Battles involving England - About the website
Index of Battles involving England - Maps
There are many ways of teaching history. When I was young (long, long ago!) we learned history chronologically, starting with the Romans, and covering each period, ending up with the Second World War. Kings and queens and battles were prominently featured. Then history teaching changed and tended to concentrate on particular periods of history. This has advantages, but means that you lose the framework for putting all historical events, and other history, into perspective. I thought that a simple list of important wars and battles, with a little about each, might be helpful for those who don't know their Seevn Years War from their Hundred Year War.
All history is selective. It is impossible (and very, very boring) to describe everything. Once you select, it becomes opinionated, since what do you select? I say above that I include the important battles, but then, what is important? I feel that wars that create countries (USA, Republic of Ireland) or strongly influence their nature (Canada, India) must be important. Since the website is about English battles, then the various civil wars within England must be covered. But I suspect that the main criterion is that these are the wars and battles that I have heard of! I am not a historian, and so the history I know is a General Knowledge level of history, and that is one way of making a choice.
I start with the Romans and take the list up to the present day. The recent conflicts may not be as important as previous ones, but they bulk larger in our memories because we have lived through them.
I have included pictures and songs and poems and documents connected with the wars. This is partly to make the site more fun to read, but it does have a serious purpose as well. The songs and documents are nearly all written shortly after the conflicts, so they represent some (even most) people's opinions at the time. They are a form of documentary evidence. There are a couple of later songs, but I give the date so you can spot them. The pictures, again, are painted as close to the conflict as I could find. Not all the painters were good artists, but I find their differing styles interesting, and often charming. War is not charming of course. I have tried to avoid any opinions on the wars (as I am not an expert) or on warfare in general. The songs and poems that I have scattered throughout the site include both extreme patriotism and anti-war sentiment. They do not necessarily reflect my opinion on any given war, or war in general. To tell the truth, I'm not too sure what my opinion is, half the time. To go to war is always an extreme choice, to avoid one may be as well.
I have carefully said that these are the battles connected with England. I do not wish to insult the other nations of the United Kingdom, since they were concerned with many of them, and the regiments associated with Scotland, Wales and Ireland are famous. Some of the time the English were fighting others in the British Isles. It's all very complicated. I have tried to say English or British in the right places. If I've missed one, let me know.
I realise that this may not feel like the history of many people who live in England but were born elsewhere, or their parents or grandparents were. But this is a website about the history of a place (England). I'll link to useful websites giving histories from the point of view of immigrants, if told about them. There are also battles within wars which affected some Commonwealth countries more than Britain, such as Gallipoli. Again, I'm sorry, I had to select, and I chose a British or English point of view.
I do not attempt to give a complete description of each war or battle. I try to give one or two facts which I think are generally known. Sometimes this is difficult, so I give an event which seems important to me (and it is my website!) But if anyone wants to persuade me to add anything else, then do contact me, and we'll discuss it. My description of events is very brief. It is easy to look up longer accounts on the web. Try Wikipedia.
I certainly do not want to evaluate the importance of a particular conflict. Opinions vary, sometimes wildly. I am not a historian, and I do not want to join in! However, sometimes my descriptions may seem to give an opinion. By all means, let me know if you disagree, but this is not a website for minority views. You might persuade me to alter the wording a little!
Index of Battles involving England - Maps
© Jo Edkins 2010 - index to my other history websites - index to all my websites - any questions or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org