|Motto: Dieu et mon droit (French)
"God and my right"
|Anthem: None (de jure)
God Save the Queen (de facto)
(and largest city)
|Official language(s)||English (de facto)[note 1]|
|Recognised regional languages||Cornish|
|Ethnic groups (2009
|87.5% White, 6.0% South Asian, 2.9% Black, 1.9% Mixed race, 0.8% Chinese, 0.8% Other|
|Government||Non-devolved state within a constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister of the United Kingdom||David Cameron|
|Legislature||Parliament of the United Kingdom|
50,346 sq mi
|GDP (nominal)||2009 estimate|
|Currency||Pound sterling (
|Time zone||GMT (UTC0)|
|-||Summer (DST)||BST (UTC+1)|
|Date formats||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
|Drives on the||left|
|Internet TLD||.uk[note 2]|
|Patron saint||Saint George|
England is a country. It is the largest of the four countries which make up the United Kingdom. Over 53 million people live in England. England is bordered by Wales and Scotland, which are both also on the island of Great Britain. The capital city of England is London, which is also the largest city in England. Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester are also large cities in England.
England is on the island of Great Britain. Scotland is also part of Great Britain, joining the north of England, and Wales is to the west. To the east and south, and part of the west, England is bordered by sea. France is to the south-east, separated by the English Channel. The Channel Tunnel under the sea, links England and mainland Europe. Ireland is a large island to the west, divided into Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. Other countries of Europe that are near England are France and Iceland.
London is the largest city and the capital. Other large cities are Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol, Nottingham and Liverpool. The longest river in England is the River Severn. Other large rivers are the Thames (which runs through London), the Trent and the Humber.
England was named after a Germanic tribe called the "Angles", who settled in Central, Northern, and Eastern England in the 5th century. A related tribe called the "Saxons" settled in the south of England. That is why that period of English history is called "Anglo-Saxon". For the majority of this time, England did not exist as a united country. The Anglo Saxons lived in many small kingdoms, which slowly united.
England became one country in 937. The first King of England was Athelstan, but he lost a lot of England to Danish invaders, who formed their own country in the East and North. Many villages and towns in this area (particularly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire), still have Danish names, and use some Danish-based words. At one time Wessex (in the West of England) was the only English kingdom left. After many battles, King Alfred the Great of Wessex became king of the whole of England, and the old kingdoms (Mercia, Northumberland, etc.) just became provinces, called "Earldoms" governed by an "Earl". Soon after Alfred died, the king of Denmark (Knut or Canute) ruled England.
England soon had an English king again. When King Edward the Confessor died, Harold (the Earl of Wessex) became king. William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy (today part of northern France), said that Harold had promised to make William the king, so he invaded England and fought King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
William won, and then became king of England. The kings of England spoke French for the next 300 years (The present ruler, Queen Elizabeth II is a descendant of William, but not very directly). England took over the country of Wales in the 13th century. There were many wars, often against France and Scotland.
The religion of England used to be Roman Catholicism. The bishops (church leaders) of England and all their churches obeyed the pope and the church in Rome, Italy. During the Protestant Reformation many of the bishops did not agree with this. In the 1500s, the Pope told King Henry VIII that he could not divorce his wife. King Henry VIII created the Church of England (a "Protestant" church) so that he could divorce his wife, and made it the official church in England. For the next 200 years, there was fighting over whether the King (or Queen) of England should be "Roman Catholic" or "Protestant".
Queen Elizabeth I was Henry's second daughter. She was a powerful queen who ruled for more than 40 years. When Queen Elizabeth I died, she had no children, and in 1603 James I of Scotland (the son of Mary, Queen of Scots) became King James I of England. He called his two countries "Great Britain", but they were still separate countries with their own parliaments and laws, even though they had the same King.
James' son, Charles I and the English Parliament fought each other in the English Civil War (Scotland and Ireland were involved as well, but the story is complicated!). Oliver Cromwell became leader of the Parliamentary Army (the "Roundheads") and defeated the Royalist Army (the "Cavaliers"). King Charles was beheaded in 1649 and Oliver Cromwell became dictator ("Lord Protector"). When Cromwell died, his son Richard was not strong enough to rule, and King Charles II, the son of Charles I, was invited to come to England and be king in 1660.
When King Charles II died, his brother James II was the next king. A lot of people did not like James because he was Roman Catholic. England was invaded by William of Orange (ruler of part of the Netherlands and husband of Mary, the daughter of King James). Many people welcomed William because he was a Protestant. James left the country without a fight and Parliament asked William and Mary to become King and Queen together. When Mary died, William ruled alone. Queen Mary's sister, Anne, became the next queen. While she was queen, England and Scotland were officially joined as one country, in 1707, and lost their separate parliaments. The parliament in London now included Scottish "MPs", and was called the British parliament.
The United Kingdom was formed in 1800, when the Irish Parliament merged with the British one. Later Ireland fought against this merging and the Republic of Ireland, which is not quite the whole island called Ireland, became a separate country. The rest of the island, Northern Ireland, is now the only part of Ireland still in the UK. England is the only state of UK not to have its own government, Parliament or Assembly, but to be Governed by Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The English language is a West Germanic language spoken in many countries around the world. With around 380 million native speakers, it is the second most spoken language in the world, as a native language. As many as a billion people speak it as a second language. English is an influence on, and has been influenced by many different languages. Some people in England speak other languages including Welsh.
All of Great Britain has a marine west coast climate. It is very much affected by the water that is around it.[source?] Even though it is only 360 miles from the most southern part of the northern border, England has many kinds of weather. When snows blanket the mountains of the north, palm trees still grow in the south. The North Atlantic current of the Gulf Stream brings moist, warm air to the country and lots of rain.
English culture [change]
The English football team won the World Cup in 1966. They came close in Italia 1990, closely losing in the semi-final against West Germany on penalties. In the 2006 World Cup they got to the quarter finals, then lost to Portugal after penalty kicks .
People from England [change]
There are many well known English people:
- William Shakespeare, the famous English playwright
- Sir Isaac Newton, the scientist who discovered gravity
- Charles Dickens, the famous 19th century author
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web
- The Beatles, musicians, who came from the city of Liverpool
- Sir Winston Churchill, former prime minister, and led the country in World War II
- King Henry VIII, was a famous King of England during the 16th century.
- Queen Victoria was the Queen for most of the 19th century.
- John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church
- Charles Darwin, famous naturist, well known for work on evolution
- Led Zepplin, the famous rock band
- Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997).
Other pages [change]
- Marden 2003, p. 460.
- Brewer 2006, p. 340.
- Office for National Statistics (2009). "Population Estimates by Ethnic Group (experimental)". neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=3&b=276743&c=london&d=13&e=13&g=325264&i=1001x1003x1004&o=322&m=0&r=1&s=1305747150781&enc=1&dsFamilyId=1812. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
- Census of 2011 Retrieved 25 August 2012
Other websites [change]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: England|