The history of "kingdom building and feudal expansion" has, Bob Davies (2015) says, "brought devastating attacks on the Welsh" and in particular on Welsh speakers.
Davies (2005) notes for instance that the defeat of the Kingdom of Wales by Edward I and the subsequent "annexation statute" (1282-83) entailed the subjugation of the country's inhabitants.
More repressive legislation followed over the years. The 1536 and 1542 Acts of Union were perhaps the most important. These sought to incorporate Wales filly, politically and culturally, into England.
It meant that English would now be the official language of business and administration. Those speaking Welsh alone couldn't hold any official post.
Indeed the English ruling class increasingly associated the Welsh language with any challenge against its authority. After uprisings in Merthyr in 1831 and Newport in 1839 a Royal Commission claimed that the Welsh language was a factor in the "degeneracy" of local people.
In 1925 however Plaid Cymru was formed. It had as its aim self government and the preservation of the language and culture of Wales. Often the campaign regarding the Welsh language that followed involved some form of non-violent direct action.
In 1967 a Welsh Language Act was finally passed. At long last it granted the language "some degree of official status" (Ellis 1993).
Those provisions were strengthened by virtue of another Act in 1993 which set up a Welsh Language Board. Local authorities were no obliged to produce all official documents in Welsh as well as in English.