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Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km² (8,023 sq mi). HP 586006-321 Battery

Wales has over 1,200 km (746 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands; the largest, Anglesey (Ynys Môn), is also the largest island in the Irish Sea. Generally mountainous, its highest mountains are in the north and central areas, especially in Snowdonia (Eryri), which contains Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest peak.HP 586006-361 Battery

During the Iron Age and early medieval period, Wales was inhabited by the Celtic Britons. A distinct Welsh national identity emerged in the centuries after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations today. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was recognised as king of Wales in 1057.HP 586028-341 Battery

Llywelyn ap Gruffydd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales. The castles and town walls erected to ensure its permanence are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Owain Glynd?r briefly restored independence to what was to become modern Wales, in the early 15th century. HP h588178-141 Battery

Wales was subsequently annexed by England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 since when, excluding those matters now devolved to Wales, English law has been the legal system of Wales and England. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. HP 593553-001 Battery

Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) in 1962. HP 593554-001 Battery

The National Assembly for Wales, created in 1999 following a referendum, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.

Wales lies within the north temperate zone, its changeable, maritime climate making it one of the wettest countries in Europe. HP HSTNN-CB0W Battery

It was an agricultural society for most of its early history, the country's terrain making arable farming secondary to pastoral farming, the primary source of Wales' wealth. In the 18th century, the introduction of the slate and metallurgical industries, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, began to transform the country into an industrial nation;HP HSTNN-CB0X Battery

the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape date from that period. The south Wales coalfield's exploitation in the Victorian era caused a rapid expansion of the Welsh population. HP HSTNN-I79C Battery

Two-thirds of Wales' three million population live insouth Wales, mainly in and around the cities of Cardiff (Caerdydd), Swansea (Abertawe) and Newport (Casnewydd), and in the nearby valleys. Another concentration live in eastern north Wales. Cardiff, Wales' capital, is the country's most populous city, with 317,500 residents, and for a period was the biggest coal port in the world.HP HSTNN-I81C Battery

Today, with the country's traditional heavy industries (coal, steel, copper, tinplate and slate) either gone or in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries, and tourism.

Although Wales shares a close political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, it has retained a distinct cultural identity.HP HSTNN-IB0N Battery

Wales is officiallybilingual, the Welsh and English languages having equal status. The Welsh language is an important element of Welsh culture, and its use is supported by national policy. Over 580,000 Welsh speakers live in Wales, more than 20% of the population.HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song," attributable in part to the revival of the eisteddfod tradition. At international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games,HP HSTNN-LB0W Battery

Wales is represented by national teams regulated and organised by over fifty national governing bodies of sports in Wales. At the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in north Wales, rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

Etymology of Wales

The Anglo-Saxon word for 'foreign' or 'foreigner' was Waelisc and a 'foreign(er's) land' was called W?alas. The modern English forms of these words with respect to the modern country are Welsh (the people) and Wales (the land), respectively.HP HSTNN-OB0Y Battery

Historically in Britain the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used indiscriminately to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with Celtic Britons, including other foreign lands (e.g., Cornwall), places once associated with Celtic Britons (e.g., Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire),HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

the surnames of people (e.g., Walsh and Wallace) and various other things that were once new and foreign to the Anglo-Saxons (e.g., the walnut). None of these historic usages is necessarily connected to Wales or the Welsh.HP HSTNN-Q62C Battery

The Anglo-Saxon words are derived from the same Germanic root (singular Walh, plural Walha) that has provided modern names for Continental lands (e.g., Wallonia and Wallachia) and peoples (e.g., the Vlachs via a borrowing into Old Church Slavonic), none of which has any connection to Wales or the Welsh.HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

Etymology of Cymru

The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is Welsh for "Land of the Cymry". The etymological origin of Cymry is from the Brythonic wordcombrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen". HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the post-Roman Era relationship of the Welsh with the Brythonic-speaking peoples of northern England and southern Scotland, the peoples of Yr Hen Ogledd (English: The Old North). In its original use, it amounted to a self-perception that the Welsh and the "Men of the North" were one people, exclusive of all others.HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to both the Welsh and the Men of the North. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan (Moliant Cadwallon, by Afan Ferddig) c. 633.HP NBP6A174 Battery

In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples (including the Welsh) and was the more common literary term until c. 1100. HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh. Until c. 1560 Cymry was used indiscriminately to mean either the people (Cymry) or their homeland (Cymru).

The Latinised form of the name is Cambria. Outside of Wales this form survives as the name of Cumbria in North West England, which was once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd. HP NBP6A175 Battery

This form also appears at times in literary references, perhaps most notably in the pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniaeof Geoffrey of Monmouth, where the character of Camber is described as the eponymous King of Cymru.

History

Wales has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29,000 years.HP NBP6A175B1 Battery

Continuous human habitation dates from the end of the last ice age, between 12,000 and 10,000 years before present (BP), when Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from central Europe began to migrate to Great Britain. At that time sea levels were much lower than today, and the shallower parts of what is now the North Sea were dry land. HP WD548AA Battery

The east coast of present day England and the coasts of present day Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands were connected by the former landmass known as Doggerland, forming the British Peninsula on theEuropean mainland. Wales was free of glaciers by about 10,250 BP, the warmer climate allowing the area to become heavily wooded. HP WD549AA Battery

The post-glacial rise in sea level separated Wales and Ireland, forming the Irish Sea. Doggerland was submerged by the North Sea and, by 8,000 BP, the British Peninsula had become an island.By the beginning of the Neolithic (c. 6,000 BP) sea levels in the Bristol Channel were still about 33 feet (10 m) lower than today.HP Envy 17 Notebook PC Battery

John Davies has theorised that the story of Cantre'r Gwaelod's drowning and tales in the Mabinogion, of the waters between Wales and Ireland being narrower and shallower, may be distant folk memories of this time.

Neolithic colonists integrated with the indigenous people, gradually changing their lifestyles from a nomadic life of hunting and gathering, to become settled farmers about 6,000 BP – the Neolithic Revolution.HP Envy 17T Battery

They cleared the forests to establish pasture and to cultivate the land, developed new technologies such as ceramics and textile production, and built cromlechs such as Pentre Ifan, Bryn Celli Ddu and Parc Cwm long cairn between about 5,500 BP and 5,800 BP.HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

In common with people living all over Great Britain, over the following centuries the people living in what was to become known as Wales assimilated immigrants and exchanged ideas of the Bronze Age and Iron Age Celticcultures. According to John T. Koch and others, HP GSTNN-Q62C Battery

Wales in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture that also included the other Celtic nations, England, France, Spain and Portugal where Celtic languages developed.By the time of the Roman invasion of Britain the area of modern Wales had been divided among the tribes of the Deceangli, Ordovices,Cornovii, Demetae and Silures for centuries.HP HSTNN-IB1E Battery

Roman era

The Roman conquest of Wales began in AD 48 and took 30 years to complete. Roman rule lasted over 300 years. The campaigns of conquest are the most widely known feature of Wales during the Roman era, due to the spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful, defence of their homelands by two native tribes: the Silures;HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

and theOrdovices. Roman rule in Wales was a military occupation, save for the southern coastal region of South Wales, east of the Gower Peninsula, where there is a legacy of Romanisation.The only town in Wales founded by the Romans, Caerwent, is in South Wales. Both Caerwent and Carmarthen, also in southern Wales, became Roman civitates.HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

Wales had a rich mineral wealth. The Romans used their engineering technology to extract large amounts of gold, copper and lead, as well as modest amounts of some other metals such as zinc and silver.Roman economic development was concentrated in south-eastern Britain, and no significant industries located in Wales.HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

This was largely a matter of circumstance, as Wales had none of the necessary materials in suitable combination, and the forested, mountainous countryside was not amenable to industrialisation. Although Latin became the official language of Wales, the people tended to continue to speak in Brythonic.HP 586006-361 Battery

While Romanisation was far from complete, the upper classes of Wales began to consider themselves Roman, particularly after the ruling of 212that granted Roman citizenship to all free men throughout the Empire. Further Roman influence came through the spread of Christianity, which gained many followers after Christians were allowed to worship freely in 313.HP NBP6A174 Battery

Early historians, including the 6th century cleric Gildas, have noted 383 as a significant point in Welsh history, as it is stated in literature as the foundation point of several medieval royal dynasties. In that year the Roman general Magnus Maximus, or Macsen Wledig, HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

stripped all of western and northern Britain of troops and senior administrators, to launch a successful bid for imperial power; continuing to rule Britain fromGaul as Emperor. Gildas, writing in about 540, says that Maximus left Britain not only with all of its Roman troops, but also with all of its armed bands,HP 588178-141 Battery

governors, and the flower of its youth, never to return. Having left with the troops and Roman administrators, and planning to continue as the ruler of Britain in the future, his practical course was to transfer local authority to local rulers. The earliest Welsh genealogies give Maximus the role of founding father for several royal dynasties, including those of Powys and Gwent.HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

It was this transfer of power that has given rise to the belief that he was the father of the Welsh Nation. He is given as the ancestor of a Welsh king on the Pillar of Eliseg, erected nearly 500 years after he left Britain, and he figures in lists of the Fifteen Tribes of Wales.Sony NP-F330 Battery

Post-Roman era

The 400 years following the collapse of Roman rule is the most difficult to interpret in the history of Wales. After the Roman departure from Britain in 410, much of the lowlands of Britain to the east and south-east were overrun by various Germanic tribes.Asus Eee PC 904HA Adapter

However by 500 AD, the land that would become Wales had divided into a number of kingdoms free from Anglo-Saxon rule. The kingdoms of Gwynedd, Powys, Dyfed and Seisyllg, Morgannwg and Gwentemerged as independent Welsh successor states.Nikon D80  Battery

Archaeological evidence, in the Low Countries and what was to become England, shows early Anglo-Saxon migration to Great Britain reversed between 500 to 550, which concurs with Frankish chronicles. John Davies notes this as consistent with theBritish victory at Badon Hill, attributed to Arthur by Nennius.Sony PCGA-AC19V9 Adapter

This tenacious survival by the Romano-Britons and their descendants in the western kingdoms was to become the foundation of what we now know as Wales. With the loss of the lowlands, England's kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria, and later Wessex, wrestled with Powys, Gwent and Gwynedd to define the frontier between the two peoples.Dell T555C battery

Having lost much of what is now the West Midlands to Mercia in the 6th and early 7th centuries, a resurgent late-seventh-century Powys checked Mercian advancement. Aethelbald of Mercia, looking to defend recently acquired lands, had built Wat's Dyke.HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL battery

According to John Davies, this endeavour may have been with Powys king Elisedd ap Gwylog's own agreement, however, for this boundary, extending north from the valley of the River Severn to the Dee estuary, gave Oswestry to Powys. Another theory, after carbon dating placed the dyke's existence 300 years earlier, is that it may have been built by the post-Roman rulers of Wroxeter.HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

King Offa of Mercia seems to have continued this consultative initiative when he created a larger earthwork, now known as Offa's Dyke (Clawdd Offa). Davies wrote of Cyril Fox's study of Offa's Dyke: "In the planning of it, there was a degree of consultation with the kings of Powys and Gwent. HP Pavilion DV9700 battery

On the Long Mountain near Trelystan, the dyke veers to the east, leaving the fertile slopes in the hands of the Welsh; near Rhiwabon, it was designed to ensure that Cadell ap Brochwel retained possession of the Fortress of Penygadden." And, for Gwent, Offa had the dyke built "on the eastern crest of the gorge,HP Mini 702EA battery

clearly with the intention of recognizing that the River Wye and its traffic belonged to the kingdom of Gwent." However, Fox's interpretations of both the length and purpose of the Dyke have been questioned by more recent research. HP Pavilion DV7-1120EO battery

Offa's Dyke largely remained the frontier between the Welsh and English, though the Welsh would recover by the 12th century the area between the Dee (Afon Dyfrdwy), and the Conwy known then as Y Berfeddwlad. By the eighth century, the eastern borders with the Anglo-Saxons had broadly been set.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

In 853 the Vikings raided Anglesey, but in 856 Rhodri Mawr defeated and killed their leader, Gorm.[47] The Britons of Wales later made their peace with the Vikings and Anarawd ap Rhodri allied with the Norsemen occupying Northumbria to conquer the north.HP Pavilion DV6-1030US battery

This alliance later broke down and Anarawd came to an agreement with Alfred, king of Wessex, with whom he fought against the west Welsh. According to Annales Cambriae, in 894, "Anarawd came with the Angles and laid waste Ceredigion and Ystrad Tywi." HP Compaq 490306-001 battery

Medieval Wales

The southern and eastern parts of Great Britain lost to English settlement became known in Welsh as Lloegyr (Modern Welsh Lloegr), which may have referred to the kingdom of Mercia originally, and which came to refer to England as a whole.The Germanic tribes who now dominated these lands were invariably called Saeson, meaning "Saxons". HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

The Anglo-Saxons called the Romano-British 'Walha', meaning 'Romanised foreigner' or 'stranger'.The Welsh continued to call themselves Brythoniaid (Brythons or Britons) well into the Middle Ages, though the first written evidence of the use of Cymru and y Cymry is found in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan (Moliant Cadwallon, by Afan Ferddig) c. 633.HP EliteBook 2530P battery

In Armes Prydain, believed to be written around 930–942, the words Cymry and Cymro are used as often as 15 times. However, from the Anglo-Saxon settlement onwards, the people gradually begin to adopt the nameCymry over Brythoniad.

From 800 onwards, a series of dynastic marriages led to Rhodri Mawr's (r. 844–77) inheritance of Gwynedd andPowys.HP Pavilion DV4385EA battery

His sons in turn would found three principal dynasties (Aberffraw for Gwynedd, Dinefwr for Deheubarth, andMathrafal for Powys). Rhodri's grandson Hywel Dda (r. 900–50) founded Deheubarth out of his maternal and paternal inheritances of Dyfed and Seisyllwg in 930, ousted the Aberffraw dynasty from Gwynedd and Powys, and then codified Welsh law in the 940s.Compaq PP2100 battery

Maredudd ab Owain (r. 986–99) of Deheubarth (Hywel's grandson) would, (again) temporarily oust the Aberffraw line from control of Gwynedd and Powys.

Maredudd's great-grandson (through his daughter Princess Angharad) Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (r. 1039–63) would conquer his cousins' realms from his base in Powys,HP Compaq KU532AA battery

and even extend his authority into England. Historian John Davies states that Gruffydd was "the only Welsh king ever to rule over the entire territory of Wales... Thus, from about 1057 until his death in 1063, the whole of Wales recognised the kingship of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn. HP Pavilion DV6-1270EQ battery

For about seven brief years, Wales was one, under one ruler, a feat with neither precedent nor successor." Owain Gwynedd (1100–70) of the Aberffraw line was the first Welsh ruler to use the title princeps Wallensium (prince of the Welsh), a title of substance given his victory on the Berwyn Mountains, according to John Davies.HP Pavilion DV4385EA battery

Within four years of the Battle of Hastings England had been completely subjugated by the Normans.William I of England established a series of lordships, allocated to his most powerful warriors along the Welsh border, the boundaries fixed only to the east.This frontier region, HP Compaq Business  NC4400 battery

and any English-held lordships in Wales, became known as Marchia Wallie, the Welsh Marches, in which the Marcher Lords were subject to neither English nor Welsh law.The area of the March varied as the fortunes of the Marcher Lords and the Welsh princes ebbed and flowed.HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

The March of Wales, which existed for over 450 years, was abolished under the Acts of Union in 1536.

Owain Gwynedd's grandson Llywelyn Fawr (the Great, 1173–1240), wrested concessions out of the Magna Carta in 1215 and receiving the fealty of other Welsh lords in 1216 at the council at Aberdyfi, became the first Prince of Wales.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM battery

His grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffydd also secured the recognition of the title Prince of Walesfrom Henry III with the Treaty of Montgomery in 1267.[60] Later however, a succession of disputes, including the imprisonment of Llywelyn's wife Eleanor, daughter ofSimon de Montfort, culminated in the first invasion by King Edward I of England.Nikon D200 Battery

As a result of military defeat, the Treaty of Aberconwy exacted Llywelyn's fealty to England in 1277.Peace was short lived and, with the 1282 Edwardian conquest, the rule of the Welsh princes permanently ended. With Llywelyn's death and his brother prince Dafydd's execution, the few remaining Welsh lords did homage for their lands to Edward I.Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

Llywelyn's head was carried through London on a spear; his baby daughter Gwenllian was locked in the priory at Sempringham, where she remained until her death 54 years later.

To help maintain his dominance, Edward constructed a series of great stone castles. Beaumaris, Caernarfon and Conwy. Sony CYBER-SHOT DSC-T10  Battery

His son, the future King Edward II of England, was born at Edward's new castle at Caernarfon in 1284. He became the first English Prince of Wales, not as an infant, but in 1301. The apocryphal story that Edward tricked the Welsh by offering them a Welsh-born Prince who could speak no English, was first recorded in 1584.HP Compaq Business 6715b Battery

The title also provided an income from the north–west part of Wales known as the Principality of Wales, until the Act of Union (1536), after which the term principality, if used at all, was believed to be associated with the whole of Wales. After the failed revolt in 1294–95 of Madog ap Llywelyn –Kodak KLIC-7004 Battery

who styled himself Prince of Wales in the so-called Penmachno Document – there was no major uprising until that led by Owain Glynd?r a century later, againstHenry IV of England. In 1404, Owain was reputedly crowned Prince of Wales in the presence of emissaries from France, Spain and Scotland.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

Glynd?r went on to hold parliamentary assemblies at several Welsh towns, including Machynlleth. The rebellion was ultimately to founder, however, and Owain went into hiding in 1412, with peace being essentially restored in Wales by 1415. Although the English conquest of Wales took place under the 1284 Statute of Rhuddlan, Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS Battery

a formal Union did not occur until 1536, shortly after which Welsh law, which continued to be used in Wales after the conquest, was fully replaced by English law, under what would become known as the Act of Union.

Industrial Wales

Prior to the British Industrial Revolution, which saw a rapid economic expansion between 1750 and 1850, HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Adapter

there were signs of small-scale industries scattered throughout Wales. These ranged from industries connected to agriculture, such as milling and the manufacture of woollen textiles, through to mining and quarrying. Until the Industrial Revolution,Toshiba PA3536U-1BRS Battery

Wales had always been reliant on its agricultural output for its wealth and employment and the earliest industrial businesses were small scale and localised in manner. The emerging industrial period commenced around the development of copper smelting in the Swansea area. HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

With access to local coal deposits and a harbour that could take advantage of Cornwall's copper mines and the copper deposits being extracted from the then largest copper mine in the world at Parys Mountain on Anglesey, Swansea developed into the world's major centre for non-ferrous metal smelting in the 19th century.HP Pavilion DV9000 Adapter

The second metal industry to expand in Wales was iron smelting, and iron manufacturing became prevalent in both the north and the south of the country. In the north of Wales, John Wilkinson's Ironworks at Bersham was a significant industry, while in the south, a second world centre of metallurgy was founded in Merthyr Tydfil, Dell Studio 1537 battery

where the four ironworks of Dowlais, Cyfarthfa, Plymouth and Penydarren became the most significant hub of iron manufacture in Wales. In the 1820s, south Wales alone accounted for 40% of all pig iron manufactured in Britain.

In the late 18th century, slate quarrying began to expand rapidly, most notably in north Wales. HP PPP009H Adapter

The most notable site, opened in 1770 by Richard Pennant, isPenrhyn Quarry which, by the late 19th century, was employing 15,000 men;and along with Dinorwic Quarry, dominated the Welsh slate trade. Although slate quarrying has been described as 'the most Welsh of Welsh industries',Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

it is coal mining which has become the single industry synonymous with Wales and its people. Initially, coal seams were exploited to provide energy for local metal industries but, with the opening of canal systems and later the railways, Welsh coal mining saw a boom in its demand.Dell PA-12 Adapter

As the south Wales coalfield was exploited, mainly in the upland valleys around Aberdare and later the Rhondda, the ports of Swansea, Cardiff and later Penarth, grew into world exporters of coal and, with them, came a population boom. By its height in 1913, Wales was producing almost 61 million tons of coal.Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7/B  Battery

As well as in South Wales, there was also a significant coalfield in the north-east of the country, particularly around Wrexham.As Wales was reliant on the production of capital goods rather than consumer goods, it possessed few of the skilled craftspeople and artisans found in the workshops of Birmingham or Sheffield in England and had few factories producing finished goods – Dell LATITUDE M65 Battery

a key feature of most regions associated with the Industrial Revolution. However, there is increasing support that the industrial revolution was reliant on harnessing the energy and materials provided by Wales and, in that sense, Wales was of central importance.HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

Modern Wales

Historian Kenneth Morgan described Wales on the eve of the First World War as a "relatively placid, self-confident, and successful nation". Output from the coalfields continued to increase, with the Rhondda Valley recording a peak of 9.6 million tons of coal extracted in 1913.Acer AS07B41 Battery

The outbreak of the First World War (1914–1918) saw Wales, as part of the United Kingdom, enter hostilities with Germany. A total of 272,924 Welshmen served in the war, representing 21.5% of the male population. Of these, roughly 35,000 were killed. The two most notable battles of the War to include Welsh forces were those atMametz Wood on the Somme and Third Ypres. Dell Vostro 1310 Battery

The first quarter of the 20th century also saw a shift in the political landscape of Wales. Since 1865, the Liberal Party had held a parliamentary majority in Wales and, following the general election of 1906, only one non-Liberal Member of Parliament, Keir Hardie of Merthyr Tydfil, represented a Welsh constituency in Westminster.HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

Yet by 1906, industrial dissension and political militancy had begun to undermine Liberal consensus in the Southern coalfields.[78]In 1916, David Lloyd George became the first Welshman to become Prime Minister of Britain when he was made head of the 1916 coalition government.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S Battery

In December 1918, Lloyd George was re-elected at the head of a Conservative-dominated coalition government, and his poor handling of the 1919 coalminers' strike was a key factor in destroying support for the Liberal party in south Wales. The industrial workers of Wales began shifting towards a new political organisation,Dell PA-12 Adapter

established by Hardie and others to ensure an elected representation for the working class, and now called the Labour party. When in 1908 the Miners' Federation of Great Britain became affiliated to the Labour Party the four Labour candidates sponsored by miners were all elected as MPs.Sony NP-FH100 Battery

By 1922, half of the Welsh seats in Westminster were held by Labour politicians, which was the beginning of a Labour hegemony which would dominate Wales into the 21st century.

Despite economic growth in the first two decades of the 20th century,Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

from the early 1920s to the late 1930s, Wales' staple industries endured a prolonged slump, leading to widespread unemployment and poverty in the South Wales valleys. For the first time in centuries, the population of Wales went into decline; the scourge of unemployment only relented with the production demands of theSecond World War.Apple MacBook Pro Battery

The Second World War (1939–1945) saw Welsh servicemen and women fight in all the major theatres of war, with some 15,000 of them killed. Bombing raids brought major loss of life as the German Air Force targeted the docks at Swansea, Cardiff and Pembroke.Apple PowerBook G4 Battery

After 1943, 10% of Welsh conscripts aged 18 were sent to work in the coal mines to rectify labour shortages; they became known as Bevin Boys. Pacifist numbers during both World Wars were fairly low, especially in the Second World War, which was seen as a fight against fascism.Acer BATBL50L6 Battery

Of the political parties active in Wales, only Plaid Cymru advocated a neutral stance, on the grounds that it was an 'imperialist war'.

The 20th century saw a revival in Welsh national feeling. Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925, seeking greater autonomy or independence from the rest of the UK.Canon EOS 450D Battery

In 1955, the term England and Wales became common for describing the area to which English law applied, and Cardiff was proclaimed as capital city of Wales. Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) was formed in 1962, in response to fears that the language may soon die out.Acer Travelmate 2400 Battery

Nationalist sentiment grew following the flooding of the Tryweryn valley in 1965 to create a reservoir supplying water to the English city ofLiverpool. Despite 35 of the 36 Welsh Members of Parliament voting against the bill, with the other abstaining, Parliament still passed the bill and the village of Capel Celyn was submerged,Dell Inspiron 1525 Adapter

highlighting Wales' powerlessness in her own affairs in the face of the numerical superiority of English MPs in the Westminster Parliament.Both the Free Wales Army and Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (Welsh Defence Movement, abbreviated as MAC) were formed as a direct result of the Tryweryn destruction, conducting campaigns from 1963.Compaq Presario 2100 Adapter

In the years leading up to the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969, these groups were responsible for a number of bomb blasts—destroying water pipes, tax and other offices and part of a dam being built for a new English-backed project in Clywedog, Montgomeryshire.Acer Aspire 1362 Battery

In 1966 the Carmarthen Parliamentary seat was won by Gwynfor Evans at a by-election, Plaid Cymru's first Parliamentary seat. In the following year, the Wales and Berwick Act 1746 was repealed and a legal definition of Wales and of the boundary with England was stated.Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

By the end of the 1960s, the regional policy of bringing firms into disadvantaged areas of Wales through financial incentives, had proven very successful in diversifying the once industrial landscape.This policy, begun in 1934, was enhanced by the construction of industrial estates and improving transport communications, most notably the M4 motorway linking Wales directly to London.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

There was a belief that the foundations for stable economic growth had been firmly established in Wales during this period; but these views were shown to be wildly optimistic after the recession of the early 1980s saw much of the manufacturing base built over the last forty years, collapse. Acer Travelmate 2200 Adapter

The first referendum, in 1979, in which the Welsh electorate voted on the creation of an assembly for Wales resulted in a large majority for the "no" vote.  However, in 1997, a referendum on the same issue secured a "yes", although by a very narrow majority.HP Compaq 6735b Adapter

The National Assembly for Wales (Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) was set up in 1999 (as a consequence of the Government of Wales Act 1998) and possesses the power to determine how the central government budget for Wales is spent and administered, although the UK parliament reserves the right to set limits on the powers of the Welsh Assembly.Dell Vostro 1000 Battery

The governments of the United Kingdom and of Wales almost invariably define Wales as a country.The Welsh Assembly Government says: "Wales is not a Principality. Although we are joined with England by land, and we are part of Great Britain, Wales is a country in its own right."HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

The title Prince of Wales is still conferred on the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. However the Prince of Wales has no constitutional role in modern Wales.According to the Welsh Assembly Government: "Our Prince of Wales at the moment is Prince Charles, who is the present heir to the throne. Asus f82 battery

But he does not have a role in the governance of Wales, even though his title might suggest that he does."

Government and politics

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom (UK). Constitutionally, the UK is a de jure, unitary state, its sovereign parliament and government inWestminster. Dell XPS M1330 Battery

In the House of Commons – the lower house of the UK government – Wales is represented by 40 MPs (of 646) from Welsh constituencies. LabourMPs hold 29 of the 40 seats, the Liberal Democrats hold four seats, Plaid Cymru, three and the Conservatives, three.HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

A Secretary of State for Wales sits in theUK cabinet and is responsible for representing matters pertaining to Wales. The Wales Office is a department of the United Kingdom government, responsible for Wales. Cheryl Gillan has been Secretary of State for Wales since 12 May 2010, replacing Peter Hain of the previous Labour administration.Compaq PRESARIO R3000 Battery

Gillan was appointed to the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Westminster government following the United Kingdom general election of 2010.

Referendums held in Wales and Scotland in 1997 chose to establish a limited form of self-government in both countries.HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

In Wales, the consequent process ofdevolution began with the Government of Wales Act 1998, which created the National Assembly for Wales (Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru).Powers of the Secretary of State for Wales were transferred to the devolved government on 1 July 1999, Dell Latitude D610 Adapter

granting the Assembly responsibility to decide how the Westminster government's budget for devolved areas is spent and administered. The 1998 Act was amended by the Government of Wales Act 2006 which enhanced the Assembly's powers, giving it legislative powers akin to the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly. Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

The Assembly consists of 60 members, known asAssembly Members (Aelodau y Cynulliad). Members (AMs (ACau)) are elected for four year terms under an additional member system. Forty of the AMs represent geographical constituencies, elected under the First Past the Post system.HP Compaq Business NX6325 Battery

The remaining twenty AMs represent five electoral regions, each representing between seven and nine constituencies, using the d'Hondt method of proportional representation. The Assembly must elect a First Minister, who selects ministers to form the Welsh Assembly Government.Dell Studio XPS 16 battery

Labour remained the largest Assembly party following the 2007 election, winning 26 of the 60 seats. Having insufficient support to form a government, the Labour Party entered into the 'One Wales' agreement with Plaid Cymru, forming a coalition, the Labour leader as First Minister.Acer Aspire 5520 Battery

Carwyn Jones has been First Minister and leader of Welsh Labour since Rhodri Morgan retired from office in December 2009, after nine years and ten months as First Minister.Ieuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister in the coalition government, is leader of Plaid Cymru, the second-largest party in the Assembly with 14 of the 60 seats. Acer TravelMate 5720 Adapter

The Presiding Officer of the Assembly is Lord Elis-Thomas of Plaid Cymru. Other Assembly parties are the Conservative Party, the loyal oppositionwith 13 seats, the Liberal Democrats with six seats, and one independent member. The Lib-Dems had previously formed part of a coalition government with Labour in the first Assembly.HP Compaq 6735s Adapter

Under the 'One Wales' agreement, a referendum on giving the Welsh assembly full law-making powers on devolved 'matters'is promised "as soon as practicable, at or before the end of the assembly term (in 2011)" and both parties have agreed "in good faith to campaign for a successful outcome to such a referendum".Dell XPS M1330 Battery

The twenty areas of responsibility devolved to the Welsh Assembly Government, known as 'matters', include agriculture, economic development, education, health, housing, local government, social services, tourism, transport and the Welsh language. On its creation in 1999, the National Assembly for Wales had no primary legislative powers.HP Compaq nc6230 Adapter

However, since the Government of Wales Act 2006 (GoWA 2006) came into effect in 2007, the Assembly has power to pass primary legislation as Assembly Measures on some specific matters within the areas of devolved responsibility. Dell T117C battery

Further matters have been added subsequently, either directly by the UK Parliament or by the UK Parliament approving a Legislative Competence Order (LCO); a request from the National Assembly for additional powers. The GoWA 2006 allows for the Assembly to gain primary lawmaking powers on a more extensive range of matters within the same devolved areas if approved in a referendum.Asus x5dij-sx039c battery

A referendum on extending the law-making powers of the National Assembly was accordingly held on 3 March 2011. It asked the question: "Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws onall matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?" The result of the vote was that 63.49% voted 'yes', and 36.51% voted 'no'. Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

Consequently, the Assembly is now able to make laws, known as Acts of the Assembly, on all matters in the subject areas, without needing the UK Parliament's agreement.

Wales is also a distinct UK electoral region of the European Union represented by four Members of the European Parliament.HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

Local government

Areas are Counties, unless marked *(for Cities) or † (for County Boroughs). Welsh language forms are given in parentheses, where they differ from the English..

Note: Wales has five cities. In addition to Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, the communities of Bangor and St David's also have city status in the United Kingdom.Dell Latitude D630 Adapter

Law and order

By tradition, Welsh Law was compiled during an assembly held at Whitland around 930 CE by Hywel Dda, king of most of Wales between 942 and his death in

950. The 'law of Hywel Dda' (Cyfraith Hywel), as it became known, codified the previously existing folk laws and legal customs that had evolved in Wales over centuries. HP Pavilion dm4 battery

Welsh Law emphasised the payment of compensation for a crime to the victim, or the victim's kin, rather than on punishment by the ruler.Other than in the Marches, where law was imposed by the Marcher Lords, Welsh Law remained in force in Wales until the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284. Sony NP-FS11 Battery

Edward I of England annexed the Principality of Wales following the death of Llywelyn the Last and Welsh Law was replaced for criminal cases under the Statute. Marcher Law and Welsh Law (for civil cases) remained in force until Henry VIII of England annexed the whole of Wales under theLaws in Wales Acts 1535-1542Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

(often referred to as the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1543), after which English Law applied to the whole of Wales.  TheWales and Berwick Act 1746 provided that all laws that applied to England would automatically apply to Wales (and the Anglo-Scottish border town ofBerwick) unless the law explicitly stated otherwise. This act, with regard to Wales, was repealed in 1967.Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

However, excluding those matters devolved to Wales since 1999, English law has been the legal system of Wales and England since 1536.

English law is regarded as a common law system, with no major codification of the law, and legal precedents are binding as opposed to persuasive.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

The court system is headed by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom which is the highest court of appeal in the land for criminal and civil cases. The Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales is the highest court of first instance as well as an appellate court.Acer Aspire 5920 Battery

The three divisions are the Court of Appeal; theHigh Court of Justice and the Crown Court. Minor cases are heard by the Magistrates' Courts or the County Court.

Since devolution in 2006, the Welsh Assembly has had the authority to draft and approve some laws outside of the UK Parliamentary system to meet the specific needs of Wales.IBM Thinkpad T40 Adapter

Under powers conferred by Legislative Competency Orders agreed by all parliamentary stakeholders, it is able to pass laws known as Assembly Measures in relation to specific fields, such as health and education. As such, Assembly Measures are a subordinate form of primary legislation, lacking the scope of UK-wide acts of parliament, Nikon COOLPIX 4300 Battery

but able to be passed without the approval of the UK parliament or Royal Assent for each 'act'. Through this primary legislation, the Welsh Assembly Government can then also draft more specific secondary legislation. In 2007 the Wales and Cheshire Region (known as the Wales and Cheshire Circuit before 2005) Apple MB771 battery

came to an end when Cheshire was attached to the North-Western England Region. From that point Wales became a legal unit in its own right.

Wales is served by four regional police forces, Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police, North Wales Police and South Wales Police. Sony DSC-P5 Battery

There are four prisons in Wales, though all are based in the southern half of the country. As well as no northern provision for Welsh prisoners, there are no female prisons in Wales, with inmates being housed in English prisons.

 

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