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History timelines of England
From prehistoric times, through Julius Caesar, William the Conqueror, King John and a long line of monarchs ranging from Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I to executed Charles I and Queen Victoria, Great Britain has had a chequered history.
Here are some links that can give you an insight into the background of today's United Kingdom. Touring Great Britain can sometimes seem like a living history lesson, and like all lessons (if you were like me at school) you often wish you'd done a bit more preparation beforehand!
Seriously, a bit of background information will often greatly increase your enjoyment of your vacation, especially if you don't have the benefit of a local guide. And I find that some general backround really helps you get to grips with a country better - and nowhere is this more true than in England, Wales and Scotland.
BBC British Timeline:
Neolithic and Bronze Ages
8300 - 750 BC
751 BC - AD 42
AD 43 - 409
410 - 1065
1066 - 1215
The Middle Ages
1216 - 1347
1348 - 1484
1485 - 1602
1603 - 1713
1714 - 1836
1837 - 1900
Early 20th Century
1901 - 1944
1945 - 2002
Britannia British Timeline
Prehistoric Britain (5000 BC - c. 100 BC)
Britain before the Romans came: stone, bronze, iron ages, construction of stonehenge, earthworks, Druids, the Celts.
Roman Britain (55 BC - 410 AD)
From Julius Caesar's first attempt at conquest to the final days of Roman administration in Britain: rebellion, subjugation, advent of Christianity, barbarian invasions, withdrawal.
Early British Kingdoms (410 - 598)
After the Roman influence ceased, the activities of the British people: westward movement, intrigues & alliances, power struggles, explosion of missionary activities, plague, Saxon invasions.
Early British Kingdoms (599 - 937)
Continuing activities of the British people: further westward movement, more intrigues & alliances, more power struggles, more Saxon invasions, religious strife with Roman Catholicism.
Anglo Saxon England (597 - 687)
The coming of St. Augustine, triumph of Rome-oriented Christianity, Saxon control of island, rise of Mercia, Offa's Dyke.
Anglo Saxon England (688 - 801)
Rise of Wessex, King Ine establishes his law, Venerable Bede, Viking invasions.
Anglo Saxon England (802 - 898)
Triumph of Egbert, development of Wessex dynasty, Viking wars, Alfred the Great, St. Swithun, Peace of Wedmore, the Danelaw.
Anglo Saxon England (899 - 977)
Athelstan, St. Dunstan, growth of monasteries, more Viking wars, Battle of Brunanburh
Anglo Saxon England (978 - 1066)
Aethelred the Unready, Danegeld, Danes gain English crown, Edward the Confessor, rise of the Godwins, Westminster Abbey, Harold and William at Hastings.
Medieval Britain (1066 - 1487)
Conquest, consolidation, feudal system, Magna Carta, codification of laws, individual rights, Welsh & Scottish wars, murder of a king, Black Plague, Hundred Years War, Peasant's Revolt, religious unrest, Princes in the Tower, Wars of the Roses.
The Reformation & Restoration Period (1486 - 1689)
Emergence of Britain into modern era: rise of Tudors, Dissolution of Monasteries, religious struggles, discovery, Elizabeth 1, unification of Scottish & English crown, overthrow and restoration of monarchy.
The Age of Empire (1689 - 1901)
Bill of Rights, limits on monarchy, political awakening, war with colonies, expansion of empire, Gothic revival, industrial revolution, scientific development, literary & artistic golden age.
The 20th Century (1901-2000)
World War I, World War II - and so much more!