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Since the 1990s large-scale devolution movements in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have decentralized political decision-making.
Britain has wobbled back and forth on its economic relationships with Western Europe.
Politically, the central event was the French Revolution And its Napoleonic aftermath, 1793–1815, which British elites saw as a profound threat, and worked energetically to form multiple coalitions that finally defeated Napoleon in 1815.
Although now a single kingdom, certain aspects of the former independent kingdoms remained separate, as agreed in the terms in the Treaty of Union.
Scottish and English law remained separate, as did the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Anglican Church of England.
The Act of Union 1800 added the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The first decades were marked by Jacobite risings which ended with defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.