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Although Wales closely shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, and a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is officially bilingual.
Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962.
Wales was free of glaciers by about 10,250 BP, the warmer climate allowing the area to become heavily wooded.
The post-glacial rise in sea level separated Wales and Ireland, forming the Irish Sea.
This form also appears at times in literary references, as in the pseudohistorical "Historia Regum Britanniae" of Geoffrey of Monmouth, where the character of Camber is described as the eponymous King of Continuous human habitation dates from the end of the last ice age, between 12,000 and 10,000 years before present (BP), when Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from central Europe began to migrate to Great Britain.Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations.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.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.Cornwall) and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons (e.g.