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Although the monarchy was restored, the Interregnum ensured (along with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the subsequent Bill of Rights 1689, and the Claim of Right Act 1689) that, unlike much of the rest of Europe, royal absolutism would not prevail, and a professed Catholic could never accede to the throne.The British constitution would develop on the basis of constitutional monarchy and the parliamentary system.

The British colonies in North America that broke away from Britain in the American War of Independence became the United States of America, recognised by Britain in 1783.The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.The UK Permanent Committee on Geographical Names lists "United Kingdom" and "UK or U.K." as shortened and abbreviated geopolitical terms for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it does not list "Britain", The adjective "British" is commonly used to refer to matters relating to the United Kingdom.

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