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United Kingdom Culture, Geography and History
About UNITED KINGDOM
The United Kingdom came into being in 1707 with the political union of England and Scotland (Wales was classed under the Kingdom of England). In 1800, the Act of Union with the Kingdom of Ireland formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The last major change was in 1922, when the Anglo-Irish Treaty saw the Irish Free State form and secede from the UK, and Northern Ireland becoming part of the UK (though it wasn’t until 1927 that the UK formerly changed its name to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Though united, each country had their own laws, churches and education systems.
The 18th and 19th centuries were notable for the UK’s countless wars with France, colonisation in the Caribbean, the loss of colonies in North America, the gain of Canada, the discovery of Australia, the second wave of the British Empire in India, Asia and Africa, the beginnings of the industrial revolution, the abolishment of slavery and the long and successful reign of Queen Victoria. Needless to say, this is but a snapshot.
The first half of the 20th century was marred by two devastating world wars, which not only devastated the population but the wealth of the country. It also saw the crumbling of the British Empire, with independence being sought and won in Ireland in 1922 and India in 1947, and by the 1980s Britain had withdrawn from all of its colonies. In 1997 devolution was established in Scotland and Wales.
United Kingdom at a glance
- 60.9 million
- English, Welsh, Gaelic
- (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
- Type D (Old British 3-pin), Type G (Irish/British 3-pin), Type M (see D)
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