United Kingdom History

United Kingdom History and Demography

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland [1] . It is a sovereign member state of the European Union and located in northwestern Europe. Its territory is geographically formed by the island of Great Britain, the northeast territory of the island of Ireland and small adjacent islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the country with a land border, which separates it from the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this border, it is surrounded to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the east by the North Sea, to the south by the English Channel and to the west by the Irish Sea. London is the capital city of United Kingdom according to itypejob.

The United Kingdom is a unitary state comprised of four constituent countries: Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland, and is governed by a parliamentary system with seat of government in London, the capital, but with three decentralized national administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, the capitals of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as head of state. The Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the United Kingdom, but do form a federation with it [2] . The United Kingdom has fourteen Overseas Territories, all of them vestiges of what was once the British Empire, which at its territorial peak came to encompass about a quarter of the planet’s land surface.

It is a developed country and due to the net volume of its gross domestic product it is considered the sixth largest economy in the world. It was the first industrialized country in the world [3] [4] and the main world power during the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century [5] , but the economic cost of the two world wars and the decline of its empire in the second part of the 20th century they diminished their role in international relations. However, the UK maintains significant economic, cultural, military and political influence and is a nuclear power. It is a founding member state of the European Union, one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with veto power, and is a member of the G8 and the G20, the NATO and the Commonwealth of Nations (Commonwealth).


The kingdoms of Scotland and England had existed as separate entities and independent states with their own monarchies and political structures since the 9th century. With the Act of Union of 1707, the separate kingdoms of England (including Wales) and Scotland, which had been in personal union since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, agreed to a political union, thus forming the Kingdom of Great Britain. The partition of the island of Ireland in 1920, with six of the nine counties in the province of Ulster Remaining under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, it led to the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922. With this, the country got its current name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which was adopted in 1927. Since 1923 it has been part of the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland.

The United Kingdom played an important role in the Enlightenment with important contributions in the fields of philosophy and science, as well as having a strong literary and theatrical tradition. In the 19th century, the country played a leading role in the development of parliamentary democracy, and made important contributions to the fields of literature, the arts, and science. The Industrial Revolution led by the United Kingdom transformed the country and served as the engine of the British Empire. During this period, like other great powers, the United Kingdom was involved in colonial exploitation, including with this the slave trade; but with the Slave Trade Act of 1807, the United Kingdom became the first country in the world to ban slavery.

After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in the Napoleonic Wars, the United Kingdom became the main naval power of the 19th century. At its peak, the British Empire came to encompass vast amounts of territory in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and America. In the late Victorian era the United Kingdom lost its industrial leadership, particularly by the German Empire, which surpassed the United Kingdom in industrial production and exchange in the 1890s, and by the United States.. However, the country remained a power and its empire reached its maximum extension in 1921, thanks to the delivery of the mandates of the League of Nations of the former German and Ottoman colonies after the First World War.

After the First World War, the first large-scale international broadcasting station, the BBC, was created. In 1924, the country’s labor movement, which had been gaining strength since the late 1890s, assumed its first term in government. The United Kingdom fought against Nazi Germany in World War II initially with its allies from the British Commonwealth of Nations, which included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India, later joining the allied countries.

After the Second War the financial situation of the United Kingdom was precarious and the loans requested from Canada and the United States had a high cost. But thanks to the Marshall plan and other favorable conditions, the country’s economic situation improved substantially in just a few decades. The years immediately following the war saw the establishment of the British welfare state and one of the world’s first and most comprehensive health services, while signs of a recovering economy brought immigrants from the Commonwealth countries, bringing made the UK a multi-ethnic country.


The population of the United Kingdom is estimated at 61,113,205 residents (July 2009), which gives a density of 250.86 residents per square kilometer. 90% of the population is concentrated in cities, which makes it the most urbanized country in the world.

Regarding ethnic groups, they are predominantly white (of which 83.6% are English, 8.6% Scottish, 4.9% Welsh, 2.9% Northern Irish) 92.1%, 2% black, 1 Hindus, 8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed race 1.2%, other 1.6% (2001 census). The British derive from a mixture that was produced throughout history by invasions of Celts (Cimbrios, Gauls), West Germans (Angles, Saxons) and Scandinavians. For several centuries the English emigrated to the colonies of their Empire, and this population loss has been offset by the arrival in the metropolis of people from these countries, particularly from Southeast Asia, hence the Pakistani and Hindu minorities in the country.

The official language is English, although Welsh is spoken by 26% of the population of Wales and Scottish Gaelic is spoken by around 60,000 Scots.

71.6% of the population is Christian, mainly Anglican (Anglican Church), although there are also Catholics, Presbyterians and Methodists. There are 2.7% of Muslims, 1% that profess Hinduism and, according to the 2001 census, 1.6% of other beliefs and 23.1% of unspecified or none beliefs.

The capital London has a metropolitan area that has 12,875,000 residents, with a density of 1,130 residents per square kilometer, the second largest metropolitan area in Europe after Moscow. But there are a whole series of major cities: Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh (capital of Scotland), Bristol, Manchester, Leicester, Coventry, Kingston upon Hull, Cardiff (capital of Wales, 292,150 pop.) And Belfast (Capital of Northern Ireland, 276,459 pop.).

Traditionally, the United Kingdom was divided into one hundred and two counties, of which 46 are from England, 33 from Scotland, 13 from Wales and 8 from Northern Ireland.

United Kingdom History