United Kingdom: History

  1. 1536

    England and Wales are politically and administratively unified.

  2. 1707

    England and Scotland are unified as the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

  3. 1801

    The term "United Kingdom" become official after the United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland unite.

  4. 1921

    Ireland, with the exception of six northern counties, gains its independence from the United Kingdom.

  5. 1931

    The United Kingdom's economy suffers greatly during the Great Depression, with millions left unemployed and Britain's world trade dropping by half.

  6. 1940

    The UK declares war on Germany after it invaded Poland, which led to heavy German air attacks on Britain, severely damaging infrastructure in many cities in Britain.

  7. 1949

    The United Kingdom becomes a founding member of NATO.

  8. 1973

    The United Kingdom joins the European Economic Community.

  9. 1979

    Margaret Thatcher becomes prime minister and begins to implement free-market policies.

  10. 1981

    A government program aimed at privatizing state-run industries is implemented.

  11. 2008

    The government part-nationalizes three leading banks with a 37 billion pound rescue package, as the global financial crisis hits the country.

  12. 2010

    The government announces large-scale public spending cuts in order to combat the United Kingdom's large budget deficit, with an average of 19% budget cut in government departments over four years.

  13. 2012

    The UK economy continues to shrink, marking a return to recession.

  14. 2016

    The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union in a referendum, commonly referred to as the "Brexit."


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