Status: Part of United Kingdom
Area: 8,019 sq. ml. (20,768 sq. km)
Population (1993 eat.): 2,906,500
Capital and largest cIty (1996 est.): Cardiff, 306,600. Monetary unit: British pound sterling (E). Languages:English, Welsh. Religions: Calvinistic Methodist, Church of Wales (disestablished—Anglican), RomanCatholic
Geography Wales lies west of England and is separated from England by the Cambrian Mountains. It is bordered on the northwest, west, and south by the Irish Sea and on the northeast and east by England. Wales is generally hilly; the Snowdon range in the northern part culminates in Mount Snowdon (3,560 ft., 1,085 m), Wales’s highest peak.
Government Until 1999, Wales was ruled solely by the U.K. government and a secretary of state. In the referendum of Sept. 18, 1997, Welsh citizens voted to establish a National Assembly. Wales will remain part of the U.K. and the secretary of state for Wales and members of Parliament from Welsh constituencies will continue to have seats in Parliament. Although Wales will control most of its local affairs, unlike Scotland, which voted to have its own Parliament in 1999, the National Assembly will not be able to legislate and raise taxes. The Welsh assembly officially opened on July 1, 1999.
History The prehistoric peoples of Wales left behind megaliths and other impressive monuments. They were followed by settlements of Cells in the region. The Romans occupied the region from the 1st to the 5th century CE. Thereafter Angles, Saxons, and Jutes invaded the British island, but left Wales virtually untouched. Beginning in the 8th century the various Welsh tribes fought with their Anglo-Saxon neighbors to the east, but the Welsh were able to thwart attempted invasions. After Willam the Conqueror subdued England in 1066, however, his Norman armies marched into Wales in 1093 and occupied portions of it. By 1282, the English conquest of Wales was complete, and in 1284, the Statute of Rhuddlan formalized England’s sovereignty over Wales. In 1301, King Edward I gave his son, who later became Edward II, the title Prince of Wales, a gesture meant to indicate the unity and relationship between the two lands. With the exception of Edward 11, all subsequent British monarchs have given this title to their eldest son.
In 1400, the Welsh prince Owen Glendower led a revolt against the English, expelling them from much of Wales in just four years. By 1410, however, his rebellion was crushed. In 1485, Henry VII became king of England. A Welshman and the first in the Tudor line, Henry’s reign made English rule more palatable to the Welsh. I-tin son, King Henry VIII, joined England and Wales under the Act of Union in 1536.
The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century transformed Wales and threatened the traditional livelihood of farmers and shepards. In the 20th century, the economy of Wales was based primarily on coal production. After World War I, coal prices dropped; this, coupled with the Great Depression, fueled high unemployment rates and economic uncertainty.
In recent years, a resurgence of the Welsh language and culture has demonstrated a stronger national identity among the Welsh, and politically the country has moved toward greater self-government (devolution). In 1999, with the strong support of Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair, Wales opened the Welsh National Assembly, the first real self-government Wales has had in more than six hundred years.
Article Source: http://www.informationbible.com/article-wales-200061.html
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