Geographical characteristics of England
England - is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Geographically England includes the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. The official currency in England the pound sterling. Prominent English figures from the field.
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England - is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, while the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separate it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but it takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world. The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law--the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world--developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's Royal Society laid the foundations of modern experimental science.
England's terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north (for example, the mountainous Lake District, Pennines, and Yorkshire Dales) and in the south west (for example, Dartmoor and the Cotswolds). The former capital of England was Winchester until replaced by London in 1066. Today London is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures.[nb 3] England's population is about 53 million, around 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, and is largely concentrated in London, the South East and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century. Meadowlands and pastures are found beyond the major cities.
The Kingdom of England--which after 1284 included Wales--was a sovereign state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, the Irish Free State was established as a separate dominion, but the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 reincorporated into the kingdom six Irish counties to officially create the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago. Modern humans are known to have first inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years. After the last ice age only large mammals such as mammoths, bison and woolly rhinoceros remained. Roughly 11,000 years ago, when the ice sheets began to recede, humans repopulated the area; genetic research suggests they came from the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. The sea level was lower than now, and Britain was connected by land to both Ireland and Eurasia. As the seas rose, it was separated from Ireland 10,000 years ago and from Eurasia two millennia later.
The Beaker culture arrived around 2500 BC, introducing drinking and food vessels constructed from clay, as well as vessels used as reduction pots to smelt copper ores. It was during this time that major Neolithic monuments such as Stonehenge and Avebury were constructed. By heating together tin and copper, both of which were in abundance in the area, the Beaker culture people made bronze, and later iron from iron ores. The development of iron smelting allowed the construction of better ploughs, advancing agriculture (for instance, with Celtic fields), as well as the production of more effective weapons.
According to John T. Koch and others, England in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age, that included the whole of the British Isles and much of what we now regard as France, together with the Iberian Peninsula. Celtic languages developed in those areas; Tartessian may have been the earliest written Celtic language.
During the Iron Age, Celtic culture, deriving from the Hallstatt and La Tиne cultures, arrived from Central Europe. Brythonic was the spoken language during this time. Society was tribal; according to Ptolemy's Geographia there were around 20 tribes in the area. Earlier divisions are unknown because the Britons were not literate. Like other regions on the edge of the Empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans. Julius Caesar of the Roman Republic attempted to invade twice in 55 BC; although largely unsuccessful, he managed to set up a client king from the Trinovantes.
The Romans invaded Britain in AD 43 during the reign of Emperor Claudius, subsequently conquering much of Britain, and the area was incorporated into the Roman Empire as Britannia province. The best-known of the native tribes who attempted to resist were the Catuvellauni led by Caratacus. Later, an uprising led by Boudica, Queen of the Iceni, ended with Boudica's suicide following her defeat at the Battle of Watling Street. This era saw a Greco-Roman culture prevail with the introduction of Roman law, Roman architecture, sewage systems, many agricultural items, and silk.In the 3rd century, Emperor Septimius Severus died at Eboracum (modern-day York), where Constantine was subsequently proclaimed emperor.
There is debate about when Christianity was first introduced; it was no later than the 4th century, with probability lying much earlier. According to Bede, missionaries were sent from Rome by Eleutherius at the request of the chieftain Lucius of Britain in AD 180 to settle differences as to Eastern and Western ceremonials which were disturbing the church. There are traditions linked to Glastonbury claiming an introduction through Joseph of Arimathea, while others claim through Lucius of Britain. By 410, as the Empire declined, Britain was left exposed by the withdrawal of Roman army units, to defend the frontiers in continental Europe and partake in civil wars.
Geographically England includes the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus such offshore islands as the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly. It is bordered by two other countries of the United Kingdom--to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. England is closer to the European continent than any other part of mainland Britain. It is separated from France by a 34-kilometre (21 mi) sea gap, though the two countries are connected by the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone. England also has shores on the Irish Sea, North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
The ports of London, Liverpool, and Newcastle lie on the tidal rivers Thames, Mersey and Tyne respectively. At 354 kilometres (220 mi), the Severn is the longest river flowing through England. It empties into the Bristol Channel and is notable for its Severn Bore tidal waves, which can reach 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. However, the longest river entirely in England is the Thames, which is 346 kilometres (215 mi) in length. There are many lakes in England; the largest is Windermere, within the aptly named Lake District.
In geological terms, the Pennines, known as the "backbone of England", are the oldest range of mountains in the country, originating from the end of the Paleozoic Era around 300 million years ago. Their geological composition includes, among others, sandstone and limestone, and also coal. There are karst landscapes in calcite areas such as parts of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The Pennine landscape is high moorland in upland areas, indented by fertile valleys of the region's rivers. They contain three national parks, the Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland, and the Peak District. The highest point in England, at 978 metres (3,209 ft), is Scafell Pike in Cumbria. Straddling the border between England and Scotland are the Cheviot Hills.
The English Lowlands are to the south of the Pennines, consisting of green rolling hills, including the Cotswold Hills, Chiltern Hills, North and South Downs--where they meet the sea they form white rock exposures such as the cliffs of Dover. The granite Southwest Peninsula in the West Country includes upland moorland, such as Dartmoor and Exmoor, and enjoys a mild climate; both are national parks.
England has a temperate maritime climate: it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0 °C (32 °F) in winter and not much higher than 32 °C (90 °F) in summer. The weather is damp relatively frequently and is changeable. The coldest months are January and February, the latter particularly on the English coast, while July is normally the warmest month. Months with mild to warm weather are May, June, September and October. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year.
Important influences on the climate of England are its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, its northern latitude and the warming of the sea by the Gulf Stream.Rainfall is higher in the west, and parts of the Lake District receive more rain than anywhere else in the country. Since weather records began, the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on 10 August 2003 at Brogdale in Kent, while the lowest was ?26.1 °C (?15.0 °F) on 10 January 1982 in Edgmond, Shropshire
England's economy is one of the largest in the world, with an average GDP per capita of Ј22,907.Usually regarded as a mixed market economy, it has adopted many free market principles, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure. The official currency in England is the pound sterling, whose ISO 4217 code is GBP. Taxation in England is quite competitive when compared to much of the rest of Europe--as of 2009 the basic rate of personal tax is 20% on taxable income up to Ј37,400, and 40% on any additional earnings above that amount
The economy of England is the largest part of the UK's economy, which has the 18th highest GDP PPP per capita in the world. England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace, the arms industry, and the manufacturing side of the software industry. London, home to the London Stock Exchange, the United Kingdom's main stock exchange and the largest in Europe, is England's financial centre--100 of Europe's 500 largest corporations are based in London. London is the largest financial centre in Europe, and as of 2009 is also the largest in the world.
The Bank of England, founded in 1694 by Scottish banker William Paterson, is the United Kingdom's central bank. Originally established as private banker to the Government of England, since 1946 it has been a state-owned institution. The Bank has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales, although not in other parts of the United Kingdom. The government has devolved responsibility to the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee for managing the monetary policy of the country and setting interest rates.
England is highly industrialised, but since the 1970s there has been a decline in traditional heavy and manufacturing industries, and an increasing emphasis on a more service industry oriented economy.Tourism has become a significant industry, attracting millions of visitors to England each year. The export part of the economy is dominated by pharmaceuticals, cars--although many English marques are now foreign-owned, such as Rolls-Royce, Lotus, Jaguar and Bentley--crude oil and petroleum from the English parts of North Sea oil along with Wytch Farm, aircraft engines and alcoholic beverages. Agriculture is intensive and highly mechanised, producing 60% of food needs with only 2% of the labour force. Two thirds of production is devoted to livestock, the other to arable crops.
Science and technology
Prominent English figures from the field of science and mathematics include Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Priestley, J. J. Thomson, Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Wren, Alan Turing, Francis Crick, Joseph Lister, Tim Berners-Lee, Paul Dirac, Andrew Wiles and Richard Dawkins. Some experts claim that the earliest concept of a metric system was invented by John Wilkins, the first secretary of the Royal Society, in 1668. As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, England was home to many significant inventors during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Famous English engineers include Isambard Kingdom Brunel, best known for the creation of the Great Western Railway, a series of famous steamships, and numerous important bridges, hence revolutionising public transport and modern-day engineering.Thomas Newcomen's steam engine helped spawn the Industrial Revolution.The physician Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccine is said to have "saved more lives [...] than were lost in all the wars of mankind since the beginning of recorded history."
Inventions and discoveries of the English include: the jet engine, the first industrial spinning machine, the first computer and the first modern computer, the World Wide Web along with HTML, the first successful human blood transfusion, the motorised vacuum cleaner,the lawn mower, the seat belt, the hovercraft, the electric motor, steam engines, and theories such as the Darwinian theory of evolution and atomic theory. Newton developed the ideas of universal gravitation, Newtonian mechanics, and infinitesimal calculus, and Robert Hooke his eponymously named law of elasticity. Other inventions include the iron plate railway, the thermosiphon, tarmac, the rubber band, the mousetrap, "cat's eye" road marker, joint development of the light bulb, steam locomotives, the modern seed drill and many modern techniques and technologies used in precision engineering.
With over 53 million inhabitants, England is by far the most populous country of the United Kingdom, accounting for 84% of the combined total.England taken as a unit and measured against international states has the fourth largest population in the European Union and would be the 25th largest country by population in the world With a density of 407 people per square kilometre, it would be the second most densely populated country in the European Union after Malta.
The English people are a British people.Some genetic evidence suggests that 75-95% descend in the paternal line from prehistoric settlers who originally came from the Iberian Peninsula, as well as a 5% contribution from Angles and Saxons, and a significant Norse element. However, other geneticists place the Norse-Germanic estimate up to half.Over time, various cultures have been influential: Prehistoric, Brythonic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Norse Viking, Gaelic cultures, as well as a large influence from Normans. There is an English diaspora in former parts of the British Empire; especially the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand.[nb 6] Since the late 1990s, many English people have migrated to Spain.
At the time of the Domesday Book, compiled in 1086, more than 90% of the English population of about two million lived in the countryside.By 1801 the population had grown to 8.3 million, and by 1901 had grown to 30.5 million.Due in particular to the economic prosperity of South East England, it has received many economic migrants from the other parts of the United Kingdom. There has been significant Irish migration.The proportion of ethnically European residents totals at 87.50%, including Germans and Poles.
Other people from much further afield in the former British colonies have arrived since the 1950s: in particular, 6% of people living in England have family origins in the Indian subcontinent, mostly India and Pakistan. 2.90% of the population are black, from both the Caribbean and countries in Africa itself, especially former British colonies. There is a significant number of Chinese and British Chinese.As of 2007, 22% of primary school children in England were from ethnic minority families.About half of the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to immigration. Debate over immigration is politically prominent; according to a Home Office poll, 80% of people want to cap it. The ONS has projected that the population will grow by six million between 2004 and 2029.
The English-speaking world. Countries in dark blue have a majority of native speakers. Countries in light blue have English as an official language, de jure or de facto. English. england currency great britain
As its name suggests, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue today. It is an Indo-European language in the Anglo-Frisian branch of the Germanic family. After the Norman conquest, the Old English language was displaced and confined to the lower social classes as Norman French and Latin were used by the aristocracy.
By the 15th century, English came back into fashion among all classes, though much changed; the Middle English form showed many signs of French influence, both in vocabulary and spelling. During the English Renaissance, many words were coined from Latin and Greek origins. Modern English has extended this custom of flexibility, when it comes to incorporating words from different languages. Thanks in large part to the British Empire, the English language is the world's unofficial lingua franca.
English language learning and teaching is an important economic activity, and includes language schooling, tourism spending, and publishing. There is no legislation mandating an official language for England, but English is the only language used for official business. Despite the country's relatively small size, there are many distinct regional accents, and individuals with particularly strong accents may not be easily understood everywhere in the country.
Cornish, which died out as a community language in the 18th century, is being revived, and is now protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages .It is spoken by 0.1% of people in Cornwall, and is taught to some degree in several primary and secondary schools. State schools teach students a second language, usually French, German or Spanish. Due to immigration, it was reported in 2007 that around 800,000 school students spoke a foreign language at home, the most common being Punjabi and Urdu.
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