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British History

  • Period: 1485 to


    Began with the reign of HenryVII (the first Tudor King), father of Henry VIII. HENRY VIII’s succession.
    1st heir Edward VI (1547-1553)
    2nd heir Mary I(1553-1558)
    3rd heir Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
  • Period: 1500 to

    16th CENTURY.

    In 16th century Western Europe,
    Christianity was under the control of the Catholic Church centred in Rome (the Roman Catholic church) and led by the Pope. In Europe, criticisms against the Church had started to arise. ->calls to reform the Church.
    Influenced by Humanist and Renaissance ideas.
    ■ THE EUROPEAN REFORMATION, also called Protestant Reformation = religious revolution that took place during this period.
  • Period: 1509 to 1547

    Reign of Henry VIII.

    Henry VIII and the break with Rome.
  • 1517

    Triggering event!

    Triggering event!
    The Doctrine of Purgatory and the Indulgences. Become very popular and led to considerable abuses :
    -Indulgences became a lucrative trade.
    -A way for Catholic rulers to finance expensive projects and for the Church to raise money. The case of Pope Leo X ,in 1517, who sold indulgences in order to rebuild St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He sold many of them to a bishop who then sold indulgences to individuals, giving the Pope a 50% commission.
  • 1517

    JOHN CALVIN. Lutheranism and Calvinism

    JOHN CALVIN. Lutheranism and Calvinism
    John Calvin , a French theologian. Like M.Luther he is an influential religious reformers. !BUT ! he saw salvation differently than M.Luther or the Roman Catholic Church. Calvin is known for the Predestination doctrine => The belief that God has predetermined who will receive salvation and who will not. God divided men in 2 groups : the “elect” and “non elect”.
  • 1517

    MARTIN LUTHER, The Ninety-Five Theses.

    MARTIN LUTHER, The Ninety-Five Theses.
    M.Luther, a german monk who denounce the trade of indulgence.
    -Wrote the famous text that marks the start of the European Reformation =>According to him, salvation was free, no one have to pay anything to obtain it. Priest declaring that buying indulgences could free a man of his sins was lying.
    -October,1517 he nailed this devastating critique of the Indulgences to the door of the University in Wittenberg.

    -1521 he was excommunicated and declared a heretic.
  • 1526

    THE TYNDALE BIBLE. Transcription of the Bible.

    THE TYNDALE BIBLE. Transcription of the Bible.
    Thanks to the recently invention of the printing press the Ninety-Five Theses spread through Europe. It was the world’s first modern media event.
    =>The people who took up Luther’s ideas became known as PROTESTANTS.
    -M.Luther translated the Bible in German. The New Testament was first published in 1522 and was widely disseminated.
    -The Tyndale Bible was published in 1526.
    William Tyndale translated the New Testament into English.
  • 1529

    The Royal Divorce: the King’s « Great Matter ».

    The Royal Divorce: the King’s « Great Matter ».
    Under his reign = a schism. EVEN IF he was a devout Catholic in the early years of his reign .
    -His mother, Elizabeth of York was a pious catholic.
    -He went on pilgrimage at least 3 times as king.
    -If his brother had not died he would have become the Archbishop of Canterbury.
    -He wrote a book against Luther in which he expressed loyalty to the Pope. THEN WHY?
    He wanted his marriage with Catherine of Aragon to be annulled. HOWEVER in 1529 the Pope rejected Henry’s petition for a divorce.
  • 1533

    Act in Restraint of Appeals.

    The reject of the Pope led to the Act in Restraint of Appeals that gave the King the legal power to annul marriages.
    He divorces for 3 reasons:
    -His wife’s failure to bear a son.
    -Her support of the Habsburgs, when he wanted an alliance with the French.
    -He was in love with Anne Boleyn.
    The official reason he gave: this marriage was doomed. Because she had first been married to his brother, Arthur.
  • 1534


    The King divorce led England to break from the Roman Catholic Church.
    1534: Act of supremacy found the Anglican Church and makes King Henry VIII the sole and “Supreme Head of the Church of England”. The break was gradual.->The whole body of legislation passed from 1532 to 1537 diminished the authority and powers of the Pope and the clergy and transferred powers to the King. It was mostly a political move. The king did not support most Protestant ideas.
  • 1534

    Act of succession

    Act of succession
    Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn and in 1534: Act of Succession: made Anne Boleyn a legitimate Queen.
    • The Pope declared that Anne was not the King's wife and the king was excommunicated.
  • 1536

    The dissolution of the monasteries and the Pilgrimage of Grace.

    all the smaller monasteries had disappeared and the greater ones followed two years later.
    =>impact on nuns and monks, social fabric of communities, clergy’s finances.
  • 1547


    During his reign a series of measures pushed England towards Protestantism

    -> was fiercely Protestant.
    -Revision of the mass-book, led to the publication of the Book of Common Prayer in 1549
    -Roman Catholic practices were eradicated.
    -The marriage of clergy was allowed.
    -The imposition of the Prayer Book =rebellions in Cornwall and Devon.
  • Period: 1547 to 1553

    Reign of Edward VI.

    • the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour
    • only 9 when his father died
    • Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford and soon to be Duke of Somerset, the new King's eldest uncle, became Lord Protector.
  • 1553


    In 1553, Mary I became the first Queen of England after Edward death.
    Daughter of CATHERINE OF ARAGON: she restored Catholicism in 18 months/repealed the Protestant legislation of her father and half-brother.
    Bloody Mary = Under her brief reign, over 200 Protestants went to the stake.
    Protestantism= confined to secrecy as heretics were burned between 1555-58, protestantswere forced to leave the country -> the “Marian exiles”
    Her death in 1558 was greeted as she had turned the nation against her.
  • Period: 1553 to 1558

    Reign of Mary I.

    - 37 years old
    - was married to the very Catholic
    Philip II of Spain
    - the marriage made her ally with Spain
    in a war against France
    - many people in England opposed this
  • Period: 1558 to

    Reign of Elizabeth I.

    => Golden Age for the country
    • she was an unmarried woman
    • only 25 when she became Queen
    Before dying, Mary had asked her to swear that she would carry on with the Catholic reforms.
    She found a wise way out and said that she would “follow God’s will”.
  • 1559

    The Act of Uniformity.

    The Act of Uniformity.
    The Act of Uniformity: Religious belief
    • every parish had to use the Book of Common Prayer
    • people who did not attend an Anglican service were fined.
  • 1559

    The Act of Supremacy.

    The Act of Supremacy.
    The Act of Supremacy (1559) : Church organisation
    • abolished the authority of the Pope
    • restored the authority of the Queen over the Church
    • She became “Supreme Governor of the Church of England”.
  • Period: 1559 to 1571

    New legislation.

    She wanted to return to Protestantism but which kind of Protestantism?
    A new one, she needed a “Middle Way” to show her wise moderation but also for:
    • the sake of national unity
    • maintain an alliance with Catholic Spain against France
    • not to alienate her subjects
  • 1563

    The 39 articles of faith (1563-1571).

    The 39 articles of faith: Doctrine
    • stated the doctrine (religious belief) of the Church
    • 3 important changes : a new ecclesiology (conception of the Church) / a new doctrine of Salvation / a new definition of sacraments and of the mass
    • still in use today
  • 1568

    Mary Queen of Scots : a threat to Elizabeth.

    Mary Queen of Scots : a threat to Elizabeth.
    Mary involved in a civil war in Scotland= flee to England. Elizabeth granted her shelter but kept her under close watch ->During the 19 years Mary was imprisoned.
    - Elizabeth’s cousin, and was Elizabeth’s legitimate heir.
    - Her closeness to France and Spain endangered the English kingdom.
    - To Catholics, she was the legitimate heir= represented hope for a return back to roman Catholicism.
  • 1569

    The Northern Rebellion.

    A rebellion against religious reforms with 6000 insurgents.

    The revolt was led by the Earls of Westmorland and Northumberland.
    =An attempt to replace Queen Elizabeth by Mary, Queen of Scots.
  • 1570

    The queen excommunicated by The Pope.

    The queen excommunicated by The Pope.
    The aim of The Anglican Compromise was to appeal to the largest number.
    This is why this moderate settlement led the Pope to believed that Elizabeth would revert to Catholicism.
    HOWEVER the numerous small secret communities of Catholics began to be persecuted, after 1570.
    Because : Protestantism increasingly associated with patriotism in England, The Pope excommunicated Elizabeth, Many Catholic plots against the Queen and the NORTHERN REBELLION.
  • Period: 1577 to

    Repression of Catholics.

    163 persons were killed during repression in 26 years.
  • 1581

    The 1581 Act.

    Act to retain the Queen’s Majesty’s Subjects in their due Obedience:
    • death penalty for any person converting, or already converted to Catholicism.
    • now forbidden to participate or celebrate the Catholic Mass
    • anglican services were compulsory: £20 per month fine.
  • The Babington plot.

    Young Catholics had sworn to kill Elizabeth and put Mary Stuart on the throne but their strategies were discovered by FRANCIS WALSINGHAM, when he managed to decipher a coded letter between Marie Stuart and this group. Mary Queen of Scots was convicted for complicity and sentenced to death.
  • The execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

    The execution of Mary Queen of Scots.
    Executed in Fotheringham Castle, wearing a bright red dress, the colour of Catholic martyrs.
  • The Defeat of the Spanish Armada.

    Reasons for victory:
    - a material advantage on the side of England.
    -a human advantage on the side of England.
    Ideological effects of the victory over the Spanish Armada:
    - proof of the extraordinary qualities of Elizabeth.
    - reaffirmation of the English national cohesion.
    - the insularity of the English nation.
    - divine protection. ( storm which had helped defeat the Armada was God sent)
  • Period: to

    Reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland.

    • Son of Mary Queen of Scots.
    • James was proclaimed King of Scotland in 1567 and crowned King of England on Elizabeth’s death.
    • Strong believer in the divine rights of kings.
  • The Gunpowder Plot.

    The Gunpowder Plot.
    Catholics high hopes in Queen Mary’s son are destroyed = James continued Elizabeth’s harsh repressive laws.
    Led to a conspiracy devised by a small group of Catholics to blow up Parliament and kill James I.
  • The Great Contract.

    Tension between James and Parliament.
    -Parliament opposition to James’ idea of a “perfect union”.
    -James’ debt = the financial difficulties were reinforced by his extravagance.
    Parliament started by granting subsidies to the king + king imposed new custom duties and continued Elizabeth’s unpopular practice of selling monopoly licence = led to clashes with MPs, they felt that their right to control taxation was eroded.
    • Centrepiece of the financial reforms: the “Great Contract”.
  • The King James’ Bible.

    The King James’ Bible.
    James and religions.
    Hope of an easier time under James than in Elizabeth’s latter years from both the Puritans and the Catholics. Especially from Puritans = James held Calvinist views.
    He was presented with the MILLENARY PETITION: Asked for the Church of England to be purified of the last traces of Catholic doctrines and rites. BUT James refused and confirmed the Elizabethan status quo.
    • The only important change: a new English translation of the Bible.
  • Period: to

    The Thirty Years’ War.

    A war started by James however a war mostly leads by the next king as James I died in 1625.
    End up by a military defeat.
    Consequences of the war:
    • A huge strain on finances.
    • The raising of troops had important impacts on the local population.
  • Period: to

    Reign of Charles I.

    • Married the French princess Henrietta Maria (absolutist + Catholic).
    • Favoured a minority wing of Anglicans: the ARMINIANS.
  • Petition of Rights.

    Distrust in the King and Lord Buckingham.
    Charles (follows his father’s footsteps) dissolved Parliament to protect Lord Buckingham, his very unpopular advisor. And continued to collect custom duties anyway and resorted to forced loans.
    MPs’ complaints:
    -requested the King to recognise the illegality of extra-parliamentary taxation, billeting, martial law, imprisonment without trial.
    -Wanted to get him to recognise that there were limits to his powers.
  • Three Resolutions.

    Three Resolutions.
    The MPs complaints started over in January 1629, the King declared another adjournment.
    But they were increasingly suspicious of the King’s religious support of Arminians and attitude towards Parliament.
    They passed the Three Resolutions:
    -declared that whoever tried to bring in “Popery or Arminianism” or to alter the protestant forms of the Church of England was an enemy of the Kingdom.
    -as well as anyone advising the King to collect custom duties without Parliament’s consent.
  • Period: to

    The Personal Rule.

    Also called “The Eleven Years Tyranny” = 11 years when the King ruled without calling a parliament.
    BECAUSE Charles imprisoned the MPs of the Three Revolutions and dissolved parliament.
    Under the 11 years Charles implemented religious policies which were destructive of the Elizabethan compromise.
    Many Protestants saw this as a return to Catholicism. Especially with the act of Archbishop Laud (Arminian) who was determined to impose uniformity in church practice.
  • Period: to

    The Scottish crisis.

    1637 King Charles I attempted to draw the Church of Scotland (Calvinist) into line with the Church of England (Anglican) = Widespread public discontent. BECAUSE Scotland was Calvinist (Protestant too, but different religious practices /England) The act of open rebellion led to
    -Scotland and England both started to form an army
    -The Bishops’ Wars
  • Scottish National Covenant.

    1637:Scottish opposition came to the boil when Charles attempted to impose a New Prayer Book = changes were deemed unacceptable.
    A riot erupted in St Giles’s Cathedral, on the reading of the New Prayer Book.
    The riot would soon turn into a widespread rebellion known as the Bishops’ Wars.
    Charles I’s leading opponents in Scotland signed the Scottish National Covenant: a petition opposing his religious policy, it called for the spiritual independence of the Scottish Church to be maintained.
  • Break of the Personal Rule.

    Charles needing money to fight the Scots he called a Parliament for the first time in 11 years = THE SHORT PARLIAMENT because he dissolved it after only 3 weeks.
    However, the Scots invaded England and emerged victorious, led to the Treaty pf Ripon in October 1640 = humiliation for Charles who had to pay the cost of the Scots’ army.
    So, Charles had to call Parliament again= THE LONG PARLIAMENT not dissolved until 1660.
  • The Grand Remonstrance.

    An important document voted by Parliament after heated debates. This text divided Parliament into 2 groups: the PARLIAMENTARIANS and the ROYALISTS.
    It summarized all the wrong doing of Charles I and concluded on “revolutionary” demands:
    • the right of the House of commons to choose the King’s ministers.
    • the right for Parliament to control any army sent to Ireland.
    • the right for Parliament to reform the Church.
  • The Irish Rebellion.

    The Irish Rebellion.
    In October 1641, an armed revolt broke out in Ireland:
    • James I had implemented a plantation policy = sending English and Scottish protestant colonists to Ireland, taking the lands of Irish Catholics.
    • Irish Catholic rebels rose up against Protestant settlers.
    • Massacre of 3 000/4 000 protestants.
    • False rumours: Irish atrocities, 200 000 protestants massacred (fuelled the anti-Catholic sentiment in England)
  • Period: to

    English Civil Wars.

    The catalyst for the English Civil War:
    -The Irish Rebellion.
    -The long parliament:
    Parliament was determined to remedy 11 years of grievances and wanted to ensure regular parliaments. = They passed two acts:
    • Parliament should meet at least every 3 years.
    • The dissolution of Parliament required its consent.
  • The First Civil War. (1643-1646)

    The First Civil War. (1643-1646)
    Charles formally declared war on Parliament= “Cavaliers” vs “Roundheads”.
    this war will end with the victory of Parliament.
    Key dates:
    •June 1645 Battle of Naseby = a turning point.
    •May 1646= King and the Royalists surrendered.
    A victory due to Parliament strengths: war finances, alliances, and the new model army.
    A new army the “praying army” created in 1644, unlike the earlier regional armies, this was a national, centralized army, controlled and paid from Westminster.
  • The Second Civil War. (1648-1649)

    Thinking the war was over, the House of Commons disbanded the New Model Army without paying the soldiers. = mutiny in June 1647, the New Model Army seized the King.

    In Nov 1647 the King escaped from army custody and allied himself with the Scots (he promised to introduce Presbyterianism/Calvinism into England, in return the Scottish army would invade England and restore him to power)
    This 2nd Civil War was made of a series of revolts and the Royalists were easily defeated.= Jan-Autumn 1648.
  • Execution of the King.

    Execution of the King.
    After his defeat, the Army wanted the king to be tried BUT conservative MPs wanted to negotiate with the King:
    • PRIDE’S PURGE (Dec 1648): Colonel Pride entered the House of Commons, stopped the vote, and arrested the 45 conservative leader MPs.
    • The remainder MPs put the King on trial for high treason.
    And on 30 January King Charles I was executed. = March 1649: Monarchy and House of Lords abolished, England was declared a Commonwealth.
  • The Commonwealth. (1649-1653)

    The Commonwealth. (1649-1653)
    A law abolished monarchy = The House of Lords was abolished, and the House of Commons had supreme authority.
    England was declared a Commonwealth and ruled as a Republic.
    On 20 April 1653 Cromwell dissolved the Rump.
    Led to the next Parliament: “The Barebones Parliament” but due to internal tensions, the Barebones Parliament were dissolved.
    -16 Dec 1653: end of the Commonwealth and start of the Protectorate.
  • Period: to

    The Interregnum.

    = between 2 reigns, between 2 kings
    • England declared a “Commonwealth” = governed by its people without a King.
    • Failure to reach stability and creation of a military protectorate ruled by Cromwell.
  • The Instrument of Government.

    England’s first and only written constitution.
  • The Cromwellian Protectorate. (1654-1658)

    The Cromwellian Protectorate. (1654-1658)
    The Protectorate was a MILITARY DICTATORSHIP (Similar to a monarchy without a King).
    The end of the Protectorate = Cromwell died in 1658.
    • His son Richard became Lord Protector but resigned after 6 months.
    • This led to a period of Anarchy = 7 governments in less than a year People longed for a return to order, increasing support for monarchy.
  • Early Restoration (1660-1671)

    Early Restoration (1660-1671)
    Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda. It promised: a general amnesty, to continue religious toleration, and to share power with Parliament but …in return for the restoration of monarchy.
    A success he became King in 29 May 1660 = The Restoration .
    HOWEVER false promises = The 100 people who had signed Charles I’s death warrant were executed and Cromwell’s corpse was dismembered, his head stayed on a spike in Westminster for 25 years.
  • Period: to

    Reign of Charles II.

  • Great Fire of London.

    Great Fire of London.
    During his reign, Charles II faced domestic and foreign disasters : The 2nd Anglo Dutch war, 1665 outbreak of Plague and 1666 Great Fire of London.
    =Increasing hostility towards him and his court (drunkenness, mistresses): nicknamed the “merry monarch”.
  • The Popish Plot.

    Rumour of a plot organised by the French to murder Charles II and replace him by his Catholic brother James II.
    James’ supporters: the TORIES, supported the doctrine of hereditary rights.
    James’ opponents: the WHIGS, discredited by a plot to kill Charles.
  • The Exclusion crisis. (1679-1681)

    Parliament attempted to debar James II from the succession to the English throne.(Parliament trying to modify the rules of succession? Divine Right of Kings?)
    Led Charles to dissolving the Parliament.
  • Charles II death: fear of Catholic absolutism

    Charles II death: fear of Catholic absolutism
    Charles II died in 1685 and was succeeded by his brother, when he sat on the throne fear of Catholic absolutism.
    -Afraid any upheaval = reversal to the dark times of the civil wars.
    -BUT James was old and as he didn’t have a male heir, his protestant daughter Mary would soon succeed him.
    PROBLEM in 1688: James’ second wife gave birth to a son = Catholic Heir, a threat to Protestantism and to parliament’s powers !
  • Period: to

    Reign of James II.

  • The Glorious Revolution, William of Orange.

    The Glorious Revolution, William of Orange.
    Parliament invited the King’s son in law to invade England and seize the crown.
    He landed with an army of 15 000 men and met no resistance = James’ army disintegrated, officers deserted.
    So James II fled to France and William became King William III.
  • Period: to

    Reign of William III.

  • The Bill of Rights.

    (Constitutional Monarchy: ) The king acts as head of state but his powers are limited by law thanks to this key political text.
    It Fixed limitations on the sovereign’s powers, Set out the rights of Parliament, and basic civil rights.
  • The 1701 Act of Settlement.

    King William III and Mary II had no surviving children, and all the potential Stuart successors were Catholic.
    • Settled the order of succession and ensured a Protestant succession, ignoring dozens of Catholic heirs.
    • Successor: Hanoverian descendants of James I.
    • Key role in the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain.
    This put an end to the 16th and 17th quarrel between King and Parliament. A new balance of powers in favour of Parliament.
  • Period: to

    Reign of Anne.

    The last Stuart monarch.
  • Act of Union between England and Scotland.

    Act of Union between England and Scotland.
    Creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain: England (and Wales) and Scotland. (old dream of James I)
    Under Queen Anne, ratification of the Act of Union:
    • A single kingdom.
    • Scotland lost its parliament but gained 45 seats in the House of Commons + 16 seats in the House of Lords.
    • Scotland kept its Presbyterian church and own laws.
  • War of the Spanish Succession.

    1710-14: Britain gained Acadia over the French.
  • Period: to

    Reign of George I.

  • Period: to

    The Georgian era.

    From 1714 to 1830/1837.
    Named after the Hanoverian Kings George I, George II, George III, George IV (+ William IV).
  • The 1715 Jacobite Rising.

    The Glorious Revolution led James II to came in France.
    And create The Jacobites = Loyal to the Stuarts Supporters of James II, then of his son and grandson. Active in France and Scotland. They led several rising. First Jacobite rising led by the “Old Pretender” James Francis Edward Stuart (the son of James II).
  • Period: to

    Reign of George II.

  • The 1745 Jacobite Rising.

    The 1745 Jacobite Rising.
    Second Jacobite rising led by the “Young Pretender” Bonnie Prince Charlie (the grandson of James II).
  • Final defeat of the Jacobites.

    Third Jacobite rising at Culloden.
  • Seven Years' War.

    1756-63: Britain gained Florida over the Spanish and (most of) Canada over the French.
  • Period: to

    Reign of George III.

  • American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

    American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
  • Declaration of Independence.

    = Grievances against George III.
    This marked a pivotal moment in American history. Drafted primarily by Thomas Jefferson, it boldly asserted the colonies' right to self-determination, proclaiming equality and unalienable rights for all. Adopted on July 4th by the Continental Congress, this seminal document ignited the American Revolution.
  • Period: to

    The age of revolutions.

  • Period: to

    The American Revolution.

  • Treaty of Paris.

    Treaty of Paris.
    =marked the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War.
    Negotiated by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay, the treaty recognized the independence of the United States from British rule (Britain formally recognized their independence).
  • Outbreak of the French Revolution.

    Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France;
  • Period: to

    The French Revolution.

  • French Revolutionary Wars.

    1793-1802: Britain at war with France.
    Combatting revolutionary ideology + maritime, colonial and economic motives.
  • Irish Rebellion of 1798.

    -an uprising against British rule in Ireland.
    -Influenced by the ideas of the American and French revolutions.
    -Presbyterian radicals + Catholics.

    • 1801 : Act of Union of 1801 uniting the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland.
    => creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
    • After a first Act of Union in 1707 uniting the two kingdoms of England and Scotland.
  • Napoleonic Wars.

    1803-1815: Napoleonic Wars
  • Period: to

    Reign of George IV.