UK History Index
United Kingdom History
Source: U.S. Department of State
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Great Britain's industrial revolution greatly strengthened its ability to oppose Napoleonic
France. By the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the United Kingdom was the foremost European
power, and its navy ruled the seas.
Peace in Europe allowed the British to focus their interests
on more remote parts of the world, and, during this period, the British Empire reached its
zenith. British colonial expansion reached its height largely during the reign of Queen Victoria
(1837-1901). Queen Victoria's reign witnessed the spread of British technology, commerce,
language, and government throughout the British Empire, which, at its greatest extent,
encompassed roughly one-fifth to one-quarter of the world's area and population.
contributed to the United Kingdom's extraordinary economic growth and strengthened its voice in
world affairs. Even as the United Kingdom extended its imperial reach overseas, it continued to
develop and broaden its democratic institutions at home.
The legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was completed on January 1, 1801, under the
name of the United Kingdom. However, armed struggle for independence continued sporadically into
the 20th century.
NOTE: Parts of the information regarding the United Kingdom on this page is re-published from U.S. Department of State. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United Kingdom History information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United Kingdom History should be addressed to the webmaster.