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Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history.The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or, informally, Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe.Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the UK includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands.With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the UK is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world.

Additionally, the United Kingdom's Olympic team competes under the name "Great Britain" or "Team GB".

Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world.

The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland.

The term "United Kingdom" is found in use as a description, but not a name, during the 18th century, and the country has occasionally been referred to in later centuries as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain" although its full official name, from 1707 to 1800, was simply "Great Britain", without a "long form".

The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

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