Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
Ceylon was the British Crown colony of present day Sri Lanka between 1815 and 1948. The area it covered did not include the Kingdom of Kandy, a protectorate from 1815, but from 1815 to 1948 the British possessions included the whole island of Ceylon, now the nation of Sri Lanka. Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for control of the island as a whole; the island attracted the attention of the newly formed Dutch Republic when they were invited by the Sinhalese King to fight the Portuguese. Dutch rule over much of the island was soon imposed. In the late 18th century the Dutch, weakened by their wars against Great Britain, were conquered by Napoleonic France, their leaders became refugees in London. No longer able to govern their part of the island the Dutch transferred the rule of it to the British, although this was against the wishes of the Dutch residing there; the capture of the island yielded £300,000 of money in goods, as well as the acquisition of the cinnamon plantations, making this a valuable venture As soon as Great Britain gained the European-controlled parts of Ceylon from the Dutch, they wanted to expand their new sphere of influence by making the native Kingdom of Kandy a protectorate, an offer refused by the King of Kandy.
Although the previous Dutch administration had not been powerful enough to threaten the reign of the Kandyan Kings, the British were much more powerful. The Kandyan refusal to accept a protectorate led to war, which ended with the capitulation of the Kandyans; the rule of the king Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe was not favoured by his chieftains. The king, of South Indian ancestry, faced powerful chieftains and sought cruel measures to repress their popularity with the people. A successful coup was organised by the Sinhala chiefs in which they accepted the British Crown as their new sovereign; this ended the line of the kingdom of Kandy and King Rajasinghe was taken as a prisoner, ending his hope that the British would allow him to retain power. The Kandyan treaty, signed in 1815 was called the Kandyan Convention and stated the terms under which the Kandyans would live as a British protectorate; the Buddhist religion was to be given protection by the Crown, Christianity would not be imposed on the population, as had happened during Portuguese and Dutch rule.
The Kandyan Convention is an important legal document because it specifies the conditions which the British promised for the Kandyan territory. It took the ruling families of Kandy less than two years to realise that the authority of the British government was a fundamentally different one to that of the Nayakkar dynasty. Soon the Kandyans waged a guerrilla war. Discontent with British activities soon boiled over into open rebellion, commencing in the duchy of Uva in 1817, so called the Uva Rebellion known as the Third Kandyan War, according to a dissertation written by J. B. Müller, the British rulers killed everyone from the Uva-Wellassa region; the main cause of the rebellion was the British authorities' failure to protect and uphold the customary Buddhist traditions, which were viewed by the islanders as an integral part of their lives. The rebellion, which soon developed into a guerrilla war of the kind the Kandyans had fought against European powers for centuries, was centred on the Kandyan nobility and their unhappiness with developments under British rule since 1815.
However it was the last uprising of this kind and Britain's brutal response massacred the rebels, as a warning to the rest of the Sri Lankan community and annexed the Kingdom of Kandy to British Ceylon in 1817. Sivasundaram argues that the British used geographical knowledge to defeat the Kandyan holdouts in the mountainous and jungle areas in the center of Ceylon, they used local informants and British surveyors to map the island built a network of roads to open the central region. This made possible export production of plantation agriculture, as well as tighter military control. With its trading ports of Trincomalee and Colombo, the colony was one of the only sources of cinnamon in the world; the spice was valuable, the British East India Company began to cultivate it from 1767, but Ceylon remained the main producer until the end of the 18th centuryThe laying of the railway was carried out during the Governorship of Sir Henry Ward. The opening of coffee and tea plantations, road development schemes, establishment of hospitals and maternity homes throughout the island, were just some of the major works undertaken by the British who ruled Sri Lanka.
The multiracial population of Ceylon was numerous enough to support the European colonists. Unlike the previous rulers, the British embarked on a plantation programme which brought coffee plantations to the island; these were wiped out by coffee rust. Coffee plants were replaced by rubber plantations; this made Ceylon one of the richest countries in Asia. The British brought Tamils from British India and made them indentured labourers in the Hill Country; this was in addition to the several hundred thousand Tamils living in the Maritime provinces and another 30,000 Tamil Muslims. The linguistically bipolar island needed English became universal in Ceylon. Censuses in Ceylon continued every ten years; the 1881 census shows a total population of 2.8 million, constituting of 1.8 million Sinhalese.
Sri Lanka the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait; the legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo. Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years, it has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road. Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule as Ceylon. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century to obtain political independence, granted in 1948.
Sri Lanka's recent history has been marred by a 26-year civil war, which decisively ended when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009. The current constitution stipulates the political system as a republic and a unitary state governed by a semi-presidential system, it has had a long history of international engagement, as a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement. Along with the Maldives, Sri Lanka is one of only two South Asian countries rated "high" on the Human Development Index, with its HDI rating and per capita income the highest among South Asian nations; the Sri Lankan constitution accords Buddhism the "foremost place", although it does not identify it as a state religion. Buddhism is given special privileges in the Sri Lankan constitution; the island is home to many cultures and ethnicities. The majority of the population is from the Sinhalese ethnicity, while a large minority of Tamils have played an influential role in the island's history.
Moors, Malays and the indigenous Vedda are established groups on the island. In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travellers by a variety of names. According to the Mahavamsa, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni, because his followers' hands were reddened by the red soil of the area. In Hindu mythology, such as the Ramayana, the island was referred to as Lankā; the Tamil term Eelam, was used to designate the whole island in Sangam literature. The island was known under Chola rule as Mummudi Cholamandalam. Ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobanē from the word Tambapanni; the Persians and Arabs referred to it as Sarandīb from Cerentivu or Siṃhaladvīpaḥ. Ceilão, the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese Empire when it arrived in 1505, was transliterated into English as Ceylon; as a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon. The country is now known in Sinhala in Tamil as Ilaṅkai. In 1972, its formal name was changed to "Free and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka".
In 1978 it was changed to the "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka". As the name Ceylon still appears in the names of a number of organisations, the Sri Lankan government announced in 2011 a plan to rename all those over which it has authority; the pre-history of Sri Lanka goes back 125,000 years and even as far back as 500,000 years. The era spans the Palaeolithic and early Iron Ages. Among the Paleolithic human settlements discovered in Sri Lanka, which dates back to 37,000 BP, Batadombalena and Belilena are the most important. In these caves, archaeologists have found the remains of anatomically modern humans which they have named Balangoda Man, other evidence suggesting that they may have engaged in agriculture and kept domestic dogs for driving game. One of the first written references to the island is found in the Indian epic Ramayana, which provides details of a kingdom named Lanka, created by the divine sculptor Vishwakarma for Kubera, the Lord of Wealth, it is said that Kubera was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana, the powerful emperor who built a mythical flying machine named Dandu Monara.
The modern city of Wariyapola is described as Ravana's airport. Early inhabitants of Sri Lanka were ancestors of the Vedda people, an indigenous people numbering 2,500 living in modern-day Sri Lanka; the 19th-century Irish historian James Emerson Tennent theorized that Galle, a city in southern Sri Lanka, was the ancient seaport of Tarshish from which King Solomon is said to have drawn ivory and other valuables. According to the Mahāvamsa, a chronicle written in Pāḷi, the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are the Yakshas and Nagas. Ancient cemeteries that were used before 600 BC and other signs of advanced civilisation have been discovered in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese history traditionally starts in 543 BC with the arrival of Prince Vijaya, a semi-legendary prince who sailed with 700 followers to Sri Lanka, after being expelled from Vanga Kingdom (present-day Ben