United Kingdom

  • Daniele Caramani
Part of the The Societies of Europe book series (SOEU)


The uniting of the kingdom began in the Middle Ages when four main territorial units existed on the islands of Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) and Ireland. The beginning of the integration among these different units is usually dated from 802 with the rise of the Kingdom of Wessex, the most prominent of the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. The government of Wessex made London the centre of the kingdom, a position that this city never lost in the subsequent centuries. Whereas this kingdom could integrate the main English components, the other kingdoms of the two isles were characterized by internal struggles that prevented them from reaching similar strength. Centres in these political units started to arise only after the dominance of England had been well established. England’s closeness to the trading cities of the North Sea made this dominant position more solid.


Liberal Democrat Party Labour Party Liberal Party Conservative Party Social Democratic Party 
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© Daniele Caramani 2000

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  • Daniele Caramani

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