Kingdom of Great Britain
Learn more about Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was a state in Western Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1800. 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. A new single parliament and government, based in Westminster in London, controlled the new kingdom. The two separate kingdoms of Scotland and England had shared the same monarch since James VI, King of Scots, became James I of England in 1603 following the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England.
The Kingdom of Great Britain was superseded by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801 when the Kingdom of Ireland was absorbed with the enactment of the Act of Union 1800 following the suppression of the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
 Political structure
The Kingdom of Great Britain was ruled by a single monarch, as it had been between 1603 and 1707 (excepting the Interregnum). Unlike during the previous period, the single monarch of the Kingdom of Great Britain ruled by the power of a single Crown, the Crown of Great Britain, rather than by the power of two separated Crowns.<ref>Act of Union 1707, Article 1.</ref> The succession to the throne was determined by the English Act of Settlement, rather than the Scottish alternative, the Act of Security. The adoption of the Act of Settlement required that the British monarch be a Protestant descendant of Sophia of Hanover, effecting the future Hanoverian succession.<ref>Act of Union 1707, Article 2.</ref>
Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland.<ref>Act of Union 1707, Article 3.</ref> As with the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain included three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Crown-in-Parliament. England and Scotland were given seats in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons of the new parliament. Although Scotland's representation in both houses was smaller than its population indicated it should have been, representation in parliament was at that time based not on population but on taxation, and Scotland was given a greater number of seats than its share of taxation warranted. Under the terms of the union, Scotland sent 16 representative peers to the Lords and elected 45 members to the Commons, with the rest being sent from England and Wales.<ref>Act of Union 1707, Article 22.</ref>
Often, the Kingdom of Great Britain is given the alternative name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, which is often shortened to United Kingdom. There is substantial debate over whether the latter name is acceptable.<ref>"Rough guide to British history". 29 April 2006. The Times. URL accessed 13 May 2006.</ref> The Acts of Union refer in name to the United Kingdom of Great Britain in several places; critics argue in rebuttal that the word 'united' is only a descriptive word, and not part of the style, citing the Acts of Union themselves, which state that England and Scotland were 'United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain'. <ref>Act of Union 1707, Article 1.</ref>
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 country as the 'United Kingdom', the British were embroiled in the Great French War and the British Empire possessed many colonies in the Americas, India, and Australia. Some that 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.
However 'United Kingdom' seems to have come into popular use, and so at the time of the Act of Union with Ireland the name was officially adopted.
- Anne (1707–1714), previously Queen of England, Queen of Scotland, 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
Kingdom of England
c 927–30 April1707
Kingdom of Scotland
c 843–30 April1707
|Kingdom of Great Britain|
1 May 1707 – 31 December 1800
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
1 January 1801–5 December1922
de:Königreich Großbritannien es:Reino de Gran Bretaña ko:그레이트브리튼 왕국 he:ממלכת בריטניה הגדולה id:Kerajaan Britania Raya ja:グレートブリテン王国 no:Kongeriket Storbritannia pl:Królestwo Wielkiej Brytanii ru:Королевство Великобритания fi:Ison-Britannian kuningaskunta vi:Vương quốc Anh zh:大不列顛王國