Herewith a quick summary of the various historical events which gave us today's United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:
- England, under Edward I, conquered Wales in the thirteenth century.
- Union of the crowns of Scotland and England, formalised in the Act of Union of 1707.
- The Irish parliament votes itself out of existence in another Act of Union in 1801.
- Protracted period of rampant imperialism. The United Kingdom retains the same status, but imperial possessions are added to form the British Empire.
- Irish struggle for independence gets underway in earnest in 1919. The island is partitioned, with the bulk of the country winning independence through a treaty in 1922.
- The smaller part, Northern Ireland, opts to remain part of the United Kingdom.
And that's the exciting story of how the UK came to be what it is today.