Britain 1789 CE

The British empire has started to expand around the world.

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What is happening in Britain in 1789CE

With parliament’s victory in the Civil Wars (1642-51), England became a republic, under the rule of Oliver Cromwell. After Cromwell’s death (1658) anarchy threatened and Charles II was invited back to take the throne (1660). Tensions between king and parliament re-emerged, however, which ended in the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688, when parliament invited the Dutch Prince William and his wife Mary to take the throne. This led to parliament finally becoming the dominant element within government.

Economic and imperial expansion

In 1707, England and Scotland were united in one kingdom, with one parliament. Throughout the late 17th century and the 18th century, Britain’s overseas trade expanded and her world-wide empire grew. The country fought a series of wars with other European countries, notably France, for control of far-flung colonies in America and India. Britain emerged victorious in each case, mainly thanks to her superb navy. However, in 1776 her North American colonies declared their independence, and, with France’s help, successfully defended it (War of American Independence 1776-83).

This set-back only temporarily interrupted British economic expansion, which had, throughout the period, been accompanied by scientific and technological advances. By 1789, the Industrial Revolution had began, a development which would in due course utterly transform first Britain, then the world.

The independence of the United States also barely interrupted the onward march of the British Empire around the world, at this period particularly in India.

Next map, Britain in 1837

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