Monday, January 21st, 2019

British Isles

The British Isles are a group of islands off the north-western coast of continental Europe that include: Great Britain, Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. The sovereign states of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are on the islands. The British Isles also include three dependencies of the British Crown: the Isle of Man and, by tradition, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, although the latter are not physically a part of the archipelago.1a

Great Britain is the largest island of the British Isles and is comprised of England, Scotland and Wales.         Maps

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of the union of what were once four separate countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (most of Ireland is now independent). 1a

“England” is sometimes, wrongly, used in reference to the whole United Kingdom, the entire island of Great Britain (or simply Britain), or the British Isles. This is not only incorrect but can cause offense to people from other parts of the United Kingdom.1b

British people can be Scottish, Welsh, Irish (living in Northern Ireland) or English. The Scots and the Welsh are proud of their separate identities and tend to refer to themselves as Scottish or Welsh.

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Britain      England      Scotland      Wales      Northern Ireland      Republic of Ireland / Ireland
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History of the British Isles       Great Britain      United Kingdom        Wars & Conquests
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Timelines of British History      British History in-depth      British Ancient HistoryBlank Space


Prehistoric Britain BC: Before the arrival of the Romans, Britain was home to a wide array of sophisticated and thriving cultures.

– First Peoples of Britain: The regional physical
   stereotypes familiar to us today, a pattern widely
   thought to result from the post-Roman Anglo-Saxon
   and Viking invasions (red-headed people in Scotland;
   small, dark-haired folk in Wales; and lanky blondes
   in southern England) already existed in Roman times.
   Insofar as they represent reality, they perhaps
   attest to the post-Ice Age peopling of Britain, or
   the first farmers of 6,000 years ago.1c

– Celtic culture (The Iron Age – 600 BC – 50 AD)
   dominated modern-day Germany, France and as far
   east as Turkey before Ancient Rome and the
   Germanic tribes expanded throughout Europe.The
   word “Celt” refers to a culture or influence (not an
   empire) and it comes from the Greeks, who called the
   tribes to their north the “Keltoi.” There is no evidence
   that the Celts ever referred to themselves as Celts.

   Between 500 and 100 BC, the Celts brought the Iron
   Age to Britain and within a few hundred years the
   Bronze Age culture disappeared and Celtic culture
   predominated throughout the Pretanic Islands (this
   Celtic term for Britain and Ireland became the modern
   word “Britain”. 1d (see map).

   Celtic tribes lived for the glories of battle and
   plunder and they fought amongst themselves
   as willingly as they fought other enemies.
   Celtic Britain (The Iron Age – 600 BC – 50 AD)
The Celtic Iron Age

– The Kingdom of the Picts were Celtic northern tribes that
   constituted the largest kingdom in Dark Age Scotland.
   When the Picts repelled the invasions of the Romans
   and the Angles, they created a true north-south divide
   on the island. Scotland itself, might never have
   existed had the Picts not won a very decisive victory
   at the Battle of Dun Nechtain (Dunnichen) against
   the Angles of Northumbria. The battle ended the
   Angles domination of Scotland and freed the Picts,
   Gaels and many Britons from Northumbrian
   overlordship. Gaelic poets as far away as Ireland
   celebrated the battle’s outcome.

   For many years, Gaelic influence in Pictland had
   been on the rise. The Gaelic religion (Christianity)
   and traditions had also spread throughout Pictish
   lands. Through a mixture of conquest and inter-
   marriage, Gaelic or Gaelicised royalty had succeeded
   to the Pictish throne. By the end of of the first
   millennium, the Picts were swallowed whole by
   the Gaels and disappeared from history. Together,
   the Gaels and Picts created the Kingdom of Alba.1e
   The Pictish Nation
   The Shadowy Painted People?

– The Kingdom of the Gaels gave Scotland its name
   because Romans called the Gaelic-speaking ‘pirates’
   who raided Britannia in the 3rd and 4th centuries
   ‘Scoti’ – a racially derogatory term. The Gaels
   called themselves ‘Goidels’, modernized today as
   Gaels, and they later called Scotland ‘Alba’.
   Historians still debate the origin of the Gaels.
   According to the earliest historical source, they
   came from Ireland under King Fergus Mor around
   500 BC and conquered Argyll away from the Picts.
   Because there is continuity in the building styles
   of crannogs and forts on Argyll and Ireland, some
   archaeologists have recently suggested that the
   Gaels were on Argyll long before King Fergus and
   shared a common Gaelic culture with Ireland.1f

   Dál Riata was a Gaelic overkingdom that included
   parts of western Scotland and northeastern Ulster
   in Ireland, across the North Channel. In the late
   6th–early 7th century it encompassed roughly
   what is now Argyll and Lochaber in Scotland and
   also County Antrim in Ulster. To its east and
   north was Pictland.1g (see map).

   Dunadd Hill Fort is on a rocky outcrop approximately
   80 miles from Dál Riata near Kilmartin Glen in Argyll,
   and it is known for the unique stone carvings
   beneath its upper enclosure. A footprint and basin
   carved into the rock are where Gaelic kings were
   inaugurated. Footprint stones are symbolic of Scottish
   Kingship and are evocative of the top King or Chief
   walking in the footsteps of his ancestors; similar
   footprint stones can also be found at various Irish
   royal sites where ceremonies were held to inaugurate
   the Lords of the Isles. 1h

   The Kingdom of the Gaels enjoyed its heydey
   under Áedán mac Gabráin (r. 574–608). Its
   growth first slowed after the Battle of Degsastan
   in 603 against Æthelfrith of Northumbria; more
   serious defeats in Ireland and Scotland in the time
   of Domnall Brecc (d. 642) ended Dál Riata’s “golden
   age,”and the kingdom became a client of
   Northumbria, then subject to the Picts. Today, experts
   disagree about whether or not the Gaels rebounded1i

– The Kingdom of the Britons1j

– The Kingdom of the Angles1k

Britannia, province of Roman Empire, 43 – 410 AD
– An Overview of Roman Britain by Dr Mike Ibeji
– Timeline, 55 BC to 410 AD
– Britain and the Romans
– Hadrian’s Wall     Building Hadrian’s Wall
– Vindolanda Tablets reveal insight
   into the lives of Roman soldiers in Britain
– Boudicca: Warrior Queen of the Iceni, (a.k.a Boadicea or
   Boudica, and in Welsh as Buddug) led an uprising
   against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.    Map of Celtic Britain    Statues of Boadicea    Prasutagus
– Iceni Uprising
– The Decline of Britannia
– The Fall of Roman Britain
– After the Romans by Dr Mike Ibeji
– Age-old Diversity found in Britain

Anglo Saxon Britain, 450 – 1066 AD: From barbarian invaders to devout Christian missionaries, the Anglo-Saxons brought four hundred years of religious evolution and shifting political power to the British Isles. They ruled England for 600 years and formed the basis of its culture, language and borders.
– The Anglo Saxons
– Ages of English Timeline: From a West Saxon dialect to
   a global phenomenon, from runes to rap, the
   development of English follows a fascinating trail.
– The Venerable Bede (?-735)
– Offa (r. 757-796): the first ruler to be called
   ‘king of the English’.
– Aethelred II ‘The Unready’ (R. 979-1013 & 1014-16)
– Egbert, King of Wessex (r. 802-839)
– King Canute ‘The Great’ (r. 1016-1035)
– Edward III ‘The Confessor” (c.1003 – 1066)
– Read more about Anglo Saxon Kings
– King Arthur, ‘Once and Future King’ By M. Wood
– An Anglo-Saxon Tale: Lady Godiva: The story of Lady
   Godiva is an enduring one – find out here the
   facts about her that are known to be true,
   alongside the tale that has been handed down
   through the years.
– Anglo Saxon Coin Game

Viking Britain, 800 – 1066
The Vikings were raiders, traders and colonists who left an enduring mark on Britain.
– Vikings: a brief history
– The Viking Invasions of England – 793 AD to 900 AD
– Loot: Why the Vikings Came to Britain
– What happened to the Vikings? Throughout the Viking
   Age, there were many battles between the Vikings
   and the English. In the 9th century, the English
   King Alfred the Great stopped the Vikings taking
   over all of England. In the 10th century the English
   reconquered much of the land held by Vikings. In
   954, they drove out Eric Bloodaxe, the last Viking king
   of Jorvik (a Viking-age city discovered by
   archaeologists between the years 1976-81). After
   Eric was killed in battle, the Vikings in England
   agreed to be ruled by England’s king.
– Viking Timeline

Norman Britain, 1066 – 1154
The Normans brought a powerful top aristocracy to Britain, and yet preserved much that was Anglo-Saxon about their top possession by Professor John Hudson
– Background to the Norman Conquest Fifty years of    intrigue, deception and treachery preceded William of    Normandy’s invasion of England by Dr Mike Ibeji
– The Norman Conquest and its Aftermath by Dr Mike Ibeji
– English and Norman Society by Dr Mike Ibeji
– William I ‘The Conqueror’ of Normandy (r. 1066-1087) or
– William the Conqueror, Military Leader, King (1028–1087)
– William II (Known as William Rufus) (r. 1087-1100)
– Henry I ‘Beauclerc’ (r. 1100-1135)
– King Stephen of Blois (r. 1135-1154) and Empress Matilda
– Other Key Players
– Key Events

Middle Ages (1154 – 1486): Turmoil, crisis and the creation of a state, from Magna Carta to the horrors of the Black Death.
– Henry II was an imperialist king whose attitude to
   France, Ireland, Wales and Scotland defined
   England’s relations with its neighbors for centuries.
– Eleanor of Aquitaine (1137-1152) was one of the most
   powerful and influential figures of the Middle Ages.
   Inheriting a vast estate at the age of 15 made her
   the most sought-after bride of her generation.
   She would eventually become the queen of France,
   the queen of England and lead a crusade to the Holy
   Land. She is also credited with establishing and
   preserving many of the courtly rituals of chivalry.
– Common Law: Many remember Henry II for his
   turbulent relationship with Thomas Becket and his sons,
   Richard the Lionheart and John, but it was the
   establishment of permanent professional courts at
   Westminster and in the counties for which he might be
   best remembered. These reforms changed forever the
   relationship of the King to Church, State and society.
– Becket, the Church and Henry II
– Henry II’s Character and Legacy

Tudor Britain (1485 – 1603 AD): An era of change and triumph, from Henry VIII’s Reformation to Elizabeth and the Armada.
– How the Tudor dynasty shaped modern Britain
– Important People
– Important Events and Dates
– Some Primary Sources
– Tudor England
– Henry VII ended the dynastic wars known as the Wars
   of the Roses, founded the Tudor dynasty and
   modernized England’s government and legal
– Henry VIII is one of the most famous kings in English
   history. He was the second Tudor monarch and
   was well-known for having six wives. His break
   with the papacy in Rome established the Church
   of England and began the Reformation.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
     – Catherine of Aragon
     – Anne Boleyn
     – Jane Seymour
     – Anne of Cleeves
     – Catherine Howard
     – Catherine Parr

– English Reformation
– Mary Tudor, a.k.a. Bloody Mary
– Edward VI
– Elizabeth I

The Stuarts/Civil War & Restoration (1603-1714)
– Background & Important Events
– Causes of the English Civil War
– Timeline for causes of the English Civil War
– The English Civil War
– Timeline for the English Civil War
– The Gunpowder Plot of 1605
– Guy Fawkes
– The Stuarts’ dynasty spanned one of the most    tumultuous periods in British history – years of civil
   war, assassination attempts, usurpations, national
   disaster and revolution.
– James I (ruled England 1603-1625 and
   Scotland 1567-1625))

– Charles I (r. 1625-1649)
– Interregnum/Oliver Cromwell (1649-1660)
– Charles II (r.1660 -1685)
– James II (r.1685-1688)
– Mary II, William III and Act of Settlement
– Anne (r.1702-1714)

Georgian Britain 1714 – 1830

Empire and Sea Power (1714 – 1837)

Victorian Britain 1837

Modern Britain 1902 +



Historical Timeline for Scotland (PDF file)

Aberdeen Harbour Board Collection Collection of photographs from the University of Aberdeen depicting the history of the port.

Glasgow Digital Library A variety of digitized resources depicting the history of Glasgow.

Scottish Economic History Database, 1550-1780 “This online database has been produced to further the dissemination of data collected during a project on Scottish wages and prices, 1550 -1780.”

Statistical Accounts of Scotland Digitized versions of the 1791-1799 and 1834-1845 statistical accounts. The accounts are based on parish records and are “vitally important reference sources for Scotland’s history, geography and society.”

Survey of Scottish Witchcraft “The database contains all people known to have been accused of witchcraft in early modern Scotland—nearly 4,000 of them. There is information on where and when they were accused, how they were tried, what their fate was, and on a wide range of themes relating to social and cultural history.”

Manuscript maps created by Timothy Pont in the 1580s and 1590s. The site includes the maps and accompanying narrative.

University of St. Andrews Photographic Archive Thousands of images from the collection of St. Andrews.

Virtual Mitchell: Images of Glasgow Searchable collection of historic photographs depicting Glasgow by the Mitchell public library of Glasgow. Also see the library’s Sir Thomas Lipton Digitisation Project.

The Word on the Street Searchable collection of more than 1800 Scottish broadsides.



An explanation of the differences between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom)           Republic of Ireland (an independent nation, a.k.a. Ireland)

Ireland’s History in Maps

Ireland profile – Timeline by the BBC

History of the Republic of Ireland –

Irish Free State declared –

The Republic is Formed –

Republic of Ireland by Wikipedia

Fenian Brotherhood Collection “The Fenians were established in Ireland and the United States in 1858 with the avowed purpose of overthrowing British rule in Ireland and establishing an Irish Republic.” This collection from the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives contains letters, pamphlets, topspapers and other material from the American branch.

Views of the Famine Transcriptions of Irish and British topspaper coverage of the famine. Also see Irish Views of the Famine.

Ireland and World War One

Politics of the Republic of Ireland by Wikipedia

Economy of the Republic of Ireland by Wikipedia

Gaelic, the Irish language by Wikipedia

Irish and Celtic Myths, Legends & Folklore: Tales of heroes, romances, tragedies, battles and place names

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Ancient Ireland:     Fortress      Religion       Culture and Commerce       Technology       Map

History Of Vikings Invading Ireland: includes a timeline at bottom of page

The Coming of the Vikings

Vikings in Ireland: Up to the ninth century, the civilization of Ireland remained uniformly Celtic. Then in 795, the first of the Viking attacks hit Lambay Island in Dublin Bay. Viking attacks and invasions had a devastating effect on Ireland and its and its monasteries for more than two centuries.

8 Viking Ireland Videos from the National Museum of Ireland

The Vikings in Ireland: A surprising discovery in Dublin challenges long-held ideas about when the Scandinavian raiders arrived on the Emerald Isle. (Atwood, Roger. “The Vikings in Ireland – Archaeology Magazine.” The Vikings in Ireland – Archaeology Magazine. Archaeological Institute of America, 10 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 May 2015.

Viking Network Ireland: The Viking Age in Ireland, Viking Lesson Plans and Viking Schools Projects links.

The Viking Answer Lady

Brian Boru: The Last Great High King of Ireland

Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, killed

King Brian of Ireland murdered by Vikings

Images of Brian Boru

The following twelve links go to the Travel through the Ireland Story
by Patrick Abbot (Web page by Wesley Johnston).

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1914 – 1919: The First World War, Easter Rising and rise of Sinn Féin

1919 – 1921: The War of Independence and Partition

1921 – 1925: The Irish Civil War and Stabilisation of Northern Ireland

1925 – 1932: Building the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland Economies

1932 – 1945: The Economic War and the Second World War

1945 – 1963: The birth of the Irish Republic and Economic Development

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Wars & Conquests

  • Canute the Great’s conquest of England: Canute, a prince of Denmark, won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe. His accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England and Denmark together. Canute maintained his power by uniting Danes and English under cultural bonds of wealth and custom, rather than by sheer brutality.
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  • Norman conquest of England: was the invasion of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. It is an important watershed event in English history for a number of reasons. The conquest linked England more closely with Continental Europe through the introduction of a Norman aristocracy, thereby lessening Scandinavian influence. It created one of the most powerful monarchies in Europe and engendered a sophisticated governmental system. The conquest changed the English language and culture, and set the stage for rivalry with France, which would continue intermittently until the nineteenth century. It remains the last successful military conquest of England.
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  • The Crusades were holy wars fought between Christians in Europe and Muslims in the Middle East between 1095 and 1291. Although the main goal of the Crusades was to take control of Jerusalem away from the Muslims, there were many reasons why European knights and others were willing to travel and fight a war in a foreign land. For centuries, Christian pilgrims traveled from Europe to Jerusalem. In the 11th century, however, the Seljuk Turks, who were Muslim, began to interfere with these pilgrimages. In 1071, the Seljuk Turks fought against the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of Manzikert. The Byzantines, who were Christian, lost. The Byzantine emperor asked the Christians in Europe to help protect his empire from the Turks. In 1095, Pope Urban II called for a crusade against the Muslims to regain control of Jerusalem. He promised that all crusaders who fought the Muslims would receive immediate forgiveness for all of their sins. 2
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  • Norman (Anglo-French) invasion of Ireland was a two-stage process that began on May 1, 1169, when a force of loosely associated Norman knights landed near Bannow, County Wexford, at the request of Diarmait Mac Murchada, the ousted King of Leinster who had sought their help in regaining his kingdom. On October 18, 1171, Henry II landed a larger army in Waterford to ensure his continuing control over the preceding Norman force. In the process he took Dublin and had accepted the fealty of the Irish kings and bishops by 1172, so creating the Lordship of Ireland that formed part of his Angevin Empire. 3
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  • Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) was a long conflict between the kings and kingdoms of France and England against each other. Two factors lay at the origin of the conflict: first, the status of the duchy of Guyenne (or Aquitaine)-though it belonged to the kings of England, it remained a fief of the French crown, and the kings of England wanted independent possession; second, as the closest relatives of the last direct Capetian king (Charles IV, who had died in 1328), the kings of England from 1337 claimed the crown of France. The Hundred Years’ War lasted 116 years.4
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  • Wars of the Roses (1455-1485) were a series of civil wars in which two royal houses (families) fought for control of England. The House of Lancaster (Tudor family) ultimately defeated the House of York.
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  • English Civil War (1641–1651) was three related civil conflicts between the English Parliament and its supporters against the Royalist followers of King Charles I and King Charles II. The war caused a temporary overthrow of the English monarchy.
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  • Anglo-Dutch Wars were a series of fought wars fought between the English (later British) and the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries for control over the seas and trade routes. The first war took place during the English Interregnum, and was fought between the Commonwealth of England and the Dutch Republic (also known as the United Provinces). The second war and third war took place after the Restoration, and involved the Kingdom of England and the Dutch Republic. The fourth war took place after the Acts of Union, and involved the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Dutch Republic.5
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  • War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718–1720) pitted Britain, the Holy Roman Empire, France, the Dutch Republic, and Savoy against Spain.
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  • The War of the Austrian Succession (1742–1748) was about the legitimacy of Maria Theresa’s succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg and it involved most of the powers of Europe. The war included King George’s War in North America, the War of Jenkins’ Ear (which formally began on 23 October 1739), the First Carnatic War in India, and the First and Second Silesian Wars.
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  • King George’s War (1744–1748) was the North American part of the French and Indian Wars that were fought between Britain and France in their American colonies.
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  • French and Indian War (1754–1763) : The North American portion of this war was fought between Britain and France in their American colonies. The French and Indian War ended in a total victory for the British and their American colonists. The British victory set the stage for the American Revolution a few years later.
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  • Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) was a global conflict that officially began when England declared war on France. However, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years. In the United States this war is known as the French and Indian War.
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  • Napoleonic Wars were a series of conflicts fought between France under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte and a number of European nations between 1799 and 1815. They began with the War of the First Coalition (1793-97) and engaged nearly all European nations, Egypt, North and South America in a bloody struggle. Warfare changed during the Napoleonic Wars and moved towards modern warfare. The idea of war as a sport of kings was left behind and the concept of Total War and the nations in arms was born. Weaponry evolved at a much slower rate than the ideas of the nation at arms and conscription but by the end of the period, most European armies had riflemen and the British made the first large scale use of Congreve Rockets in a European war. The period started with bright uniforms and ended with dark blue or green uniforms. This was the beginning of military camouflage. The Duke of Wellington led the British Army and he gained reknown as the best general in Europe. 6
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  • War of the First Coalition (1792-1798): Britain, Austria, Prussia, Spain, Russia, Sardinia and Holland combined to fight Revolutionary France. Russia left the Coalition in 1794 to deal with troubles in Poland. French victories forced Holland, also known then as the Batavian Republic, to leave the Coalition in 1795. Prussia and Spain made peace with France in 1795 and Austria signed the Treaty of Campo-Formio in 1798, surrendering the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium) to France.
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  • War of the Second Coalition (1798-1801): Britain, Austria, Russia, Portugal, Naples and the Ottoman Empire combined to fight Revolutionary France. Spain later joined France against Portugal. This alliance against France formed to counter French moves in Italy; formation of the Roman, Ligurian, Cisalpine and Helvetic Republics in Switzerland and Italy, and the deposition of Papal rule in Rome. Naples was conquered by the French in early 1799 and declared to be the top Parthenopean Republic. Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Turkish Egypt and won the Battle of the Pyramids, continuing his march into what is now Israel and Lebanon. British Admiral Horatio Nelson wiped out the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Due to French victories on land against both Turkish and British troops, the Ottoman Empire made peace with France at the Convention of El-Arish in 1800.
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  • Anglo-French War (1803-1814): While other European nations waged war and then sued for peace against Napoleonic France, Britain was in a continual state of war against France from 1803 through the first defeat of Napoleon in 1814.
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  • Peninsular War (1807-1814) began with the French Invasions of Portugal and Spain. Great Britain sent forces to help the Portuguese and Spanish drive out the French. From the British perspective, the Peninsular War was a part of the long-running war between Britain and France from 1803 to 1814.
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  • Chesapeake-Leopard Affair (June 22, 1807) was a Naval battle between the frigate USS Chesapeake and the British warship HMS Leopard. Leopard crewmembers pursued, attacked and boarded the American frigate looking for deserters from the Royal Navy. The incident created an uproar among Americans and many called for war with Great Britain.7
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  • The Little Belt Affair (May 16, 1811) was a Naval battle between U.S. frigate USS President and the British HMS Little Belt. This was one of many incidents that led to the War of 1812.
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  • The War of 1812 (1812-1814) was the second war between the United States and Great Britain.
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  • The War of the Seventh Coalition (1815) : After Napoleon’s return to France from exile, Britain, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands and a number of smaller German states combined to fight Napoleon and France. The allies defeated Napoleon once and for all at the Battle of Waterloo.
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  • First Anglo-Afghan War (1838–1842): During the nineteenth century, two large European empires vied for dominance in Central Asia. In what was called the “Great Game,” the Russian Empire moved south while the British Empire moved north from its so-called crown jewel, colonial India. Their interests collided in Afghanistan, resulting in the the First Anglo-Afghan War of 1839 to 1842.8
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  • First Opium War (1839-1842): The Opium Wars, also called the Anglo-Chinese Wars, were a system of disputes over trade and diplomatic relations between China under the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire centered around the import of opium.9 Opium Wars Timeline
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  • The Crimean War (1853–1856) (a.k.a in Russian historiography as the Eastern War 1853-1856): Britain, France, and Sardinia joined together to aid the Ottoman Empire when Russia attacked it in October 1853.
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  • Second Opium War (1856-1860): Disputes over the treatment of British merchants in Chinese ports and on the seas led to the Second Opium War. France also played a major part in this war. While the Chinese were able to win some battles, the combined forces of the British and French ultimately proved too much. British-French troops sailed from Hong Kong and captured the port cities of Yantai and Dalian to seal the Bohai Gulf. Later, the British-French forces defeated ten thousand Chinese troops at the Battle of Palikao. The war ended in 1960. As a result of the war, China had to pay another indemnity, 8 million taels to Britain and France, and the importation of opium is made legal.10
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  • Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–1880): The Second Anglo-Afghan War began when Britain invaded Afghanistan for reasons that had less to do with the Afghans than with the Russian Empire.The feeling in London in the 1870s was that the competing empires of Britain and Russia were bound to clash in central Asia at some point, with Russia’s eventual goal being the invasion and seizure of Britain’s prize possession, India.British strategy, which would eventually become known as “The Great Game,” was focused on keeping Russian influence out of Afghanistan, which could become Russia’s stepping-stone to India.11
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  • First Boer War (1880–1881), a.k.a the First Transvaal War of Independence, arose between the British colonizers and the Boers from the Transvaal Republic or Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR). The expansion of the British Empire, problems within the Transvaal government, the British annexation of the Transvaal, and the Boer opposition to British rule in the Transvaal all played a role in starting the war.12
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  • The Second Boer War (1899-1902): was caused by a number of interrelated factors: the conflicting political ideologies of imperialism and republicanism, the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand, tension between political leaders, the Jameson Raid and the Uitlander franchise.13
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  • Somali “Mad Mullah” Jihad (1899-1905) was when Somali tribesmen led by religious leader Muhammad ibn Abd Allah Hasan, waged a desert guerrilla war against Britain, Italy and Ethiopia. Following repeated defeats by the Somalis, the colonial powers offered him territory in Italian Somaliland in exchange for peace. He resumed his war in 1908 and harassed the occupiers of his country until 1920.
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  • In the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900) the Chinese secret religious and nationalistic Society of the Righteous Harmonious Fists (Boxers), initiated a rebellion against foreign colonizers, missionaries and their own government in 1899. By 1900, the Chinese government had co-opted the rebels and directed their violent fury entirely upon the foreign presence in China. The Boxers, aided by Chinese Imperial troops, besieged the diplomatic legations (embassies) of the Western powers and Japan, sparking a truly international response. A retaliatory relief expedition composed of troops from: the United State, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Japan invaded China and captured the capital of Peking (now called Beijing).14
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  • World War I (1914-1918) was the first “official” world war. It is also known as “The Great War” and “The World War.”     Books    DVDs    Web
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  • The Russian Civil War Britain, along with the United States, France, and Japan, intervened unsuccessfully in the civil war in Russia that brought the Communists to power.
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  • The Anglo-Irish War (1919–1921) resulted in the formation of the Irish Free State, and the division of Ireland, with the six northern counties (Ulster), choosing to remain a part of the United Kingdom.
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  • Third Anglo-Afghan War (May-August, 1919): When World War I broke out in 1914, there was widespread support in Afghanistan for Ottoman Turkey against the British.The ruler of Afghanistan, Ḥabībullāh Khan, maintained a policy of noninvolvement throughout the war. When Ḥabībullāh was assassinated on February 20, 1919, by persons associated with the anti-British movement, his son Amānullāh Khan took possession of the throne. At that time Britain still exercised an important influence on Afghan affairs. In his coronation address Amānullāh declared total independence from Great Britain. This declaration launched the inconclusive Third Anglo-Afghan War in May 1919.15
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  • World War II (1939-1945) Other WWII resources
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  • The Anglo-Iraq War of 1941 (April 18, 1941 to May 30, 1941), also known as the Rashid Ali Coup, was a relatively small, but very significant part of the Second World War. Since the ending of the British Mandate and the advent of full Iraqi independence in 1932, Britain retained a great deal of military influence in Iraq, despite lingering opposition from many Arab nationalists. One of these nationalists, Rashid Ali, seized power in Baghdad and refused British requests to allow British military forces to enter Iraq. Britain at this time was fighting German and Italian forces in North Africa and were preparing to invade Vichy French-held Syria. (The Vichy French were working with the Germans and British and Free French forces needed to secure the region). Believing promises of German support, Rashid Ali ordered his forces to attack British bases in western Iraq and to oppose the landing of British forces at the southern city of Basra. German support appeared in the form of a small number of Luftwaffe fighter planes, and the British forces quickly defeated the Iraqi military.
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  • Cold War The role played by Britain in the conduct of East-West relations during the formative period of the Cold War, from 1945 to 1950, is only now beginning to receive the detailed scholarly attention which the subject merits by virtue of its importance and which the release of the official papers makes possible. In the vast and still rapidly growing literature on the origin of the Cold War, attention is focused on the principal protagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union, virtually to the exclusion of all other actors. to the extent that Britain does feature in accounts of the Cold War, it is usually treated not so much as an actor in its own right but as an appendage to the United States. Thus it is generally recognized that the withdrawal by Britain of aid to Greece and Turkey in the early weeks of 1947 forced America to assume the lead in the containment of the Soviet Union, but the continuing British impact on Western policy is all too frequently underrated. The tendency to minimize the part played by Britain in the containment of the Soviet Union becomes much more pronounced in respect of the period following America’s assumption of the leadership of the free world with the enunciation of the Truman Doctrine and the launching of the Marshall Plan16
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  • Greek Civil War (1944-1947): British forces became involved in the early stages of the Greek Civil War when they liberated Greece from German occupation toward the end of 1944. As the Germans withdrew, competing Greek factions fought for control. The British sided with the re-established Greek government against the Communist rebels. Due to financial pressures and their own need to recover from World War Two, Britain announced a withdrawal of forces in 1947. The Greek Civil War continued until 1949, with the United States taking over the role of protector for the government. British combat involvement primarily took place in 1944 and 1945. The Greek Civil War continued until the Greek government defeated the rebels in 1949.16
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  • Korean War (1950-1953): Britain contributed significant military forces to the United Nations cause.
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  • Anglo-Egyptian War of 1951-1952: Egyptian guerrillas, aided by the government carried out a campaign against British forces stationed at the Suez Canal and agains other symbols of Britain and the West. On January 25, 1952, British troops retaliated against Egypt by attacking an Egyptian police station, killing 50 and wounding 100. The conflict ended with a change in the Egyptian government and the eventual withdrawal of British troops. This conflict led to Britain’s involvement in the 1956 Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956. 17
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  • The Mau Mau Insurgency in Kenya (1952-1956) is regarded as one of the most significant steps towards a Kenya free from British rule. The fighters were primarily from Kenya’s major ethnic group, the Kikuyu. By the start of the 1950s, over one million Kikuyu had been increasingly economically marginalized as years of white settler expansion ate away at their land holdings. In October 1952, the British declared a state of emergency and moved army reinforcements into Kenya because Kikuyu, Embu and Meru fighters were attacking political opponents and raiding white settler farms and destroying livestock. An aggressively fought counter-insurgency lasted until 1960 when the state of emergency ended. 18
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  • Suez War of 1956: On October 29, 1956, Israeli armed forces pushed into Egypt toward the Suez Canal after Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-70) nationalized the canal in July of that same year, initiating the Suez Crisis. The Israelis soon were joined by French and British forces, which nearly brought the Soviet Union into the conflict, and damaged their relationships with the United States. In the end, the British, French and Israeli governments withdrew their troops in late 1956 and early 1957.19
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  • The Cyprus Emergency (1955-1959) was a military action that took place in British Cyprus primarily consisting of an insurgent campaign by the Greek Cypriot militant group, the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA), to remove the British from Cyprus so it could be unified with Greece. Both the British and EOKA were in turn opposed by the Turkish Cypriot group Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT), who rejected union with Greece. It led to Cyprus being granted independence in 1960.20
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  • Muscat and Oman Intervention (1957-1959) : Britain begins military intervention in Oman in support of extremely repressive regime against rebellion by Omani Liberation Army. The OLA were backed by King Saud of Saudi Arabia, US oil company Aramco and Egypt’s president Nasser. SAS fights covert war and RAF conducts wide-spread bombing of villages and strongholds, defeating rebels by 1959.
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  • Jordan Intervention (1958): Britain airlifted troops to Jordan in response to a request for aid from the Jordanian king. King Hussein felt threatened by the recent union of Syria and Egypt, as well as the violent revolution in Iraq in which the Iraq king, a member of Hussein’s family, was brutally murdered. After the situation calmed down, British troops left Jordan.22
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  • The Brunei Revolt (1962) broke out on 8 December 1962. The rebels of the North Kalimantan National Army (TNKU) began co-ordinated attacks on the oil town of Seria (targeting the Royal Dutch Shell oil installations) and on police stations and government facilities around the protectorate. The revolt began to break down within its first hours of operation, having failed to achieve key objectives such as the capture of Brunei town and the Sultan. The revolt is seen as one of the first stages of the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.23
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  • Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation (1962–1966) : Between 1962 and 1966 Indonesia and Malaysia fought a small, undeclared war which came to involve troops from Australia, Top Zealand and Britain. The conflict resulted from a belief by Indonesia’s President Sukarno that the creation of the Federation of Malaysia, which became official in September 1963, represented an attempt by Britain to maintain colonial rule behind the cloak of independence granted to its former colonial possessions in south-east Asia. 24
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  • Ugandan Army Mutiny (1964): The army of Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962 and mutinied against the government of President Milton Obote in January of 1964. Unable to control the situation, Obote was unable to control the situation, so, he called for help from British forces and they ended the revolt.
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  • Aden Conflict (1964-1967): The Aden Emergency was an insurgency against the British Crown forces in the British controlled territories of South Arabia which now form part of the Republic of Yemen. Partly inspired by Nasser’s pan Arab nationalism, it began on 10 December 1963 with the throwing of a grenade at a gathering of British officials at Aden Airport. A state of emergency was then declared in the British Crown colony of Aden and its hinterland, the Aden Protectorate. The emergency escalated in 1967 and hastened the end of British rule in the territory which had begun in 1839. On 30 November 1967, British forces withdrew and the independent People’s Republic of South Yemen was proclaimed.25
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  • Conflict in Northern Ireland (1969-1998): The Troubles (Irish: Na Trioblóidí) is the common name for the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that spilled over at various times into the Republic of Ireland, mainland UK and mainland Europe. The Troubles began in the late 1960s and are deemed by many to have ended with the Belfast “Good Friday” Agreement of 1998, although there has been sporadic violence since then. Internationally, the Troubles are also commonly called the Northern Ireland conflict and have been described as a war.
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    The conflict was primarily a political one, but it also had an ethnic or sectarian dimension, although it was not a religious conflict. A key issue was the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. Unionists/loyalists, who are mostly Protestants, generally want Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom. Irish nationalists/republicans, who are mostly Catholics, generally want it to leave the United Kingdom and join a united Ireland. Another key issue was the relationship between these two communities. The conflict began amid a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic/nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist-dominated government and police force. Another grievance was the introduction of internment (imprisonment without trial) and the interrogation of internees by the five techniques, which was initially only used against nationalists.

    The main participants in the Troubles were republican paramilitaries (such as the Provisional IRA), loyalist paramilitaries (such as the UVF and UDA), the British state security forces (the British Army and the RUC, Northern Ireland’s police force), and political activists and politicians. The Republic of Ireland’s security forces played a smaller role. More than 3,500 people were killed in the conflict.26

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  • Falkland Islands War (1982): The military dictatorship in Argentina mistakenly believed that Britain, led by Prime Minister Margaret “Iron Lady” Thatcher, would not wage a war over the tiny Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. When the Argentinians invaded the British-owned and British-inhabited Falkland Islands in April of 1982, the British responded by sending the Royal Navy and other military units to liberate the islands from the Argentine invaders. The British defeated the Argentinians and liberated the islands. As a direct result of the disastrous war with Britain, the Argentine dictatorship fell and was replaced by a democracy.27
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  • The Gulf War: (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), code named Operation Desert Shield (2 August 1990 – 17 January 1991) for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) in its combat phase, was a war waged by coalition forces from 34 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait. Britain was one of the major Western allies to resist Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
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    The United Kingdom committed the largest contingent of any European state that participated in the war’s combat operations. Operation Granby was the code name for their operations in the Persian Gulf. British Army regiments (mainly with the 1st Armoured Division), Royal Air Force squadrons and Royal Navy vessels were mobilized in the Persian Gulf. The Royal Air Force, using various aircraft, operated from airbases in Saudi Arabia. Almost 2,500 armored vehicles and 53,462 troops were shipped for action.

    Chief Royal Navy vessels deployed to the Persian Gulf included Broadsword-class frigates, and Sheffield-class destroyers, other R.N. and R.F.A. ships were also deployed. The light aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea.

    Special operations forces were deployed in the form of several SAS squadrons.28

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  • A Brief History of the Balkan Crisis
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    • The Bosnian War (1995–1996) was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 6 April 1992 and 14 December 1995. The main belligerents were the forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and those of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat entities within Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska and Herzeg-Bosnia, who were led and supplied by Serbia and Croatia respectively.29
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    • The Kosovo War (1999): started in 1998 between the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Slobodan Miloševic’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This battle had been a long time in the making and created a challenging situation for both parties. Each side had a set of directives and results that they wanted to see come to fruition. There was an allied force, NATO, which was taking action to make sure that a specific set of accomplishments for the greater good were accomplished.

      This force wanted to see that military action came to a stop in an effort to halt the repression in Kosovo. NATO wanted to see that the Serbian forces were withdrawn from Kosovo. Furthermore, they wanted to see an acceptable amount of effort and planning to get a reasonable framework for the political operations in Kosovo. These were the primary directives of NATO at the time of the beginning of the Kosovo War.

      There were strategic air strikes that were crafted to take out higher-ranking people within the opposition of each side of the war. It has seemed that both sides were not prepared for the strategy and tenacious aggression that the other side had in this war. Both sides were struggling to try to take the lead in this war and it was devastating for both sides. Eventually bombs became the next level of battle and the negotiations became increasingly more imperative. Both sides were trying to end the conflict; yet both sides were unrelenting with wanting their own outcome.

      In the end Yugoslavia lost the war with over 130 people killed in Kosovo. NATO made it so that the United Nations would be in charge of the overseeing of Kosovo in the future. This is the general summary of the Kosovo War and how the war ended after a long-standing battle.31

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  • The Afghanistan War (2001-2014), also known as the U.S. war in Afghanistan, began when the United States, supported by close allies and the wider North Atlantic Treaty Organization, invaded Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks, on 7 October 2001. The public aims of the invasion were to dismantle al-Qaeda, and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. Britain and other key allies supported the U.S. from the start. In August 2003, NATO became involved as an alliance, taking the helm of the International Security Assistance Force. On 28 December 2014, NATO formally ended combat operations in Afghanistan and transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government, via a ceremony in Kabul.32     Timeline
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  • Global War on Terror ( GWOT, 2001-Present), also known as the Global War on War on Terror (WoT), refers to the international military campaign that started after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Britain, the United States and many other NATO and non-NATO nations are engaged in military, political, economic, and diplomatic efforts to destroy militant extremist organizations, such as al-Qaeda, and to combat Islamic Militancy in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
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  • The 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack (June 30, 2007): was a terrorist ramming attack which occurred on Saturday, 30 June 2007, at 15:11 BST, when a dark green Jeep Cherokee loaded with propane canisters was driven into the glass doors of the Glasgow International Airport terminal and set ablaze. It was the first terrorist attack to take place in Scotland since the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. The attack occurred three days after the appointment of Glasgow-born Scottish MP Gordon Brown as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but Downing Street dismissed suggestions of a connection, although a close link was quickly established to the 2007 London car bombs the previous day.

    Security bollards outside the entrance stopped the car from entering the terminal, although the doors were damaged. The car’s driver was severely burnt in the ensuing fire and five members of the public were also injured, although none were seriously harmed. Some injuries were sustained by those assisting the police in detaining the occupants.

    Both of the car occupants were apprehended at the scene, and all those injured were taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in nearby Paisley. Within three days, Scotland Yard had confirmed that eight people had been taken into custody in connection with this incident and that in London.

    Police identified the two men as Bilal Abdullah, a British-born, Muslim doctor of Iraqi descent working at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, and Kafeel Ahmed, also known as Khalid Ahmed, an engineer and the driver, who was treated for fatal burns at the same hospital. The topspaper, The Australian, alleges that a suicide note indicated that the two had intended to die in the attack. Kafeel Ahmed died from his injuries on 2 August. Bilal Abdullah was later found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 32 years in prison.33

  • London Terror Bombings (July 7, 2005): In London, at 8:50 am on Thursday 7 July, three bombs exploded simultaneously, destroying sections of three different London Underground trains. One was detonated just outside Liverpool Street station, the other outside Edgware Road and the third between Kings Cross and Russell Square. Around an hour later at 9:50am there was an explosion on the top level of a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square near Kings Cross, caused by a similar device to the ones used on the underground.

    The explosions left 52 innocent people dead and over 700 injured. Chaos erupted across the capital, echoing the horrific terrorist attacks faced by Top York four years before, on 11 September 2001. The worst bombing in London since WWII, it brought the city’s public transport network to a standstill, with the complete closure of the underground system and Zone 1 bus networks forcing thousands of commuters to walk the long journey home. Read More     TimelineBlank Space

  • London Terror Bombings (July 21, 2005): Islamic militants exploded four bombs in London, and a fifth bomb failed to explode properly. There were no casualties. Timeline
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  • The Iraq War (2003-2011), also called Second Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom, (2003–11), consisted of two phases. The first of these was a brief, conventionally fought war in March–April 2003, in which a combined force of troops from the United States and Great Britain (with smaller contingents from several other countries) invaded Iraq and rapidly defeated Iraqi military and paramilitary forces. It was followed by a longer second phase in which a U.S.-led occupation of Iraq was opposed by an insurgency. After violence began to decline in 2007, the United States gradually reduced its military presence in Iraq, formally completing its withdrawal in December 2011.
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    Britain, along with the U.S., Australia, and Poland, invaded Iraq to drive out the regime of dictator Saddam Hussein. British forces ended their participation in the war in Iraq on April 30, 2009. 34      
    Timeline of Major Events in the Iraq War

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1b Barrow, Mandy. “Why is England or the UK sometimes called Britain?” The Difference between England, Britain and the UK. 2013. Web.
            4 June 2015.

1c James, Dr. Simon. History. BBC, 2014. Web. 10 June 2015.

1d Abbot, Patrick. “Celtic Ireland in the Iron Age: The Celts.” Celtic Ireland in the Iron Age: The Celts. Web. 15 June 2015.

1e “The Kingdom of the Picts.” Scotland’s History. BBC, 2014. Web. 10 June 2015.

1f “Kingdom of the Gaels.” Scotland’s History. BBC, 2014. Web. 15 June 2015.

1g “Kingdom of the Gaels.” Scotland’s History. BBC, 2014. Web. 15 June 2015.

1h .

2 “The Crusades.” The Crusades. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

3 “Norman Invasion of Ireland.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

4 “Hundred Years’ War.” A&E Television Networks. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

5 “Anglo-Dutch Wars.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

6 “Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815).” Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). Web. 4 June 2015.

7 “Chesapeake–Leopard Affair.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.–Leopard_Affair

8 Szczepanski, Kallie. “First Anglo-Afghan War, 1839-1842.” Web. 16 Apr. 2015.             Anglo-Afghan-War.htm

9 “History – Opium Wars.” History – Opium Wars. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.
          Opium Wars Timeline

10 McNamara, Robert. “The Second Anglo-Afghan War (Late 1870s).” Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

11 “First South African War 1880-1881 | First Anglo Boer War | South African History Online.”First South African War 1880-1881 | First Anglo Boer
          War | South African History Online. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

12 “Second South African War 1899-1902 | Second Anglo-Boer War | South African History Online.” Second South African War 1899-1902 | Second
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13 “The Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900).” Wars and Conflicts of England and Great Britain. The History Guy. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

14 “Third Anglo-Afghan War.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

15 Shlaim, Avi. “Britain, the Berlin Blockade and the Cold War.” International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-) Vol. 60, No. 1
          (Winter, 1983-1984), p. 1.

16 ”Greek Civil War (1944-1947).” Wars and Conflicts of England and Great Britain. The History Guy. Web. 20 Apr. 2015. .

17 “Anglo-Egyptian War of 1951-1952 (1951-1952).” Wars and Conflicts of England and Great Britain. The History Guy. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

18 “Mau Mau Uprising: Bloody History of Kenya Conflict.” BBC Tops. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

19 “Suez Crisis.” A&E Television Networks. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

20 “Cyprus Emergency.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

21 “US and UK Government International Intervention Since 1945: Oman.” US and UK Government International Intervention Since 1945: Oman. Web.
          20 Apr. 2015.

22 “Jordan Intervention (1958).” Wars and Conflicts of England and Great Britain. The History Guy. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

23 “Brunei Revolt.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

24 “Indonesian Confrontation, 1963–66.” Indonesian Confrontation, 1963–66. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

25 “Aden Emergency.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 20 May 2015.

26 “The Troubles.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 20 May 2015.

27 “Falkland Islands War.” Wars and Conflicts of England and Great Britain. The History Guy. Web. 20 May 2015.

28 “Gulf War.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 20 May 2015.

29 “Bosnian War.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 11 June 2015.

30“Kosovo Young Europeans Blog.” Kosovo Young Europeans Blog. Web. 26 May 2015.

31“War in Afghanistan (2001–present).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 26 May 2015.

32 “2007 Glasgow International Airport Attack.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 26 May 2015.

33 “Iraq War | 2003-2011.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 26 May 2015.