What did Great Britain invent?

Great Britain

The 19th century is exceptional from that long reign of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) coined: As Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, she ruled the British Empire from 1837 to 1901. This epoch is also called the "Victorian era". Major changes and innovations in the history of Great Britain took place here.
From Great Britain the Industrial revolution - England was the "workshop of the world". James Hargreaves eg invented the automatic loom or Samuel Crompton the spinning machine. Steam power was discovered as an important source of energy as early as the 18th century. Thomas Newcomen had already invented the steam engine in 1712, it was made by Thomas Watts further developed. On September 27, 1825, the railway line from Stockton to Darlington opened - for the first time in the history of railways people were transported by steam locomotive. In the middle of the 19th century, England already had over 8,000 kilometers of railroad!
The economic change meant one for the 19th century growth of populationwhich led not only to prosperity but also to poverty, disease and famine. A bad potato harvest broke out in Ireland between 1845 and 1847, for example Famine out - one seventh of the population left Ireland and emigrated to the United States of America, for example. To the world this technical achievements to show Queen Victoria opened in London in the year 1851 the first World exhibition. Here all countries of the world could show their latest inventions, but also present their economic size.
That came with industrialization and mechanization to travel on - Thomas Cook is considered the founder of modern tourism, he also invented the traveler's check as a means of payment. By the way: the first international tennis tournaments took place at Center Court in Wimbledon as early as 1877.

In the middle of the 19th century, a man found refuge in London whose ideas were to shape the entire 20th century and which would extend into the 21st century: the German Karl Marx (1818-1883). He co-authored Friedrich Engels(1820-1895) “The Manifesto of the Communist Party” in 1848. It paved the way for the working class, which began to form politically at the end of the 19th century. Strikes by factory workers took place more and more often to draw attention to the poor working conditions. As a result, laws were passed regulating working hours, working conditions and occupational safety, as well as child labor in factories and workshops.

Marx (left) and Engels (right) with family
The political tensions at the transition from the 19th to the 20th century could not offset the economic and social gains for society. About closedEngland together withFrance and Russia 1907 the Ententeto sort of Countervailing power to form the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy concluded in 1882. This power constellation existed until and during the eruption First world war. When England entered the war on August 4, 1914, the then British Foreign Minister Sir Edward Gray (1862-1933) is said to have said: “The lights are going out all over Europe. We will never see them shine again in our lives. "
England emerged victorious from the First World War and thus played a leading role in the drafting of the peace treaties. Great Britain repeatedly emerged victorious from World War II in its alliance with France, the USSR and the USA.

After this second World War aspired to the former British Colonies after independence. This was the case in India, for example, where Queen Victoria had been Empress since 1876. The British also lost their supremacy in the Middle East, especially in Egypt. With the former colonial states and now independent states, Great Britain is in the Commonwealth of Nations still connected. The cornerstone for the establishment of this association of states were 1926 in the Balfour Declaration or finally through the Westminster Statute in the year 1931 placed. Britain's foreign policy was primarily focused on the Commonwealth of Nations and the United States, rather than continental Europe.

Already a year after the end of the Second World War called Winston Churchill (1874-1965) to the unification of the European states, Great Britain did not want to be part of this community of states, but wanted to support it. So it is not surprising that it was not a founding member of the ECSC in 1952. This also applies to the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957.
Ao.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Anita Prettenthaler-Ziegerhofer

is deputy Head of the Institute for Austrian Legal History and European Legal Development. She specializes in contemporary history.

Britain tried a year 1960 by creating the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to take a different economic path, but with the aim of becoming a member of the EEC. France prevented the island monarchy from joining the EEC twice, and it was not until 1973 that Great Britain was able to join what was then the EC. As an EC or EU member, Great Britain has a special status, it is not a member of the euro zone and not a member of borderless Europe (Schengen Europe). A passport is still required when entering the UK.

London is not just where the largest banks in the world have their seat, but also the venue of the 30th Summer Olympics in 2012.