1. City in Alaska (USA); zip code 99783.
2. City in North Dakota (USA); zip code 58281.
3. One of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Also called: Cymru.
4. Town in Utah (USA).
5. Village in Wisconsin (USA); zip code 53183.
(Welsh Cymru) Principality of; constituent part of the UK, in the W between the British Channel and the Irish Sea.
area 20,780 sq km/8,021 sq mi.
towns and cities Swansea, Wrexham, Newport, Carmarthen.
features Snowdonia Mountains (Snowdon 1,085 m/3,561 ft, the highest point in England and Wales) in the NW and in the SE the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons, and Black Forest ranges; rivers Severn, Wye, Usk, and Dee.
exports traditional industries, such as coal (there are no functioning pits left in Wales) and steel, have declined, but varied modern and high-technology ventures are being developed. There are oil refineries. Wales has the largest concentration of Japanese-owned plants in the UK. It also has the highest density of sheep in the world and a dairy industry; tourism is important.
currency pound sterling.
language English, 19% Welsh-speaking.
religion Nonconformist Protestant denominations; Roman Catholic minority.
government returns 38 members to the UK Parliament.
for ancient history, see also Britain, ancient.
c. 400 BC Wales occupied by Celts from central Europe.
AD 50–60 Wales became part of the Roman Empire.
c. 200 Christianity adopted.
c. 450–600 Wales became the chief Celtic stronghold in the west since the Saxons invaded and settled in S Britain. The Celtic tribes united against England.
8th century Frontier pushed back to Offa’s Dyke.
9th–11th centuries Vikings raided the coasts. At this time Wales was divided into small states organized on a clan basis, although princes such as Rhodri (844–878), Howel the Good (c. 904–949), and Griffith ap Llewelyn (1039–1063) temporarily united the country.
11th–12th centuries Continual pressure on Wales from the Normans across the English border was resisted, notably by Llewelyn I and II.
1277 Edward I of England accepted as overlord by the Welsh.
1284 Edward I completed the conquest of Wales that had been begun by the Normans.
1294 Revolt against English rule put down by Edward I.
1350–1500 Welsh nationalist uprisings against the English; the most notable was that led by Owen Glendower.
1485 Henry Tudor, a Welshman, became Henry VII of England.
1536–43 Acts of Union united England and Wales after conquest under Henry VIII. Wales sent representatives to the English Parliament; English law was established in Wales; English became the official language.
18th century Evangelical revival made Nonconformism a powerful factor in Welsh life. A strong coal and iron industry developed in the south.
19th century The miners and ironworkers were militant supporters of Chartism, and Wales became a stronghold of labor unionism and socialism.
1893 University of Wales founded.
1920s–30s Wales suffered from industrial depression; unemployment reached 21% 1937, and a considerable exodus of population took place.
post-1945 Growing nationalist movement and a revival of the language, earlier suppressed or discouraged.
1966 Plaid Cymru, the Welsh National Party, returned its first member to Westminster.
1979 Referendum rejected a proposal for limited home rule.
1988 Bombing campaign against estate agents selling Welsh properties to English buyers.
For other history, see also England: history; United Kingdom.