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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.
Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
The UK Permanent Committee on Geographical Names lists "United Kingdom" and "UK or U.
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.
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.
Though previous attempts at uniting the two kingdoms within Great Britain in 1606, 1667, and 1689 had proved unsuccessful, the attempt initiated in 1705 led to the Treaty of Union of 1706 being agreed and ratified by both parliaments.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 British constitution would develop on the basis of constitutional monarchy and the parliamentary system.With the founding of the Royal Society in 1660, science was greatly encouraged.
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It has been a leading member state of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973.