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THE HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN.

There are few events in history of Great Britain that have not left

their mark to this day. Thus, the Gaelic - language of Celtic tribes, that invanded the island in 6th century before Christ is still spoken in the northwest of country. In the first century A.D. began the occupation of the Romans but it was of no consequences though they built towns, roads, centralized administration and there are still some place-names e.g. Lincoln and ruins of Roman buildings all over the country. In early 5th century the Roman army had to go home so they left British Isles. Then came there Germanic tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes and the Celtic had to refuge in the mountains. The Anglo- Saxons established a unified kingdom and a high level of culture. They astonished the Christianity. The Britons in Wales become trust in Christ and in 5th century St. Patrick had brought the Christianity faith to Ireland and from there it spreaded to Scotland. This period was also plagued by Viking raids.

In l066 the Norman army lead by William the Conqueror invanded the country. William, the Duke of Normandy, became a king and the hegemony of Normands begun. The king owned all the land, granting estates to his barons. Only Henry II established law and order. He punished the rebelious Norman barons, he instituted royal courts, travelling judges and the jury system. His son was Richard I - Lionheart spent most of his time on crusades so the power had his brother John I and he ruled so badly that in l2l5 the barons and bishops forced him to sign a charter protecting their privileges. This MAGNA CHARTA was a cornerstone of British freedom. This document established a basis of supremancy of low over the king and laid the foundations for parliamentary goverment.

In l337 begun the war called The Hundred Year's war. Edward III. whose mother was a French princess, pretended that he had a right to the French throne. So he began the war that was to last for more than a hunred years. It was followed by wars for English throne between the families of Yorks and Lancasters aslo known as the War of the roses( Yorks were white and Lancasters were red). In his historical plays Henry VI and Richard III Shakespeare describes this fight. Even his description slightly differs from reality the fact is that Richard III was finaly defeated by a Welsh Lancastrian - Henry Tudor and it established Tudor dynasty. The second Tudor king Henry VIII is famous for having had six wives. So that's no wonder that during his reign the English Church separated from Rome and he himself became a head of the Church of England and it had great political implications.

The Elisabethan Age was the first great period of English literature. Its many poets and dramatists enriched and perfected the English language by using thousands of Latin, Greek, Italian and French Words. The works of Christoper Marlowe and Ben Johnson are performed even today. But they were all overshadowed by Willim Shakespeare and his immortal works.

The first steps were taken when, after Elisabeth's death, the crowns of England and Scotland were united by Mary Stuart' son - James I. Than became the time of The Civil War when the king and Parliamen were struggling for power. It ended with defeat and execution of the king and establishment of a puritan republic. Oliver Cromwell established the Commonwealth called himself Lord protector and dissolved Parliament. It was a time of religious intolerance, all customs were forbidden, the theatres were closed and only Puritan writing was allowed. However, there was ane great poet, Cromwell's secretary, John Milton, famous for his PARADISE LOST and PARADISE REGAINED. So when Oliver Cromwell died and Charles II was asked to return from exile in France, masses rejoiced.

The l8th century waas a period of transformation with the devlopment of parliamentary goverment and the rise of the Industrial Revolution. During the reign of Qeen Victoria Britain dominated the world industrially, commercially and militarily. This period ended with World War I, economic crises and World War II in which Britain suffers considerably. Since l945 above all Britain has had to face the problem of slow decline of economy and the problems of social stress - unemployment, crime, aliennation. Than 20% of economy was nationalized by Labour goverment, that introduced free health care and education. Since l979 the Consrevatives attemted to make Britain more competitive by privatising industry and reducing welfare payments. Nowadays is Great Britain state of great international power - it is a member of OSN, NATO, EU and the visitors must have special visas.

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