Major events in the history of Yorkshire include the founding of the Danish Kingdom of Yorkshire, the Harrying of the North, which followed the Norman Conquest, the industrialization of West Yorkshire in the 19th century, and the reorganization of Yorkshire in the 20th century. People have lived in Yorkshire since the retreat of the Ice Age around 8000 B.C.
The Danish Kingdom of Yorkshire is in large part responsible for the shape of the Yorkshire region as it existed afterwards. The Danes conquered the area and divided the region into ridings, which continued until local reorganization in the 20th century. England conquered the Danish kingdom of Yorkshire in 954.
Shortly after William the Conqueror took the English throne in 1066, much of northern England, including Yorkshire, rose in rebellion. In 1069, William lead a scorched-earth campaign to regain control of the North, burning food, fields and villages. Yorkshire remained home for later rebellions into the Early Modern period.
During the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century, the West Riding of Yorkshire heavily industrialized, especially after expanded canal and road systems efficiently linked it with neighboring Lancashire. The West Riding sat on the edge of a huge coal field which fueled its industrial rise. However, the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire remained mostly agricultural.
In 1972, the English government divided Yorkshire into North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. In the 1990s the government again divided the new counties into smaller unitary authorities. However, despite no longer existing as an official administrative district, Yorkshire retains its own distinct identity within England.