The United Kingdom is characterized by a long political and cultural history with links to other areas of the world, the largest of which was the one that constituted the British Empire. Julius Caesar invaded Britannia in 55 and 54 a. , But the island was not subject to Rome before century I d. C. The Roman province of Britannia was under its control until the 5th century, in the territories that today are England and Wales. In this century, Nordic tribes invaded Britannia and brought with them Celtic peoples who came to inhabit today’s Wales. Christianity was introduced in the 6th and 7th centuries. In the 8th and 9th centuries, Vikings prowled the shores of Britannia and sent armies there. In the 9th century, Alfredo, the Grande , who reigned between 871-899, repelled the Vikings’ invasion. William of Normandy conquered England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and became William I. Norman kings established a strong central government and a feudal state. Ricardo I (1189-99) and his brother João (1199-1216) had conflicts with the clergy and the nobility and João was forced to make concessions to the nobility, enshrined in the Magna Carta of 1215, establishing the constitutional principle that the king rules according to the law. During the reign of Edward I (1272-1307), the establishment of English as a common language developed. Henry VIII founded the Anglican Church following the Roman Church’s refusal to grant him authorization for divorce. Henry VIII incorporated Wales into England.
England was driven to maritime and colonial conquests after the loss of its possessions in Europe, following the War of the Roses and because it felt threatened by the Iberian and Dutch power. Isabel I’s reign began the period of English colonial expansion. After fighting with France, Spain and Holland, England increased its possessions in America, which was not well accepted by the Spanish, who in 1588 had intentions of invading England, but the Invincible Armada was defeated by the British. In 1603 James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, and became James I when he established a union between the two kingdoms. In 1611, the British installed factories in India.
Within the United Kingdom, political life was not peaceful, a civil war broke out between monarchs and parliamentarians that ended with the execution of Charles I in 1649. Eleven years later, the monarchy was restored with Charles II. The conservative document, Bill of Rights , of 1689, established the principle that the crown of England could only be used by Protestants. In 1707, England and Scotland formed, through an Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain. During the reign of George III in 1776, the American colonies of Great Britain became independent and it was in this century that colonization began in Australia. There followed a period of war between the United Kingdom and revolutionary France and then with the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte (1789-1815). From 1795, it occupied the Cape of Good Hope, Malaysia and Ceylon. In 1801, Great Britain created legislation to join Ireland and create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. From 1874 the empire was enlarged with the territories of Malaysia, Cyprus, Nigeria, Egypt, Rhodesia, Kenya, Zanzibar, Uganda.
The United Kingdom was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. The steam engine brought industrial capitalism, factories grew in the cities and there was a great exploitation of the working classes. The writer Charles Dickens portrays this period of English life. It speaks of the poverty of the workers of the time, at a time when it was thought that the machine would finally free the man, but for the workers it was synonymous with slavery. During the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), British colonial expansion reached its zenith, although former dominations such as Canada and Australia gradually gained independence in 1867 and 1901, respectively. The development of the 19th century parliamentary government is due to the leadership of Prime Ministers Robert Peel, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone. For United Kingdom democracy and rights, please check intershippingrates.
The United Kingdom entered the First World War as an ally of France and Russia in 1914. After the First War, a revolution broke out in Ireland and, in 1921, the Free State of Ireland wanted to change its status, an objective only achieved after the World War II when it became the Republic of Ireland, abandoning the Commonwealth. In 1939 the United Kingdom entered World War II and fought Germanic and Japanese forces in Europe, Africa and Asia. India gained independence shortly after the war. From the post-war to the 1970s, the United Kingdom continued to guarantee independence for the various colonies and dependencies. Northern Ireland’s status has become controversial and British troops have moved to this territory in order to maintain order. Violence and terrorism have grown between communities belonging to the Catholic Church, which has sided with the Republic of Ireland, and the Protestant community that intends to continue to side with the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland and central London are the places where the most frequent terrorist actions arise, namely those of the Irish Republican Army, known as the IRA.
The rule of the Labor Party, initiated in 1924 by leader Ramsay MacDonald and confirmed in the 1945 elections, imposed a nationalist and socialist policy on the country. The State bought shares from the Bank of England, the coal mines, the internal transport network, aviation, gas and electricity. Subsequently, it was the Conservative Party’s turn to take care of the country’s destinies and carry out a privatization policy in the iron and steel sectors.
In 1973 the United Kingdom became part of the (then) European Economic Community, which it would abandon on 31 January 2020, fulfilling the popular will of the majority expressed in a referendum held in 2016.
Conservative Party Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ruled the country between 1979 and 1990, having made major changes to favor the private sector, to the detriment of state intervention in the economy.
The form of government is a constitutional monarchy, the head of state is the queen, Isabel II, and the head of government is the prime minister. The British monarchy and royal family are part of the national unity and spirit. The Constitution is not written. Wales and England are unified politically and administratively and are legally united by the acts of 1536 and 1542.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of United Kingdom, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of United Kingdom. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of United Kingdom
Browse a collection of country, political and shaded relief maps of this European country. Check out the Administrative Divisions map.
Bedfordshire – Active Map
Presents a map of the county and offers links leading to details about its different cities, boroughs and regions.
Edinburgh – Open World Map
Users can utilize the zoom function to search the street map for accommodations and local points of interest.
England – UpMyStreet.com
Click on a city to learn about property prices, the best schools, council tax and crime statistics. Also explore Wales.
Expedia Maps – United Kingdom
View an interactive color map of the UK that features zooming, printing and emailing.
Great Britain – British Tourist Authority
Travel agency provides an interactive map of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Click on a country to see a detailed view.
Images of Medieval Art and Architecture – British Maps
Promoter of education and research in Medieval art and architecture offers maps of Great Britain. View maps of Medieval London as well as abbeys.
London – London Underground
Map of the city’s subway also describes attractions in the area around each station. Includes links to other tourist information.
Provides a searchable database of 19th century maps, covering most parts of the UK.
Oxford – City Guide Maps
Allows users to zoom in on a specific area of this college town. Includes links to information about local attractions.
Oxford – City Map
Presents a detailed map of the city center and includes a color-coded guide to the university’s colleges, libraries and museums.
United Kingdom – About.com, Geography
Access a collection of various maps for the UK and find geographical data and regional facts.
United Kingdom – Active UK Map
Offers a map of Britain and Ireland that allows users to link to more specific details on a town or region.
United Kingdom – Atlapedia Online
Take a look at two detailed maps of the UK and read country facts and a brief history covering modern times.
United Kingdom – InfoPlease.com Map
Offers a medium-sized graphical map of Great Britain. Easily locate key cities and towns throughtout the region and peruse fact files.
United Kingdom – MapQuest.com
View a map of the United Kingdom that shows cities, regions, water bodies, land features and bordering countries.
United Kingdom – Merriam-Webster Atlas
Features a political map of the UK, plus diagrams, a historical summary, and facts and figures.
United Kingdom – Multi Map
Offers a general road atlas for the entire country, searchable by city name, postal code and phone number.
United Kingdom – National Geographic Map Machine
Supplies an expandable map of the nation, along with a brief political history. Includes statistics on population, commerce and literacy.
United Kingdom – Ordnance Survey
Great Britain’s national mapping agency provides an interactive national grid and a catalog of printed and computerized maps for sale.
United Kingdom – UK Street Map
Search for an address in mainland United Kingdom. See street maps for greater London and road atlas maps for the whole of the country.