In AD 43 Rome conquered the island of Britain. The Romans maintained control of their province of Britannia until the early 5th century. At the end of Roman rule in Britain began the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain. The Anglo-Saxons, a collection of various Germanic peoples, established several kingdoms. Raids by Vikings - called Danes - became frequent after about AD 800, and they even settled in the southern part of the island. During this period, several rulers attempted to unite the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, an effort that led to the emergence of the Kingdom of England by the 10th century.
In 1066, a Norman expedition invaded and conquered England. The Norman Dynasty established by William the Conqueror ruled England for over half a century. After that, England came under the rule of the House of Plantagenet, a dynasty which later inherited claims to the Kingdom of France. A succession crisis in France led to the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453), a series of conflicts involving both nations. Following the Hundred Years' Wars, England became embroiled in its own succession wars. The Wars of the Roses pitted two branches of the House of Plantagenet against one another, the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The Lancastrian Henry Tudor ended the War of the Roses and established the Tudor dynasty in 1485.
Under the Tudors and the later Stuart dynasty, England became a colonial power. England, which had conquered Wales in the 13th century, united with Scotland in 1707 to form a new sovereign state called Great Britain. Following the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain ruled a colonial Empire, the largest in recorded history.