The Britons who were the original inhabitants of Great Britain had no written history before 55 B.C. They were Celts by race and were divided into many tribes. They worshiped many gods and their priests were called druids. In A.D. 43 the Romans began an invasion which resulted in the Roman occupation of Britain, which lasted over 400 years. To prevent attacks from the north the Romans built Hadrian’s Wall in 122, which was 117 km long. Despite the Roman occupation, the old Celtic social system was not completely destroyed and the British language existed side by side with Latin. The Romans left in the first half of the 5th century. In the second half of the 5th century there where attacks from Gremany, led mainly by Angles, Saxons and Jutes. They settled on the east and south-east coast and began to spread across the island , driving back the original Britons into the western part. At the biginning of the 9th century the Danes and the Norsemen attacked England. King Alfred the Great was successful in stopping their influence in the southern parts of the country. In 1066 Harold was elected as a new king but his was still only a boy. There William of Normandy (William the Conqueror) saw his chance and he defeated the army of Harold. He was crowned 1066. Henry I. issued a Charter of Liberties.
The first king of the line of Plantagenets was Henry II who ruled in 12th century.
Very famous is king Richard the Lion-Heart, who was a crusader. After his death in war in France, his brother John I Lackland lost almost all the English possessions in France, including Normandy. In conflict with barons he was forced to sign the Magna Charta in 1215.
The basis of Hundred Years’ War (1338-1453) was in Edwards III‘s (one of the kings ruling after John I. Lackland) feudal claim to the French crown and the economic problems concerning English wool export to France. It began as a war between kings, but later on it became a wasr between two nations. It includes victories on both sides, either British or French. In the end, the French led by Joan from Arc won and made English lose their power in France. The Wars of the Roses took place in the 15th century. They were the wars between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. These wars ended when Henry Tudor became King Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York, and thus he joined the two houses.
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History of Great Britain
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Zdroje: Basic facts about English speaking countries - Maturita z angličtiny
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