Great Britain is the largest island of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Politically, Great Britain also refers to England, Scotland and Wales in combination, and therefore also includes a number of outlying islands such as the Isle of Wight, Anglesey, the Isles of Scilly, the Hebrides, and the island groups of Orkney and Shetland. It does not include the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands which are not part of the United Kingdom, instead being self-governing dependent territories of that state with their own legislative and taxation systems.
The union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland began with the 1603 Union of Crowns, a personal union under James VI of Scotland, I of England. The political union that joined the two countries happened in 1707, with the Acts of Union merging the parliaments of each nation, and forming the Kingdom of Great Britain, which covered the entire island.