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General Information

  • American revolution: Topic Page
    Struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain.
  • British Empire: Topic Page
    Empire covering, at its height in the 1920s, about a sixth of the landmass of the Earth, all of its lands recognizing the United Kingdom (UK) as their leader.
  • Enlightenment: Topic Page
    Term applied to the mainstream of thought of 18th-century Europe and America. The scientific and intellectual developments of the 17th century.
  • Industrial revolution: Topic Page
    Acceleration of technical and economic development that took place in Britain in the second half of the 18th century.
  • War of 1812: Topic Page
    A war between Great Britain and the U.S., fought chiefly along the Canadian border (1812-14).

Age of Empire

  • Anglo-Dutch Wars
    From The Reader's Companion to Military History
    The first Anglo-Dutch conflict originated when the aggressive new Republican regime in Britain, following victory in the English Civil Wars, began to stop and search any merchant ship, even if neutral, and to confiscate any Royalist goods found aboard.
  • Battle of Trafalgar
    From Dictionary of British History
    (21 Oct 1805) A naval battle of the Napoleonic War, a major British victory.
  • British East India Company
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    1600–1874, company chartered by Queen Elizabeth I for trade with Asia. The original object of the group of merchants involved was to break the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade with the East Indies.
  • British Indian Army
    From Chambers Dictionary of World History
    British-controlled and officered military force in India in which the rank and file were recruited from the native populace, although some purely European regiments existed until 1860. The Indian Army served abroad as well as in India, and was a mainstay of the Pax Britannica.
  • David Livingstone (1813 - 1873): Topic Page
    1813–73, Scottish missionary and explorer in Africa, the first European to cross the African continent.
  • James Cook (1728 - 1779): Topic Page
    British navigator and explorer who commanded three major voyages of discovery, charting and naming many islands of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Robert Castlereagh (1769 - 1822): Topic Page
    British statesman, b. Ireland. Entering the Irish Parliament in 1790 and the British Parliament in 1794, he was acting chief secretary for Ireland at the time of the Irish rebellion of 1798.
  • Robert Clive (1725 - 1774): Topic Page
    British soldier and administrator who established British rule in India by victories over French troops at Arcot and over the nawab (prince) of Bengal at Plassey in 1757.
  • South sea bubble: Topic Page
    Popular name in England for the speculation in the South Sea Company, which failed disastrously in 1720. The company was formed in 1711 by Robert Harley, who needed allies to carry through the peace negotiations to end the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • Treaty of Waitangi
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    Treaty negotiated in New Zealand in 1840 between the British government and the indigenous Maori. The treaty guaranteed the Maori their own territory and gave them British citizenship.
  • Viscount Horatio Nelson (1758 - 1805): Topic Page
    British admiral. The most famous of Britain's naval heroes, he is commemorated by the celebrated Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square, London.

Notable People

Victorian Era

  • Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1882): Topic Page
    British Tory statesman and novelist; prime minister (1868; 1874-80). He gave coherence to the Tory principles of protectionism and imperialism.
  • Boer War (1899 - 1902)
    From The Reader's Companion to Military History
    The Boer War began when Sir Alfred Milner, the British high commissioner in South Africa, goaded the Boers in the South African republics into declaring war on October 12, 1899.
  • Chartism: Topic Page
    Radical British democratic movement, mainly of the working classes, which flourished around 1838 to 1848. It derived its name from the People's Charter, a six-point programme comprising universal male suffrage, equal electoral districts, secret ballot, annual parliaments, and abolition of the property qualification for, and payment of, members of Parliament.
  • Child labor: Topic Page
    Use of the young as workers in factories, farms, and mines. Child labor was first recognized as a social problem with the introduction of the factory system in late 18th-century Great Britain.
  • Crimean war: Topic Page
    1853–56, war between Russia on the one hand and the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain, France, and Sardinia on the other.
  • Factory acts
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    In Britain, an act of Parliament which governs conditions of work, hours of labour, safety, and sanitary provision in factories and workshops.
  • Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901)
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901) and empress of India (1876–1901).
  • Reform acts: Topic Page
    Or Reform Bills, in British history, name given to three major measures that liberalized representation in Parliament in the 19th century.
  • Suez Canal
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Waterway of Egypt extending from Port Said to Port Tawfiq (near Suez) and connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez and thence with the Red Sea. The canal is somewhat more than 100 mi (160 km) long.
  • William Gladstone (1809 - 1898): Topic Page
    British statesman, the dominant personality of the Liberal party from 1868 until 1894. A great orator and a master of finance, he was deeply religious and brought a highly moralistic tone to politics.
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