Portal:United Kingdom

The United Kingdom Portal

Flag of the United Kingdom
Coat of Arms for the United Kingdom
Map of the United Kingdom in the British Isles.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK or U.K.) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north­western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north­eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland. Otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the southwest, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The total area of the United Kingdom is 94,000 square miles (240,000 km2).

The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the world's longest-serving current head of state. The United Kingdom's capital is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million.

The United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers. Other major cities include Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester.

The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK's name was adopted in 1927 to reflect the change. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's landmass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and political systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and the ninth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It has a high-income economy and a very high human development index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.

The United Kingdom is a leading member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was a member of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), for 47 years, between 1 January 1973 and withdrawal on 31 January 2020.

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Trafford Town Hall

Trafford is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England. It has a population of 211,800, covers 41 square miles (106 km2), and includes the towns of Altrincham, Partington, Sale, Stretford, and Urmston. The borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 as a merger of the boroughs of Altrincham, Sale, and Stretford, the urban districts of Bowdon, Hale, and Urmston and part of Bucklow Rural District. The Trafford area has a long heritage, with evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Roman activity. The area underwent change in the late 19th century and the population rapidly expanded with the arrival of the railway. Trafford is the home of Manchester United F.C., Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester Phoenix, and formerly Sale Sharks. Also in Trafford is the Imperial War Museum North. Trafford has a strong economy with low levels of unemployment and the Trafford Park industrial estate and Trafford Centre – a large out-of-town shopping centre; apart from the City of Manchester, Trafford is the only borough to be above the national average for weekly income. Socially, the area is middle class and contains commuter towns. (more...)

Featured biography

Title page Certaine Errors in Navigation

Edward Wright (1561–1615) was an English mathematician and cartographer noted for his book Certaine Errors in Navigation, which for the first time explained the mathematical basis of the Mercator projection, and set out a reference table giving the linear scale multiplication factor as a function of latitude, calculated for each minute of arc up to a latitude of 75°. This was the essential step needed to make practical both the making and the navigational use of Mercator charts. In 1589 Elizabeth I requested that he carry out navigational studies with a raiding expedition organised by the Earl of Cumberland to the Azores to capture Spanish galleons. The expedition's route was the subject of the first map to be prepared according to Wright's projection, which was published in Certaine Errors in 1599. The same year, Wright created and published the first world map produced in England and the first to use the Mercator projection since Gerardus Mercator's original 1569 map. Apart from a number of other books and pamphlets, Wright translated John Napier's pioneering 1614 work which introduced the idea of logarithms from Latin into English. This was published after Wright's death as A Description of the Admirable Table of Logarithmes. Wright's work influenced, among other persons, Dutch astronomer and mathematician Willebrord Snellius; Adriaan Metius, the geometer and astronomer from Holland; and the English mathematician Richard Norwood. (more...)

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Salvage of the Mary Rose in October 1982

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Wikinews UK

12 August 2020 – Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 recession
Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom's economy officially enters recession for the first time since 2009, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak. (BBC)
11 August 2020 – Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 recession
Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom
The Office for National Statistics reports the worst quarterly job losses in the United Kingdom since the financial crisis in 2009. (BBC)
9 August 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom reports 1,062 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. It is the first time that the country has recorded more than 1,000 new cases since late June. (ITV)

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