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United Irishman a member of the Society of United Irishmen, a political association, originally formed to promote union between Protestants and Catholics, which became a separatist secret society and took part in organizing the rebellion of 1798.

United Kingdom a country of western Europe consisting of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. England (which had incorporated Wales in the 16th century) and Scotland have had the same monarch since 1603, when James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English crown as James I; the kingdoms were formally united by the Act of Union in 1707. An Act of Parliament joined Great Britain and Ireland in 1801, but the Irish Free State (later the Republic of Ireland) broke away in 1921.

United Nations an international organization of countries set up in 1945, in succession to the League of Nations, to promote international peace, security, and cooperation. Its members, originally the countries that fought against the Axis Powers in the Second World War, now number more than 150 and include most sovereign states of the world, the chief exceptions being Switzerland and North and South Korea.

United Reformed Church a Church formed in 1972 by the union of the Congregational Church in England and Wales with the Presbyterian Church in England.

United States the US originated in the War of American Independence, the successful rebellion of the British colonies on the east coast in 1775–83; The original thirteen states (see Thirteen Colonies) which formed the Union drew up a federal constitution in 1787, and George Washington was elected the first President in 1789.

united we stand, divided we fall proverbial saying, late 18th century; originally with reference to lines in ‘The Liberty Song’ by the American politician John Dickinson (1732–1808): ‘Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all,—By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.’


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