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United Kingdom (Cherry, Plum, and Chrysanthemum)

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United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Timeline: Cherry, Plum, and Chrysanthemum

OTL equivalent: United Kingdom
Flag of the United Kingdom Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
Flag Coat of Arms
UK

Motto
Dieu et mon Droit (French)
("God and my right")

Anthem "God Save the Queen"
"Jerusalem (unofficial)"
Capital
(and largest city)
London
Language English
Religion Anglicanism; Roman Catholicism; Presbyterianism; Methodism
Demonym British, Briton
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  legislature Parliament of the United Kingdom
Monarch Elizabeth II
  Royal house: House of Windsor
Prime Minister David Cameron
Population 63,181,775 
Established May 1, 1707
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time Zone GMT (UTC+0)
  summer BST (UTC+1)
Internet TLD .uk
Calling Code +44
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country 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 UK that shares a land border with another state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the west and north, the North Sea in the east, the English Channel in the south, and the Irish Sea in the west.

The British form of government is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system and its capital city is London. It consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The latter three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capital cities, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, respectively. Malta, Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man are Crown dependencies and are not part of the UK.

The United Kingdom has fifteen British Overseas Territories. These are remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 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 legal systems of many of its former colonies.

History

King James I of England and VI of Scotland by John De Critz the Elder

King James VI of Scotland and James I of England and Ireland (1566–1625)

After a long period most of the region settled by the Anglo-Saxons was finally made into one country, the Kingdom of England in the 10th century. Wales was fully incorporated into the Kingdom of England by force in the 13th century. Ireland was constituted as a kingdom in personal union with the English crown in 1542. In 1603, King James VI of Scotland became king of England as well as king of Scotland, created a personal union between England and Scotland

In the mid-17th century, all three kingdoms were involved in a series of connected wars (including the English Civil War) which led to the establishment of the short-lived republican government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Although the monarchy was restored in 1660, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 ensured the British constitution would develop on the basis of constitutional monarchy and the parliamentary system, not the royal absolutism. During this period, particularly in England, the development of naval power and the interest in voyages of discovery led to the acquisition and settlement of overseas colonies, particularly in North America.

In 1707, the parliaments of England and Scotland agreed the Treaty of Union, which joined the two countries into one country called the Kingdom of Great Britain under Queen Anne. However, certain aspects of the former independent kingdoms such as the Scottish and English laws remained separate, as did the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Anglican Church of England. England and Scotland also continued to have their own systems of education.

Queen Anne died in 1714. The Elector of Hanover, George Louis, was become the new king as George I (1714–1727) and established the House of Hanover in Britain. Under King George II (1727–1760), cabinet government developed under Sir Robert Walpole during the period 1730–1742. He built up the first British Empire, strengthening the colonies in the Caribbean and North America. However, under the reign of George III (1760–1820), thirteen British colonies in North America declared their independence and established the United States of America in 1782. After the loss on the American Revolutionary War, the British imperial ambition turned elsewhere, particularly to India, created the second British Empire.

By 1800, both Scotland and England had already independently had much influence over Ireland for over 600 years. The British government's fear of an independent, Catholic-dominated Ireland siding against them with France during the French Revolutionary Wars resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. In 1801, the parliaments of Britain and Ireland each passed an Act of Union, uniting the two kingdoms and creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

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