The United Kingdom has its origins based in the early 1700s. In 1707, England, Wales and Scotland after establishing the Treaty of Union to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Ireland was under control of the English since 1691 and merged with the government nearly a century later. In 1800, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During its first 100 years, the United Kingdom helped develop Western ideals and established the idea of the modern parliamentary system. It also helped make significant contributions to culture through its emphasis on literature, art, and science. The Industrial Revolution took place fast in the UK, transforming the country into an economic powerhouse which helped fuel the growth of the British Empire. Colonies were established worldwide even as the slave trade that had been so prevalent in the preceding centuries was disbanded in 1807 with the passage of the Slave Trade Act. The nation then took a leading roll in combating slave trading throughout the world.
The UK emerged the most powerful nation in Europe following the defeat of Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. It became the principal naval power in the world and remained so until the mid-1900s. In 1921, the British Empire peaked in size after gaining the colonies of Germany and the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The League of Nations mandated the UK as the preeminent force in the world. The BBC, an institute that would revolutionize news and broadcasting were established. Ireland launched a war for independence around the same time, which led to the partition of the island. The UK retained control of Northern Ireland, while the rest of the island gained sovereignty. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was officially adopted. When World War II broke out in Europe, the UK eventually stood alone against Nazi Germany. The Battle of Britain, which took place in 1940, cemented its power as a resilient nation by preventing an invasion of its territory by the Axis Powers. Despite this success, World War II left the nation in financial disarray and emotionally drained. The country was forced to receive a number of loans from the United States and Canada to help with recovery. The post-war years established the idea of a welfare state, developing the first comprehensive public health services. Immigration rose as different ethnic groups from all over the world descended on the islands. While the English language spread due to the influence of the culture and literature, the political role the UK played in the post-war era was limited to an almost sidekick role to the United States.
The 1970s saw a major economic slowdown as an industry was brought nearly to a halt. Most of the colonies had successfully vied for independence and much of the traditional roles of industry were in disarray. However, North Sea oil revenues began to spur new economic growth. Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister and brought new life to the UK’s political arm, reclaiming its military prowess with various actions throughout the world including the Falklands and the Persian Gulf wars. This economic growth and political motivations continued through the years with the New Labour party which came to power in 1997. For more information on the UK, visit http://ukmicroblog.com and http://europemicroblog.com