Arising from the unions of England and Wales in 1536 and the addition of Scotland in 1707 and Northern Ireland in 1922, the United Kingdom (sometimes called the UK or Britain, which is more properly the name of the island itself) is a developed country with one of the largest economies in the world. Long a world power, the UK found itself relegated to second tier status following World War II. Now rebuilt and re-energized, the nation stands as an equal with the strongest nations, both militarily and economically.
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