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The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 1952. The capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with a metropolitan area population of 14 million.
El Reino Unido (en inglés, United Kingdom), [nota 1] oficialmente Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) [nota 2] o de forma abreviada RU (en inglés, UK), es un país soberano e insular ubicado al noroeste de la Europa continental.
Species of humans have lived in Britain, for almost a million years. The occupation was not continuous, probably because the climatewas too extreme at times for people to live there. Archaeological remains show that the first group of modern people to live in the British Isles were hunter-gatherers after the last ice age ended. The date is not known: perhaps as early as 8000BC but certainly by 5000BC. They built mesolithic wood and stone monuments. Stonehenge was built between 3000 and 1600BC. Celtic tribes arrived from mainland Europe. Britain was a changing collection of tribal areas, with no overall leader. Julius Caesar tried to invade (take over) the island in 55BC but was not able to do so. The Romans successfully invaded in 43AD.
Written history began in Britain when writing was brought to Britain by the Romans. Rome ruled in Britain from 44AD to 410AD. They ruled the southern two-thirds of Great Britain. The Romans never took over Ireland and never fully controlled Caledonia, the land north of the valleys of the River Forth and River Clyde. Their northern border varied from time to time, and was marked sometimes at Hadrian's Wall (in modern England), sometimes at the Antonine Wall(in modern Scotland). After the Romans, waves of immigrants came to Britain. Some were German tribes: the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Others were Celts, like the Scoti, who came to Great Britain from Ireland. English and Scots are Germanic languages. They developed from Old English, the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons of Anglo-Saxon England, an area stretching from the River Forth to the River Tamar.
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 also rules, usually indirectly, a number of smaller places (mostly islands) around the world, which are known as British Overseas Territories. They were once part of the British Empire. Examples are Gibraltar (on the Iberian Peninsula next to the Strait of Gibraltar) and the Falkland Islands(in the south Atlantic Ocean). In the British Isles, the UK is made up of four different countries: Wales, England and Scotland and Northern Ireland. The capital city of Wales is Cardiff. The capital city of England is London. The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh and the capital city of Northern Ireland is Belfast. Other large cities in the UK are Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Sheffield, Glasgow, Southampton, Leicester, Coventry, Bradford and Nottingham. The physical geography of the UK varies greatly. England con...
The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy based on a constitutional monarchy. The people of the United Kingdom vote for a members of Parliament to speak for them and to make laws for them. Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and is the head of state. The government, led by the Prime Minister, governs the country and appoints cabinet ministers. Today, the Prime Minister is Boris Johnson, who is the leader of the centre-right Conservative Party. Parliament is where laws are made. It has three parts: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Queen. The House of Commons is the most powerful part. It is where Members of Parliament sit. The Prime Minister sits here as well, because they are a Member of Parliament. Scotland has its own devolved Parliament with power to make laws on things like education, health and Scottish law. Northern Ireland and Wales have their own devolved legislatures which have some powers but le...
The United Kingdom has one of the most advanced militaries in the world, alongside such countries such as the USA and France, and operates a large navy (Royal Navy), a sizable army, (British Army) and an air force (Royal Air Force). From the 18th century to the early 20th century, the United Kingdom was one of the most powerful nations in the world, with a large and powerful navy (due to the fact it was surrounded by sea, so a large navy was the most practical option). This status has faded in recent times, but it remains a member of various military groups such as the UN Security Council and NATO. It is also still seen as a great military power.
The United Kingdom is a developed country with the sixth largest economy in the world. It was a superpowerduring the 18th, 19th and early 20th century and was considered since the early 1800s to be the most powerful and influential nation in the world, in politics, economics (For it was the wealthiest country at the time.) and in military strength. Britain continued to be the biggest manufacturing economy in the world until 1908 and the largest economy until the 1920s. The economic cost of two world wars and the decline of the British Empire in the 1950s and 1960s reduced its leading role in global affairs. The United Kingdom has strong economic, cultural, military and political influence and is a nuclear power. The United Kingdom 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. The City of London, in the capital, is famous as being the largest centre of financein the world.
William Shakespeare was an English playwright. He wrote plays in the late 16th century. Some of his plays were Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. In the 19th century, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens were novelists. Twentieth century writers include the science fiction novelist H. G. Wells and J. R. R. Tolkien. The children's fantasy Harry Potter series was written by J. K. Rowling. Aldous Huxleywas also from the United Kingdom. English language literature is written by authors from many countries. Eight people from the United Kingdom have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Seamus Heaney is a writer who was born in Northern Ireland. Arthur Conan Doyle from Scotland wrote the Sherlock Holmes detective novels. He was from Edinburgh. The poet Dylan Thomasbrought Welsh culture to international attention.
The nature of education is a devolved matter in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They, and England, have separate, but similar, systems of education. They all have laws that a broad education is required from ages five to eighteen, except for in Scotland where school departure is allowed from the age of sixteen. Pupils attend state funded schools (academy schools, faith schools, grammar schools, city technology colleges, studio schools) and other children attend independent schools (known as public schools). There have been universities in Britain since the Middle Ages. The "ancient universities" started in this time and in the Renaissance. They are: the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the University of St Andrews, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of Edinburgh. These are the oldest universities in the English-speaking world. The University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and London universities (University Coll...
The BBC is an organisation in the United Kingdom. It broadcasts in the United Kingdom and other countries on television, radio and the Internet. The BBC also sells its programmes to other broadcasting companies around world. The organisation is run by a group of twelve governors who have been given the job by the Queen, on the advice of government ministers.
Road traffic in the United Kingdom drives on the left hand side of the road (unlike the Americas and most of Europe), and the driver steers from the right hand side of the vehicle. The road network on the island of Great Britain is extensive, with most local and rural roads having evolved from Roman and Medieval times. Major routes developed in the mid 20th Century were made to the needs of the motor car. The high speed motorway(freeway) network was mostly constructed in the 1960s and 1970s and links together major towns and cities. The system of rail transport was invented in England and Wales, so the United Kingdom has the oldest railway network in the world. It was built mostly during the Victorian era. At the heart of the network are five long distance main lines which radiate from London to the major cities and secondary population centres with dense commuter networks within the regions. The newest part of the network connects London to the Channel Tunnel from St Pancras statio...
The history of the United Kingdom began in the early eighteenth century with the Treaty of Union and Acts of Union.The core of the United Kingdom as a unified state came into being in 1707 with the political union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland, into a new unitary state called Great Britain.
- Identity and nationality
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, since 1922, comprises four constituent countries: England, Scotland, and Wales, as well as Northern Ireland. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom. Some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom, refer to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as "regions". With regard to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales particularly,
Further information: Terminology of the British Isles Various terms have been used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
According to the British Social Attitudes Survey, there are broadly two interpretations of British identity, with ethnic and civic dimensions: The first group, which we term the ethnic dimension, contained the items about birthplace, ancestry, living in Britain, and sharing British customs and traditions. The second, or civic group, contained the items about feeling British, respecting laws and institutions, speaking English, and having British citizenship. Of the two perspectives of British ide
Each of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales has separate national governing bodies for sports and competes separately in many international sporting competitions. Each country of the United Kingdom has a national football team, and competes as a separate national team in the various disciplines in the Commonwealth Games. At the Olympic Games, the United Kingdom is represented by the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team, although athletes from Northern Ireland can choose to join the