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These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history.British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies.The UK is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7 finance ministers, the G7 forum, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).The 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", though the new state is also referred to in the Acts as the "Kingdom of Great Britain", "United Kingdom of Great Britain" and "United Kingdom".

The Roman conquest, beginning in 43 AD, and the 400-year rule of southern Britain, was followed by an invasion by Germanic Anglo-Saxon settlers, reducing the Brythonic area mainly to what was to become Wales, the Brittonic Kingdom incorporating later Brittany, Dumnonia (later becomin English counties Cornwall and Devon) and the historic Kingdom of Strathclyde.

The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time.

Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 15.

With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe.

It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants.

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