There is record of human presence in what would become Wales going back as far as 29,000 years, though continuous habitation began about 12,000 years Before Present (BP). Around 6,000 years BP the first permanent settlements were constructed. Agriculture began to spring up, and construction of cromlechs, ancient structures many of which remain standing, carried on until 5,500 BP. During the Bronze and Iron Ages, the people in Wales were heavily involved in trade with the other Celtic and Brythonic cultures that occupied the remainder of the island. By this time Wales had been roughly divided up among five Celtic tribes. The Romans first arrived in 48 AD, but did not conquer the land until 78. Two of the native Celtic tribes, the Ordovices and the Silures, defended their homeland spiritedly, though they were ultimately defeated in a series of indecisive battles. In 60 an attack against the Romans by the Iceni queen Boudica distracted the military efforts from Wales, which underwent relative peace until the Romans reasserted themselves in 73. After a series of decisive victories against the Celtic tribes, the conquest of Wales was complete. During the Roman period, Wales was mainly used for its mineral wealth, with notable amounts of copper, gold, lead, silver and zinc extracted. Wales was also involved in industrial production. The Roman period is also notable for first introducing Christianity to Wales.
In 383 the Roman rule in Wales, which had grown strained in recent years, finally collapsed. What followed was a series of invasions from various foreign powers. To the west, England was invaded by a number of Germanic tribes. Wales, on the other hand, remained largely free from Anglo-Saxon rule. By around 500, five kingdoms had emerged in Wales, mainly Romano-Briton, and warred with the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England over the borders between the two peoples. By about 796 Offa's Dyke had been constructed, marking the border between the English and the Welsh. In 853 Wales underwent Viking attacks. The Welsh king Rhodri Mawr killed the leader in 856. Rhodri was also the first king to rule a partially unified Wales. His son Anarawd ap Rhodri made a brief alliance with the Norse to conquer the northern regions, and later fought against Aethelred of Mercia, who invaded in 881. After this a series of dynasties took control of various regions of Wales. In 1055 Gruffydd ap Llywelyn became the first king to rule over all of Wales. He carried out a series of attacks against England until 1063, when his own men killed him and sent his head to Edward the Confessor. This again divided Wales and left it in the hands of various squabbling nobles. The Norman King William the Conqueror established a number of earldoms along the Welsh Marches, the ill-defined borderland between English and Wales. From there the Normans pressed into Wales, the Norman conquest beginning in 1067. the conquest wasn't really pursued until 1081, when efforts were redoubled, placing most of Wales under the control of William's son, William II of England, by 1094. By 1101, however, the Welsh had balked at the Norman rule, and had re-taken control of most of the country under the command of Gruffydd ap Cynan, who ruled as King of All Wales until 1137.
In 1157 King Henry II began to push into Wales, eventually placing Wales in English control, though allowing the Welsh a small degree of independence. In 1215 Llywelyn Fawr was able to get concessions for Wales in the Magna Carta. The next year he was proclaimed Prince of Wales. The Welsh princes remained in power until 1282, when the Edwardians conquered Wales. The first English Prince of Wales was born in 1284, and given the title in 1301. Wales remained largely docile until 1400, when Owain Glyndwr was proclaimed Prince of Wales, and led a revolt against King Henry IV. The revolt was successful until it began to founder in 1412, and Glyndwr fled. Wales was restored to peace three years later. England and Wales were formally unified in 1536, replacing Welsh law with that of England.
During the Industrial Revolution, which began in 1750, Wales became involved in industrial production, mainly iron and copper smelting and metallurgy. Quarrying became a major industry in the 18th century, mainly slate. Coal mining became the most notable and well-known of the industries in Wales, reaching its peak in the early 20th century. With few craftspeople or artisans, Wales produced almost no finished goods. During the First World War Wales fought on the side of the Allies, with just under 273,000 soldiers involved in the fighting. During the early 20th century Wales became a more politicized nation, with David Lloyd George becoming the first Welshman to be Prime Minister, and the 1919 collier's strike, which shifted the political strength in Wales away from the Liberals. By 1922 the domination of the Labour Party was cemented in Wales. From the 1920s into the 1930s Wales underwent an economic slump that was relieved somewhat by the coming of the Second World War, when production demands stemmed the tide of unemployment somewhat. During the war, Wales again fought on the side of the Allies, and underwent some bombing at the hands of the Germans. Throughout the 1960s Welsh nationalist sentiment began to grow. In 1967 the boundaries of Wales and England, and the legal definition of Wales, was laid out in the repeal of the Wales and Berwick Act 1746. In 1999 the National Assembly of Wales was established, creating a central Welsh government that is still somewhat in the sway of the English government.
Wales is an island located in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the United Kingdom, which is composed of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It takes up the least space of all countries on the island of Great Britain, and shares a border to the east with England. It is located in the south-western region of the island. It also contains just over 50 islands, the largest of which is Anglesey, located off the northern tip of Wales. The capital of Wales is the city of Cardiff, which is also the largest city.
There are approximately 3 million people in Wales, making up 4.9% of the population of the United Kingdom. A majority of the population is Caucasian, and most of these are Welsh. The next largest ethnic group identifies as South Asian, most of whom are Pakistani or Indian, followed by mixed, black and Chinese. Christianity is the majority religion in Wales, with about 72% of the population of whom most are Calvinist Methodist or Church of Wales. The next largest segment of the population identifies as having no religion, just under 20%. The next largest segment is Muslim, with 0.75%, Buddhism and Hinduism with 0.19% each. Jewish and Sikh make up less than 0.10% each.
The two main languages in Wales are English and Welsh. There are some regions of the country, particularly in the north and on some islands like Anglesey, where Welsh is the primary language, with English learned as a second language. Signs in Wales are written in both Welsh and English. However, English is still the de facto language. "Wenglish" is the Welsh dialect of English, which derives grammatical influence and words from Welsh. Code-switching, the concurrent use of two languages in a single conversation, is common throughout Wales.
The first Welsh language comic was Hwyl!, which was for the most part written, illustrated and published by Ifor Owen.
There are a few comics characters who are from Wales. What follows is a partial list of these characters.
Characters from Wales include: