The Most Important Events in British History: A Timeline
The United Kingdom’s history is so rich. There are thousands of stories in the past that shaped United Kingdom today. In the history, many figures were involved – scientists, politicians, soldiers, artists, and religious leaders, among others. They were the reason why the United Kingdom has become one of the greatest countries in the world.
Let us visit the past and know the 11 most important events in the entire British history.
The Roman Conquest of Britain
In 55 B.C., Julius Caesar initiated the invasion. But it was only in AD 43 when the Romans under Emperor Claudius gradually conquered Britain. Different legions were sent to conquer various parts of Southern Britain. There were accounts of Roman resistance, including King Caratacus in AD 47. However, he lost the battle. The Roman conquest had a great impact on the British culture.
The Battle of the Winwaed
This historical event was a battle between religions. Oswiu, the Christian King of Northumbria battled against King Penda of Mercia who promoted paganism among his coalition across England and Wales. The two armies fought in the river banks of Winwaed. King Oswiu promised the Lord to build 12 monasteries if he will win the battle. Successfully, Penda’s armies were destroyed. King Penda was converted to Christian, resulting in the Christian dominance in England and Wales.
The Battle of Stamford Bridge
The Roman Conquest resulted in the establishment of Britain as a European Nation. In the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, they debated where Britain would belong to – in Western Europe or in the Nordic Arc. Harold Godwinson expelled the Vikings from England. The Vikings remained a menace to Roman Catholic civilization. Later on, William the Conqueror defeated Harold’s armies, placing England into the family of Western European nations.
The Edwardian Conquest of Wales
After the death of King Henry III, his son Edward I became the new King of England. Edward generally disliked the Celts. Thus, he started a conquest of Wales in three separate campaigns. In 1277, Edward sent a huge English army in the North Wales Coast. The Welsh led by Dafydd, Llewelyn’s brother, started a revolt against the English but later on tried and executed. The second campaign was Democratic. Edward was obliged to call a parliament. Thus, parliamentary democracy has been rooted in the English subjection of Wales.
The Declaration of Arbroath
The Declaration of Arbroath pertained to the declaration of Scottish Independence in 1320. After the Battle of Bannockburn, the English armies had been banished from Scotland. However, there were still vulnerabilities to invasion from the south. With this, Scotland issued the Declaration of Arbroath, a plea submitted to Pope John XXII to confirm the sovereignty of Scotland.
The Battle of Sluys
The Battle of Sluys in 1340 was a major turning point in the Hundred Years’ War. It started after a series of disagreements between the Kings of England and the Kings of France about land ownership. By the 14th century, France occupied English territories in Europe. They also began to build their navies, especially in waters. With this, the English started a revolt. They destroyed a majority of the French ships and succeeded. The English victory at Sluys marked the most important maritime success in Europe.
The Act of Union
During the 13th and 14th centuries, English armies tried to conquer Scotland through military force. It was until in 1707 when they agreed to the Act of Union. This was composed of two Acts of Parliament involving Scotland and England. Through the Acts of Union, the two kingdoms became united on One Kingdom. Basically, the two nations shared the same monarch government. They also shared one military and engineering prowess. This was considered as the most successful nation union in world history.
The Slave Trade Act
In 1787, a Committee for the Abolition of Slave Trade was formed by the Evangelical English Protestants. One of the most active anti-slave campaigners was William Wilberforce. They call for the absolute end of slavery in the British Empire. In 1807, the Slave Trade Act was passed the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It abolished slave trade across Britain. It also encouraged other European states to abolish slavery. Moreover, it stopped the exportation of slaves to the United States.
The Battle of Waterloo
The French army started another conquest in Europe under Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon rose to power during the French Revolution, conquering various parts of Europe. British-led Allied Armies under Wellington and Prussian commands defeated Napoleon and the French army at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. This marked the absolute end of French army’s plan of conquering Europe.
World War I
The First World War was one of the most remarkable events in the history, not just affecting Europe, but the world. It started in July 1914 when the Allies (Great Britain, Italy, France, and Russia) fought against the Central Powers (Germany, Turkey, and Austria-Hungary). The Allies won the war when the United States became an entry to their force. The war destroyed three big empires. Over nine million soldiers and seven million civilians died in the war.
World War II
The Second Global War was so far the most destructive and the deadliest war in the entire human history. It started in 1939, this time, between the Allies and the Axis. The Axis Powers were composed of Germany, Japan, and Italy. This introduced the names of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, along with Hirohito and Benito Mussolini. In conclusion, the Allies again won the war. It officially ended in 1945. There were almost 100 million fatalities recorded, most of which from the Soviet Union. Being the deadliest, the war involved massacres, genocide, Holocaust, starvation, and various diseases.
These were some of the most remarkable and most influential British events in the world history. All of these events made the United Kingdom stronger and better. The culture, religion, and the government today are all established in the past. Today, it keeps on improving towards the common good of all people.