Kingdom of Great Britain

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Kingdom of Great Britain
Flag of Great Britain 1707 to 1801.png
Flag of Great Britain 1707 to 1801
Coat-of-Arms-of-Great-Britain-1714-to-1801.png
Coat of Arms of Great Britain 1714 to 1801
LocationWestern Europe
State Existed1701-1801 AD
LanguageEnglish
Capital/sLondon
1707-1801 AD
State TypeKingdom
Head of StateKing or Queen of Great Britain
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy
Head of GovernmentChief Minister of Great Britain (1707-1721)
Prime Minister of Great Britain (1721-1801)
LegislatureParliament of Great Britain
Major CitiesManchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Plymouth
Population7,000,000
(1707)
10,500,000 (1801)
Area230,977 km2
(89,181 sq mi)
Preceded ByKingdom of England
Kingdom of Scotland
Succeeded ByUnited Kingdom

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 1 January 1801. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the Kingdom of England (which included Wales) and Kingdom of Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain,

History

Territory of the Kingdom of Great Britain

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 1 January 1801. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England (which included Wales) and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". Since its inception the kingdom was in legislative and personal union with Ireland and after the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

The early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746. In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, which was to become the foremost global power for over a century and slowly grew to become the largest empire in history.

From the mid-1750s the Kingdom came to dominate the Indian subcontinent through the aggressive expansion of the East India Trading Company, and until suffering defeat in the American War of Independence it claimed vast swathes of the North American continent through its burgeoning American colonies.

The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800.

Head of State

Monarch of Great Britain

  • 1707–1714 Anne of Great Britain
  • 1714–1727 George I of Great Britain
  • 1727–1760 George II of Great Britain
  • 1760–1801 George III of Great Britain

Head of Government

Chief Minister of Great Britain

Prime Minister of Great Britain

Governance of the Kingdom of Great Britain

Central Government

The Government of the Kingdom of Great Britain 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.