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The HISTORY OF THE UNITED KINGDOM as a unified sovereign state began in 1707 with the political union of the kingdoms of England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
, into a united kingdom called Great Britain
Great Britain
. Of this new state the historian Simon Schama
Simon Schama
said "What began as a hostile merger would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world... it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history ." A further Act of Union in 1800 added the Kingdom of Ireland
Ireland
to create the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland
Ireland
.

The first decades were marked by Jacobite risings which ended with defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746. In 1763, victory in the Seven Years\' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, which was to be the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. As a result, the culture of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, and its industrial, political, constitutional, educational and linguistic influence, became worldwide.

In 1922, following the Anglo-Irish Treaty , most of Ireland
Ireland
seceded to become the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
; a day later, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
seceded from the Free State and returned to the United Kingdom. As a result, in 1927 the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
changed its formal title to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland," usually shortened to "Britain" and (after 1945) to the "United Kingdom" or "UK".

In the Second World War , in which the Soviet Union, Nationalist China and the US joined Britain as Allied powers , Britain and its Empire fought a successful war against Germany, Italy and Japan. The cost was high and Britain no longer had the wealth to maintain an empire, so it granted independence to most of the Empire. The new states typically joined the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
. The United Kingdom has been a leading member of the United Nations
United Nations
, the European Union and NATO
NATO
. Since the 1990s large-scale devolution movements in Northern Ireland, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales
have changed the political structure of the country.

CONTENTS

* 1 18th century

* 1.1 Birth of the Union * 1.2 Hanoverian kings * 1.3 South Sea Bubble
South Sea Bubble
* 1.4 Political culture * 1.5 Warfare and finance * 1.6 British Empire
British Empire

* 2 1800 to 1837

* 2.1 Union with Ireland
Ireland

* 2.2 Napoleonic wars

* 2.2.1 Financing the war * 2.2.2 War of 1812
War of 1812
with United States

* 2.3 George IV and William IV * 2.4 Whig reforms of the 1830s * 2.5 Leadership

* 3 Victorian era

* 3.1 Social and cultural history

* 3.2 Foreign policy

* 3.2.1 Free trade
Free trade
imperialism * 3.2.2 Russia, France and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
* 3.2.3 American Civil War * 3.2.4 Empire expands

* 3.3 Boer War

* 3.3.1 Free trade
Free trade
imperialism

* 3.4 Ireland
Ireland
and Home Rule

* 3.5 Leadership

* 3.5.1 Queen Victoria * 3.5.2 Palmerston * 3.5.3 Disraeli

* 3.5.4 Gladstone

* 3.5.4.1 Disraeli-Gladstone rivalry

* 3.5.5 Salisbury

* 4 Early 20th century 1901-1918

* 4.1 Edwardian era
Edwardian era
1901–1914 * 4.2 World War I
World War I
* 4.3 Postwar settlement * 4.4 Irish independence and partition

* 5 Interwar era 1918-1939

* 5.1 Popular culture

* 5.1.1 Cinema and radio * 5.1.2 Sports * 5.1.3 Reading

* 5.2 Politics and economics of 1920s

* 5.2.1 Expanding the welfare state

* 5.3 Conservative control

* 5.4 Economics

* 5.4.1 Labour

* 5.5 Great Depression
Great Depression
* 5.6 Appeasement

* 6 Second World War 1939-1945

* 6.1 Welfare state * 6.2 Royals * 6.3 Memory

* 7 Postwar

* 7.1 Austerity, 1945–1950

* 7.1.1 Nationalisation
Nationalisation

* 7.2 Prosperity of the postwar years * 7.3 Empire to Commonwealth * 7.4 From the Troubles to the Belfast
Belfast
Agreement * 7.5 The economy in the late 20th century * 7.6 Common Market (EEC), then EU, membership * 7.7 Devolution
Devolution
for Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales

* 8 21st century

* 8.1 War in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Iraq, and terrorist attacks * 8.2 Nationalist government in Scotland
Scotland
* 8.3 The 2008 economic crisis * 8.4 The 2010 coalition government * 8.5 2014 Scottish Independence
Scottish Independence
referendum * 8.6 2015 election * 8.7 2016 EU referendum

* 9 Historiography * 10 Notes * 11 See also * 12 References

* 13 Further reading

* 13.1 Historiography

* 13.2 Primary sources

* 13.2.1 Scholarly journals

* 14 External links

18TH CENTURY

Main articles: 18th century Britain and Georgian era
Georgian era

BIRTH OF THE UNION

Main articles: Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union
and Acts of Union 1707
Acts of Union 1707
See also: Union of the Crowns and History of the formation of the United Kingdom "Articles of Union with Scotland", 1707

The Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
came into being on 1 May 1707, as a result of the political union of the Kingdom of England (which included Wales
Wales
) and the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
. The terms of the union had been negotiated the previous year, and laid out in the Treaty of Union . The parliaments of Scotland
Scotland
and of England
England
then each ratified the treaty via respective Acts of Union . ally separate states, England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
had shared a monarch since 1603 when on the death of the childless Elizabeth I , James VI of Scotland
Scotland
became, additionally, James I of England, in an event known as the Union of the Crowns . Slightly more than one-hundred years later, the Treaty of Union enabled the two kingdoms to be combined into a single kingdom, merging the two parliaments into a single parliament of Great Britain . Queen Anne , who was reigning at the time of the union, had favoured deeper political integration between the two kingdoms and became the first monarch of Great Britain
Great Britain
. The union was valuable to England's security because Scotland
Scotland
relinquished first, the right to choose a different monarch on Anne's death and second, the right to independently ally with a European power, which could then use Scotland
Scotland
as a base for the invasion of England.

Although now a single kingdom, certain aspects of the former independent kingdoms remained separate, as agreed in the terms in the Treaty of Union. Scottish and English law remained separate, as did the Presbyterian
Presbyterian
Church of Scotland
Scotland
and the Anglican Church of England . England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
also continued to each have its own system of education.

The creation of Great Britain
Great Britain
happened during the War of the Spanish Succession , in which just before his death in 1702 William III had reactivated the Grand Alliance against France. His successor, Anne, continued the war. The Duke of Marlborough won a series of brilliant victories over the French, England's first major battlefield successes on the Continent since the Hundred Years War . France was nearly brought to its knees by 1709, when King Louis XIV made a desperate appeal to the French people. Afterwards, his general Marshal Villars managed to turn the tide in favour of France. A more peace-minded government came to power in Great Britain, and the treaties of Utrecht and Rastadt in 1713–1714 ended the war. British historian G. M. Trevelyan argues: That Treaty , which ushered in the stable and characteristic period of Eighteenth-Century civilization, marked the end of danger to Europe from the old French monarchy, and it marked a change of no less significance to the world at large, — the maritime, commercial and financial supremacy of Great Britain.

HANOVERIAN KINGS

Main article: House of Hanover George I in 1714, by Godfrey Kneller

Queen Anne died in 1714, and the Elector of Hanover, George Louis, became king as George I (1714–1727). He paid more attention to Hanover
Hanover
and surrounded himself with Germans, making him an unpopular king. However he did build up the army and created a more stable political system in Britain and helped bring peace to northern Europe. Jacobite factions seeking a Stuart restoration remained strong; they instigated a revolt in 1715–1716. The son of James II planned to invade England, but before he could do so, John Erskine, Earl of Mar , launched an invasion from Scotland, which was easily defeated.

George II (1727–1760) enhanced the stability of the constitutional system, with a government run by Sir Robert Walpole during the period 1730–42. He built up the first British Empire, strengthening the colonies in the Caribbean
Caribbean
and North America. In coalition with the rising power Prussia, defeated France in the Seven Years\' War (1756–1763), and won full control of Canada.

George III
George III
reigned 1760–1820; he was born in Britain, never visited Hanover, and spoke English as his first language. Frequently reviled by Americans as a tyrant and the instigator of the American War of Independence, he was insane off and on after 1788 as his eldest son served as regent. The last king to dominate government and politics, his long reign is noted for losing the first British Empire
British Empire
with a loss in the American Revolutionary War (1783), as France sought revenge for its defeat in the Seven Years' War by aiding the Americans.

The reign was notable for the building of a second empire based in India, Asia and Africa, the beginnings of the industrial revolution that made Britain an economic powerhouse, and above all the life and death struggle with the French, the French Revolutionary Wars 1793–1802, ending in a draw and a short truce, and the epic Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
(1803–1815), ending with the decisive defeat of Napoleon.

SOUTH SEA BUBBLE

The era was pro as entrepreneurs extended the range of their business around the globe. The South Sea Bubble
South Sea Bubble
was a business enterprise that exploded in scandal. The South Sea Company was a private business corporation set up in London ostensibly to grant trade monopolies in South America. Its actual purpose was to re-negotiate previous high-interest government loans amounting to £31 million through market manipulation and speculation. It issued stock four times in 1720 that reached about 8,000 investors. Prices kept soaring every day, from £130 a share to £1,000, with insiders making huge paper profits. The Bubble collapsed overnight, ruining many speculators. Investigations showed bribes had reached into high places—even to the king. Robert Walpole managed to wind it down with minimal political and economic damage, although some losers fled to exile or committed suicide.

POLITICAL CULTURE

Hypocrisy became a major topic in English political history in the early 18th century. The Toleration Act of 1689 allowed for certain rights, but it left Protestant Nonconformists (Such as Congregationalists and Baptists) deprived of important rights, including that of office-holding. Nonconformists who wanted office ostentatiously took the Anglican sacrament once a year in order to avoid the restrictions. High Church Anglicans were outraged and outlawed what they called "occasional conformity" in 1711 with the Occasional Conformity Act 1711 . In the political controversies using sermons, speeches, and pamphlet wars, both high churchmen and Nonconformists attacked their opponents as insincere and hypocritical, as well as dangerously zealous, in contrast to their own moderation. This campaign of moderation versus zealotry, peaked in 1709 during the impeachment trial of high church preacher Henry Sacheverell . Historian Mark Knights, argues that by its very ferocity, the debate may have led to more temperate and less hypercharged political discourse. Occasional conformity was restored by the Whigs when they returned to power in 1719.

English author Bernard Mandeville ( 1670-1733) famous 's "Fable of the Bees " (1714) explored the nature of hypocrisy in contemporary European society. On the one hand, Mandeville was a ‘moralist’ heir to the French Augustinianism of the previous century, viewing sociability as a mere mask for vanity and pride. On the other, he was a ‘materialist’ who helped found modern economics. He tried to demonstrate the universality of human appetites for corporeal pleasures. He argued that the efforts of self-seeking entrepreneurs are the basis of emerging commercial and industrial society, a line of thought that influenced Adam Smith
Adam Smith
(1723-1790) and 19th century Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism
. The tension between these two approaches modes ambivalences and contradictions—concerning the relative power of norms and interests, the relationship between motives and behaviours, and the historical variability of human cultures.

In the 1750 to 1850 era, Whig aristocrats in England
England
boasted of their special benevolence for the common people. They claimed to be guiding and counseling reform initiatives to prevent the outbreaks of popular discontent that caused instability and revolution across Europe. However Tory and radical critics accused the Whigs of hypocrisy—alleging they were deliberately using the slogans of reform and democracy to boost themselves into power while preserving their precious aristocratic exclusiveness. Historian L.G. Mitchell defends the Whigs, pointing out that thanks to them radicals always had friends at the centre of the political elite, and thus did not feel as marginalized as in most of Europe. He points out that the debates on the 1832 Reform Bill showed that reformers would indeed receive a hearing at parliamentary level with a good chance of success. Meanwhile, a steady stream of observers from the Continent commented on the English political culture. Liberal and radical observers noted the servility of the English lower classes, the obsession everyone had with rank and title, the extravagance of the aristocracy, a supposed anti-intellectualism, and a pervasive hypocrisy that extended into such areas as social reform. There were not so many conservative visitors. They praised the stability of English society, its ancient constitution, and reverence for the past; they ignored the negative effects of industrialization.

WARFARE AND FINANCE

From 1700 to 1850, Britain was involved in 137 wars or rebellions. It maintained a relatively large and expensive Royal Navy
Royal Navy
, along with a small standing army. When the need arose for soldiers it hired mercenaries or financed allies who fielded armies. The rising costs of warfare forced a shift in government financing from the income from royal agricultural estates and special imposts and taxes to reliance on customs and excise taxes and, after 1790, an income tax. Working with bankers in the City, the government raised large loans during wartime and paid them off in peacetime. The rise in taxes amounted to 20% of national income, but the private sector benefited from the increase in economic growth. The demand for war supplies stimulated the industrial sector, particularly naval supplies, munitions and textiles, which gave Britain an advantage in international trade during the postwar years.

The French Revolution polarized British political opinion in the 1790s, with conservatives outraged at the killing of the king, the expulsion of the nobles, and the Reign of Terror . Britain was at war against France almost continuously from 1793 until the final defeat of Napoleon
Napoleon
in 1815. Conservatives castigated every radical opinion in Britain as "Jacobin" (in reference to the leaders of the Terror ), warning that radicalism threatened an upheaval of British society. The Anti- Jacobin sentiment, well expressed by Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
and many popular writers was strongest among the landed gentry and the upper classes.

BRITISH EMPIRE

Main article: British Empire
British Empire
Lord Clive meeting with Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey , by Francis Hayman (c. 1762).

The Seven Years\' War , which began in 1756, was the first war waged on a global scale, fought in Europe, India, North America, the Caribbean, the Philippines and coastal Africa. The signing of the Treaty of Paris (1763) had important consequences for Britain and its empire. In North America, France's future as a colonial power there was effectively ended with the ceding of New France
New France
to Britain (leaving a sizeable French-speaking population under British control) and Louisiana to Spain. Spain ceded Florida
Florida
to Britain. In India, the Carnatic War had left France still in control of its enclaves but with military restrictions and an obligation to support British client states, effectively leaving the future of India
India
to Britain. The British victory over France in the Seven Years' War therefore left Britain as the world's dominant colonial power.

During the 1760s and 1770s, relations between the Thirteen Colonies and Britain became increasingly strained, primarily because of opposition to Parliament's repeated attempts to tax American colonists without their consent. Disagreement turned to violence and in 1775 the American Revolutionary War began. In 1776 the Patriots expelled royal officials and declared the independence of the United States of America . After capturing a British invasion army in 1777, the US formed an alliance with France (and in turn Spain aided France), evening out the military balance. The British army controlled only a handful of coastal cities. 1780–81 was a low point for Britain. Taxes and deficits were high, government corruption was pervasive, and the war in America was entering its sixth year with no apparent end in sight. The Gordon Riots
Gordon Riots
erupted in London during the spring of 1781, in response to increased concessions to Catholics by Parliament. In October 1781 Lord Cornwallis
Lord Cornwallis
surrendered his army at Yorktown, Virginia . The Treaty of Paris
Paris
was signed in 1783, formally terminating the war and recognising the independence of the United States. British general John Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga (1777), painting by John Trumbull 1822

The loss of the Thirteen Colonies, at the time Britain's most populous colonies, marked the transition between the "first" and "second" empires, in which Britain shifted its attention to Asia, the Pacific and later Africa. Adam Smith
Adam Smith
's _ Wealth of Nations
Wealth of Nations
_, published in 1776, had argued that colonies were redundant, and that free trade should replace the old mercantilist policies that had characterised the first period of colonial expansion, dating back to the protectionism of Spain and Portugal. The growth of trade between the newly independent United States and Britain after 1783 confirmed Smith's view that political control was not necessary for economic success.

During its first 100 years of operation, the focus of the British East India
India
Company had been trade, not the building of an empire in India. Company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power and the British East India
India
Company struggled with its French counterpart, the _La Compagnie française des Indes orientales _, during the Carnatic Wars of the 1740s and 1750s. The British, led by Robert Clive
Robert Clive
, defeated the French and their Indian allies in the Battle of Plassey , leaving the Company in control of Bengal
Bengal
and a major military and political power in India. In the following decades it gradually increased the size of the territories under its control, either ruling directly or indirectly via local puppet rulers under the threat of force of the Indian Army
Indian Army
, 80% of which was composed of native Indian sepoys . Voyages of the explorer James Cook
James Cook

On 22 August 1770, James Cook
James Cook
discovered the eastern coast of Australia
Australia
while on a scientific voyage to the South Pacific. In 1778, Joseph Banks , Cook's botanist on the voyage, presented evidence to the government on the suitability of Botany Bay for the establishment of a penal settlement, and in 1787 the first shipment of convicts set sail, arriving in 1788. British Empire
British Empire
in 1921

The British government had somewhat mixed reactions to the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, and when war broke out on the Continent in 1792, it initially remained neutral. But the following January, Louis XVI
Louis XVI
was beheaded. This combined with a threatened invasion of the Netherlands by France spurred Britain to declare war. For the next 23 years, the two nations were at war except for a short period in 1802–1803. Britain alone among the nations of Europe never submitted to or formed an alliance with France. Throughout the 1790s, the British repeatedly defeated the navies of France and its allies, but were unable to perform any significant land operations. An Anglo-Russian invasion of the Netherlands in 1799 accomplished little except the capture of the Dutch fleet.

At the threshold to the 19th century, Britain was challenged again by France under Napoleon
Napoleon
, in a struggle that, unlike previous wars, represented a contest of ideologies between the two nations: the constitutional monarchy of Great Britain
Great Britain
versus the liberal principles of the French Revolution ostensibly championed by the Napoleonic empire. It was not only Britain's position on the world stage that was threatened: Napoleon
Napoleon
threatened invasion of Britain itself, and with it, a fate similar to the countries of continental Europe that his armies had overrun.

1800 TO 1837

Main article: United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland
Ireland
Further information: Georgian era
Georgian era
, British Regency
British Regency
, Victorian era , British Empire , and History of British society § Georgian society

UNION WITH IRELAND

The Flag of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
is based on the flags of England , Scotland
Scotland
and the saltire of the Order of St Patrick (not the flag of Ireland
Ireland
) Main article: Act of Union 1800

On 1 January 1801, the first day of the 19th century, the Great Britain and Ireland
Ireland
joined to form the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland
Ireland
.

Events that culminated in the union with Ireland
Ireland
had spanned several centuries. Invasions from England
England
by the ruling Normans from 1170 led to centuries of strife in Ireland
Ireland
and successive Kings of England sought both to conquer and pillage Ireland, imposing their rule by force throughout the entire island. In the early 17th century, large-scale settlement by Protestant settlers from both Scotland
Scotland
and England
England
began, especially in the province of Ulster
Ulster
, seeing the displacement of many of the native Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Irish inhabitants of this part of Ireland. Since the time of the first Norman invaders from England, Ireland
Ireland
has been subject to control and regulation, firstly by England
England
then latterly by Great Britain.

After the Irish Rebellion of 1641 , Irish Roman Catholics were banned from voting or attending the Irish Parliament . The new English Protestant ruling class was known as the Protestant Ascendancy . Towards the end of the 18th century the entirely Protestant Irish Parliament attained a greater degree of independence from the British Parliament than it had previously held. Under the Penal Laws no Irish Catholic could sit in the Parliament of Ireland , even though some 90% of Ireland's population was native Irish Catholic when the first of these bans was introduced in 1691. This ban was followed by others in 1703 and 1709 as part of a comprehensive system disadvantaging the Catholic community, and to a lesser extent Protestant dissenters. In 1798, many members of this dissenter tradition made common cause with Catholics in a rebellion inspired and led by the Society of United Irishmen . It was staged with the aim of creating a fully independent Ireland
Ireland
as a state with a republican constitution. Despite assistance from France the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was put down by British forces. Henry Grattan, an Irish politician who opposed the union with Britain

Possibly influenced by the War of American Independence (1775–1783), a united force of Irish volunteers used their influence to campaign for greater independence for the Irish Parliament. This was granted in 1782, giving free trade and legislative independence to Ireland. However, the French revolution had encouraged the increasing calls for moderate constitutional reform . The Society of United Irishmen , made up of Presbyterians from Belfast
Belfast
and both Anglicans and Catholics in Dublin
Dublin
, campaigned for an end to British domination. Their leader Theobald Wolfe Tone (1763–98) worked with the Catholic Convention of 1792 which demanded an end to the penal laws . Failing to win the support of the British government, he travelled to Paris
Paris
, encouraging a number of French naval forces to land in Ireland
Ireland
to help with the planned insurrections. These were slaughtered by government forces, but these rebellions convinced the British under Prime Minister William Pitt that the only solution was to end Irish independence once and for all.

The legislative union of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland
Ireland
was brought about by the Act of Union 1800, creating the " United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland
Ireland
". The Act was passed in both the Parliament of Great Britain
Great Britain
and the Parliament of Ireland , dominated by the Protestant Ascendancy and lacking representation of the country's Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
population. Substantial majorities were achieved, and according to contemporary documents this was assisted by bribery in the form of the awarding of peerages and honours to opponents to gain their votes. Under the terms of the merger, the separate Parliaments of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland
Ireland
were abolished, and replaced by a united Parliament of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
. Ireland
Ireland
thus became an integral part of the United Kingdom, sending around 100 MPs to the House of Commons at Westminster and 28 representative peers to the House of Lords, elected from among their number by the Irish peers themselves, except that Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
peers were not permitted to take their seats in the Lords. Part of the trade-off for the Irish Catholics was to be the granting of Catholic Emancipation , which had been fiercely resisted by the all-Anglican Irish Parliament. However, this was blocked by King George III
George III
, who argued that emancipating the Roman Catholics would breach his Coronation Oath
Coronation Oath
. The Roman Catholic hierarchy had endorsed the Union. However the decision to block Catholic Emancipation fatally undermined the appeal of the Union.

NAPOLEONIC WARS

Main article: The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars

During the War of the Second Coalition (1799–1801), Britain occupied most of the French and Dutch colonies (the Netherlands had been a satellite of France since 1796), but tropical diseases claimed the lives of over 40,000 troops. When the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain was forced to return most of the colonies. The peace settlement was in effect only a ceasefire, and Napoleon
Napoleon
continued to provoke the British by attempting a trade embargo on the country and by occupying the German city of Hanover
Hanover
(a fief of the British crown). In May 1803, war was declared again. Napoleon's plans to invade Britain failed due to the inferiority of his navy, and in 1805, Lord Nelson's fleet decisively defeated the French and Spanish at Trafalgar, which was the last significant naval action of the Napoleonic Wars. _ The British HMS Sandwich_ fires to the French flagship _Bucentaure _ (completely dismasted) into battle off Trafalgar . The _Bucentaure_ also fights HMS _Victory_ (behind her) and HMS _Temeraire_ (left side of the picture). In fact, HMS _Sandwich_ never fought at Trafalgar, it's a mistake from Auguste Mayer , the painter.

The series of naval and colonial conflicts, including a large number of minor naval actions, resembled those of the French Revolutionary Wars and the preceding centuries of European warfare. Conflicts in the Caribbean, and in particular the seizure of colonial bases and islands throughout the wars, could potentially have some effect upon the European conflict. The Napoleonic conflict had reached the point at which subsequent historians could talk of a "world war ". Only the Seven Years\' War offered a precedent for widespread conflict on such a scale.

In 1806, Napoleon
Napoleon
issued the series of Berlin Decrees , which brought into effect the Continental System
Continental System
. This policy aimed to weaken the British export economy closing French-controlled territory to its trade. The British army remained a minimal threat to France; the British standing army of just 220,000 at the height of the Napoleonic Wars hardly compared to France's army of a million men—in addition to the armies of numerous allies and several hundred thousand national guardsmen that Napoleon
Napoleon
could draft into the military if necessary. Although the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
effectively disrupted France's extra-continental trade—both by seizing and threatening French shipping and by seizing French colonial possessions—it could do nothing about France's trade with the major continental economies and posed little threat to French territory in Europe. In addition, France's population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of Britain.

Many in the French government believed that isolating Britain from the Continent would end its economic influence over Europe and isolate it. Though the French designed the Continental System
Continental System
to achieve this, it never succeeded in its objective. Britain possessed the greatest industrial capacity in Europe, and its mastery of the seas allowed it to build up considerable economic strength through trade to its possessions from its rapidly expanding new Empire. Britain's naval supremacy meant that France could never enjoy the peace necessary to consolidate its control over Europe, and it could threaten neither the home islands nor the main British colonies.

The Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent. The Duke of Wellington and his army of British and Portuguese gradually pushed the French out of Spain and in early 1814, as Napoleon
Napoleon
was being driven back in the east by the Prussians, Austrians, and Russians, Wellington invaded southern France. After Napoleon's surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned, but when he escaped back into France in 1815, the British and their allies had to fight him again. The armies of Wellington and Von Blucher defeated Napoleon
Napoleon
once and for all at Waterloo.

Financing The War

A key element in British success was its ability to mobilize the nation’s industrial and financial resources and apply them to defeating France. With a population of 16 million Britain was barely half the size of France with 30 million. In terms of soldiers the French numerical advantage was offset by British subsidies that paid for a large proportion of the Austrian and Russian soldiers, peaking at about 450,000 in 1813. Most important, the British national output remained strong and the well-organized business sector channeled products into what the military needed. The system of smuggling finished products into the continent undermined French efforts to ruin the British economy by cutting off markets. The British budget in 1814 reached £66 million, including £10 million for the Navy, £40 million for the Army, £10 million for the Allies, and £38 million as interest on the national debt. The national debt soared to £679 million, more than double the GDP. It was willingly supported by hundreds of thousands of investors and tax payers, despite the higher taxes on land and a new income tax. The whole cost of the war came to £831 million. By contrast the French financial system was inadequate and Napoleon’s forces had to rely in part on requisitions from conquered lands.

Napoleon
Napoleon
also attempted economic warfare against Britain, especially in the Berlin Decree of 1806. It forbade the import of British goods into European countries allied with or dependent upon France, and installed the Continental System
Continental System
in Europe. All connections were to be cut, even the mail. British merchants smuggled in many goods and the Continental System
Continental System
was not a powerful weapon of economic war. There was some damage to Britain, especially in 1808 and 1811, but its control of the oceans helped ameliorate the damage. Even more damage was done to the economies of France and its allies, which lost a useful trading partner. Angry governments gained an incentive to ignore the Continental System, which led to the weakening of Napoleon's coalition.

War Of 1812 With United States

Signing of the Treaty of Ghent (December 1812) with the U.S. diplomats

Simultaneous with the Napoleonic Wars, trade disputes and British impressment of American sailors led to the War of 1812
War of 1812
with the United States. The "second war of independence" for the American, it was little noticed in Britain, where all attention was focused on the struggle with France. The British could devote few resources to the conflict until the fall of Napoleon
Napoleon
in 1814. American frigates also inflicted a series of embarrassing defeats on the British navy, which was short on manpower due to the conflict in Europe. A stepped-up war effort that year brought about some successes such as the burning of Washington, but many influential voices such as the Duke of Wellington argued that an outright victory over the US was impossible.

Peace was agreed to at the end of 1814, but Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
, unaware of this, won a great victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815 (news took several weeks to cross the Atlantic before the advent of steam ships). Ratification of the Treaty of Ghent ended the war in February 1815. The major result was the permanent defeat of the Indian allies the British had counted upon. The US- Canada
Canada
border was demilitarised by both countries, and peaceful trade resumed, although worries of an American conquest of Canada persisted into the 1860s.

GEORGE IV AND WILLIAM IV

Britain emerged from the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
a very different country than it had been in 1793. As industrialisation progressed, society changed, becoming more urban and less rural. The postwar period saw an economic slump, and poor harvests and inflation caused widespread social unrest. Europe after 1815 was on guard against a return of Jacobinism, and even liberal Britain saw the passage of the Six Acts in 1819, which proscribed radical activities. By the end of the 1820s, along with a general economic recovery, many of these repressive laws were repealed and in 1828 new legislation guaranteed the civil rights of religious dissenters.

A weak ruler as regent (1811–20) and king (1820–30), George IV let his ministers take full charge of government affairs, playing a far lesser role than his father, George III. The principle now became established that the king accepts as prime minister the person who wins a majority in the House of Commons, whether the king personally favors him or not. His governments, with little help from the king, presided over victory in the Napoleonic Wars, negotiated the peace settlement, and attempted to deal with the social and economic malaise that followed. His brother William IV ruled (1830–37), but was little involved in politics. His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all the British Empire
British Empire
, and, most important, the Reform Act 1832 refashioned the British electoral system.

There were no major wars until the Crimean War of 1853–56. While Prussia, Austria, and Russia, as absolute monarchies, tried to suppress liberalism wherever it might occur, the British came to terms with new ideas. Britain intervened in Portugal in 1826 to defend a constitutional government there and recognising the independence of Spain's American colonies in 1824. British merchants and financiers, and later railway builders, played major roles in the economies of most Latin American nations. The British intervened in 1827 on the side of the Greeks, who had been waging a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
since 1824.

WHIG REFORMS OF THE 1830S

The Whig Party recovered its strength and unity by supporting moral reforms, especially the reform of the electoral system, the abolition of slavery and emancipation of the Catholics. Catholic emancipation was secured in the Catholic Relief Act of 1829, which removed the most substantial restrictions on Roman Catholics in Britain.

The Whigs became champions of Parliamentary reform. They made Lord Grey prime minister 1830–1834, and the Reform Act of 1832 became their signature measure. It broadened the franchise and ended the system of "rotten borough" and "pocket boroughs" (where elections were controlled by powerful families), and instead redistributed power on the basis of population. It added 217,000 voters to an electorate of 435,000 in England
England
and Wales. The main effect of the act was to weaken the power of the landed gentry, and enlarge the power of the professional and business middle-class, which now for the first time had a significant voice in Parliament. However, the great majority of manual workers, clerks, and farmers did not have enough property to qualify to vote. The aristocracy continued to dominate the government, the Army and Royal Navy, and high society. After parliamentary investigations demonstrated the horrors of child labour, limited reforms were passed in 1833.

Chartism emerged after the 1832 Reform Bill failed to give the vote to the working class. Activists denounced the 'betrayal' of the working class and the 'sacrificing' of their 'interests' by the 'misconduct' of the government. In 1838, Chartists issued the People's Charter demanding manhood suffrage, equal sized election districts, voting by ballots, payment of MPs (so poor men could serve), annual Parliaments, and abolition of property requirements. Elites saw the movement as pathological, so the Chartists were unable to force serious constitutional debate. Historians see Chartism as both a continuation of the 18th century fight against corruption and as a new stage in demands for democracy in an industrial society.

In 1832 Parliament abolished slavery in the Empire with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 . The government purchased the slaves for £20,000,000 (the money went to rich plantation owners who mostly lived in England), and freed the slaves, especially those in the Caribbean
Caribbean
sugar islands.

LEADERSHIP

The ten prime ministers under Victoria included: Lord Melbourne , Sir Robert Peel
Robert Peel
, Lord John Russell , Lord Derby , Lord Aberdeen , Lord Palmerston , Benjamin Disraeli , William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
, Lord Salisbury , and Lord Rosebery . The aristocracy remained dominant: there were 200 hereditary peers in the House of Lords in 1860; by 1837 they numbered 428; in 1901, there were 592. The number rose to 622 by 1910. Reform legislation in 1832, 1867, 1884 and 1918 weakened the aristocracy in terms of its control of the House of Commons. However, it ran the government: of the 10 prime ministers under Victoria, six were peers. The seventh was the son of a duke. Two (Peel and Gladstone) emerged from the business community and only one (Disraeli) was a self-made man. Of the 227 cabinet members between 1832 and 1905, 139 were sons of peers.

Prime Ministers of the period included: William Pitt the Younger , Lord Grenville , Duke of Portland , Spencer Perceval , Lord Liverpool , George Canning
George Canning
, Lord Goderich , Duke of Wellington , Lord Grey , Lord Melbourne , and Sir Robert Peel
Robert Peel
.

VICTORIAN ERA

Main article: Victorian era Queen Victoria (1837–1901)

Victoria became queen in 1837 at age 18. Her long reign until 1901 saw Britain reach the zenith of its economic and political power. Exciting new technologies such as steam ships, railroads, photography, and telegraphs appeared, making the world much faster-paced. Britain again remained mostly inactive in Continental politics, and it was not affected by the wave of revolutions in 1848. The Victorian era saw the fleshing out of the second British Empire
British Empire
. Scholars debate whether the Victorian period—as defined by a variety of sensibilities and political concerns that have come to be associated with the Victorians—actually begins with her coronation or the earlier passage of the Reform Act 1832
Reform Act 1832
. The era was preceded by the Regency era and succeeded by the Edwardian period .

Historians like Bernard Porter have characterized the mid-Victorian era, (1850–1870) as Britain's 'Golden Years.'. There was peace and prosperity, as the national income per person grew by half. Much of the prosperity was due to the increasing industrialization, especially in textiles and machinery, as well as to the worldwide network of trade and engineering that produce profits for British merchants and experts from across the globe. There was peace abroad (apart from the short Crimean war, 1854–56), and social peace at home. Opposition to the new order melted away, says Porter. The Chartist movement, peaked as a democratic movement among the working class in 1848; its leaders moved to other pursuits, such as trade unions and cooperative societies. The working class ignored foreign agitators like Karl Marx in their midst, and joined in celebrating the new prosperity. Employers typically were paternalistic, and generally recognized the trade unions. Companies provided their employees with welfare services ranging from housing, schools and churches, to libraries, baths, and gymnasia. Middle-class reformers did their best to assist the working classes aspire to middle-class norms of 'respectability.'

There was a spirit of libertarianism, says Porter, as people felt they were free. Taxes were very low, and government restrictions were minimal. There were still problem areas, such as occasional riots, especially those motivated by anti-Catholicism. Society was still ruled by the aristocracy and the gentry, which controlled high government offices, both houses of Parliament, the church, and the military. Becoming a rich businessman was not as prestigious as inheriting a title and owning a landed estate. Literature was doing well, but the fine arts languished as the Great Exhibition of 1851 showcased Britain's industrial prowess rather than its sculpture, painting or music. The educational system was mediocre; the capstone universities (outside Scotland) were likewise mediocre. Historian Llewellyn Woodward has concluded: For leisure or work, for getting or spending, England
England
was a better country in 1879 than in 1815. The scales were less weighted against the weak, against women and children, and against the poor. There was greater movement, and less of the fatalism of an earlier age. The public conscience was more instructed, and the content of liberty was being widened to include something more than freedom from political constraint.... Yet England in 1871 was by no means an earthly paradise. The housing and conditions of life of the working class in town that lasted until the rise of the United States and Germany in the 1890s. Using the imperial tools of free trade and financial investment, it exerted major influence on many countries outside Europe, especially in Latin America and Asia. Thus Britain had both a formal Empire based on British rule and an informal one based on the British pound.

Russia, France And The Ottoman Empire

Main articles: Eastern Question and Crimean War

One nagging fear was the possible collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It was well understood that a collapse of that country would set off a scramble for its territory and possibly plunge Britain into war. To head that off Britain sought to keep the Russians from occupying Constantinople and taking over the Bosporous Straits, as well as from threatening India
India
via Afghanistan. In 1853, Britain and France intervened in the Crimean War against Russia. Despite mediocre generalship, they managed to capture the Russian port of Sevastopol, compelling Tsar Alexander II to ask for peace. A second Russo-Ottoman war in 1877 led to another European intervention, although this time at the negotiating table. The Congress of Berlin blocked Russia from imposing the harsh Treaty of San Stefano on the Ottoman Empire. Despite its alliance with the French in the Crimean War, Britain viewed the Second Empire of Napoleon
Napoleon
III with some distrust, especially as the emperor constructed ironclad warships and began returning France to a more active foreign policy. But after Napoleon's downfall in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, he was allowed to spend his last years exiled in Britain.

American Civil War

During the American Civil War (1861–1865), British leaders personally disliked American republicanism and favoured the more aristocratic Confederacy, as it had been a major source of cotton for textile mills. Prince Albert was effective in defusing a war scare in late 1861 . The British people, who depended heavily on American food imports, generally favoured the United States. What little cotton was available came from New York, as the blockade by the US Navy shut down 95% of Southern exports to Britain. In September 1862, during the Confederate invasion of Maryland , Britain (along with France) contemplated stepping in and negotiating a peace settlement, which could only mean war with the United States. But in the same month, US president Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
announced the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
. Since support of the Confederacy now meant support for slavery, there was no longer any possibility of European intervention.

Meanwhile, the British sold arms to both sides, built blockade runners for a lucrative trade with the Confederacy, and surreptitiously allowed warships to be built for the Confederacy. The warships caused a major diplomatic row that was resolved in the Alabama Claims in 1872, in the Americans' favour.

Empire Expands

In 1867, Britain united most of its North American colonies as the Dominion of Canada , giving it self-government and responsibility for its internal affairs. Britain handled foreign policy and defense.

The second half of the 19th century saw a huge expansion of Britain's colonial empire in Asia. In the "Scramble for Africa", the boast was having the Union Jack flying from "Cairo to Cape Town." Britain defend its empire with the world's dominant navy, and a small professional army. It was the only power in Europe to have no conscription.

The rise of the German Empire
German Empire
after 1871 posed a new challenge, for it (along with the United States) threatened to take Britain's place as the world's foremost industrial power. Germany acquired a number of colonies in Africa and the Pacific, but Chancellor Otto von Bismarck succeeded in achieving general peace through his balance of power strategy. When William II became emperor in 1888, he discarded Bismarck, began using bellicose language, and planned to build a navy to rival Britain's.

BOER WAR

Main article: Second Boer War

Ever since Britain had taken control of South Africa from the Netherlands in the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
, it had run afoul of the Dutch settlers who further away and created two republics of their own. The British imperial vision called for control over the new countries and the Dutch-speaking "Boers" (or "Afrikaners") fought back in the War in 1899–1902 . Outgunned by a mighty empire, the Boers waged a guerilla war, which gave the British regulars a difficult fight, but weight of numbers, superior equipment, and often brutal tactics eventually brought about a British victory. The war had been costly in human rights and was widely criticised by Liberals in Britain and worldwide. However, the United States gave its support. The Boer republics were merged into Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
in 1910; it had internal self-government but its foreign policy was controlled by London and was an integral part of the British Empire.

The severe difficulty in defeating the Boers Had a series of repercussions inside but. In military terms, it was clear that the Cardwell reforms have been inadequate. The call to establish a general staff to control military operations had been shelved by the Duke of Cambridge, himself a royal with enormous authority. It took a five more years to set up a general staff and other Army reforms, under the administration of Lord Haldane . The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
was now threatened by rapid growth and high-tech analogy by Germany. Britain responded by a massive building program launched in 1904 by the highly controversial First Sea Lord, Sir John Fisher . He launched the _HMS Dreadnought _ in 1906. It was the first modern battleship based on new armour. new propulsion, new guns and gunnery that made all other warships obsolete. The war proves that Britain was not loved around the world – again more enemies than friends and its policy of "splendid isolation " Was one of high risks. It needed new friends, and made a military alliance with Japan, and buried old controversies to make a close relationship with the United States.

Free Trade
Trade
Imperialism

Britain in addition to taking control of new territories, developed an enormous power in economic and financial affairs in numerous independent countries, especially in Latin America and Asia. It lent money, built railways, and engaged in trade. The Great London Exhibition of 1851 clearly demonstrated Britain's dominance in engineering, communications and industry; that lasted until the rise of the United States and Germany in the 1890s.

In 1890–1902 under Salisbury Britain promoted a policy of Splendid isolation with no formal allies.

IRELAND AND HOME RULE

Main articles: History of Ireland (1801–1922) and Great Famine (Ireland)

Part of the agreement which led to the 1800 Act of Union stipulated that the Penal Laws in Ireland
Ireland
were to be repealed and Catholic Emancipation granted. However King George III
George III
blocked emancipation, arguing that to grant it would break his coronation oath to defend the Anglican Church . A campaign under lawyer and politician Daniel O\'Connell , and the death of George III, led to the concession of Catholic Emancipation in 1829, allowing Catholics to sit in Parliament. O'Connell then mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the Repeal of the Act of Union.

When potato blight hit the island in 1846, much of the rural population was left without food. Relief efforts were inadequate and hundreds of thousands died in the Great Hunger . Millions more migrated to England, or to North America. Ireland
Ireland
became permanently smaller in terms of population

Isaac Butt established a new moderate nationalist movement, the Home Rule League , in the 1870s. It became the Irish Parliamentary Party , a major political force under the guidance of William Shaw and a radical young Protestant landowner, Charles Stewart Parnell
Charles Stewart Parnell
. It dominated Irish politics, reaching from conservative landowners to the Land League which was campaigning for fundamental reform of Irish landholding, where most farms were held on rental from large estates.

Parnell's movement campaigned for 'Home Rule', by which they meant that Ireland
Ireland
would govern itself as a region within the United Kingdom, in contrast to O'Connell who wanted complete independence subject to a shared monarch and Crown. Two Home Rule Bills (1886 and 1893) were introduced by Liberal Prime Minister Gladstone, but neither became law. The issue divided Ireland, for a significant unionist minority (largely though by no means exclusively based in Ulster
Ulster
), opposed Home Rule, fearing that a Catholic-Nationalist parliament in Dublin
Dublin
would discriminate against them and would also impose tariffs on industry; while most of Ireland
Ireland
was primarily agricultural, six counties in Ulster
Ulster
were the location of heavy industry and would be affected by any tariff barriers imposed. Parliament passed laws in 1870, 1881, 1903 and 1909 that enabled most tenant farmers to purchase their lands, and lowered the rents of the others.

LEADERSHIP

Historically, the aristocracy was divided between Conservatives and Liberals. However, when Gladstone committed to home rule for Ireland, Britain's upper classes largely abandoned the Liberal party, giving the Conservatives a large permanent majority in the House of Lords. High Society in London, following the Queen, largely ostracized home rulers, and Liberal clubs were badly split. Joseph Chamberlain took a major element of upper-class supporters out of the Party and into a third party called "Liberal Unionism" that collaborated with and eventually merged into the Conservative party. The Gladstonian liberals in 1891 adopted The Newcastle Programme that included home rule for Ireland, disestablishment of the Church of England
England
in Wales and Scotland, tighter controls on the sale of liquor, major extension of factory regulation, and various democratic political reforms. The Programme had a strong appeal to the Nonconformist middle-class Liberal element, which felt liberated by the departure of the aristocracy.

Queen Victoria

The Queen played a small role in politics, but became the iconic symbol of the nation, the empire, and proper, restrained behaviour. Her strength lay in good common sense and directness of character; she expressed the qualities of the British nation which at that time made it preeminent in the world. As a symbol of domesticity, endurance and Empire, and as a woman holding the highest public office during an age when middle- and upper-class women were expected to beautify the home while men dominated the public sphere, Queen Victoria's influence has been enduring. Her success as ruler was due to the power of the self-images she successively portrayed of innocent young woman, devoted wife and mother, suffering and patient widow, and grandmotherly matriarch.

Palmerston

Lord Palmerston (1784–1865) dominated foreign policy for decades, through a period when Britain was at the height of its power, serving terms as both Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. He became controversial at the time, and remains so today, for his aggressive bullying and his "liberal interventionist" policies. He was intensely patriotic; he used the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
to undermine the Atlantic slave trade. Historian A.J.P. Taylor has summarised his career by emphasising the paradoxes: He became the most successful of Whig Foreign Secretaries; though always a Conservative, he ended his life by presiding over the transition from Whiggism to Liberalism. He was the exponent of British strength, yet was driven from office for truckling to a foreign despot; he preached the Balance of Power, yet helped to inaugurate the policy of isolation and of British withdrawal from Europe. Irresponsible and flippant, he became the first hero of the serious middle-class electorate. He reached high office solely through an irregular family connection; he retained it through skillful use of the press—the only Prime Minister to become an accomplished leader-writer.

Disraeli

Disraeli

Disraeli and Gladstone dominated the politics of the late 19th century, Britain's golden age of parliamentary government. They long were idolized, but historians in recent decades have become much more critical, especially regarding Disraeli.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), prime minister 1868 and 1874–80 , remains an iconic hero of the Conservative Party . He played a central role in the creation the Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal leader William Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or "Tory democracy". He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire
British Empire
. He was born into a Jewish family, which became Episcopalian when he was 12 years old.

Disraeli fought to protect established political, social, and religious values and elites; he emphasized the need for national leadership in response to radicalism, uncertainty, and materialism. He is especially known for his enthusiastic support for expanding and strengthening the British Empire
British Empire
in India
India
and Africa as the foundation of British greatness, in contrast to Gladstone's negative attitude toward imperialism. Gladstone denounced Disraeli's policies of territorial aggrandizement, military pomp, and imperial symbolism (such as making the Queen Empress of India), saying it did not fit a modern commercial and Christian nation.

In foreign policy he is best known for battling and besting Russia. Disraeli's second term was dominated by the Eastern Question —the slow decay of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and the desire of Russia, to gain at its expense. Disraeli arranged for the British to purchase a major interest in the Suez Canal Company
Suez Canal Company
(in Ottoman-controlled Egypt). In 1878, faced with Russian victories against the Ottomans, he worked at the Congress of Berlin to maintain peace in the Balkans and made terms favourable to Britain which weakened Russia, its longstanding enemy.

Disraeli's old reputation as the "Tory democrat" and promoter of the welfare state has faded as historians argue that he had few proposals for social legislation in 1874–80, and that the 1867 Reform Act did not reflect a vision for the unenfranchised working man. However he did work to reduce class antagonism, for as Perry notes, "When confronted with specific problems, he sought to reduce tension between town and country, landlords and farmers, capital and labour, and warring religious sects in Britain and Ireland—in other words, to create a unifying synthesis."

Gladstone

Gladstone

William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
(1809–1898) was the Liberal counterpart to Disraeli, serving as prime minister four times (1868–74, 1880–85, 1886, and 1892–94) . He was the moral compass of the Liberal Party and is famous for his oratory, his religiosity, his liberalism, his rivalry with Disraeli, and for his poor relations with the Queen. Gladstone's first ministry saw many reforms including Disestablishment of the Protestant Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
and the introduction of secret voting . His party was defeated in 1874, but made a comeback based on opposition to Turkey's Bulgarian atrocities against Christians. Gladstone's Midlothian Campaign of 1879–80 was an pathbreaking introduction of many modern political campaigning techniques. His Liberal party was increasingly pulled apart on the Irish issue. He proposed Irish home rule in 1886; It failed to pass and the resulting split in the Liberal Party kept it out of office for 20 years (with only a short interruption).

Gladstone's financial policies, based on the notion of balanced budgets, low taxes and laissez-faire , were suited to a developing capitalist society but could not respond effectively as economic and social conditions changed. Called the "Grand Old Man" later in life, he was always a dynamic popular orator who appealed strongly to British workers and lower middle class. The deeply religious Gladstone brought a new moral tone to politics with his evangelical sensibility and opposition to aristocracy. His moralism often angered his upper-class opponents (including Queen Victoria, who strongly favoured Disraeli), and his heavy-handed control split the Liberal party. His foreign policy goal was to create a European order based on cooperation rather than conflict and mutual trust instead of rivalry and suspicion; the rule of law was to supplant the reign of force and self-interest. This Gladstonian concept of a harmonious Concert of Europe was opposed to and ultimately defeated by the Germans with a Bismarckian system of manipulated alliances and antagonisms.

Historian Walter L. Arnstein concludes: Notable as the Gladstonian reforms had been, they had almost all remained within the nineteenth-century Liberal tradition of gradually removing the religious, economic, and political barriers that prevented men of varied creeds and classes from exercising their individual talents in order to improve themselves and their society. As the third quarter of the century drew to a close, the essential bastions of Victorianism still held firm: respectability; a government of aristocrats and gentlemen now influenced not only by middle-class merchants and manufacturers but also by industrious working people; a prosperity that seemed to rest largely on the tenets of laissez-faire economics; and a Britannia that ruled the waves and many a dominion beyond.

Disraeli-Gladstone Rivalry

Historical writers have often played Disraeli and Gladstone against each other as great rivals. Roland Quinault, however, cautions us not to exaggerate the confrontation: they were not direct antagonists for most of their political careers. Indeed, initially they were both loyal to the Tory party, the Church and the landed interest. Although their paths diverged over the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 and later over fiscal policy more generally, it was not until the later 1860s that their differences over parliamentary reform, Irish and Church policy assumed great partisan significance. Even then their personal relations remained fairly cordial until their dispute over the Eastern Question in the later 1870s.

Salisbury

Historians agree that Lord Salisbury (1830–1903) as foreign minister and prime minister in the late 19th century was a strong and effective leader in foreign affairs. He had a superb grasp of the issues, and proved: a patient, pragmatic practitioner, with a keen understanding of Britain's historic interests....He oversaw the partition of Africa, the emergence of Germany and the United States as imperial powers, and the transfer of British attention from the Dardanelles to Suez without provoking a serious confrontation of the great powers.

Historians portray Lord Salisbury as a talented leader who was an icon of traditional, aristocratic conservatism. Robert Blake considers Salisbury "a great foreign minister, essentially negative, indeed reactionary in home affairs". Professor P.T. Marsh’s estimate is more favourable than Blake's, he says Salisbury was a leader who "held back the popular tide for twenty years." Professor Paul Smith argues that, "into the ‘progressive’ strain of modern Conservatism he simply will not fit." Professor H.C.G. Matthew points to "the narrow cynicism of Salisbury". One admirer of Salisbury, Maurice Cowling largely agrees with the critics and says Salisbury found the democracy born of the 1867 and 1884 Reform Acts as "perhaps less objectionable than he had expected—succeeding, through his public persona, in mitigating some part of its nastiness."

EARLY 20TH CENTURY 1901-1918

Prime Ministers from 1900 to 1945: Marquess of Salisbury , Arthur Balfour , Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman , H. H. Asquith , David Lloyd George , Bonar Law
Bonar Law
, Stanley Baldwin , Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay MacDonald
, Stanley Baldwin , Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay MacDonald
, Stanley Baldwin , Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
.

The Liberal Party was in power 1906-1914 (when it formed a wartime coalition). It passed the welfare reforms that created a basic British welfare state. It weakened the veto power of Lords, blocked woman suffrage. In 1914 it apparently "solved" the problem of Irish Home Rule but when the war broke out the solution was shelved. H. H. Asquith was Liberal Prime Minister between 1908 and 1916, followed by David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
, 1916-22. Although Asquith was the Party leader, the dominant Liberal was Lloyd George. Asquith was overwhelmed by the wartime role of coalition prime minister, and Lloyd George replaced him as the coalition prime minister in late 1916 but Asquith remained Liberal party leader. The two fought for years over control of the party, badly weakening it in the process. Historian Martin Pugh in _The Oxford Companion to British History_ argues that Lloyd George: made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th-century leader, thanks to his pre-war introduction of Britain's social welfare system (especially medical insurance, unemployment insurance, and old-age pensions, largely paid for by taxes on high incomes and on the land). Furthermore, in foreign affairs he played a leading role in winning the First World War, redrawing the map of Europe at the peace conference, and partitioning Ireland.

EDWARDIAN ERA 1901–1914

Main article: Edwardian era
Edwardian era

Queen Victoria died in 1901 and her son Edward VII became king, inaugurating the Edwardian Era, which was characterised by great and ostentatious displays of wealth in contrast to the sombre Victorian Era. With the advent of the 20th century, things such as motion pictures, automobiles, and aeroplanes were coming into use. The new century was characterised by a feeling of great optimism. The social reforms of the last century continued into the 20th with the Labour Party being formed in 1900. Edward died in 1910, to be succeeded by George V , who reigned 1910–36. Scandal-free, hard working and popular, George V was the British monarch who, with Queen Mary, established the modern pattern of exemplary conduct for British royalty, based on middle-class values and virtues. He understood the overseas Empire better than any of his prime ministers and used his exceptional memory for figures and details, whether of uniforms, politics, or relations, to good effect in reaching out in conversation with his subjects.

The era was prosperous but political crises were escalating out of control. Dangerfield (1935) identified the "strange death of liberal England" as the multiple crisis that hit simultaneously in 1910–1914 with serious social and political instability arising from the Irish crisis, labor unrest, the women's suffrage movements, and partisan and constitutional struggles in Parliament. At one point it even seemed the Army might refuse orders dealing with Northern Ireland. No solution appeared in sight when the unexpected outbreak of the Great War in 1914 put domestic issues on hold.

McKibben argues that the political party system of the Edwardian era was in delicate balance on the eve of the war in 1914. The Liberals were in power with a progressive alliance of Labour and, off and on, Irish Nationalists. The coalition was committed to free trade (as opposed to the high tariffs the Conservatives sought), free collective bargaining for trades unions (which Conservatives opposed), an active social policy that was forging the welfare state, and constitutional reform to reduce the power of the House of Lords. The coalition lacked a long-term plan, because it was cobbled together from leftovers from the 1890s. The sociological basis was non-Anglican religion and non-English ethnicity rather than the emerging class conflict emphasized by Labour.

WORLD WAR I

Main article: History of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
during World War I
World War I

Britain entered the war because of its implicit support for France, which had entered to support Russia, which in turn had entered to support Serbia. Even more important than that chain of links was Britain's determination to honour its commitment to defend Belgium. Britain was loosely part of the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
with France and Russia, which (with smaller allies) fought the Central Powers
Central Powers
of Germany, Austria and the Ottoman Empire. After a few weeks the Western Front turned into a killing ground in which millions of men died but no army made a large advance.

The stalemate required an endless supply of men and munitions. By 1916, volunteering fell off, the government imposed conscription in Britain (but not in Ireland) to keep up the strength of the Army . After a rough start in industrial mobilisation, Britain replaced prime minister Asquith in December 1916 with the much more dynamic Liberal leader David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
. The nation now successfully mobilised its manpower, womanpower, industry, finances, Empire and diplomacy, in league with France and the U.S. to defeat the enemy. After defeating Russia, the Germans tried to win in the spring of 1918 before the millions of American soldiers arrived. They failed, and they were overwhelmed and finally accepted an Armistice in November 1918, that amounted to a surrender.

Britain eagerly supported the war, but in Ireland
Ireland
the Catholics were restless and plotted a rebellion in 1916. It failed but the brutal repression that followed turned that element against Britain. The economy grew about 14% from 1914 to 1918 despite the absence of so many men in the services; by contrast the German economy shrank 27%. The War saw a decline of civilian consumption, with a major reallocation to munitions. The government share of GDP soared from 8% in 1913 to 38% in 1918 (compared to 50% in 1943). The war forced Britain to use up its financial reserves and borrow large sums from New York banks. After the U.S. entered in April 1917, the Treasury borrowed directly from the U.S. government.

The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
dominated the seas, defeating the smaller German fleet in the only major naval battle of the war, the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Germany was blockaded, leading to an increasing shortage short of food. Germany's naval strategy increasingly turned towards use of U-Boats to strike back against the British, despite the risk of triggering war with the powerful neutral power, the United States. The waters around Britain were declared a war zone where any ship, neutral or otherwise, was a target. After the liner Lusitania was sunk in May 1915, drowning over 100 American passengers, protests by the United States led Germany to abandon unrestricted submarine warfare. With victory over Russia in 1917, Germany now calculated it could finally have numerical superiority on the Western Front. Planning for a massive spring offensive in 1918, it resumed the sinking of all merchant ships without warning. The US entered the war alongside the Allies (without actually joining them), and provided the needed money and supplies to sustain the Allies' war efforts. The U-boat threat was ultimately defeated by a convoy system across the Atlantic.

On other fronts, the British, French, Australians, and Japanese seized Germany's colonies. Britain fought the Ottoman Empire, suffering defeats in the Gallipoli Campaign and in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
, while arousing the Arabs who helped expel the Turks from their lands. Exhaustion and war-weariness were growing worse in 1917, as the fighting in France continued with no end in sight. The German spring offensives of 1918 failed, and with the summer arrival of American soldiers at a rate of 10,000 per day, the Germans realised they were being overwhelmed. Germany agreed to a surrender on 11 November 1918.

Victorian attitudes and ideals that had continued into the first years of the 20th century changed during World War I
World War I
. The army had traditionally never been a large employer in the nation, with the regular army standing at 247,432 at the start of the war. By 1918, there were about five million people in the army and the fledgling Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
, newly formed from the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and the Royal Flying Corps
Royal Flying Corps
(RFC), was about the same size of the pre-war army. The almost three million casualties were known as the "lost generation," and such numbers inevitably left society scarred; but even so, some people felt their sacrifice was little regarded in Britain, with poems like Siegfried Sassoon 's _Blighters_ criticising the ill-informed jingoism of the home front .

POSTWAR SETTLEMENT

The war had been won by Britain and its allies, but at a terrible human and financial cost, creating a sentiment that wars should never be fought again. The League of Nations
League of Nations
was founded with the idea that nations could resolve their differences peacefully, but these hopes were unfulfilled. The harsh peace settlement imposed on Germany would leave it embittered and seeking revenge.

At the Paris
Paris
Peace Conference of 1919, Lloyd George, American President Woodrow Wilson and French premier Georges Clemenceau made all the major decisions. They formed the League of Nations
League of Nations
as a mechanism to prevent future wars. They sliced up the losers to form new nations in Europe, and divided up the German colonies and Ottoman holdings outside Turkey. They imposed what appeared to be heavy financial reparations (but in the event were of modest size). They humiliated Germany by forcing it to declare its guilt for starting the war, a policy that caused deep resentment in Germany and helped fuel reactions such as Nazism. Britain gained the German colony of Tanganyika
Tanganyika
and part of Togoland
Togoland
in Africa, while its dominions added other colonies. Britain gained League of Nations
League of Nations
mandates over Palestine, which had been partly promised as a homeland for Jewish settlers, and Iraq. Iraq became fully independent in 1932. Egypt, which had been a British protectorate since 1882, became independent in 1922, although the British remained there until 1952.

IRISH INDEPENDENCE AND PARTITION

Main articles: Irish Home Rule bills , Partition of Ireland , and Irish War of Independence

In 1912, the House of Lords managed to delay a Home Rule bill passed by the House of Commons. It was enacted as the Government of Ireland Act 1914 . Civil war threatened when the Protestants of Northern Ireland
Ireland
refused to be placed under Catholic control. Semi-military unites were formed ready to fight--the Unionist Ulster
Ulster
Volunteers opposed to the Act and their Catholic counterparts, the Irish Volunteers supporting the Act. The outbreak of the World War in 1914 put the crisis on political hold. A disorganized Easter Rising in 1916 was brutally suppressed by the British, which had the effect of galvanizing Catholic demands for independence. Prime Minister Lloyd George failed to introduce Home Rule in 1918 and in the December 1918 General Election Sinn Féin won a majority of Irish seats. Its MPs refused to take their seats at Westminster, instead choosing to sit in the First Dáil parliament in Dublin. A declaration of independence was ratified by Dáil Éireann , the self-declared Republic's parliament in January 1919. An Anglo-Irish War was fought between Crown forces and the Irish Republican Army between January 1919 and June 1921. The war ended with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 that established the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
. Six northern, predominantly Protestant counties became Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
and have remained part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
ever since, despite demands of the Catholic minority to unite with the Republic of Ireland. Britain officially adopted the name " United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland" by the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 .

INTERWAR ERA 1918-1939

Historian Arthur Marwick sees a radical transformation of British society resulting from the Great War, a deluge that swept away many old attitudes and brought in a more equalitarian society. He sees the famous literary pessimism of the 1920s as misplaced, arguing there were major positive long-term consequences of the war to British society. He points to an energized self-consciousness among workers that quickly built up the Labour Party, the coming of partial woman suffrage, and an acceleration of social reform and state control of the economy. He sees a decline of deference toward the aristocracy and established authority in general, and the weakening among youth of traditional restraints on individual moral behavior. The chaperone faded away; village druggists sold contraceptives. Marwick says that class distinctions softened, national cohesion increased, and British society became more equal.

POPULAR CULTURE

As a leisure, literacy, wealth, ease of travel, and a broadened sense of community grew in Britain from the late 19th century onward, there was more time and interest in leisure activities of all sorts, on the part of all classes. The annual vacation became common. Tourists flocked to seaside resorts; Blackpool
Blackpool
hosted 7 million visitors a year in the 1930s. Organized leisure was primarily a male activity, with middle-class women allowed in at the margins. There were class differences with upper-class clubs, and working-class and middle-class pubs. Heavy drinking declined; there were more competitions that attracted heavy betting. Participation in sports and all sorts of leisure activities increased for the average Englishman, and his interest in spectator sports increased dramatically. By the 1920s the cinema and radio attracted all classes, ages and genders in very large numbers, with young women taking the lead. Working-class men wearing flat caps and eating fish and chips were boisterous football spectators. They sang along at the music hall, fancied their pigeons, gambled on horse racing, and took the family to Blackpool
Blackpool
in summer. The cartoon realization of this life style _ Andy Capp _ began in 1957. Political activists complained that working-class leisure diverted men away from revolutionary agitation.

Cinema And Radio

Film director Alfred Hitchcock, 1955

The British film industry emerged in the 1890s when cinemas in general broke through in the western world, and built heavily on the strong reputation of the London legitimate theater for actors, directors and producers. The problem was that the American market was so much larger and richer. It bought up the top talent, especially when Hollywood came to the fore in the 1920s and produced over 80 percent of the total world output. Efforts to fight back were futile—the government set a quota for British made films, but it failed. Hollywood furthermore dominated the lucrative Canadian and Australian markets. Bollywood
Bollywood
(based in Bombay) dominated the huge Indian market. The most prominent directors remaining in London were Alexander Korda , an expatriate Hungarian, and Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
. There was a revival of creativity in the 1933-45 era, especially with the arrival of Jewish filmmakers and actors fleeing the Nazis. Meanwhile, giant palaces were built for the huge audiences that wanted to see Hollywood films. In Liverpool 40 percent of the population attended one of the 69 cinemas once a week; 25 percent went twice. Traditionalists grumbled about the American cultural invasion, but the permanent impact was minor.

In radio, British audiences had no choice apart from the upscale programming of the BBC, a government agency which had a monopoly on broadcasting. John Reith (1889 – 1971), an intensely moralistic engineer, was in full charge. His goal was to broadcast, "All that is best in every department of human knowledge, endeavor and achievement.... The preservation of a high moral tone is obviously of paramount importance." Reith succeeded in building a high wall against an American-style free-for-all in radio in which the goal was to attract the largest audiences and thereby secure the greatest advertising revenue. There was no paid advertising on the BBC; all the revenue came from a tax on receiving sets. Highbrow audiences, however, greatly enjoyed it. At a time when American, Australian and Canadian stations were drawing huge audiences cheering for their local teams with the broadcast of baseball, rugby and hockey, the BBC emphasized service for a national, rather than a regional audience. Boat races were well covered along with tennis and horse racing, but BBC
BBC
was reluctant to spend its severely limited air time on long football or cricket games, regardless of their popularity.

Sports

Main article: Sport in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom

The British showed a more profound interest in sports, and in greater variety, than any rival. They gave pride of place to such moral issues as sportsmanship and fair play. Cricket became symbolic of the Imperial spirit throughout the Empire. Football proved highly attractive to the urban working classes, which introduced the rowdy spectator to the sports world. In some sports, there was significant controversy in the fight for amateur purity especially in rugby and rowing. New games became popular almost overnight, including golf, lawn tennis, cycling and hockey. Women were much more likely to enter these sports than the old established ones. The aristocracy and landed gentry, with their ironclad control over land rights, dominated hunting, shooting, fishing and horse racing.

Cricket had become well-established among the English upper class in the 18th century, And was a major factor in sports competition among the public schools. Army units around the Empire had time on their hands, and encouraged the locals to learn cricket so they could have some entertaining competition. Most of the Empire embraced cricket, with the exception of Canada. Cricket test matches (international) began by the 1870s; the most famous is that between Australia
Australia
and England
England
for " The Ashes
The Ashes
."

For sports to become fully professionalised, coaching had to come first. It gradually professionalised in the Victorian era and the role was well established by 1914. In the First World War, military units sought out the coaches to supervise physical conditioning and develop morale-building teams.

Reading

As literacy and leisure time expanded after 1900, reading became a popular pastime. New additions to adult fiction doubled during the 1920s, reaching 2800 new books a year by 1935. Libraries tripled their stock, and saw heavy demand for new fiction. A dramatic innovation was the inexpensive paperback, pioneered by Allen Lane (1902–70) at Penguin Books in 1935. The first titles included novels by Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie. They were sold cheap (usually sixpence) in a wide variety of inexpensive stores such as Woolworth's. Penguin aimed at an educated middle class "middlebrow" audience. It avoided the downscale image of American paperbacks. The line signaled cultural self-improvement and political education. The more polemical Penguin Specials, typically with a leftist orientation for Labour readers, were widely distributed during World War II. However the war years caused a shortage of staff for publishers and book stores, and a severe shortage of rationed paper, worsened by the air raid on Paternoster Square in 1940 that burned 5 million books in warehouses.

Romantic fiction was especially popular, with Mills and Boon the leading publisher. Romantic encounters were embodied in a principle of sexual purity that demonstrated not only social conservatism, but also how heroines could control their personal autonomy. Adventure magazines became quite popular, especially those published by DC Thomson ; the publisher sent observers around the country to talk to boys and learn what they wanted to read about. The story line in magazines and cinema that most appealed to boys was the glamorous heroism of British soldiers fighting wars that were exciting and just.

POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF 1920S

Stanley Baldwin was Conservative Prime Minister between 1923–1924, 1924–1929 and 1935–1937.

Expanding The Welfare State

Two major programs that permanently expanded the welfare state passed in 1919 and 1920 with surprisingly little debate, even as the Conservatives dominated parliament. The Housing and Town Planning Act of 1919 set up a system of government housing that followed the 1918 campaign promises of "homes fit for heroes." The Addison Act, named after the first Minister of Health Doctor Christopher Addison, required local authorities to survey their housing needs, and start building houses to replace slums. The treasury subsidized the low rents. In England
England
and Wales, 214,000 houses were built, and the Ministry of Health became largely a ministry of housing.

The Unemployment
Unemployment
Insurance Act of 1920 passed at a time of very little unemployment. It set up the dole system that provided 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to practically the entire civilian working population except domestic service, farm workers, and civil servants. Funded in part by weekly contributions from both employers and employed, it provided weekly payments of 15s for unemployed men and 12s for unemployed women. Historian Charles Mowat calls these two laws "Socialism by the back door," and notes how surprised politicians were when the costs to the Treasury soared during the high unemployment of 1921.

CONSERVATIVE CONTROL

The Lloyd George ministry fell apart in 1922. Stanley Baldwin , as leader of the Conservative Party (1923–37) and as Prime Minister (in 1923–24, 1924–29 and 1935–37), dominated British politics. His mixture of strong social reforms and steady government proved a powerful election combination, with the result that the Conservatives governed Britain either by themselves or as the leading component of the National Government . He was the last party leader to win over 50% of the vote (in the general election of 1931 ). Baldwin's political strategy was to polarize the electorate so that voters would choose between the Conservatives on the right and the Labour Party on the left, squeezing out the Liberals in the middle. The polarization did take place and while the Liberals remained active under Lloyd George, they won few seats and were a minor factor until they joined a coalition with the Conservatives in 2010. Baldwin's reputation soared in the 1920s and 1930s, but crashed after 1945 as he was blamed for the appeasement policies toward Germany, and as admirers of Churchill made him the Conservative icon. Since the 1970s Baldwin's reputation has recovered somewhat.

Labour won the 1923 election, but in 1924 Baldwin and the Conservatives returned with a large majority.

McKibbin finds that the political culture of the interwar period was built around an anti-socialist middle class, supported by the Conservative leaders, especially Baldwin.

ECONOMICS

Taxes rose sharply during the war and never returned to their old levels. A rich man paid 8% of his income in taxes before the war, and about a third afterwards. Much of the money went for the dole, the weekly unemployment benefits. About 5% of the national income every year was transferred from the rich to the poor. Taylor argues most people "were enjoying a richer life than any previously known in the history of the world: longer holidays, shorter hours, higher real wages."

The British economy was lackluster in the 1920s, with sharp declines and high unemployment in heavy industry and coal, especially in Scotland
Scotland
and Wales. Exports of coal and steel fell in half by 1939 and the business community was slow to adopt the new labour and management principles coming from the US, such as Fordism , consumer credit, eliminating surplus capacity, designing a more structured management, and using greater economies of scale. For over a century the shipping industry had dominated world trade, but it remained in the doldrums despite various stimulus efforts by the government. With the very sharp decline in world trade after 1929, its condition became critical.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
put Britain back on the gold standard in 1925, which many economists blame for the mediocre performance of the economy. Others point to a variety of factors, including the inflationary effects of the World War and supply-side shocks caused by reduced working hours after the war.

By the late 1920s, economic performance had stabilised, but the overall situation was disappointing, for Britain had fallen behind the United States as the leading industrial power. There also remained a strong economic divide between the north and south of England
England
during this period, with the south of England
England
and the Midlands fairly prosperous by the Thirties, while parts of south Wales
Wales
and the industrial north of England
England
became known as "distressed areas" due to particularly high rates of unemployment and poverty. Despite this, the standard of living continued to improve as local councils built new houses to let to families rehoused from outdated slums , with up to date facilities including indoor toilets, bathrooms and electric lighting now being included in the new properties. The private sector enjoyed a housebuilding boom during the 1930s.

Labour

During the war, trade unions were encouraged and their membership grew from 4.1 million in 1914 to 6.5 million in 1918. They peaked at 8.3 million in 1920 before relapsing to 5.4 million in 1923.

Coal
Coal
was a sick industry; the best seams were being exhausted, raising the cost. Demand fell as oil began replacing coal for fuel. The 1926 general strike was a nine-day nationwide walkout of 1.3 million railwaymen, transport workers, printers, dockers, iron workers and steelworkers supporting the 1.2 million coal miners who had been locked out by the owners. The miners had rejected the owners' demands for longer hours and reduced pay in the face of falling prices. The Conservative government had provided a nine-month subsidy in 1925 but that was not enough to turn around a sick industry. To support the miners the Trades Union Congress (TUC), an umbrella organization of all trades unions, called out certain critical unions. The hope was the government would intervene to reorganize and rationalize the industry, and raise the subsidy. The Conservative government had stockpiled supplies and essential services continued with middle class volunteers. All three major parties opposed the strike. The Labour Party leaders did not approve and feared it would tar the party with the image of radicalism, for the Cominterm in Moscow had sent instructions for Communists to aggressively promote the strike. The general strike itself was largely non-violent, but the miners' lockout continued and there was violence in Scotland. It was the only general strike in British history, for TUC leaders such as Ernest Bevin considered it a mistake . Most historians treat it as a singular event with few long-term consequences, but Martin Pugh says it accelerated the movement of working-class voters to the Labour Party, which led to future gains. The Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act 1927 made general strikes illegal and ended the automatic payment of union members to the Labour Party. That act was largely repealed in 1946. The coal industry, used up the more accessible coal as costs rose output fell from 2567 million tons in 1924 to 183 million in 1945. The Labour government nationalised the mines in 1947.

GREAT DEPRESSION

Main article: Great Depression
Great Depression
in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom

The Great Depression
Great Depression
originated in the United States in late 1929 and quickly spread to the world. Britain had never experienced the boom that had characterized the US, Germany, Canada
Canada
and Australia
Australia
in the 1920s, so its bust appeared less severe. Britain's world trade fell in half (1929–33), the output of heavy industry fell by a third, employment profits plunged in nearly all sectors. At the depth in summer 1932, registered unemployed numbered 3.5 million, and many more had only part-time employment. Experts tried to remain optimistic. John Maynard Keynes , who had not predicted the slump, said, "'There will be no serious direct consequences in London. We find the look ahead decidedly encouraging."

Doomsayers on the left such as Sidney and Beatrice Webb, J.A. Hobson, and G.D.H. Cole repeated the dire warnings they had been making for years about the imminent death of capitalism, only now far more people paid attention. Starting in 1935 the Left Book Club provided a new warning every month, and built up the credibility of Soviet-style socialism as an alternative.

Particularly hardest hit by economic problems were the north of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
and Wales; unemployment reached 70% in some areas at the start of the 1930s (with more than 3 million out of work nationally) and many families depended entirely on payments from local government known as the dole.

In 1936, by which time unemployment was lower, 200 unemployed men made a highly publicized march from Jarrow to London in a bid to show the plight of the industrial poor. Although much romanticized by the Left, the Jarrow Crusade marked a deep split in the Labour Party and resulted in no government action. Unemployment
Unemployment
remained high until the war absorbed all the job seekers. George Orwell 's book _The Road to Wigan Pier _ gives a bleak overview of the hardships of the time.

APPEASEMENT

Vivid memories of the horrors and deaths of the World War made Britain and its leaders strongly inclined to pacifism in the interwar era. The challenge came from dictators, first Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
of Italy, then Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
of a much more powerful Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
. The League of Nations
League of Nations
proved disappointing to its supporters; it was unable to resolve any of the threats posed by the dictators. British policy was to "appease" them in the hopes they would be satiated. By 1938 it was clear that war was looming, and that Germany had the world's most powerful military. The final act of appeasement came when Britain and France sacrificed Czechoslovakia to Hitler's demands at the Munich Agreement of 1938. Instead of satiation Hitler menaced Poland, and at last Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain dropped appeasement and stood firm in promising to defend Poland. Hitler however cut a deal with Joseph Stalin to divide Eastern Europe; when Germany did invade Poland in September 1939, Britain and France declared war; the British Commonwealth followed London's lead.

SECOND WORLD WAR 1939-1945

Main articles: Home front
Home front
during World War II
World War II
§ Britain , Timeline of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
home front during World War II
World War II
, and Military history of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
during World War II
World War II

Britain, along with the dominions and the rest of the Empire, declared war on Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
in 1939, after the German invasion of Poland . After a quiet period of "phoney war ", the French and British armies collapsed under German onslaught in spring 1940. The British with the thinnest of margins rescued its main army from Dunkirk (as well as many French soldiers), leaving all their equipment and war supplies behind. Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
came to power, promising to fight the Germans to the very end. The Germans threatened an invasion—which the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
was prepared to repel. First the Germans tried to achieve air supremacy but were defeated by the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
in late summer 1940. Japan declared war in December 1941, and quickly seized Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore, and Burma, and threatened Australia
Australia
and India. Britain formed an alliance with the Soviet Union (starting in 1941) and very close ties to the United States (starting in 1940). The war was very expensive. It was paid for by high taxes, by selling off assets, and by accepting large amounts of Lend Lease from the U.S. and Canada. The US gave $40 billion in munitions; Canada
Canada
also gave aid. (The American and Canadian aid did not have to be repaid, but there were also American loans that were repaid.)

WELFARE STATE

Main article: Beveridge Report

Welfare conditions, especially regarding food, improved during the war as the government imposed rationing and subsidized food prices. Conditions for housing worsened of course with the bombing, and clothing was in short supply.

Equality increased dramatically, as incomes declined sharply for the wealthy and for white collar workers, as their taxes soared, while blue collar workers benefited from rationing and price controls.

People demanded an expansion of the welfare state as a reward to the people for their wartime sacrifices The goal was operationalized in a famous report by William Beveridge . It recommended that the various income maintenance services that a grown-up piecemeal since 1911 be systematized and made universal. Unemployment
Unemployment
benefits and sickness benefits were to be universal. There would be new benefits for maternity. The old-age pension system would be revised and expanded, and require that a person retired. A full-scale National Health Service would provide free medical care for everyone. All the major parties endorsed the principles and they were largely put into effect when peace returned.

ROYALS

The media called it a "people's war"—a term that caught on and signified the popular demand for planning and an expanded welfare state. The Royal family played major symbolic roles in the war. They refused to leave London during the Blitz and were indefatigable in visiting troops, munition factories, dockyards, and hospitals all over the country. Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS—a part of the army) and repaired trucks and jeeps. All social classes appreciated how the royals shared the hopes, fears and hardships of the people.

MEMORY

The themes of equality and sacrifice were dominant both during the war, and in the memory of the war. There was little antiwar sentiment during or after the war. Furthermore, Britain turned more toward the collective welfare state during the war, expanding it in the late 1940s and reaching a broad consensus supporting it across party lines. By the 1970s and 1980s, however, historians were exploring the subtle elements of continuing diversity and conflict in society during the war period. For example, at first historians emphasized that strikes became illegal in July 1940, and no trade union called one during the war. Later historians pointed to the many many localized unofficial strikes, especially in coal mining, shipbuilding, the metal trades, and engineering, with as many as 3.7 million man days lost in 1944.

POSTWAR

Main articles: Postwar Britain and History of the United Kingdom (1945–present)

Britain was a winner in the war, but it lost India
India
in 1947 and nearly all the rest of the Empire by 1960. It debated its role in world affairs and joined the United Nations
United Nations
in 1945, NATO
NATO
in 1949, where it became a close ally of the United States. Prosperity returned in the 1950s and London remained a world center of finance and culture, but the nation was no longer a major world power. In 1973, after a long debate and initial rejection, it joined the European Union
European Union
.

AUSTERITY, 1945–1950

The end of the war saw a landslide victory for Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
and the Labour Party . They were elected on a manifesto of greater social justice with left wing policies such as the creation of a National Health Service , an expansion of the provision of council housing and nationalisation of the major industries. Britain faced severe financial crises, and responded by reducing her international responsibilities and by sharing the hardships of an "age of austerity." Large loans from the United States and Marshall Plan grants helped rebuild and modernize its infrastructure and business practices. Rationing and conscription dragged on into the post war years, and the country suffered one of the worst winters on record . Nevertheless, morale was boosted by events such as the marriage of Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and the Festival of Britain
Festival of Britain
.

Nationalisation

Labour Party experts went into the files to find the detailed plans for nationalisation that had been developed. To their surprise, there were no plans. The leaders realized they had to act fast to keep up the momentum of the 1945 electoral landslide. They started with the Bank of England
England
, civil aviation, coal, and cables and wireless. Then came railways, canals, road haulage and trucking, electricity, and gas. Finally came iron and steel, which was a special case because it was a manufacturing industry. Altogether, about one fifth of the economy had been nationalised. Labour dropped its plans to nationalise farmlands. The procedure used was developed by Herbert Morrison , who as Lord President chaired the Committee on the Socialization of Industries. He followed the model that was already in place of setting up public corporations such as the BBC
BBC
in broadcasting (1927). As the owners of corporate stock were given government bonds, and the government took full ownership of each affected company, consolidating it into a national monopoly. The management remained the same, only now they became civil servants working for the government.

For the Labour Party leadership, nationalisation was a method to consolidate economic planning in their own hands. It was not designed to modernise old industries, make them efficient, or transform their organisational structure. There was no money for modernisation, although the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
, operated separately by American planners, did force many British businesses to adopt modern managerial techniques. Old line socialists were disappointed, as the nationalised industries seemed identical to the old private corporations, and national planning was made virtually impossible by the government’s financial constraints. Socialism was in place, but it did not seem to make a major difference. Rank-and-file workers had long been motivated to support Labour by tales of the mistreatment of workers by foremen and the management. The foremen and the managers were the same men as before with much the same power over the workplace. There was no worker control of industry. The unions resisted government efforts to set wages. By the time of the general elections in 1950 and 1951, Labour seldom boasted about nationalisation of industry. Instead it was the Conservatives who decried the inefficiency and mismanagement, and promised to reverse the takeover of steel and trucking.

PROSPERITY OF THE POSTWAR YEARS

As the country headed into the 1950s, rebuilding continued and a number of immigrants from the remaining British Empire
British Empire
, mostly the Caribbean
Caribbean
and the Indian subcontinent, were invited to help the rebuilding effort. As the 1950s wore on, Britain lost its place as a superpower and could no longer maintain its large Empire . This led to decolonisation, and a withdrawal from almost all of its colonies by 1970. Events such as the Suez Crisis showed that the UK's status had fallen in the world. The 1950s and 1960s were, however, relatively prosperous times after the Second World War, and saw the beginning of a modernisation of the UK, with the construction of its first motorways for example, and also during the 1960s a great cultural movement began which expanded across the world. Unemployment
Unemployment
was relatively low during this period and the standard of living continued to rise with more new private and council housing developments taking place and the number of slum properties diminishing.

The postwar period also witnessed a dramatic rise in the average standard of living, as characterised by a 40% rise in average real wages from 1950 to 1965. Earnings for men in industry rose by 95% between 1951 and 1964, while during that same period the official workweek was reduced and five reductions in income tax were made. Those in traditionally poorly paid semi-skilled and unskilled occupations saw a particularly marked improvement in their wages and living standards. As summed up by R. J. Unstead :

Opportunities in life, if not equal, were distributed much more fairly than ever before and the weekly wage-earner, in particular, had gained standards of living that would have been almost unbelievable in the thirties."

In 1950, the UK standard of living was higher than in any EEC country apart from Belgium. It was 50% higher than the West German standard of living, and twice as high as the Italian standard of living. By the earlier Seventies, however, the UK standard of living was lower than all EEC countries apart from Italy (which, according to one calculation, was roughly equal to Britain). In 1951, the average weekly earnings of men over the age of 21 stood at £8 6s 0d, and nearly doubled a decade later to £15 7s 0d. By 1966, average weekly earnings stood at £20 6s 0d. Between 1964 and 1968, the percentage of households with a television set rose from 80.5% to 85.5%, a washing machine from 54% to 63%, a refrigerator from 35% to 55%, a car from 38% to 49%, a telephone from 21.5% to 28%, and central heating from 13% to 23%.

Between 1951 and 1963, wages rose by 72% while prices rose by 45%, enabling people to afford more consumer goods than ever before. Between 1955 and 1967, the average earnings of weekly-paid workers increased by 96% and those of salaried workers by 95%, while prices rose by about 45% in the same period. The rising affluence of the Fifties and Sixties was underpinned by sustained full employment and a dramatic rise in worker‘s wages. In 1950, the average weekly wage stood at £6.8s, compared with £11.2s.6d in 1959. As a result of wage rises, consumer spending also increased by about 20% during this same period, while economic growth remained at about 3%. In addition, food rations were lifted in 1954 while hire-purchase controls were relaxed in the same year. As a result of these changes, large numbers of the working classes were able to participate in the consumer market for the first time. As noted by Harriet Wilson:

National wealth has grown considerably, and although the shareout of this among the social classes has remained substantially of the same proportions, it has meant a considerable rise in the standard of living of all classes. It is estimated that in Britain at the turn of the century average earnings in industry sufficed merely to meet the essential needs of a two-child family, today average earnings allow the industrial wage-earner to spend a third of his income on things other than basic needs."

The significant real wage increases in the 1950s and 1960s contributed to a rapid increase in working-class consumerism, with British consumer spending rising by 45% between 1952 and 1964. In addition, entitlement to various fringe benefits was improved. In 1955, 96% of manual labourers were entitled to two weeks’ holiday with pay, compared with 61% in 1951. By the end of the 1950s, Britain had become one of the world's most affluent countries, and by the early Sixties, most Britons enjoyed a level of prosperity that had previously been known only to a small minority of the population. For the young and unattached, there was, for the first time in decades, spare cash for leisure, clothes, and luxuries. In 1959, _Queen _ magazine declared that "Britain has launched into an age of unparalleled lavish living." Average wages were high while jobs were plentiful, and people saw their personal prosperity climb even higher. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan claimed that "the luxuries of the rich have become the necessities of the poor." Levels of disposable income rose steadily, with the spending power of the average family rising by 50% between 1951 and 1979, and by the end of the Seventies, 6 out of 10 families had come to own a car.

As noted by Martin Pugh,

"Keynesian economic management enabled British workers to enjoy a golden age of full employment which, combined with a more relaxed attitude towards working mothers, led to the spread of the two-income family. Inflation was around 4 per cent, money wages rose from an average of £8 a week in 1951 to £15 a week by 1961, home-ownership spread from 35 per cent in 1939 to 47 per cent by 1966, and the relaxation of credit controls boosted the demand for consumer goods."

By 1963, 82% of all private households had a television, 72% a vacuum cleaner, 45%a washing machine, and 30% a refrigerator. In addition, as noted by John Burnett,

What was equally striking was that ownership of such things had spread down the social scale and the gap between professional and manual workers had considerably narrowed.

A study of a slum area in Leeds (which was due for demolition) found that 74% of the households had a T.V., 41% a vacuum, and 38% a washing machine. In another slum area, St Mary’s in Oldham (where in 1970 few of the houses had fixed baths or a hot water supply and half shared outside toilets), 67% of the houses were rated as comfortably furnished and a further 24% furnished luxuriously, with smart modern furniture, deep pile carpeting, and decorations.

The provision of household amenities steadily improved during the second half of the twentieth century. From 1971 to 1983, households having the sole use of a fixed bath or shower rose from 88% to 97%, and those with an internal WC from 87% to 97%. In addition, the number of households with central heating almost doubled during that same period, from 34% to 64%. By 1983, 94% of all households had a refrigerator, 81% a colour television, 80% a washing machine, 57% a deep freezer, and 28% a tumble-drier.

Between 1950 and 1970, however, Britain was overtaken by most of the countries of the European Common Market in terms of the number of telephones, refrigerators, television sets, cars, and washing machines per 100 of the population (although Britain remained high in terms of bathrooms and lavatories per 100 people). Although the British standard of living was increasing, the standard of living in other countries increased faster. According to a 1968 study by Anthony Sampson, British workers:

In ten years, from having had a much higher standard of living than the continent, they have slipped right back. Taking the national income per head (a rough yardstick), the British by 1967 had sunk to eighth place among OECD countries, with an annual income of $1,910 compared with $2,010 for Germany, $2,060 for France and $2,480 for Switzerland: and Britain’s falling position already shows itself in the lower proportion of new cars and new houses (though still leading with TV sets and washing machines)."

In 1976, UK wages were amongst the lowest in Western Europe, being half of West German rates and two-thirds of Italian rates. In addition, while educational opportunities for working-class people had widened significantly since the end of the Second World War, a number of developed countries came to overtake Britain in some educational indicators. By the early 1980s, some 80% to 90% of school leavers in France and West Germany received vocational training, compared with 40% in the United Kingdom. By the mid-1980s, over 80% of pupils in the United States and West Germany and over 90% in Japan stayed in education until the age of eighteen, compared with barely 33% of British pupils. In 1987, only 35% of 16- to 18-year-olds were in full-time education or training, compared with 80% in the United States, 77% in Japan, 69% in France, and 49% in the United Kingdom. There also remained gaps between manual and non-manual workers in areas such as fringe benefits and wage levels. In April 1978, for instance, male full-time manual workers aged 21 and above averaged a gross weekly wage of £80.70, while the equivalent for male white collar workers stood at £100.70.

EMPIRE TO COMMONWEALTH

Britain's control over its Empire loosened during the interwar period. Nationalism
Nationalism
strengthened in other parts of the empire, particularly in India
India
and in Egypt
Egypt
.

Between 1867 and 1910, the UK had granted Australia
Australia
, Canada
Canada
, and New Zealand
New Zealand
"Dominion" status (near complete autonomy within the Empire). They became charter members of the British Commonwealth of Nations (known as the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
since 1949), an informal but close-knit association that succeeded the British Empire. Beginning with the independence of India
India
and Pakistan
Pakistan
in 1947, the remainder of the British Empire
British Empire
was almost completely dismantled. Today, most of Britain's former colonies belong to the Commonwealth, almost all of them as independent members. There are, however, 13 former British colonies, including Bermuda
Bermuda
, Gibraltar
Gibraltar
, the Falkland Islands , and others, which have elected to continue rule by London and are known as British Overseas Territories .

FROM THE TROUBLES TO THE BELFAST AGREEMENT

Main article: The Troubles

In the 1960s, moderate unionist Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Terence O\'Neill tried to reform the system and give a greater voice to Catholics who comprised 40% of the population of Northern Ireland. His goals were blocked by militant Protestants led by the Rev. Ian Paisley . The increasing pressures from nationalists for reform and from unionists to resist reform led to the appearance of the civil rights movement under figures like John Hume , Austin Currie and others. Clashes escalated out of control as the army could barely contain the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Ulster Defence Association . British leaders feared their withdrawal would give a "Doomsday Scenario," with widespread communal strife, followed by the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of refugees. London shut down Northern Ireland's parliament and began direct rule. By the 1990s, the failure of the IRA campaign to win mass public support or achieve its aim of a British withdrawal led to negotiations that in 1998 produced the ' Good Friday Agreement '. It won popular support and largely ended the Troubles.

THE ECONOMY IN THE LATE 20TH CENTURY

Main article: History of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
(1945–present)

After the relative prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s, the UK experienced extreme industrial strife and stagflation through the 1970s following a global economic downturn; Labour had returned to government in 1964 under Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
to end 13 years of Conservative rule. The Conservatives were restored to government in 1970 under Edward Heath , who failed to halt the country's economic decline and was ousted in 1974 as Labour returned to power under Harold Wilson. The economic crisis deepened following Wilson's return and things fared little better under his successor James Callaghan
James Callaghan
.

A strict modernisation of its economy began under the controversial Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
following her election as prime minister in 1979, which saw a time of record unemployment as deindustrialisation saw the end of much of the country's manufacturing industries but also a time of economic boom as stock markets became liberalised and State-owned industries became privatised . Her rise to power was seen as the symbolic end of the time in which the British economy had become the ´sick man´ of western Europe. Inflation also fell during this period and trade union power was reduced.

However the miners\' strike of 1984–1985 sparked the end of most of the UK's coal mining. The exploitation of North Sea
North Sea
gas and oil brought in substantial tax and export revenues to aid the new economic boom. This was also the time that the IRA took the issue of Northern Ireland
Ireland
to Great Britain
Great Britain
, maintaining a prolonged bombing campaign on the British mainland.

After the economic boom of the 1980s a brief but severe recession occurred between 1990 and 1992 following the economic chaos of Black Wednesday under government of John Major , who had succeeded Margaret Thatcher in 1990. However the rest of the 1990s saw the beginning of a period of continuous economic growth that lasted over 16 years and was greatly expanded under the New Labour government of Tony Blair following his landslide election victory in 1997, with a rejuvenated party having abandoned its commitment to policies including nuclear disarmament and nationalisation of key industries, and no reversal of the Thatcher-led union reforms.

From 1964 up until 1996, income per head had doubled, while ownership of various household goods had significantly increased. By 1996, two-thirds of households owned cars, 82% had central heating, most people owned a VCR, and one in five houses had a home computer. In 1971, 9% of households had no access to a shower or bathroom, compared with only 1% in 1990; largely due to demolition or modernisation of older properties which lacked such facilities. In 1971, only 35% had central heating, while 78% enjoyed this amenity in 1990. By 1990, 93% of households had colour television, 87% had telephones, 86% had washing machines, 80% had deep-freezers, 60% had video-recorders, and 47% had microwave ovens. Holiday entitlements had also become more generous. In 1990, nine out of ten full-time manual workers were entitled to more than four weeks of paid holiday a year, while twenty years previously only two-thirds had been allowed three weeks or more.

The postwar period also witnessed significant improvements in housing conditions. In 1960, 14% of British households had no inside toilet, while in 1967 22% of all homes had no basic hot water supply. By the 1990s, most homes had these amenities together with central heating, which was a luxury just two decades before. From 1996/7 to 2006/7, real median household income increased by 20% while real mean household incomes increased by 23%. There has also been a shift towards a service-based economy in the years following the end of the Second World War, with 11% of working people employed in manufacturing in 2006, compared with 25% in 1971.

COMMON MARKET (EEC), THEN EU, MEMBERSHIP

Britain's wish to join the Common Market (as the European Economic Community was known in Britain) was first expressed in July 1961 by the Macmillan government. It was vetoed in 1963 by French President Charles de Gaulle . After initially hesitating over the issue, Harold Wilson 's Labour Government lodged the UK's second application (in May 1967) to join the European Community , as it was now called. Like the first, though, it was vetoed by de Gaulle.

In 1973, with DeGaulle gone, Conservative Prime Minister Heath negotiated terms for admission and Britain finally joined the Community. In opposition, the Labour Party was deeply divided, though its Leader, Harold Wilson, remained in favour. In the 1974 General Election, the Labour Party manifesto included a pledge to renegotiate terms for Britain's membership and then hold a referendum on whether to stay in the EC on the new terms. This was a constitutional procedure without precedent in British history. In the subsequent referendum campaign, rather than the normal British tradition of "collective responsibility", under which the government takes a policy position which all cabinet members are required to support publicly, members of the Government (and the Conservative opposition) were free to present their views on either side of the question. A referendum was duly held on 5 June 1975, and the proposition to continue membership was passed with a substantial majority.

The Single European Act (SEA) was the first major revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome . In 1987, the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
enacted it into UK law.

The Maastricht Treaty transformed the European Community into the European Union
European Union
. In 1992, the Conservative government under John Major ratified it, against the opposition of his backbench Maastricht Rebels .

The Treaty of Lisbon introduced many changes to the treaties of the Union. Prominent changes included more qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers , increased involvement of the European Parliament in the legislative process through extended codecision with the Council of Ministers, eliminating the pillar system and the creation of a President of the European Council with a term of two and a half years and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security
Security
Policy to present a united position on EU policies. The Treaty of Lisbon will also make the Union's human rights charter, the Charter of Fundamental Rights , legally binding. The Lisbon Treaty also leads to an increase in the voting weight of the UK in the Council of the European Union
European Union
from 8.4% to 12.4%. In July 2008, the Labour government under Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
approved the treaty and the Queen ratified it.

DEVOLUTION FOR SCOTLAND AND WALES

Main articles: Scottish devolution and Welsh devolution
Welsh devolution

On 11 September 1997, (on the 700th anniversary of the Scottish victory over the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge ), a referendum was held on establishing a devolved Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
. This resulted in an overwhelming 'yes' vote both to establishing the parliament and granting it limited tax varying powers. One week later, a referendum in Wales
Wales
on establishing a Welsh Assembly was also approved but with a very narrow majority. The first elections were held, and these bodies began to operate, in 1999. The creation of these bodies has widened the differences between the Countries of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, especially in areas like healthcare . It has also brought to the fore the so-called West Lothian question which is a complaint that devolution for Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales
but not England
England
has created a situation where all the MPs in the UK parliament can vote on matters affecting England
England
alone but on those same matters Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales
can make their own decisions.

21ST CENTURY

WAR IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ, AND TERRORIST ATTACKS

In the 2001 General Election , the Labour Party won a second successive victory, though voter turnout dropped to the lowest level for more than 80 years. Later that year, the September 11th attacks in the United States led to American President George W. Bush launching the War on Terror , beginning with the invasion of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
aided by British troops in October 2001. Thereafter, with the US focus shifting to Iraq, Tony Blair
Tony Blair
convinced the Labour and Conservative MPs to vote in favour of supporting the 2003 invasion of Iraq , despite huge anti-war marches held in London and Glasgow. Forty-six thousand British troops, one-third of the total strength of the Army's land forces, were deployed to assist with the invasion of Iraq and thereafter British armed forces were responsible for security in southern Iraq. All British forces were withdrawn in 2010.

The Labour Party won the 2005 general election and a third consecutive term. On 7 July 2005, a series of four suicide bombings struck London, killing 52 commuters, in addition to the four bombers.

NATIONALIST GOVERNMENT IN SCOTLAND

2007 saw the first ever election victory for the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) in the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
elections . They formed a minority government with plans to hold a referendum before 2011 to seek a mandate "to negotiate with the Government of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to achieve independence for Scotland
Scotland
." Most opinion polls show minority support for independence, although support varies depending on the nature of the question. The response of the unionist parties was to establish the Calman Commission to examine further devolution of powers, a position that had the support of the Prime Minister.

Responding to the findings of the review, the UK government announced on 25 November 2009, that new powers would be devolved to the Scottish Government , notably on how it can raise tax and carry out capital borrowing, and the running of Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
elections . These proposals were detailed in a white paper setting out a new Scotland Bill , to become law before the 2015 Holyrood elections. The proposal was criticised by the UK parliament opposition parties for not proposing to implement any changes before the next general election . Scottish Constitution Minister Michael Russell criticised the white paper, calling it "flimsy" and stating that their proposed Referendum (Scotland) Bill, 2010 , whose own white paper was to be published five days later, would be "more substantial". According to _The Independent _, the Calman Review white paper proposals fall short of what would normally be seen as requiring a referendum.

The 2011 election saw a decisive victory for the SNP which was able to form a majority government intent on delivering a referendum on independence. Within hours of the victory, Prime Minister David Cameron guaranteed that the UK government would not put any legal or political obstacles in the way of such a referendum. Some unionist politicians, including former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish , have responded to the situation by arguing that Scotland
Scotland
should be offered 'devo-max ' as an alternative to independence, and First Minister Alex Salmond has signalled his willingness to include it on the referendum ballot paper.

THE 2008 ECONOMIC CRISIS

In the wake of the global economic crisis of 2008 , the United Kingdom economy contracted, experiencing negative economic growth throughout 2009. The announcement in November 2008 that the economy had shrunk for the first time since late 1992 brought an end to 16 years of continuous economic growth. Causes included an end to the easy credit of the preceding years, reduction in consumption and substantial depreciation of sterling (which fell 25% against the euro between January 2008 and January 2009), leading to increased import costs, notably of oil.

On 8 October 2008, the British Government
British Government
announced a bank rescue package of around £500 billion ($850 billion at the time). The plan comprised three parts.: £200 billion to be made available to the banks in the Bank of England
England
's Special
Special
Liquidity Scheme; the Government was to increase the banks' market capitalization, through the Bank Recapitalization Fund, with an initial £25 billion and another £25 billion to be provided if needed; and the Government was to temporarily underwrite any eligible lending between British banks up to around £250 billion. With the UK officially coming out of recession in the fourth quarter of 2009—ending six consecutive quarters of economic decline—the Bank of England
England
decided against further quantitative easing .

THE 2010 COALITION GOVERNMENT

The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
General Election of 6 May 2010 resulted in the first hung parliament since 1974, with the Conservative Party winning the largest number of seats, but falling short of the 326 seats required for an overall majority. Following this, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats agreed to form the first coalition government for the UK since the end of the Second World War, with David Cameron
David Cameron
becoming Prime Minister and Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister.

Under the coalition government, British military aircraft participated in the UN-mandated intervention in the 2011 Libyan civil war , flying a total of 3,000 air sorties against forces loyal to the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi
between March and October 2011. 2011 also saw England
England
suffer unprecedented rioting in its major cities in early August, killing five people and causing over £200 million worth of property damage.

In late October 2011, the prime ministers of the Commonwealth realms voted to grant gender equality in the royal succession , ending the male-preference primogeniture that was mandated by the Act of Settlement 1701 . The amendment, once enacted, will also end the ban on the monarch marrying a Catholic.

2014 SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

Main article: Scottish independence referendum, 2014

On 18 September, a referendum was held in Scotland
Scotland
on whether to leave the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and become an independent country. The three UK-wide political parties - Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats - campaigned together as part of the Better Together campaign while the pro-independence Scottish National Party was the main force in the Yes Scotland
Scotland
campaign, together with the Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Socialist Party . Days before the vote, with the opinion polls closing, the three Better Together party leaders issued \'The Vow\' , a promise of more powers for Scotland
Scotland
in the event of a No vote. The referendum resulted in Scotland
Scotland
voting by 55% to 45% to remain part of the United Kingdom.

2015 ELECTION

The 2015 election was held on 7 May 2015 with pre-election polls all predicting a close race and a hung parliament. The surprising result on the night was a clear victory by the Conservative Party: with 37% of the popular vote, they won a narrow overall majority in parliament with 331 of the 650 seats.

The other most significant result of the election was the Scottish National Party winning all but three of the 59 seats in Scotland, a gain of 50. This had been widely forecast as opinion polls had recorded a surge in support for the SNP following the 2014 independence referendum, and SNP party membership had more than quadrupled from 25,000 to over 100,000, meaning that 1 in every 50 of the population of Scotland
Scotland
was a party member.

Labour suffered its worst defeat since 1987, taking only 31% of the votes and losing 40 of its 41 seats in Scotland. The Liberal Democrats lost 49 of their 57 seats, as they were punished for their decision to form a coalition with the conservatives in 2010. The UK Independence Party (UKIP), rallying voters against the European Union
European Union
and against uncontrolled immigration, secured 13% of the vote and came second in over 115 races, but won only one seat in parliament. Cameron had a mandate for his austerity policies to shrink the size of government, and a challenge in dealing with Scotland. Likewise the Green Party of England
England
and Wales
Wales
saw a rise in support but retained just its one MP.

2016 EU REFERENDUM

Main articles: United Kingdom
United Kingdom
European Union
European Union
membership referendum, 2016 and Brexit

On 20 February 2016, British Prime Minister David Cameron
David Cameron
announced that a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union
European Union
would be held on 23 June 2016, following years of campaigning by eurosceptics . Debates and campaigns by parties supporting both "Remain" and "Leave" focused on concerns regarding trade and the single market , security , migration and sovereignty . The result of the referendum was in favour of the country leaving the EU with 51.9% of voters wanting to leave. The UK remains a member for the time being, but is expected to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty , which would begin negotiations on a withdrawal agreement that will last no more than two years (unless the Council and the UK agree to extend the negotiation period) which will ultimately lead to an exit from the European Union
European Union
. The implications of the referendum vote remain unknown, with politicians and commentators suggesting various outcomes. After the result was declared, Cameron announced that he would resign by October. In the event, he stood down on 13 July, with Theresa May
Theresa May
becoming Prime Minister.

HISTORIOGRAPHY

Main articles: Historiography of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and Historiography of the British Empire
British Empire

NOTES

2 The name "Great Britain" (then spelled "Great Brittaine") was first used by James VI/I in October 1604, who indicated that henceforth he and his successors would be viewed as Kings of Great Britain, not Kings of England
England
and Scotland. However the name was not applied to the _state_ as a unit; both England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
continued to be governed independently. Its validity as a name of the Crown is also questioned, given that monarchs continued using separate ordinals (e.g., James VI/I, James VII/II) in England
England
and Scotland. To avoid confusion, historians generally avoid using the term "King of Great Britain" until 1707 and instead to match the ordinal usage call the monarchs kings or queens of England
England
and Scotland. Separate ordinals were abandoned when the two states merged in accordance with the 1707 Acts of Union , with subsequent monarchs using ordinals apparently based on English not Scottish history (it might be argued that the monarchs have simply taken the higher ordinal, which to date has always been English). One example is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
, who is referred to as being "the Second" even though there never was an Elizabeth I of Scotland
Scotland
or Great Britain. Thus the term "Great Britain" is generally used from 1707. 3 The number changed several times between 1801 and 1922. 4 The Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified by (i) The British Parliament (Commons, Lords -webkit-column-width: 20em; column-width: 20em;">

* Military history of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* History of the foreign relations of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* Economic history of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* Timeline of British diplomatic history
Timeline of British diplomatic history
* History of women in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* History of journalism in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* Politics of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* Religion in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* History of England
England
* History of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland

* History of Scotland
Scotland

* Timeline of Scottish history

* History of Wales
Wales

REFERENCES

* ^ The terms "United Kingdom" and " United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain" were used in the Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union
and the 1707 Acts of Union . However, the actual name of the new state was "Great Britain"

* ^ New Act of Union would strengthen UK, says Fabricant BBC
BBC
News, accessed 1 September 2013 * ^ Simon Schama
Simon Schama
(presenter) (22 May 2001). "Britannia Incorporated". _A History of Britain _. Episode 10. 3 minutes in. BBC One . * ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". _www.cia.gov_. * ^ T. O. Lloyd, _The British Empire, 1558–1995_ (2nd edn, 1996) * ^ Ratification:October 1706 – March 1707 parliament.uk, accessed 15 November 2008 * ^ G.M. Trevelyan, _A shortened history of England_ (1942) p 363. * ^ Frank O’Gorman, "The Recent Historiography of the Hanoverian Regime." _Historical Journal_ 29#4 (1986): 1005-1020. * ^ G.C. Gibbs, "George I (1660–1727)", _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography_ (2004) * ^ Ragnhild M. Hatton, _George I_ (2001) * ^ Oates, Jonathan D. (2004). "Jacobitism and Popular Disturbances in Northern England, 1714–1719". _Northern History_. 41 (1): 111–28. doi :10.1179/007817204790180871 . * ^ Jeremy Black, "Georges I requires Real Player * ^ J. Steven Watson, _The Reign of George III, 1760–1815_ (1960) * ^ Julian Hoppit, _A Land of Liberty?: England
England
1689–1727_ (2000) pp 334–38 * ^ Julian Hoppit, "The Myths of the South Sea Bubble," _Transactions of the Royal Historical Society,_ December 1962, Vol. 12 Issue 1, pp 141–65 * ^ Clyve Jones, "‘Too Wild to Succeed’: The Occasional Conformity Bills and the Attempts by the House of Lords to Outlaw the Tack in the Reign of Anne." _Parliamentary History_ 30.3 (2011): 414-427. * ^ Mark Knights, "Occasional conformity and the representation of dissent: hypocrisy, sincerity, moderation and zeal." _Parliamentary History_ 24#1 (2005): 41-57. * ^ Daniel Luban, " Bernard Mandeville as Moralist and Materialist." _History of European Ideas_ 41.7 (2015): 831-857. * ^ L.G. Mitchell, "The Whigs, the People, and Reform," _Proceedings of the British Academy_ (1999), Vol. 85, pp 25-41 * ^ Paul Langford, "The English as Reformers: Foreign Visitors' Impressions, 1750-1850" _Proceedings of the British Academy_ (1999), Vol. 85, pp 101-119. * ^ Robert M. Kozub, "Evolution of Taxation in England, 1700–1850: A Period of War and Industrialization," _Journal of European Economic History,_ Fall 2003, Vol. 32 Issue 2, pp 363–88 * ^ John Brewer, _The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688–1783_ (1990) * ^ Paul Kennedy, _The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers_ (1989) pp 80–84 * ^ Gregory Fremont-Barnes, ed. _The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: A Political, Social, and Military History_ (2006) vol 1 pp 41–42 * ^ Maya Jasanoff, _Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750–1850_ (2006) p 21 * ^ Niall, Ferguson (2004). _Empire_. Penguin. p. 73. * ^ Jeremy Black, _Crisis of Empire: Britain and America in the Eighteenth Century_ (2010) * ^ Anthony, Pagden (1998). _The Origins of Empire, The Oxford History of the British Empire_. Oxford University Press. p. 92. * ^ James, Lawrence (2001). _The Rise and Fall of the British Empire_. Abacus. p. 119. * ^ Knibbs, Sir George Handley; Commonwealth Bureau of Census (1908). _Official year book of the Commonwealth of Australia_. Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics. p. 52. * ^ James, Lawrence (2001). _The Rise and Fall of the British Empire_. Abacus. p. 152. * ^ Laws in Ireland
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for the Suppression of Popery Archived 3 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine . at University of Minnesota Law School * ^ Alan J. Ward, _The Irish Constitutional Tradition_ p 28. * ^ Auguste Mayer\'s picture as described by the official website of the Musée national de la Marine (in French) Archived 26 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ Paul Kennedy, _The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers – economic change and military conflict from 1500 to 2000_ (1989), pp. 128–9 * ^ Elie Halevy, _A History of the English People in 1815_ (1924) vol 2 p 205-6, 215–228 * ^ Roger Knight, _Britain Against Napoleon: The Organisation of Victory, 1793–1815_ (2013) * ^ J. Steven Watson, _The Reign of George III
George III
1760–1815_ (1960), 374–77, 406–7, 463–71, * ^ Paul W. Schroeder, _The Transformation of European Politics 1763–1848_ (1994) pp 305–10 * ^ Alexander Grab, _ Napoleon
Napoleon
and the Transformation of Europe_ (2003) pp 29–33 * ^ Francois Crouzet, "Wars, blockade, and economic change in Europe, 1792–1815." _Journal of Economic History_ (1964) 24#4 pp 567–588 in JSTOR. * ^ Jeremy Black, _The War of 1812
War of 1812
in the Age of Napoleon_ (2009) is one of the few major British studies * ^ Baker, Kenneth (2005). "George IV: a Sketch". _History Today_. 55 (10): 30–36. * ^ Brock, Michael (2004) "William IV (1765–1837)", _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,_ (2004) doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/29451 * ^ Jeremy Black, _A military history of Britain: from 1775 to the present_ (2008) pp 74–77 * ^ William W. Kaufmann, _British policy and the independence of Latin America, 1804–1828_ (1967) * ^ Will Kaufman and Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson, eds. _Britain and the Americas: culture, politics, and history_ (2004) pp 465–68 * ^ _A_ _B_ E. L. Woodward, _The Age of Reform, 1815–1870_ (1938), pp 325–30 * ^ Malcolm Chase, _Chartism: A New History_ (2007) * ^ E. L. Woodward, _The Age of Reform, 1815–1870_ (1938), pp 354–57 * ^ J. A. R. Marriott , _Modern England: 1885-1945_ (4th ed., 1948) pp 157-58. * ^ Bernard Porter, _Britannia's Burden: The Political Evolution of Modern Britain 1851–1890_ (1994) ch 3 * ^ F. M. L. Thompson, _Rise of Respectable Society: A Social History of Victorian Britain, 1830–1900_ (1988) pP 211–14 * ^ Porter, ch 1–3; K Theodore Hoppen, _The Mid-Victorian Generation: 1846–1886_ (1998), ch 1 to 3, 9–11 * ^ Llewellyn Woodward, _The Age of Reform, 1815–1870_ (2nd ed. 1962) p 629 * ^ _A_ _B_ Bernard Semmel, _The Rise of Free Trade
Trade
Imperialism_ (Cambridge University Press, 1970) ch 1 * ^ David McLean, "Finance and "Informal Empire" before the First World War," _Economic History Review_ (1976) 29#2 pp 291–305 in JSTOR. * ^ Golicz, Roman (2003). "The Russians Shall Not Have Constantinople". _History Today_. 53 (9): 39–45. * ^ Orlando Figes, _The Crimean War: A History_ (2012) * ^ Richard Millman, _Britain and the Eastern Question 1875–1878_ (1979) * ^ Amanda Foreman, _A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War_ (2012) * ^ Frank J. Merli; David M. Fahey (2004). _The Alabama, British Neutrality, and the American Civil War_. Indiana U.P. p. 19. * ^ A.J.P. Taylor, _The Struggle for Mastery in Europe: 1848–1918_ (1953) ch 12 * ^ Denis Judd, _Boer War_ (2003) * ^ A.J. Anthony Morris, "Haldane's army reforms 1906–8: the deception of the radicals." History 56.186 (1971): 17-34. * ^ Nicholas A. Lambert, _Sir John Fisher's naval revolution_ (U of South Carolina Press, 2002). * ^ R.K. Webb, _Modern England: from the 18th century to the present_ (2nd ed. 1980). pp 442-47 * ^ David McLean, "Finance and 'Informal Empire' before the First World War," _Economic History Review_ (1976) 29#2 pp 291–305 in JSTOR. * ^ Margaret Macmillan, _The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914_ (2013) ch 2 * ^ Jack H. Hexter, "The Protestant revival and the Catholic question in England, 1778-1829." _Journal of Modern History_ 8#3 (1936): 297-319. in JSTOR * ^ Cecil Woodham-Smith, _The Great Hunger: Ireland
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1845–1849_ (1962) * ^ John Crowley et al. _Atlas of the Great Irish Famine_ (2012) presents broad-ranging coverage. * ^ F.S.L. Lyons, _Charles Stewart Parnell_ (1977) * ^ Alvin Jackson, _ Ireland
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1798-1998: politics and war_ (1999) * ^ Timothy W. Guinnane and Ronald I. Miller. "The Limits to Land Reform: The Land Acts in Ireland, 1870–1909*." _Economic Development and Cultural Change_ 45#3 (1997): 591-612. online * ^ R.C.K. Ensor, _ England
England
1870-1914_ (1936) pp 206-7 * ^ Peter Fraser, "The Liberal Unionist Alliance: Chamberlain, Hartington, and the Conservatives, 1886-1904." _English Historical Review_ 77#302 (1962): 53-78. * ^ Chris Cook (2010). _A Short History of the Liberal Party: The Road Back to Power_. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 24–26. * ^ Walter L. Arnstein, _Queen Victoria_ (2003) * ^ Vallone, Lynne (2002). "Victoria". _History Today_. 52 (6): 46–53. * ^ Jasper Ridley, _Lord Palmerston_ (1970). * ^ Kenneth Bourne, _The foreign policy of Victorian England, 1830-1902_ (1970). * ^ A. J. P. Taylor, "Lord Palmerston," _History Today_ Jan 1991, Vol. 41#1 p 1 * ^ John Vincent, "Was Disraeli a failure?," _History Today,_ (October 1981) 31#10 pp 5–8 online * ^ Richard Aldous, _The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs. Disraeli_ (2007) excerpt and text search * ^ Robert Blake, _Disraeli_ (1967) * ^ Parry, J.P. (2000). "Disraeli and England". _Historical Journal_. 43 (3): 699–728. JSTOR 3020975 . doi :10.1017/s0018246x99001326 . * ^ Marvin Swartz, _The Politics of British Foreign Policy in the Era of Disraeli & Gladstone_ (1985) * ^ Maurice Cowling, _1867: Disraeli, Gladstone and revolution_ (1967). * ^ Stephen J. Lee (2005). _Gladstone and Disraeli_. Psychology Press. pp. 73–74. * ^ Jonathan Parry, "Disraeli, Benjamin, earl of Beaconsfield (1804–1881)", _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography_ (2004); online edn, May 2011 accessed 23 February 2012 doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/7689 * ^ Roy Jenkins, _Gladstone: A Biography_ (2002) * ^ H.C.G. Matthew, "Gladstone, William Ewart (1809–1898)", _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography_ (2004); online edn, May 2011, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/10787 * ^ Walter L. Arnstein, _Britain Yesterday and Today: 1832 the Present_ (6th ed. 1992) p 125 * ^ Dick Leonard, _The Great Rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli_ (2013) is popular, while Richard Aldous, _The Lion and The Unicorn: Gladstone and Disraeli_ (2007) is scholarly. For the historiography see Roland Quinault, "Gladstone and Disraeli: a Reappraisal of their Relationship." _History_ 91#304 (2006): 557-576. * ^ Roland Quinault, "The Great Rivalry," _History Today_ (Nov 2013) 63#11 p 61. * ^ Nancy W. Ellenberger, "Salisbury" in David Loades, ed. _Reader's Guide to British History_ (2003) 2:1154 * ^ David Steele, _Lord Salisbury: A Political Biography_ (Routledge, 2001) p 383 * ^ Robert Blake, _The Conservative Party from Peel to Churchill_ (1970), p 132. * ^ P.T. Marsh, _The Discipline of Popular Government: Lord Salisbury’s Domestic Statecraft, 1881–1902_ (Hassocks, Sussex, 1978), p 326. * ^ Paul Smith, _Lord Salisbury on Politics. A Selection from his Articles in the Quarterly Review, 1860–1883_ (Cambridge, 1972), p 1 * ^ H.C.G. Matthew, ed. _Gladstone Diaries,_ (1990) X, pp cxxxix–cxl * ^ Maurice Cowling, _Religion and Public Doctrine in Modern England_ (2 vol. 1980–85), vol I, p 387. * ^ Michael Fry, "Political Change in Britain, August 1914 to December 1916: Lloyd George Replaces Asquith: The Issues Underlying the Drama." _Historical Journal_ 31#3 (1988): 609-627. * ^ Martin Pugh, "Lloyd George, David, 1st Earl Lloyd-George" in John Cannon and Robert Crowcroft, eds (2015). _The Oxford Companion to British History_. p. 565. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link ) * ^ H.C.G. Matthew, "George V (1865–1936)", _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,_ (2004); online edn, January 2008 * ^ George Dangerfield, _The Strange Death of Liberal England: 1910–1914_ (1935) * ^ Ross McKibbin, _Parties and People: England, 1914–1951_ (2010) * ^ For a good survey see I. F. W. Beckett, _The Great War: 1914–1918_ (2nd ed. 2007) * ^ Adrian Gregory (2008). _The Last Great War: British Society and the First World War_. Cambridge U.P. * ^ Ian F.W. Beckett, _The Home Front, 1914–1918: How Britain Survived the Great War_ (2006) excerpt and text search * ^ _A_ _B_ Arthur Marwick, _The Deluge: British Society and the First World War_ (1965) * ^ David Stevenson (2011). _With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918_. Harvard U.P. p. 370. * ^ Niall Ferguson, _The Pity of War_ (1998) p 249 * ^ The Great War in figures. * ^ Alan Sharp, _The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking after the First World War, 1919–1923_ (2nd ed. 2008) * ^ Joost Augusteign, ed., _The Irish revolution, 1913–1923_ (Basingstoke, 2002) * ^ Thomas Henessy, _A History of Northern Ireland, 1920–1996_ (1998) * ^ _A_ _B_ Peter J. Beck, "Leisure and Sport in Britain." in Chris Wrigley, ed., _A Companion to Early Twentieth-Century Britain_ (2008): 453-69. * ^ John K. Walton, _The English seaside resort. A social history 1750-1914_ (1983). * ^ Peter Haydon, _The English pub: a history_ (1994). * ^ John K. Walton, _Leisure in Britain, 1780-1939_ (1983). * ^ Beck, "Leisure and Sport in Britain." p 457 * ^ Charles Barr, _All our yesterdays: 90 years of British cinema_ (British Film Institute, 1986). * ^ Amy Sargeant, _British Cinema: A Critical History_ (2008). * ^ Jeffrey Richards, _Age of the Dream Palace: Cinema & Society in Britain 1930-1939_ (1990). * ^ Walsh, Michael (1997). "Fighting the American Invasion with Cricket, Roses, and Marmalade for Breakfast". _Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film & Television_. 40: 3–17. * ^ Kevin Gough-Yates, "Jews and exiles in British cinema." _The Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook_ 37#.1 (1992): 517-541. * ^ Tobias Hochscherf, _The Continental Connection: German-Speaking Émigrés and British Cinema, 1927-45_ (2011). * ^ Charles Loch Mowat, _Britain between the Wars 1918-1940_ (1955) pp 246-50 * ^ Mowat, _Britain between the Wars 1918-1940_ (1955) p 242. * ^ Hendy, David (2013). "Painting with Sound: The Kaleidoscopic World of Lance Sieveking, a British Radio Modernist". _Twentieth Century British History_. 24 (2): 169–200. doi :10.1093/tcbh/hws021 . * ^ Huggins, Mike (2007), "" BBC
BBC
Radio and Sport 1922-39,"" (PDF), _Contemporary British History_ (21#4), pp. 491–515 * ^ Derek Birley, _Land of sport and glory: Sport and British society, 1887-1910_ (1995) * ^ Derek Birley, _Playing the Game: Sport and British Society, 1914-1945_ (1995) * ^ Cooper, David (1999). "Canadians Declare 'It Isn't Cricket': A Century of Rejection of the Imperial Game, 1860-1960". _Journal of Sport History_. 26: 51–81. * ^ Derek Birley, _A Social History of English Cricket_ (1999) excerpt * ^ Dave Day, _Professionals, Amateurs and Performance: Sports Coaching in England, 1789–1914_ (2012) * ^ Cottle, Basil (1978). "Popular Reading And Our Public Libraries: The Abjured Prescription". _Library Review_. 27: 222–227. doi :10.1108/eb012677 . * ^ Nicholas Joicey, "A Paperback Guide to Progress Penguin Books 1935–c. 1951." _Twentieth Century British History_ 4#1 (1993): 25-56. online * ^ Joseph McAleer, _Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain: 1914-1950_ (1992). * ^ Joseph McAleer, _Passion's fortune: the story of Mills online edn, January 2011 doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/30550 * ^ Andrew J. Taylor, "Stanley Baldwin, Heresthetics and the Realignment of British Politics," _British Journal of Political Science,_ (July 2005), 35#3 pp 429–63, * ^ Philip Williamson, "Baldwin's Reputation: Politics and History, 1937–1967," _Historical Journal_ (March 2004) 47#1 pp 127–68 in JSTOR * ^ Ross McKibbin, _Parties and people: England, 1914–1951_ (Oxford, 2010) * ^ A.J.P. Taylor, _English History, 1915–1945_ (1965) p 176, quote on p 317 * ^ Garside, W.R.; Greaves, J.I. (1997). "Rationalisation and Britain's industrial Malaise: The interwar years revisited". _Journal of European Economic History_. 26 (1): 37–68. * ^ Greaves, Julian (2007). "Managing decline: The political economy of British shipping in the 1930s". _Journal of Transport History_. 28 (1): 57–130. doi :10.7227/tjth.28.1.5 . * ^ Solomos Solomou and Dimitris Vartis, "Effective Exchange Rates in Britain, 1920–1930," _Journal of Economic History,_ (September 2005) 65#3 pp 850–59 in JSTOR * ^ R.J. Unstead, "A Century of Change: 1837–Today" * ^ B.R. Mitchell, _Abstract of British Historical Statistics_ (1962) p 68 * ^ Martin Pugh, _Speak for Britain!: A New History of the Labour Party_ (2011) pp 100–27 * ^ Medlicott, _Contemporary England,_ pp 223–30 * ^ Alastair Reid, and Steven Tolliday, "The General Strike, 1926," Historical Journal (1977) 20#4 pp 1001–12 in JSTOR * ^ Pugh, Martin (2006). "The General Strike". _History Today_. 56 (5): 40–47. * ^ B.R. Mitchell, _Abstract of British Historical Statistics_ (1962) pp 116–17 * ^ Richardson, H.W. (1969). "The Economic Significance of the Depression in Britain". _Journal of Contemporary History_. 4 (4): 3–19. JSTOR 259833 . doi :10.1177/002200946900400401 . * ^ Richard Overy (2010). _The Twilight Years: The Paradox of Britain Between the Wars_. Penguin. p. 96. * ^ Overy, _Twilight Years,_ ch 2 * ^ Samuels, Stuart (1966). "The Left Book Club". _Journal of Contemporary History_. 1 (2): 65–86. JSTOR 259923 . * ^ Perry, Matt (2002). "The Jarrow Crusade's Return: The 'New Labour Party' of Jarrow and Ellen Wilkinson, M.P.". _Northern History_. 39 (2): 265–78. doi :10.1179/007817202790180576 . * ^ David Faber , _Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II_ (2010) * ^ Donald Cameron Watt, _How War Came: Immediate Origins of the Second World War, 1938–39_ (1990) * ^ Patrick Finney, "The romance of decline: The historiography of appeasement and British national identity." _Electronic Journal of International History_ 1 (2000). online * ^ Hughes, J. R. T. (1958). "Financing the British War Effort". _Journal of Economic History_. 18 (2): 193–199. JSTOR 2115103 . * ^ Sidney Pollard, _The development of the British economy 1914-1950_ (1962 and later editions) pp 339-48 * ^ F. M. Leventhal, _Twentieth-Century Britain: an Encyclopedia_ (1995) pp 74–75, 830 * ^ Brian Abel‐Smith, "The Beveridge report: Its origins and outcomes." _International Social Security
Security
Review_ (1992) 45#1‐2 pp 5–16. online * ^ Angus Calder, _The people's war: Britain, 1939–1945_ (1969) * ^ Lucy Noakes, _Women in the British Army: War and the Gentle Sex, 1907–48_ (2006), pp 61–81 * ^ Alfred F. Havighurst, _Britain in Transition: The Twentieth Century_ (1962) ch 9 * ^ Harris, Jose (1992). "War and social history: Britain and the home front during the Second World War". _Contemporary European History_. 1 (1): 17–35. doi :10.1017/s096077730000504x . * ^ Paul Addison . "The Impact of the Second World War," in Paul Addison and Harriet Jones, eds. _A Companion to Contemporary Britain: 1939–2000_ (2005) pp 3–22 * ^ Peter Clarke, _Hope and Glory: Britain 1900–1990_ (1996) chs 7, 8 * ^ David Kynaston, _Austerity Britain, 1945–1951_ (2008) ch 4 * ^ Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, _Austerity in Britain: Rationing, Controls, and Consumption, 1939–1955_ (2002) * ^ Alfred F. Havighurst, _Britain in Transition: The Twentieth Century_ (1962) ch 10 * ^ _A_ _B_ Alan Sked and Chris Cook, _Post-War Britain: A Political History_ (1979) pp 31–34 * ^ _A_ _B_ Samuel H. Beer, _British Politics in the Collectivist Age_ (1965) pp 188–216 * ^ A companion to contemporary Britain, 1939–2000 by Paul Addison and Harriet Jones * ^ Sandbrook, Dominic (26 May 2011). _State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974_. Penguin Books Limited, 2011. ISBN 9780241956915 . * ^ Tabloid tales: global debates over media standards by Colin Sparks and John Tulloch * ^ http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/111284/Dave-Ellis,-Swinging-Realism-The-Strange-Case-of-To-Sir,-With-Love-and-Up-the-Junction.pdf * ^ A Century of Change: 1837–Today by R.J. Unstead * ^ An Economic and Social History of Britain 1760–1970 by Trevor May * ^ http://digital.library.lse.ac.uk/objects/lse:xun775fux * ^ Norman Lowe, _Mastering Modern World History_, second edition * ^ Patmore, John Allan. _Land and Leisure in England
England
& Wales_. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. ISBN 9780838610244 . * ^ Matthew Hollow (2011). _\'The Age of Affluence\': Council Estates and Consumer Society_. * ^ Socially Deprived Families in Britain edited by Robert Holman, reprinted edition 1971, first published in 1970 * ^ Global Labour History: A State of the Art by Jan Lucassen * ^ C.P. Hill, _British Economic and Social History 1700–1964_ * ^ " BBC
BBC
- Wales
Wales
- History". _www.bbc.co.uk_. * ^ Yesterday's Britain: The Illustrated Story of How We Lived, Worked and Played in this Century, published by Reader's Digest * ^ Martin Pugh, _Speak for Britain! A New History of the Labour Party_ (London: Random House, 2011), pp 115–16 * ^ A Social History of Housing 1815–1985 by John Burnett * ^ The Labour Government 1964–70 by Brian Lapping * ^ Anthony Sampson, _The New Europeans: A guide to the workings, institutions and character of contemporary Western Europe_ (1971) * ^ Noel Tracy, _The Origins of the Social Democratic Party_ (1983) p.29 * ^ David McDowall, _Britain in Close-Up_ (2008) * ^ _A_ _B_ Anthony Sampson, _The Essential Anatomy of Britain: Democracy in Crisis_ (1993) * ^ Nick Bosanquet and Peter Townsend, eds., _Labour and Inequality: A Fabian Study of Labour in Power, 1974-79_ (1980) * ^ Marc Mulholland, _ Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
at the Crossroads: Ulster Unionism in the O'Neill Years, 1960–9_ (2000) * ^ Paul Dixon, _Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace_ (2008) * ^ Christopher Farrington, _ Ulster
Ulster
Unionism and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland_ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) * ^ Baten, Jörg (2016). _A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present_. Cambridge University Press. p. 29. ISBN 9781107507180 . * ^ What Needs To Change: New Visions For Britain, edited by Giles Radice * ^ "Homes less affordable than 50 years ago - but at least more of them have indoor toilets!". _thisismoney.co.uk_. * ^ John Newhouse, _De Gaulle and the Anglo-Saxons_ (1970), p. 226. * ^ Andrew Moravcsik, "De Gaulle Between Grain and Grandeur: The Political Economy of French EC Policy, 1958–1970 (Part 2)." _Journal of Cold War
Cold War
Studies_ 2#3 (2000): 4-68. online * ^ 1975: UK embraces Europe in referendum BBC
BBC
On This Day * ^ "Ever closer union? The UK and Europe". _ BBC
BBC
News_. * ^ "Ever closer union? The UK and Europe". _ BBC
BBC
News_. * ^ "UK ratifies the EU Lisbon Treaty". _ BBC
BBC
News_. * ^ \'Huge contrasts\' in devolved NHS BBC
BBC
News, 28 August 2008 * ^ NHS now four different systems BBC
BBC
2 January 2008 * ^ Turnout \'at 80-year low\' news.bbc.co.uk, 8 June 2001 * ^ Andrew Mumford. _The Counter-Insurgency Myth: The British experience of irregular warfare_. Routledge. p. 171. * ^ Andrew Geddes and Jonathan Tonge, _Britain decides: the UK general election 2005_ (2005) * ^ Choosing Scotland\'s Future: A National Conversation: Independence and Responsibility in the Modern World, Annex B Draft Referendum (Scotland) Bill The Scottish Government, Publications * ^ MSPs back devolution review body BBC
BBC
News, 6 December 2007. * ^ PM backs Scottish powers review BBC
BBC
News, 17 February 2008. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "New Holyrood powers planned after Calman review". BBC
BBC
News. 25 November 2009. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009. * ^ Quinn, Joe (30 November 2009). "SNP reveals vision for independence referendum". London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009. * ^ A. Black (18 May 2011), "Scottish election: SNP profile", _BBC News_, archived from the original on 4 June 2011 . * ^ Scottish independence: Cameron gives green light to referendum guardian.co.uk, 8 May 2011 * ^ McLeish reiterates support for devo-max holyrood.com, 17 October 2011 * ^ Salmond gives backing to ‘devo max’ ballot choice The Scotsman, 22 October 2011 * ^ FXHistory: historical currency exchange rates From €1 => £0.73650 to €1 => 0.9690 * ^ " Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
should say \'sorry\'". London: Telegraph.co.uk. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009. * ^ Bank of England\'s time-out for quantitative easing plan news.bbc.co.uk, 4 February 2010 * ^ Nicholas Allen and John Bartle, eds. _Britain at the Polls 2010_ (2010) excerpt and text search * ^ RAF.mod.uk – Operation Ellamy. Retrieved 20 October 2011. * ^ "UK military starting Libya return". BBC, 28 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011. * ^ "UK Insurance Industry welcomes Prime Minister\'s Compensation Scheme announcement and pledges help to make the scheme work". Association of British Insurers. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2011. * ^ "Commonwealth agrees historic change to give sex equality in Royal succession". _ Daily Mail
Daily Mail
_, 28 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011. * ^ "British monarchs can soon marry Catholics". _National Catholic Reporter_, 28 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011. * ^ "SNP boost as membership soars past 100k mark". _Glasgow Herald_. Newsquest. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015. * ^ see BBC
BBC
"Results" May 8, 2015 * ^ Adam Taylor, "4 ways the British elections have changed everything," _Washington Post_ 8 May 2015 * ^ Erlanger, Steven (23 June 2016). "Britain Votes to Leave E.U., Stunning the World". _The New York Times_. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 24 June 2016. * ^ EU Brexit referendum: UK \'must not delay leaving\', BBC
BBC
News. Retrieved 24 June 2016. * ^ "Nicola Sturgeon says MSPs at Holyrood could veto Brexit". _BBC_. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016. * ^ Matthews, Dylan (25 June 2016). ""Bracksies": how Brexit could wind up not actually happening". Vox. * ^ "Brexit: David Cameron
David Cameron
to quit after UK votes to leave EU". BBC. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016.

FURTHER READING

Further information: Historiography of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
§ Further reading

* _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography_ (2004) online; short scholarly biographies of all the major people * Addison, Paul. _No Turning Back: The Peaceful Revolutions of Post-War Britain_ (2011) excerpt and text search * Arnstein, Walter L. _Britain Yesterday and Today: 1830 To the Present_ (2000), university textbook * Ashton, T.S. _The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
(1760-1830)_ (Oxford UP, 1964) online free * Bew, John. _Clement Attlee: The Man Who Made Modern Britain_ (2017). * Black, Jeremy. _A history of the British Isles_ (Macmillan, 1996) * Black, Jeremy. _The Hanoverians: The History of a Dynasty_ (2004) * Bright, J. Franck. _A History Of England. Period 4: Growth Of Democracy: Victoria 1837-1880_ (1893) online 608pp; highly detailed political narrative * Bright, J. Franck. _A History of England: Period V. Imperial Reaction Victoria 1880-1901_ (vol 5, 1904); detailed political narrative; 295pp; online; also another copy * Cannon, John, ed. _The Oxford Companion to British History_ (2003), historical encyclopedia; 4000 entries in 1046pp excerpt and text search * Childs, David. _Britain since 1945: A Political History_ (2012) excerpt and text search * Clarke, Peter. _Hope and Glory: Britain 1900–2000_ (2nd ed. 2004) 512pp; excerpt and text search * Cook, Chris. _The Longman Companion to Britain in the Nineteenth Century 1815–1914_ (1999) * Cook, Chris and John Stevenson, eds. _Longman Companion to Britain Since 1945_ (1995) 336pp * Colley, Linda. _Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707–1837_ (Yale U.P. 1992) * Daunton, M.J. _Progress and Poverty: An Economic and Social History of Britain 1700–1850_ (1995); _Wealth and Welfare: An Economic and Social History of Britain 1851–1951_ (2007) excerpt and text search * _The Encyclopedia of Britain_ (Helicon, 1999), 1015pp ISBN 1-85986-275-6 ; also published as _Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Britain_ * Gardiner, Juliet. _Wartime: Britain 1939–1945_ (2004); 782pp; social history

* Harrison, Brian. _Seeking a Role: The United Kingdom, 1951–1970_ (New Oxford History of England) (2011) excerpt and text search; online

* Harrison, Brian. _Finding a Role?: The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
1970–1990_ (New Oxford History of England) (2011) excerpt and text search; online major scholarly survey

* Hilton, Boyd. _A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People?: England 1783–1846_ (New Oxford History of England) (2008), scholarly synthesis excerpt and text search * Holland, R.F. _The pursuit of greatness: Britain and the world role, 1900–1970_ (Fontana history of England) (1991) * Hoppen, Theodore. _The Mid-Victorian Generation 1846–1886_ (New Oxford History of England) (2000) excerpt and text search * Hoppit, Julian. _A Land of Liberty?: England
England
1689–1727_ (New Oxford History of England) (2002) excerpt and text search * Jones, J.R. _Britain and the World, 1649–1815_ (1980); 348pp; general survey emphasizing rivalry with France * Kearney, Hugh. _The British Isles: a history of four nations_ (Cambridge U.P., 1989) * Langford, Paul. _A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727–1783_ (New Oxford History of England) (1994), scholarly synthesis * Leventhal, F.M. _Twentieth-Century Britain: An Encyclopedia_ (2nd ed. 2002) 640pp; short articles by scholars * Lunn, Jon, Vaughne Miller, Ben Smith. "British foreign policy since 1997 – Commons Library Research Paper RP08/56 _(UK House of Commons, 2008) 123pp online_ * McCord, Norman and Bill Purdue. _British History, 1815-1914_ (2nd ed. 2007), 612 pp online, university textbook * Marr, Andrew. _A History of Modern Britain_ (2009); also published as _The Making of Modern Britain_ (2010), popular history covers 1945–2005 * Marshall, Dorothy. _Eighteenth Century England, 1714–1784_ (2nd ed. 1974), 553pp, wide-ranging survey * Medlicott, W.N. _Contemporary England, 1914–1964_ (2nd ed. 1976) * Mokyr, Joel. _The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700–1850_ (2010) * Morgan, Kenneth O. _The Oxford History of Britain_ (2010) * Otte, T.G. _The Makers of British Foreign Policy: From Pitt to Thatcher_ (2002) excerpt and text search * Pearce, Malcolm, and Geoffrey Stewart. _British political history, 1867–2001: democracy and decline_ (Routledge, 2013). * Pollard, Sidney. _The Development of the British Economy, 1914-1990_ (4th ed. 1991). * Pugh, Martin. _Speak for Britain!: A New History of the Labour Party_ (2011) excerpt and text search * Ramsden, John, ed. _The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics_ (2005) excerpt and text search * Reynolds, David. _Britannia Overruled: British Policy and World Power in the Twentieth Century_ (2nd ed. 2000) excerpt and text search, major survey of British foreign policy to 1999 * Royle, Edward. _Modern Britain: A Social History 1750–2010_ (2012) * Searle, G.R. _A New England?: Peace and War 1886–1918_ (New Oxford History of England) (2005) excerpt and text search * Schama, Simon. _A History of Britain, Vol. 2: The Wars of the British, 1603–1776_ (2001); _A History of Britain: The Fate of Empire 1776–2000_ (2002) * Somervell, D.C. _The Reign of King George V,_ (1936) 550pp; wide ranging political, social and economic coverage, 1910-35; online free * Taylor, A.J.P. _English History, 1914–1945_ (Oxford History of England) (1965) excerpt and text search * Thomson, David. _ England
England
in the 19th Century 1815-1914_ (1951) online 220pp * Thompson, F.M.L., ed. _The Cambridge Social History of Britain, 1750–1950_ (3 vol. 1992), essays by scholars * Tombs, Robert. _The English and Their History_ (2015). * Ward, A.W. and G.P. Gooch, eds. _The Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, 1783-1919_ (3 vol, 1921–23), old detailed classic; vol 1, 1783-1815 ; vol 2, 1815-1866; vol 3. 1866-1919 * Webb, R.K. 'Modern England: from the 18th century to the present _(2nd ed. 1980)._ * Welsh, Frank. _The Four nations: a history of the United Kingdom_ (Yale U.P., 2003) * Woodward, E.L. _The Age of Reform, 1815-1870_ (1938) 602pp; online. a major survey

HISTORIOGRAPHY

* Addison, Paul and Harriet Jones, eds. _A Companion to Contemporary Britain: 1939–2000_ (2005) excerpt and text search * Bronstein, Jamie L. and Andrew T. Harris. _Empire, State and Society: Britain since 1830_ (2012), 352pp; brief university textbook online * Cannon, John. _The Oxford Companion to British History_ (2nd ed. 2002) 1142pp * Dickinson, H.T., ed. _A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain_ (Blackwell, 2006); 584pp; essays by 38 experts; excerpt and text search * Elton, G.R. _Modern Historians on British History 1485-1945: A Critical Bibliography 1945-1969_ (1969), annotated guide to 1000 history books on every major topic, plus book reviews and major scholarly articles. online * Furber, Elizabeth Chapin, ed. _Changing Views on British History_ (1966) * Jones, Harriet, and Mark Clapson, eds. _The Routledge Companion to Britain in the Twentieth Century_ (2009) excerpt and text search * Loades, David, ed. _Reader's Guide to British History_ (2 vol 2003), 1610pp * Schlatter, Richard, ed. _Recent Views on British History: Essays on Historical Writing Since 1966_ (1984) * Williams, Chris, ed. _A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Britain_ (Blackwell, 2006); 33 essays by experts; 624pp excerpt and text search * Wrigley, Chris, ed. _A Companion to Early Twentieth-Century Britain_ (Blackwell Companions to British History) (2009) excerpt and text search

PRIMARY SOURCES

* _English historical documents_ London: Methuen; 12 vol covering Middle Ages
Middle Ages
to 1957; reprinted 2011; the most comprehensive collection on political, constitutional, economic and social topics * Beard, Charles, ed. _An introduction to the English historians_ (1906) excerpts * Cheyney, Edward P. _Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England_ (1935) 850 pp strongest on political & constitutional topics * Stephenson, Carl and Frederick G. Marcham, eds. _Sources of English Constitutional History_ (2nd ed. 1990) * Weiner, Joel H. ed. _ Great Britain
Great Britain
Foreign Policy a documentary history of domestic policy, 1689–1973_ (4 vol 1974), 1396 pp * "Finding primary resources for modern British history"

Scholarly Journals

* _ Agricultural History Review _ * _ Anglican & Episcopal History _ * _ Albion
Albion
_ * _ British Catholic History _ * _Britain and the World _, formerly _British Scholar_ * _Contemporary British History_ * _ English Historical Review _ * _First World War Studies_ * _ The Historical Journal _ * _History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society_ * _ History Today _, popular * _ History Workshop Journal _ * _ Notes and Records of the Royal Society _, history of science * _Past ;background:none transparent;border:none;-moz-box-shadow:none;-webkit-box-shadow:none;box-shadow:none;">v

* t * e

British Isles
British Isles

* Terminology

* Alba
Alba
* Albion
Albion
* Prydain * Britain * Éire * Hibernia
Hibernia

* Naming dispute

POLITICS

SOVEREIGN STATES

* Ireland
Ireland
* United Kingdom
United Kingdom
( England
England
* Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
* Scotland
Scotland
* Wales
Wales
)

CROWN DEPENDENCIES

* Guernsey
Guernsey
* Jersey
Jersey
* Isle of Man
Isle of Man
* Sark
Sark

POLITICAL COOPERATION

* Ireland– United Kingdom
United Kingdom
relations * British–Irish Council * British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference * British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly * Common Travel Area

GEOGRAPHY

ISLAND GROUPS

* Channel Islands
Channel Islands
* Islands of the Clyde * Great Britain
Great Britain

* Hebrides
Hebrides

* Inner * Outer

* Ireland
Ireland
* Isle of Man
Isle of Man

* Northern Isles

* Orkney
Orkney
* Shetland
Shetland

* Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly

LISTS OF ISLANDS OF

* Bailiwick of Guernsey
Guernsey
* Ireland
Ireland
* Bailiwick of Jersey
Jersey
* Isle of Man
Isle of Man

* United Kingdom
United Kingdom

* England
England
* Scotland
Scotland
* Wales
Wales

HISTORY

ISLAND GROUPS

* Ireland
Ireland

CURRENT STATES

* Ireland
Ireland

* United Kingdom
United Kingdom

* England
England
* Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
* Scotland
Scotland
* Wales
Wales

* Guernsey
Guernsey
* Jersey
Jersey
* Isle of Man
Isle of Man

FORMER STATES

* Irish Free State
Irish Free State

* Kingdom of England

* Principality of Wales
Wales

* Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
* Kingdom of Ireland * Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
* United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland
Ireland

SOCIETY

MODERN LANGUAGES

GERMANIC

* English * Scots

CELTIC

* Cornish * Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
* Irish * Manx * Welsh

ROMANCE

* Auregnais * French * Guernésiais * Jèrriais * Sercquiais

OTHER

* British Sign Language * Irish Sign Language * Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Sign Language * Shelta

PEOPLE

* British * Cornish * English * English Gypsies * Irish * Irish Travellers * Kale * Manx * Northern Irish * Scottish * Ulster-Scots * Welsh

* v * t * e

History of Europe

PREHISTORY

* Paleolithic Europe
Paleolithic Europe
* Neolithic Europe * Bronze Age Europe * Iron Age Europe

CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY

* Classical Greece * Roman Republic
Roman Republic
* Hellenistic period * Roman Empire
Roman Empire
* Early Christianity
Early Christianity
* Crisis of the Third Century * Fall of the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
* Late antiquity

MIDDLE AGES

* Early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
* Migration Period
Migration Period
* Christianization
Christianization
* Francia
Francia
* Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
* Maritime republics * Viking Age * Kievan Rus\' * Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
* High Middle Ages
Middle Ages
* Feudalism * Crusades
Crusades
* Mongol invasion * Late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
* Hundred Years\' War * Kalmar Union * Renaissance
Renaissance

EARLY MODERN

* Reformation
Reformation
* Age of Discovery * Baroque
Baroque
* Thirty Years\' War * Absolute monarchy * Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
* Portuguese Empire * Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
* Early modern France * Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth * Swedish Empire
Swedish Empire
* Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
* British Empire
British Empire
* Habsburg Monarchy * Russian Empire
Russian Empire
* Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment

MODERN

* Great Divergence
Great Divergence
* Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
* French Revolution * Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
* Nationalism
Nationalism
* Revolutions of 1848 * World War I
World War I
* Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
* Interwar period
Interwar period
* World War II
World War II
* Cold War
Cold War
* European integration
European integration

SEE ALSO

* Art of Europe
Art of Europe
* Genetic history of Europe * History of the Mediterranean region * History of the European Union
European Union
* History of Western civilization * Maritime history of Europe * Military history of Europe

* v * t * e

History of Europe by country

SOVEREIGN STATES

* Albania * Andorra * Armenia * Austria * Azerbaijan * Belarus * Belgium * Bosnia and Herzegovina * Bulgaria * Croatia * Cyprus * Czech Republic * Denmark * Estonia * Finland * France * Georgia * Germany * Greece * Hungary * Iceland * Ireland
Ireland
* * Italy * Kazakhstan * Latvia * Liechtenstein * Lithuania * Luxembourg * Macedonia * Malta * Moldova * Monaco * Montenegro * Netherlands * Norway * Poland * Portugal * Romania * Russia * San Marino * Serbia * Slovakia * Slovenia * Spain * Sweden * Switzerland * Turkey * Ukraine * United Kingdom * Vatican City

States with limited recognition

* Abkhazia * Kosovo * Nagorno-Karabakh * Northern Cyprus * South Ossetia * Transnistria

Dependencies and other entities

* Åland * Faroe Islands * Gibraltar
Gibraltar
* Guernsey
Guernsey
* Isle of Man
Isle of Man
* Jersey
Jersey
* Svalbard

OTHER ENTITIES

* European Union
European Union

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