The uniting of England, Scotland, and Wales on the British island started already in the ninth century, but soon also concerned Ireland. The English aristocracy progressively took possession of the island. In 1366 the Statutes of Kilkenny decreed that the Anglo-Norman aristocracy was not to mix with the local nobility. During the fifteenth century the parliament of Ireland was stripped of its powers, and the Irish nobility paid for its opposition to Elizabeth I with its destruction. James I allowed the settlements of English and Scottish Protestants in the northern province of Ulster. The rebellions of the rural population against these privileged colonies were bloodily suppressed. After the fall of James II, William of Orange defeated his Irish supporters in the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 and deprived Ireland of all political rights. This day is still commemorated by the Protestant Unionists of Northern Ireland as Orange Day. With the Penal Acts passed under Queen Anne, the use of the Irish language was restricted, thus interrupting a rich literary tradition. In 1801, the last remnant of Irish independence, a disempowered parliament, was dissolved and Ireland was officially incorporated into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
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