When Queen Victoria died Edward 7th came to the throne. His reign was not prosperous and stable but Edwardian period was a time of a political, social and cultural unrest. The women demanded the right to vote and founded an association called "The Suffragettes": "Votes fo womwn" was their slogan. They used violence to achieve their purpose, in fact, the right of vote for women was granted in 1928. There were two social reforms: The Old pensions Act, that guaranteed pension to people over 70, and the National Insurance Act, that insured workers against sickness. Edward 7th died in 1910 and he was succeeded by George 5th. In this period comes the Irish Question: the major parts of the Irish population was Catholic and want the independent Parliament in Dublin, but Protestant population preferred to stay under the British rule. Begin internal conflicts and are born "sinn fein" a Celtic expression which means "Ourselves Alone". In 1914 began the First World War which involved economic consequences: the fall in the value of money; the rise of taxation; war industries; a stronger foreign competition; difficulties in trade and workers went on strike.
The 20th century
the united kingdom has faced the Irish question. During world war one, the Irish volunteers organized a rebellion, the Easter rising. The rebellion was stopped but it became symbol of heroism and patriotism. In the 1918 election the Sinn Fein party won but, instead of going in Westminster, to represent Ireland, they set up an Irish Parliament in Ireland, the Dial, and once more proclaimed an Irish Republic. In 1919 the Irish volunteers became the IRA and prepared for a civil war. The Sinn Fein used terrorist methods against the British police. The war ended with the proclamation of the Irish Free State in 1921. George V died in 1936 and he was succeeded by his son Edward VIII. After two months he abdicated to marry an American lady. His brother George VI succeeded him. When George VI died, he was succeeded by his elder daughter Elizabeth, married to Philip, Duke of Edimburgh.
The early 20th century was a period of cultural transformation. The end of the 19th century saw an explosion of technological innovation. Cinema, radio and gramophone changed the way people perceived the world. They represented powerful tools to mass information and propaganda and they also enabled fascism to the rise to power so quickly in Germany and Italy.
Culturally, the inner-war period was called the age of modernism. The first set of new ideas came from psychology and science. Freud in his work the interpretation of dreams, explained that the development of human psyche is affected by subconscious. Freud’s theory also insisted on the idea that the super-ego, that is to say, the limits and restrictions imposes on the individual by society, such as education and moral law, can alter man’s behavior. He also introduced a new method of investigation of human mind through the analysis of dreams and the concept of free association which influenced many writers of the modern age. In the field of science, the old certainties were lost because of the introduction of the concept of relativity by Einstein, whose theory was based on the subjective dimensions of time and space.