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United Kingdom

Timeline and History Overview

United Kingdom Timeline

BCE

Stonehenge
CE Brief Overview of the History of United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is an island nation located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of France. It is actually a union of four countries including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

The islands that are today the United Kingdom were invaded by the Romans in 55 BC. This brought the local islanders into contact with the rest of Europe. After the Roman Empire weakened, the islands were invaded by the Saxons, the Vikings, and finally the Normans.


The Tower Bridge

The English conquered Wales in 1282 under Edward I. In order to make the Welsh happy, the king's son was made the Prince of Wales. The two countries became unified in 1536. Scotland became part of the British crown in 1602 when the king of Scotland became the King James I of England. The union became official in 1707. Ireland became a part of the union in 1801. However, many of the Irish rebelled and, in 1921, the southern part of Ireland was made a separate country and an Irish free state.

In the 1500s Britain began to expand its empire into much of the world. After defeating the Spanish Armada in 1588, England became the world's dominant sea power. Britain first grew into the Far East and India and then to the Americas. In the early 1800s the UK defeated France in the Napoleonic Wars and became the supreme European power.

In the 1900s, the United Kingdom became less of a dominant world power. It continued to lose control over colonies and was weakened by World War I. However, under the leadership of Winston Churchill, the United Kingdom was the last western European nation to oppose Germany in World War II and played a major role in defeating Hitler.

The United Kingdom played a major role in the history of the world, taking a leading role in developing democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its peak in the 19th century, the British Empire covered over one-fourth of the surface of the earth.

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History >> Geography >> Europe >> United Kingdom





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