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Kingdom of Great Britain

Flag of England
Flag of Scotland
1707–1801 Flag of the United Kingdom
Flag of Great Britain Coat of Arms of Great Britain
Motto
Dieu et mon droit
Anthem
God Save the King
Map of Great Britain
CapitalLondon
Government Constitutional monarchy
Monarch
- 1707-1714Anne
- 1714-1727George I
- 1727-1760George II
- 1760-1801George III
Prime Minister
- 1721-1742Sir Robert Walpole
- 1742-1743The Earl of Wilmington
- 1743-1754Henry Pelham
- 1754-1756The Duke of Newcastle
- 1756-1757The Duke of Devonshire
- 1757-1762The Duke of Newcastle
Legislature Parliament
- Upper houseHouse of Lords
- Lower houseHouse of Commons
History
May 1, 1707Act of Union
January 1, 1801Act of Union
Area230,977 km²
Population
- 180116,345,646
 Density70.7/km²
CurrencyPound sterling
Flag of England England
Flag of Scotland Scotland
United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom
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Great Britain, also referred to as the Kingdom of Great Britain, was a monarchy established by the Act of Union on May 1, 1707 that politically united the kingdoms of England and Scotland. On January 1, 1801 Great Britain was united with Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

History

While maintaining separate parliaments, England and Scotland were ruled under one crown beginning in 1603, when James VI of Scotland succeeded his cousin Elizabeth I as James I of England. In the ensuing 100 years, strong religious and political differences divided the kingdoms. Finally, in 1707, England and Scotland were unified as Great Britain, sharing a single Parliament at Westminster.

Ireland's invasion by the Anglo-Normans in 1170 led to centuries of strife. Successive English kings sought to conquer Ireland. In the early 17th century, large-scale settlement of the north from Scotland and England began. After its defeat, Ireland was subjected, with varying degrees of success, to control and regulation by Britain. The legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was completed on January 1, 1801, under the name of the United Kingdom.[1]

British Empire

Begun initially to support William the Conqueror's (c. 1029-1087) holdings in France, Britain's policy of active involvement in continental European affairs endured for several hundred years. By the end of the 14th century, foreign trade, originally based on wool exports to Europe, had emerged as a cornerstone of national policy.

The foundations of sea power were gradually laid to protect English trade and open up new routes. Defeat of the Spain Armada in 1588 firmly established England as a major sea power. Thereafter, its interests outside Europe grew steadily. Attracted by the spice trade, English mercantile interests spread first to the Far East. In search of an alternate route to the Spice Islands, John Cabot reached the North American continent in 1498. Sir Walter Raleigh organized the first, short-lived colony in Virginia (|) in 1584, and permanent English settlement began in 1607 at Jamestown, Virginia. During the next 2 centuries, Britain extended its influence abroad and consolidated its political development at home.[2]

Monarch

  • Anne (May 1, 1707 - August 1, 1714)
  • George I (August 1, 1714 - June 11, 1727)
  • George II (June 11, 1727 - October 25, 1760)
  • George III (October 25, 1760 - January 1, 1801)

Prime Minister

  • Sir Robert Walpole (April 4, 1721 - February 11, 1742)
  • The Earl of Wilmington (February 11, 1742 - July 2, 1743)
  • Henry Pelham (July 2, 1743 - March 7, 1754)
  • The Duke of Newcastle (March 7, 1754 - November 16, 1756)
  • The Duke of Devonshire (November 16, 1756 - June 25, 1757)
  • The Duke of Newcastle (June 25, 1757 - May 26, 1762)
  • The Earl of Bute (May 26, 1762 - April 16, 1763)
  • George Grenville (April 16, 1763 - July 13, 1765)
  • The Marquess of Rockingham (July 13, 1765 - July 30, 1766)
  • The Earl of Chatham (July 30, 1766 - October 14, 1768)
  • The Duke of Grafton (October 14, 1768 - January 28, 1770)
  • Lord North (January 28, 1770 - March 22, 1782)
  • The Marquess of Rockingham (March 22, 1782 - July 1, 1782)
  • The Earl of Shelburne (July 1, 1782 - April 2, 1783)
  • The Duke of Portland (April 2, 1783 - December 19, 1783)
  • William Pitt the Younger (December 19, 1783 - January 1, 1801)

See also

References

  1. The United States Department of State - Background Note: United Kingdom
  2. The United States Department of State - Background Note: United Kingdom

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