The UK can be found right off the European mainland. After being conquered by the Normans in the year 1066, they resisted all invasions. Because they depended on the sea for most of their commerce and most of their protection, they became the leading naval superpower in the late 1700s until the mid-1900s.
In the 1700s, the Industrial Revolution began in the UK and spread to other parts of the world. Some examples of the machines invented during the industrial revolution were the spinning jenny (which revolutionized the manufacture of textiles), the steam engine, the locomotive, and railroads.
When World War II ended (1945) the UK came out victorious but diminished economically and as a world power and was succeeded by the United States and The Soviet Union. After the war ended, The UK lost most of its colonies became they became independent.
With the British Empire now disbanded, the United Kingdom and some of its former colonies formed what is known as the Commonwealth of Nations.
The UK used to be the richest nation in the world and now ranks in the top twenty.