Great Britain

whereEngland is an island in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a relatively small nation, but it has a long history. This small island was once a huge empire, and it ruled a large part of the world through colonization. Colonization is when an outside nation conquers and then rules another country. Some of the larger colonies of England were India, Australia and the original 13 colonies that eventually declared their independence to become the United States. Great Britain no longer controls these countries; they are now the independent nations of India, Australia and the United States of America. Though many of England’s colonies are now independent, the lasting relationships they have made in their region of small islands makes the United Kingdom a unique country made of four nations: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

• The population is 63,742,977.
• The official language is English.
• The capital is London.
• There are three major rivers: the Thames, Severn and Tyne.
• The official currency is the Pound Sterling.
• Popular sports are soccer, rugby and cricket.
• Golf was invented in the United Kingdom.
• England is slightly smaller than Alabama.
• Robin Hood and King Arthur were English.
• England still has a monarchy, but the Parliament runs the government.
• The national anthem is “God Save the Queen.”
• The national animal of England is the Bulldog.

England has a long history as a nation and for centuries, it was a monarchy. The king ruled with absolute power and then passed the crown down to his oldest son. After a series of wars, however, the government of England changed drastically. England’s government is now called a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. It combines the tradition of having a king and/or queen with the freedoms of having a democracy. They still have a queen, but the parliament makes most of the official decisions. The parliament is divided into two sections: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. These are officials elected by the citizens of England. The real head of state, similar to the American president, is called the Prime Minister.

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