The island of Great Britain is Europe’s largest island, and is the third most populous island in the world. Also known as Britain, Great Britain is a part of the United Kingdom. Three countries make up Great Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales.
In 1707, the kingdoms of Scotland and England (which included Wales) merged to become the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain united with Ireland to become the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.’ However, in 1922, most of Ireland withdrew from the United Kingdom to become its own separate nation. The part of Ireland that remained merged with Great Britain to officially become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Although the term Great Britain was initially the unofficial nickname given to the larger of the two islands that made up the British isles, this term became officially recognized in 1474.