The Historical Periods of Britain

Part of the British History For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The history of Britain is usually divided by historians into a series of periods. This list gives you some of the highlights of each period.

Ancient Britain

  • Neolithic Britain c12,000 BC–c2,750 BC

  • The Beaker people and the Bronze Age c2,750 BC–750 BC

  • Iron Age and La Tène culture c750 BC–43 AD

  • Roman Britain 43 AD–410

The Middle Ages

  • Anglo–Saxon raids and settlement 449–c550

  • Separate Anglo–Saxon Kingdoms c550–924

  • Anglo–Saxon England united 924–1066

  • Danish rule 1016–1042

  • Norman period 1066–1154

  • The Anarchy 1135–1148

  • The Plantagenets 1154–1399

  • Conquest of Ireland begins 1155

  • Scottish Wars of Independence 1296–1357

  • Hundred Years War with France 1337–1453

  • Wars of the Roses 1455–1485

Early Modern Britain

  • Tudor period 1485–1603

  • English Reformation begins 1532

  • Union of Crowns of England and Scotland 1603

  • Expansion into America begins 1620

  • Civil Wars and Revolution 1642–1660

  • Royal Society incorporated 1662

  • Revolution Settlement 1688–9 and Union of England and Scotland 1707 create basis of modern British state

The Modern Age

  • Changes in agriculture begin 1730s

  • Beginnings of industrialisation 1770s–1780s

  • Wars in America and with France help to unify British state 1770s–1815

  • Victorian Age 1837–1901

  • Great Exhibition marks highpoint of Victorian era 1851

  • Imperial expansion in Africa 1880s–1890s

  • Great War 1914–1918

  • Second World War 1939–1945

  • Height of industrial unrest 1960s–1980s

  • Britain within the European Union 1970s–2000s

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British History For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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