/* Medieval */
see [[Welsh language]]
English is universally spoken in Wales - however, the ancestral Celtic language of [[Welsh Language|Welsh]] is still spoken as a first or second language by approximately a quarter of the population (In 2001,
Apporximately 600,000 people claimed some knowledge of welsh). The long-term decline in Welsh-speakers has stabilised since the early 1990s owing to the introduction of compulsory Welsh language classes in schools.
The national emblems are the [[leek]] and the [[daffodil]]. The Welsh national day is March 1, [[Saint David]]'s day. The Welsh flag has a picture of a dragon, usually called Idris. The Welsh flag forms no part of the Union Flag as at the time the flag was first devised Wales was considered as part of the Kingdom of England.
Wales emerged as a nation from the collapse of Romano-British Britannia following the invasions of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes from the fifth century AD onwards. What is now known as Wales was for a time known as 'North Wales', while [[Devon]] and [[Cornwall]] (in SW England) were 'West Wales' until their conquest. The Mercian king [[Offa]] (Mercia equates roughly to the English Midlands) created an substantial earthwork, [[Offa's Dyke]] running between the [[Irish Sea]] and the [[River Severn|Severn]] estuary in the later eighth century to separate his kingdom from Welsh lands. The dyke broadly marks the Anglo-Welsh boundary to this day .
His grandson, [[Llewelyn ap Gruffydd]], was unable to resist a powerful invasion mounted by the English king [[Edward I]], and his death in battle in 1282 and the later execution of his brother Daffyd (executed for treason due to his betrayal of the English king, with whom he had previously been allied) marked the extinction of independent Wales.
| [[British monarchy|Monarch]] || Queen [[Elizabeth II]]
| [[UK Prime Ministers|Prime
Minster]] || [[David Cameron]] MP
| [[Secretary of State for Wales|Secretary of State]] || [[Cheryl Gillan]] MP
Although constitutionally the United Kingdom is a unitary state with one sovereign, parliament and government - there has been moves to give power to national legislature in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this has taken the form of devolution. Power for certain areas of government like education, health and the environment are fully the responsibility of their national governments. However, central government maintains the right to overturn any decision by a national assembly,
as as such the [[Parliament of the United Kingdom]] remains sovereign in the United Kingdom as a whole.
=== Devolution ===
[[Soccer]] enjoys major popularity, with [[rugby union]] being particularly popular in South Wales. In addition, as is common with many universities, both Cardiff and Aberystwyth Universities have their own American Football teams (the Cardiff Cobras and the Tarannau Aberystwyth), and there are other American Football teams in Wales<ref>http://www.southwaleswarriors.co.uk/cgi-bin/swwarriors/baseweb2.exe?vid=82057&src=794</ref> (indeed there are many other American Football teams in the whole of the UK<ref>http://www.bafa.org.uk/</ref>). Ice hockey is also extremely popular; major teams include the Cardiff Devils.
See also== * [[David Lloyd George]], powerful prime minister in World War I * [[Welsh language]]
* Davies, John. ''A History of Wales'' (2007) [
http://www.amazon.com/History-Wales-John-Davies/dp/0140284753/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260143161&sr=1-1 excerpt and text search]
* Evans, Chris. '''The Labyrinth of Flames': Work and Social Conflict in Early Industrial Merthyr Tydfil'' (1993). 237 pp.
* Fagge, Roger. ''Power, Culture and Conflict in the Coalfields: West Virginia and South Wales, 1900-1922'' (1996). 290 pp.
* Francis, Hywel and Smith, David. ''The Fed: A History of the South Wales Miners in the Twentieth Century'' (1980). 530 pp.
* Gilbert, David. ''Class, Community, and Collective Action: Social Change in Two British Coalfields, 1850-1926'' (1992). 293 pp.
* Jenkins, Geraint H. ''A Concise History of Wales'' (2007) [
http://www.amazon.com/Concise-History-Wales-Cambridge-Histories/dp/0521530717/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260143161&sr=1-10 excerpt and text search]
* Jenkins, Philip. ''A History of Modern Wales, 1536-1990'' (1992). 451 pp.
* Jenkins, Geraint H. and Smith, J. Beverley, eds. ''Politics and Society in Wales, 1840-1922'' (1988). 201 pp.
* Stephens, Meic, ed. ''The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales.'' (1986). 682 pp.
* Wallace, Ryland. ''Organise! Organise! Organise! A Study of Reform Agitations in Wales, 1840-1886'' (1991). 267 pp.
* Weisser, Henry. ''Wales: An Illustrated History'' (2003) [
http://www.amazon.com/Wales-Illustrated-History-Hippocrene-Histories/dp/0781809363/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260143161&sr=1-2 excerpt and text search]
* Williams, Glanmor. ''The History of Wales, Vol. 3: Recovery, Reorientation, and Reformation: Wales, c. 1415-1642'' (1987). 528 pp.