The Four Nations: A History of the United Kingdom

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9780006532118: The Four Nations: A History of the United Kingdom

The first single-volume history of the mutual relations between the constituent parts of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), made topical by the recent devolution developments in Scotland and Wales.By comparison with the United States, the history of the United Kingdom as an undivided entity has been quite short. This book describes the history of each constituent part, their interaction, and the effect of external events. As soon as British history is seen as an integral part of world (especially European) history, the perspective alters drastically.Until 1803 France was optimistically assumed to be part of the realm. Less than a century elapsed between 1829, when the grant of a very restricted franchise to Catholics made the inclusion of Ireland more than a political fiction, to 1922, when the Irish Free State emerged. Scotland, with England the main constituent of the UK since 1707, has retained its own legal system, administration and established church (the Queen changes her religion each time she passes Berwick). Wales retains a distinctive culture and language, albeit one on an expensive life-support machine.

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About the Author:

Frank Welsh was born in Washington, County Durham, and educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He has had a varied career in international business and banking, including service on the boards of nationalised industries and as a member of the Royal Commission on the National Health Service. His books include The Profit of the State, Uneasy City, Building the Trireme, A History of Hong Kong and A History of South Africa. He lives in France and England.

From Publishers Weekly:

Welsh (A History of South Africa, etc.) examines over 2,000 years of the history of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, focusing on how these nations interacted to shape one another's history. Unsurprisingly, England is the major player here. The history of Scotland and Ireland is largely a matter of their attempts to remain free of, and then accommodate to, a hegemonic England. Welsh begins with the Roman conquest of Britannia and establishment of the modern-day borders of England, Scotland and Wales. He concludes in the year 2001, considering whether "the end of the United Kingdom" is at hand (to those who fear it, he replies that "the unitary state had been disintegrating for over a century"). After detailing the construction of the U.K., Welsh devotes most of the latter part of the book to events in Ireland-from the failed Rising of 1798 to the Great Irish Famine, Gladstone and the failure of Home Rule, the partition of Ireland, sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland and the present-day peace process. By comparison, Welsh's treatment of Scotland and Wales is minimal. Welsh has chosen breadth of coverage over depth. We get only a few pages, for instance, on the 1688 Glorious Revolution-one of the seminal events in British history-and surprisingly little on WWII. Nor is there much about the development of the British Empire. Welsh's narrative is too often a dry recitation of well-known dates and names, rarely delving below the surface or offering fresh insight.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. The first single-volume history of the mutual relations between the constituent parts of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), made topical by the recent devolution developments in Scotland and Wales.By comparison with the United States, the history of the United Kingdom as an undivided entity has been quite short. This book describes the history of each constituent part, their interaction, and the effect of external events. As soon as British history is seen as an integral part of world (especially European) history, the perspective alters drastically.Until 1803 France was optimistically assumed to be part of the realm. Less than a century elapsed between 1829, when the grant of a very restricted franchise to Catholics made the inclusion of Ireland more than a political fiction, to 1922, when the Irish Free State emerged. Scotland, with England the main constituent of the UK since 1707, has retained its own legal system, administration and established church (the Queen changes her religion each time she passes Berwick). Wales retains a distinctive culture and language, albeit one on an expensive life-support machine. Bookseller Inventory # WBC9780006532118

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. The first single-volume history of the mutual relations between the constituent parts of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), made topical by the recent devolution developments in Scotland and Wales.By comparison with the United States, the history of the United Kingdom as an undivided entity has been quite short. This book describes the history of each constituent part, their interaction, and the effect of external events. As soon as British history is seen as an integral part of world (especially European) history, the perspective alters drastically.Until 1803 France was optimistically assumed to be part of the realm. Less than a century elapsed between 1829, when the grant of a very restricted franchise to Catholics made the inclusion of Ireland more than a political fiction, to 1922, when the Irish Free State emerged. Scotland, with England the main constituent of the UK since 1707, has retained its own legal system, administration and established church (the Queen changes her religion each time she passes Berwick). Wales retains a distinctive culture and language, albeit one on an expensive life-support machine. Bookseller Inventory # WBC9780006532118

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