United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

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United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Animated-Flag-United-Kingdom.gif
Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1922
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1952.png
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1922
LocationWestern Europe
State Existed1801-1922 AD
LanguageEnglish
Capital/sLondon
1801-1922 AD
State TypeKingdom
Head of StateKing or Queen of the United Kingdom
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy
Head of GovernmentPrime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
LegislatureParliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Major CitiesManchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Plymouth
Population16,000,000
(1801)
45,221,000 (1911)
Area315,093 km2
(121,658 sq mi)
Preceded ByKingdom of Great Britain
Succeeded ByUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state that existed between 1801 and 1922. It was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland into a unified state. The establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 led to the country later being renamed to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927, which continues to exist in the present day.

History

Map United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1921

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, having financed the European coalition that defeated France during the Napoleonic Wars, developed a large Royal Navy that enabled the British Empire to become the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia was a relatively small operation in a century where Britain was largely at peace with the Great Powers. Rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the state's formation continued up until the mid-19th century. The Great Irish Famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the mid-19th century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland and increased calls for Irish land reform.

The 19th century was an era of rapid economic modernisation and growth of industry, trade and finance, in which Britain largely dominated the world economy. Outward migration was heavy to the principal British overseas possessions and to the United States. The empire was expanded into most parts of Africa and much of South Asia. The Colonial Office and India Office ruled through a small number of administrators who managed the units of the empire locally, while democratic institutions began to develop. British India, by far the most important overseas possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In overseas policy, the central policy was free trade, which enabled British and Irish financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. London formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan, France and Russia, and moved closer to the United States.

Growing desire for Irish self-governance led to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted in most of Ireland seceding from the Union and forming the Irish Free State in 1922. Northern Ireland remained part of the Union, and the state was renamed to the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927. The modern-day United Kingdom is the same country—a direct continuation of what remained after Ireland's secession—not an entirely new successor state.

Head of State

Monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Though the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland came to an end in 1922, the monarch continued to use the title of King or Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1927.

  1. George III (1801–1820) (monarch from 1760)
  2. George IV (1820–1830)
  3. William IV (1830–1837)
  4. Victoria (1837–1901)
  5. Edward VII (1901–1910)
  6. George V (1910–1922) (title used until 1927)

Head of Government

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

  1. William Pitt, the Younger (1801)
  2. Henry Addington (1801–04)
  3. William Pitt, the Younger (1804–06)
  4. William Wyndham Grenville (1806–07)
  5. William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck (1807–09)
  6. Spencer Perceval (1809–12)
  7. Robert Banks Jenkinson (1812–27)
  8. George Canning (1827)
  9. Frederick John Robinson (1827–28)
  10. Arthur Wellesley (1828–30)
  11. Charles Grey (1830–34)
  12. William Lamb (1834)
  13. Arthur Wellesley (1834)
  14. Robert Peel (1834–35)
  15. William Lamb (1835–41)
  16. Robert Peel (1841–46)
  17. John Russell (1846–52)
  18. Edward Geoffrey Stanley (1852)
  19. George Hamilton-Gordon (1852–55)
  20. Henry John Temple (1855–58)
  21. Edward Geoffrey Stanley (1858–59)
  22. Henry John Temple (1859–65)
  23. John Russell (1865–66)
  24. Edward Geoffrey Stanley (1866–68)
  25. Benjamin Disraeli (1868)
  26. William Ewart Gladstone (1868–74)
  27. Benjamin Disraeli (1874–80)
  28. William Ewart Gladstone (1880–85)
  29. Robert Cecil (1885–86)
  30. William Ewart Gladstone (1886)
  31. Robert Cecil (1886–92)
  32. William Ewart Gladstone (1892–94)
  33. Archibald Philip Primrose (1894–95)
  34. Robert Cecil (1895–1902)
  35. Arthur James Balfour (1902–05)
  36. Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1905–08)
  37. H.H. Asquith (1908–16)
  38. David Lloyd George (1916–22)
  39. Bonar Law (1922)

Governance of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Central Government

The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland formally referred to as His or Her Majesty's Government, was the central government of Great Britain. It was commonly referred to as simply the British Government.

Local and Regional Government

The division of England into shires, later known as counties, began in the Kingdom of Wessex in the mid-Saxon period, many of the Wessex shires representing previously independent kingdoms. With the Wessex conquest of Mercia in the 9th and 10th centuries, the system was extended to central England. At the time of the Domesday book, northern England comprised Cheshire and Yorkshire (with the north-east being unrecorded). The remaining counties of the north (Westmorland, Lancashire, Cumberland, Northumberland, Durham) were established in the 12th century. Rutland was first recorded as a county in 1159.