Acts of Union

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Laws that cemented the political union of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the complete subjugation of Wales by 1284, the Statute of Rhuddlan, never submitted to a formal Parliament, sanctioned the English system of administration there. Not until 1536 was an Act passed by Henry VIII, which incorporated Wales with England, and granted for the first time Welsh representation in Parliament. The Stuarts united the thrones but not the governments of England and Scotland in 1603. In 1707 an Act of Union between England and Scotland gave the Scots free trade with England, but in return for representation at Westminster they had to give up their own Parliament. The Protestant Irish Parliament enjoyed independence from 1782 to 1800, when legislation (1 August 1800) was introduced to establish the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1 January 1801).

Subjects: World History.

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