/* 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.
“Ragged schools” were schools for children in rags, that is for poor and destitute children. They were established in the newly industrialized towns of Wales in the mid-Victorian period, drawing widespread support from all levels of society and from all religious denominations. Promoters of ragged schools combined evangelical and charitable motives in an effort to rescue children from lives of immorality and crime, and, despite a lack of qualified teachers, they did provide an education for children denied opportunities because of poverty. The schools provided instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, and often some industrial training, and the movement achieved remarkable results before declining with the gradual introduction of compulsory free elementary schooling from 1870 onward.<ref> Russell Grigg, "The Origins and Growth of Ragged Schools in Wales, 1847-c.1900," ''History of Education'' 2002 31(3): 227-243</ref>
Soccer became enormously popular in northeast Wales during 1870-90, a development that resembled the growth of the sport in England and reflected aspects of Welsh national identity. During this period, soccer transformed from an informal game enjoyed mostly by schoolchildren into a regulated, professional, and spectator-friendly sport. The growing popularity and interclass participation was seen as an agent of social cohesion and Victorian values of health, though frequent outbreaks of fighting during matches was frowned on by some religious groups. Soccer maintained its popularity in northeast Wales, but industrial decline generally meant that local teams could not as easily draw the same crowds and attract talented players as those in the English Midlands.<ref> Martin Johnes, and Ian Garland, "'The New Craze': Football and Society in North-east Wales, c. 1870-90," ''Welsh History Review'' 2004 22(2): 278-304</ref> Soccer was easily the most popular sport in Wales throughout the whole of the twentieth century.
Wales is known for the strength of Nonconformist denominations, especially the Methodists. Nonconformist social and political activism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was based more on moral and economic concerns than theological principles. Public controversy over publication of R. J. Campbell's ''The New Theology'' in 1907 sparked the development of a theology-based activism that strengthened Nonconformist ties with the radical labor movement and Socialism. It was similar to the [[Social Gospel]] in the United States, but more radical and more inclined toward socialism as promoted by the [[Labour Party]].<ref> Robert Pope, "From New Theology to Social Gospel," ''Welsh Journal of Religious History'' 2007 2: 87-104, </ref>
The major Nonconformist groups were the Baptists, Congregationalists, and three varieties of Methodists (the Calvinistic, Primitive, and Wesleyan). Each combined communal (largely involuntary involvement) and associational (voluntary involvement) aspects among their members and adherents. The membership declined during the early 20th century. To a large degree that decline is attributable to each church body becoming more associational, bureaucratic, and denominational. Connections to local communities broke down and promoted secularization although revivalism occurred to roll back the secularization process on occasion.<ref>Peter Yalden, "Association, Community and the Origins of Secularisation: English and Welsh Nonconformity, c. 1850-1930," ''Journal of Ecclesiastical History'' 2004 55(2): 293-324 </ref>
====Revival of 1904-5====
The revival lasted less than a year, but in that period 100,000 converts were made. The revival spread from south Wales to north Wales, then to Britain, and eventually to Los Angeles, California, where [[Pentecostalism]] flourished.<ref> Edward J. Gitre, "The 1904-05 Welsh Revival: Modernization, Technologies, and Techniques of the Self," ''Church History'' 2004 73(4): 792-827</ref>
==Prince of Wales==
[[Charles]], eldest son of [[Queen Elizabeth II]], is the current Prince of Wales, a title normally bestowed on the first-born son of the sovereign but implying no particular monarchical role in the Principality.
Even today in modern Wales, vestiges of anti-English sentiment remain strong in some parts; the Welsh Nationalist Party, [[Plaid Cymru]] typically returns several members to the British [[Parliament]], and with the unaffiliated Welsh terrorist group the [[Meibion Glyndwr]], ("the Sons of Glendower") conducting a sporadic campaign of arson against English-owned holiday homes in recent years.<ref>http://www.welshdragon.net/resources/Articles/arson.shtml</ref>
! Position || Current Holder
British_monarchy|Monarch]] || Queen [[Elizabeth II]]
UK_Prime_Ministers|Prime Minster]] || [[ Gordon Brown]] MP
| [[Secretary of State for Wales|Secretary of State]] || [[
Peter Hain]] MP
| [[First Minister of Wales|First Minister]] || [[
Rhodri Morgan]] AM
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 Kingom]] remains sovereign in the United Kingdom as a whole.
=== Devolution ===
A [[National Assembly for Wales]] as established under the ''Government of Wales Act of 1998''. The assembly consists of 60 ''Assembly Members'' or ''AM''s. The [[Welsh Assembly Government]] is the executive arm who have been delegated much of the powers of the Assembly.
== Industry ==
[[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.