A political union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - the United Kingdom is recognized for the advancement of science and literature and also for the industrial revolution. One of the most developed countries of the world, the United Kingdom was once famous for controlling a quarter of the earth land area. With varied landscapes and multicultural cities, the United Kingdom is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.
Geography of the United Kingdom
The UK is located in Western Europe, between the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, separated from the French coast by the English Channel. A man-made tunnel beneath the English Channel, popularly called the Chunnel, links France with United Kingdom. The UK has a total coastline of 7,723 miles, surrounded by water on all sides with oceans and seas, except Northern Ireland, which shares a land border "with another the Republic of Ireland". United Kingdom has mild temperate climate but the weather condition changes abruptly and the rains are quite unpredictable.
History of the United Kingdom
The UK is known for the political expansions and colonization of territories around the world, but history reveals that for about 400 years Britain was part of Roman Empire. The Romans ruled from 43 AD to 410AD until the German settlers, the Anglo Saxons, invaded Britain. They controlled Britain until the Norman Conquest in 1066. Much of Britain's cultural development took place under the Roman and Norman rule. By 1282, the English took over Wales, and by 1536 an act was signed to complete the union of England and Wales. By 1603, England and Scotland were also united under the crown. Finally, in 1707, England and Scotland were unified as Great Britain.
The political union between England, Wales, and Scotland (called Great Britain) and Ireland was completed on 1801, and lasted until 1921. During this period, Ireland continued their struggle for independence and in 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed and Irish Free State was established. Northern Ireland separated from rest of the Ireland and joined Great Britain to form the present day United Kingdom.
Economy of the United Kingdom
At its height, the British Empire ruled over a quarter the earth's land, and was the wealthiest empire in the world. The United Kingdom is also credited with starting the Industrial Revolution. As a fallout of the two world wars, United Kingdom struggled to rebuild its economy. Today, however, the United Kingdom is the third largest economy in Europe and seventh largest in the world. The UK's GDP is pegged at $2.25 trillion (2011 estimate, PPP). The UK has a large reserve of coal, oil, and natural gas, though natural gas and oil reserves are declining.
United Kingdom is a preferred destination for travellers around the world. UK is the world's sixth most popular destination. Major cities for tourism in the United Kingdom include London, the capital, which is an important world city; Belfast, Ireland; and Edinburgh, Scotland. As part of Europe, and with English as the primary language, as well as the variety of cities and sites, the United Kingdom has a wide appeal as a tourist destination.