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England (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.
  • American Revolution: Topic Page
    Struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States.
  • 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 Marston Moor
    From Brewer's Britain and Ireland
    (2 July 1644). One of the most decisive engagements in the Civil Wars, in which the Royalists under Prince Rupert and the Earl of Newcastle were defeated by the Parliamentarians under the Earl of Manchester and Lord Fairfax and their Scots allies under Lord Leven.
  • Battle of Trafalgar
    From Dictionary of British History
    (21 Oct 1805) A naval battle of the Napoleonic War, a major British victory. During the course of the fighting, 17 French and Spanish ships were captured and one sunk, and some 7000 casualties inflicted, without the loss of a single British vessel.
  • 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.
  • Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882): Topic Page
    British naturalist who revolutionized the study of biology with his theory of evolution based on natural selection.
  • Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870): Topic Page
    English author, born in Portsmouth, one of the world's most popular, prolific, and skilled novelists. His most famous works include A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Hard Times.
  • English civil war: Topic Page
    1642–48, The conflict between King Charles I of England and a large body of his subjects, generally called the "parliamentarians".
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (1340 - 1400): Topic Page
    English poet, noted for his narrative skill, humour, and insight, particularly in his most famous work, The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer made a crucial contribution to English literature in using English at a time when much court poetry was still written in Anglo-Norman or Latin. His confidence in the English language encouraged his followers and imitators also to write in English and speeded the transition from French as the language of literature.
  • Glorious Revolution: Topic Page
    In English history, the events of 1688–89 that resulted in the deposition of James II and the accession of William III and Mary II to the English throne. It is also called the Bloodless Revolution.
  • Gunpowder Plot
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Conspiracy to blow up the English Parliament and King James I on Nov. 5, 1605, the day set for the king to open Parliament.
  • Hundred Years' War: Topic Page
    1337–1453, conflict between England and France. Its basic cause was a dynastic quarrel that originated when the conquest of England by William of Normandy created the state of Guienne, lying on both sides of the English Channel.
  • 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.
  • Magna Carta: Topic Page
    Or Magna Charta [Lat., = great charter], the most famous document of British constitutional history, issued by King John at Runnymede. In later centuries the Magna Carta became a symbol of the supremacy of the constitution over the king, as opponents of arbitrary royal power extracted from it various "democratic" interpretations.

  • Norman conquest: Topic Page
    Period in English history following the defeat (1066) of King Harold of England by William, duke of Normandy, who became William I of England. The conquest was formerly thought to have brought about broad changes in all phases of English life. More recently historians have stressed the continuity of English law, institutions, and customs, but the subject remains one of controversy.
  • 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.
  • Reformation: Topic Page
    Religious and political movement in 16th-century Europe to reform the Roman Catholic Church, which led to the establishment of the Protestant churches.
  • Spanish Armada: Topic Page
    Fleet sent by Philip II of Spain against England in 1588. Consisting of 130 ships, it sailed from Lisbon and carried on a running.
  • 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.
  • War of 1812: Topic Page
    A war between Great Britain and the U.S., fought chiefly along the Canadian border (1812-14).
  • War of the Roses
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Traditional name given to the intermittent struggle (1455–85) for the throne of England between the noble houses of York (whose badge was a white rose) and Lancaster (later associated with the red rose).
  • William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616): Topic Page
    English dramatist and poet, b. Stratford-on-Avon. He is widely considered the greatest playwright who ever lived.

Monarchy of England

  • Aethelred the Unready (c. 965 - 1016)
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    king of England (978–1016), called Æthelred the Unready. He was the son of Edgar and the half brother of Edward the Martyr, whom he succeeded.
  • William the Conquerer (1028 - 1087)
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    King of England from 25 December 1066. He was the illegitimate son of Duke Robert the Devil whom he succeeded as Duke of Normandy in 1035.
  • Edward I (1239 - 1307): Topic Page
    King of England (1272-1307); son of Henry III. He conquered Wales (1284) but failed to subdue Scotland.
  • Edward II (1284 - 1327): Topic Page
    King of England (1307-27); son of Edward I. He invaded Scotland but was defeated by Robert Bruce at Bannockburn (1314). He was deposed by his wife Isabella and Roger Mortimer; died in prison.
  • Edward, the Black Prince (1330 - 1376): Topic Page
    Eldest son of Edward III of England. He was created duke of Cornwall in 1337, the first duke to be created in England, and prince of Wales in 1343. It was apparently the French who called him the Black Prince, perhaps because he wore black armor; the name was not recorded in England until the 16th century.
  • Edward IV (1442 - 1483): Topic Page
    King of England (1461-70; 1471-83); son of Richard, duke of York. He defeated Henry VI in the Wars of the Roses and became king (1461).
  • Henry VIII (1491 - 1547): Topic Page
    1491–1547, king of England (1509–47), second son and successor of Henry VII.
  • Anne Boleyn (1507 - 1536): Topic Page
    Second queen consort of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. She was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, later earl of Wiltshire.
  • Edward VI (1537 - 1553): Topic Page
    King of England (1547–53), son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. Edward succeeded his father to the throne at the age of nine.
  • Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603): Topic Page
    Queen of England (1558-1603); daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Endowed with immense personal courage and a keen awareness of her responsibility as a ruler, she commanded throughout her reign the unwavering respect and allegiance of her subjects.

  • Mary Queen of Scots (1542 -1587)
    From Chamber's Biographical Dictionary
    Mary was the daughter of James V of Scotland by his second wife, Mary of Guise. She was born at Linlithgow, while her father lay on his deathbed at Falkland. She became queen when she was a week old.
  • Charles I (1600 - 1649): Topic Page
    Charles was born in Dunfermline, the son of James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) and Anne of Denmark. He suffered from childhood frailty, which meant he had to crawl on his hands and knees until the age of seven, but overcame this to become a skilled tilter and marksman.
  • James II (1633 - 1701)
    King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1685-88). Second surviving son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, he was created duke of York in 1634.
  • Charles II (1630 - 1685)
    From Dictionary of British History
    King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1660-85). After the execution of his father Charles I in 1649 he was crowned at Scone by the Scots.
  • James Stuart (1688 - 1766): Topic Page
    Claimant to the British throne, son of James II and Mary of Modena; called the Old Pretender. His birth, falsely rumored by Whigs at the time to be supposititious (i.e., of other parents than professed), helped to precipitate the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
  • Queen Anne (1665 - 1714)
    From The Routledge Companion to British History
    Was the second daughter of James D. of York (later James II) and Anne Hyde, who died in 1671.
  • Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901)
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia: Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901) and empress of India (1876–1901).
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