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The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution.The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.The UK Permanent Committee on Geographical Names lists "United Kingdom" and "UK or U.K." as shortened and abbreviated geopolitical terms for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it does not list "Britain", The adjective "British" is commonly used to refer to matters relating to the United Kingdom.In the 18th century, cabinet government developed under Robert Walpole, in practice the first prime minister (1721–1742).A series of Jacobite Uprisings sought to remove the Protestant House of Hanover from the British throne and restore the Catholic House of Stuart.
The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.
With the founding of the Royal Society in 1660, science was greatly encouraged.
During this period, particularly in England, the development of naval power (and the interest in voyages of discovery) led to the acquisition and settlement of overseas colonies, particularly in North America.
The Jacobites were finally defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, after which the Scottish Highlanders were brutally suppressed.
The British colonies in North America that broke away from Britain in the American War of Independence became the United States of America, recognised by Britain in 1783.