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The Plague / Чума в Англии

In June 1665 the greatest epidemic of the Bubonic Plague broke out in London. Bubonic Plague was known as "the Black Death" and has been known in England for centuries. That year many people died of this disease. Most of the population left London and the streets were empty. This epidemic could not be stopped till December. This short period from June to December turned out a real tragedy for Londoners.

The Great Fire of London

A year later after the Plague, in 1666 a great tragedy happened again. The Great Fire broke out in September. The fire began late at night not far from London Bridge.

Most of the houses in London were built of wood at that time and streets were narrow. So, a hot wind spread the fire so that it could not be stopped for 5 days.

Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect, took part in rebuilding the city. After the fire a lot of houses were destroyed and there were many homeless people. To remind people of this catastrophy the Monument was erected on the spot where the fire had started. Of course, this fire was a tragedy. Nevertheless, the fire burnt out the streets where the plague spread a year before.

The English Bourgeois Revolution. Oliver Cromwell

King Charles I did not like the idea of Parliament, so he dismissed it in 1629. He ruled the country without any Parliament for eleven years.

Only in 1640 the Parliament assembled again. And the Civil War bagan between the Parliament and the King. It lasted for 12 years and the Parliament won the victory. Oliver Cromwell was at the head of the Parliament at that time.

Then King Charles was executed because he was declared an enemy of the country. So, Oliver Cromwell became the Lord-Protector of the new republic.

However, after his death the government could not rule the country and the Parliament decided to have a king again.

Chartism

In the 19th century Great Britain was developing fast. There were many factories all around the country. But still a lot of workers were unemployed. However, those who found some job had to work for 16 hours a day. To fight for their rights the workers joined Trade Unions.

Everything what they demanded was written in the document called People's Charter. This document was sent to many factories with lots of workers. They signed it. But when People's Charter was sent to the House of Commons, it was rejected.

The workers organised many strikes all over the country. Many of them were arrested and sent to prisons.

The first national political movement of workers in Great Britain was called Chartism.

 

 


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