BM2-3 Anglophone Expansion:Timeline

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This is a subpage of 2008-09 BM2 Introduction to Anglophone Cultural Studies, Part 1

The presentation linked to these materials: Olaf Simons. The Expansion of the Anglophone Sphere, pptx file

Use this page to gather information and links you find useful.

Global anglophone culture

Prehistoric Times

  • 700,000 years ago: human settlements on later British soil, the later British Islands still part of the continental shelf. Several several glacial and interglacial periods in which hunter-gatherers appear and reappear
  • 70,000 and 10,000 years ago: last ice age, extreme cold snap between 22,000 and 13,000 years ago
  • 7500 to 6000 years ago: Meltwater causes see level rise of 120 m, and separation of Ireland from Britsh mainland, and of British isles from continental shelf
  • Stone age settlements by peoples who might have sopken an early version of modern Basque (genetic evidence, megalith culture)
  • 3100-1600 BC Stonehenge in use. Similar constructs of megalith culture can be found all over western Europe
  • Prehistoric hill figures like the Uffington White Horse (1400 and 600 BC)


  • Invasions of early iron age tribes of the Hallstatt culture, or
  • Gradual cultural development following western and central European developments
  • 50 BC celitic language(s) spoken throughout the British isles
  • 43-410 Romanisation of Celts in modern England
  • 410-600 Retreat of Celts under pressure of Anglo-Saxon tribes to Wales and French Brittany, see Wikipedia article on Breton language (alternative theory: Brittany developed as part of the western Celtic culture).


  • 51 BC Julius Caesar tries to invade Britsih isles
  • 41 AD second Roman attempt to set foot on British isles
  • 43 Roman 4-5 legions (40,000 soldiers) led by Aulus Plautius invade British mainland (called for military support by Britsih tribes against northern Picts. Londinium (London) founded that year
  • Roman infrastructure, fortified towns connected by roads, exploitation of Gold and silver mines as lucrative target.
  • 122 Hadrian’s wall begun, with 12 fortresses
  • 142 Antonine's wall map
  • 3rd century first Christian communities
  • 360 period of instability begins with attacks of Picts, Scots and Saxons
  • 408-410 Romans leave Great Britain, power vacuum

Angels, Saxons, Jutes

  • Invasion theory according to Bede’s Chronicle (731)
  • 360-410 Germanic mercenaries in Britain
  • 449 Vortigern calls Saxon leaders to protect his kingdom against Picts
  • Waves of Saxons, Angels and Jutes found kingdoms on British soil
  • Celtic tribes retreat to Wales and settle in French Brittany
  • 597 Begin of Christianisation under St. Augustin
  • conflicts between Anglo-Saxon kingdoms over supremacy Heptarchy
  • Wessex gains supremacy under Alfred the Great (871-899)

Roman Catholicism

  • Wikipedia needs a Map of all the monasteries... The spread of Christianity in Europe - would also be a good topic for a huge animated gif...

Vikings, Danes

  • Viking raids of monestaries and towns that can be reached throgh rivers
  • Viking settlements in northern England (cultural integration, so language evidence)
  • 1014-1042 Danish Rule, Aethelred forced to flee to France, succession ends with son of Canute the Great
  • 1042 Aethered‘s son – married into Franco-Norman family – seizes throne (hence later French claims on English crown)
  • Vikings occupy Orkney and Shetland, strong ties between Scotland, Ireland and Scandinavia
  • See Words of Old Norse origin
  • See Wikipedia article of Skandinavian Runstones that refer to England

Franco-Norman and French Influence

  • English words of French origin
  • 1002 Aethelred II marries Emma, daughter of the Duke of Normandy. Edward the Confessor is their son. Ties with France begin here. Emmas second maraige is with Canute the Great of Denmark and King of England till 1035 - Edward hence half brother to Canute's son and scuccessor Cantue III who died after two years in power, leaving the throne to Edward.
  • 1041-1066 Edward the Confessor King of England
  • 1066 Battle of Hastings, Franco-Norman William I becomes English King. See Wikipedia on Norman Conquest of England
  • 1154 Succession: Power goes from House of Normandy to House of Plantagenet
  • 1164 law reform under Henry II to the advantage of the crown
  • 1204 French troupes occupy Rouen, begin of conflicts of House of Plantagenet with France
  • 1215 John Lackland has to grant the Magna Carta to avoid conflict with English barons, parliament and civil rights strengthened
  • Henry III (1216-1272) increases French influence, conflicts with English Barons
  • Eduard I (1227-1307)
  • 1339-1453 Hundred Years War against France, rise of English Nationalism

The British as Naval Power

  • 1585-1604 Conflicts with Spain (Francis Drake and the Armada) over Naval Supremacy and Spanish Netherlands (modern Belgium) and Ireland. Resolved with peace treaty that delays colonisation. Leads, howevever to British aspirations to become a global player on the seas.
  • 1660-1689 Rivalry with Netherlands, the leading international trader after decline of the Spanish and Portuguese
  • 1690-1880 British Empire more or less (Napoleonic Wars around 1800) unchallenged
  • 1870-1914 Rise of USA and Germany

England/ Great Britain and its North American Colonies

See wikipedia List of British Colonies with historical annotation

  • 1497-1583 Newfoundland claimed by England, 1583-1949 colony
  • 1586 Carolina setlement, colony since 1663
  • 1607 Virginia, 1624-1776 crown colony, 1776 declared independent as part of the United States, 1783 Sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain
  • 1610 Cuper's Cove, abandoned in 1621
  • 1610 Renews, abandoned in 1623
  • 1618 Bristol's Hope, abandoned in 1631
  • 1621 Nova Scotia, Scottish colony till Nova Scotia 1632, 1654-1670, 1690-1691, 1710-1713 English British occupations, colony from 1713 till 1867, since then province of Canada
  • 1623 Avalon, part of Newfoundland since 1637
  • 1623 South Falkland close to Newfoundland, colony, abandoned in 1626
  • 1670-1870 Rupert's Land, possession of Hudson's Bay Company. Nominally included territory that is now part of the Canadian territories and provinces of Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon (until 1858), British Columbia (until 1858), Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and (until 1818) parts of the U.S. states of North Dakota and Minnesota, 1870 incorporated into Canada
  • 1732 Georgia, proprietary colony, 1755-1776 crown colony, 1776 declared independent as part of the United States, 1778-1782 British occupation, 1783 sovereignty formally relinquished by Great Britain
  • 1749 Prince Edward Island or New Ireland or St. John's Island occupied and colony since 1769, becomes part of Nova Scotia
  • 1763 Labrador paret of Newfoundland, 1774-1809 part of Quebec, 1809 annexed to Newfoundland, now part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • 1763 East and West Florida, British colony till 1783, returned to Spanish sovereignty, today part of the state of Florida, United States
  • 1784 New Brunswick, separated from Nova Scotia, since 1867 province of Canada
  • 1791 Upper and Lower Canada, both united in 1841 to form the Province of Canada
  • 1841 Canada
  • 1849 Vancouver Island, crown colony till 1866, then merged into the colony of British Columbia, now part of the province of British Columbia, Canada
  • 1859 North-Western Territory, 1870 incorporated into the Northwest Territories of Canada, now divided between the Canadian provinces and territories of Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia
  • 1862 Stikine Territory, colony till 1863. Now divided between British Columbia and Yukon, Canada

Slavery in North American Colonies

  • 1642: Massachusetts becomes the first colony to legalize slavery.
  • 1650: Connecticut legalizes slavery.
  • 1661: Virginia officially recognizes slavery by statute.
  • 1662: A Virginia statute declares that children born would have the same status as their mother.
  • 1663: Maryland legalizes slavery.
  • 1664: Slavery is legalized in New York and New Jersey.

Great Britain and Westindies

Great Britain and India

Great Britain and Australia

Great Britain and New Zealand

Great Britain and Canada

Great Britain and the Suez Canal

  • 1854, 1856 Ferdinand de Lesseps obtains a concession from Said Pasha, viceroy of Egypt, to create a company to construct a canal open to ships of all nations, according to plans created by Austrian engineer Alois Negrelli
  • 1869 after 11 years of work (based on the forced work of over 30,000 people, Canal opened. Combined with the American transcontinental railroad completed six months earlier
  • it allows the entire world to be circled in record time
  • plays an important role in increasing European penetration and colonization of Africa
  • 1875 External debts force Said Pasha's successor, Isma'il Pasha, to sell his country's share in the canal for £4,000,000 to the United Kingdom, France remains the majority shareholder. Prime minister Benjamin Disraeli accused by William Gladstone of undermining Britain's constitutional system, due to his lack of reference or consent from Parliament when purchasing the shares with funding from the Rothschilds
  • 1882 British troops protect channel during civil war in Egypt
  • 1888 Convention of Constantinople declares canal a neutral zone under the protection of the British
  • 1936 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty allows UK to retain control over the canal
  • 1951 Egypt repudiates the treaty
  • 1954 UK agrees to remove its troops
  • 1956 withdrawal completed in July 1956

Great Britain and Africa

  • 1795 Cape Colony, established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, occupied by the British in 1795 (after French occupied the Netherlands) long history of conflicts with Dutch settlers begins
  • 1882 Egypt occupied Suez Canal
  • 1896 Rhodesia founded by Cecil Rhodes and his privately owned British South Africa Company (independece 1980 under the name Zimbabwe)
  • 1896–1914 Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda brought under British Rule
  • 1902 UK completes its military occupation of the Transvaal and Free State by concluding a treaty with the two Boer Republics following the Second Boer War 1899-1902. The four colonies of Natal, Transvaal, Free State and Cape Province form the Union of South Africa in 1910

Commonwealth of Nations

Great Britain grants Dominion status to the already self-governing colonies of Canada (1867), Australia (1901), New Zealand (1907), Newfoundland (1907), and the newly created Union of South Africa (1910)


  • American Notes Library of Congress. Travels in America, 1750-1920 comprises 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920.

Native Population

War of Independence

Civil War

Foreign Politics general

USA and Latin America

  • 1845 -Annexation of Republic of Texas; Mexico breaks relations in retaliation
  • 1846-1848 US-Wexican War over Texas
  • 1912-25 - Nicaragua; America controls Nicaraguan affairs through puppet Conservative Party presidents under the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty
  • 1915-34 Haiti. U.S. forces maintained order and control customs revenue during a period of chronic political instability.
  • 1952 Guatemala. Central Intelligence Agency attempts to overthrow Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán in collaboration with Nicaraguan leader Anastasio Somoza García, authorized by President Truman. The mission is known as Operation PBFORTUNE.
  • 1954 Guatemala. Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes Operation PBSUCCESS, a program of "psychological warfare and political action" and "subversion," that succeeds in removing the government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán with the help of Guatemalan military general Carlos Castillo Armas.
  • 1965 Intervention in Dominican Republic
  • 1973 Chilean military coup against Salvador Allende given American approval
  • 1979-90 Nicaragua; America supports the Contras fighting against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
  • 1983 U.S. invades Grenada in response to a coup d’état by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard on the Caribbean island.
  • 1990 Panama; America invades to oust Manuel Noriega

USA and Europe

1980s: 5.000 nuclear warheads in Germany (today 480 in Europe, 10-20 Fliegerhorst Büchel, Rheinland-Pfalz)

USA and East Asia

  • 1899-1902 Philippine-American War, invasion, ends with Fall of First Philippine Republic, land acquisition by American companies, destabilisation of Catholic church and long term efforts to introduce English as lingua franca
  • World War II - against Japan, use of first Atom bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1946, begion of cold war confrontation
  • 1950-1953 Proxi Korean War of North against South Korea
  • 1959-1975 Vietnam War (also Second Indochina War) with history of confrontations involving Kambodia, Laos and Vietnam and European powers

USA and Middle East

  • 1953 Together with UK: support of coup d'état that deposed the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq and his cabine
  • 1979-1989 Operation Cyclone, code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan
  • 1990-1991 Gulf War after Iraq attacked Kuwait
  • 1992-1993 US take part in UNITAF mission to stifle civil war in Somalia
  • 2001-2008 War in Afghanistan
  • 2003-2008 Iraq War