Kingdom of Great Britain

Kingdom of Great Britain1
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Flag Royal coat of arms
Motto
Dieu et mon droit
(English: "God and my right")2
Anthem
God Save the King/Queen
Territory of the Kingdom of Great Britain
Capital London
Language(s) English (de facto official), Cornish, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Norn, Welsh
Government Parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy
Monarch
 - 1707–14 Anne
 - 1714–27 George I
 - 1727–60 George II
 - 1760–1801 George III
Prime Minister
 - 1721–42 Robert Walpole
 - 1766-1768 William Pitt the Elder
 - 1783–1801 William Pitt the Younger
Legislature Parliament
 - Upper house House of Lords
 - Lower house House of Commons of Great Britain
Historical era 18th century
Area
 - 1801 230977 km2 (89181 sq mi)
Population
 - 1801 est. 16345646 
     Density 70.8 /km2  (183.3 /sq mi)
Currency Pound sterling
Today part of  United Kingdom3
1Cornish: Rywvaneth Breten Veur; Scots: Kinrick o Great Breetain; Scottish Gaelic: Rìoghachd na Breatainne Mòire; Welsh: Teyrnas Prydain Fawr.
2 The Royal motto used in Scotland was In My Defens God Me Defend.
3 England,  Scotland,  Wales.

|} The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain,[1][2][3][4] was a sovereign state in northwest Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1801. It was created by the merger of the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, under the Acts of Union 1707, to create a single kingdom encompassing the whole of the island of Great Britain and its minor outlying islands, excluding Ireland—which remained a separate jurisdiction under the British crown. A single parliament and government, based in Westminster, controlled the new kingdom. The kingdoms had shared the same monarch since James VI, King of Scots became King of England in 1603 following the death of Queen Elizabeth I.

The Kingdom of Great Britain was superseded by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801, when Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland by the Acts of Union of 1800 following the suppression of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Most of Ireland left the union in 1922, leading to another re-naming of it in 1927, to the form which still exists today. These subsequent British states are direct continuations of the Kingdom of Great Britain (albeit with territorial changes), and therefore are not generally considered successor states.

Contents


Name

While the Treaty of Union agreed between England and Scotland on 22 July 1706 refers to the new state as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, both the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union themselves, state explicitly that the name of the new kingdom is to be Great Britain.[5] Those who prefer to describe 'Great Britain' as the 'Kingdom of Great Britain' argue that the word "United" is only an adjective and that the term United Kingdom only came into the language with the Act of Union 1800, when it was intended to emphasize Union with Ireland.[6] The Historical Association stated in The Times in 2006, "The United Kingdom did not come into being until 1800, with the Act of Union with Ireland."[7]

The name "United Kingdom" is sometimes preferred for the historical Great Britain by later writers for purposes of continuity, particularly in the military and colonial spheres. At the time of the Act of Union 1800, which unambiguously styled the successor state as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland", the British were embroiled in the Great French War and the British Empire possessed many colonies in North America, India, and Australia. Some who would otherwise prefer the term "Kingdom of Great Britain" thus use "United Kingdom" to avoid using two different names for a single military and colonial power, which may confuse the discussion.

Monarchs

See also

References

  1. Acts of Union 1707 parliament.uk, accessed 31 December 2010
  2. Uniting the kingdom? nationalarchives.gov.uk, accessed 31 December 2010
  3. Making the Act of Union 1707 scottish.parliament.uk, accessed 31 December 2010
  4. The Union of the Parliaments 1707 Learning and Teaching Scotland, accessed 2 September 2010
  5. Act of Union 1707, Article I.
  6. William E. Burns, A Brief History of Great Britain, p. xxi
  7. Rough guide to British history, p. 2, in The Times dated 29 April 2006, accessed 2 January 2011