1. For people in Britain today, the chief significance of the prehistoric period is its sense of mystery. This sense finds its focus most easily in the astonishing monumental architecture of this period, the remains of which exist throughout the country.


2. Such places have a special importance for some people with inclinations towards mysticism and esoteric religion.


3. The remarkale thing about the Romans is that, depite their long occupation of Britain, they left very little behind. To many other parts of Europe they bequeathed a system of law and administration which forms the basis of the modern system and a language which developed into the modern Romance family of languages. In Britain, they left neither.


4. The political independence of Scotland did not prevent a gradual switch to English language and customs in the lowland (southern) part of the country.


5. It was in this period that Parliament began its gradual evolution into the democratic body which it is today. The word “parliament”, which comes from the French word parler, was first used in England in the thirteenth century to describe an assembly of nobles called together by the king.


6. Unlike in much of the rest of Europe, the immediate cause of the rise of Protestantism in England was political and personal rather than doctrinal.


7. It was cultural change that was most marked in this century. Britain gradually acquired an empire in the Americas, along the west African coast and in India. The greatly increased trade that this allowed was one factor which led to the Industrial Revolution. Other factors were the many technicla innovations in manufacture and transport.


8.The growth of the empire was encouraged by a change in attitude during the century. Previously, colonization had been a matter of settlement, commerce, or military strategy. The aim was simply to possess territory, but not necessarily to govern it. By the end of the centruy, colonization was seen as a matter of destiny.


9. Middle-class religious conviction, together with a belief that reform was better than revolution, allowed reforms in public life. These included not only political reforms, but also reforms which recognized some human rights (as we now call them). Slavery and the laws against people on the basisi of religion were abolished, and laws were made to protect workers from some of the worst excesses of the industrial mode of production.


10. The real dismantling of the empire took place in the 25 years following the Second World War. In the same period, it gradually became clear that Britain was no longer a “ superpower” in the world and its forces were no longer able to act unilaterally.