The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the UK, is an island nation located in Western Europe. The UK is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The history of the UK dates back to prehistoric times, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Stone Age. The incursions of the Romans in the 1st century AD led to the establishment of a Roman province known as Britannia, which lasted until the 5th century AD. The Anglo-Saxon period began in the 5th century AD, with the arrival of Germanic tribes from the continent, and lasted until the Norman Conquest in the 11th century.
The Norman Conquest of 1066 saw the introduction of French culture and language to England. The feudal system was established, with William the Conqueror as the first Norman king of England. The Middle Ages saw the development of the English language, the Magna Carta, and the establishment of parliamentary democracy. The Tudor period, which began with the accession of Henry VII in 1485, was marked by the Reformation and the Elizabethan era.
The Industrial Revolution, which began in the 18th century, transformed the UK into a world power. The Victorian era, which lasted from 1837 to 1901, saw the British Empire expand to its greatest extent. The 20th century was marked by two world wars, the decline of the British Empire, and the establishment of a welfare state.
Today, the UK is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. It is a member of the European Union, the United Nations, and the Commonwealth. The UK has a diverse culture, with influences from its own history, as well as from other European and global cultures.