The United Kingdom is situated in Western Europe on the island of Great Britain, portion of the island of Ireland and a number of smaller islands. It is a union of four different regions which do not have the status of independent nations. The four regions are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Great Britain was a major maritime power in the 19th century and an industrial force. It was also a leader in developing parliamentary democracy, and promoting literature. At the peak of its power, it controlled over 25% of the planet’s surface.
England is the largest region in the union and London is its capital. To its north is Scotland and west Wales. Eighty percent of the population is made up to the English, with Scots making up 10%, Welsh 4.9% and Northern Irish 2.9%. The United Kingdom has a large immigrant community made up of people from its former colonies like Pakistan, Bangladesh, West Indies, India and Africa.
Over the centuries subjects of the United Kingdom have made great contributions in many fields. Adam Smith, a Scotsman is considered to be the father of modern Economics. Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton made tremendous advancements in Science. Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare and the contemporary writer J.K. Rowling contributed to literature.
Each region of the United Kingdom has its own traditional forte when it comes to food. Arbroath Smokies (smoked haddock cooked lightly) is a Scottish specialty. Northern Ireland has Ulster Fry (fried bacon, sausage, egg, potato bread and soda farls), in Wales it is small cakes made with Welsh oatmeal and laver bread (seaweed). Finally England’s specialty is Lancashire hotpot, a creation made with lamb or beef, potatoes and onions.
Name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Short form United Kingdom
Government: Constitutional monarchy.
Currency: United Kingdom (GBP)
Language: English, with Scottish, Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, and Cornish as recognized regional languages