Great britain geography history and economy facts

Great Britain is an island located within the British Isles and it is the ninth-largest island in the world and the largest in Europe. It is located to the northwest of continental Europe and it is home to the United Kingdomwhich includes Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland not actually on the island of Great Britain.

Great Britain has a total area of 88, square milessq km and a population of about 65 million people estimate.

The island of Great Britain is known for the global city of LondonEngland, as well as smaller cities like Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition, Great Britain is known for its history, historic architecture, and natural environment. The island of Great Britain has been inhabited by early humans for at leastyears. It is believed that these humans crossed a land bridge from continental Europe at that time. Modern humans have been in Great Britain for about 30, years and until about 12, years ago, archeological evidence shows that they moved back and forth between the island and continental Europe via a land bridge.

This land bridge closed and Great Britain became an island at the end of the last glaciation. Throughout its modern human history, Great Britain was invaded several times. The island was also controlled by various tribes and was invaded several times.

Inthe island was a part of the Norman Conquest and this began the cultural and political development of the area. Throughout the decades following the Norman Conquest, Great Britain was ruled by several different kings and queens and it was also part of several different treaties between the countries on the island. The use of the name Britain dates back to the time of Aristotle, but the term Great Britain was not officially used until when a marriage proposal between Edward IV of England's daughter Cecily and James IV of Scotland was written.

Today, the term is used to specifically refer to the largest island within the United Kingdom or to the unit of England, Scotland, and Wales. In terms of its politics, the name Great Britain refers to England, Scotland, and Wales because they are on the United Kingdom's largest island. These outlying areas are considered part of Great Britain because they are parts of England, Scotland, or Wales. Great Britain is located to the northwest of continental Europe and to the east of Ireland.

The Channel Tunnelthe longest undersea rail tunnel in the world, connects it with continental Europe. The topography of Great Britain consists mainly of low, gently rolling hills in the eastern and southern portions of the island and hills and low mountains in the western and northern regions.

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The climate of Great Britain is temperate and it is moderated by the Gulf Stream. The region is known for being cool and cloudy during the winter and the western parts of the island are windy and rainy because they are more influenced by the ocean.

The eastern parts are drier and less windy.The United Kingdom is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are covered in their own respective articles, see below. This makes it the 7th largest island country in the world. The area of the countries of the United Kingdom is set out in the table below. Information about the area of Englandthe largest countryis also broken down by region.

Other countries with very similar land areas to the United Kingdom include Guinea slightly largerUgandaGhana and Romania all slightly smaller. The UK is the world's 80th largest country by land area and the 10th largest in Europe if European Russia is included.

The physical geography of the UK varies greatly. England consists of mostly lowland terrain, with upland or mountainous terrain only found north-west of the Tees-Exe line.

The lowland areas are typically traversed by ranges of low hills, frequently composed of chalkand flat plains. Scotland is the most mountainous country in the UK and its physical geography is distinguished by the Highland Boundary Fault which traverses the Scottish mainland from Helensburgh to Stonehaven.

The faultline separates the two distinctively different regions of the Highlands to the north and west, and the Lowlands to the south and east. The Highlands are predominantly mountainous, containing the majority of Scotland's mountainous landscape, while the Lowlands contain flatter land, especially across the Central Lowlandswith upland and mountainous terrain located at the Southern Uplands.

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Wales is mostly mountainous, though south Wales is less mountainous than north and mid Wales. The overall geomorphology of the UK was shaped by a combination of forces including tectonics and climate changein particular glaciation in northern and western areas.

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The longest river is the River Severn which flows from Wales into England. The geology of the UK is complex and diverse, a result of it being subject to a variety of plate tectonic processes over a very extended period of time.

Changing latitude and sea levels have been important factors in the nature of sedimentary sequences, whilst successive continental collisions have affected its geological structure with major faulting and folding being a legacy of each orogeny mountain-building periodoften associated with volcanic activity and the metamorphism of existing rock sequences.

As a result of this eventful geological history, the UK shows a rich variety of landscapes. South and east of the gneisses are a complex mixture of rocks forming the North West Highlands and Grampian Highlands in Scotland. These are essentially the remains of folded sedimentary rocks that were deposited between 1, Ma and Ma over the gneiss on what was then the floor of the Iapetus Ocean. In Gondwana, England and Wales were largely submerged under a shallow sea studded with volcanic islands.

The remains of these islands underlie much of central England with small outcrops visible in many places. During this period north Wales was subject to volcanic activity. The remains of these volcanoes are still visible, one example of which is Rhobell Fawr dating from Ma. Large quantities of volcanic lava and ash known as the Borrowdale Volcanics covered the Lake District and this can still be seen in the form of mountains such as Helvellyn and Scafell Pike. The resulting Caledonian Orogeny produced an Alpine -style mountain range in much of north and west Britain.

The collision between continents continued during the Devonian periodproducing uplift and subsequent erosion, resulting in the deposition of numerous sedimentary rock layers in lowlands and seas. The Old Red Sandstone and the contemporary volcanics and marine sediments found in Devon originated from these processes. Around Ma Great Britain was lying at the equator, covered by the warm shallow waters of the Rheic Oceanduring which time the Carboniferous Limestone was deposited, as found in the Mendip Hills and the Peak District of Derbyshire.

Later, river deltas formed and the sediments deposited were colonised by swamps and rain forest.

great britain geography history and economy facts

It was in this environment that the Coal Measures were formed, the source of the majority of Britain's extensive coal reserves.The United Kingdom has a fiercely independent, developed, and international trading economy that was at the forefront of the 19th-century Industrial Revolution. The country emerged from World War II as a military victor but with a debilitated manufacturing sector.

Postwar recovery was relatively slow, and it took nearly 40 years, with additional stimulation after from membership in the European Economic Community ultimately succeeded by the European Union [EU]for the British economy to improve its competitiveness significantly.

Economic growth rates in the s compared favourably with those of other top industrial countries. The United States remained a major investment and trading partner, and Japan also became a significant investor in local production. American and Japanese companies have often chosen the United Kingdom as their European base. In the s the movement known as Euroskepticism, which advocated political and economic disengagement from the EU, began gaining steam in the United Kingdom.

By the second decade of the 21st century, support for this viewpoint had become so widespread that a referendum on continued British membership in the EU was put to the electorate. During the s the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher pursued the privatizationor denationalization, of publicly owned corporations that had been nationalized by previous governments.

Privatization, accompanied by widespread labour unrest, resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the coal-mining and heavy industrial sectors.

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Although there was some improvement in the standard of living nationally, in general there was greater prosperity in the South East, including London, than in the heavily industrialized regions of the West Midlandsnorthern England, Clydeside, and Belfastwhose economies suffered during the s.

Unemployment and inflation rates were gradually reduced but remained high until the late s. Moreover, its exploitation of offshore natural gas since and oil since in the North Sea has reduced dependence on coal and imported oil and provided a further economic boost.

The United Kingdom is unusual, even among western European countries, in the small proportion of its employed population about 2 percent engaged in agriculture. Employment in agriculture has declined gradually, and, with the introduction of policies to achieve reduction of surpluses, the trend is likely to continue.

Efforts have been made to create alternative employment opportunities in rural areas, some of which are remote from towns. The land area used for agriculture about three-quarters of the total has also declined, and the arable share has fallen in favour of pasture. Official agricultural policy aimed to improve productivity, to ensure stable markets, to provide producers a fair standard of living, and to guarantee consumers regular food supplies at reasonable prices.

Under CAP a system of minimum prices for domestic goods and levies on imports to support domestic prices was provided. Exports were encouraged by subsidies that made up the difference between the world market price and the EU price. For a few products, particularly beef and sheep, there were additional payments made directly to producers.

Other policies included milk quotas, land set-asides to compensate farmers for taking land out of agricultural useand reliance on the price mechanism as a regulator. The most important farm crops are wheat, barley, oats, sugar beets, potatoes, and rapeseed. While significant proportions of wheat, barley, and rapeseed provide animal feedmuch of the remainder is processed for human consumption through flour milling wheatmalting and distilling barleyand the production of vegetable oil rapeseed.

The main livestock products derive from cattle and calves, sheep and lambs, pigs, and poultry. The United Kingdom has achieved a high level of self-sufficiency in the main agricultural products except for sugar and cheese. The government-supported Forestry Commission manages almost half of these woodlands, and the rest are in private hands. The majority of new plantings are of conifers in upland areas, but the commission encourages planting broad-leaved trees where appropriate.

Fishing limits were extended to nautical miles km offshore in the mids, and, because a significant part of the area fished by EU members lies within British waters, catches were regulated on a community-wide basis while the United Kingdom was a member of the EU. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom lost opportunities to fish in some more-distant waters e. The most important fish landed are cod, haddock, mackerel, whiting, and plaice, as well as shellfish, including Nephrops Norway lobsterslobsters, crabs, and oysters.

Estuarine fish farming—mainly of trout and salmon—has expanded considerably. The United Kingdom has relatively limited supplies of economically valuable mineral resources. The once-important extraction of iron ore has dwindled to almost nothing.

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Other important metals that are mined include tin, which supplies about half the domestic demand, and zinc.United Kingdomisland country located off the northwestern coast of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom comprises the whole of the island of Great Britain—which contains EnglandWalesand Scotland —as well as the northern portion of the island of Ireland.

The name Britain is sometimes used to refer to the United Kingdom as a whole. Through subsequent conquest over the following centuries, kingdoms lying farther afield came under English dominion. Scotland, ruled from London sinceformally was joined with England and Wales in to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Ireland came under English control during the s and was formally united with Great Britain through the Act of Union of Relations between these constituent states and England have been marked by controversy and, at times, open rebellion and even warfare.

These tensions relaxed somewhat during the late 20th century, when devolved assemblies were introduced in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The United Kingdom has made significant contributions to the world economy, especially in technology and industry. The United Kingdom retains links with parts of its former empire through the Commonwealth. Moreover, the United Kingdom became a member of the European Union in But we have our own dream and our own task.

We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed. Thus, on January 31,the United Kingdom would become the first country to withdraw from the EU. The United Kingdom contains most of the area and population of the British Isles—the geographic term for the group of islands that includes Great Britain, Ireland, and many smaller islands.

Together England, Wales, and Scotland constitute Great Britain, the larger of the two principal islands, while Northern Ireland and the republic of Ireland constitute the second largest island, Ireland. England, occupying most of southern Great Britain, includes the Isles of Scilly off the southwest coast and the Isle of Wight off the southern coast.

Scotland, occupying northern Great Britain, includes the Orkney and Shetland islands off the northern coast and the Hebrides off the northwestern coast. Wales lies west of England and includes the island of Anglesey to the northwest. Apart from the land border with the Irish republic, the United Kingdom is surrounded by sea. The North Sea lies to the east. At its widest the United Kingdom is miles km across.

From the northern tip of Scotland to the southern coast of England, it is about miles 1, km. No part is more than 75 miles km from the sea. The capital, London, is situated on the tidal River Thames in southeastern England. The archipelago formed by Great Britain and the numerous smaller islands is as irregular in shape as it is diverse in geology and landscape. This diversity stems largely from the nature and disposition of the underlying rocks, which are westward extensions of European structures, with the shallow waters of the Strait of Dover and the North Sea concealing former land links.

Northern Ireland contains a westward extension of the rock structures of Scotland.Located in northeastern Africa, Sudan is the largest country in Africa.

It is also the tenth largest country in the world based on area.

Geography of the United Kingdom

Sudan is bordered by nine different countries and it is located along the Red Sea. It has a long history of civil wars as well as political and social instability. The elections for secession began on January 9, and the referendum to secede passed strongly. South Sudan seceded from Sudan because it is mostly Christian and it has been engaged in a civil war with the Muslim north for several decades.

Sudan has a long history that begins with its being a collection of small kingdoms until Egypt conquered the area in the early s. At this time, however, Egypt only controlled the northern portions, while the south was made up of independent tribes.

InMuhammad ibn Abdalla, also known as Mahdi, began a crusade to unify western and central Sudan which created the Umma Party.

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InMahdi led a revolt but he died soon after and inEgypt and Great Britain regained joint control of the area. Inhowever, Great Britain and Egypt gave Sudan the powers of self-government and put it on a path to independence. On January 1,Sudan gained full independence. According to the United States Department of State, once it gained independence Sudan's leaders began to renege on promises to create a federal system, which began a long period of civil war in the country between the northern and southern areas as the north has long tried to implement Muslim policies and customs.

As a result of the long civil wars, Sudan's economic and political progress has been slow and a large part of its population has been displaced to neighboring countries over the years. Throughout the s, s and s, Sudan underwent several changes in government and suffered from high levels of political instability along with the continuing civil war.

The NCP, however, carries most of the power. Sudan also has an executive branch of government with a president and a legislative branch made up of the bicameral National Legislature. This body consists of the Council of States and the National Assembly. Sudan's judicial branch is made up of several different high courts. The country is also divided into 25 different states. Recently, Sudan's economy has begun to grow after many years of instability due to its civil war.

There are a number of different industries in Sudan today and agriculture also plays a large role in its economy. The main industries of Sudan are oil, cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, armaments, and automobile assembly. Its main agricultural products include cotton, peanuts, sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, tapioca, mangos, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes, sesame, and livestock.

Sudan is a large country with a total land area ofsquare miles 2, sq km.

great britain geography history and economy facts

Despite the country's size, most of Sudan's topography is relatively flat with a featureless plain, according to the CIA World Factbook. There are some high mountains in the far south and along the country's northeast and western areas, however. Sudan's highest point, Kinyeti at 10, feet 3, mis located on its far southern border with Uganda.Brightonurban area from built-up areaunitary authority of Brighton and Hovehistoric county of Sussexsoutheastern England.

It is a seaside resort on the English Channel51 miles 82 km south of central London. In the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove was granted city status. Brighton spreads over the steep chalk slopes of the South Downs to the north. To the east it is fronted by chalk cliffs, and to the west it merges with the residential borough of Hove.

Major sea defenses initiated in line the shore between Black Rock and Saltdean.

Geography of Sudan

A marina for boating has been created at Black Rock. Brighton was for many centuries nothing more than a tiny fishing community. In the prince of Waleslater the prince regent and then King George IVmade the first of his many visits to Brighton. His powerful patronage of the locality extended almost continuously to and stamped the town with the distinguished character still reflected in its Regency squares and terraces.

His Royal Paviliondesigned in Indian style with fantastic Chinese interior decorations, was built on the Old Steine, where fishing nets were once dried. The pavilion now houses a museum and art gallery, while the Dome, originally the royal stables, is used for concerts and conferences. Victorian Brighton grew rapidly with the opening of the railway connecting it with London. The old fishing port, with its houses of black flint, includes the Lanes, now known for antique shops.

The seaward side of the old port is bounded by the main promenade, which lies between the Palace and West piers. Brighton now has more than 7 miles 11 km of seafront above its pebbly beach.

East of the Palace Pier the first electric railway in Great Britain carried tourists in open coaches. The town has the Theatre Royal, a racecourse overlooking the sea from the downs, an aquarium, golf courses, and a sports arena. The municipal airport is at Shoreham-by-Sea.

great britain geography history and economy facts

The University of Sussex was founded at nearby Falmer in The town has industrial estates, and their highly diversified products range from office machinery to street name plates. Brighton Article Media Additional Info. Print Cite. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login.

External Websites. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Much lacquered and bamboo furniture was used, blending with Chinese wallpapers, fanciful treatments of palm trees as columns, and the most extravagant of crystal chandeliers. In general, however, the Regency style strove…. Brighton and Hovecity and unitary authority, geographic county of East Sussex, historic county of Sussex, southeastern England.Our UK Facts for Kids provide interesting and fun facts about the United Kingdom, its geography, its landmarks and attractions.

The United Kingdom includes four countries. First let's start with explaining the distinctions between United Kingdom, Great Britain and Britain. The UK is a country with a diverse and multiethnic population. People from all over the world have made this country their home.

The most popular sports are soccer, rugby, cricket and golf. All these sports are said to have been invented in the UK. Golf is said to have been invented already in The UK has over universities among them the most prestigious universities Oxford and Cambridge. The main language spoken in the UK is British English.

Scots, Welsh and Irish are also spoken. In Wales, Welsh names are given on road signs together with English names which makes traveling much easier for many. Did you know that French was actually the official language in the UK for about three hundred years, from - ! The Breton language is nowadays mostly spoken by the people in Brittany in northwestern France.

Food and soft drinks are among the main manufactured goods in the UK, still almost half of its food stuff consumed on the British isles is imported to meet the populations needs. And Britons like curries, albeit mild ones. Afternoon tea is actually a light meal of tea and sandwiches or toast, scones or pastry served in between lunch and tea. Afternoon tea is taken around 16h and 17h in many families when children come home from school.

Tea time! The largest mammal in the UK is the red deer. Various species of deer and rabbits are common in the UK. The UK was the first to use postage stamps: In the first stamps show a portrait of Queen Victoria.


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