History of English Speaking Countries
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25 – HISTORY OF ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES Among the first inhabitants of Ireland were wise Druids. In about 300 BC Ireland was conquered by the Celts from France who called themselves Gaels and brought their language to the country. They established tribal kingdoms with the capital of Tara. Inn 432 AD Patrick, a priest, later to be known as St Patrick – the patron saint of Ireland, converted the people to Christianity and taught them to read and write. For three and a half centuries Latin-learning flourished, schools and monasteries were built. Gaelic literature and music started. From the 5th to the 8th century it was the golden era of Irish culture. Unfortunately, the era ended in the 8th century when the Vikings invaded Ireland. Freedom and prosperity were replaced by oppression, troubles and injustice. The Norman conquest followed under Henry II – the French-speaking king of England. Henry VIII, who took the title King of Ireland, imposed his Protestant religion on the country. During the reign of another Protestant king William of Orange, religious persecutions increased. In each century there were patriots who continued to resist British rule. After 1801, when the Act of Union joined Irish Parliament to the Parliament of Great Britain, it was Daniel O´Connell – the “uncrowned King of Ireland” – who fought and won Catholic emancipation. In 1845 the Great Famine hit Ireland and lasted for four years. Starvation and diseases reduced the population from 8 million to 4.5 million. In 1899 the Sinn Féin movement started. “Sinn Féin” means “We Ourselves” and at first it supported passive resistance to British rule. Later it organized an army of volunteers known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and in 1916, inspired an armed rebellion on Easter Monday in Dublin. The Irish Republic was proclaimed on that day, but the rebels surrendered to the British and the leaders were executed. The fight went on till 1921 when a treaty giving Ireland dominion status was signed. In 1922 the Irish Free State came into existence. In 1949 it was renamed the Republic of Ireland and left the British Commonwealth of Nations. Australia was first discovered by Marco Polo in the 13th century. Then it was rediscovered by the Dutch in the 17th century (Abel Tasman). Later Captain James Cook explored the coasts of the islands and in 1770 landed in Botany Bay near Sydney. The settlement of Australia began here on January 26, 1788, with the arrival of about 1,000 colonists from Britain. 750 of them were convicts. The day is called Australia Day and is now a public holiday. Between 1855 and 1890, the six colonies individually gained responsible government, managing most of their own affairs while remaining part of the British Empire. The Colonial Office in London retained control of some matters, notably foreign affairs, defence, and international shipping. On 1 January 1901 federation of the colonies was achieved after a decade of planning, consultation, and voting. The Commonwealth of Australia was established and it became a dominion of the British Empire in 1907. Britain's Statute of Westminster 1931 formally ended most of the constitutional links between Australia and the UK. Australia adopted it in 1942. The final constitutional ties between Australia and the UK were severed with the passing of the Australia Act 1986, ending any British role in the government of the Australian States, and closing the option of judicial appeals to the Privy Council in London. Captain James Cook reached New Zealand on 19 April 1770 on the first of his three voyages – first to map New Zealand. From the late 18th century, the country was regularly visited by explorers and other sailors, missionaries, traders and adventurers. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and various Māori chiefs, bringing New Zealand into the British Empire and giving Māori equal rights with British citizens. Canada Between 15th and 16th century Canada became known to Europe; first permanent settlements were established by French (port Royal and Québec). With inhabitants came diseases that killed many native people (Inuits). Century later (17-18 century) French fought with Indians. These wars lead to dominance in power of Great Britain and France was pushed away from its land. Canada didn’t take side of 13 colonies in the War of Independence. Indians and colonist that took side of the British played an important role in the British-American war 1812 -15. War ended with no loser or winner (status qua ante). In 1837 Union of Canada was made. In 1864 Oregon Treaty ended the territorial disputes between USA and Canada. The 1867 Constitution Act officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation. Canada joined WWI. In 1919 Canada singled and step out of League of Nations. The 1931 Statute of Westminster affirmed Canada's independence. The Great Depression of the early 1930s brought great economic hardship to Canada. During the WWII Canada supplied the USA, the UK, and USSR. After the war, Canada’s post-war economic growth, combined with the policies of successive Liberal governments, led to the emergence of a new Canadian identity, marked by the adoption of the current Maple Leaf Flag in 1965. The USA The indigenous people of America were Indians (Native Americans), who lived alone until 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered America for Europe. The first English colony was founded in Virginia in 1607 by an English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. In the 18th century, there were 13 colonies along the Atlantic coast, which were under British rule. This “Boston Tea Party” marked the beginning of the War of Independence (1775-1783). On July 4, 1776, the representatives of the original 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, which established the United States of America. Britain recognized the USA in 1783. In 1788, the American Constitution was adopted and the following year George Washington was elected the first President of the