British Foreign Relationships Essay

2218 words - 9 pages

Beginnings
The first time that the British came into contact from outside people since the disappearance of the land bridge connecting the British Isles to mainland Europe occured in the year 43 A.D. This was the year that Ceasar send a Roman expeditionary force under the command of Aulus Platius to the British Isles. Although the indigenous Celtic tribesmen put up heavy initial resistance, superior armed and trained Roman Legionnairies were able to subdue them and successfully occupy Great Britian all the way up to the border of modern day Scotland.
Over the course of the next 367 years, Great Britian experiences an era of relative peace under Roman rule. Celtic and Roman culture ...view middle of the document...

The British people, now united under a single government, continued to repel Viking invasion attempts until 1066, when William of Normandy defeated an exhausted and ill equiped British army at the battle of Hastings. William went to London and made himself the new king of Britain. Massive change resulted from Norman rule, establishing a new ruling class. During this period, King William, and King Henry II expanded their empire into France and Britian became a powerful nation in Europe.
After the death of king Henry though, social unrest arose, which eventually manifested itself into civil war, causing British holdings in mainland Europe to erode away in a period of time known as \"The war of the Roses\".

The First British Empire
Queen Elizabeth I was ruler of Britain during the European age of exploration. During this time, Spain had begun colonzing the new world. After seeing the vast amount of wealth being acquired, British explorers made expeditions to Canada and present day U.S. and set up various settlements. The first permanent British settlement in the new world was Jamestown, Virginia, established in 1607. More British colonies began rapidly popping up in North America as people immigrated there to seek financial opportunity and escape religious persecution.
Britain began to compete with several other European powers, mainly Spain and France, in conquering and colonizing land around the world. This competition led to several violent conflicts between the powers including the sinking of the Spanish armada by the British navy, and the French and Indian war, which resulted in complete British control of Canada. The British established colonies in the Carribbean such as Jamaica and the Virgin Islands as well, and set up sugar, cocoa, molasses, and African slave trade.
To help pay for expensive wars in the Americas, British government levied taxes on the American colonists, causing great amounts of civil unrest. Fighting eventually broke out between British soldiers and American colonists and in 1776, the colonies declared their independance from Great Britain. The British government was fearful that if the Americans succeeded in usurping British control, other colonies might be compelled to rebel; so a sizeable British force was sent to quash the uprising. The British government was unable to stop the rebellion and was forced to surrender.
The British government remained bitter towards the United States and refused to fully recognize the country. The British navy begins the practice of impression of American sailors, and that, along with a few other factors led to the war of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain, in which Britain unsuccessfully attempted to reclaim America.

The Second British Empire
France gained huge power in Europe under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte, and begins conquering neighboring countries early in the 1800s. Great Britain declares war on France and forms an alliance...

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