Great Britain

The “Union Jack”, flag of Great Britain

“Big Ben” in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country Great Britain (United Kingdom, UK)   (Link to map of Great Britain)
Continent Great Britain is one island consisting of England, Wales and Scotland located east of Ireland and northwest of France in the Atlantic Ocean.

The United Kingdom is the country that also includes Northern Ireland (the northern 1/6th of the island of Ireland) and hundreds of islands surrounding the two larger islands.

The British Isles include the island of Ireland and Northern Ireland, along with about a thousand of small islands surrounding the two largest islands

Capital London
Population About 64 million
Language English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, and Cornish are all recognized official languages
Religion Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, other 2%, unspecified 7.2%, none 25.7%, as of 2011.  This likely changed with the recent influx of migrants, including refugees.

26 clergy are appointed to the House of Lords by the monarch of England (with advice of prime minister and an Appointments Commission).

Terrain Mostly rugged hills and low mountains that level to rolling plains in the east and southeast
Sports Football (soccer), Rugby, and Cricket are the most popular spectator sports.

People participate in swimming, athletics, soccer, cycling, golf, tennis, cricket, rugby, and boxing, in that order.

Animals Red squirrels, once as numerous as the gray squirrel you see in Pennington, is now declining because gray squirrels from the USA are now competitors!

Several small animal species (wrens, rodents, toads, etc.) are specific to some of the small islands.

The Scottish Wildcat is just a bit larger than a regular house cat. This wild hunter lives in Scotland and northern parts of England and Wales.

Facts of Interest There are two types of Rugby – Union and League, which have vastly different rules.

There are 51 nations as Members of the Commonwealth of Nations. These are voluntarily associated countries that were formerly British colonies.

The Isle of Man, a British Isle, is not a part of the United Kingdom nor of the European Union, even though its Lord is the Monarch of the United Kingdom.

The UK remained outside the Economic and Monetary Union, but was otherwise an active member of the European Union (EU).

The UK was a leader in developing a bicameral parliamentary democracy, which is why the Parliament (see photo of Parliament and Big Ben) is so important.

The “Brexit” vote is the vote to leave the EU. It is expected to take years for the UK to completely disengage from the European Union.

Concerns Individuals throughout the UK are concerned about what will happen whether or not “Brexit” goes to completion, as the effect of Brexit is not clear.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are revisiting the idea of leaving the UK and remaining in the EU.

The UK has the issues of modern civilization, from air and water quality to loss of manufacturing jobs.

The large influx of migrants from other parts of the EU and from refugees is resulting in stress in the UK. This is partially the reason for the “Brexit” vote.

Mission
Sources CIA.gov, Total Sportek (totalsportek.com), Infoplease (infoplease.com), Anglotopia Magazine (anglotopia.net), BBC (bbc.co.uk)