John Davies has theorised that the story of Cantre'r Gwaelod's drowning and tales in the Mabinogion, of the waters between Wales and Ireland being narrower and shallower, may be distant folk memories of this time.Neolithic colonists integrated with the indigenous people, gradually changing their lifestyles from a nomadic life of hunting and gathering, to become settled farmers about 6,000 BP – the Neolithic Revolution.The Roman conquest of Wales began in AD 48 and took 30 years to complete. The campaigns of conquest are the most widely known feature of Wales during the Roman era, because of the spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful, defence of their homelands by two native tribes: the Silures and the Ordovices.Roman rule in Wales was a military occupation, save for the southern coastal region of south Wales, east of the Gower Peninsula, where there is a legacy of Romanisation. The Romans used their engineering technology to extract large amounts of gold, copper and lead, as well as modest amounts of some other metals such as zinc and silver.Although Wales closely shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, and a majority of the population speaks English, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is officially bilingual.
Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations.Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century.Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century.
The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542.Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, which was once a part of .The Cumbric language, which is thought to have been closely related to Welsh, was spoken in this area until becoming extinct around the 12th century.The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Historically in Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain (e.g.