England? Britain? What?

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Text accompaning the Slideshow about the British Isles and their geographical and political situation

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England? Britain? What?

  1. 1. Instituto de Estudios Superiores Belén PROFESORADO EN INGLÉS Historia de la Civilización Inglesa IEngland, Britain, or what? Various terms are used to describe the different (and sometimes overlapping)geographical and political areas of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, and surroundingislands. The terminology is often a source of confusion, partly owing to the similaritybetween some of the actual words used, but also because they are often used loosely. Thepurpose of this article is to explain the meanings of and relationships among those terms. "England" is sometimes, wrongly, used in reference to the whole United Kingdom,the entire island of Great Britain (or simply Britain), or indeed the British Isles. This is notonly incorrect but can cause offence to people from other parts of the UK. England is part of the United Kingdom, along with Scotland and Wales. Great Britain,the United Kingdom and the British Isles do not mean the same thing. Great Britain is veryoften, but incorrectly, used as a synonym for the sovereign state properly known as theUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom is made up of:  England: The Capital is London;  Scotland: The Capital is Edinburgh;  Wales: The Capital is Cardiff;  Northern Ireland: The Capital is Belfast. In brief, the main terms and their simple explanations are as follows: 1. Geographical terms:  The British Isles is an archipelago consisting of the two large islands of Great Britain and Ireland, and many smaller surrounding islands.  Great Britain is the largest island of the archipelago.  Ireland is the second largest island of the archipelago and lies directly to the west of Great Britain. 2. Political terms  The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the constitutional monarchy occupying the island of Great Britain, the small nearby islands (but not the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands), and the north-eastern 1
  2. 2. Instituto de Estudios Superiores Belén PROFESORADO EN INGLÉS Historia de la Civilización Inglesa I part of the island of Ireland. Usually, it is shortened to United Kingdom or the UK, but Great Britain or Britain is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to the whole of the state. The abbreviation GB is frequently used for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in international agreements.  Ireland is the sovereign republic occupying the larger portion of the island of Ireland. However, to distinguish the state from the island, or to distinguish either of these from Northern Ireland, it is also called "the Republic of Ireland" or simply "the Republic". Occasionally, its Irish-language name, Éire, will be used in an English-language context to distinguish it from "Northern Ireland", even though the word "Éire" directly translates as "Ireland".  England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are legal jurisdictions within the United Kingdom.  Great Britain means the countries of England, Wales and Scotland considered as a unit.  British Islands consists of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. These are the states within the British Isles that have the British monarch as head of state.3. Terminology in detail Britain is a political and geographic term which can refer to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or the island of Great Britain. Great Britain is the largest island in Europe and the political union of three nations, these being: o England, o Wales; o Scotland Britannia was the Roman province of Britain, or a poetic reference to later Britain, or a personification of Britain (a female personification of the island, a goddess, armed with a trident and shield and wearing a centurion’s helmet) 2
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  4. 4. Instituto de Estudios Superiores Belén PROFESORADO EN INGLÉS Historia de la Civilización Inglesa IIMAGE SOURCES:  “Britannia”: Accessed 05/04/2011 03:54 from https://sites.google.com/site/ecfbritannia/Britannia1.jpg  “United Kingdom Cities and Town”: Accessed 05/04/2011 03:35 from http://clg- kani-keli.ac-mayotte.fr/IMG/png/uk2.pngSOURCES:  Wikipedia.org: Terminology of the British Isles. Accessed 05/04/2011 04:05 p.m. from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminology_of_the_British_Isles 4

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