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2) History of Great Britain I.

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2. History of Great Britain I.  The first tribe that we know a lot about are Celts – they arrived in 800 BC and left 43 AD. They left behind Celtic languages (Welsh, Irish, Gaelic), names of several towns or rivers (Dover, Avon) and Celtic culture (stories)  43 AD – 407 – Romans came and they build the Hadrian Wall (to protect them against Celts in the north). They improved England by bringing education and Christianity. They founded London (port, bridge) and all the names with „castra“ at the end are from the roman language (castra = military camps).  407 AD – The roman empire is collapsing and all the Romans were commanded to go back home.  5th century – 1066 – The people left in England needed help protecting the territory => so they hired Anglo-Saxons (Angles, Saxons, Jutes). Anglo-Saxons found out that England was quite rich, decided to invade and conquered it. They created 7 kingdoms (Wessex, Sussex. Essex, East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, Kent). This was a set back for England because the territory wasn’t ruled by one person.  800 – Vikings (=Danes) started to attack the north of England and later settled there.  829 – 1st English (Anglo-Saxon) king – Egbert united all kingdoms for better protection against the Vikings  871 – 901 – Alfred the Great (educated king – spoke and wrote Latin, he also wrote a chronicle) => he made peace with the Vikings (with money – he was paying them every year = Danelaw)  1017 – Vikings invaded again and conquered England (leader Canute/Knut/Cnut)  1042 – 1066 – Anglo-Saxons have the power again but Edward the Confessor (he was brought up in Normandy and they offered him hiding from Vikings) promised the English crown to the Duke of Normandy (William)  1066 – Edward died without a heir and anglo-saxon nobility named Harold the new king (because they didn’t want William on the throne). William invaded with an army in the time that Harold was fighting the Vikings in the north. Harold had to go back south to fight William.  1066 – Battle of Hastings – Harold chose a good spot and fortified on a hill. William attacked but did not succeed so he decided to change the tactics and fake a retreat. Harold came after him and it all ended with a massacre (Harold died in the battle and William honoured him by building a church). William became the rightful king – and we know him as William the Conqueror.  William build the Tower of London  By mixing of the French nobility with old English speaking people was created the English we know now.  Richard I. – “the lion heart” took part in the third crusade and defended his French territories.  His younger brother John lost those territories and was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215 (which limited the king’s power significantly).  1349 – An epidemic of the Black Death spread across England and killed perhaps third of its population.  15th century - Wars of the Roses - Two great English noble houses wanted the crown: the Lancastrians with their symbol of a red rose and the Yorkists with their white rose. The last battle of the War of the Roses in 1485 ended thirty years of civil war in England at Bosworth Field when Lancastrian Henry Tudor’s army defeated the larger force of the Yorkist Richard III. However, by marrying the Yorkist princess Elizabeth, Henry brought the warring families together and brought peace to the country.  Henry VIII. – He split from the Roman Catholic church over a question of his divorce with Catherine of Aragon. They did not want to allow the divorce so he created the Church of England which he was the head of.  His daughter Mary I. took the throne. She was a strict catholic so she started to murder all the Protestants and she was very unpopular at the end of her reign.  His second daughter Elisabeth took the throne after Mary and her reign was very successful. She limited the power of nobility and brought peace (except for the conflict with Mary queen of Scots). One of her many successes was when the Spanish Armada lost against the English Navy and England than became superior on the sea.

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