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History of the United Kingdom

The history of the United Kingdom as a unified sovereign state began in 1707 with the political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland,[1] into a united kingdom called Great Britain. On this new state the historian Simon Schama said "What began as a hostile merger would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world...  DELL INSPIRON 1464 Keyboard

it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history."[2] A further Act of Union in 1800 added the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The early years of the unified kingdom of Great Britain were marked by Jacobite risings which ended with defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746. SONY VAIO VGN-NW240F Keyboard

Later, 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, and its industrial, political, constitutional, educational and linguistic legacy, is widespread. ACER TravelMate 2800 Series Keyboard

 

In 1922, following the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Ireland effectively seceded from the United Kingdom to become the Irish Free State; a day later, Northern Ireland seceded from the Free State and became part of the United Kingdom. As a result, in 1927 the United Kingdom changed its formal title to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,"[3] usually shortened to the "United Kingdom", the "UK" or "Britain". DELL INSPIRON 1464 Keyboard

Former parts of the British Empire became independent dominions.

In the Second World War, in which the Soviet Union 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 or the inclination to maintain an empire, so it granted independence to most of the Empire. Lenovo IBM ThinkPad Edge E420 Keyboard

The new states typically joined the Commonwealth of Nations.[4] The United Kingdom has sought to be a leading member of the United Nations, the European Union and NATO, yet since the 1990s large-scale devolution movements in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have brought into question the future viability of this constantly evolving political union. Lenovo IBM ThinkPad Edge S420 Keyboard

 

The united 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) and the Kingdom of Scotland. The terms of the union had been agreed in the Treaty of Union that was negotiated the previous year and then ratified by the parliaments of Scotland and England each approving Acts of Union. Lenovo IBM ThinkPad Edge E420S Keyboard

 

Although previously separate states, England and Scotland had shared monarchs since 1603 when James VI of Scotland become James I of England on the death of the childless Elizabeth I, an event known as the Union of the Crowns. The Treaty of Union enabled the two kingdoms to be combined into a single kingdom with the two parliaments merging into a single parliament of Great Britain. Lenovo IBM ThinkPad T420 Keyboard

Queen Anne, who reigned from 1702 to 1714, had favoured deeper political integration between the two kingdoms and became the first monarch of Great Britain. The union was valuable to England from a security standpoint, since it meant that Scotland lost the possibility to choose a different monarch on her death, Lenovo IBM ThinkPad T420i Keyboard

reducing the chance of a European power using Scotland as a route to invading England.

Although now a single kingdom, certain aspects of the former independent kingdoms remained separate, in line with the terms in the Treaty of Union: Scottish and English law remained separate, as did the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Anglican Church of England. Lenovo IBM ThinkPad T420S Keyboard

England and Scotland also continued to have their own systems of education.

The creation of 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. SONY VGN-FE11M Keyboard

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. ACER TravelMate 3232WXMi Keyboard

A more peace-minded government came to power in Great Britain, and the treaties of Utrecht and Rastadt in 1713–1714 ended the war.

Queen Anne died in 1714, and the Elector of Hanover, George Louis, became king as George I (1714–1727).  HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Keyboard

He paid more attention to 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.[6][7] Jacobite factions seeking a Stuart restoration remained strong; they instigated a revolt in 1715–1716.  HP 516884-001 Keyboard

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.[8]

George II (1727–1760) enhanced the stability of the constitutional system, with a government run by Sir Robert Walpole during the period 1730–42.[9] SONY VAIO VGN-FS315Z Keyboard

He built up the first British Empire, strengthening the colonies in the 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.[10]

George III reigned 1760–1820; he was born in Britain, never visited Hanover, and spoke English as his first language.  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Keyboard

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.[11] The last king to dominate government and politics, his long reign is noted for losing the first 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.  HP Pavilion DV7-2177cl Keyboard

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 (1803–1815), ending with the decisive defeat of Napoleon. SONY VAIO VPC-F12 Keyboard

 

The era was prosperous as entrepreneurs extended the range of their business around the globe. The 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. HP Pavilion dv6-3007tu Keyboard

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. SONY VAIO VGN-NW35E/W Keyboard

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.

From 1700 to 1850, Britain was involved in 137 wars or rebellions. TOSHIBA Satellite M640-BT2N23 Keyboard

It maintained a relatively large and expensive 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. DELL NSK-D8001 Keyboard

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, SONY VGN-FE41S Keyboard

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 killing of the king, the expulsion of the nobles, and the Reign of Terror. TOSHIBA 6037B0028502 Keyboard

Britain was at war against France almost continuously from 1793 until the final defeat of 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.  DELL Inspiron 1564 Keyboard

The Anti-Jacobin sentiment, well expressed by Edmund Burke and many popular writers was strongest among the landed genrty and the upper classes.

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.  HP Pavilion DV7-2173cl Keyboard

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 to Britain (leaving a sizeable French-speaking population under British control) and Louisiana to Spain. Spain ceded Florida to Britain.  Lenovo 3000 G430 4152 Keyboard

 ACER Aspire 1690 Keyboard

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 to Britain. The British victory over France in the Seven Years War therefore left Britain as the world's dominant colonial power.[  HP 519265-001 Keyboard

 

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.[20] Disagreement turned to violence and in 1775 the American Revolutionary War began. FUJITSU Lifebook E8210 Keyboard

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. HP Pavilion DV7-3183cl Keyboard

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 erupted in London during the spring of 1781, in response to increased concessions to Catholics by Parliament. In October 1781 Lord Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown, Virginia. FUJITSU Siemens M1010 Keyboard

The Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, formally terminating the war and recognising the independence of the United States.

The loss of the Thirteen Colonies, at the time Britain's most populous colonies, marked the transition between the "first" and "second" empires,[22] Compaq Presario CQ62-358TU Keyboard

in which Britain shifted its attention to Asia, the Pacific and later Africa. Adam Smith's 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. TOSHIBA 9Z.N4WSC.001 Keyboard

The growth of trade between the newly independent United States and Britain after 1783[23] 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 Company had been trade, not the building of an empire in India. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Keyboard

Company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power and the British East India Company struggled with its French counterpart, the La Compagnie française des Indes orientales, during the Carnatic Wars of the 1740s and 1750s.  HP Pavilion DV6-1350us Keyboard

The British, led by Robert Clive, defeated the French and their Indian allies in the Battle of Plassey, leaving the Company in control of 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, 80% of which was composed of native Indian sepoys.  HP Pavilion DV7-3188cl Keyboard

On 22 August 1770, James Cook discovered the eastern coast of Australia[24] 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. ASUS F6VE Keyboard

 

At the threshold to the 19th century, Britain was challenged again by France under Napoleon, in a struggle that, unlike previous wars, represented a contest of ideologies between the two nations.

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 was beheaded. DELL NSK-DB301 Keyboard

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. HP Pavilion dv6-3057tx Keyboard

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.

It was not only Britain's position on the world stage that was threatened: DELL Vostro PP38L Keyboard

Napoleon threatened invasion of Britain itself, and with it, a fate similar to the countries of continental Europe that his armies had overrun.

On 1 January 1801, the Great Britain and Ireland joined to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Events that culminated in the union with Ireland had spanned several centuries. HP Pavilion DV7-3057nr Keyboard

Invasions from England by the ruling Normans from 1170 led to centuries of strife in 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 and England began, TOSHIBA Satellite l20-135 Keyboard

especially in the province of Ulster, seeing the displacement of many of the native Roman Catholic Irish inhabitants of this part of Ireland. Since the time of the first Norman invaders from England, Ireland has been subject to control and regulation, firstly by England then latterly by Great Britain. Toshiba Satellite L30-10X CPU Fan

 

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. Toshiba Satellite A300-21H CPU Fan

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. SONY Vaio VGN-FS415M CPU Fan

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 as a state with a republican constitution. Despite assistance from France the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was put down by British forces. HP Pavilion dv6-3109ca CPU Fan

 

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. HP Pavilion dv9547cl CPU Fan

The Society of United Irishmen, made up of Presbyterians from Belfast and both Anglicans and Catholics in 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. HP G42-380LA CPU Fan

Failing to win the support of the British government, he travelled to Paris, encouraging a number of French naval forces to land in 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. IBM ThinkPad T43P-2668 CPU Fan

 

The legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was brought about by the Act of Union 1800, creating the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". The Act was passed in both the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland, dominated by the Protestant Ascendancy and lacking representation of the country's Roman Catholic population. Toshiba Satellite P300 CPU Fan

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.[27] Under the terms of the merger, the separate Parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland were abolished, and replaced by a united Parliament of the United Kingdom. HP Pavilion dv7-4283cl CPU Fan

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 peers were not permitted to take their seats in the Lords. HP COMPAQ 2510P Series CPU Fan

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, who argued that emancipating the Roman Catholics would breach his Coronation Oath. The Roman Catholic hierarchy had endorsed the Union. HP Pavilion dv6-3126ea CPU Fan

However the decision to block Catholic Emancipation fatally undermined the appeal of the Union.

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. IBM 41W5269 CPU Fan

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 continued to provoke the British by attempting a trade embargo on the country and by occupying the German city of Hanover (a fief of the British crown). In May 1803, war was declared again. Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

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 series of naval and colonial conflicts, including a large number of minor naval actions, HP Pavilion dv6-2057eo CPU Fan

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. HP Pavilion dv7-1135nr CPU Fan

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 issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System. IBM ThinkPad T43P-2668 CPU Fan

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—Toshiba Satellite A100-02M CPU Fan

in addition to the armies of numerous allies and several hundred thousand national guardsmen that Napoleon could draft into the military if necessary. Although the 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. ACER Aspire 5730Z Series CPU Fan

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 to achieve this, it never succeeded in its objective.  Toshiba Satellite P300-1FN CPU Fan

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 nor the main British colonies.  HP G42-415DX CPU Fan

 

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 was being driven back in the east by the Prussians, Austrians, and Russians, Wellington invaded southern France.  HP Pavilion dv7-4177nr CPU Fan

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 once and for all at Waterloo.

A key element in British success was its ability to mobilize the nation’s industrial and financial resources and apply them to defeating France. HP 580718-001 CPU Fan

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 ACER Aspire One A110-1834 CPU Fan

] 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.  Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

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. SONY Vaio VPC-EB4X1E/BQ CPU Fan

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 also attempted economic warfare against Britain, especially in the Berlin Decree of 1806. HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

It forbade the import of British goods into European countries allied with or dependent upon France, and installed the Continental System in Europe. All connections were to be cut, even the mail. British merchants smuggled in many goods and the Continental System was not a powerful weapon of economic war.[33] HP Pavilion tx2510us CPU Fan

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.[34] Angry governments gained an incentive to ignore the Continental System, which led to the weakening of Napoleon's coalition.  ACER Aspire 7112WSMi CPU Fan

 

Simultaneous with the Napoleonic Wars, trade disputes and British impressment of American sailors led to the 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 in 1814. Toshiba GDM610000277 CPU Fan

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.[36]  HP Pavilion dv7-6107tx CPU Fan

 

Peace was agreed to at the end of 1814, but 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. Dell Vostro 3350 CPU Fan

The major result was the permanent defeat of the Indian allies the British had counted upon. The US-Canadian border was demilitarised by both countries, and peaceful trade resumed, although worries of an American conquest of Canada persisted into the 1860s.

Britain emerged from the Napoleonic Wars a very different country than it had been in 1793. Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

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. TOSHIBA Mini NB 300 Series Keyboard

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. SONY VGN-FE28H Keyboard

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.[37] DELL Latitude E5500 Keyboard

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, and, most important, the Reform Act 1832 refashioned the British electoral system.[38] HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Keyboard

There were no major wars until the Crimean War of 1853–56.[39] 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.[ TOSHIBA Equium A100 Series Keyboard

British merchants and financiers, and later railway builders, played major roles in the economies of most Latin American nations.[41] The British intervened in 1827 on the side of the Greeks, who had been waging a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire since 1824.

The Whig Party recovered its strength and unity by supporting moral reforms, SONY VAIO VGN-AR570 Keyboard

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.[42]

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. DELL Vostro 3350 Keyboard

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 and Wales. ACER Aspire 7736ZG Keyboard

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. TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Keyboard

The aristocracy continued to dominate the government, the Army and Royal Navy, and high society.[42] 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. HP 9J.N0Y82.H01 Keyboard

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. HP 517865-031 Keyboard

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.[43]

In 1832 Parliament abolished slavery in the Empire with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.  Lenovo 0A62039 Keyboard

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 sugar islands.

Victoria became queen in 1837 at age 18. Her long reign until 1901 saw Britain reach the zenith of its economic and political power. DELL Vostro A860 Keyboard

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. HP Pavilion DV3000 Keyboard

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. The era was preceded by the Regency era and succeeded by the Edwardian period. ACER Aspire One D150-1920 Keyboard

 

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