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The United Kingdom was originally formed on May 1st, 1707, from the Acts of Union that joined the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
Colonization and Empire
The United Kingdom was a rapid colonizer in the 18th and 19th centuries, spreading throughout North America, Asia and Africa. The United Kingdom's colonization and control of North America was practically complete at the conclusion of the Seven Years War, but was slowed by the Independence of the American Colonies, and was practically severed by the American victory in the Anglo - American War.
Despite this setback, the United Kingdom continued to grow, gathering increasing influence in India, Southeastern Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and Africa. The Empire reached its height during the reign of Queen Victoria, who guided the nation through its greatest years.
The United Kingdom is composed of five home nations, each of which occupies a section of the British Isles.
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The first two home nations were England and Scotland joined together in 1707 in the Acts of Union. Ireland became a home nation in 1893 after passage of the Second Home Rule Bill. Wales became a home nation in 1967 after the repeal of the Wales and Berwick Act 1746. Cornwall was evolved to a home nation in 2001.
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