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The Normans used a system of land ownership known as feudalism. The king gave land to his lords in return for help in war. Landowners had to send certain numbers of men to serve in the army.
Catherine of Aragon – Catherine was a Spanish princess. She and Henry had a number of children but only one, Mary, survived. When Catherine was too old to give him another child, Henry decided to divorce her, hoping that another wife would give him a son to be his heir.
The Middle Ages saw the development of a national culture and identity.
Until 1870, when a woman got married, her earnings, property and money automatically belonged to her husband. Acts of Parliament in 1870 and 1882 gave wives the right to keep their own earnings and property.
Richard Arkwright improved the original carding machine. Carding is the process of preparing fibres for spinning into yarn and fabric.
Another rebellion began in Ireland because the Roman Catholics in Ireland were afraid of the growing power of the Puritans. Parliament took this opportunity to demand control of the English army – a change that would have transferred substantial power from the king to Parliament. In response, Charles I entered the House of Commons and tried to arrest five parliamentary leaders, but they had been warned and were not there.
The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England united under King Alfred the Great, who defeated the Vikings.
Throughout the 1990s, Britain played a leading role in coalition forces involved in the liberation of Kuwait, following the Iraqi invasion in 1990, and the conflict in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.
‘apple’, ‘cow’ and ‘summer’ – are based on Anglo-Saxon words.
During the 18th century, new ideas about politics, philosophy and science were developed. This is often called ‘the Enlightenment’.
Charles II had no legitimate children. He died in 1685 and his brother, James, who was a Roman Catholic, became King James II in England, Wales and Ireland and King James VII of Scotland.
James II’s elder daughter, Mary, was married to her cousin William of Orange, the Protestant ruler of the Netherlands.
William and Mary’s successor, Queen Anne, had no surviving children. This created uncertainty over the succession in England, Wales and Ireland and in Scotland.
When Henry VII died, his son Henry VIII continued the policy of centralising power.
In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic. A naval taskforce was sent from the UK and military action led to the recovery of the islands.
Sir Christopher Cockerell (1910–99), a British inventor, invented the hovercraft in the 1950s.
The Harrier jump jet, an aircraft capable of taking off vertically, was also designed and developed in the UK.
Several of the cathedrals had windows of stained glass, telling stories about the Bible and Christian saints.
Working with radar led Sir Bernard Lovell (1913–2012) to make new discoveries in astronomy. The radio telescope he built at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire was for many years the biggest in the world and continues to operate today.
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The Saxon king Harold was defeated by William, Duke of Normandy, at the Battle of Hastings.
In 1066, an invasion led by William, the Duke of Normandy (in what is now northern France), defeated Harold, the Saxon king of England, at the Battle of Hastings.
The Middle Ages also saw a change in the type of buildings in Britain. Castles were built in many places in Britain and Ireland, partly for defence.
Although the UK had won the second world war, the country was exhausted economically and the people wanted change. During the war, there had been significant reforms to the education system and people now looked for wider social reforms.
William of Orange, the Protestant ruler of the Netherlands.
In 1688, important Protestants in England asked William of Orange to invade England and proclaim himself king.
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