HomeA to Z of UK RulesLegislation Issues › United Kingdom History
The History of the United Kingdom

What Comprises the United Kingdom? The United Kingdom encompasses the entire island of Great Britain. It contains England, Scotland, Wales, and the northeastern part of the island of Ireland.

UK History: A beginners guide to the ancient and modern history of the United Kingdom. On the world map, the UK sits to the northwest of mainland Europe.

The whole of the United Kingdom is often referred to as Britain, or Great Britain. London is the capital city and home of the Queen.

The political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland became a unified sovereign state in 1707. A united kingdom which is now called Great Britain.

To quote a famous historian Simon Schama; “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.”

A further Act of Union occurred in 1800. It saw the Kingdom of Ireland added to the union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Laws in British History Guide


The Defence of the Realm Act 1914 became law in Britain on August the 8th 1914. It was only four days after the United Kingdom entered into the First World War. The purpose of introducing the rules of DORA World War 1 was to afford the government a wide range of powers during the war period.

Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot

We remember his deeds on the 5th of November every year (Bonfire Night). So, what are the lesser known facts about Guy Fawkes and why is he a favourite villain?

Poppy Wearing Etiquette

Why do we use poppies to remember the war? In fact, it was the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” which inspired wearing a poppy etiquette in England

The wartime poem refers to the first flowers which grew out of the earth of soldiers’ graves.

Strange British Laws

Mark Twain once wrote: truth is stranger than fiction. Nowhere is it more so than in some of the strange and stupid British laws.

Some of these ‘strange but true’ laws defy credence and logic. But the list of strange British laws is certain to entertain the minds of many.

The Royal Family

A section explaining some of the strict protocols and etiquette that the Royal Family must follow when in the United Kingdom and while overseas.

Note: There is a list of royal tour rules and regulations that the royal family must abide with – and you might be surprised by some of them!

History of the United Kingdom