World War I to World War 2
In 1910, King George V (1865-1936) ascended the throne of the House of Windsor, which he held until his death in 1936. He was succeeded by Edward VIII (1894-1972) as King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. However, he already abdicated on December 11, 1936 in order to be able to marry the twice divorced bourgeois American Wallis Warfield (known as Wallis Simpson). His successor was Albert Frederick Arthur George from 1936 to 1952 as Georg VI. (1895-1952) King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, followed by Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor as Queen Elizabeth II (born 1926) in 1952.
In 1914 the First World War began, in the course of which Great Britain lost a million people. The gap between the rulers and the working class widened.
Great Britain continued to develop, however: in 1922 the first radio program was broadcast in London. In 1924, a Labor government was elected for the first time in England.
In 1933, the National Socialists seized power in Germany. The occupation of Bohemia and Moravia in 1938 by National Socialist Germany was tolerated by the then British Foreign Minister Chamberlain as part of the appeasement policy. The charismatic Winston Churchill (1874-1965), who at that time could already look back on an extensive political career and recognized the danger posed by Nazi Germany early on, was a sharp critic of this policy of appeasement and was initially decried as a warmonger. But it soon became clear how right Churchill was supposed to be. After the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill was appointed First Sea Lord in 1939.
During the Second World War, and especially in 1940 and 1941, England was attacked by the Germans and English cities were bombed. Churchill, who now also became Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, secured a significant role as an ally in the victory against Nazi Germany as a major adversary to Hitler’s Great Britain. Many people who had fled the fascist regime settled in England and especially in London.
World War II
Welshmen James Griffiths and Aneurin Bevan developed the National Insurance Act of 1946, which formed an important basis for the creation of a welfare state in Great Britain. In 1955 Cardiff became the capital of Wales.
From 1947 onwards, Great Britain began giving its colonies independence. In 1948, London hosted the 14th Olympic Games. At the Festival of Britain in 1951, England presented its cultural and technical achievements in London. In 1952 Elizabeth II was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey.
In 1979 the Conservative Party won the general election and Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister. In 1981 the Labor Party won the Greater London Council elections and the centenary wedding between Prince Charles and Diana Frances Spencer, Princess of Wales, took place at Westminster Abbey in 1981. In 1982 thousands demonstrated in London against the Falklands War between Great Britain and Argentina, after a few months the war ended with the defeat of Argentina. There was more racial unrest and conflict this year due to rising unemployment. In 1984 the summit of the 7 most important industrial nations took place in London. In 1986 the Greater London Council was dissolved as part of an administrative reform. In 1987, there was a fire at the King’s Cross underground station, in which more than 80 people were injured. From 1988, London pubs were allowed to remain open throughout the day. In 1990 the government’s tax increases led to social unrest; after internal power struggles, “the iron lady” Margaret Thatcher was replaced by John Major as the new conservative head of government. In 1991 the IRA attacked 10 Downing Street, Paddington Station and Victoria Station. In the 1992 elections, the Conservative Party again won the general election and John Major remained in office. A fire destroyed part of Windsor Castle. The British royal family was in deep crisis due to the antics of Charles, Diana and Fergie. The Queen even spoke of a “horror year”. In 1993 an IRA bomb exploded in the City of London,
In 1994 the royal family’s reputation had declined even further, so the Queen agreed to pay taxes on her income. The canal tunnel between London and Paris/ Brussels was opened for rail traffic. In 1995, according to polls, John Major was the most unpopular head of government in a long time; In addition, numerous affairs shook the party’s credibility. During the European Football Championship in 1996, the IRA detonated the biggest bomb ever planted in the mother country; this seriously damaged the city center of Manchester, and significant parts of the Docklands were destroyed in an IRA bombing. The marriage of Charles and Diana was divorced that year, and a tanker broke in front of the Milford Haven oil terminal in Wales, from which over 50,000 tons of oil leaked, which contaminated large coastal areas in South West Wales. Also in that year the horror news was finally loud that the bovine epidemic BSE could now be transmitted to humans after all, which leading scientists had long feared. The opposition Labor Party had risen to the top of the popularity list by 1996.
Under the heading of New Labor, the party had turned its back on the trade unions and removed the concept of socialism from its program. In 1997 the party, led by Tony Blair (born 1953), won the general election with an overwhelming majority; From now on, reforms were implemented quickly, the Bank of England became independent on the German model, and Scotland and Wales were given their own parliament. The United Kingdom returned the Crown Colony of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China that same year.
On August 31st of that year, Princess Diana was killed in a tragic car accident in Paris. In 1998, despite many setbacks from Protestant and Catholic hardliners, a peace treaty was signed with Northern Ireland and a parliament was elected for the Northern Irish province. In the same year, the exterior work on the Millennium Dome was completed. Queen Elizabeth II opened the Welsh Parliament in May 1999 and the Scottish Parliament in July, making the self-government of Wales and Scotland officially effective. In 2000, Londoners had elected a Lord Mayor for 14 years: Ken Livingstone, who had been Lord Mayor of London 14 years earlier, won the election against fierce resistance from Tony Blair.
The first Welsh National Assembly was convened in 200. Foot and mouth disease broke out in the UK in 2001. The Labor Party under Tony Blair was re-elected this year with a large majority. In 2002, Princess Margaret died first and only seven weeks later, on March 30th, Queen Mum, at the age of 101.