History Of United Kingdom
The United Kingdom was made by merging together the historical kingdoms of Ireland, Scotland, and England. These three kingdoms were united by ‘Union of Crowns’ in year 1603.
However, even after the merger, independent political institutions were retained by each kingdom. This historic unification happened due to many successive political events that took place between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries. The event that immediately preceded it was the relocation of the Edinburgh court of the King of Scots, James VI, to London.
On May 1, 1707, the Kingdoms of England and Scotland merged together to form the United Kingdom as per Treaty of Union signed on July 22, 1706. Nearly a hundred years later, the Kingdoms of the UK and Ireland came together to form United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,as per the 1800 Act of Union. But, conflicts within the Ireland Kingdom over the Home Rule terms eventually caused the island to get partitioned in 1921.
While North Ireland continued as a part of UK, the remaining island acquired the Dominion status of Irish Free State and got separated in year 1922. Consequently, in year 1927, the official UK title was changed to its present-day form, ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland’.
Some other significant turning points in the UK's history are as follows:
- Noteworthy contributions were made to science, arts, literature, and parliamentary system by UK during the period from the 17th century to the 20th century.
- Industrial Revolution that triggered the colonial expansion of British Empire was led by the UK.
- Atlantic Slave trading and colonial exploitation were highly prevalent in UK till the 19th century, when Slave Trade Act, prohibiting slave trade, was passed in 1807.
- After France was defeated in the Napoleonic and Revolutionary Wars, which took place from 1792 to 1815, the UK became the world’s foremost economic and naval power during the 19th to the 20th centuries.
- Britain was opposed to Germany in the First World War (1914-1918) and suffered nearly 2.5 million casualties in war. Later, UK acquired the mandate of League of Nations and expanded its empire to encompass over 1/5th of the total world’s area.
- The Great Depression of 1929 also affected the UK politically, economically, and socially.
- Although the UK collapsed financially after WWII and the historic Battle of Britain, it recovered quickly and emerged as one of the biggest powers in the post war world.
It faced economic slowdown in 1970s, saw tremendous economic growth in 1980s, and became one among the twelve members of European Union in 1992.
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