great Britain

Article

August 13, 2022

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (English: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or United Kingdom, UK), commonly known as the United Kingdom or Great Britain, is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. . The United Kingdom is an island nation consisting of the Isle of Great Britain, the northeastern part of the Island of Ireland and a number of smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign nation, the Republic of Ireland. The rest of the country's land borders are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The United Kingdom is a unitary state governed by a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, with the seat of government in the capital city of London. There are four sovereign states within the United Kingdom, each of which is independent; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The last three countries have their own governments that vary in power, and are based in their respective capital cities, namely Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The United Kingdom also has three Crown Dependent territories, namely Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. These territories are related, but not constitutionally part of the United Kingdom. In addition, there are fourteen British overseas territories. These territories are remnants of the British Empire, which at one time was the largest empire in the world covering nearly a quarter of the earth's total area. The influence of Great Britain (especially England) can be found in the countries of its former colonies in terms of language use, legal system, government system, and culture. The United Kingdom is one of the developed countries with the sixth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the eighth largest in the world by purchasing power balance. Great Britain was also the world's first industrialized nation, and became the world's ruler in the 19th and early 20th centuries. To this day, the country remains a major power with influence in the fields of economy, culture, military, science, and politics. The United Kingdom is recognized as a nuclear-weapon nation, and its military expenditure ranks fourth in the world. The United Kingdom is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since 1946 and has been a member of the European Union and its predecessors; European Economic Community, since 1973. A referendum in 2016 resulted in 59.1% of voters in favor of leaving the European Union, so the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on February 1, 2020. The United Kingdom is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the European Assembly , G7, G8, G20, NATO, OECD and WTO.

Etymology and terminology

The names United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were introduced in 1927 in the Royal and Parliamentary Naming Act. This was due to the fact that the de facto independence of the Irish Free State, which resulted in the division of Ireland in 1922, left Northern Ireland as the only part of the Island of Ireland still under British control. Previously, according to the Act of Unity 1800, which united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, its official name was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom prior to 1801 is sometimes referred to as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain". Article 1 of the Act of Unity 1927 stated that England and Scotland "unified into one kingdom called Great Britain." The term "unified kingdom" was used informally in the 18th century to describe the new state, but only officially, at the unification of Ireland in 1801. Although the United Kingdom as a sovereign nation includes England, Scotland, Wales and (controversially) Northern Ireland, t