Great Britain – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Is England, Britain, the United Kingdom the same thing? Or different? We show you on a map.

The language is English, the accent is British, and London is “of the ze Capital of Great Britain,” that is, Great Britain. So is there a difference between England, Britain, and the United Kingdom? And what is the United Kingdom? We explain and show you on a map.


Is England, Britain, Great Britain the same thing? Or different? We show you on a map.

England is not a separate state. It is an administrative region of the state of the United Kingdom (the UK). England is located in the south of the island of Great Britain.

If we draw an analogy with Russia, England and the United Kingdom are like Tatarstan or Bashkortostan within Russia: regions with special rights, but not separate states.

Traditionally, England is considered to be the heart of the United Kingdom, so some people say “England,” meaning the whole country. This is not very correct, because the United Kingdom also includes Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Be especially careful when talking to Brits: the Scots, for example, may be offended if you call the whole United Kingdom “England”, theirs “English”.


The name “Britain” is a historical term: it used to be the name of all the British Isles first, and then only one of them, Great Britain.

Britain is sometimes referred to as the entire United Kingdom. It is not quite correct, but it is acceptable in colloquial speech.

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Great Britain

Is England, Britain, Great Britain the same thing? Or different? We show you on a map.

First of all, Great Britain is an island northwest of France and east of Ireland. It is the largest island in Europe and the ninth largest in the world.

There are three administrative regions on the island of Great Britain: England, Wales, and Scotland. England occupies the southeastern part of the island, Wales in the southwest, and Scotland in the north. All regions belong to one country, the United Kingdom. England, Scotland, and Wales are not independent countries, but they retain some discretion in their internal government.

In Russian, “Great Britain” is also a common designation for the whole state, the United Kingdom. We say “Queen of Great Britain” and “government of Great Britain,” referring to the entire state.

In English, Great Britain more often refers specifically to an island, and the state is called the United Kingdom, or the UK.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Is England, Britain, Great Britain the same thing? Or different? We show you on a map.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the official name of the state, which in Russian is sometimes called Great Britain. It includes four administrative regions: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each region has a different degree of autonomy, but they are all part of the kingdom.

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The United Kingdom came into being in 1801, after the unification of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland.

Bonus: Ireland and Northern Ireland

Is England, Britain, Great Britain the same thing? Or different? We show you on a map.

There is Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Scotland, and Wales. And there is the Republic of Ireland, a separate independent state. They are located on the island of Ireland.

At the time of the formation of the United Kingdom it included the whole island. But in the 1920s, the southern part of Ireland seceded and became an independent country.

Now one-sixth of Ireland in the north of the island belongs to the Kingdom as an administrative unit, Northern Ireland. The remaining five-sixths of the island belong to an independent country, the Republic of Ireland.

In brief.

England is one of the four administrative regions of the United Kingdom, which is located on the island of Great Britain.

Britain is a synonym for the name “United Kingdom” in colloquial speech.

Great Britain is the island that contains the three regions of the United Kingdom: England, Wales, and Scotland. Also in Russian, a synonym for the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is an independent country consisting of four regions, three of them on the island of Great Britain and the fourth on the island of Ireland. Queen Elizabeth II rules the United Kingdom, not just England.

Northern Ireland is the region of the Kingdom that is geographically disconnected from the other three: it is in the north of the island of Ireland.

The countries that make up the United Kingdom

What countries are part of Great Britain? This state is rich in history and culture, it intertwines the traditions of the four historical and geographical areas, which differ in their religious features. This island nation has many interesting facts.

The Tower of London, United Kingdom

Tower of London, England

How was the United Kingdom formed?

The history of the creation of the United Kingdom goes back several centuries. The advantageous geographical position of the British Isles and access to the Atlantic Ocean made these lands the object of invasions and internecine wars. These factors played an important role in the defense of the nation.

History of Britain

The history of the formation of Britain dates back to the first century B.C., when virtually all of the land came under Roman rule. The latter initiated the building of cities and proclaimed Christianity. Later, in the fifth century A.D., Germanic tribes invaded the islands and drove the Romans out, giving the country the name England.

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In the ninth and eleventh centuries Britain was regularly attacked by the Vikings. Britain was regularly attacked by Vikings, and in 1066 the island was conquered by the Norman Duke William, who later became King William I of England. Around this time, the English language was formed, combining Scandinavian, German, and French words.

England was growing rapidly. And at the end of the sixteenth century, international trade became the most developed kind of activity.

The main competitor of the state in this industry was Spain, which at that time was at war with Holland. In this struggle, England actively supported Holland. Later Britain repeatedly showed its strength in the war effort by seizing and colonizing new lands in Australia, Asia, America, Africa, and Oceania.

Colonies of England

Map of the Colonies of the British Empire

In 1707 Britain consisted of England, Wales, and Scotland, and 100 years later Ireland joined the union. But in the early twentieth century, parts of Ireland defended their independence and withdrew from the union, and Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the country began to develop rapidly economically. Trade still occupied a significant place. Gradually Britain gained the status of a great naval state, becoming an industrialized power.

Britain in the 19th century

In the XX century, the world was shaken by two wars, in which Britain took the position of future winners. But over time, the influence of the state became smaller, and in the second half of the twentieth century, it lost some of its colonies.

Interesting facts about Great Britain are told in this video:

In 1973, the United Kingdom joined the European Union and English became an international language. But later the country suffered a severe economic downturn, to which the migration of Africans contributed unemployment. More recently, the government has been busy developing industry and science.

British Government

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is located in the British Isles, located in Western Europe. The islands are separated from the mainland by two straits: the English Channel and the Pas de Calais. The state occupies the whole of the island of Great Britain, the northern part of the island of Ireland and a large number of British islands.

The country occupies an area of 244 thousand square kilometers. There are about 65 million people living in Great Britain. The capital of the state is London and its acting ruler is Queen Elizabeth II.

The capital of England

London, the capital of Great Britain

As you know, Britain is a constitutional monarchy, the government of which consists of the reigning monarch and Parliament, forming the House of Lords and House of Commons. Such a government has virtually unlimited influence in matters concerning the population and territory. The succession to the throne is by seniority. The eldest son, or the eldest daughter if there are no sons in the family, is appointed monarch.

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Composition of the United Kingdom

The countries that make up Great Britain are as follows:

  • England;
  • Scotland;
  • Wales;
  • Northern Ireland.


Everyone knows England as the Foggy Albion. It drizzles with rain almost every day here. But the government of England cares about the environment of the capital and the whole country. Despite the dreary weather, the state capital, London, is a city with a friendly population. It is visited by many tourists, because there is something to see. The most famous attractions are the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey. Buckingham Palace, the home of the royal family, has become accessible to tourists.

Buckingham Palace.


In 2012 there was a referendum in Scotland. According to its results Scotland has decided to stay a part of Great Britain. The country is famous for whisky, kilt and bagpipes. The country consists of 787 islands. The capital of the country is Edinburgh. The state has not only thousands of years of tradition and a rich history filled with wars, but also an enchanting nature. The majestic castles, mountain spirit and rocky shores make Scotland a popular tourist destination. The Scots have a willful temperament, they are independent and eccentric, sociable and friendly, but they don’t like to open up to the stranger.



The Principality of Wales occupies a small area in the west of the island of Great Britain with a population of 3 million people. The capital of Wales is Cardiff. The country is a land of amazing landscapes and majestic medieval castles, of which there are countless.

Speaking about the beauty of the area, it is impossible to convey in words all the uniqueness of the architecture. This historical region of Britain is famous for its cheeses, tender beef and lamb, seafood is also popular here.

Wales, Great Britain

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is known as a major European student center and has a rich culture. The capital of Ireland is Belfast, the city known as the builder of the liner Titanic.

Among the attractions of Northern Ireland are the Giant’s Causeway, the national parks of Oxford, Glenarith and Cable, and Coulee Castle.

Town Hall in Belfast

The Town Hall in Belfast

The UK is a country of a mix of nations

The ethnic composition of Great Britain is rather motley for a European state. As the British Isles were subjected to many attacks from continental Europe, the Romans, Normans, Saxons, and Danes occupied the lowlands, driving the native population into the mountains and into the west and north of the island.

As the British Isles were a colonial state, the composition of the population here changed markedly. There was a migration of people from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Chinese, Pakistanis, Indians, and Africans diluted the ethnic composition.

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As early as the Middle Ages, three main ethnic communities were formed in Great Britain, represented by the English, the Scottish, and the Welsh. The relationship between these indigenous peoples has always played a special role in the political sphere of the country.

The national composition of Great Britain is not as diverse as its ethnic composition. After World War II, the British Isles received an influx of 1 million workers from European countries. In addition, every year the country is populated by 50,000 Europeans and Asians who come here in search of work.

British People

Englishmen with about 53 million predominate among 65 million people. They live mainly in England, with smaller share of Englishmen in Wales and Scotland.

In second place in number are the Scots, who are represented by 6 million people. Most of the Celtic people live in the northwestern part of the island of Great Britain and numerous northern islands.

The Irish make up 1.5 million of the population of the British Isles, and the Welsh make up 1.2 million. The other nations of Great Britain number about 3 million people.

What is the dominant religion in Great Britain?

No European state has as many religions as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Although there are only two state churches, Anglican in England and Presbyterian in Scotland, the religious composition is quite diverse. Wales and Northern Ireland have no state religion.

Queen of England

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Also the head of the Anglican Church.

Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Sikhism are also widespread. Besides these religions more than 200 sects are active in the country. Among British people there are also convinced atheists.

There are many people of faith in Great Britain. Every citizen of the state has the right to choose his or her own religion. Moreover, any Englishman has the right to affiliate himself with any religion, even if he is the only representative of it.

Christianity is the dominant religion, it is practiced by about 70% of the population, which predominantly belongs to the Anglican Church. About 2 million people are Muslims, 650,000 are Hindus, 320,000 are Jews, and 200,000 are Buddhists. Twenty percent of the British Isles population are atheists.

The church occupies an important place in the life of every Briton. That is why religion is a compulsory subject in schools, and lessons begin and end with prayer. In addition to the spread of religion in educational institutions, there are Sunday schools in Britain. But parents have the right to exempt their children from this subject.

Church, England

The country does not maintain a church, but finances it in order to restore historical monuments. It is worth noting that the money goes not only to Christian churches.

Great Britain in the European Union

After the end of World War II, European states began to unite in unions. The UK made its first attempts to get into the community in the 1970s, when the European Economic Community consisted of France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries.

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Britain in the EU

Britain in the EU

At that time, Britain’s economy was failing, and many representatives of the powers that were members of the EEC expressed dissatisfaction with its accession. In 1973, the British Isles did become part of the union. Later, the community introduced a single currency, the euro.

During the entire membership of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the EU, there have been several conflicts between London and Brussels. In 2011, relations between the partners became strained again, which led to a referendum on Britain’s exit from the EU. But then only 10% of citizens voted for it. Nevertheless, Britain as part of the EU had its privileges.

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In the summer of 2016 the UK held another referendum on EU membership. Fifty-two percent of the population supported the idea.

Legally, the referendum does not commit to anything, but it also cannot be ignored by a minister.

Why did Britain decide to take such a step? On the one hand, the state is isolated on the island, but on the other hand, the country is part of Europe. Since the indigenous population of the British Isles has always sought independence, it is clear that London does not want to depend on Brussels.

What will happen to the United Kingdom after it leaves the EU? Proponents argue that such a step will only strengthen the economy of the state, creating new jobs and signing lucrative contracts with other countries. Opponents assure that this decision will radically change the economic sphere, as 52% of goods are sold in the EU, which will make exports much more difficult.

We recommend watching the video: Britain’s exit from the EU.

In addition, a large percentage of the population could lose their jobs and London would lose its influence on the world stage. So the UK seemed to us from another side, full of mystery and mystery.

With its historical traditions, numerous museums and sights, the country inspires and motivates us to visit it. Each historical and geographical area of the British Isles is a unique locale and history.

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