United kingdom


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United kingdom

  1. 1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, usually shortened to the United Kingdom or UK, is a sovereign state in northwest Europe. It is made up of four countries. Formerly, these were the two kingdoms of England and Scotland, the principality of Wales (all three on the island of Great Britain), and the province of Northern Ireland (on the island of Ireland).
  2. 2. About 60 million people live in the UK. Most people in the UK speak English. There are several other recognized regional languages, other than English. They are Welsh in Wales, Cornish in Cornwall, Scottish (Gaelic) and Scots in Scotland and Irish in Northern Ireland. The national anthem is called God Save the Queen.
  3. 3. Wales was taken over by England in the 13th century. In 1707, the Scottish and English Parliaments agreed the Treaty of Union, which joined the two countries into one country called The Kingdom of Great Britain. By the year 1800, England had already had much influence over Ireland for over 600 years. In that year laws were passed in Great Britain and Ireland to merge the two states. The new country was called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 much of Ireland became independent as the Irish Free State (now called the Republic of Ireland) from the United Kingdom. However, six northern counties of Ireland continued to be part of the United Kingdom. The country was renamed The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  4. 4. Germany bombed Britain in World War II. Winston Churchill was the famous Prime Minister then. He was a Conservative. The Prime Minister is the real leader of Britain. Tony Blair was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. The Conservative party ruled for 18 years before his Labour party won elections. The current Prime Minister is Gordon Brown. Queen Elizabeth II has reigned since 1952.
  5. 5. The capital city of the United Kingdom is London, a large city on the River Thames in south-eastern England. Other large cities in the UK are Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Southampton, Leicester, Coventry, Bradford and Nottingham. The UK is north-west off the coast of mainland Europe. Around the UK are the North Sea, the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. The UK is also in charge of a few smaller places around the world, most of them are islands, which are known as overseas territories. The weather of the United Kingdom is warm summers, cool winters and lots of rain throughout the year.
  6. 6. The UK is a constitutional monarchy. The people of the United Kingdom vote for a Member of Parliament to speak for them and to help make laws for them. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the queen of the UK and is the head of state,but she does not choose what the United Kingdom should do about things like education, healthcare or other choices. The person who chooses for the people in the United Kingdom is the Prime Minister, who is in charge of the Government. Today, the Prime Minister is Gordon Brown, who is the leader of the Labour party.
  7. 7. The UK is a developed country with the sixth largest economy in the world. It was a major world power during the 19th and early 20th century. The UK retains strong economic, cultural, military and political influence and is a nuclear power. It is a member state of the European Union. The UK holds a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and is a member of the G8, NATO, World Trade Organization and the Commonwealth of Nations.
  8. 8. William Shakespeare is perhaps the most famous English playwright. He wrote plays in the late 16th century including Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. In the 19th century, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens were popular novelists. Twentieth century writers include the science fiction novelist H. G. Wells and J. R. R. Tolkien. The William Shakespeare Charles Dickens children's fantasy Harry Potter series is written by J. K. Rowling. Arthur Conan Doyle from Scotland wrote the Sherlock Holmes detective novels. He was from Edinburgh. Arthur Conan Doyle The poet Dylan Thomas has brought Welsh culture to international attention. Dylan Thomas
  9. 9. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have separate systems of education. They have in common that education is required from ages five to sixteen. Most children attend state schools but a small proportion of children attend private schools.
  10. 10. Road traffic in the United Kingdom drives on the left hand side of the road (unlike Europe and the Americas). The United Kingdom has the oldest railway network in the world. The network is part privatised, with privately owned train operating companies providing service along particular lines or regions, whilst the tracks, signals and stations are owned by a Government controlled company called Network Rail. Most domestic air travel in the United Kingdom is between London and the major cities in Scotland and the North of England. London-Heathrow is the nation’s largest airport and one of the most important airports in the world. Other major airports include London-Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. An extensive system of ferry networks operate between the Scottish islands, and major ferry routes operate between England and France (via the English Channel), Scotland-Northern Ireland (via the Irish Sea) and England/Wales-Republic of Ireland (from Liverpool/Holyhead). Simple English Wikipedia (abridged and adapted)