The United Kingdom was formed in 1707, combining the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into one nation, Great Britain. The Anglo-Irish Compromise of 1801 combined the Kingdom of Ireland into Britain, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. To alleviate anti-English sentiment in Ireland, Irish was made the second language in Ireland, the same was done in Scotland and Wales to alleviate accusations of favouritism. In 1878, Cornwall was elevated in status to a Constituent Nation of the UK, as the Cornish people wished for similar rights that the Welsh and Scots received decades earlier.
The United Kingdom is a Constitutional Monarchy with a bicameral legislature, the House of Commons, being made up of Members of Parliament (MP's) and the House of Lords, which is made up of elements of the aristocracy. The current ruling political party is the Conservative Party, being headed by David Cameron. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II of the House of Windsor.
The United Kingdom has high relations with most of the world powers. The UK and United States share a 'Special Relationship'. The two nations have co-operated despite their differing political systems Other independent Dominions share the current monarch. These nations are:
- Dominion of Canada
- Commonwealth of Australia
- Commonwealth of Yucatan
- Transvaal (Co-Ruled with the Dutch-Belgian Monarchy)
Other former British ruled nations that are republics are members of the British Imperial Commonwealth, formed in 1949, these Nations compete in the British Imperial Commonwealth Games (Generally called the Imperial or Commonwealth Games), which is held every World Cup year. There are also numerous Overseas Territories that are detailed in this list
MilitaryThe United Kingdom is the third largest military power in the world, but it was seen as the most powerful nation on Earth, followed by the United States, France, Germany Russia and China. The United Kingdom has the largest naval fleet in the world boasting eight aircraft carriers and a myriad of other warships. They rank ahead of the United States, Japan, France and China. The UK also has a powerful nuclear arsenal, having the second largest arsenal, with Germany having the largest in the world. But all nuclear capable nations are set to shrink their arsenals by 15% over the course of 12 years.
There are five Constituent Nations of the United Kingdom, listed in order of ascendancy to the UK.
- England, founded 1066. Ascended to the UK in 1707
- Scotland (Alba), founded 843. Ascended to the UK in 1707.
- Ireland (Érie) founded in 1542. Ascended to the UK in 1801.
- Wales (Cymru), founded 1057. Ascended to the UK in 1801.
- Cornwall (Kernow), founded in 1337. Ascended to the UK in 1878.
FlagThe Flag of the United Kingdom is based on the original Union Jack that was adopted upon the ascension of the Kingdom of Scotland to the United Kingdom, alongside the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, with the addition of the Irish Saltire to the flag.
The next changes to the flag happened in the early 1940's, with the increase in support for the addition of Welsh and Cornish elements to the flag, a competition was started to pick new designs for the UK flag, which had originally been the Union Jack as it was in 1801. The organisers of the competition eventually chose the flag name: 'Five People's under One Kingdom', incorporating the then-unofficial flag of Wales and the Cornish St Piran's Flag. The new flag was officially adopted by Parliament on the 3rd of August 1943.
The UK has become well-known for its linguistic diversity among the Celtic peoples that make up the constituent nations of Kingdom. By far, all of the Celtic languages are spoke by about 80-100% of those who identify as Celtic within the population, with English generally being taught as either a first or second language. The total number of Celtic language speakers number in total of 25-30 million in the latest UK census. Many news stations broadcast in their native languages, alongside English, although the Celtic languages outnumber English in some regions south as Northern Scotland and Wales, Cornwall, Devon and most of Ireland.
Due to the lack of the Irish Potato famine in the early 19th century, the population of the United Kingdom has been increased due to a much larger Ireland, with Dublin having over five million people in the greater metropolitan area. The populations of the five Constituent Nations are as follows (as of the 2011 census):
- England: 61 million
- Ireland: 16 million
- Scotland: 8 million
- Wales: 5 million
- Cornwall 1.5 million
- TOTAL: 91.5 million
Culture and Immigration
Ever since the Anglo-Irish Compromise in 1801 and the rapid recovery of the Celtic languages throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, the United Kingdom has seen a huge growth of old Celtic tradition that has made its way into 'traditional' English culture. The huge influx of Germans, Poles, Indians, Danes and other groups that were threatened by the Red Uprisings of the 19th and 20th centuries have also changed the make up of the UK. The patriotic song 'Land of Hope and Glory' has become the anthem for many immigrant communities in the UK since the 1940's.
List of Immigrant Populations by Constituent Nation
- England: - Indo-Pakistani, German, Polish and Baltic
- Scotland: - Danish, Icelandic, Russian, Swedish and Norwegian
- Ireland: - Finnish
- Wales: - German, French, Breton and Dutch-Belgian
- Cornwall: - Breton, French, Dutch-Belgian and Polish