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The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh and the Welsh people.Examples include the Cambrian Mountains (which cover much of Wales and gave their name to the Cambrian geological period), the newspaper Cambrian News, and the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art.Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.The English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root (singular Walh, plural Walha), which was itself derived from the name of the Celtic tribe known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all Celts.Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962.Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.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.
The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542.
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.
They cleared the forests to establish pasture and to cultivate the land, developed new technologies such as ceramics and textile production, and built cromlechs such as Pentre Ifan, Bryn Celli Ddu and Parc Cwm long cairn between about 5,800 BP and 5,500 BP.
At that time sea levels were much lower than today, and the shallower parts of what is now the North Sea were dry land.
The east coast of present day England and the coasts of present day Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands were connected by the former landmass known as Doggerland, forming the British Peninsula on the European mainland.