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The roman invasion (document anglais)

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Before the roman invasion, Britain was called « ancient Britain ». And the people living there belonged to an ethnic group called « the Celts ». (They had the same religion as the Gauls in France).

Area invaded by the Romans led by a man called Julius Cesar. They will stay in England until the year 450 AD.

Ethnicity: Romans do not mix very much with the local population because they are administrators. Population still remained Celtic.

The Latin language: 50% of the English words are of Latin origins = big influence.

Many towns still have the Latin name: all towns with –chester, -sester, -caster are connected to the Latin word “castra” which means “un fort”.


• Series of invasions between the 5th and the 8th century: “Anglo-Saxon invasions”. Britain is invaded by Poland and England takes its name from Angles.

Wales and Scotland remain Celtic countries.

The Celtics are pushed to the West, to Wales. Ireland stays Celtic in the West. The Southwest of England remains Celtic.

• 9th -11th century: England is going to be invaded by a certain group of people (Northeast) = Denmark, Norway, Sweden = the Vikings

They occupied not only England but also Scotland for 2 centuries.

Two centres of power:

- Anglo-Saxon kings

- Vikings kings

→War between the 2.

1066: last invasion conducted by the Normans. Normans’ chef was William the Conqueror. He defeats the Anglo-Saxons at the battle called “the Battle of Hastings”. William united England under 1 king = Anglo-Norman England. The king establishes an aristocracy:

2 big groups = the Anglo-Normans “at the top” and the Anglo-Saxons

French becomes the main language. King doesn’t rule over Scotland and Wales.

It is a Celtic country, invaded in 1277 by a King called Edward the 1st. Transformed in a vassal state (under English domination).

But the King gives some autonomy to Scotland: run by his son, the Prince of Wales.

Today, England and Wales:

Wales is under English control, there’s no resistance for economic reasons.

Industrial part of Wales was ok, so very quickly dominated.

North of Wales is traditional, with Celtic people: resistance.

Situation evolved in 1997, more and more welsh people wanted freedom, autonomy.

So a referendum, about devolution is organised: There’s a majority of yes.

So in 1999: Welsh assembly is created (in Cardiff). Concerning only Wales.

Because of economic reasons: The North voted yes. Wales is a very proud of its Celtic origins. Official language is the Welsh. 20% of the population speaks French every day (especially in the North). Welsh is obligatory in in school.

National anthem: “Land of my fathers”. Wales has its national symbol: the red dragon.

When the English tried to conquer Scotland at the end of the 13th century, they were defeated: 2 important battles.

• Battle of Sterling Bridge in 1297, Scottish leader was W. Wallace

• Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Scottish leader was R. Bruce.

Scotland isindependentfromEngland for another 4 years. Scotland has itsownking: the Stuart.

Scotland is allied with France against England: it was called the « old alliance ».

1603: the English queen, Elizabeth 1st died, she has no children. She has a cousin in Scotland who is already king of Scotland (J. Stuart), he accepts to become king of England.

→Monarchy of Scotland and Monarchy of England became united

1707: Scotland and England are politically united. It is called “the act of union”.


The reasons for this union:

- Economic reasons:

Scotland was a relatively poor country compared to England. The Scottish government realized that England was on the point of establishing a major colonial empire.

- Religious:

In 1535, King of England is Henry the 8th. He proclaimed himself the head of the Church in England. England rejects the leadership of the papesoIt becomes a protestant country, against the Catholic Church.

In Scotland, at the same time, protestant ideas are becoming more and more popular. Catholic religion is rejected.

- Political:

England becomes protestant. France and Spain, two others big powers at this time, remain catholic.

In Scotland, the protest ideas are popular but not in the north. So it is divided in 2 parts: the North is catholic and the South is protestant.

Scottish government decided that they need the protection of England against the North, to protect their religion.

⇨ But there are 2 serious problems after this union:

1688: King of England, James the 2nd (Stuart) wants to bring back the Catholic Church to England. The English do not accept this; he’s obliged to abdicate. His daughter Mary replaces him. She is married to a man called W. of Orange, who comes from Holland so he’s protestant. They become King and Queen.

But there’s a problem: James the 2nd has a son, who wants to be king.

1715: He invades England with an army, in order to bring back the Stuart but he’s defeated. He is called “the old pretender”.

1745: The old pretender’s son also wants to become king of England. So he invades England. He is called “the young pretender” or “Bonny Prince Charlie”.


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