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United Kingdom

london united kingdomThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), usually shortened to the United Kingdom, is a country in northwest Europe. It is made up of the separate countries of England, Scotland, and Wales (together known as Great Britain), and Northern Ireland (on the island of Ireland).

About 60 million people live in the UK. English is the language most people speak, but many other languages are spoken. These include Cantonese and Hindi. The native languages, other than English, are Welsh in Wales, Cornish in Cornwall, Scottish (Gaelic) and Scots in Scotland, and Irish in Northern Ireland.

The capital city of the United Kingdom is London, a large city on the River Thames in south-eastern England. Other large cities in the UK are Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, York, Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Belfast, and Londonderry (also called Derry).

The UK is north-west off the coast of mainland Europe. Around the UK are the North Sea, the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean.

The UK is also in charge of a few smaller places around the world, most of them are islands, which are known as overseas territories.

History of the United Kingdom

united kingdom, free mobile smsWales was taken over by England in the 13th century. When Queen Elizabeth I of England died, her closest relative was James the King of Scotland. He was king of both England and Scotland, but they stayed as two countries. In 1707, the Scottish and English Parliaments passed the Treaty of Union, which joined them as one country called Great Britain.

By the year 1800, England had already had much influence over Ireland for over 600 years. In that year laws were passed in Great Britain and Ireland to merge the two states. This was against the wishes of many of the Irish people, as they had in previous centuries already suffered much English oppression. The new country was called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 much of Ireland achieved autonomy as the Irish Free State from the United Kingdom. However, the northern counties continued to remain a part of the United Kingdom. The union was renamed The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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