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Devolution in the UK$
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James Mitchell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719053580

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719053580.001.0001

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Constituting the UK

Constituting the UK

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Constituting the UK
Source:
Devolution in the UK
Author(s):

James Mitchell

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719053580.003.0001

United Kingdom constitutional development has never been uniform. The unions which contributed towards the establishment of the United Kingdom differed markedly. The most significant was that which created England. It was most significant for three reasons: first, it was the founding union; secondly, a unitary state was created and thirdly, England would become the largest component of the United Kingdom. This resulted in a widespread assumption that the United Kingdom was and is a unitary state, one and indivisible despite other quite different unions which contributed towards its creation. At its heart lay the notion that Parliament at Westminster was sovereign. Two different types of pressure have affected the territorial distribution. The first has its origins in how the state was formed. The second pressure came about as a result of social and economic forces which resulted in changes in state intervention.

Keywords:   United Kingdom, constitutional development, England, unitary state, state intervention, Parliament, Westminster

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