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  • Created by: Ella
  • Created on: 09-06-11 11:39

How and why Britain built and empire

1750: Britain already had overseas colonies - land settled by British people, now governed by them.

1900: Britain controlled a fifth of world land.


-Why did the empire grow?-  

1) TRADE; began as trade settlements, British government took over.

2) SEA ROUTES; needed to be controlled to insure route safety.

3) CHRISTIANITY; British became missionaries, spread their religion.

4) ADVENTURE; new lands were discovered.

5) RIVALRY; took over lands of others to become more powerful.

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How and why Britain built and empire (cont.)

-late 18th Century, Britain lost US but gained other colonies.

-19th Century, Britain gained further territory.


-similar climates to UK -self-governing countries


-no permanent white settlers -land different and 'unattractive' to whites        

-often exploited countries

1875: -shared in Suez Canal > shorter route to India > took over Egypt

-SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA; (1897 divided Africa into separate colonies)

Britain built an empire to extend trade opportunities, achieve great power

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How did Britain benefit from the Slave Trade?


-materials imported from Africa (cotton, cloth), rare and couldn't be grown in Britain


-invested in new inventions, slave work on plantations made many people rich (1730s; 170 slaves = £48,000)


-imported products like coffee/tea/sugar changed eating/drinking habits (tea = national drink, sugar = large amount consumed = rotting teeth)


-workers for plantations (sugar, tobacco, cotton), more slave traders, increasing job opportunities to become a sailor

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Life for a slave in America and the Caribbean


-a child would be snatched from their family (often never saw them again), forced to walk miles in desert/rock, chained to other slaves, had little food/drink while walking, and were whipped.


-they would be forced to work for more than 8hrs/day, had little free time, there were good jobs (servant to plantation owners, supervisor) and bad jobs (worker on the plantation)

Slaves worked on the plantations for free (but were given food and small huts to live in), the work in the fields was completed and the plantation owner would be the only one who benefited.

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Why was slavery and the Slave Trade abolished?

(Quaker = a member of the Religious Society of Friends who believes there is something of God in everybody.)

William Wilberforce was a quaker and worked in Parliament. He and his fellow quakers worked to get the slave trade abolished. It was discussed in parliament for many years without anything actually happening.

He felt that the slave trade was against Christian beliefs and was sinful. There was a Christian protest called the Baptist's Rebellion.

Wealthy white campaigners worked hard to get the slave trade abolished. Massive petitions were produced and in 1788, over 10,000 people signed a petition to stop slave trade.

Slaves also revolted against their owners. Plantation work stopped and they demanded higher wages.

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The Reform of Parliament in 1832

People demanded the Parliamentary Reform (which was finally passed after three attempts on the 7th of June 1832) because the range of people who could vote was very small. It was eventually extended to a wider number of men owning highly valued property, but most working class men and all women still weren't allowed to vote (7% of people allowed to vote instead of 5%). They also wanted their own MPs, as they didn't see it fair that 'rotten' boroughs (eg a house on a hill) had MPs and large places like Manchester and Leeds didn't. The rotten boroughs lost MPs and the growing industrial towns of Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Manchester were granted their own MPs Some things that didn't change were the public ballots (which often led to bribery, corruption and an unfair verdict) and MPs were still going unpaid.

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What did suffrage societies do to gain the vote fo

1900s; Women protested for the right to vote > wanted equal rights to men (paid approx. half amount of men's wages, discriminated against, men got better jobs..)


(Leader of movement) Mrs Millicent Fawcett

They came together locally in 1867, and nationally in 1897, forming the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). Millicent Fawcett believed in constitutional campaigning (playing by the rules).


(Leader of movement) Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline founded a new organisation called the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). The Daily Mail called them the Suffragettes. Emmeline believed they had to take more radical steps to succeed. They disrupted public meetings, and harassed ministers.

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Why did war break out in 1914?

Step 1) 28th June 1914: The heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip in Bosnia.

Step 2) 23rd July 1914: Austria blamed Serbia for the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Step 3) 28th July 1914: Austria declares war on Serbia. The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is shelled.

Step 4) 29th July 1914: The Russian army gets ready to help Serbia defend itself against the Austrian attack.

Step 5) 29th July 1914: Germany sends a demand to Russia ordering it to hold back from helping Serbia.

Step 6) 1st August 1914: Germany declares war on Russia. It also begins to move it's army towards France and Belgium.

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Why did war break out in 1914? (cont.)

Step 7) 2nd August 1914: The French army is put on a war footing ready to fight any German invasion.

Step 8) 3rd August 1914: Germany declares war on France and invades neutral Belgium. Britain orders Germany to withdraw from Belgium.

Step 9) 4th August 1914: The Germans are still in Belgium. Britain declares war on Germany.

Step 10) 6th August 1914: To complete the picture, Austria declares war on Russia.

WW1 did not necessarily break out because of the assassination, although that played some part in it. Each of the different countries were in alliances (the Triple Entente - Great Britain, France and Russia - and the Triple Alliance - Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary), and each country was suspicious of every other country. If the assassination hadn't happened, WW1 would still have happened due to the suspicion and threat of other countries - less countries would be involved too as Austria wouldn't have blamed and bombed Serbia. 

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Why did the Schlieffen Plan fail?

The Schlieffen plan was the German plan of attack designed to defeat France quickly and then turn on Russia. It was intended to avoid a war on two fronts. However, the plan was based on a number of assumptions, and these turned out to be flawed

  1. It was thought that Russia would take at least six weeks to mobilize. In reality Russia mobilized in just ten days.
  2. The German General Staff thought that Belgium would not resist any Germany attack. When Germany invaded on 2nd August 1914, they were held up by the Belgium army, backed up by the BEF (British Expeditionary Force).
  3. It was also estimated that France could easily be defeated in six weeks. Backed by the British, the French managed to halt the German advance.
  4. The Germans thought that Britain would not fight and that its army was just a huge joke.

With the quick Russian mobilization, Germany was forced to withdraw troops from France defend her eastern border. 

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Why did trenches develop?

Trench warfare occurred when a military revolution in firepower was not matched by similar advances in mobility, resulting in a grueling form of warfare in which the defense held the advantage. In World War I, both sides constructed elaborate trench and dugout systems opposing each other along a front, protected from assault by barbed wire. The area between opposing trench lines (known as "no man's land") was fully exposed to artillery fire from both sides. Attacks, even if successful, often sustained severe casualties as a matter of course.

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What were the main terms of the Treaty of Versaill

The main terms of the Versailles Treaty were: 

(1) the surrender of all German colonies as League of Nations mandates; 

(2) the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France; 

(4) Poznania, parts of East Prussia and Upper Silesia to Poland;

(9) German reparations of £6,600 million; 

(10) a ban on the union of Germany and Austria; 

(11) an acceptance of Germany's guilt in causing the war; 

(12) limitation of Germany's army to 100,000 men with no conscription, no tanks, no heavy artillery, no poison-gas supplies, no aircraft and no airships; 

(13) the limitation of the German Navy to vessels under 100,000 tons, with no submarines; 

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