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Hystorical Backgroud from Edward VII to Elizabeth II

In 1910 Edward VII died and he was succeeded by his son George V who reigned up to 1936 (26 years). On the contrary of the period of Edward VII's reign, during George the V's reign there were a lot of social and political problems. The protests of the working class became bitter and the clash between the capitalist and the working class arrived at a serious of protests in the years between 1910-1912, and the police during this revolts sometimes also killed the people belonging to the working class. In 1918 there were a great conquest for women because thanks to the "Suffragette Movement" that was born by Emmeline Pankhurst, women obtained the right of vote, for women over 30 in 1918 and then in 1928 we arrived to the right of vote for women over 21, so practically the universal suffrage also for women. This happened thanks to the role had by women during the First World War (1914) and when men went to fight in the tragic war the financial support of the family passed in the hands of women so there was a change of role inside the family, women began to go out of their houses and to work and this was important because they obtained a great importance in society, and for this importance their request for vote was finally granted, and so it was easier for them to win the fight for the right of vote.

In 1914 when the First World War broke out, there was the opportunity for Ireland to obtain the Home Rule, a sort of internal independence. They wanted to take a vantage of the fact that the United Kingdom was engaged with the First World War and they decided to rebel, so they organized the Easter Rising, a rebellion against the English in the centre of Dublin on Easter Day of 1916. This rebellion failed and the rebels were executed. They obtain the independence in 1921 but Ulster, so the northern part of Ireland, decided to remain part of the United Kingdom. When we speak about Irish Republic we speak about the southern part of Ireland.
The years between 1914 and 1918 are important because they are the years of the First World War. The War broke out in 1914 and there was two opposite groups: Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria on the one side, England, France, Russia and Italy, and in 1917 the USA, on the other side. This was a different war because for the first time technology was used in war, in particular tanks, and for this reason million people died, and in particular one million of English soldiers died, and this influenced also from an economic and social point of view the country. During the war the soldiers fought in terrible condition, so the clash between those who took the decision to stay comfortably at home and those who were obliged to go to fight and die in the war caused of course a conflict between the soldiers and the English Institutions. Remember that those who survived had terrible mutilations (someone lost a leg, an arm, an eye..) and when they came back home their lives changed completely because this war had destroyed their lives. After the war there were of course problems like unemployment, crisis, taxation, inflation and this brought to protests. Protest arrived at the first general strike in the story of England in 1926. Also the British Empire began to collapse because the colonies wanted their independence and so we arrived to 1926 to the creation of the Commonwealth that granted a sort of internal independence for colonies, but they were always under the British crown. One of the colonies that protested for their independence was India, led by Gandhi who through a non violent protest obtained little by little their independence and in 1947 became a republic.
When George V died in 1936, George VI came to the throne because his brother Edward VIII abdicated because he fell in love with a divorced woman, Wallis Simpson, and according to the English law it was impossible for a king to marry a divorced woman. So he renounced to the throne in favor of his brother George VI, that is the father of the actual Queen Elizabeth II. He was a very good king and reigned in a very difficult period, the period of the Second World War, and he remained to the throne un to 1952, the year in which Elizabeth II came to the throne. It was a period of economic difficult, great conflicts, and this favored the rise of totalitarianism. Totalitarianism not only on the right with Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy and Francisco Franco in Spain but also a totalitarianism on the left because the type of government that we have in Russia with Stalin was a type of totalitarian government. England had a particular position, the English wanted to defend democracy, they wanted to fight against each form of oppression, totalitarianism and for this reason they decided to oppose in particular Hitler hegemonic policy. The linking figure of this period was the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the man that together with Roosevelt, the President of United States, and also with Stalin, because there were an alliance between England, France, Russia and the United States, succeeded in defeating Hitler.
The thirties are extremely important because in 1933 there is the beginning of the hegemonic policy of Hitler. He came to power and it was immediately clear that he had an hegemonic policy in mind. He wanted to invade the other states of Europe and wanted to make of Germany the most important and the most powerful country in Europe. In fact in 1938 he annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia under German power and of course England and France began to protest because of this policy but it was when in 1939 he invaded Poland in the 1 September England and France declared war to Germany. We have to distinct groups in conflict: on the one side The Allies (France, England and later Russia and the United States), on the other side The Axes (Germany, Italy and later Japan). In 1941 England was under the bombs attack of Germany and Japan attacked the USA at Pearl Harbor. As a consequence of this attack to Pearl Harbor the United States decided to enter the war. In 1943 thanks to the intervention of United States the Germans and the Italians were defeated and the fascist government fell. In 1944 there is the liberation of Paris. On may 1945 the war ended in Europe, on august Japan surrendered after the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with the end of the war. The period after the war was a difficult period of crisis, taxation to rebuilt what the war destroyed.
In 1952 Elizabeth II came to the throne and there was an alternation in parliament of two different parties, normally in the past there was an alternation of Conservatives and Liberals, now the Labor party became more important than the Liberals and obtain the position of second important party in England and so the alternation in parliament began between Labor party and Conservative party. The Labor party was interested in particular in solving the problems of the working class.
The Labor party was interested in particular in solving the problems of the working class (unemployment, inflation, poverty…) and so they wanted to pass new reforms in order to create the Welfare State. On the contrary, the Conservatives were more interested in Free Enterprise, Privatization and in the reduction of the spending of the government.
1956, with the nationalization of the Suez Canal, is important because its crisis quickened the complete dismantling of the British Empire and so, one by one, all the colonies obtained their independence, even if with the Commonwealth they maintained relationships with the United Kingdom.
In 1973 England joined the European Community (born in 1957 with the Treaty of Rome), so it became part of it more or less twenty years after the creation of the first group of European Countries.
From 1979 to 1987 there was the period of Margaret Thatcher, who was the first female Prime Minister not only in England, but also in Europe. She remained Prime Minister for 8 years, she was a Conservative so she wanted Free Enterprise, Privatization, Govern spending reduction and so on. She was succeeded by John Major, and then in 1997 we have the arrival of Tony Blair, who stayed for 4years, in fact in 2001, the period in which there was the attack against the Twin Towers, he made a sort of alliance with George Bush to start a sort of fight against terrorism and in particular against Bin Laden on the one side, and against Saddam Hussein on the other side with the attack against Iraq. With Blair there was a strong tie with USA and a great support of England in the war against Terrorism.
In 1981 we remember the Falkland War against Argentina and in 1990 the Gulf War in the Middle East. So the United States declared war on Iraq and it was the first attack against S. Hussein, that will be repeated in 2001 after the tragedy of the Twin Towers.

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