History of the World

History of the World

Age Of Extremes
Season 1  |  Episode 8  |  BBC Knowledge  |  May 2, 2017

In the final episode of this landmark series charting the history of human civilisation, Andrew Marr brings the story right up to date with the twentieth century. Marr suggests that humanity found itself propelled forward by our technological brilliance but limited by the consequences of our political idiocy. Democracy confronted communism and fascism, and two world wars would underscore our political failures more than ever before. But our achievements were also astonishing, especially in the fields of science and technology. We invented machines of awesome speed and power, and reached beyond the limits of our planet. Now, more of us live longer, healthier and wealthier lives than our ancestors could ever have imagined. But Marr argues that with seven billion of us on the planet, and rising fast, either we manage the earth's natural resources better or we risk global catastrophe. The decisions we make in the next 50 years, he argues, may well decide our fate. For Marr, the most interesting part of human history lies just ahead.

In the final episode of this landmark series charting the history of human civilisation, Andrew Marr brings the story right up to date with the twentieth century. Marr suggests that humanity found itself propelled forward by our technological brilliance but limited by the consequences of our political idiocy. Democracy confronted communism and fascism, and two world wars would underscore our political failures more than ever before. But our achievements were also astonishing, especially in the fields of science and technology. We invented machines of awesome speed and power, and reached beyond the limits of our planet. Now, more of us live longer, healthier and wealthier lives than our ancestors could ever have imagined. But Marr argues that with seven billion of us on the planet, and rising fast, either we manage the earth's natural resources better or we risk global catastrophe. The decisions we make in the next 50 years, he argues, may well decide our fate. For Marr, the most interesting part of human history lies just ahead.

More from this series

Princess Elizabeth grew up in the Piccadilly home of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York. The Abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, in 1936 appeared to be a catastrophe to her family, catapulting her nervous father onto the throne as King George VI. Elizabeth became heir to the throne aged 10, and seemed to be a shy girl with a limited education.

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history, but she was neither born nor educated to take on that role. At the age of 10 her life was turned upside down, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated, catapulting her into the position of heir to the greatest empire the world had ever seen. At the age of 21, she broadcast to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth that her whole life would be devoted to service - a pledge she renewed 60 years later at her diamond jubilee.

As monarch she has appointed 13 prime ministers, from Sir Winston Churchill to Teresa May, and despite the best efforts of some politicians she has kept above the political fray. Her greatest achievement has been to transform the British Empire into the new Commonwealth of diverse and independent nations. During her reign she has experienced family tragedy and triumph, often having to choose between supporting her family and doing her duty as monarch. 

This eight-part series interviews the Queen's prime ministers, members of the royal household and closest friends, to build a uniquely personal picture of Elizabeth, the woman, the mother, the Queen.

Elizabeth

History, Civics and citizenship

Years 9-10, 11-12 History, Civics and citizenship
28:48
Princess Elizabeth grew up in the Piccadilly home of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York. The Abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, in 1936 appeared to be a catastrophe to her family, catapulting her nervous father onto the throne as King George VI. Elizabeth became heir to the throne aged 10, and seemed to be a shy girl with a limited education. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history, but she was neither born nor educated to take on that role. At the age of 10 her life was turned upside down, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated, catapulting her into the position of heir to the greatest empire the world had ever seen. At the age of 21, she broadcast to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth that her whole life would be devoted to service - a pledge she renewed 60 years later at her diamond jubilee. As monarch she has appointed 13 prime ministers, from Sir Winston Churchill to Teresa May, and despite the best efforts of some politicians she has kept above the political fray. Her greatest achievement has been to transform the British Empire into the new Commonwealth of diverse and independent nations. During her reign she has experienced family tragedy and triumph, often having to choose between supporting her family and doing her duty as monarch. This eight-part series interviews the Queen's prime ministers, members of the royal household and closest friends, to build a uniquely personal picture of Elizabeth, the woman, the mother, the Queen.
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