England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south.
t. e. England became inhabited more than 800,000 years ago, as the discovery of stone tools and footprints at Happisburgh in Norfolk has indicated. The earliest evidence for early modern humans in Northwestern Europe, a jawbone discovered in Devon at Kents Cavern in 1927, was re-dated in 2011 to between 41,000 and 44,000 years old.
The total area of the United Kingdom is 242,500 square kilometres (93,628 sq mi), with an estimated population in 2020 of 68 million. The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 1952.
- Territorial divisions
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, until 1 May 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Kingdom of England was among the most powerful states in Europe during the medieval period. On 12 July 927, the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan to form the Kingdom of England. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of...
The Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn, originally names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English", by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles. The name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period. The Latin name was Anglia or Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Engleterre. By the 14th century, England was also used in ...
The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, Kent, Essex, Sussex, and Wessex. The Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English
The peace lasted until the death of the childless Edward in January 1066. His brother-in-law was crowned King Harold, but his cousin William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, immediately claimed the throne for himself. William launched an invasion of England and landed in Sussex o
In 1092, William II led an invasion of Strathclyde, a Celtic kingdom in what is now southwest Scotland and Cumbria. In doing so, he annexed what is now the county of Cumbria to England. In 1124, Henry I ceded what is now southeast Scotland to the Kingdom of Scotland, in return fo
The counties of England were established for administration by the Normans, in most cases based on earlier shires established by the Anglo-Saxons. They ceased to be used for administration only with the creation of the administrative counties in 1889. Unlike the partly self-governing boroughs that covered urban areas, the counties of medieval England existed primarily as a means of enforcing central government power, enabling monarchs to exercise control over local areas through their chosen rep
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England is the largest part of the island of Great Britain, and it is also the largest constituent country of the United Kingdom. Scotland and Wales are also part of Great Britain (and the UK), Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. To the east and south, and part of the west, England is bordered by sea. France is to the south, separated by the English Channel. The Channel Tunnel, (Chunnel) under the English Channel, connects England to northern France (and the rest of 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. London is the largest city and the capital. The longest river in England is the River Severn. Other large rivers are the Thames (which runs through London), the Trent and the Humber. In geological terms, the Pennines, known as the "backbone of England", are the oldest range of mountains in the country, originating from the end of the Paleozoic Era around 300 mil...
England was named after a Germanic tribe called the "Angles", who settled in Central, Northern, and Eastern England in the 5th and 6th centuries. 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 most of this time, England did not exist as a united country. The Anglo-Saxonslived in many small kingdoms, which slowly united. The countries of England, Scotland and Wales correspond to boundaries of the earlier Roman Britain. It also corresponds with language differences, since the German tribes did not reach those areas, at least in any large numbers. The English language is derived from German languages of the time, whereas the native British languages of the time were Celtic languages. The English kingdoms fought both the Scots, who were also uniting into one kingdom, and Danish invaders. The Danes formed their own large region in the Northeast of England called Danelaw. Many villages and towns...
England has been central to many aspects of the modern world. Global exploration and trade, the British Empire, modern science, modern agriculture, railways, the Industrial Revolution, the development of modern representative democracy... In all these developments England was deeply involved. In some of them, such as the Industrial Revolution, England was the place that modern developments first occurred. The Royal Society is a society for science and scientists. It was founded in 1660 by Charles II. It is the oldest society of its kind still in existence.
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. 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.
All of Great Britain has an oceanic climate. There can be a temperature difference of 5–10°c between the north and the south (the north is generally colder), and there is often snow in the north before there is in the south. The prevailing wind for most of the year is from the Atlantic, to the west of England. Therefore, there is more rain on the western side of the country. The east is colder and drier than the west. The country usually has a mild climate because the Gulf Stream to the western side is warm water. The climate is warmer than it was 200 years ago, and now ice and snow are rare in the southern part of the country. Occasionally, air from the Arctic Circle comes down the eastern side of the country and the temperature can drop below 0oC.
As part of the United Kingdom, the basic political system in England is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system. It has a monarch (meaning a king or queen is the head of that country). The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who is officially the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the House of Commons which is the lower house of the British Parliament based at the Palace of Westminster, there are 532 Members of Parliament (MPs) for constituencies in England, out of the 650 total. The English people are represented by members of Parliament, not ruled by monarchs. After the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector, and the monarchy was disbanded. Although the monarchy was restored after his death, the Crown slowly became the secondary power, and Parliament the first. Members of Parliament (called MPs) were elected, but until the early twentieth century, only men who owned property could vote. In the nineteenth century, mor...
England's economy is one of the largest and most dynamic in the world, with an average GDP per capita of £28,100 or $36,000. Usually regarded as a mixed market economy, it has adopted many free market principles, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure. The official currency in England is the pound sterling, whose ISO 4217 code is GBP. Taxation in Englandis quite competitive when compared to much of the rest of Europe – as of 2014 the basic rate of personal tax is 20% on taxable income up to £31,865 above the personal tax-free allowance (normally £10,000), and 40% on any additional earnings above that amount. The economy of England is the largest part of the UK's economy, which has the 18th highest GDP PPP per capita in the world. England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace, the arms industry, and the manufacturing side of the software industry. London, home to the London Stock Exchange, the U...
State primary schools and secondary schools exist. These consist of academy schools, grammar schools, foundation schools, faith schools, free schools, studio schools and city technology academies. The most common specialist schools are performing arts schools, science schools, maths schools and technology schools. Independent public or prep schools also exist. Eton College and Harrow Schoolare the best known independent schools. The National Curriculumwas introduced in 1988, to give pupils a broad and balanced curriculum. The school curriculum aims to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils. Its purpose is to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Learning generally covers English literature, English language, maths, science, art and design, religious studies, geography, history, citizenship, computing, design and technology, drama, ancient and modern foreign languages, business studies, food tech...
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 Britainis extensive, with most local and rural roads having evolved from Roman and Medieval times. The system of rail transport was invented in England, so it has the oldest railway network in the world. It was built mostly during the Victorian era. The British Rail network is part privatised, with privately owned train operating companies providing service along particular lines or regions, whilst the tracks, signals and stations are owned by a Government controlled company called Network Rail. The system of underground railways in London, known as the Tube, has been copied by many other cities around the globe. England is home to the largest airport and is one of the most important international hubsin the world.
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. The BBC is established under a royal charter, which allows the BBC to broadcast.
England is the joint oldest national team in football. It played in the world's first international football match in 1872, against Scotland. England's home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and its training headquarters is St George's Park, Burton upon Trent. The team's manager is Gareth Southgate . England is one of eight nations to have won ...