As part of the Visual Timeline series
– WW2 ends: Germans surrender in May, Japan in Aug.
– (Jul) Atlee succeeds Churchill as Britain PM.
– (Mar) Churchill “Iron Curtain” speech
– (Mar) UK leaves Iran
– (May) Jordan independence from UK.
– (Aug) UK suspends pound’s convertibility; much to anger of US and other international investors.
– (Aug) India and Pakistan independence from UK; India-Pakistan partitioned ased on religious demographics
– Burma (Myanmar), Ceylon (Sri Lanka) gains independence from UK
– Malayan Emergency (1948-1960); Commonwealth troops defeat Communist guerilla forces
– Allies unite occupied Germany into West Germany
– De Havilland Comet first passenger jet UK
– UK devalues pound 30% against USD; full convertibility restored in mid/late 1950s
1950: British leave India (India Republic Day)
1952: Great Smog of London; thousands of deaths; Clean Air Act passed 4 years later
– British and US intelligence engineer coup in Iran in response to oil nationalization; restoring power to shah Reza Pahlavi
– Stalin dies; succeeded by Kruschev
– Queen Elizabeth II coronation (queen at 1952) at 25yo
1955: West Germany regains sovereignty from Allies; joins NATO. Warsaw Pact formed in response.
1956: UK-France-Israel invade Egypt in response to president Nasser nationalizing Suez Canal in Jul; US & Soviet pressure forces withdrawal; Suez canal closed Nov56 to May57.
– Federation of Malaya gains independence from UK
– Nigeria gains independence from UK
– Windscale fire nuclear accident in northwestern England
1959: Singapore gains independence from UK
– French president de Gaulle vetoes first UK application to join European Economic Community
– Kuwait gains independence from UK.
1964: UK pop group Beatles launches first album
1965: White settlers in Southern Rhodesia declares independence from UK
1968: Sterling Agreement of 1968 guarantees pounds to hold 90% of dollar vlaue
1969: UK suppresses unrest in Northern Ireland
1971: Bahrain, Qatar, and UAE gain independence from UK
– OPEC oil embargo (Oct73-Mar74)
– UK finally joins European Economic Community (French president de Gaulle vetoed first two applications in 1961 and 1967), symbolizing increasing reliance on trade with Europe than its former colonies
1978: Winter of Discontent; labour strikes around UK; public services halts
1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes UK PM; begins privatization of state-firms and deregulation of financial markets
1980: Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia) gains independence from UK
1982: Falklands War (21May-14Jun). UK recaptures Falkland Islands after Argentina invaded on 26Mar; Thatcher strengthens political popularity
– UK breaks diplomatic relations with Libya after London Libyan embassy shoots protesters and British police officer.
– Brunei gains independence from UK
-UK coal miner’s strike (1984-1985)
1989: Fall of Berlin Wall
1990: Germany reunified
1991: Soviet Union dissolved
1993: Dowing Street declaration in Northern Ireland; peaceful proposal
1994: UK-France Channel Tunnel completed
1996: EU bans British beef exports amid Mad Cow Disease fears
1997: Princess Diana of Wales killed in car accident in Paris
1998: Good Friday Agreement for Northern Ireland
– Islamist terror attacks in London
– Irish Resistance Army announces end of violent campaign for united Ireland
2012: London hosts Olympic Games
2014: 55% in Scottish referendum vote to stay in UK
2016: Brexit. UK votes to leave EU
2022: Queen Elizabeth II dies, ending 70 year reign