The area known as modern day Wales has been inhabited for somewhere in the region of 29,000 years, but has been continuously habited since 8000BC. Wales has remains from the Neolithic Period (mainly tombs), Bronze age (Old Copper Mines) and the Iron Age. The history of Wales was only documented on the arrival of the Romans in 48AD. The Roman invasion was complete in 79 with the defeat of the Ordvoices. Romans ruled the UK and Wales until 400, and in the centuries after their leaving kingdoms were formed which became the modern day Powys and Gwynedd.
During the early medieval period Wales was divided into kingdoms. The borders of these kingdoms changed on a regular basis, usually combining nearby kingdoms to increase overall rule. By the mid 11th Century Gruffydd ap Llywelyn controlled all of Wales and some areas of England. Much of the 11th to 13th century was marked with struggles against English kingdoms such as Mercia, then against a united England and finally against the Normans. The death of Llywelyn the Last in 1282 caused Wales to finally be defeated and led to Wales to be annexed to England. Owain Glyndŵr led a rebellion in the early 15th century and even manage to control Wales for a few years before England regained it's authority. Legislation was passed in the 16th century to finally unionise Wales and England.
Victorian Britain and Modern Day Wales
In the 1700's, the Methodist revival and the Industrial Revolution began. South East Wales in particular experienced rapid industrialization and a dramatic rise in population. These areas were Welsh-speaking initially but became increasingly anglicized in speech later in the century. The 19th century also saw Wales become predominantly Nonconformist in religion. In the 20th century the period after the Second World War saw the beginnings of a long decline in the coal and iron industries and in politics saw the Labour party replace the Liberal party as the dominant force. In the second half of the century Plaid Cymru won its first seat at Westminster in 1966 and devolution became an item on the political agenda. A referendum on devolution in 1979 resulted in a "no" vote, but the issue reappeared towards the end of the century. A second referendum in 1997 resulted in a "yes" vote by a narrow margin and led to the Welsh Assembly being established in Cardiff.