United Kingdom Key Dates

500,000 BP    First humans in Britain.
6500 BC    Britain separated from mainland Europe by rising sea levels.
4200 BC    First farms established.
2950 BC    Stonehenge built.
2500 BC    Start of Bronze Age.
750 BC    Start of Iron Age.
150 BC    Large tribal kingdoms become dominant.
43 AD    Roman Empire invades and occupies much of Britain.
60-61 AD    Revolt by native tribes under Boudica.
409 AD    End of Roman rule in Britain.
450 AD    Saxon migration into Britain begins.
878    Danelaw established in Eastern England.
October 1066    Duke William of Normandy invades England and soon becomes king.
1534    Henry VIII breaks with Catholic Church and founds Church of England.
1588    Defeat of the Spanish Armada.
1607    Settlement of Virginia in America founded.
1642    Civil War begins.
1649    King Charles I executed. England becomes a Republic.
1660    Monarchy restored under Charles II.
1688    William of Orange invited to become king.
1707    Union of England and Scotland.
1776    Declaration of American Independence.
1801    Union with Ireland.
1803    War with Napoleonic France begins.
1815    Napoleon defeated.
1854-56    Crimean War – Anglo-French alliance attacks Russia.
1858    Indian Mutiny.
1899-1902    Boer War in South Africa
1904    Alliance with France signed
1907    Alliance with Russia signed
4 August 1914    British Empire joins the First World War
11 November 1918    Armistice ends the First World War
1921    Irish Free State leaves the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland remains part of the UK
1938    Munich Crisis – Britain abandons Czechoslovakia to German occupation
3 September 1939    UK declares war on Germany. Britain joins the Second World War
July-September 1940    Battle of Britain – Britain fights alone against Germany
8 December 1941    Britain responds to Japanese attacks by declaring war
6 June 1944    Allies launch D-Day invasion of German-occupied France from Britain
8 May 1945    Germany surrenders – war in Europe ends
14 August 1945    Japan surrenders – Pacific war ends
1945    The UK becomes a permanent member of the UN Security Council
1947    India and Pakistan given independence
July 1947-Sept 1949    Berlin Airlift keeps the city from Soviet control
4 April 1949    Britain becomes a founder member of NATO
1950-1953    British forces committed to Korean War under the UN
November 1956    Britain intervenes militarily in Suez Canal Zone, but withdraws under US pressure
1969    British troops sent into Northern Ireland to restore peace
1973    UK joins the European Economic Community (later known as the EU)
1982    Argentina invades the Falklands Islands. British task force retakes the islands.
1990-1991    First Gulf War to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation
1995    NATO Operation ‘Determined Force’ in Bosnia
September 1997    Referendums in Wales and Scotland back the creation of national assemblies
1998    Good Friday Agreement on political settlement in Northern Ireland
March-June 1999    NATO Operation ‘Allied Force’ – ending the ethnic killing in Kosovo
1999    Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly established
2000    British forces intervene in Sierra Leone to restore peace
2001-2002    Invasion of Afghanistan
March 2003    Invasion of Iraq – Second Gulf War
July 2005    Suicide bomb attacks in London

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