England and its largest cities in 1377.
|Government||Elective monarchy (927–1066)|
Hereditary monarchy (1066–1215)
Hereditary parliamentary constitutional monarchy (1215–1649)
Commonwealth republic (1649–1660)
Hereditary parliamentary constitutional monarchy (1660–1707)
• 1702–1707 (last)
|House of Lords|
|House of Commons|
|14 October 1066|
|24 March 1603|
|11 December 1688|
|1 May 1707|
|1283–1542 est.||145,000 km2 (56,000 sq mi)|
|1542–1707 est.||151,000 km2 (58,000 sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||GB-ENG|
|Today part of|
- ^ Monarch of Wessex from 925.
- ^ Continued as monarch of Great Britain until her death in 1714.
The Kingdom of England (Anglo-Norman and French: Royaume d'Angleterre) was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
On 12 July 927, the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan (r. 927–939) to form the Kingdom of England. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England, Denmark and Norway. The Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, and the City of London quickly established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre.
Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1707 (interrupted by the Interregnum of 1649–1660).Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 ultimately claim descent from the Normans; the distinction of the Plantagenets is merely conventional, beginning with Henry II (reigned 1154–1189) as from that time, the Angevin kings became "more English in nature"; the houses of Lancaster and York are both Plantagenet cadet branches, the Tudor dynasty claimed descent from Edward III via John Beaufort and James VI and I of the House of Stuart claimed descent from Henry VII via Margaret Tudor.
The completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown. Edward III (reigned 1327–1377) transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe; his reign also saw vital developments in legislation and government—in particular the evolution of the English parliament. From the 1340s the kings of England also laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, and his daughter Elizabeth I (reigned 1558–1603) the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World.
From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland. Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament. This concept became legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy.[nb 5] On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn, originally names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English",
by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles (called Angulus by Bede). The name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period (Engle-land, Engelond). The Latin name was Anglia or Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Angleterre. By the 14th century, England was also used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain.
The standard title for monarchs from Æthelstan until John was Rex Anglorum ("King of the English"). Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first to call himself "King of England". In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie ("King of England"). From John's reign onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Rex or Regina Anglie. In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title (now usually rendered in English rather than Latin) King of Great Britain. The English and Scottish parliaments, however, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707.