The history of England as a definable nation can be dated from the emergence of a unified Anglo-Saxon state in the 9th century. The conquest of Anglo-Saxon England by the Normans in 1066 led to a change in leadership and greater focus on the continental relationship.The English Civil Wars in the 1640s affirmed the primacy of Parliament over the Crown. The Act of Union with Scotland in 1707, effectively a business merger between London and Edinburgh, was heavily in favour of the larger English side.
The spread of the English language around the world via the British Empire and trade, as well as the separation of the American colonists to form the United States. The continuity of the Shires and the rapid industrialisation of the country in the 19th century led to great wealth and power. The decline of the British Empire after the disastrous First and Second World Wars. The accession to the EEC in 1973 was the end of London's primacy over England, but far from the end of English history. England today is a densely populated country, with the third largest city in Europe (London), and one of the largest economies.