England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south.
The Acts of Union 1707 declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has occasionally been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was simply "Great Britain".
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England is the largest part of the island of Great Britain, and it is also the largest constituent country of the United Kingdom. Scotland and Wales are also part of Great Britain (and the UK), Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. To the east and south, and part of the west, England is bordered by sea. France is to the south, separated by the English Channel. The Channel Tunnel, (Chunnel) under the English Channel, connects if you read tare an idiot England to northern France (and the rest of mainland Europe). Ireland is a large island to the west, divided into Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. London is the largest city and the capital. The longest river in England is the River Severn. Other large rivers are the Thames (which runs through London), the Trent and the Humber. In geological terms, the Pennines, known as the "backbone of England", are the oldest range of mountains in the country, originating from the end of the Pa...
England was named after a Germanic tribe called the "Angles", who settled in Central, Northern, and Eastern England in the 5th and 6th centuries. A related tribe called the "Saxons" settled in the south of England. That is why that period of English history is called "Anglo-Saxon". For most of this time, England did not exist as a united country. The Anglo-Saxonslived in many small kingdoms, which slowly united. The countries of England, Scotland and Wales correspond to boundaries of the earlier Roman Britain. It also corresponds with language differences, since the German tribes did not reach those areas, at least in any large numbers. The English language is derived from German languages of the time, whereas the native British languages of the time were Celtic languages. The English kingdoms fought both the Scots, who were also uniting into one kingdom, and Danish invaders. The Danes formed their own large region in the Northeast of England called Danelaw. Many villages and towns...
England has been central to many aspects of the modern world. Global exploration and trade, the British Empire, modern science, modern agriculture, railways, the Industrial Revolution, the development of modern representative democracy... In all these developments England was deeply involved. In some of them, such as the Industrial Revolution, England was the place that modern developments first occurred. The Royal Society is a society for science and scientists. It was founded in 1660 by Charles II. It is the oldest society of its kind still in existence.
The English language is a West Germanic language spoken in many countries around the world. With around 380 million native speakers, it is the second most spoken language in the world, as a native language. As many as a billion people speak it as a second language. English is an influence on, and has been influenced by, many different languages. William Shakespeare was an English playwright. He wrote plays in the late 16th century. Some of his plays were Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. In the 19th century, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens were novelists. Twentieth century writers include the science fiction novelist H.G. Wells and J.R.R. Tolkien. The children's fantasy Harry Potter series was written by J.K. Rowling. Aldous Huxleywas also from the United Kingdom. English language literature is written by authors from many countries. Eight people from the United Kingdom have won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
All of Great Britain has an oceanic climate. There can be a temperature difference of 5–10°c between the north and the south (the north is generally colder), and there is often snow in the north before there is in the south. The prevailing wind for most of the year is from the Atlantic, to the west of England. Therefore, there is more rain on the western side of the country. The east is colder and drier than the west. The country usually has a mild climate because the Gulf Stream to the western side is warm water. The climate is warmer than it was 200 years ago, and now ice and snow are rare in the southern part of the country. Occasionally, air from the Arctic Circle comes down the eastern side of the country and the temperature can drop below 0oC.
As part of the United Kingdom, the basic political system in England is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system. It has a monarch (meaning a king or queen is the head of that country). The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who is officially the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the House of Commons which is the lower house of the British Parliament based at the Palace of Westminster, there are 532 Members of Parliament (MPs) for constituencies in England, out of the 650 total. The English people are represented by members of Parliament, not ruled by monarchs. After the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector, and the monarchy was disbanded. Although the monarchy was restored after his death, the Crown slowly became the secondary power, and Parliament the first. Members of Parliament (called MPs) were elected, but until the early twentieth century, only men who owned property could vote. In the nineteenth century, mor...
England's economy is one of the largest and most dynamic in the world, with an average GDP per capita of £28,100 or $36,000. Usually regarded as a mixed market economy, it has adopted many free market principles, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure. The official currency in England is the pound sterling, whose ISO 4217 code is GBP. Taxation in Englandis quite competitive when compared to much of the rest of Europe – as of 2014 the basic rate of personal tax is 20% on taxable income up to £31,865 above the personal tax-free allowance (normally £10,000), and 40% on any additional earnings above that amount. The economy of England is the largest part of the UK's economy, which has the 18th highest GDP PPP per capita in the world. England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace, the arms industry, and the manufacturing side of the software industry. London, home to the London Stock Exchange, the U...
State primary schools and secondary schools exist. These consist of academy schools, grammar schools, foundation schools, faith schools, free schools, studio schools and city technology academies. The most common specialist schools are performing arts schools, science schools, maths schools and technology schools. Independent public or prep schools also exist. Eton College and Harrow Schoolare the best known independent schools. The National Curriculumwas introduced in 1988, to give pupils a broad and balanced curriculum. The school curriculum aims to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils. Its purpose is to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Learning generally covers English literature, English language, maths, science, art and design, religious studies, geography, history, citizenship, computing, design and technology, drama, ancient and modern foreign languages, business studies, food tech...
Road traffic in the United Kingdom drives on the left hand side of the road (unlike the Americas and most of Europe), and the driver steers from the right hand side of the vehicle. The road network on the island of Great Britainis extensive, with most local and rural roads having evolved from Roman and Medieval times. The system of rail transport was invented in England, so it has the oldest railway network in the world. It was built mostly during the Victorian era. The British Rail network is part privatised, with privately owned train operating companies providing service along particular lines or regions, whilst the tracks, signals and stations are owned by a Government controlled company called Network Rail. The system of underground railways in London, known as the Tube, has been copied by many other cities around the globe. England is home to the largest airport and is one of the most important international hubsin the world.
The BBC is an organisation in the United Kingdom. It broadcasts in the United Kingdom and other countries on television, radio and the Internet. The BBC also sells its programmes to other broadcasting companies around world. The organisation is run by a group of twelve governors who have been given the job by the Queen, on the advice of government ministers. The BBC is established under a royal charter, which allows the BBC to broadcast.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia England comprises most of the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, in addition to a number of small islands of which the largest is the Isle of Wight. England is bordered to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales.
- Anglo-Saxon England
- England During The Middle Ages
- Tudor England
- The Stuarts and The Civil War
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Analysis of human bodies found at an ancient cemetery near Abingdon, England, shows that Saxon immigrants and native Britonslived side-by-side. The Romano-British population (the Britons) was assimilated. The settlement (or invasion) of England is called the Saxon Conquest, or the Anglo-Saxon or English Conquest. From the 4th century AD, many Britons left to cross the English Channel from Wales, Cornwall and southern Britain, and started to settle the western part of Gaul (Armorica), where they started a new nation: Brittany. The Britons gave their new country its name and the Breton language, Brezhoneg, a sister language to Welsh and Cornish. The name "Brittany" (from "Little Britain") arose at this time to tell the new Britain apart from "Great Britain". Brezhoneg is still spoken in Brittany today.
The defeat of King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 against Duke William II of Normandy, later called William I of England, and the following Norman conquest of England caused important changes in the history of Britain. William ordered the Domesday Book to be written. This was a survey of the entire population, and their lands and property, to help in collecting taxes. William also ruled Normandy, then a powerful duchy in France. William and his nobles spoke, and held court, in Anglo-Norman, in Normandy as well as in England. The use of the Anglo-Norman language by the aristocracy was kept up for centuries, and had a great influence on the development of Old English into Middle English. In England, the Middle Ages was a time of war, civil war, rebellions from time to time, and many plots among the nobles and royalty. England had more than enough cereals, dairy products, beef and mutton. The nation's international economy was based on the wool trade, where wool fro...
The Wars of the Roses ended with the victory of Henry Tudor, who became king Henry VII of England, at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, where the Yorkist king, Richard IIIwas killed. His son, Henry VIII split with the Roman Catholic Church over a question of his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Though his religious position was not entirely Protestant, this led to the Church of England breaking from the Roman Catholic Church. There followed a time of great religious and political troubles, and the English Reformation. Henry VIII had three children, all of whom would wear the Crown. The first to reign was Edward VI of England. Although he was intelligent, he was only a boy of ten when he took the throne in 1547. When Edward VI died of tuberculosis in 1553 Mary I took the throne when crowds cheered for her in London, which people at the time said was the largest show of affection for a Tudor monarch. Mary, a loyal Catholic who had been influenced greatly by the Catholic King of S...
Elizabeth died without children who could take the throne after her. Her closest male Protestant relative was the king of Scotland, James VI, of the house of Stuart, so he became James I of England, the first king of the entire island of Great Britain, although he ruled England and Scotland as separate countries. The English Civil War began in 1642, mainly because 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 destroyed most of the King's forces. The capture and 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 followed him in the office, but soon quit. The monarchy was returned in 1660, after England had a time of anarchy, with King Charles IIagain in London. In 1665, London was hit with the plague, and then, in 166...Full text of The History of England From the Norman Conquest to the Death of John (1066–1216) from Project Gutenberg.Timeline Archived 2015-08-31 at the Wayback Machineof England.A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World, 3500 BC – 1603 AD by Simon Schama, BBC/Miramax, 2000 ISBN 0-7868-6675-6A History of Britain, Volume 2: The Wars of the British 1603–1776 by Simon Schama, BBC/Miramax, 2001 ISBN 0-7868-6675-6A History of Britain - The Complete Collectionon DVD by Simon Schama, BBC 2002 ASIN B00006RCKIThe Isles, A History by Norman Davies, Oxford University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-19-513442-7
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The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England.The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta, which established the rights of barons (wealthy landowners) to serve as consultants to the king on governmental matters in his Great Council.
Great Britain during the early middle ages. Listed in red are The Heptarchy, the collective name given to the seven main Anglo-Saxon petty kingdoms located in the southeastern two-thirds of the island that were unified to form the Kingdom of England.
- Historical Context
- Migration and The Formation of Kingdoms
- Heptarchy and Christianisation
- Viking Challenge and The Rise of Wessex
- English Unification
- England Under The Danes and The Norman Conquest
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Bede completed his book Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People) in around 731. Thus the term for English people (Latin: gens Anglorum; Anglo-Saxon: Angelcynn) was in use by then to distinguish Germanic groups in Britain from those on the continent (Old Saxony in Northern Germany).[a] The term 'Anglo-Saxon' came into use in the 8th century (probably by Paul the Deacon) to distinguish English Saxons from continental Saxons (Ealdseaxan, 'old' Saxons). The historian James Campbell suggested that it was not until the late Anglo-Saxon period that England could be described as a nation state.It is certain that the concept of "Englishness" only developed very slowly.
As the Roman occupation of Britain was coming to an end, Constantine III withdrew the remains of the army in reaction to the Germanic invasion of Gaul with the Crossing of the Rhine in December 406. The Romano-British leaders were faced with an increasing security problem from seaborne raids, particularly by Picts on the east coast of England. The expedient adopted by the Romano-British leaders was to enlist the help of Anglo-Saxon mercenaries (known as foederati), to whom they ceded territory. In about 442 the Anglo-Saxons mutinied, apparently because they had not been paid. The Romano-British responded by appealing to the Roman commander of the Western empire, Aëtius, for help (a document known as the Groans of the Britons), even though Honorius, the Western Roman Emperor, had written to the British civitas in or about 410 telling them to look to their own defence. There then followed several years of fighting between the British and the Anglo-Saxons. The fighting continued until...
There are records of Germanic infiltration into Britain that date before the collapse of the Roman Empire. It is believed that the earliest Germanic visitors were eight cohorts of Batavians attached to the 14th Legion in the original invasion force under Aulus Plautius in AD 43. There is a recent hypothesis that some of the native tribes, identified as Britons by the Romans, may have been Germanic-language speakers, but most scholars disagree with this due to an insufficient record of local languages in Roman-period artefacts. It was quite common for Rome to swell its legions with foederati recruited from the German homelands. This practice also extended to the army serving in Britain, and graves of these mercenaries, along with their families, can be identified in the Roman cemeteries of the period.The migration continued with the departure of the Roman army, when Anglo-Saxons were recruited to defend Britain; and also during the period of the Anglo-Saxon first rebellion of 442. If...
By 600, a new order was developing, of kingdoms and sub-Kingdoms. The medieval historian Henry of Huntingdon conceived the idea of the Heptarchy, which consisted of the seven principal Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (Heptarchy literal translation from the Greek: hept – seven; archy– rule).
Between the 8th and 11th centuries, raiders and colonists from Scandinavia, mainly Danish and Norwegian, plundered western Europe, including the British Isles. These raiders came to be known as the Vikings; the name is believed to derive from Scandinavia, where the Vikings originated. The first raids in the British Isles were in the late 8th century, mainly on churches and monasteries (which were seen as centres of wealth). The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that the holy island of Lindisfarne was sacked in 793.The raiding then virtually stopped for around 40 years; but in about 835, it started becoming more regular. In the 860s, instead of raids, the Danes mounted a full-scale invasion. In 865, an enlarged army arrived that the Anglo-Saxons described as the Great Heathen Army. This was reinforced in 871 by the Great Summer Army. Within ten years nearly all of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms fell to the invaders: Northumbria in 867, East Anglia in 869, and nearly all of Mercia in 874–77. Ki...
From 874–879 the western half of Mercia was ruled by Ceowulf II, who was succeeded by Æthelred. Alfred the Great of Wessex styled himself King of the Anglo-Saxons from about 886. In 886/887 Æthelred married Alfred's daughter Æthelflæd. On Alfred's death in 899, his son Edward the Elder succeeded him. Edward, along with Alfred's grandsons Æthelstan, Edmund I, and Eadred, continued the policy of resistance against the Vikings. When Æthelred died in 911, his widow administered the Mercian province with the title "Lady of the Mercians". As commander of the Mercian army she worked with her brother, Edward the Elder, to win back the Mercian lands that were under Danish control. Edward and his successors expanded Alfred's network of fortified burhs, a key element of their strategy, enabling them to go on the offensive. Edward recaptured Essex in 913. Edward's son, Æthelstan, annexed Northumbria and forced the kings of Wales to submit; at the Battle of Brunanburhin 937, he defeated an allia...
Edgar died in 975, sixteen years after gaining the throne, while still only in his early thirties. Some magnates supported the succession of his younger son, Æthelred, but his elder half-brother, Edward was elected, aged about twelve. His reign was marked by disorder, and three years later, in 978, he was assassinated by some of his half-brother's retainers. Æthelred succeeded, and although he reigned for thirty-eight years, one of the longest reigns in English history, he earned the name "Æthelred the Unready", as he proved to be one of England's most disastrous kings. William of Malmesbury, writing in his Chronicle of the kings of Englandabout one hundred years later, was scathing in his criticism of Æthelred, saying that he occupied the kingdom, rather than governed it. Just as Æthelred was being crowned, the Danish King Gormsson was trying to force Christianity onto his domain. Many of his subjects did not like this idea, and shortly before 988, Swein, his son, drove his father...
- First Kings
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In 1066, William, Duke of Normandy invaded England. He defeated King Harold II and became King. 1. Harold Godwinson (1066) William the Conqueror(1066–1087) 2. William II(1087–1100) 3. Henry I(1100–1135) House of Blois 1. Stephen(1135–1154)
1. Empress Matilda(1141) 2. Henry II(1154–1189) 3. Richard I, the Lionheart(1189–1199) 4. John(1199–1216) 5. Henry III(1216–1272) 6. Edward I(1272–1307) 7. Edward II(1307–1327) (deposed) 8. Edward III(1327–1377) 9. Richard II(1377–1399) (deposed, died 1400)
1. Henry IV(1399–1413) 2. Henry V(1413–1422) 3. Henry VI(1422–1461 and 1470–1471)
1. Edward IV(1461–1470 and 1471–1483) 2. Edward V(uncrowned) (1483) (deposed 1483 possibly assassinated) 3. Richard III(1483–1485)
The Tudors were from Wales. In 1536, Wales became part of England. England had controlled Wales since 1284. 1. Henry VII(1485–1509) 2. Henry VIII(1509–1547) 3. Edward VI(1547–1553) 4. Jane(uncrowned) (1553) (deposed, beheaded 1554) 5. Mary I(1553–1558) 6. Elizabeth I(1558–1603)
The Stuarts were also Kings of Scotland, with which kingdom England was in personal, but not Legalunion until 1707. 1. James I(1603–1625), also from 1567 King James VI of Scotland 2. Charles I(1625–1649), also King of Scotland
The Civil War in England from 1642 until 1652 stemming from a growing enmity between King and Parliament, led to the execution of King Charles I in 1649. After the execution, England became a Commonwealth eventually led by Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector after successive interim governments failed and handed Cromwell power, and so England became a protectorate.Furthermore, both Ireland and Scotland became subjugated states under England and Cromwell at the end of the war. Cromwell died in 1658 and his son, Richard, became Lord Protector. This was short lived though as he failed to gain the support of the army and so the nation, in 1660 power was given back to the Monarchy and the King In Exile, Charles II, was invited back to England
In 1707, England and Scotland joined together. For Kings and Queens after 1707, see British monarchs.