Great Britain[1]

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Great Britain[1]

  1. 1. A. Geographical Setting B. Early Settlers C. Britain under the Roman Empire D. Invasion of Angles and Saxon in Britain E. Danish invaded Northeastern England 1. Alfred the Great 2. Canute of Denmark 3. William Duke of Normandy F. Picture Gallery
  2. 2. Geographical Setting <ul><li>The British Isles are separated from the European continent by the English Channel, whose choppy waters are only twenty miles wide at their narrowest pt. The largest and most important of the several hundred islands are Great Britain and Ireland. </li></ul><ul><li>Great Britain is a political unit as well as a geographic one. Great Britain is subdivided roughly according to geography into three parts: England, Scotland, and Wales. Scotland and Wales are rugged and mountainous, while England, except for the Pennine (pen-ine) Mountains in the north, is a rolling plain. </li></ul><ul><li>Ireland is divided into two states, the Republic of Ireland, or Eire (ay-reh), which has been independent since 1921, and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland and Great Britain together make up the United Kingdom. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Early Settlers <ul><li>Before the fourth Glacial Age, the island of Britain was probably connected with Europe by a bridge of land across English Channel. Over this bridge, men first reached Britain some 200,000 years ago, during the Old Stone Age. </li></ul><ul><li>Between 1000 B.C. and 400 B.C. several waves of Celtic Tribesmen came to Britain from Western Europe. The Celts are the first inhabitants of Britain. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Britain under the Roman Empire <ul><li>While Caesar was campaigning in Gaul, he discovered that his enemies were receiving aid from a land which he could perceive dimly in the distance. That land was the southern coast of Britain. Determined to cut off this outside help, he invaded Britain in 55 B.C. The stubborn resistance surprised the Romans. </li></ul><ul><li>In his writings, Caesar describes the Celts as tall, blue-eyed giants with long yellow hair. He called them Britons, which meant “painted folk”. </li></ul><ul><li>It was not until a year later that Caesar and his legions were able to force their way up the Thames (tems) River to a large, muddy village that stood at the site of the present city of London. There, the Britons put up such a staunch defense that Caesar was force to withdraw. </li></ul><ul><li>A century after Caesar retreated from Britain, the Romans launched another invasion and secured the main part of the island as an outpost for protecting Gaul. Although they chose not to pursue the Celts into the northern mountains of Scotland, the Romans wanted to prevent them from raiding their new colonies in the south thus they built the Hadrian Wall, northern England. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Roman Britain <ul><li>In order to move their troops rapidly, the Romans built a network of excellent paved roads which later became modern English highways. Such cities as Lancaster, Winchester, and Manchester began as an army camps built along these roads by the Romans. </li></ul><ul><li>The Romans built over fifty walled cities. The countryside surrounding the cities was divided into large estates known as “villas”. The cities and villas became thoroughly Romanized. </li></ul><ul><li>For nearly four centuries Britain was a Roman colony. The Romans treated the Celts harshly. But the Celts learned from the Romans many things about their language, customs, and construction methods. During the time of the Roman occupation, Christianity was brought to Britain. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Angles and Saxons invaded Britain <ul><li>The Celts came to depend on the Roman legions to protect them from invasion. Early in the fifth century, the Romans withdrew from Britain, leaving the Celts on their own. Barbarian tribes from the north swarmed over Hadrian’s Wall and pushed southward. Tribes of Germanic invaders, the Angles and the Saxons, crossed the Channel and raided the southeast coast of Britain in search of new land for settlement. The Celts fought desperately but were eventually forced to flee to Wales, to Ireland, or across the Channel to northwestern Gaul. </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of the sixth century, the Anglo-Saxons had conquered all of Britain except Wales and Scotland, whose protecting mountains proved as great an obstacle for the Anglo-Saxons as they had for the Romans. Most of the Romanized Celts took refuge there. In the southeast, the Latin language and other signs of Roman civilization completely disappeared, and even Christianity was almost entirely replaced by the religion of the pagan Anglo-Saxon conquerors. </li></ul><ul><li>Soon that part of the island ceased to be called Britain and became known as Angleland, or England. Their most famous hero was Beowulf (bay-oh-wolf) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Danish invaded northeastern England <ul><li>For many years England remained a disunited country. Because the Anglo-Saxon tribes quarreled so much among themselves, the rulers of these kingdoms were unable to defend their land against a new enemy that threatened them all. A Germanic tribe from Scandinavia, the Danes, who were also called Norsemen or Vikings who went to sea in search of plunder as the Anglo-Saxons had done before them. </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of the ninth century, the Danes had conquered most of northern and eastern England. The only region still strong enough to oppose them was Wessex in the south and before long they were threatening to overrun that too. </li></ul><ul><li>ALFRED THE GREAT </li></ul><ul><li>The young king of Wessex who prevented the Danes from overrunning all of England. For seven years he fought to hold them back. Finally, the Danes agreed to stay in the north and east, leaving Alfred free to turn his attention to strengthening his kingdom. Alfred was more than a good military leader; he was also a just ruler who believed that God expected kings to rule with wisdom and humility. He died in 899. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Within a century after the death of Alfred the Great , a new wave of Danish warriors invaded the land. The Anglo-Saxon king, Ethelred the Unready, tried to bribe them to go home, but bribery proved an unwise policy; it simply attracted more Danes who were eager to share his generosity. Finally the Danish warrior Canute (kuh-noot) defeated the English and became king of England and later of Norway and Denmark as well. </li></ul><ul><li>CANUTE OF DENMARK proved to be a wise ruler. He became a Christian and won the support of the clergy by his generosity to the churches. He preserved English law and the shire courts. During his reign, peace between the Anglo-Saxons and Danes finally came to England. Canute’s peaceful rule lasted about twenty years. But his sons proved to be cruel and weak rulers. In 1042 the English rebelled in anger and enthroned Edward the Confessor, the pious son of Ethelred. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>While Alfred was fighting one wave of Danes, another group was busy plundering northern France. This latter group settled near the mouth of the Seine, in a region which became known as Normandy. </li></ul><ul><li>Just as the Danes mixed with the Anglo-Saxons, so the Normans intermarried with the French and adopted their language and customs. English king, Edward the Confessor, named as his heir a distant Norman relation, William Duke of Normandy, a violent dispute arose. </li></ul><ul><li>When Edward died, they chose King Harold greatest of the Anglo-Saxon lords. William was furious, he vowed that he would claim his throne. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS </li></ul><ul><li>He met the Norman army at Hastings in fiercely defeated Harold’s army. William’s conquest marked a turning point for England. The Battle of Hastings broke England’s ties with the barbaric north and brought her once more into contact with western Europe. </li></ul><ul><li>The Norman improved the more civilized French customs and social life on the English. Elegant French manners gradually replaced primitive Anglo-Saxon ways. The Anglo-Saxon language was enriched with new words from the Norman French. For example, the Anglo-Saxon word lamb was replaced by mutton; pig became pork; and cow and calf became beef and veal. </li></ul><ul><li>In the century that followed, however, the Normans gradually intermarried with the Anglo-Saxon, and the two peoples were eventually merged into one, with English as their common language. </li></ul>

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