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FOREWORD

Even if the Roman occupation of Britain lasted nearly 400 years, the inhabitants did not accept the Latin Language so surprisingly, it is not considered a Latin country despite the fact that for other countries like Romania, when a period of 200 years was enough for Romanization. After the migration of the Anglo-Saxon tribes, followed by the Normans and Vikings, we can talk about the rise of a new power in the Northern Europe. Britain was marked by great wars, crusades, plagues which have really affected the mentality of the people and its internal problems. But after long periods of darkness we will see the rise of great people who managed, somehow, to build the foundations of one of the most beautiful and powerful country in the world.

EARLY MIDDLE AGES


Little is known about people inhabiting the British Isles in the pre-Celtic period (before 800 BC) Some monuments built by them have been preserved such as Stonehenge, constructed around 1000 BC. The first Celtic tribes, the Goidels or Gales are believed to have come to the British isles between 800 & 700 BC. Two centuries later they were followed by the Brythons or ancient Britons after whom the country was called Britain. The first Roman invasion was led by Julius Caesar in 55 BC. But Britain was not conquered until some 90 years later, under Emperor Claudius, in 43 AD. Although the Roman occupation of Britain lasted nearly 400 years, its effects were few. The people did not adopt the Latin language and so, Latin did not displace Celtic.

Hadrians Wall

In the middle of the 5th century, three Germanic tribes The Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded Britain from the continent. From the 8th century the Anglo-Saxons had to face Scandinavian invaders the Danes and the Norsemen sometimes referred to as Vikings who occupied parts of Britain and made some permanent settlements. The Scandinavian invasions continued more than three centuries. The Anglo Saxon period can be characterised as a period of transition from a tribal to feudal organisation of society. The most powerful kingdom in that period in England was Wessex, also known as the House of Cerdic, refers to the family that ruled a kingdom in southwest England . This House was in power from the 6th century under Cerdic of Wessex to the unification of the Kingdoms of England.

House of Wessex

The Feudal System The feudal system developed from the beginning of the X th century in France and Germany, mainly in the Rhine valley and was exported first of all to England as a result of the latter's conquest by the Norman, William the Conqueror, in 1066 The whole system was organized in the shape of a pyramid with crossed relations; a given suzerain could be the vassal of another lord; the supreme suzerain was the king who in principle only had vassals even if some of them were in reality more powerful than he.

HIGH MIDDLE AGES

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The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around

High Middle Ages in England is divided in 2 periods: Norman England and England under the Plantagenets., 12th, and 13th centuries (c. 10001300). An important member of the House of Plantagenets is William I known as the William the Conquerer 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.

Richard I, knows as the Lionheart it is important for this family because he obtain some important victories in the Middle East and gained enough power and respect in order to become a legend and a good king for the followers. Richard's tactics ensured success at the siege of Acre and on the subsequent march south, Saladin's men being unable to harass the Crusader army into an impulsive action which might not have gone their way. However, the desertion of the French king had been a major blow, from which they could not hope to recover. Realising that he had no hope of holding Jerusalem even if he took it, Richard sadly ordered a retreat. Despite being only a few miles from the city, he refused, thereafter, to set eyes on it, since God had ordained that he should not be the one to conquer it. He had finally realised that his return home could be postponed no longer, since both Philip and John were taking advantage of his absence to make themselves more powerful.

Richard the Lionheart

Despite of growing in power, Wales faced constant threats from England and by the end of this period, it was conquered by Edward I who built a ring of impressive stone castles to consolidate his the domination of Wales, and crowned his conquest by giving the title Prince of Wales to his son and heir in 1301. Wales became, effectively, part of England, even though its people spoke a different language and had a different culture. Scotland have enough time to develop and to form a powerful kingdom which cause many troubles for England through their alliances (Auld Alliance). The Auld alliance The Auld Alliance was an alliance between the kingdoms of Scotland and France. It played a significant role in the relations between Scotland, France and England from its beginning in 1295 until the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh. It played a significant role in the relations between Scotland, France and England from its beginning in 1295 until the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh. The alliance was renewed by all the French and Scottish monarchs of that period except for Louis XI. By the late 14th century, the renewal occurred regardless of whether either kingdom was involved in a conflict with England. The alliance dates from the treaty signed by John Balliol and Philip IV of France in 1295 against Edward I of England. The terms of the treaty stipulated that if either country was attacked by England, the other country would invade English territory, as became evident at the Battle of Flodden Field, 1513. The alliance played an important role in conflicts between both countries and England, such as the Wars of Scottish Independence, the Hundred Years' War, the War of the League of Cambrai and the Rough Wooing. By the reign of Alexander III, the Scots were in a strong position to annexe the remainder of the western seaboard, which they did following Haakon Haakonarson's ill-fated invasion and the stalemate of the Battle of Largs with the Treaty of Perth in 1266. The integration of Gaelic, Norman and Saxon culture that began to occur may have been the platform that enabled King Robert I to emerge victorious during the Wars of Independence, which followed soon after the death of Alexander III.

THE LATE MIDDLE AGES


The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century (c. 13001500. In this period, Britain was weakened by 2 major conflicts: the one hundreds years war and the war of the roses. A problem of succession to the throne of France causes this war. In 1154 Henry Plantagenet was at the same time Duke of Normandy, King of England and Lord of Aquitaine, he had married Elinor of Aquitaine, divorced from Louis VII. He remained the vassal of the King of France, but was a vassal of more powerful than his suzerain. In 1328, his successor was Edward III, grandson of Philippe le Bel, through the latter's daughter. At the same moment, the direct accession was no longer ensured in France, the three sons of Philippe le Bel died without male heirs. The states general of 1328, applying the Salic law, decided to exclude women from the succession, and endorsed the crowning of Philippe III, nephew through the male line of Philippe le Bel. The King of England swore allegiance to the new king of France in 1329, retracting it in 1337 by declaring war.

The Plantagenets were particularly successful in the first of these, the Edwardian War, 13371360, their victories in battles at Crcy and Poitiers leading to the Treaty of Brtigny. In spite of having to deal with the Black Death during his reign, Edward was able to make vital developments in legislature and governmentThe death of Valois' John II in English captivity during 1364 instigated the rise of Charles V of France with his capable allies, and the second period of the Hundred Years' War known as the Caroline War broke out. In this the Plantagenets were led by Edward's sons Edward, the Black Prince and John of Gaunt. The Black Prince died in 1376 of an illness which may have been cancer, and Edward III himself died of a stroke the following year, having suffered an illness caused by an abscess. Henry desired the ancestral Plantagenet lands of the Duchy of Normandy and County of Anjou, earlier confiscated by Valois. He first attempted this diplomatically by suggesting that he and Charles VI of France's daughter Catherine of Valois should marry. The rejection of this proposal began the third part of the Hundred Years War, the Lancastrian War (14151429). Two political purposes lay behind this war for Henry, to gain land and to unite his cousins under a common cause in the hopes of dissuading further rebellion at home. The rise of Joan of Arc and of the Valois claimant to France, Charles VII, sparked a continuation of the Lancastrian War. Between 1449 and 1453 the territories of Brittany, Normandy, and Gascony were lost, leaving the Plantagenets with only the Pale of Calais on Europe's mainland.

While england has decided to ally with Burgundia, France had already signed the Auld Alliance with the old enemies of the royal crown: Scotland. The death of king Alexander III in 1286, and the subsequent death of his granddaughter and heir Margaret (called "the Maid of Norway") in 1290, left 14 rivals for succession. To prevent civil war the Scottish magnates asked Edward I of England to arbitrate. He extracted legal recognition that the realm of Scotland was held as a feudal dependency to the throne of England before choosing John Balliol, the man with the strongest claim, who became king as John I (30 November 1292). Robert Bruce of Annandale, the next strongest claimant, accepted this outcome with reluctance. Over the next few years Edward I used the concessions he had gained to systematically undermine both the authority of King John and the independence of Scotland. In 1295 John, on the urgings of his chief councillors, entered into an alliance with France, the beginning of the Auld Alliance. In 1296 Edward invaded Scotland, deposing King John. The following year William Wallace and Andrew Murrey raised forces to resist the occupation and under their joint leadership an English army was defeated at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Edward came north in person and defeated Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk (1298). Wallace escaped but probably resigned as Guardian of Scotland. In 1305 he fell into the hands of the English, who executed him for treason despite the fact that he owed no allegiance to England.

After the end of the war with France, in Britain started a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England ,fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York (whose heraldic symbols were the "red" and the "white" rose, respectively). They were fought in several sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1485, although there was related fighting both before and after this period. The final victory went to a relatively remote Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor, who defeated the last Yorkist king Richard III and married Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth of York to unite the two houses. Under Henry VII's 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 WalesEngland border and allowed members representing constituencies in Wales to be elected to the English Parliament.

AGE OF DISCOVERIES
The Age of Exploration, also known as the Age of Discovery and the Great Navigations, was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania and mapping the planet. Historians often refer to the 'Age of Exploration' as the pioneer Portuguese and Spanish long-distance maritime travels in search of alternative trade routes to "the Indies", moved by the trade of gold, silver and spices. The Age of Exploration can be seen as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era, along with its contemporary Renaissance movement, triggering the early modern period and the rise of European nation-states. Accounts from distant lands and maps spread with the help of the new printing press fed the rise of humanism and worldly curiosity, ushering in a new age of scientific and intellectual inquiry. European overseas expansion led to the rise of colonial empires, with the contact between the Old and New Worlds producing the Columbian Exchange: a wide transfer of plants, animals, foods, human populations (including slaves), communicable diseases, and culture between the Eastern and Western hemispheres, in one of the most significant global events concerning ecology, agriculture, and culture in history. European exploration allowed the global mapping of the world, resulting in a new worldview and distant civilizations acknowledging each other, reaching the most remote boundaries much later.