The United Kingdom (UK), informally referred to as Britain, consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. England’s union with Wales begun with the Statue of Rhuddlan in 1284, and was finalized with the 1536’s Act of Union. In another Act of Union in 1707, Scotland was added to form Great Britain, which was later renamed the United Kingdom when Ireland was added in 1801. The Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a separation of what is now the Republic of Ireland; thus leaving six northern Irish counties to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Britain is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, where the hereditary monarch is the head of state, and the elected Prime Minister is the head of government. The parliament, with its supreme legislative power, has two houses: the House of Lords, whose main function is to revise legislation, and the House of Commons where the effective power resides and most legislation originates. The executive power of the Crown is exercised by the cabinet, headed by the prime minister. The two main parties are the Conservative party, and the moderately socialist Labour party.

The National Gallery - Trafalagar SquareThe industrial revolution was born in Britain in the 18th century. The British Empire, a worldwide system of dependencies, fed raw materials to British industry and spread the British culture. As the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, Britain played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two World Wars. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation.
Double Decker Buses - Central LondonGreat Britain is a member state of the European Union (EU) and the fourth most populous country in Europe with about 60.6 million, 8 million of which live in the area centred on London. Most of Scotland’s 5 million people live in the lowland areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh and Wales, known as Cymru in the Welsh language, has around 2.9 million people in its mountainous land of Celtic charm.

Britain has been home to a growing multicultural population since the 1970s, when people from the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Africa, and China began immigrating.

While English and Welsh are the two official languages, around two hundred languages are spoken in Britain because of this tremendous ethnic diversity. The Scottish Gaelic is also spoken in some parts of Scotland.

A similar diversity can be seen in the complete religious freedom throughout Great Britain, since 71% of Britons are Christians, while all other religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism are freely practiced.
There are many sights to see and things to do across Britain; there is the Stonehenge prehistoric monument of Wiltshire, the many Welsh museums and medieval castles that highlight the Welch capital of Cardiff, the castles and gothic structures of Scotland, and the 6 miles of Blackpool beaches along the Fylde coastal area in England, also considered England’s capital of entertainment. The colourful city of London mixes business, culture and politic, and offers endless entertainment options from street performers to nightclubs.

Britain has a fairly temperate climate; winters are a cold 1-4 °C while summers are warm and frequently exceed 30 °C which is perfect for discovering the fantastic beaches and coastline.




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