The history of the British Isles & more

Throughout the history of the British Isles, the inhabitants of Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Ireland, the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, as well as the smaller nearby islands, have alternately engaged in competition and cooperation. The Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are the only two sovereign states on the British Isles at the moment. There are also the three Crown dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man. The United Kingdom is made up of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. England and Scotland were sovereign, separate nations until 1603. They shared a single ruler from then until 1707, when they merged to form the United Kingdom. Until the Middle Ages, Wales and Northern Ireland were divided into several distinct kingdoms with shifting borders. Despite the fact that the term “British Isles” was not used in 1603, the British monarch served as the head of state of every nation in the British Isles from the Union of the Crowns in 1603 until the Republic of Ireland Act was passed in 1949. Because of the complicated relationships between the islanders’ peoples, some historians of the area have avoided using the term “British Isles” since the majority of Ireland gained independence. If you’re interested in british history you should also look up the great fire of london timeline.

sussex family history group
sussex family history group


During the Lower Palaeolithic era, early hominids, including the now-extinct Homo heidelbergensis, lived in the British Isles. Throughout this time period, several glacial and interglacial periods resulted in numerous environmental changes that had a significant impact on human habitation in the area. Giving dates for this long-ago era is difficult and contentious. During this time, the area was inhabited by hunter-gatherer groups who traveled around Northern Europe in search of animal herds or subsisted on fishing. One of the most well-known archaeological sites from this period is Boxgrove Quarry in West Sussex, southern England.

British Iron Age

The use of iron, a metal that was used to create a variety of different tools, ornaments, and weapons, is what gives the British Iron Age its name (1200 BC to 600 AD). A combination of trans-cultural transmission and immigration from mainland Europe resulted in the establishment of Celtic languages in the islands beginning in the first millennium BC, and possibly earlier, giving rise to the Insular Celtic group. Although it is unknown what languages were spoken on the islands prior to the arrival of Europeans, it is thought that they were Pre-Indo-European.

The Classical Epoch

Gaius Julius Caesar, a future dictator of Rome, launched two invasions of the British Isles in 55 and 54 BC, but neither resulted in complete Roman control of the island. In 43 AD, Southern Britain joined the Roman Empire. After Nero’s ascension, Roman Britain reached as far north as Lindum (Lincoln). Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, the conqueror of Mauretania (modern-day Algeria and Morocco), later held the position of governor of Britain, where he spent the majority of his time campaigning in Wales. In 60 AD, he finally captured the last druids on the island of Mona, as well as the last remaining resistance (Anglesey). Paulinus led his troops across the Menai Strait, slaughtering the druids and destroying their sacred woods. East Anglia was celebrating victory when news of the Boudican uprising broke. Following the suppression of the Boudican uprising, the Roman province expanded, including the conquest of south Wales. Between 77 and 83 AD, the province was greatly expanded under the leadership of the new governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who conquered much of Caledonia, north Wales, and northern Britain (Scotland). Although the Celts fought valiantly and tenaciously, they were up against a stronger, well-trained force, and it is estimated that 100,000 to 250,000 died during the conquest period.

The history of the British Isles & more

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