Timeline and History Overview
United Kingdom Timeline
- 6000 - The British Isles are formed as water levels rise separating them from mainland Europe.
- 2200 - The construction of Stonehenge is completed.
- 600 - The Celtic peoples begin to arrive and establish their culture.
- 55 - Roman leader Julius Caesar invades Britain, but withdraws.
- 43 - The Roman Empire invades Britain and makes Britannia a Roman province.
- 50 - The Romans found the city of Londinium (which later becomes London).
- 122 - Roman Emperor Hadrian orders the construction of Hadrian's Wall.
- 410 - The last of the Romans leave Britain.
- 450 - The Anglo-Saxons begin to settle in Britain. They rule much of the land until the Vikings arrive.
- 597 - Christianity is introduced by Saint Augustine.
- 617 - The kingdom of Northumbria is established as the dominant kingdom.
- 793 - The Vikings first arrive.
- 802 - The kingdom of Wessex becomes the dominant kingdom.
- 866 - The Vikings invade Britain with a large army. They defeat Northumbria in 867.
- 871 - Alfred the Great becomes king of the Wessex.
- 878 - Alfred is nearly defeated by the Vikings. He narrowly escapes. Alfred gathers an army and defeats the Vikings at the Battle of Edington.
- 926 - The Saxons defeat the Vikings and retake the Danelaw.
- 1016 - The Danish conquer England and King Canute of Denmark becomes King of England.
- 1066 - The Norman Conquest occurs. William of Normandy becomes king.
- 1078 - William begins the construction of the Tower of London.
- 1086 - A survey of all England called the Domesday Book is completed.
- 1154 - Henry II becomes king. This is the start of the Plantegenet line of rulers.
- 1170 - Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is put to death by Henry II.
- 1215 - King John is forced to sign the Magna Carta.
- 1297 - William Wallace leads the Scotts in their defeat of the English. He is defeated a year later at the Battle of Falkirk.
- 1337 - The Hundred Years' War with France begins. It will last until 1453.
- 1349 - The Black Death hits England killing a large portion of the English population.
- 1415 - The English defeat the French at the Battle of Agincourt.
- 1453 - The Hundred Years' War comes to an end.
- 1455 - The War of the Roses begins between the families of the Plantagenets and the Lancastrians for the right to rule England.
- 1485 - The War of the Roses ends with the crowning of Henry Tudor as King Henry VII. The House of Tudor begins its reign.
- 1508 - Henry VIII is crowned king.
- 1534 - Henry VIII forms the Church of England.
- 1536 - England and Wales are joined by the Act of Union.
- 1558 - Elizabeth I becomes Queen. The Elizabethan Era begins.
- 1580 - Explorer Sir Francis Drake completes his journey around the globe.
- 1588 - The English fleet led by Sir Francis Drake defeat the Spanish Armada.
- 1591 - William Shakespeare begins writing and performing plays.
- 1600 - The East India Company is established.
- 1602 - James I becomes king and rules over England and Scotland. He is the first of the Stuart family to rule.
- 1605 - Guy Fawkes fails in his attempt to blow up Parliament.
- 1620 - The Pilgrims set sail for America aboard the Mayflower.
- 1666 - The Great Fire of London destroys much of the city.
- 1689 - The English Bill of Rights is established giving more power to the parliament.
- 1707 - England and Scotland are united as one country called Great Britain.
- 1756 - The Seven Year's War begins.
- 1770s - The Industrial Revolution begins in England.
- 1776 - The American colonies declare their independence from Britain.
- 1801 - The British and Irish parliaments are joined by the Act of Union to create the United Kingdom.
- 1805 - The British fleet defeats Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar.
- 1837 - Queen Victoria is crowned queen. The Victorian Era begins.
- 1854 - The Crimean War is fought against Russia.
- 1914 - World War I begins. The United Kingdom fights with Allies against the Central Powers led by Germany.
- 1918 - World War I ends.
- 1921 - Ireland is granted independence.
- 1928 - Women gain equal rights to vote.
- 1939 - World War II begins. The United Kingdom joins the Allies against the Axis Powers.
- 1940 - The United Kingdom is bombed by the Germans for months during the Battle of Britain.
- 1945 - World War II ends.
- 1952 - Elizabeth II is crowned queen.
- 1979 - Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom.
- 1981 - Prince Charles marries Lady Diana.
- 1982 - The Falklands War occurs.
- 1991 - The United Kingdom joins the United States in the Gulf War.
- 1997 - Princess Diana dies in a car crash. Britain gives control of Hong Kong to China.
- 2003 - The Iraq War occurs.
- 2011 - Prince William marries Catherine Middleton.
Alfred the Great
Queen Elizabeth I
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
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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