United Kingdom

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
United Kingdom of Great Britain

Flag of Britain
and largest city
Official languagesEnglish
Common languagesScots
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy

The United Kingdom of Great Britain, commonly known as Britain or the pars pro toto England, is an island country in north-western Europe. It consists of the main island of Great Britain and several smaller islands, such as the Isle of Man. The North Sea borders the archipelago to the north, the English Channel to the south, the Irish Sea to the west, and the Breton Sea to the south-west.


The Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1664 led to New Netherland's defeat of Britain. In 1667, Henrietta I, daughter of Charles I, became Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland. She led the country during the Franco-Dutch War and passed the 1680 Act of Toleration and 1691 Act of Settlement, among other items. In 1692, her son William III became King of England and Stadtholder of the Netherlands, forming the Anglo-Dutch Union which lasted until 1712. In 1696, the Acts of Union united Scotland and England into one state. In 1735, the Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament under the weak king William V.

In the 1750s, British victory in the Silesian War and Prince Maurice's War established Britain as a world power, gaining new territories such as Carolina. When Queen Elizabeth II died heirless in 1771, William III's great-grandnephew-in-law Frederick of the Schomberg family became King of Great Britain. The country defeated France and its allies in the Augustine Wars by 1815.

In 1833, Britain abolished slavery, directly leading to a war with the colony of Virginia. The British-sponsored Suez Canal opened in 1837. Two decades later, Britain gained Chinese treaty ports in the Canton War against the Dutch. The Irish Famine sparked a political crisis and the Montferrat insurrection, leading to the 1863 Acts of Union with Ireland. Virginia ultimately gained independence in 1854. By 1861, a rebellion in India was subdued. In 1877, a coup was initiated in communard France. Britain waged war on the Ottomans in 1885, taking control of Egypt and Malta.

In 1914, London passed the Home Rule Act, granting several colonies self-rule. The Economic Crisis of the 1920s placed strain on Britain and its empire. In 1927, Ireland became a dominion. Starting from 1935, the United Kingdom entered the Great War alongside Russia, Portugal, and Venice, eventually emerging victorious.

Government and Politics



List of leaders

List of monarchs

Name Reign Dynasty Historical period Notes
Henrietta I 1667 1692 Stuart Henriettan
William III 1692 1712 Stuart-Nassau Williamite
William IV 1712 1734
William V 1734 1737
Charles III 1737 1765
Elizabeth II 1765 1777
Frederick I 1777 1779 Schomberg Georgian
George I 1779 1804
George II 1804 1821
Ernest I 1821 1873 Ernestine
Edward VII 1873 1878
Alexander I&IV 1878 1896
Elizabeth III 1896 1947
Henrietta II 1947 1951

List of prime ministers

The position of Prime Minister was de facto created in 1737, when the 4th Earl of Holderness became the most powerful minister in the British government. It was finally recognised as a legitimate institution in 1922 at the outset of the European Economic Crisis.

Name Term of office Duration Party Government Monarch
Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness 1737 1748 11 years Charles III
John Holles, 2nd Duke of Newcastle 1748 1754 6 years
Philip Wharton, 2nd Marquess 1754 1764 10 years
John West, 7th Baron de la Warr 1764 109 days
Michael Drake, 1st Viscount Selby 1764 1765 308 days
James Drummond, 3rd Earl Melford 1766 1780 14 years Elizabeth II
Frederick I
George I
Marcus Collins, 1st Baron 1780 1785 5 years
Sir Raymond Ward 1785 1792 7 years
George Ravenshaw, 1st Earl Bristol 1792 1800 8 years
Thomas Ward, 1st Earl Ward 1800 1802 2 years
Spencer Turnbull, 2nd Marquess Hexham 1802 1809 7 years
George II
Charles Bennett, 4th Earl Tankerville 1809 1817 8 years
Albert Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebury 1817 1821 4 years
Simon Every, 1st Marquess Exeter 1821 1834 13 years Ernest I
George Nassau, 5th Earl of Grantham 1834 1839 5 years
William Parsons, 1st Viscount Milton 1839 18 days
George Nassau, 5th Earl of Grantham 1839 1841 2 years
William Parsons, 1st Viscount Milton 1842 1849 8 years
Ulysses Mackay, 7th Lord Reay 1849 1859 10 years
Crispin Money, 3rd Baron Latymer 1859 1866 7 years
Ulysses Mackay, 7th Lord Reay 1866 1870 4 years
Spencer Grey, 1st Viscount Grey 1870 1877 7 years
Edward VII
John Patrimonio 1877 1889 12 years
Alexander I&IV
Charles Rich, 12th Baron 1889 1893 4 years
Henry Robartes, 8th Earl Radnor 1893 1906 13 years
Elizabeth III
Alexander Henry, 12th Earl Stirling 1906 1907 221 days
John Pitt-Rivers, 8th Baron Rivers 1914 1922 8 years
Hugh Corbett, 1st Earl of Inverness 1922 117 days
Sir T.H Piers 1922 1936 14 years
Sir Benjamin George Kaylock 1936 1942 6 years
William Cavendish, 11th Earl of Devonshire 1942 1945 3 years
Sir Gordon Howell 1945 1949 4 years

See also