The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain,[1][2] was a sovereign state in northwest Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1801. It was created by the merger of the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, under the Acts of Union 1707, to create a single kingdom encompassing the whole of the island of Great Britain and its minor outlying islands, excluding Ireland—which remained a separate jurisdiction under the British crown. A single parliament and government, based in Westminster, controlled the new kingdom. The kingdoms had shared the same monarch since James VI, King of Scots became King of England in 1603 following the death of Queen Elizabeth I.

The Kingdom of Great Britain was superseded by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801, when Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland by the Acts of Union of 1800 following the suppression of the Irish Rebellion of 1798.


The Kingdom of Great Britain is also given the alternative name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, which is often shortened to United Kingdom, though there is debate over whether the latter name is acceptable.[3] While the Treaty of Union refers to the new state as the United Kingdom of Great Britain in several places, others believe that the word "United" is only an adjective, and not part of the style, citing the subsequent Acts of Union themselves, which state explicitly that the name of the new kingdom is to be Great Britain.[4]

The name "United Kingdom" is sometimes preferred for purposes of continuity, particularly in the military and colonial spheres. At the time of the Act of Union 1800, which unambiguously styled the new state as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland", the British were embroiled in the Great French War and the British Empire possessed many colonies in North America, India, and Australia. Some who would otherwise prefer the term "Kingdom of Great Britain" thus use "United Kingdom" to avoid using two different names for a single military and colonial power, which may confuse the discussion.


  • Anne (1707–1714), previously Queen of England, Queen of Scots, and Queen of Ireland since 1702.
  • George I (1714–1727)
  • George II (1727–1760)
  • George III (1760–1801), continued as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1820.

See also

  • Early Modern Britain
  • Georgian era


  1. ^ Welcome, accessed 2 September 2010
  2. ^ The Union of the Parliaments 1707 Learning and Teaching Scotland, accessed 2 September 2010
  3. ^ "Rough guide to British history". 29 April 2006. The Times. URL accessed 13 May 2006.
  4. ^ Act of Union 1707, Article I.

External links

Preceded by:
Kingdom of England
c. 927–1 May 1707
Kingdom of Scotland
c. 843 – 1 May 1707
Kingdom of Great Britain
1 May 1707 – 1 January 1801
Succeeded by:
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1 January 1801 – 6 December 1922

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Kingdom of Great Britain. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.