The Making of Modern Britain

The Making of Modern Britain

2009, History  -    -  Playlist 19 Comments
Ratings: 7.55/10 from 29 users.

The Making of Modern BritainAn epic account of the events that shaped Britain, from the death of Queen Victoria to the end of the Second World War.

In the first of a six-part series, Andrew Marr revisits Britain at the dawn of the 20th century. He finds the country mourning the death of Queen Victoria; fighting an intractable war against the Boers in South Africa; enjoying the bawdy pleasures of music hall; and worrying about the physical and moral strength of the working class.

Britain basks in the heat of a long Edwardian summer, but tension and violence are never far below the surface. Women are attacked while campaigning for the vote, Ireland is divided over liberation from the British Empire, and dockers and miners strike for improved conditions and wages.

Britain gets its first taste of total war. Marr argues that no shock has ever hit these islands with quite the force of what became known as the Great War. It transformed the lives of the British people - most dramatically the millions who fought on the frontline but also those at home who were bereaved, bombed, uprooted and bankrupted.

In the 1920s, Imperial Britannia was sliding from view and a more modern Britain tried everything new and asked endless questions about how we should live our lives. A great new age of experiment arrived in politics, writing, art, sex and drugs.

For Andrew Marr, the story of Britain in the 1930s was one of betrayal, political extremism, unemployment and... hats. Bowlers, trilbies, top hats and flat caps were everywhere, as the country descended into chaos when the financial crash on Wall Street engulfed Britain. Solutions to the national crisis were offered by Britain's most unlikely paramilitaries, the Greenshirts.

The final film in Andrew Marr's epic six-part series is a vivid account of Britain in the Second World War. Marr's story of 'the people's war' begins with the defeat that came to define modern Britain's national spirit: Dunkirk. In 1940, Britain stood alone against the might of the German war machine. Churchill produced the words that stirred the Blitz spirit, but a Nazi invasion seemed inevitable.

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5 years ago

you said the Americans are all from your great country. and were fat, and thieves, as well as other crap. You need to go back to school, first that's was hundreds of y ears ago and people change, if what you said was true, which it was not. Also, US citizens came from all, of the world, mainly Europe, and then china and Africa. Myself I am a mic, An Irish man, who all American first and Irish Second, which I might add that the Irish has been kicking England ass for centuries, also, those fat, criminals, kick your ass out of America, twice. Also, we save your ass and the rest of the world. We also, ARE THE ONLY remaining SUPER POWER, which you never were, and if we wanted to we could have ruled the world after WW2, as we were the only power w/ the Abomb, and there were plans to do just that, one plan was called Pax American, created by US generals, the other was thought up by good old Winnie Churchill, (who I love, more the Macarther and I hate Monty, b/c he is a loser). Churchill's plan was called Plan Unthinkable, which required the use of 300 atomic against the USSR more then half against airfields and military targets of such type. Also, you can say the ussr would have won the war w/o USA, however. the US provide 95 percent of all trucks and all tires, as well as uniforms, fuels, ammo, food stuffs, aircraft at the start, intelligence (which a lot came from Ultra at lechley park ;spelling;). Winnie was non stop begging the US to declare war against Germany (which did you call us beggars and yet we have never ask you for anything, unlike you). You are a lot better at killing people, and fighting wars, b/c that's all you guy ever do, the US has never done so on domestic soil, and for the most part only does go to war when attacked or ask to help b/c of horrific war crimes. Plus, UNLIKE YOU AND ALL YOUR GREEDY Europeans, the ONLY think that the United States of America asks of countries where we do battle, and our young hero pay the ultimate price, and die, is but one thing, We ONLY ASK for a place to bury our dead, who have fallen on foreign soil, helping others, as well as fighting a common enemy. Oh and that great nation you spoke of, could do nothing at all, other then ask for help and fight w/ help from others, never doing much at all, to fight Japan. The US fought EVERYWHERE and WON. Can you say that? Your government is not as good as you think, remember that kid that had terminal cancer, and even so, Johns Hopkins medical center said they would treat him w/ experimental drugs, and try, yet Your Government Forbid the parents from taking their child to America for treatment, even though they were going to pay for the treatment using their own money, yet the Brit government, over rid the rights of the parents to do what they feel is best for their son and under force of law restricted their action, which then the child died(he was most likely going to die anyway, yet a government that think they know what is best and deny the rights of the parents, is a horrible government b/c when do they stop, already, you can't get treatment after age 76 or something, bc 90% of medical cost happen in the last year of life, so since you guy have a socialist health care, they say it cost to much, so either pay out of pocket of die. You got a nice county. Also, the US is NATO, and w/o us there is a moderate high chance that ussr would have invaded parts of Europe after ww2, look at Ukraine, if we were not there to stop them, do you think you guys could, you had no nukes till 58 or so, and that was b/c we gave you the tech, you did build your own design, until the 90 when you rented the trident 2D from us replacing the Polaris that also came from use, for which is the only nukes you have now. Whatever,just remember you got your ass kick by a nation of leftover crap, twice as well as saved on a number of times.

Swapnil Sathe
7 years ago

'We protected democracy' says the imperialist whore of a nation

9 years ago

This is a brilliantly informative series. Unfortunately the link provided above does not work so you'll have to look it up on youtube.

There's also a prequel called "The history of modern Britain" which deals with the time span from where this series leaves off (end of WW2) up until modern times.

Good stuff.

10 years ago

:)) a bolder in the ocean full o sheeps and people with bad danture and not least where it rains all the time.Be proud of that.And americans you are the descendants of this ''great'' country.Only that the worse of england society left to america : thieves,beggars,scums,etc.English :fat and with bad danture,americans : fat and stupid.There you go :)

10 years ago

hahaha the narrator is mad as a hatter,lool. Love it!! kept me intrigued the whole way through. England till I die!!!!

11 years ago

Andrew Marr should be ignored.

11 years ago

Well just finished the second episode and looking forward to the remainder...the years leading up to WWI are often, in the USA at least, summed up in a few sentences as "labor unrest and social reform" This series goes into great detail in exploring both those concepts in the UK. Well presented on the whole...wonderful series IMO...thanks for making it available to a content starved American

11 years ago

I just watched "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" so I keep getting the urge to chant 'USA! USA!" whenever the United States is mentioned. I'm going to watch "Loose Change" when I finish to offset these side-effects.

11 years ago

i'm enjoying this one.

11 years ago

Fantastic documentary, very long, and full of stories. Exactly the kind of thing I want to watch before bed. :)

Teddy Mcd
11 years ago

Rule Britannia - Britannia, rules the waves!

Not so much anymore but still a great country.

11 years ago

Britain is dead!

Most of Modern Britain is owned by Arabs or Russians or stolen wealth and of course the Royals.

People think that most money is hidden in Swiss bank accounts but in fact if you want to hide money you take it to Britain.

However comparing Britain with the bunch of Nazis on the mainland (Includes the French, Italians, Dutch, Germans, Nordics...etc) there is no better place in the world to live!

Its the dynamics and multiculturalism that make modern Britain such a great place to live. Even compared to the US.