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Alexander Fleming was researching influenza (the ‘flu’) in 1928 when he discovered penicillin. This was then further developed into a usable drug by the scientists Howard Florey and Ernst Chain.
During the reign of Henry VIII, Wales became formally united with England by the Act for the Government of Wales. The Welsh sent representatives to the House of Commons and the Welsh legal system was reformed.
The war ended with the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. King Richard III of the House of York was killed in the battle and Henry Tudor, the leader of the House of Lancaster, became King Henry VII.
About AD 600, Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were established in Britain. These kingdoms were mainly in what is now England. The burial place of one of the kings was at Sutton Hoo in modern Suffolk.
In the Middle Ages, Parliament began to develop into the institution it is today. Its origins can be traced to the king’s council of advisers, which included important noblemen and the leaders of the Church.
The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age, when people learned how to make weapons and tools out of iron. People still lived in roundhouses, grouped together into larger settlements, and sometimes defended sites called hill forts.
This commercial expansion and prosperity was sustained in part by the booming slave trade. While slavery was illegal within Britain itself, by the 18th century it was a fully established overseas industry, dominated by Britain and the American colonies.
One of the most famous battles of the Hundred Years War was the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, where King Henry V’s vastly outnumbered English army defeated the French. The English left France in the 1450s.
Better transport links were needed to transport raw materials and manufactured goods. Canals were built to link the factories to towns and cities and to the ports, particularly in the new industrial areas in the middle and north of England.
The 1950s were a period of economic recovery after the war and increasing prosperity for working people.
The United States entered the Second World War when the Japanese bombed its naval base at Pearl Harbour in December 1941.
Having occupied Austria and invaded Czechoslovakia, Hitler followed his invasion of Poland by taking control of Belgium and the Netherlands. Then, in 1940, German forces defeated allied troops and advanced through France.
In 1815, the French Wars ended with the defeat of the Emperor Napoleon by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. Wellington was known as the Iron Duke and later became Prime Minister.
The BBC started radio broadcasts in 1922 and began the world’s first regular television service in 1936.
After his victory in the Wars of the Roses, Henry VII deliberately strengthened the central administration of England and reduced the power of the nobles. When he died, his son Henry VIII continued the policy of centralising power.
Fill in the blank space with appropriate choice.
Henry VIII had to take the permission of _________ in order to divorce his first wife.
To divorce his first wife, Henry VIII needed the approval of the Pope. When the Pope refused, Henry established the Church of England. In this new Church, the king, not the Pope, would have the power to appoint bishops and order how people should worship.
The Irish Nationalist movement had grown strongly through the 19th century. Some, such as the Fenians, favoured complete independence.
Henry VIII was succeeded by his son Edward VI, who was strongly Protestant. During his reign, the Book of Common Prayer was written to be used in the Church of England. A version of this book is still used in some churches today.
The queen of Scotland, Mary Stuart (often now called ‘Mary, Queen of Scots’) was a Catholic. She was only a week old when her father died and she became queen.
In Scotland, 31 December is called Hogmanay and 2 January is also a public holiday. For some Scottish people, Hogmanay is a bigger holiday than Christmas.
Labour government took into public ownership (nationalised) the railways, coal mines and gas, water and electricity supplies.
Queen Elizabeth I was a Protestant. She re-established the Church of England as the official Church in England. Everyone had to attend their local church and there were laws about the type of religious services and the prayers which could be said, but Elizabeth did not ask about people’s real beliefs.
Areas of what is now Scotland were never conquered by the Romans, and the Emperor Hadrian built a wall in the north of England to keep out the Picts (ancestors of the Scottish people).
Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch on 9 September 2015 when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Victoria. On 6 February 2017 she became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne.
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