And in the South Americas
In parallel to these events in the Isles (to be known in the future as the British Isles), on the other side of the, then unknown Atlantic Ocean, there developed great civilizations which equalled the great civilization of the Egyptians. The civilizations of the Maya and Aztec thrived on the continent, now known as South America, until fading away into obscurity, for reasons unknown.
Beginning in 1492, with the arrival of Christopher Columbus, the people of the continent of South America and North America were to undergo a significant change to their way of life. The crossing of the waters between Europe and South America was to open the way for European exploitation of the Americas, both North and South.
Economies and Fighting Ships in Northern Europe
The British Isles, being surrounded by water, had brought about peoples who used the plentiful resources within the seas to feed the nations and as a side benefit to develop skills in sailing and boat building. France, Portugal and Spain, also, had long coast lines and, within a short period of time, four nations, England, France, Portugal and Spain , all had a fleet of armed ships with which to defend their countries. Spain had a more benign sea off their coast and they were, therefore, encouraged to go further when sailing their ships. Hence, the Spanish first sailed across the Atlantic. The English ships went off to the east, via the South coast of Africa and went on to make landfall in India, Malaysia and China. However, the lure of the riches coming out of South America meant many English ships visited the Caribbean but not for tourism!!
A major turning point in the futures of Spain and England was brought about in the year 1588. For many,many years before that date, Spain had grown very strong and had a powerful army and navy. England, however, had muddled along with Elizabeth I and the countries wealth, which was Elizabeth’s wealth, was tightly controlled by her. So much so that the British Navy had many ships, the ships had gun arrangements that allowed the guns to fire 5 times faster than the Spanish cannon, the ships crews were the best, but Elizabeth would not supply the money for the cannon balls. Elizabeth’s wealth came through the pirate Drake scoring great successes over the Spanish ships loaded with Gold on their way back to Spain. King Philip of Spain had grown old and weary of Elizabeth and so he detailed a plan to invade England and return England to a true Catholic country. This plan was to send an armada of fighting ships to the far east of the English Channel, there to meet up with a great army of Spanish soldiers and the armada to escort the many barques required to ferry the soldiers across the English Channel. However, there was a fateful flaw in Philips plan. Communications. Without the Spanish Army Commander knowing a date and time to load all the necessary consumables aboard the barques and then the soldiers the Commander would not be able to give the order to start the loading operation. This meant the Spanish Armada found itself anchored of Calais, France with the English Fleet considering the next move. The next move made by the English was to send eight in number ships packed with items that would ignite and burn with an intense heat. In the darkness the first thing the Spanish Armada knew of this was when all the “fire” ships showed themselves as the fires started. The Spanish Armada panicked and very soon , after an intense battle, the Spanish Armada found itself in the North Sea, The Spanish Armada then had to sail around Scotland to return to Spain. With the English victory a sea change occurred and the start of the British Empire was initiated
Under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I the English nation grew strong and the English Armed Fleet could not be matched by the French, Portuguese or Spanish. From that point on England became masters of the seven oceans, an unrivalled situation until the Second World War.
The Industrial Revolution – Born in England- Made in England
In the 17th century, many ideas made by different people of different nations cumulated in the birth of steam as a source of power. The break through to make steam power a reality was made in the North of England. This resulted in what is known as the “Industrial Revolution” and the revolution gave England a huge advantage over other nations. The economic power of England brought about England having great influence over 30% of the world´s known population.
The result was that English traders could cross oceans, on steam powered ships , and meet with other traders who spoke the same language. Accordingly, the English language slowly became used as the language of choice in business dealings across the world. Clearly, other nations were opposed too one nations language being dominant but as always the driver would be in making money through efficient trading patterns.
The World Wars and the use of the English language
In the years between 1914 and 1918 and 1939 and 1945 two great wars were waged between Germany and its neighbours and there supporting nations. These two wars were very costly to the World, and its peoples. The role of England as a World power was thereafter to change. However, at the start of both wars England could bring to the war fronts fighting men and women from all over the World. A major fact was communication between the allied forces and this was made easier by having a common language. That language was English
Since the ending of the last World War the government of the UK has had to make very difficult decisions. These decisions have made England a great place to live, work and play. The major downside is the weather and the high taxes paid to make the nation a caring nation for all.
The Dissemination of the English language
However, education has flourished in England and across the United Kingdom since the 6th century and with English used as the International language across the World, the UK has become one country of choice for the learning of the English language, the studying of its culture and the enjoyment of its heritage. ( END )