 just over 587,000 people lived in Wales; by 1901, this had increased to over 2,012,000.[65] The most significant rises in population occurred in industrial counties - Denbighshire, Flintshire, Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire. The century witnessed a transition from a society that was predominantly rural (around 80% lived outside urban settlements in 1800) to a largely urbanised, industrial society (in 1911, only 20% lived in non-urban areas). [edit] The 20th century


In the early part of the century Wales still largely supported the Liberal Party, particularly when David Lloyd George became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the First World War. However the Labour Party was steadily gaining ground, and in the years after the Great War replaced the Liberals as the dominant party in Wales, particularly in the industrial valleys of South Wales.[66] Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 but initially its growth was slow and it gained few votes at parliamentary elections. [67] In 1936 an RAF training camp and aerodrome at Penyberth near Pwllheli was burnt by three members of Plaid Cymru Saunders Lewis, Lewis Valentine, and D. J. Williams. This was a protest not only against the construction of the training camp, known as "the bombing school" but also against the destruction of the historic house of Penyberth to make room for it. This action and the subsequent imprisonment of the three perpetrators considerably raised the profile of Plaid Cymru, at least in the Welsh-speaking areas. [68]

The period following the Second World War saw a decline in several of the traditional industries, in particular the coal industry. The numbers employed in the South Wales coalfield, which at its peak around 1913 employed over 250,000 men, fell to around 75,000 in the mid 1960s and 30,000 in 1979.[69] This period also saw the Aberfan disaster in 1966, when a tip of coal slurry slid down to engulf a school with 144 dead, most of them children.[70] By the early 1990s there was only one deep pit still working in Wales. There was a similar decline in the steel industry, and the Welsh economy, like that of other developed societies, became increasingly based on the expanding service sector. Wales was officially de-annexed from England within the United Kingdom in 1955, with the term "England" being replaced with "England and Wales",[citation needed] and Cardiff was proclaimed as the capital city of Wales.[71] Nationalism only became a major issue during the second half of the twentieth century. In 1962 Saunders Lewis gave a radio talk entitled Tynged yr iaith (The fate of the language) in which he predicted the extinction of the Welsh language unless action was taken. This led to the formation of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) the same year.[72] Nationalism grew particularly following the flooding of the Tryweryn valley in 1965, drowning the village of Capel Celyn to create a reservoir supplying water to Liverpool. In 1966 Gwynfor Evans won the Carmarthen seat for Plaid Cymru at a by-election, their first Parliamentary seat.[73] Another response to the flooding of Capel Celyn was the formation of groups such as the Free Wales Army and Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (MAC - Welsh Defence Movement). In the years leading up to the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969, these groups were responsible for a number of bomb blasts destroying water pipes and tax and other offices. Two members of MAC, George Taylor and Alwyn Jones, the "Abergele Martyrs", were killed by a home made bomb at Abergele the day before the investiture ceremony. Plaid Cymru made gains in the two General Elections held in 1974, winning three seats. There was increased support for devolution within the Labour party and a Devolution Bill was introduced in late 1976.[74] However a referendum on the creation of an assembly for Wales in 1979 led to a large majority for the "no" vote.[75] The new Conservative government elected in the 1979 General Election had pledged to establish a Welsh-language television channel, but announced in September 1979 that it would not honour this pledge. This led to a campaign of non-payment of television licences by members of Plaid Cymru and an announcement by Gwynfor Evans in 1980 that he would fast unto death if a Welsh language channel was not established. In September 1980 the government announced that the channel would after all be set up, and S4C was launched in November 1982.[76] The Welsh Language Act 1993 gave the Welsh language equal status with English in Wales with regard to the public sector.[77] In May 1997, a Labour government was elected with a promise of creating devolved institutions in Scotland and Wales. In late 1997 a referendum was held on the issue which resulted a "yes" vote, albeit by a narrow majority.[78] The Welsh Assembly was set up in 1999 (as a consequence of the Government of Wales Act 1998) and possesses the power to determine how the government budget for Wales is spent and administered. Over the course of the 20th century, the population of Wales increased from just over 2,012,000 in 1901 to 2.9 million in 2001, but the process was not linear - 430,000 people left Wales between 1921 and 1940 largely owing to the economic depression of the 1930s.[79] English in-migration became a major factor from the first decade of the 20th century, when there was net gain of 100,000 people from England. In this era, most incomers settled in the expanding industrial areas, contributing to a partial Anglicisation of some parts of south and east Wales. The proportion of the Welsh population able to speak the Welsh language fell from just under 50% in 1901 to 43.5% in 1911, and continued to fall to a low of 18.9% in 1981. Over the century there has also been a marked increase in the proportion of the population born outside Wales; at the time of the 2001 Census 20% of Welsh residents were born in England, 2% were born in Scotland or Ireland, and 3% were born outside the UK.[80] Whereas most incomers settled in industrial districts in the early 1900s, by the 1990s the highest proportions of people born outside Wales were found in Ceredigion, Powys, Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire. [edit] The 21st century The Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay


The results of the 2001 Census showed an increase in the number of Welsh speakers to 21% of the population aged 3 and over, compared with 18.7% in 1991 and 19.0% in 1981. This compares with a pattern of steady decline indicated by census results during the 20th century. [81] In Cardiff the Millennium Stadium, opened in 1999,[82] was followed by the Wales Millennium Centre opened in 2004 as a centre for cultural events, notably opera. The new Welsh Assembly building, to be known as the Senedd, was completed in February 2006 and officially opened on St. David's Day that year.[83] In 2006 the Government of Wales Act gained Royal Assent meaning that from May 2007 the Queen would have the new legal identity of 'Her Majesty in Right of Wales' and would for the first time appoint Welsh Ministers and sign Welsh Orders in Council. It also made provision for a future referendum to ask the Welsh people if they would like the Welsh Assembly to gain the power to pass primary legislation e.g. to make true Welsh laws.