There were many outstanding events in the history of Great Britain.
The first Celtic tribes, the Goidels or Gales are believed to have come to the British Isles between 800 & 700 BC. Two centuries later they were followed by the Brythons or ancient Britons after whom the country was called Britain.
The first Roman invasion was led by Julius Caesar in 55 BC. But Britain was not conquered until some 90 years later, under Emperor Claudius, in 43 AD. Although the Roman occupation of Britain lasted nearly 400 years, it's effects were few. The people did not adopt the Latin language and so Latin did not displace Celtic.
In the middle of the 5th century, three Germanic tribes - The Angles, Saxons and Jute's invaded Britain from the continent. From the 8th century the Anglo-Saxons had to face Scandinavian invaders - the Danes and the Norsemen sometimes refereed to as Vikings -who occupied parts of Britain & made some permanent settlements. The Scandinavian invasions continued till the 11th century. The Anglo Saxon period can be characterised as a period of transition from a tribal to feudal organisation of society.
The period of feudalism started around 1066 and lasted to the 15th century. In this period the modern English nation and language came into being. It was a period of struggle for power between kings & between powerful nobles a period of frequent wars, bloodshed & suffering. But it was also a period in which the development of the wool trade and the early decline of feudalism prepared the way for England's rise as a world power.
The period between 1485 and 1603 is known as the Tudor Period. It was a turning point in English history. England became one of the leading powers. The two famous rulers of the House of Tudor were Henry VIII, and Elisabeth I. The Elizabethan age produced the world's greatest playwright William Shakespeare.
The first 40 years of the 17th century can be characterised as a period of growing conflict between the King and parliament, representing the interests of the bourgeosie. The conflict let to the civil war in the 1640 which resulted in the abolition of the monarchy and in Cromwell's military rule in the middle of the century. This period ended in the Glorious Revolution which marked the end of the English bourgeoise revolution.
In the period of 1688 to 1760 England definitely took the lead in European commerce created the conditions necessary for the establishment of an empire and prepared the way for the industrial revolution.
During the Industrial Revolution (1760 - 1850) Britain became the first industrial power in the world, "the workshop of the world." The Anglo-French rivalry for world domination which had started in the previous period continued and culminated in the Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815).
The Victorian era which comprised the second half of the 19th century, called after Queen Victoria, was a period in which Britain became the strongest world power: besides being the greatest financial and commercial power, the greatest sea power and the greatest colonial power. In was the era of the greatest colonial expansion, especially in Africa.
The 20th century is a period of the decline of Britain as a world power a period of crises of the two world wars, from which Britain emerged as a victor, but greatly weakened. It is characterised by the disintegration of Britain's colonial empire and the effort to adjust Britain to the new situation by joining the other developed capitalist countries of Western Europe in EEC.
The history of the UK is the story of how a small island country became the world’s most powerful nation and then declined. Though it is no longer the world’s power, the UK is still a leading industrial and trading nation. The UK of today is in a state of change and is seeking its new role in the world.
Task 1. Answer the questions. Discuss them in groups.
1. Who were the first settlers of the British Isles?
2. Were does the name of the country derives from?
3. How is the name of Julius Caesar connected with GB?
4. Who were the Germanic tribes, that arrived the British Isles from Europe?
5. When did the period of feudalism start? With the name of what historical figure is it associated?
6. Describe the Tudor Period of British history.
7. What do you know about the English bourgeoisie revolution?
8. When did Great Britain turn to be an empire?
9. What is Victorian Age famous for?
10. Tell few words about the modern history of the UK.
Task 2. Describe one of the historical figures that influenced the development the UK greatly.