- Money making: A brief history of currency from the British Museum
- History of the British Isles
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Money making: A brief history of currency from the British Museum
Some historians in the 19th and early 20th centuries saw British history as an inevitable progression — from tyranny and monarchy , to constitutional monarchy and democracy. Modern historians do not see this as inevitable any more. They think the people of the time were not building democracy — they were just seeking solutions to the problems of the time.
It is nevertheless true that, through time, Britain changed from a feudal monarchy to a free democracy.
A summary of the UK government through time Today, people in the United Kingdom live in a democracy, with laws made by a Parliament that they have elected. This has not always been the case: At the start of the Middle Ages, England was ruled by a king. The institution which came to be called Parliament was just beginning. This established a constitutional monarchy , which is a 'king-controlled-by-parliament' but the reality was that middle and labouring classes still had very little say in politics and still did not have the vote. The King and the upper classes remained in control.
Coppicing is discussed further in the next section. Since Roman times there has been a sharp distinction between wooded and non-wooded areas of Britain. The Domesday Book is evidence that every wood in England belonged to some person or some community, and had an economic value. The fact that it was worth transporting the woodland produce over some distance indicates their value, and that ownership had been established long previously. The Domesday landscape was more like modern day France than the untamed woodland of folklore.
Nearly all woods were highly managed, as coppices or wood-pastures. The nearest natural remnants of woodlands are those on inaccessible steep slopes.
History of the British Isles
These fragments can teach us about the persistence of vestigial forest under extreme conditions, but they cannot reveal widespread or characteristic features of the ancient natural woodland. The produce of English woodlands was mainly underwood for fuel and other uses, with small oaks used for domestic building. Large timbers were in short supply, and were reserved for the great ecclesiastical buildings. The builders of Ely Cathedral in the 13th century had to use smaller roof timbers than planned, and the pine poles for the scaffolding were imported from Norway.
Thin oak boards or wainscot for domestic building were imported from Central Europe. The Black Death of brought this to a sudden stop, and any woods surviving in had a good chance of surviving the next years. Throughout history, nearly all clearance of woodland has been for agriculture. Industry tended to sustain woodland rather than destroy it. Up until the industrial revolution, industries relied on coppice woodland for fuel. It was the agricultural areas of East Anglia, the Midlands, lowland Scotland and elsewhere where woodlands almost completely disappeared.
Trees spread north in the following order: birch, aspen, sallow, pine, hazel, alder, oak, lime, elm, holly, ash, beech, hornbeam, maple. Climate stabilises, and 'climax woodland types' develop see map above. Grassland rare. Tree line higher than present day. Britain becomes an island c. Elk, aurochs wild cattle and red deer widespread. Neolithic settlers arrive c.
Sudden loss of elm due to elm disease. Stonehenge 2, BC and other monuments suggest unobstructed horizons and large areas of open land. Hurdle-making and other evidence of extensive coppicing from c. Round-houses are evidence of sophisticated woodmanship. Formation of heaths with podzols due to woodland clearance on light, acid soils.
Formation of peat and moorland in high rainfall areas, partly due to wildwood clearance, and partly due to climate change. Aurochs probably became extinct.
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Area of heath extends. Moorland areas are abandoned as peat layers deepen.
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Extensive coppicing to supply fuel for domestic use, ironworking, corn-drying and other uses. Great demand for timber for buildings, bridges and ships. Sweet chestnut introduced.
Anglo-Saxon charters are evidence of primarily a pastoral and arable landscape in England. Woods have names and boundaries, and were owned and managed, mostly as wood-pasture. Wild beavers become extinct. Domesday Book Wood-pastures enclosed as parks for fallow deer 3, parks in England by Underwood rotations very short. Financial returns from underwood were greater per acre than from arable land. Timber for building imported from Norway, Baltic and Central Europe.source link
Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain - A brief history
Land shortage pushes cultivation back up onto the moors. Forests, for deer, mainly on heath and moor, are declared 25 at Domesday, reaching maximum of in England by Magna Carta in Black Death in causes halt in population growth. Woods present then remained until s. Secondary woodland spread on unused agricultural land. Rabbits and fallow deer introduced in early s. Rabbits confined in warrens until late s.