On the Rise and fall of Great Britain (1) ???? : ?? ,???????????? ,??????????????????? ,??????? ,???????? ,?????????????? ,?????????????? ,???????????? ,???????? ,?????????????????????????? ,?????????????????? ,???????? ,?????????????????? ,?????????? ,???????????????? ,?????????????????????????? “???? ”? “????? ”???????? ,????? ,?????????? ,????????????? ??? :???? ????? ?? Abstract in English: Great Britain, a small island which lies in the Atlantic Ocean, was once little-known in the long history of the development of the world and had only several millions of people.What’ more, her territorial resources were also limited. However, she is the first country to open the door to the modern world ranging from the geographical edge to the center of the world. She had once been the leading power of the western countries for hundreds of years and also branded an indelible mark on the human civilization.
However, in the late 19th century, with the rise of America and German and other factors, Britain began to lose the upper hand in the international competition. Afterwards, she suffered great loss in the two world wars.Britain began declining and the foreign colonies began to win independence one after another. The great Britain Empire became a loose federal country and Britain which was once known as the “workshop of the world” and “an empire in which the sun does not set” began declining gradually and returned to Europe, the European territory,the island in the Atlantic Ocean. Key words: the workshop of the world an empire in which the sun does not set decline Introduction Britain is an island country surrounded by the sea to the west and off the European Continent.With the decline of the feudalism and the increase of the influence of the new-born bourgeoisie, she began her capitalist development.
Through the closure and foreign plunder, expansion and aggression, she completed the primitive accumulation of capital. She became the first country to undergo the industrial revolution. Soon she became the workshop of the world and had the largest colonies. Of course, she became the most powerful country in the world.
However, in the late 19th century with the competition of the new industrialized countries and other factors, she began to lose the upper hand.Afterwards, she suffered great loss in the two world wars. She began to decline. The colonies laid overseas began to revolt against Britain and won independences. Great Britain has gradually evolved into a loose organization of the Commonwealth. In the modern times, she tried to recover from it, but for different reasons she still developed slowly. Now she is still one of the major developed countries, she has been reduced to be a second-class world power that is always at the America’s command in international affairs. The rise of Great Britain As a small country, which had been invaded by several times, how could Great Britain developed into the workshop of the world and establish the largest empire that history has ever been seen? Let’s explore it together.
1. 1 The decline of feudalism Feudalism came into being with the Norman Conquest, but comparatively speaking; England experienced a shorter period than most Asian countries and showed clear signs of declining in the 14th century. The Anglo-Norman king had once possessed large tracks of land in France .Henry II actually controlled two thirds of what is now in France. The Hundred Years’ War deprived the English king of his possessions on the continent. The introduction of guns and gunpowder in war made castles of the feudal lords easy to be stormed . Feudalist separation was becoming impossible and was to the advantage of commercial development .
Gunpowder also dealt a telling blow at the knights, pillars of feudal order and professional soldiers known as the “Flower of Feudalism” . Armed peasants and knights were now of the same height .The change thus pushed the growling bourgeoisie onto a higher rung of the social ladder in England. The black death added to the horrors of the Hundred Year’s War. The peasants and serfs had only one way to achieve their aim.
That was to get organized and fight back. After the peasant uprising, the feudal bond over the peasants was weakened and the feudal relation production were beginning to break up, paving the way for capitalist development. The wars of the Roses were full of ferocities and plunder. As a result, nearly all the noble houses were involved in the ars and most of them lost their heads while the common people largely indifferent to the result of the war.
The extinguished of so many nobles enabled England to shake off much of its feudal burden in its advance. Moreover, the thinning-out of the old barony strengthened the position of the royal house and paved the way for the development of a centralized administration. The complex contradiction between the royal house, the church, the noble, small landowners, peasants, the serfs and craftsman was the main reason for a series of the wars and the decline of feudalism.The upper class exploited the serfs and the peasants so much that they couldn’t bear it and began to seek the chance for a better life, which led to the wars. After the wars, feudalism was declined.
However, at the same time, the influence of the new-born bourgeoisie increased. 1. 2 The Rising of the Bourgeoisie During the Tudor Monarchy, the clothing industry developed very fast.
Many landowners soon realized that sheep-farming was not far more profitable that growing crops. Therefore, landowners expelled their tenants and enclosed their field so that they could produce on a large scale and have more profit.The discovery of New Lands and adventures voyages broke the old traditional mentality, provided a large market for commodity production and sped up the accumulation of the capital. The Renaissance which criticized feudalist cruelty, hypocrisy, ignorance, despotism and violations of human spread into Britain during this period. All this helped to prepare the conditions for the establishment of the capitalist mode of production in Great Britain. Meanwhile, large amounts of wealth needed for capitalist development were accumulated.The Britain bourgeoisie was preparing to grab political power and to build their empire. After the Britain Bourgeois Revolution, Parliament secured the dominant position in political life in Britain.
It represented the interests of the bourgeoisie and its demand for development and expansion. So its policies would promote the Industrial Revolution greatly. 1. 3 The Industrial Revolution The British Industrial Revolution was a great result of the social development in Britain. In political power, Bourgeois had more say on national affairs; in economy ,they accomplished their “primitive ccumulation of capital”;in ideology, they are more open; besides ,Britain was gaining the upper hand in the contest to reign supreme on the sea ,which expanded foreign market.
All the factors combined to make Britain the first country to undergo the Industrial Revolution. In first ,it began in the textile industry. With the expansion of market, the demand for cloth also increased.
The old instrument could not meet the need o the massive production. Therefore, before long,new and large machines which could increase productivity by hundreds of times appeared.The invention of the steam engine was used to furnish power. With the new source of power ,iron,steel and coal industries began to a fast development. Productions needs were largely met by a series of refinements of existing techniques in the major indusries and the extensions of mechanization to the other fields ,as in sewing and the marketing of boots ,cutlery and nails. The expansion of production and trade promoted the transportation revolution. The convenient transport made Britain products flood the world market.
The Britain bourgeoisie amassed large amounts of wealth through trade ,plunder and colonization.No country was strong enough to match Britain in the 19th century. Britain raced ahead of all the other countries. The industrial revolution marked the beginning of a new era in the history of mankind.
Since the 18th century that rate of growth had benn revolutionized, as one country that after another had embarked upon an industrialization which to this day was regarded as the key to the future development of new nations. It led on a much broader expansion. The major markets ,however,lay overseas,where the more advanced economies were now moving into an intensive period of industrialization.
Ultimately ,of course, this was to create many powerful competitors for Great Britain,but at the time her superior technology made her the workshop o the world. 1. 4Foreign Pluder ,Expansion and Aggression In 1588,Britain beat the Armada,the Spanish Invincible Fleet,which not only established the position of England as a major sea power but also paved the way for its foreign expansion. If the land was sparsely populated ,they just drived away or killed off the natives to make room for Britain colonies.In other countries,they first knocked the door open with commerce,often backed by gunboats,and then ,on a certain pretext, followed it uo with armed occupied about 33million square kilometres,taking one fifth of the world’s toatal dry land.
These areas ever provided raw materials or became its market. All these factors enabled Britain to be the workshop of the world and London became the financial centre of the world trade. 2 The Fall of Great Britain With the coming of the 19th century,the British Empire began to go downhill. First,the capitalist countries did not develop at even pace.Towards the end of the 19th century the newly-industrialized countries which developed more quickly than Britain spang up and become Britain’s formidable rivals in markets and source of raw materials. In 1900,Britain was surpassed by the United States and Germany in industrial production and Britain lost her economic supremacy in the world.
Sceond,when the 20th century was ushered in the state of Britain’s imperial rule over her colonies started to totter and an up surge of the national independence struggle of the colonial people began to be in the making.In the process of the crumbing of the British Empire, there were several affairs which directly or indirectly led to her declining. 2. 1 Britain in the Second Industrial Revolution and the Aftermath During the second industrial revolution, Britain was experienced the disadvantages of having been the first nation to industrialise:their machinery and equipment was old and in some cases obsolete whereas the Americans and Germans could start with the latest technology available.
The British export trade relied too heavily on a few staple products.The Germans meanwhile surged ahead in the “new”industries such as electrical engineering ,chemicals and dye stuffs. There was not effort to improve designs and reduce costs by introducing the latest machinery;this might have enabled Britain to hold on to their American and European markets. Too little attention was paid to the importance of science,especially and electrial engineering.
Britain’s education system was not geared to producing academically trained scientists and engineers.The public schools concentrated on the classics and worked on the assumption that gentlemen did not go in for practical training. Britain was therefore pushed out their markets in Europe and America and foreign imports were making an increasing impact on the British market. Her economy developed not as quickly as other western countries. Her GNP was surpassed by Germany in 1955;France in 1964;and Japan in 1965. Briatin’s weakened economic strengthen inevitably led to the drop of her international standing. 2. 2 Britain in the Two World Wars and the AftermathBriain joined in World War I and was one of the victorious countries .
It seemed like that she won the greatest victory in history,but she sustained great loss:more than a million dead, a gigantic war debt,and loss of many foreign markets forever. She was exhausted and half bankrupt. About 750,000 Englishmen,fell in action and 1. 500,000 were disabled for life. The war cost was about 9 billion pounds an nearly 70 percent of it was met by loans.
As a result ,Britain became a debtor country. London was replaced by New York as the world’s banking center.Britain’s international status was lowered to a great extent and she was deprived of her position as unmatched maritime overlord by the Five-Power Naval Limitation Treaty. On June 6,1944,the British joined the Allied forces in the Normandy Invasion and fought in the Second Front in Western Europe until the final victory. World War II started the last stage of Britain’s disintegration which was initiated by World War I,on the one hand, Britain suffered enormous losses in the war and her national strength was greatly reduced . With the war over, Britain had face the fact that it was no longer a major power.It would no longer keep up pretences; its cities had been damaged ,its navy and army stretched to the limit, its war debt enormous.
Britain needed a long time to recover from the cost war-nothing less than a reconstruction of the nation. 2. 3 The Loss of Colonization In Britain’s former colonies, the commonwealth was to keep certain club-like organization by which Britain manage to keep a certain The October Revolution led to a national liberation movements in British colonies. The British government tried its best at first to suppress them and when that failed, she made concessions.World War I undermined Britain’s rules over her colonies. When the colonials participating in the war returned home, they were not as deferential to their English masters as before.
Revolutionary ideas of the war like “self-determination of peoples” and socialist ideologies were side-spread in the British colonial rule began to revolt against colonial rulers and some of them won their victories. After World War II, peoples in the British colonies had been awakened and tempered by the war and their struggle for independence began to surge forward immediately.Within two decades, most of British colonies became independent. Therefore, Britain suffered a decided in production and foreign trade relative to its prewar status.
3 Modern Britain History has left much burden on Britain and she didn’t recover from the bad condition quickly. There are a series of factors which influence her development. 3.
1The Monarch and the People Though the feudal class is no longer in power, the monarchy and the Upper House have been retained and the monarchy continues to confer noble titles on distinguished persons. In Britain, the Queen reigns, but she does not rule.The royal house has a large amount of private wealth and spends many millions of pounds given by Parliament, which undoubtedly give a burden on the national expenditure. In addition, they have many privileges.
Despite traditional as well as present diversity, the British people have their common characteristics–conservatism and deference. Adherence to traditions and familiar things easily leads to public suspicion of new plans of the government, causing numerous protests in the country. 3.
2 The Economic Factors Britain is a trading nation.Many years of consumption has exhausted some of Britain’s resources. Therefore, she became one of the world’s largest importers, buying up a large proportion of the raw materials sold in the world market. Its limited domestic market and inadequate home supply of raw materials compel the country to rely on heavily on foreign trade. In addition, Britain is not self-sufficient in food grain. After the Second World War, Britain nationalized some one-fourth of production and service industries. Some of the stated-owned companies made thin profits or even ran at a loss.Britain’s slow growth of productivity, soaring inflation, and large unemployment gave birth to the mocking term “British Disease”.
In spite of the efforts to redjust and some short periods of rapid development, Britain’s rate economic growth has been low in comparison with that of most other industrialized countries. 3. 3 Cultural and Social Factors Britain is said to be a state with a from-cradle -to -grave social welfare programme. The government should ensure, as far as it can, that nobody should be without the means of the minimum necessities of life because of unemployment, old age, sickness, or over-large families.According to one estimate, government’s spending on the social programmed consists of more than 40% of the government’s total expenditure. It’s a heavy burden on the government, resulting in what is known as ”dependency culture” which hinders development based on competition. Conclusion Looking back from her rise to her decline, it is not difficult to see that Britain can become the European most powerful country and then the overlord of the world because of creating a new system of civilization, which has also led the progress of human civilization and attracted other countries to follow it.However, her decline is also because her system cannot adapt to the development of the new age.
She doesn’t like before that to lead the world to make new progress. Whether the British disease can cure or not is still to be seen in the future. From the process of Great Britain, we can sum up the experience and make China develop soundly and quickly.