Kingdom of Great Britain

1707–1800
Location of Great Britain in 1789 in dark green; Ireland and Hanover in light green
Location of Great Britain in 1789 in dark green; Ireland and Hanover in light green
CapitalLondon
51°30′N 0°7′W / 51°30′N 0°7′W / 51.500; -0.117
Common languagesEnglish (official), Scots, Norn, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish Gaelic, Angloromani
DemonymBritish, Briton
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Monarch 
• 1707–1714[a]
Anne
• 1714–1727
George I
• 1727–1760
George II
• 1760–1800[b]
George III
Prime Minister 
• 1721–1742
Robert Walpole
• 1742–1743
Earl of Wilmington
• 1743–1754
Henry Pelham
• 1757–1762
Duke of Newcastle
• 1766–1768
William Pitt the Elder
• 1770–1782
Lord North
LegislatureParliament of Great Britain
House of Lords
House of Commons
History 
22 July 1706
1 May 1707
1 January 1801
Area
Total230,977 km2 (89,181 sq mi)
Population
• 1707
7,000,000
• 1800
10,500,000
CurrencyPound sterling
ISO 3166 codeGB
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of England
Kingdom of Scotland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Today part of United Kingdom
  1. ^ Monarch of England and Scotland from 1702 to 1707.
  2. ^ Continued as monarch of the United Kingdom until 1820.
Part of a series on the
History of the United Kingdom
Map of Great Britain in 1720
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom portal

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain,[1][2] 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. It also did not include Ireland, which remained a separate realm. 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, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Queen Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". Also after the accession of King 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.[3]

Etymology

The name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne (whence also Modern French Bretagne) and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used officially in 1474.[4]

The use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction which was transferred into English.[5]

The Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain",[6] and as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".[2][7][8] Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much later publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it actually came into being in 1801.[9][10] The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, and others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain.[11][12][13][14][15] The term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name.[16][17]

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Tāi Britain Ông-kok
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Вялікабрытанія (каралеўства)
Cebuano: Gran Britanya
Bahasa Melayu: Kerajaan Great Britain
Simple English: Kingdom of Great Britain
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kraljevstvo Velika Britanija