The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

The United Kingdom is a highly developed industrial country

Category: Land + People

The official name of the country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is situated on the British Isles off the northwest coast of Europe. The British Isles consist of two large islands: Great Britain and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands. Their total area is over 244.000 square kilometres. They are separated from the continent by the English Channel and the Straits of Dover. The west coast of the country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea; the east coast is washed by the North Sea.
The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast respectively. The population of the country is over 57 million people; about 80 per cent of them live in cities and towns.
Many centuries ago the islands were inhabited by Celts. Their tribes were developing into kingdoms when Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 55 ВС. The Roman invasion began in 43 AD. The Romans withdrew in 407. The tribes of Angles and Saxons crossed the Channel and overran all England except Cornwall and Wales. Christianity was introduced in the 6th century by missionaries from Rome.
In 1066 William the Conqueror came to the British Isles from Normandy, France. He won the Battle of Hastings and became the King of England.
The surface of the British Isles varies very much. The north of Scotland is mountainous and is called the Highlands, while the south, which has beautiful valleys and plains, is called the Lowlands. The north and the west of England are mountainous, but all the rest — east, centre and south-east — is a vast plain. The mountains are not very high. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain (1343 m).
There are a lot of rivers in Great Britain, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.
The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters of Gulf Stream influence the climate of the British Isles. It is mild the whole year round. But the climate is not the same in all parts of England. The western part of England is warmer than the east and it also has more rain. There is much humidity in the air of England*. It is well known as a foggy country.
The United Kingdom is a monarchy. The Queen is the official head of state. In practice the country is ruled by an elected parliament. The British Parliament has two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. There are three main political parties: the Labour, the Conservative and the Liberal.
The United Kingdom is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft and navigation equipment.
* The air in England is very humid

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