The Treaty of Union is the name usually now given to the agreement which led to the creation of the new state of Great Britain, stating that England (which already included Wales) and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", At the time it was more often referred to as the Articles of Union.
The details of the Treaty were agreed on 22 July 1706, and separate Acts of Union were then passed by the parliaments of England and Scotland to put the agreed Articles into effect. The political union took effect on 1 May 1707.
|Constitutional documents and events relevant to the status of the United Kingdom and its constituent countries|
|Treaty of Union||1706|
|Acts of Union||1707|
|Wales and Berwick Act||1746|
|Acts of Union||1800|
|Government of Ireland Act||1920|
|Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act||1927|
|Statute of Westminster||1931|
|United Nations Act||1946|
|EC Treaty of Accession||1972|
|NI (Temporary Provisions) Act||1972|
|European Communities Act||1972|
|Local Government Act||1972|
|Local Government (Scotland) Act||1973|
|NI Border Poll||1973|
|NI Constitution Act||1973|
|EC Membership Referendum||1975|
|Scottish Devolution Referendum||1979|
|Welsh Devolution Referendum||1979|
|Local Government (Wales) Act||1994|
|Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act||1994|
|Referendums (Scotland & Wales) Act||1997|
|Scottish Devolution Referendum||1997|
|Welsh Devolution Referendum||1997|
|Good Friday Agreement||1998|
|Northern Ireland Act||1998|
|Government of Wales Act||1998|
|Human Rights Act||1998|
|Government of Wales Act||2006|
|Northern Ireland Act||2009|
|Welsh Devolution Referendum||2011|
|European Union Act||2011|
|Fixed-term Parliaments Act||2011|
|Scottish Independence Referendum||2014|
|European Union Referendum Act||2015|
|EU Membership Referendum||2016|
|EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Act||2017|
|Invocation of Article 50||2017|
|European Union (Withdrawal) Act||2018|
Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland, last monarch of the Tudor dynasty, died without issue on 24 March 1603, and the throne fell at once (and uncontroversially) to her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland, a member of House of Stuart and the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots. By the Union of the Crowns in 1603 he assumed the throne of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Ireland as King James I. This personal union lessened the constant English fears of Scottish cooperation with France in a feared French invasion of England.
After this personal union, the new monarch, James I and VI, sought to unite the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England into a state which he referred to as "Great Britain". Nevertheless, Acts of Parliament attempting to unite the two countries failed in 1606, in 1667, and in 1689.
Beginning in 1698, the Company of Scotland sponsored the Darien scheme, an ill-fated attempt to establish a Scottish trading colony in the Isthmus of Panama, collecting from Scots investments equal to one-quarter of all the money circulating in Scotland at the time. In the face of opposition by English commercial interests, the Company of Scotland also raised subscriptions in Amsterdam, Hamburg, and London for its scheme. For his part, King William III had given only lukewarm support to the Scottish colonial endeavour. England was at war with France, and hence did not want to offend Spain, which claimed the territory as part of New Granada.
England was also under pressure from the London-based East India Company, which was anxious to maintain its monopoly over English foreign trade. It therefore forced the English and Dutch investors to withdraw. Next, the East India Company threatened legal action, on the grounds that the Scots had no authority from the king to raise funds outside the king's realm, and obliged the promoters to refund subscriptions to the Hamburg investors. This left no source of finance but Scotland itself. The colonisation ended in a military confrontation with the Spanish in 1700, but most colonists died of tropical diseases. This was an economic disaster for the Scottish ruling class investors and diminished the resistance of the Scottish political establishment to the idea of political union with England. It ultimately supported the union, despite some popular opposition and anti-union riots in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere.
Deeper political integration had been a key policy of Queen Anne ever since she had acceded to the thrones of the three kingdoms in 1702. Under the aegis of the Queen and her ministers in both kingdoms, in 1705 the parliaments of England and Scotland agreed to participate in fresh negotiations for a treaty of union.
It was agreed that England and Scotland would each appoint thirty-one commissioners to conduct the negotiations. The Scottish Parliament then began to arrange an election of the commissioners to negotiate on behalf of Scotland, but in September 1705, the leader of the Country Party, the Duke of Hamilton, who had previously attempted to obstruct the negotiation of a treaty, proposed that the Scottish commissioners should be nominated by the Queen, and this was agreed. In practice, the Scottish commissioners were nominated on the advice of the Duke of Queensberry and the Duke of Argyll.
Of the Scottish commissioners who were subsequently appointed, twenty-nine were members of the governing Court Party, while one was a member of the Squadron Volante. At the head of the list was Queensberry himself, with the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, the Earl of Seafield. George Lockhart of Carnwath, a member of the opposition Cavalier Party, was the only commissioner opposed to union. The thirty-one English commissioners included government ministers and officers of state, such as the Lord High Treasurer, the Earl of Godolphin, the Lord Keeper, Lord Cowper, and a large number of Whigs who supported union. Most Tories in the Parliament of England were not in favour of a union, and only one was among the commissioners.
Negotiations between the English and Scottish commissioners began on 16 April 1706 at the Cockpit-in-Court in London. The sessions opened with speeches from William Cowper, the English Lord Keeper, and from Lord Seafield, the Scottish Lord Chancellor, each describing the significance of the task. The commissioners did not carry out their negotiations face to face, but in separate rooms. They communicated their proposals and counter-proposals to each other in writing, and there was a blackout on news from the negotiations. Each side had its own particular concerns. Within a few days, England gained a guarantee that the Hanoverian dynasty would succeed Queen Anne to the Scottish crown, and Scotland received a guarantee of access to colonial markets, in the hope that they would be placed on an equal footing in terms of trade.
After the negotiations ended on 22 July 1706, acts of parliament were drafted by both Parliaments to implement the agreed Articles of Union. The Scottish proponents of union believed that failure to agree to the Articles would result in the imposition of a union under less favourable terms, and English troops were stationed just south of the Scottish border and also in northern Ireland as an "encouragement". Months of fierce debate in both capital cities and throughout both kingdoms followed. In Scotland, the debate on occasion dissolved into civil disorder, most notably by the notorious 'Edinburgh Mob'. The prospect of a union of the kingdoms was deeply unpopular among the Scottish population at large, and talk of an uprising was widespread. However, the Treaty was signed and the documents were rushed south with a large military escort.
The Kingdom of Great Britain was born on 1 May 1707, shortly after the parliaments of Scotland and England had ratified the Treaty of Union by each approving Acts of Union combining the two parliaments and the powers of the two crowns. Scotland's crown, sceptre, and sword of state remained at Edinburgh Castle. Queen Anne (already Queen of both England and Scotland) formally became the first occupant of the unified throne of Great Britain, with Scotland sending forty-five Members to the new House of Commons of Great Britain, as well as representative peers to the House of Lords.
Significant financial payoffs to Scottish parliamentarians were later referred to by Robert Burns when he wrote "We're bought and sold for English gold, Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation!" Some recent historians, however, have emphasized the legitimacy of the vote.
The Treaty consisted of twenty-five Articles.
Article 1 states "That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain."
Article 3 provided for the creation of one unified Parliament of Great Britain.
Article 4 gave the subjects of Great Britain freedom of trade and navigation within the kingdom and "the Dominions and Plantations thereunto belonging", meaning what were then the English overseas possessions.
Articles 5 to 15, 17, & 18 dealt with aspects of trade, movement, taxes, regulation, and other matters, to ensure equal treatment for all subjects of the new kingdom.
Article 19 provided for the continuation of Scotland's separate legal system.
Article 20 provided for the protection after the union of a number of heritable offices, superiorities, heritable jurisdictions, offices for life, and jurisdictions for life.
Article 21 provided for the protection of the rights of the royal burghs.
Article 23 provided for Scotland's peers to have the same rights as English peers in any trial of peers.
Article 24 provided for the creation of a new Great Seal of Great Britain, different from those of England and Scotland, but it also provided that the Great Seal of England was to be used until this had been created.
Article 25 provided that all laws of either kingdom that may be inconsistent with the Articles in the Treaty were declared void.
The following commissioners were appointed to negotiate the Treaty of Union:
Kingdom of England
Kingdom of Scotland
From that point on anti-union demonstrations were common in the capital. In November rioting spread to the south west, that stronghold of strict Calvinism and covenanting tradition. The Glasgow mob rose against union sympathisers in disturbances that lasted intermittently for over a month
Events from the year 1706 in the Kingdom of Scotland.1707 in Great Britain
Events from the year 1707 in Great Britain, created on 1 May this year as a consequence of the 1706 Treaty of Union and its ratification by the 1707 Acts of Union.Act of Adjournal
An Act of Adjournal is secondary legislation made by the High Court of Justiciary, the supreme criminal court of Scotland, to regulate the proceedings of Scottish courts hearing criminal matters. Now primarily derived from the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, the original power to create Acts of Adjournal is derived from an Act of the Parliament of Scotland of 1672. Before promulgation, Acts of Adjournal are reviewed and may be commented upon by the Criminal Courts Rules Council.Following Scottish devolution and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, Acts of Adjournal are made as Scottish Statutory Instruments. Before devolution, Acts were made as United Kingdom Statutory Instruments.Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. By the two Acts, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland—which at the time were separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch—were, in the words of the Treaty, "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain".The two countries had shared a monarch since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne from his double first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I. Although described as a Union of Crowns, until 1707 there were in fact two separate Crowns resting on the same head (as opposed to the implied creation of a single Crown and a single Kingdom, exemplified by the later Kingdom of Great Britain). Prior to the Acts of Union there had been three previous attempts (in 1606, 1667, and 1689) to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, but it was not until the early 18th century that both political establishments came to support the idea, albeit for different reasons.
The Acts took effect on 1 May 1707. On this date, the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in the Palace of Westminster in London, the home of the English Parliament. Hence, the Acts are referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. On the Union, the historian Simon Schama said "What began as a hostile merger, would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world ... it was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history."Anglo-Scottish border
The Anglo-Scottish border between England and Scotland runs for 96 miles (154 km) between Marshall Meadows Bay on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. It is Scotland's only land border with another country, and one of England's two (the other being with Wales).
The Firth of Forth was the border between the Picto-Gaelic Kingdom of Alba and the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria in the early 10th century. It became the first Anglo-Scottish border with the annexation of Northumbria by Anglo-Saxon England in the mid 10th century. In 973, Kenneth, King of Scots attended the English king, Edgar the Peaceful, at his council in Chester. After Kenneth had reportedly done homage, Edgar rewarded Kenneth by granting him Lothian. Despite this transaction, the control of Lothian was not finally settled and the region was taken by the Scots at the Battle of Carham in 1018 and the River Tweed became the de facto Anglo-Scottish border. The Solway–Tweed line was legally established in 1237 by the Treaty of York between England and Scotland. It remains the border today, with the exception of the Debatable Lands, north of Carlisle, and a small area around Berwick-upon-Tweed, which was taken by England in 1482. It is thus one of the oldest extant borders in the world, although Berwick was not fully annexed into England until 1746, by the Wales and Berwick Act 1746.For centuries until the Union of the Crowns the region on either side of the boundary was a lawless territory suffering from the repeated raids in each direction of the Border Reivers.
Following the Treaty of Union 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united Scotland with England and Wales to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Border continues to form the boundary of two distinct legal jurisdictions as the treaty between the two countries guaranteed the continued separation of English law and Scots law.The age of legal capacity under Scots law is 16, while it was previously 18 under English law. The border settlements of Gretna Green to the west, and Coldstream and Lamberton to the east, were convenient for elopers from England who wanted to marry under Scottish laws, and marry without publicity.
The marine boundary was adjusted by the Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999 so that the boundary within the territorial waters (up to the 12-mile (19 km) limit) is 0.09-kilometre (0.056 mi) north of the boundary for oil installations established by the Civil Jurisdiction (Offshore Activities) Order 1987.Culture of Scotland
The culture of Scotland refers to the patterns of human activity and symbolism associated with Scotland and the Scottish people. Some elements of Scottish culture, such as its separate national church, are protected in law, as agreed in the Treaty of Union and other instruments. The Scottish flag is blue with a white saltire, and represents the cross of Saint Andrew.Earl of Glasgow
Earl of Glasgow is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1703 for David Boyle, Lord Boyle. The Earl of Glasgow is the hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Boyle.
The first earl was subsequently one of the commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Union uniting the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain. He had already been created Lord Boyle of Kelburn, Stewartoun, Cumbrae, Finnick, Largs and Dalry in 1699, and was made Lord Boyle of Stewartoun, Cumbraes, Fenwick, Largs and Dalry and Viscount of Kelburn at the same time as he was granted the earldom. These titles are also in the Peerage of Scotland.
The fourth Earl was created Baron Ross, of Hawkhead in the County of Renfrew, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, a title which became extinct on the death of the sixth Earl in 1890. The seventh Earl served as Governor of New Zealand from 1892 to 1897 and was created Baron Fairlie, of Fairlie in the County of Ayr, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, in 1897.Bernard Fergusson, Baron Ballantrae and Sir James Fergusson, 8th Baronet were grandsons of the 7th Earl.The family seat is Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland.Early modern Britain
Early modern Britain is the history of the island of Great Britain roughly corresponding to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Major historical events in Early Modern British history include numerous wars, especially with France, along with the English Renaissance, the English Reformation and Scottish Reformation, the English Civil War, the Restoration of Charles II, the Glorious Revolution, the Treaty of Union, the Scottish Enlightenment and the formation and collapse of the First British Empire.Flag of Great Britain
The flag of Great Britain, commonly known as the Union Jack or Union Flag, was a flag of Great Britain that was used from 1606 to 1801.The design was ordered by King James VI and I to be used on ships on the high seas, and it subsequently came into use as a national flag following the Treaty of Union and Acts of Union 1707, gaining the status of "the Ensign armorial of Great Britain", the newly created state. It was later adopted by land forces, although the blue of the field used on land-based versions more closely resembled that of the blue of the flag of Scotland.
The flag consists of the red cross of Saint George, patron saint of England, superimposed on the Saltire of Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotland. Its correct proportions are 3:5.
The flag's official use came to an end in 1801 with the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. At that time Saint Patrick's Flag was added to the flag of Great Britain to create the present-day Union Flag.George Lockhart (politician)
Sir George Lockhart of Lee (1673 – 17 December 1731), of Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, also known as Lockhart of Carnwath, was a Scottish writer, spy and politician.
He was the son of Sir George Lockhart of Carnwath.History of Scottish devolution
The decision of the Parliament of Scotland to ratify the Treaty of Union in 1707 was not unanimous and, from that time, individuals and organisations have advocated the reinstatement of a Scottish Parliament. Some have argued for devolution – a Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom – while others have advocated complete independence. The people of Scotland first got the opportunity to vote in a referendum on proposals for devolution in 1979 and, although a majority of those voting voted 'Yes', the referendum legislation also required 40% of the electorate to vote 'Yes' for the plans to be enacted and this was not achieved. A second referendum opportunity in 1997, this time on a strong proposal, resulted in an overwhelming 'Yes' victory, leading to the Scotland Act 1998 being passed and the Scottish Parliament being established in 1999.
Scottish voters were given the chance to vote 'Yes' on outright independence in a 2014 referendum. In an effort to persuade Scots to remain in the Union, the major UK parties vowed to devolve further powers to Scotland after the referendum. The 'No' vote prevailed (independence was rejected), but the campaign promise of devolution resulted in the formation of the Smith Commission and the eventual passage of the Scotland Act 2016.History of the formation of the United Kingdom
The formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has involved personal and political union across Great Britain and the wider British Isles. The United Kingdom is the most recent of a number of sovereign states that have been established in Great Britain at different periods in history, in different combinations and under a variety of polities. Norman Davies has counted sixteen different states over the past 2,000 years.By the start of the 16th century, the number of states in Great Britain had been reduced to two: the Kingdom of England (which included Wales and controlled Ireland) and the Kingdom of Scotland. The once independent Principality of Wales fell under the control of English monarchs from the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284. The Union of Crowns in 1603, the accidental consequence of a royal marriage one hundred years earlier, united the kingdoms in a personal union, though full political union in the form of the Kingdom of Great Britain required a Treaty of Union in 1706 and Acts of Union in 1707 (to ratify the Treaty).
The Act of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland, which had been gradually brought under English control between 1541 and 1691, to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. Independence for the Irish Free State in 1922 followed the partition of the island of Ireland two years previously, with six of the nine counties of the province of Ulster remaining within the UK, which then changed to the current name in 1927 of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In the 20th century, the rise of Welsh and Scottish nationalism and resolution of the Troubles in Ireland resulted in the establishment of devolved parliaments or assemblies for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. 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". 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.
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.Peerage of Scotland
The Peerage of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Moraireachd na h-Alba, Scots: Peerage o Scotland) is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of Scots before 1707. Following that year's Treaty of Union, the Kingdom of Scots and the Kingdom of England were combined under the name of Great Britain, and a new Peerage of Great Britain was introduced in which subsequent titles were created.
After the Union, the Peers of the ancient Parliament of Scotland elected 16 representative peers to sit in the House of Lords. The Peerage Act 1963 granted all Scottish Peers the right to sit in the House of Lords, but this automatic right was revoked, as for all hereditary peerages (except those of the incumbent Earl Marshal and Lord Great Chamberlain), when the House of Lords Act 1999 received royal assent. Had the Scottish people voted "Yes" in the Scottish independence referendum, 2014, the eligibility of Peers of Scotland to sit in the House of Lords would have been reviewed.
Unlike most peerages, many Scottish titles have been granted with remainder to pass via female offspring (thus an Italian family has succeeded to and presently holds the earldom of Newburgh), and in the case of daughters only, these titles devolve to the eldest daughter rather than falling into abeyance (as is the case with ancient English baronies by writ of summons). Unlike other British peerage titles, Scots Law permits peerages to be inherited by or through a person who was not legitimate at birth, but was subsequently legitimised by their parents marrying later.The ranks of the Scottish Peerage are, in ascending order: Lord of Parliament, Viscount, Earl, Marquis and Duke. Scottish Viscounts differ from those of the other Peerages (of England, Great Britain, Ireland and the United Kingdom) by using the style of in their title, as in Viscount of Oxfuird. Though this is the theoretical form, most Viscounts drop the "of". The Viscount of Arbuthnott and to a lesser extent the Viscount of Oxfuird still use "of." Scottish Peers were entitled to sit in the ancient Parliament of Scotland.
Scottish Barons rank below Lords of Parliament, and although considered noble, their titles are incorporeal hereditaments. At one time feudal barons did sit in parliament. However, they are considered minor barons and not peers because their titles can be hereditary, or bought and sold.
In the following table of the Peerage of Scotland as it currently stands, each peer's highest ranking title in the other peerages (if any) are also listed. Those peers who are known by a higher title in one of the other peerages are listed in italics.Scotland Act 1998
The Scotland Act 1998 (c. 46) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which legislated for the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament with tax varying powers and the Scottish Government (then Scottish Executive). It was one of the most significant constitutional pieces of UK legislation to be passed since the European Communities Act 1972 and is the most significant piece of legislation to affect Scotland since the Acts of Union in 1707 which ratified the Treaty of Union and led to the disbandment of the Parliament of Scotland.Scottish units
Scottish or Scots units of measurement are the weights and measures peculiar to Scotland which were nominally replaced by English units in 1685 but continued to be used in unofficial contexts until at least the late 18th century. The system was based on the ell (length), stone (mass), and boll and firlot (volume). This official system coexisted with local variants, especially for the measurement of land area.
The system is said to have been introduced by David I of Scotland (1124–53), although there are no surviving records until the 15th century when the system was already in normal use. Standard measures and weights were kept in each burgh, and these were periodically compared against one another at "assizes of measures", often during the early years of the reign of a new monarch. Nevertheless, there was considerable local variation in many of the units, and the units of dry measure steadily increased in size from 1400 to 1700.The Scots units of length were technically replaced by the English system by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland in 1685, and the other units by the Treaty of Union with England in 1706. However many continued to be used locally during the 18th and 19th centuries. The introduction of the Imperial system by the Weights and Measures Act 1824 saw the end of any formal use in trade and commerce, although some informal use as customary units continued into the 20th century. "Scotch measure" or "Cunningham measure" was brought to parts of Ulster in Ireland by Ulster Scots settlers, and used into the mid-19th century.Treaty of Berwick (1639)
The Treaty of Berwick (also known as the Peace of Berwick or the Pacification of Berwick) was signed on 19 June 1639 between England and Scotland. It ended minor hostilities the day before. Archibald Johnston was involved in the negotiations before King Charles was forced to sign the treaty. The agreement, overall, officially ended the First Bishops' War even though both sides saw it only as a temporary truce. After the treaty was signed, King Charles immediately began to gather the resources he needed in order to strengthen his armies. At the beginning of the Second Bishops' War, the agreement was broken. After a disastrous skirmish at Kelso between the English advance guard and the Scottish Covenanter Army, the Earl of Holland fled back to the king’s headquarters at Berwick-upon-Tweed. The Earl of Antrim failed to establish negotiations in order to bring the Irish army over. This, along with the unsuccessful English naval campaign at Hamilton, meant that Charles was forced to sign a truce. He conceded to the Scots the right to a free church assembly and a free parliament. These rights were asserted (with the right to keep the existing legal structure instead of a separate parliament) along with the extension to Scotland of The Bill of Rights (which set out the conditions and powers of a monarch) in the Treaty of Union, 1707, which united England and Wales with Scotland.Treaty of Union (1790)
The Treaty of Union (French: Traité d'Union; Dutch: Tractaet van Vereeninge) was a treaty that led to the creation of the United Belgian States, a confederal republic of the territories of Brabant, Flanders, Hainaut, Namur, Limburg, Guelders, Mechelen, and Luxembourg. It came into effect on 11 January 1790.United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The UK is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state. The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool.
The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and political systems of many of its former colonies.The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a very high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a leading member state of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973; however, a referendum in 2016 resulted in 51.9% of UK voters favouring leaving the European Union, and the country's exit is being negotiated. The United Kingdom is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO).