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England is a
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...
that is part of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
. It shares land borders with
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
to its west and
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
to its north. The
Irish Sea The Irish Sea or , gv, Y Keayn Yernagh, sco, Erse Sie, gd, Muir Èireann , Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster ...
lies northwest of England and the
Celtic Sea The Celtic Sea ; cy, Y Môr Celtaidd ; kw, An Mor Keltek ; br, Ar Mor Keltiek ; french: La mer Celtique is the area of the Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ...
to the southwest. England is separated from
continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', lite ...

continental Europe
by the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
to the east and the
English Channel The English Channel,, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" (Cotentinais Cotentinais is the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two ...

English Channel
to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the
Isles of Scilly The Isles of Scilly (; kw, Syllan or ') is an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, England. One of the islands, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly, St Agnes, is the most southerly point in Great Britain, Britain, being over further south ...
and the
Isle of Wight The Isle of Wight () is a Counties of England, county and the List of islands of England, largest and second-most populous island of England. It is in the English Channel, between two and five miles off the coast of Hampshire, from which it is ...

Isle of Wight
. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the
Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the is the third and last subdivision of the or Old . Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and years ago (the beginning of the ), according to some theories coinciding with the ...
period, but takes its name from the
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli; german: Angeln) were one of the main Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditional ...

Angles
, a
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century and has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world since the
Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), is an informal and loosely defined term for the early modern period The early modern period of modern history ...
, which began during the 15th century. The
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), g ...

English language
, the
Anglican Church Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia * ...
, and
English law English law is the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Blac ...
—the basis for the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
legal systems of many other countries around the world—developed in England, and the country's
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and
plain In geography, a plain is a flat expanse of land that generally does not change much in elevation, and is primarily treeless. Plains occur as lowlands along valleys or at the base of mountains, as coastal plains, and as plateaus or Highland, up ...

plain
s, especially in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the north (for example, the
Lake District The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, ...

Lake District
and
Pennines The Pennines (), also known as the Pennine Chain or Pennine Hills, are a more-or-less continuous range of hills and mountains running between three regions of Northern England Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply ...
) and in the west (for example,
Dartmoor Dartmoor is an upland area in southern Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a Counties of England, county in South West England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is bou ...

Dartmoor
and the
Shropshire Hills The Shropshire Hills is an upland area and one of the natural regions of England. They lie wholly within the county of Shropshire Shropshire (; alternatively Salop; abbreviated, in print only, Shrops; demonym Salopian ,) is a landlocked coun ...
). The capital is
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
, which has the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom. England's population of 56.3 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, largely concentrated around London, the South East, and conurbations in the
Midlands The Midlands is the central part of England and a cultural area that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Mercia, Kingdom of Mercia. The Midlands region is bordered by Northern England and Southern England. The Midlands were important in th ...

Midlands
, the
North West
North West
, the
North East The points of the compass are the Euclidean vector, vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, east, south, and west—each separated by 90 degree ( ...
, and
Yorkshire Yorkshire (; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply the North, is the most northern area of England England ...

Yorkshire
, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.2011 Census – Population and household estimates for England and Wales, March 2011
Accessed 31 May 2013.
The
Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or ...

Kingdom of England
– which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
on 1 May 1707, when the
Acts of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to make Wales a part of the Kingdom of England (These laws are often referred to in the plural as the "Acts of Un ...
put into effect the terms agreed in the
Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes include individuals, business entities, and other L ...

Treaty of Union
the previous year, resulting in a political union with the
Kingdom of Scotland The Kingdom of Scotland ( gd, Rìoghachd na h-Alba; sco, Kinrick o Scotland) was a sovereign state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the northern thi ...
to create the
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain,"After the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, the nation's official name became 'Great Britain'", ''The American Pageant, Volume 1'', Cengage Learning (2012) was a s ...

Kingdom of Great Britain
. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the
Kingdom of Ireland The Kingdom of Ireland ( ga, label= Classical Irish, an Ríoghacht Éireann; ga, label=Modern Irish Irish ( in ), sometimes referred to as Gaelic, is a of the branch of the , which is a part of the . Irish is to the and was the po ...

Kingdom of Ireland
(through another
Act of UnionAct of Union may refer to: In Great Britain and Ireland * Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, passed during the reign of King Henry VIII to make Wales a part of the Kingdom of England (These laws are often referred to in the plural as the "Acts of Un ...
) to become the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some f ...

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
. In 1922 the
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of St ...
seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


Toponymy

The name "England" is derived from the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
name ''Englaland'', which means "land of the
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli; german: Angeln) were one of the main Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditional ...

Angles
". The Angles were one of the
Germanic tribes This list of ancient Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Socie ...
that settled in Great Britain during the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the
Bay of Kiel The Bay of Kiel or Kiel Bay (, ; ) is a bay in the southwestern Baltic Sea, off the shores of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and the islands of Denmark. It is connected with the Bay of Mecklenburg in the east, the Little Belt in the northwest, an ...
area (present-day German state of Schleswig–Holstein) of the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
. The earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
of
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sa ...

Bede
's ''
Ecclesiastical History of the English People The ''Ecclesiastical History of the English People'' ( la, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum), written by the Venerable Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerabl ...
''. The term was then used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", and it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was then part of the English kingdom of
Northumbria Northumbria (; ang, Norþanhymbra Rīċe; la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum) was an early medieval Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social scie ...

Northumbria
. The ''
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle The ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' is a collection of annals Annals ( la, annāles, from , "year") are a concise historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the stud ...
'' recorded that the
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent ...
of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years later the ''Chronicle'' stated that King
Malcolm III Malcolm III ( gd, Máel Coluim mac Donnchada; c. 26 March 1031 – 13 November 1093 (age 62)) was King of Scots The monarch of Scotland was the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially ...
went "out of Scotlande into
Lothian Lothian (; sco, Lowden, Loudan, -en, -o(u)n; gd, Lodainn ) is a region of the Scottish Lowlands, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills and the Moorfoot Hills. The principal settlement is the Scottish c ...

Lothian
in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus ( , ; – ) was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature Classi ...

Tacitus
, ''
Germania Germania ( , ), also called Magna Germania (English: ''Great Germania''), Germania Libera (English: ''Free Germania'') or Germanic Barbaricum Barbaricum (from the gr, Βαρβαρικόν, "foreign", "barbarian") is a geographical name used by ...
'', in which the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
word ''Anglii'' is used. The etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars; it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an ''angular'' shape. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe that was less significant than others, such as the
Saxons The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...

Saxons
, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain ''Angli Saxones'' or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons (Eald-Seaxe) of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups o ...
, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England (''Sasunn''); similarly, the Welsh name for the English language is "''Saesneg''". A romantic name for England is
Loegria Logres (also Logris or Loegria) is King Arthur's realm in the Matter of Britain. It derives from the medieval Welsh language, Welsh word ''Lloegyr'', a name of uncertain origin referring to South and Eastern England (''Lloegr'' in modern Welsh for ...
, related to the
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
word for England, ''Lloegr'', and made popular by its use in
Arthurian legend The Matter of Britain is the body of medieval literature and legendary material associated with Great Britain and Brittany, and the list of legendary kings of Britain, legendary kings and heroes associated with it, particularly King Arthur. I ...
. ''
Albion Albion is an alternative name for Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands ...

Albion
'' is also applied to England in a more poetic capacity, though its original meaning is the island of Britain as a whole.


History


Prehistory and antiquity

The earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of ''
Homo antecessor ''Homo antecessor'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

Homo antecessor
'', dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago. Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the
Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the is the third and last subdivision of the or Old . Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and years ago (the beginning of the ), according to some theories coinciding with the ...
period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years. After the last
ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents an ...
only large mammals such as
mammoth A mammoth is any species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organ ...

mammoth
s,
bison Bison are large, even-toed ungulate The even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla , ) are ungulate Ungulates ( ) are members of the diverse clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', "branch"), also known as a monophyletic group or natural gro ...

bison
and
woolly rhinoceros The woolly rhinoceros (''Coelodonta antiquitatis'') is an extinct species of rhinoceros A rhinoceros (, , ), commonly abbreviated to rhino, is a member of any of the five Extant taxon, extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family (biol ...
remained. Roughly 11,000 years ago, when the
ice sheets In glaciology Lateral moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt">Gorner_Glacier.html" ;"title="moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier">moraine on a glacier joining the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt, Swiss Alps. The moraine is ...
began to recede, humans repopulated the area; genetic research suggests they came from the northern part of the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian Peninsula
. The sea level was lower than now and Britain was connected by
land bridge In biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A sp ...
to Ireland and
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a ...

Eurasia
. As the seas rose, it was separated from Ireland 10,000 years ago and from Eurasia two millennia later. The
Beaker culture The Bell Beaker culture (or, in short, Beaker culture) is an archaeological culture An archaeological culture is a recurring Assemblage (archaeology), assemblage of types of Artifact (archaeology), artifacts, buildings and monuments from a specif ...

Beaker culture
arrived around 2,500 BC, introducing drinking and food vessels constructed from clay, as well as vessels used as reduction pots to smelt copper ores. It was during this time that major
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
monuments such as
Stonehenge Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, west of Amesbury. It consists of an outer ring of vertical sarsen standing stones, each around high, wide, and weighing around 25 tons, topped by connecting ho ...

Stonehenge
and
Avebury Avebury () is a Neolithic British Isles, Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, around the village of Avebury (village), Avebury in Wiltshire, in southwest England. One of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain, it contai ...

Avebury
were constructed. By heating together tin and copper, which were in abundance in the area, the Beaker culture people made
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
, and later iron from iron ores. The development of iron
smelting Smelting is a process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal. It is a form of extractive metallurgy. It is used to extract many metals from their ores, including Silver mining#Ore processing, silver, iron-making, iron, copper ...
allowed the construction of better
plough A plough or plow ( US; both ) is a farm tool for loosening or turning the soil before sowing Sowing is the process of planting. An area or object that has had seeds planted in it will be described as a sowed area. Plants which are usu ...

plough
s, advancing agriculture (for instance, with
Celtic field Celtic field is an old name for traces of early (prehistoric) agricultural field systemThe study of field systems (collections of fields) in landscape history Landscape history is the study of the way in which humanity has changed the physical appe ...
s), as well as the production of more effective weapons. During the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
,
Celtic cultureCeltic culture may refer to: *Celts *Celts#Celtic art, Ancient Celtic culture *Celtic revival *Celts (modern) *Gaelic culture The Celtic culture of the Celtic nations: *Culture of Ireland *Culture of Scotland *Culture of the Isle of Man *Culture o ...

Celtic culture
, deriving from the
Hallstatt Hallstatt ( , , ) is a small town in the district of Gmunden, in the Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Al ...

Hallstatt
and
La Tène culture The La Tène culture (; ) was a Iron Age Europe, European Iron Age culture. It developed and flourished during the late Iron Age (from about 450 BCE to the Roman Empire, Roman conquest in the 1st century BCE), succeeding the early Iron Age Hall ...
s, arrived from Central Europe. Brythonic was the spoken language during this time. Society was tribal; according to
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
's ''
Geographia The ''Geography'' ( grc-gre, Γεωγραφικὴ Ὑφήγησις, ''Geōgraphikḕ Hyphḗgēsis'',  "Geographical Guidance"), also known by its Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
'' there were around 20 tribes in the area. Earlier divisions are unknown because the Britons were not literate. Like other regions on the edge of the Empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans. Julius Caesar of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
attempted to invade twice in 55 BC; although largely unsuccessful, he managed to set up a
client king A client state, in international relations, is a State (polity), state that is economically, politically, and/or militarily subordinate to another more powerful state (called “controlling state” in this article). A client state may variously be ...
from the
Trinovantes The Trinovantes or Trinobantes were one of the Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe ti ...
. The Romans invaded Britain in 43 AD during the reign of Emperor
Claudius Claudius ( ; Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was the fourth Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial p ...

Claudius
, subsequently conquering much of Britain, and the area was incorporated into the Roman Empire as
Britannia province
Britannia province
. The best-known of the native tribes who attempted to resist were the
Catuvellauni The Catuvellauni (Gaulish language, Gaulish: "war-chiefs") were a Celtic tribe or state of southeastern prehistoric Britain, Britain before the Roman conquest of Britain, Roman conquest, attested by inscriptions into the 4th century. The fortu ...
led by
Caratacus Caratacus ( Brythonic ''*Caratācos'', Middle Welsh Middle Welsh ( cy, Cymraeg Canol, wlm, Kymraec) is the label attached to the Welsh language of the 12th to 15th centuries, of which much more remains than for any earlier period. This form o ...
. Later, an uprising led by
Boudica Boudica or Boudicca (, ), also known as Boadicea (, also ) or Boudicea, and in Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language fami ...
, Queen of the
Iceni The Iceni ( , ) or Eceni were a Brittonic Brittonic or Brythonic may refer to: *Common Brittonic, or Brythonic, the Celtic language anciently spoken in Great Britain *Brittonic languages, a branch of the Celtic languages descended from Common Brit ...
, ended with Boudica's suicide following her defeat at the
Battle of Watling Street The decisive battle A decisive victory is a military victory in battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle ...
. The author of one study of Roman Britain suggested that from 43 AD to 84 AD, the Roman invaders killed somewhere between 100,000 and 250,000 people from a population of perhaps 2,000,000. This era saw a
Greco-Roman The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the ), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that culturally—and so historically—were directly and ...
culture prevail with the introduction of
Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the ''Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman emperor J ...
,
Roman architecture Ancient Roman architecture adopted the external language of classical Greek architecture Ancient Greek architecture came from the Greeks, Greek-speaking people (''Hellenic'' people) whose Ancient Greece, culture flourished on the Gre ...

Roman architecture
,
aqueducts Aqueduct may refer to: Bridges *Aqueduct (bridge) Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, Italy, built by Luigi Vanvitelli. It is a World Heritage Site and one of the finest examples of an aqueduct in Europe. Aqueducts or water bridges are bridges constructe ...
, sewers, many agricultural items and silk. In the 3rd century, Emperor
Septimius Severus Lucius Septimius Severus (; 11 April 145 – 4 February 211) was Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna (present day Al-Khums, Libya) in the Roman province of Africa (Roman province), Africa. As a young man he advanced thro ...
died at
Eboracum Eboracum () was a and later a in the of . In its prime it was the largest town in northern Britain and a provincial capital. The site remained occupied after the decline of the and ultimately developed into the present-day city , occupying ...
(now
York York is a cathedral city City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United ...

York
), where
Constantine Constantine most often refers to: * Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterra ...

Constantine
was subsequently proclaimed emperor a century later. There is debate about when Christianity was first introduced; it was no later than the 4th century, probably much earlier. According to
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sa ...

Bede
, missionaries were sent from Rome by
EleutheriusEleutherius, Eleutherus or Eleuterus may refer to: Gods *An epithet of Dionysus and Zeus, meaning 'The Liberator' Saints *2nd century Pope Eleutherius (feast day: May 26) *Eleutherius of Rocca d'Arce (feast day: May 29), English pilgrim who di ...

Eleutherius
at the request of the chieftain
Lucius of Britain Lucius (Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, ...
in 180 AD, to settle differences as to Eastern and Western ceremonials, which were disturbing the church. There are traditions linked to Glastonbury claiming an introduction through
Joseph of Arimathea#REDIRECT Joseph of Arimathea Joseph of Arimathea was, according to all four canonical gospels Gospel originally meant the Christianity, Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set ...
, while others claim through
Lucius of Britain Lucius (Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, ...
. By 410, during the
Decline of the Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Rom ...
, Britain was left exposed by the
end of Roman rule in Britain The end of Roman rule in Britain was the transition from Roman Britain Roman Britain is the period in classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural hi ...
and the withdrawal of Roman army units, to defend the frontiers in continental Europe and partake in civil wars. Celtic Christian monastic and missionary movements flourished: Patrick (5th-century Ireland) and in the 6th century Brendan (Clonfert), Comgall (Bangor), David (Wales), Aiden (Lindisfarne) and Columba (Iona). This period of Christianity was influenced by ancient Celtic culture in its sensibilities, polity, practices and theology. Local "congregations" were centred in the monastic community and monastic leaders were more like chieftains, as peers, rather than in the more hierarchical system of the Roman-dominated church.See ''Early Christian Christianity'', Brendan Lehane, Constable, London: John Murray Ltd., 1968


Middle Ages

Roman military Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter ...
withdrawals left Britain open to invasion by pagan, seafaring warriors from north-western continental Europe, chiefly the Saxons,
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli; german: Angeln) were one of the main Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditional ...

Angles
,
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyde, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscan ...
and Frisians who had long raided the coasts of the Roman province. These groups then began to settle in increasing numbers over the course of the fifth and sixth centuries, initially in the eastern part of the country. Their advance was contained for some decades after the Britons' victory at the
Battle of Mount Badon The Battle of Badon also known as the Battle of Mons Badonicus ( la, obsessioBadonici montis, "Blockade/siege of the Badonic Hill"; ''Bellum in monte Badonis'', "Battle on Badon Hill"; ''Bellum Badonis'', "Battle of Badon"; Old Welsh: ''Bado ...
, but subsequently resumed, overrunning the fertile lowlands of Britain and reducing the area under
Brittonic Brittonic or Brythonic may refer to: *Common Brittonic, or Brythonic, the Celtic language anciently spoken in Great Britain *Brittonic languages, a branch of the Celtic languages descended from Common Brittonic *Celtic Britons, Britons (Celtic peop ...
control to a series of separate enclaves in the more rugged country to the west by the end of the 6th century. Contemporary texts describing this period are extremely scarce, giving rise to its description as a
Dark Age The "Dark Ages" is a historical periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World ...
. The nature and progression of the
Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain is the process which changed the language and culture of most of what became England from Romano-British to Germanic peoples, Germanic. The Germanic-speakers in Britain, themselves of diverse origins, even ...
is consequently subject to considerable disagreement; the emerging consensus is that it occurred on a large scale in the south and east but was less substantial to the north and west, where Celtic languages continued to be spoken even in areas under Anglo-Saxon control.Härke, Heinrich. "Anglo-Saxon Immigration and Ethnogenesis." ''Medieval Archaeology'' 55.1 (2011): 1–28. Roman-dominated Christianity had, in general, disappeared from the conquered territories, but was reintroduced by missionaries from Rome led by from 597 onwards. Disputes between the Roman- and Celtic-dominated forms of Christianity ended in victory for the Roman tradition at the
Council of Whitby In the Synod of Whitby in 664, King Oswiu of Northumbria Oswiu, also known as Oswy or Oswig ( ang, Ōswīg) (c. 612 – 15 February 670), was King of Bernicia from 642 and of Kingdom of Northumbria, Northumbria from 654 until his death. He is no ...
(664), which was ostensibly about
tonsure Tonsure () is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Bioch ...

tonsure
s (clerical haircuts) and the date of Easter, but more significantly, about the differences in Roman and Celtic forms of authority, theology, and practice. During the settlement period the lands ruled by the incomers seem to have been fragmented into numerous tribal territories, but by the 7th century, when substantial evidence of the situation again becomes available, these had coalesced into roughly a dozen kingdoms including
Northumbria Northumbria (; ang, Norþanhymbra Rīċe; la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum) was an early medieval Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social scie ...

Northumbria
,
Mercia Mercia (, ang, Miercna rīċe; la, Merciorum regnum) was one of the kingdoms of the . The name is a of the or (West Saxon dialect; in the Mercian dialect itself), meaning "border people" (see ). Mercia dominated what would later become ...

Mercia
,
Wessex Wessex (; ang, Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy, kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from 519 until England was Kingdom of England, unified by Æthelstan in 927. The Anglo-Sa ...

Wessex
,
East Anglia East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. This region was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics purposes from 1999. It includes the ceremonial ...
,
Essex Essex () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Ro ...
,
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert ...

Kent
and
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...
. Over the following centuries, this process of political consolidation continued. The 7th century saw a struggle for hegemony between Northumbria and Mercia, which in the 8th century gave way to Mercian preeminence. In the early 9th century Mercia was displaced as the foremost kingdom by Wessex. Later in that century escalating attacks by the
Danes Danes ( da, danskere, ) are a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a lang ...
culminated in the conquest of the north and east of England, overthrowing the kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. Wessex under
Alfred the Great Alfred the Great (848/49 – 26 October 899) was king of the West Saxons This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until 886 AD. For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. While the details of the later monarchs are confirmed by a numbe ...

Alfred the Great
was left as the only surviving English kingdom, and under his successors, it steadily expanded at the expense of the kingdoms of the
Danelaw The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; ang, Dena lagu; da, Danelagen) was the part of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
. This brought about the political unification of England, first accomplished under
Æthelstan Æthelstan or Athelstan (; ang, Æðelstān ; on, Aðalsteinn; meaning "noble stone"; 894 – 27 October 939) was List of monarchs of Wessex, King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 and List of English monarchs, King of the English from 927 ...
in 927 and definitively established after further conflicts by
Eadred Eadred (also Edred, 'the Weak-in-the-Feet') (923 – 23 November 955) was King of the English This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Kingdom of Wessex, Wessex, one of th ...

Eadred
in 953. A fresh wave of Scandinavian attacks from the late 10th century ended with the conquest of this united kingdom by
Sweyn Forkbeard Sweyn Forkbeard (; Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian was a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their Viking expansion, overseas settlements from about the ...

Sweyn Forkbeard
in 1013 and again by his son
Cnut Cnut (; ang, Cnut cyning; non, Knútr inn ríki ; or , no, Knut den mektige, sv, Knut den Store. died 12 November 1035), also known as Cnut the Great and Canute, was King of the English This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of Engl ...
in 1016, turning it into the centre of a short-lived
North Sea Empire North Sea Empire and Anglo-Scandinavian Empire are terms used by historians to refer to the personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more State (polity), states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and ...
that also included
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...
and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
. However, the native royal dynasty was restored with the accession of
Edward the Confessor Edward the Confessor ( ang, Ēadƿeard Andettere ; la, Eduardus Confessor , ; 1003 – 5 January 1066) was one of the last Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the so ...

Edward the Confessor
in 1042. A dispute over the succession to Edward led to the
Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of Normans, Duchy of Brittany, Bretons, County of Flanders, Flemish, and men from other Kingdom of France, French ...
in 1066, accomplished by an army led by . The
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
themselves originated from
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sa ...

Scandinavia
and had settled in Normandy in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. This conquest led to the almost total dispossession of the English elite and its replacement by a new French-speaking aristocracy, whose speech had a profound and permanent effect on the English language. Subsequently, the
House of Plantagenet The House of Plantagenet () was a royal house A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university ...
from Anjou inherited the English throne under
Henry II Henry II may refer to: Kings *Henry II of England (1133–89), reigned from 1154 *Henry II of Jerusalem and Cyprus (1271–1324), reigned from 1285; king of Jerusalem in name only from 1291 *Henry II of Castile (1334–79), reigned 1366–67 and ...

Henry II
, adding England to the budding
Angevin Empire The Angevin Empire (; french: link=no, Empire Plantagenêt) describes the possessions of the Angevin kings of England The Angevins (; "from Anjou Anjou (, ; ; la, Andegavia) was a French province straddling the lower Loire River. Its cap ...

Angevin Empire
of fiefs the family had inherited in France including
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=n ...

Aquitaine
.. They reigned for three centuries, some noted monarchs being
Richard I Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 1189 until his death in 1199. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western Kin ...

Richard I
,
Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

Edward I
,
Edward III Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death in 1377. He is noted for his military success and for restoring roy ...

Edward III
and
Henry VHenry V may refer to: People * Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (1081–1125) * Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine (1173–1227) * Henry V, Count of Luxembourg (1216–1281) * Henry V, Duke of Legnica (c.  1248 – 1296) * Henry V of Iron (c. 1319 ...

Henry V
. The period saw changes in trade and legislation, including the signing of the ''
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a Royal charter, royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on ...

Magna Carta
'', an English legal charter used to limit the sovereign's powers by law and protect the privileges of freemen. Catholic
monasticism Monasticism (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). An ...
flourished, providing philosophers, and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge were founded with royal patronage. The
Principality of Wales The Principality of Wales ( cy, Tywysogaeth Cymru) existed between 1216 and 1536, encompassing two-thirds of modern Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It i ...

Principality of Wales
became a Plantagenet fief during the 13th century and the
Lordship of Ireland The Lordship of Ireland ( ga, Tiarnas na hÉireann), sometimes referred to retroactively as Norman Ireland, was the part of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title= ...

Lordship of Ireland
was given to the English monarchy by the Pope. During the 14th century, the Plantagenets and the
House of Valois The House of Valois ( , also , ) was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet The House of Capet (french: Maison capétienne) or the Direct Capetians (''Capétiens directs''), also called the House of F ...
both claimed to be legitimate claimants to the
House of Capet The House of Capet (french: Maison capétienne) or the Direct Capetians (''Capétiens directs''), also called the House of France (''la maison de France''), or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most s ...
and with it France; the two powers clashed in the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
. The
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by the plague bacterium Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bact ...

Black Death
epidemic hit England; starting in 1348, it eventually killed up to half of England's
inhabitants Domicile is relevant to an individual's "personal law," which includes the law that governs a person's status and their property. It is independent of a person's nationality. Although a domicile may change from time to time, a person has only one do ...
. From 1453 to 1487 civil war occurred between two branches of the royal family – the
Yorkists The House of York was a cadet branch In history and heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the ...
and Lancastrians – known as the
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a ...
. Eventually it led to the Yorkists losing the throne entirely to a Welsh noble family the
Tudors The House of Tudor was an English royal house of Welsh origin, descended from the Tudors of Penmynydd. Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July ...

Tudors
, a branch of the Lancastrians headed by Henry Tudor who invaded with Welsh and Breton mercenaries, gaining victory at the
Battle of Bosworth Field The Battle of Bosworth or Bosworth Field was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporter ...

Battle of Bosworth Field
where the Yorkist king
Richard III Richard III (2 October 145222 August 1485) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Ita ...

Richard III
was killed.


Early modern

During the
Tudor period The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in and includes the during the of until 1603. The Tudor period coincides with the dynasty of the in England whose first monarch was (b.1457, r.14851509). Historian (1988) argued that "Englan ...
, the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
reached England through Italian courtiers, who reintroduced artistic, educational and scholarly debate from classical antiquity. England began to develop naval skills, and exploration to the West intensified.
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...
broke from communion with the Catholic Church, over issues relating to his divorce, under the
Acts of Supremacy The Acts of Supremacy are two acts passed by the Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the ...
in 1534 which proclaimed the monarch head of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
. In contrast with much of European Protestantism, the roots of the split were more political than theological. He also legally incorporated his ancestral land Wales into the Kingdom of England with the 1535–1542 acts. There were internal religious conflicts during the reigns of Henry's daughters,
Mary I Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to ...

Mary I
and
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_an ...

Elizabeth I
. The former took the country back to Catholicism while the latter broke from it again, forcefully asserting the supremacy of
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia * ...
. The
Elizabethan era The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in and includes the during the of until 1603. The Tudor period coincides with the dynasty of the in England whose first monarch was ...
is the epoch in the Tudor age of the reign of
Queen Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_an ...
("the Virgin Queen"). Historians often depict it as the
golden age#REDIRECT Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first a ...
in English history.
Elizabethan England The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United King ...
represented the apogee of the
English Renaissance The English Renaissance was a cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, cap ...
and saw the flowering of art, poetry, music and literature. The era is most famous for its drama, theatre and playwrights. England during this period had a centralised, well-organised, and effective government as a result of vast Tudor reforms. Competing with
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
, the first English colony in the Americas was founded in 1585 by explorer
Walter Raleigh Sir Walter Raleigh (; – 29 October 1618), also spelled Ralegh, was an English statesman, soldier, writer and explorer. One of the most notable figures of the Elizabethan era, he played a leading part in English colonisation of North America, ...

Walter Raleigh
in
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
and named Roanoke. The Roanoke colony failed and is known as the lost colony after it was found abandoned on the return of the late-arriving supply ship. With the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
, England also competed with the
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
and French in the East. During the
Elizabethan period The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period of the history of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603). Historians often depict it as the Golden age (metaphor), golden age in English history. The symbol of Britannia ...
, England was at war with Spain. An sailed from Spain in 1588 as part of a wider plan to invade England and re-establish a Catholic monarchy. The plan was thwarted by bad coordination, stormy weather and successful harrying attacks by an English fleet under
Lord Howard of Effingham Image:Charles howard nottingham admiral.jpg, 300px, Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham Earl of Effingham, in the County of Surrey, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Its United Kingdom version was created in 1837 for Kenneth H ...
. This failure did not end the threat: Spain launched two further armadas, in
1596 1596 (Roman numerals, MDXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. As of the start of 1596, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar. ...
and 1597, but both were driven back by storms. The political structure of the island changed in 1603, when the
King of Scots The monarch of Scotland was the head of state of the Kingdom of Scotland. According to tradition, the first King of Scots was Kenneth I MacAlpin (), who founded the sovereign state, state in 843. Historically, the Kingdom of Scotland is thoug ...
,
James VI James is a common English language surname and given name: * James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...
, a kingdom which had been a long-time rival to English interests, inherited the throne of England as
James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and King of Ireland, Ireland as James I from the Union of the Crowns, union of the Scottish and En ...

James I
, thereby creating a
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...
.. He styled himself
King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged from various History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
, although this had no basis in English law. Under the auspices of King James VI and I the Authorised
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an of the Christian for the , which was commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611, by sponsorship of King . The include the 39 books of the , a ...

King James Version
of the Holy Bible was published in 1611. It was the standard version of the Bible read by most Protestant Christians for four hundred years until modern revisions were produced in the 20th century. Based on conflicting political, religious and social positions, the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
was fought between the supporters of
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
and those of King
Charles ICharles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of French and German kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of Hungary (1288 ...

Charles I
, known colloquially as
Roundhead Roundheads were the supporters of the Parliament of England during the English Civil War (1642–1651). Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I of England and his supporters, known as the Cavaliers or Royalists, who ...
s and
Cavalier Cavalier () was first used by Roundhead Roundheads were the supporters of the Parliament of England during the English Civil War (1642–1651). Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I of England and his supporte ...

Cavalier
s respectively. This was an interwoven part of the wider multifaceted
Wars of the Three Kingdoms The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, sometimes known as the British Civil Wars, were an intertwined series of conflicts that took place between 1639 and 1653 in the kingdoms of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country tha ...
, involving
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
. The Parliamentarians were victorious, Charles I was executed and the kingdom replaced by the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...
. Leader of the Parliament forces,
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
declared himself
Lord Protector Lord Protector (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...
in 1653; a period of
personal rule The Personal Rule (also known as the Eleven Years' Tyranny) was the period from 1629 to 1640, when King Charles I of England Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the ...
followed. After Cromwell's death and the resignation of his son
Richard The first or given name Richard originates, via Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or lan ...
as Lord Protector, was invited to return as monarch in 1660, in a move called the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
. With the reopening of theatres, fine arts, literature and performing arts flourished throughout the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
of ''the Merry Monarch'' . After the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
of 1688, it was constitutionally established that King and Parliament should rule together, though Parliament would have the real power. This was established with the
Bill of Rights A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against Civil and political rights, infringement fr ...
in 1689. Among the statutes set down were that the law could only be made by Parliament and could not be suspended by the King, also that the King could not impose taxes or raise an army without the prior approval of Parliament. Also since that time, no British monarch has entered the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
when it is sitting, which is annually commemorated at the
State Opening of Parliament#REDIRECT State Opening of Parliament The State Opening of Parliament is an event which formally marks the beginning of a session of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty ...
by the British monarch when the doors of the House of Commons are slammed in the face of the monarch's messenger, symbolising the rights of Parliament and its independence from the monarch. With the founding of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exis ...
in 1660, science was greatly encouraged. In 1666 the
Great Fire of London Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size * Greatness, being divine, majestic, superior, majestic, or transcendent People with the name * "The Great", a historical suffix to people ...

Great Fire of London
gutted the City of London but it was rebuilt shortly afterwards with many significant buildings designed by Sir
Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren PRS FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Fa ...

Christopher Wren
. In Parliament two factions had emerged – the
Tories A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between ...
and Whigs. Though the Tories initially supported Catholic king
James II James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style) may result from a miscalculation done by an author of anonymou ...

James II
, some of them, along with the Whigs, during the Revolution of 1688 invited Dutch prince William of Orange to defeat James and ultimately to become
William III of England William III (William Henry; ; 4 November 16508 March 1702), also widely known as William of Orange, was the sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of County of Holland, Holland, County of Zeeland, Zeeland, Lordship of Utrecht, Utrecht, ...

William III of England
. Some English people, especially in the north, were
Jacobites Jacobite may refer to: Religion * Jacobites, Jacob Baradaeus (died 578). Churches in the Jacobite tradition and sometimes called Jacobite include: ** Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, autonomous branch of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Kerala, Ind ...
and continued to support James and his sons. Under the
Stuart dynasty The House of Stuart, originally Stewart, was a dynasty, royal house of Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland, Kingdom of England, England, Kingdom of Ireland, Ireland and later Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain. The family name comes from the off ...

Stuart dynasty
England expanded in trade, finance and prosperity. Britain developed Europe's largest merchant fleet. After the parliaments of England and Scotland agreed, the two countries joined in
political union A political union is a type of political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social re ...
, to create the
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain,"After the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, the nation's official name became 'Great Britain'", ''The American Pageant, Volume 1'', Cengage Learning (2012) was a s ...

Kingdom of Great Britain
in 1707. To accommodate the union, institutions such as the law and national churches of each remained separate.


Late modern and contemporary

Under the newly formed Kingdom of Great Britain, output from the Royal Society and other English initiatives combined with the
Scottish Enlightenment The Scottish Enlightenment ( sco, Scots Enlichtenment, gd, Soillseachadh na h-Alba) was the period in 18th- and early-19th-century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By the eighteenth century ...
to create innovations in science and engineering, while the enormous growth in protected by the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
paved the way for the establishment of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
. Domestically it drove the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
, a period of profound change in the
socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
and cultural conditions of England, resulting in industrialised agriculture, manufacture, engineering and mining, as well as new and pioneering road, rail and water networks to facilitate their expansion and development. The opening of Northwest England's
Bridgewater Canal The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, Greater Manchester, Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester. It was ...
in 1761 ushered in the canal age in Britain. In 1825 the world's first permanent steam locomotive-hauled passenger railway – the
Stockton and Darlington Railway The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) was a railway company that operated in north-east England from 1825 to 1863. The world's first public railway to use steam locomotive A steam locomotive is a rail vehicle A railroad car, ...
– opened to the public. During the Industrial Revolution, many workers moved from England's countryside to new and expanding urban industrial areas to work in factories, for instance at
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Ro ...

Birmingham
and
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
, dubbed "Workshop of the World" and "Warehouse City" respectively. Manchester was the world's first industrial city. England maintained relative stability throughout the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
;
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the st ...

William Pitt the Younger
was British Prime Minister for the reign of
George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on th ...

George III
. The Regency of
George IV George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A polit ...
is noted for its elegance and achievements in the fine arts and architecture. During the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
,
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
planned to invade from the south-east. However this failed to manifest and the Napoleonic forces were defeated by the British: at sea by
Lord Nelson Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805), also known simply as Admiral Nelson, was a British people, British flag officer in the Royal Navy. His inspirational leadershi ...
, and on land by the
Duke of Wellington Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish people, Anglo-Irish soldier and Tories (British political party), Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political fi ...

Duke of Wellington
. The major victory at the
Battle of Trafalgar The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval battle, naval engagement between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy, French and Spanish Navy, Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition (August–D ...

Battle of Trafalgar
confirmed the naval supremacy Britain had established during the course of the eighteenth century. The Napoleonic Wars fostered a concept of
Britishness Britishness is the state or quality of being British, or of embodying British characteristics. It comprises the claimed qualities that bind and distinguish the British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the Uni ...
and a united national
British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixe ...
, shared with the English, Scots and Welsh.. London became the largest and most populous metropolitan area in the world during the
Victorian era In the history of the United Kingdom The history of the United Kingdom began in the early eighteenth century with the Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international l ...
, and trade within the British Empire – as well as the standing of the British military and navy – was prestigious. Technologically, this era saw many innovations that proved key to the United Kingdom's power and prosperity. Political agitation at home from radicals such as the
Chartists Chartism was a working-class male suffrage movement for political reform in Britain that existed from 1838 to 1857. It took its name from the People's Charter of 1838 and was a national protest movement, with particular strongholds of support ...
and the
suffragette A suffragette was a member of an activist women's organisation in the early 20th century who, under the banner "Votes for Women", fought for the right to vote in public elections. The term refers in particular to members of the British Women' ...
s enabled legislative reform and
universal suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (a ...
.
Samuel Hynes Samuel Lynn Hynes (August 29, 1924 – October 9, 2019) was an American author. He won a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for ''The Soldiers' Tale'' in 1998. Biography Samuel Hynes was born in Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map ...
described the
Edwardian era The Edwardian era or Edwardian period of British history spanned the reign of King Edward VII, 1901 to 1910, and is sometimes expanded to the start of the First World War. The death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 marked the end of the Victor ...
as a "leisurely time when women wore picture hats and did not vote, when the rich were not ashamed to live conspicuously, and the sun really never set on the British flag." Power shifts in east-central Europe led to World War I; hundreds of thousands of English soldiers died fighting for the United Kingdom as part of the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
. Two decades later, in
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the United Kingdom was again one of the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
. At the end of the
Phoney War The Phoney War (french: Drôle de guerre; german: Sitzkrieg) was an eight-month period at the start of World War II, World War II, during which there was only one limited military land operation on the Western Front (World War II), West ...
,
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Winston Churchill
became the wartime Prime Minister. Developments in warfare technology saw many cities damaged by air-raids during
the Blitz The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the . The term was first used by the British press and originated from the term , the German word for 'lightning war'. The Germans conducted mass ai ...
. Following the war, the British Empire experienced rapid
decolonisation Decolonization (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States ( ...
, and there was a speeding-up of technological innovations; automobiles became the primary means of transport and
Frank Whittle Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, (1 June 1907 – 9 August 1996) was an English engineer, inventor and Royal Air Force The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
's development of the
jet engine A jet engine is a type of reaction engine A reaction engine is an engine or motor that produces thrust Thrust is a described quantitatively by . When a system expels or in one direction, the accelerated mass will cause a force of ...

jet engine
led to wider
air travel Air travel is a form of travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the ...
. Residential patterns were altered in England by private motoring, and by the creation of the
National Health Service The National Health Service (NHS) is the umbrella term for the publicly funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom (UK). Since 1948, they have been funded out of general taxation. There are three systems which are referred to using the " ...
(NHS) in 1948. The UK's NHS provided
publicly funded health carePublicly funded healthcare is a form of health care Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the preventive healthcare, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, treatment, recovery, or cure of disease, illness ...
to all UK permanent residents free at the point of need, being paid for from general taxation. Combined, these prompted the reform of
local government in England The pattern of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements. Legislation concerning local government in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, coun ...
in the mid-20th century. Since the 20th century there has been significant population movement to England, mostly from other parts of the
British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

British Isles
, but also from the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
, particularly the Indian subcontinent. Since the 1970s there has been a large move away from manufacturing and an increasing emphasis on the
service industry The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sectors of the three-sector theory. The others are the secondary sector (approximately the same as manufacturing Manufacturing is t ...
. As part of the United Kingdom, the area joined a common market initiative called the
European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization and Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece ...

European Economic Community
which became the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
. Since the late 20th century the administration of the United Kingdom has moved towards devolved governance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
continues to exist as a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. Devolution has stimulated a greater emphasis on a more English-specific identity and patriotism.. There is no devolved English government, but an attempt to create a similar system on a sub-regional basis was rejected by referendum.


Governance


Politics

England is part of the United Kingdom, a
constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from ...
with a
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
. There has not been a
government of England There has not been a government of England since 1707 when the Kingdom of England ceased to exist as a sovereign state, as it merged with the Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.Acts of Union 1707 The Acts of Union ( gd, Achd an Aonaidh) were two Acts of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legisl ...
, putting into effect the terms of the
Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes include individuals, business entities, and other L ...

Treaty of Union
, joined England and Scotland to form the
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain,"After the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, the nation's official name became 'Great Britain'", ''The American Pageant, Volume 1'', Cengage Learning (2012) was a s ...

Kingdom of Great Britain
. Before the union England was ruled by its monarch and the
Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who u ...
. Today England is governed directly by the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kin ...
, although other
countries of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), since 1922, comprises four constituent countries: England, Scotland, and Wales (which collectively make up Great Britain), as well as Northern Ireland (#Terminology, variously descr ...
have
devolved Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government A central government is the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), st ...
governments. In the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
which is the
lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community in Apache County *Chambers, Nebraska *Chambers, We ...
of the British Parliament based at the
Palace of Westminster The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Towns ...

Palace of Westminster
, there are 532 Members of Parliament (MPs) for constituencies in England, out of the 650 total. As of the
2019 United Kingdom general election The 2019 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 12 December 2019. The Conservative Party Conservative Party may refer to: Europe Current *Croatian Conservative Party, *Conservative Party (Czech Republic) *Conservative People's P ...
, England is represented by 345 MPs from the
Conservative Party Conservative Party may refer to: Europe Current *Croatian Conservative Party, *Conservative Party (Czech Republic) *Conservative People's Party (Denmark) *Conservative Party of Georgia *Conservative Party (Norway) *Conservative Party (UK) Histor ...

Conservative Party
, 179 from the
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
, seven from the Liberal Democrats, one from the
Green Party A Green party is a formally organized political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about poli ...
, and the
Speaker of the House File:Marshal's chair Sejm Plenary Hall.JPG, 250px, Marshal's chair in the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, Sejm, lower chamber of the Polish Parliament The speaker of a deliberative assembly, especially a Legislature, legislative body, is its chai ...
,
Lindsay Hoyle Sir Lindsay Harvey Hoyle (born 10 June 1957)'HOYLE, Hon. Lindsay (Harvey)', Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012 ; online edn, Nov 201 Retrieved 31 December 201 ...
. Since devolution, in which other countries of the United Kingdom – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – each have their own devolved parliament or assemblies for local issues, there has been debate about how to counterbalance this in England. Originally it was planned that various regions of England would be devolved, but following the proposal's rejection by the
North East The points of the compass are the Euclidean vector, vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, east, south, and west—each separated by 90 degree ( ...
in a 2004 North East England devolution referendum, 2004 referendum, this has not been carried out. One major issue is the West Lothian question, in which MPs from Scotland and Wales are able to vote on legislation affecting only England, while English MPs have no equivalent right to legislate on devolved matters. This when placed in the context of England being the only country of the United Kingdom not to have free cancer treatment, prescriptions, residential care for the elderly and top-up fees, free top-up university fees, has led to a steady rise in English nationalism. Some have suggested the creation of a devolved English parliament, while others have proposed simply limiting voting on legislation which only affects England to English MPs.


Law

The
English law English law is the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Blac ...
legal system, developed over the centuries, is the basis of
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
legal systems used in most
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
countries and the United States (except Louisiana). Despite now being part of the United Kingdom, the legal system of the Courts of England and Wales continued, under the
Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes include individuals, business entities, and other L ...

Treaty of Union
, as a separate legal system from the one used in Scotland. The general essence of English law is that it is made by judges sitting in courts, applying their common sense and knowledge of legal precedent – ''stare decisis'' – to the facts before them. The Courts of England and Wales, court system is headed by the Senior Courts of England and Wales, consisting of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice for civil cases, and the Crown Court for criminal cases. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the highest court for criminal and civil cases in
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
. It was created in 2009 after constitutional changes, taking over the judicial functions of the House of Lords. A decision of the Supreme Court is binding on every other court in the hierarchy, which must follow its directions. The Secretary of State for Justice is the minister responsible to Parliament for the Judiciaries of the United Kingdom, judiciary, the court system and prisons and probation in England. Crime increased between 1981 and 1995 but fell by 42% in the period 1995–2006. The prison population doubled over the same period, giving it one of List of countries by incarceration rate, highest incarceration rate in Western Europe at 147 per 100,000. Her Majesty's Prison Service, reporting to the Ministry of Justice (United Kingdom), Ministry of Justice, manages most prisons in England, prisons, housing over 85,000 convicts.


Regions, counties, and districts

The subdivisions of England consist of up to four levels of administrative division, subnational division controlled through a variety of types of administrative entities created for the purposes of local government in England, local government. The highest tier of local government were the nine regions of England:
North East The points of the compass are the Euclidean vector, vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, east, south, and west—each separated by 90 degree ( ...
, , Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands (region), West Midlands, East of England, East, South East, South West England, South West, and London. These were created in 1994 as Government Offices, used by the UK government to deliver a wide range of policies and programmes regionally, but there are no elected bodies at this level, except in London, and in 2011 the regional government offices were abolished. After devolution began to take place in other parts of the United Kingdom it was planned that referendums for the regions of England would take place for their own elected Regional Assemblies in England, regional assemblies as a counterweight. 1998 Greater London Authority referendum, London accepted in 1998: the London Assembly was created two years later. However, when the proposal was rejected by the 2004 North East England devolution referendum in the North East, further referendums were cancelled. The regional assemblies outside London were abolished in 2010, and their functions transferred to respective Regional Development Agency, Regional Development Agencies and a new system of Local authority leaders' boards. Below the regional level, all of England is divided into 48 Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial counties. These are used primarily as a geographical frame of reference and have developed gradually since the Middle Ages, with some established as recently as 1974.. Each has a Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff; these posts are used to represent the British monarch locally. Outside Greater London and the
Isles of Scilly The Isles of Scilly (; kw, Syllan or ') is an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, England. One of the islands, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly, St Agnes, is the most southerly point in Great Britain, Britain, being over further south ...
, England is also divided into 83 Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England, metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties; these correspond to areas used for the purposes of local government. and may consist of a single district or be divided into several. There are six metropolitan county, metropolitan counties based on the most heavily urbanised areas, which do not have county councils. In these areas the principal authorities are the councils of the subdivisions, the metropolitan boroughs. Elsewhere, 27 non-metropolitan county, non-metropolitan "shire" counties have a county council and are divided into districts, each with a district council. They are typically, though not always, found in more rural areas. The remaining non-metropolitan counties are of a single district and usually correspond to large towns or sparsely populated counties; they are known as Unitary authorities of England, unitary authorities. Greater London has a different system for local government, with 32 London boroughs, plus the City of London covering a small area at the core governed by the City of London Corporation. At the most localised level, much of England is divided into civil parishes in England, civil parishes with Parish councils in England, councils; in Greater London only one, Queen's Park, London, Queen's Park, exists after they were London Government Act 1963, abolished in 1965 until legislation Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, allowed their recreation in 2007.


Geography


Landscape and rivers

Geographically England includes the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus such offshore islands as the
Isle of Wight The Isle of Wight () is a Counties of England, county and the List of islands of England, largest and second-most populous island of England. It is in the English Channel, between two and five miles off the coast of Hampshire, from which it is ...

Isle of Wight
and the
Isles of Scilly The Isles of Scilly (; kw, Syllan or ') is an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, England. One of the islands, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly, St Agnes, is the most southerly point in Great Britain, Britain, being over further south ...
. It is bordered by two other countries of the United Kingdom: Anglo Scottish border, to the north by Scotland and Wales-England border, to the west by Wales. England is closer than any other part of mainland Britain to the European continent. It is separated from France (Hauts-de-France) by a sea gap, though the two countries are connected by the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone. England also has shores on the
Irish Sea The Irish Sea or , gv, Y Keayn Yernagh, sco, Erse Sie, gd, Muir Èireann , Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster ...
,
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
and Atlantic Ocean. The ports of London, Liverpool, and Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle lie on the tidal rivers River Thames, Thames, River Mersey, Mersey and River Tyne, Tyne respectively. At , the River Severn, Severn is the longest river flowing through England. It empties into the Bristol Channel and is notable for its Severn Bore (a tidal bore), which can reach in height. However, the longest river entirely in England is the Thames, which is in length. There are many lakes in England; the largest is Windermere, within the aptly named
Lake District The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, ...

Lake District
. Most of England's landscape consists of low hills and plains, with upland and mountainous terrain in the north and west of the country. The northern uplands include the
Pennines The Pennines (), also known as the Pennine Chain or Pennine Hills, are a more-or-less continuous range of hills and mountains running between three regions of Northern England Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply ...
, a chain of uplands dividing east and west, the Lake District mountains in Cumbria, and the Cheviot Hills, straddling the border between England and Scotland. The highest point in England, at , is Scafell Pike in the Lake District. The
Shropshire Hills The Shropshire Hills is an upland area and one of the natural regions of England. They lie wholly within the county of Shropshire Shropshire (; alternatively Salop; abbreviated, in print only, Shrops; demonym Salopian ,) is a landlocked coun ...
are near Wales while
Dartmoor Dartmoor is an upland area in southern Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a Counties of England, county in South West England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is bou ...

Dartmoor
and Exmoor are two upland areas in the south-west of the country. The approximate dividing line between terrain types is often indicated by the Tees-Exe line. In geological terms, the Pennines, known as the "backbone of England", are the oldest range of mountains in the country, originating from the end of the Paleozoic Era around 300 million years ago. Their geological composition includes, among others, sandstone and limestone, and also coal. There are karst landscapes in calcite areas such as parts of
Yorkshire Yorkshire (; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply the North, is the most northern area of England England ...

Yorkshire
and Derbyshire. The Pennine landscape is high moorland in upland areas, indented by fertile valleys of the region's rivers. They contain two national parks in England, national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District. In the West Country, Dartmoor and Exmoor of the Southwest Peninsula include upland moorland supported by granite, and enjoy a Climate of south-west England, mild climate; both are national parks. The English Lowlands beech forests, English Lowlands are in the central and southern regions of the country, consisting of green rolling hills, including the Cotswold Hills, Chiltern Hills, North Downs, North and South Downs; where they meet the sea they form white rock exposures such as the cliffs of Dover. This also includes relatively flat plains such as the Salisbury Plain, Somerset Levels, South Coast Plain and The Fens.


Climate

England has a temperate climate, temperate maritime climate: it is mild with temperatures not much lower than in winter and not much higher than in summer. The weather is damp relatively frequently and is changeable. The coldest months are January and February, the latter particularly on the Geography of the United Kingdom, English coast, while July is normally the warmest month. Months with mild to warm weather are May, June, September and October. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year. Important influences on the climate of England are its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, its northern latitude and the warming of the sea by the Gulf Stream. Rainfall is higher in the west, and parts of the
Lake District The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, ...

Lake District
receive more rain than anywhere else in the country. Since weather records began, the highest temperature recorded was on 25 July 2019 at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Botanic Garden in Cambridge, while the lowest was on 10 January 1982 in Edgmond, Shropshire, Edgmond, Shropshire.


Nature and wildlife

The fauna of England is similar to that of other areas in the
British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

British Isles
with a wide range of vertebrate and invertebrate life in a diverse range of habitats. National nature reserves in England are designated by Natural England as key places for wildlife and natural features in England. They were established to protect the most significant areas of habitat and of geological formations. NNRs are managed on behalf of the nation, many by Natural England themselves, but also by non-governmental organisations, including the members of The Wildlife Trusts partnership, the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, National Trust, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. There are 229 NNRs in England covering . Often they contain rare species or nationally important species of plants and animals. The Environment Agency is a non-departmental public body, established in 1995 and sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with responsibilities relating to the protection and enhancement of the environment in England. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the minister responsible for environmental protection, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in England. England has a Oceanic climate, temperate oceanic climate in most areas, lacking extremes of cold or heat, but does have a few small areas of Subarctic climate, subarctic and warmer areas in South West England, the South West. Towards the Northern England, North of England the climate becomes colder and most of England's mountains and high hills are located here and have a major impact on the climate and thus the local fauna of the areas. Deciduous woodlands are common across all of England and provide a great habitat for much of England's wildlife, but these give way in northern and upland areas of England to coniferous forests (mainly plantations) which also benefit certain forms of wildlife. Some species have adapted to the expanded urban environment, particularly the red fox, which is the most successful Urban wildlife, urban mammal after the brown rat, and other animals such as common wood pigeon, both of which thrive in urban and suburban areas. Grey squirrels introduced from eastern America have forced the decline of the native red squirrel due to competition. Red squirrels are now confined to upland and coniferous-forested areas of England, mainly in the north, south west and Isle of Wight. England's climate is very suitable for lagomorphs and the country has rabbits and brown hares which were introduced in Roman times. Mountain hares which are indigenous have now been re-introduced in Derbyshire. The fauna of England has to cope with varying temperatures and conditions, although not extreme they do pose potential challenges and adaptational measures. English fauna has however had to cope with industrialisation, human population densities amongst the highest in Europe and intensive farming, but as England is a developed nation, wildlife and the countryside have entered the English people, English mindset more and the country is very conscientious about preserving its wildlife, environment and countryside.


Major conurbations

The Greater London Built-up Area is by far the largest urban area in England and one of the busiest cities in the world. It is considered a global city and has a population larger than any other country in the United Kingdom besides England itself. Other urban areas of considerable size and influence tend to be in northern England or the English Midlands. There are List of cities in the United Kingdom, 50 settlements which have designated City status in the United Kingdom, city status in England, while the wider United Kingdom has 66. While many cities in England are quite large, such as
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Ro ...

Birmingham
, Sheffield,
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
, Liverpool, City of Leeds, Leeds, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle, City of Bradford, Bradford, Nottingham, population size is not a prerequisite for city status. Traditionally the status was given to towns with List of cathedrals in England and Wales, diocesan cathedrals, so there are smaller cities like Wells, Somerset, Wells, Ely, Cambridgeshire, Ely, Ripon, Truro and Chichester.


Economy

England's economy is one of the largest and most dynamic in the world, with an average GDP per capita of £28,100. Her Majesty's Treasury, led by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is responsible for developing and executing the government's public finance policy and economic policy. Usually regarded as a Anglo-Saxon economy, mixed market economy, it has adopted many free market principles, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure. The official currency in England is the pound sterling, whose ISO 4217 code is GBP. Taxation in England is quite competitive when List of countries by tax rates, compared to much of the rest of Europe – the basic rate of personal tax is 20% on taxable income up to £31,865 above the personal tax-free allowance (normally £10,000), and 40% on any additional earnings above that amount. The economy of England is the largest part of the economy of the United Kingdom, UK's economy, which has the List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita, 18th highest GDP Purchasing power parity, PPP per capita in the world. England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace, the arms industry, and the manufacturing side of the software industry. London, home to the London Stock Exchange, the United Kingdom's main stock exchange and the largest in Europe, is England's financial centre, with 100 of Europe's 500 largest corporations being based there. London is the largest financial centre in Europe, and is the second largest in the world.
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
is the largest financial and professional services sector outside London and is the mid tier private equity capital of Europe as well as one of the growing technology hubs of Europe. The Bank of England, founded in 1694 by Scottish banker William Paterson (banker), William Paterson, is the United Kingdom's central bank. Originally established as private banker to the government of England, since 1946 it has been a nationalisation, state-owned institution. The bank has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
, although not in other parts of the United Kingdom. The government has devolved responsibility to the bank's Monetary Policy Committee (United Kingdom), Monetary Policy Committee for managing the monetary policy of the country and setting interest rates. England is highly industrialised, but since the 1970s there has been a decline in traditional heavy and manufacturing industries, and an increasing emphasis on a more
service industry The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sectors of the three-sector theory. The others are the secondary sector (approximately the same as manufacturing Manufacturing is t ...
oriented economy.. Tourism has become a significant industry, attracting millions of visitors to England each year. The export part of the economy is dominated by pharmaceuticals, cars (although many English marques are now foreign-owned, such as Land Rover, Lotus Cars, Lotus, Jaguar Cars, Jaguar and Bentley), crude oil and petroleum from the English parts of North Sea oil along with Wytch Farm, aircraft engines and alcoholic beverages. The creative industries accounted for 7 per cent GVA in 2005 and grew at an average of 6 per cent per annum between 1997 and 2005. Most of the UK's £30 billion Aerospace industry in the United Kingdom, aerospace industry is primarily based in England. The global market opportunity for UK aerospace manufacturers over the next two decades is estimated at £3.5 trillion. GKN Aerospace – an expert in metallic and composite aerostructures is involved in almost every civil and military fixed and rotary wing aircraft in production is based in Redditch. BAE Systems makes large sections of the Typhoon Eurofighter at its sub-assembly plant in Salmesbury and assembles the aircraft for the RAF at its Warton, Fylde, Warton plant, near Preston, Lancashire, Preston. It is also a principal subcontractor on the F35 Lightning II, F35 Joint Strike Fighter – the world's largest single defence project – for which it designs and manufactures a range of components including the aft fuselage, vertical and horizontal tail and wing tips and fuel system. It also manufactures the BAE Systems Hawk, Hawk, the world's most successful jet training aircraft. Rolls-Royce Holdings, Rolls-Royce PLC is the world's second-largest aircraft engine, aero-engine manufacturer. Its engines power more than 30 types of commercial aircraft, and it has more 30,000 engines currently in service across both the civil and defence sectors. With a workforce of over 12,000 people, Derby has the largest concentration of Rolls-Royce employees in the UK. Rolls-Royce also produces low-emission power systems for ships; makes critical equipment and safety systems for the nuclear industry and powers offshore platforms and major pipelines for the oil and gas industry. The Pharmaceutical industry in the United Kingdom, pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in the economy, and the UK has the third-highest share of global pharmaceutical R&D expenditures. Much of the UK's space industry is centred on EADS Astrium, based in Stevenage and Portsmouth. The company builds the Satellite bus, buses – the underlying structure onto which the payload and propulsion systems are built – for most of the European Space Agency's spacecraft, as well as commercial satellites. The world leader in compact satellite systems, Surrey Satellite Technology, is also part of Astrium. Reaction Engines Limited, the company planning to build Skylon (spacecraft), Skylon, a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane using their SABRE (rocket engine), SABRE rocket engine, a combined-cycle, air-breathing rocket propulsion system is based Culham. The UK space industry was worth £9.1bn in 2011 and employed 29,000 people. It is growing at a rate of 7.5 per cent annually, according to its umbrella organisation, the UK Space Agency. In 2013, the British Government pledged £60 million to the Skylon (spacecraft), Skylon project: this investment will provide support at a "crucial stage" to allow a full-scale prototype of the SABRE (rocket engine), SABRE engine to be built. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanised and efficient by European standards, producing 60% of food needs with only 2% of the labour force. Two-thirds of production is devoted to livestock, the other to arable crops. The main crops that are grown are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, sugar beets. England retains a significant, though much reduced fishing industry. Its fleets bring home fish of every kind, ranging from Sole (fish), sole to herring. It is also rich in natural resources including coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, and silica.


Science and technology

Prominent English figures from the field of science and mathematics include Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Robert Hooke, James Prescott Joule, John Dalton, Lord Rayleigh, J. J. Thomson, James Chadwick, Charles Babbage, George Boole, Alan Turing, Tim Berners-Lee, Paul Dirac, Stephen Hawking, Peter Higgs, Roger Penrose, John Horton Conway, Thomas Bayes, Arthur Cayley, G. H. Hardy, Oliver Heaviside, Andrew Wiles, Edward Jenner, Francis Crick, Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, Joseph Lister, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Young (scientist), Thomas Young,
Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren PRS FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Fa ...

Christopher Wren
and Richard Dawkins. Some experts claim that the earliest concept of a metric system was invented by John Wilkins, the first secretary of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exis ...
, in 1668. England was a leading centre of the Scientific Revolution from the 17th century. As the birthplace of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
, England was home to many significant inventors during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Famous English engineers include Isambard Kingdom Brunel, best known for the creation of the Great Western Railway, a series of famous steamships, and numerous important bridges, hence revolutionising public transport and modern-day engineering. Thomas Newcomen's Newcomen steam engine, steam engine helped spawn the Industrial Revolution. The Father of Railways, George Stephenson, built the first public inter-city railway line in the world, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which opened in 1830. With his role in the marketing and manufacturing of the steam engine, and invention of modern coinage, Matthew Boulton (business partner of James Watt) is regarded as one of the most influential entrepreneurs in history. The physician Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccine is said to have "saved more lives ... than were lost in all the wars of mankind since the beginning of recorded history." Inventions and discoveries of the English include: the
jet engine A jet engine is a type of reaction engine A reaction engine is an engine or motor that produces thrust Thrust is a described quantitatively by . When a system expels or in one direction, the accelerated mass will cause a force of ...

jet engine
, the first industrial spinning frame, spinning machine, Analytical engine, the first computer and the first Manchester Baby, modern computer, the World Wide Web along with HTML, the first successful human blood transfusion, the motorised vacuum cleaner, the lawn mower, the seat belt, the hovercraft, the electric motor, steam engines, and theories such as the Darwinian theory of evolution and atomic theory. Newton developed the ideas of universal gravitation, Newtonian mechanics, and calculus, and Robert Hooke his eponymously named Hooke's law of elasticity, law of elasticity. Other inventions include the iron plate railway, the thermosiphon, Tarmacadam, tarmac, the rubber band, the mousetrap, Cat's eye (road), "cat's eye" raised pavement marker, road marker, joint development of the light bulb, steam locomotives, the modern seed drill and many modern techniques and technologies used in precision engineering. The
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exis ...
, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
's national academy of sciences. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by Charles II of England, King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement. The Royal Society started from groups of physicians and Natural philosopher, natural philosophers, meeting at a variety of locations, including Gresham College in London. They were influenced by the "Scientific method, new science", as promoted by Francis Bacon in his ''New Atlantis'', from approximately 1645 onwards. A group known as "The Philosophical Society of Oxford" was run under a set of rules still retained by the Bodleian Library.Syfret (1948) p. 78 After the English Restoration, there were regular meetings at Gresham College. It is widely held that these groups were the inspiration for the foundation of the Royal Society. Scientific research and development remains important in the universities of England, with many establishing science parks to facilitate production and co-operation with industry. Between 2004 and 2008 the United Kingdom produced 7 per cent of the world's scientific research papers and had an 8 per cent share of scientific citations, the third and second-highest in the world (after the United States and China, respectively). Scientific journals produced in the United Kingdom include ''Nature (journal), Nature'', the ''BMJ, British Medical Journal'' and ''The Lancet''.


Transport

The Department for Transport is the government body responsible for overseeing transport in England. The department is run by the Secretary of State for Transport. England has a dense and modern transportation infrastructure. There are many List of motorways in the United Kingdom, motorways in England, and many other trunk roads, such as the A1 road (Great Britain), A1 Great North Road, which runs through eastern England from London to Newcastle (much of this section is motorway) and onward to the Scottish border. The longest motorway in England is the M6 motorway, M6, from Rugby, Warwickshire, Rugby through the up to the Anglo-Scottish border, a distance of . Other major routes include: the M1 motorway, M1 from London to Leeds, the M25 motorway, M25 which encircles London, the M60 motorway (Great Britain), M60 which encircles Manchester, the M4 motorway, M4 from London to South Wales, the M62 motorway, M62 from Liverpool via Manchester to East Yorkshire, and the M5 motorway, M5 from Birmingham to Bristol and the South West. Bus transport across the country is widespread; major companies include Arriva UK Bus, Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead Group, National Express, Rotala and Stagecoach Group. The red double-decker buses in London have become a symbol of England. National Cycle Route offers cycling routes nationally. There is a rapid transit network in two English cities: the London Underground; and the Tyne and Wear Metro in Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and Sunderland.. There are several tram networks, such as the Blackpool tramway, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram and West Midlands Metro, and the Tramlink system centred on Croydon in South London. Great British Railways is a planned State ownership, state-owned public body that will oversee rail transport in Great Britain from 2023. The Office of Rail and Road is responsible for the economic and safety regulation of England's railways. Rail transport in Great Britain, Rail transport in England is the oldest in the world: passenger railways originated in England in 1825. Much of Britain's of rail network lies in England, covering the country fairly extensively, although a high proportion of railway lines were closed in the second half of the 20th century. There are plans to reopen lines such as the Varsity Line between Oxford and Cambridge. These lines are mostly standard gauge (single track (rail), single, double track, double or quadruple track) though there are also a few British narrow gauge railways, narrow gauge lines. There is rail transport access to France and Belgium through an undersea rail link, the Channel Tunnel, which was completed in 1994. Crossrail, under construction in London, is Europe's largest construction project with a £15 billion projected cost. High Speed 2, a new high-speed north–south railway line, projected in 2015 to cost £56 billion is to start being built in 2020. England has extensive domestic and international aviation links. The largest airport is Heathrow Airport, Heathrow, which is the World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic, world's busiest airport measured by number of international passengers. Other large airports include Gatwick Airport, Gatwick, Manchester Airport, Manchester, Stansted Airport, Stansted, Luton Airport, Luton and Birmingham Airport, Birmingham. By sea there is ferry transport, both local and international, including from Liverpool to Ireland and the Isle of Man, and Hull to the Netherlands and Belgium.. There are around of navigable waterways in England, half of which is owned by the Canal & River Trust, however, water transport is very limited. The River Thames is the major waterway in England, with imports and exports focused at the Port of Tilbury in the Thames Estuary, one of the United Kingdom's three major ports.


Energy

Energy use in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
stood at 2,249 TWh (193.4 million Tonne of oil equivalent, tonnes of oil equivalent) in 2014. This equates to energy consumption ''per capita'' of 34.82 MWh (3.00 tonnes of oil equivalent) compared to a 2010 world average of 21.54 MWh (1.85 tonne of oil equivalent, tonnes of oil equivalent). Demand for electricity in 2014 was 34.42Watt, GW on average (301.7TWh over the year) coming from a total electricity generation of 335.0Kilowatt hour, TWh. Successive Government of the United Kingdom, UK governments have outlined numerous commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Notably, the UK is Wind power in the United Kingdom, one of the best sites in Europe for wind energy, and wind power production is its fastest growing supply. Wind power contributed 15% of UK electricity generation in 2017. The Climate Change Act 2008 was passed in Parliament with an overwhelming majority across political parties. It sets out emission reduction targets that the UK must comply with legally. It represents the first global legally binding climate change mitigation target set by a country. Energy policy of the United Kingdom, UK government energy policy aims to play a key role in limiting greenhouse gas emissions, whilst meeting energy demand. Shifting availabilities of resources and development of technologies also change the country's energy mix through changes in costs. The current energy policy is the responsibility of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth is responsible for green finance, climate science and innovation, and low carbon generation. United Kingdom is ranked 4 out of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index. A law has been passed that Greenhouse gas emissions, UK greenhouse gas emissions will be net zero by 2050.


Tourism

English Heritage is a governmental body with a broad remit of managing the historic sites, artefacts and environments of England. It is currently sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is a charity which also maintains multiple sites. Of the 25 United Kingdom List of World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 17 are in England. Some of the best known of these include Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, Tower of London, Jurassic Coast,
Palace of Westminster The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Towns ...

Palace of Westminster
, Roman Baths (Bath), Roman Baths, Bath, Somerset, City of Bath, Saltaire, Ironbridge Gorge, Studley Royal Park and more recently the Lake District, English Lake District. The northernmost point of the Roman Empire, Hadrian's Wall, is the largest Roman artefact anywhere: it runs for a total of 73 miles in northern England. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has overall responsibility for tourism, arts and culture, cultural property, heritage and historic environments, libraries, and museums and galleries. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism is the minister with responsibility over tourism in England. A blue plaque, the oldest historical marker scheme in the world, is a permanent sign installed in a public place in England to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event. The scheme was the brainchild of politician William Ewart (British politician), William Ewart in 1863 and was initiated in 1866. It was formally established by the Royal Society of Arts in 1867, and since 1986 has been run by English Heritage. In 2011 there were around 1,600 museums in England. Entry to most state-supported museums and galleries is free unlike in other countries.
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
is one of the world's most visited cities, regularly taking the top five most visited cities in Europe. It is largely considered a global centre of finance, arts and culture.


Healthcare

The
National Health Service The National Health Service (NHS) is the umbrella term for the publicly funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom (UK). Since 1948, they have been funded out of general taxation. There are three systems which are referred to using the " ...
(NHS), is the publicly funded healthcare system responsible for providing the majority of healthcare in the country. The NHS began on 5 July 1948, putting into effect the provisions of the National Health Service Act 1946. It was based on the findings of the Beveridge Report, prepared by economist and social reformer William Beveridge. The NHS is largely funded from general taxation including National Insurance payments, and it provides most of its services free at the point of use, although there are charges for some people for eye tests, dental care, prescriptions and aspects of personal care. The government department responsible for the NHS is the Department of Health (United Kingdom), Department of Health, headed by the Secretary of State for Health, who sits in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, British Cabinet. Most of the expenditure of the Department of Health is spent on the NHS—£98.6 billion was spent in 2008–2009. In recent years the private sector has been increasingly used to provide more NHS services despite opposition by doctors and trade unions. When purchasing drugs, the NHS has significant market power that, based on its own assessment of the fair value of the drugs, influences the global price, typically keeping prices lower. Several other countries either copy the UK's model or directly rely on Britain's assessments for their own decisions on state-financed drug reimbursements. Regulatory bodies such as the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council are organised on a UK-wide basis, as are non-governmental bodies such as the Royal Colleges. The average life expectancy of people in England is 77.5 years for males and 81.7 years for females, the highest of the four
countries of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), since 1922, comprises four constituent countries: England, Scotland, and Wales (which collectively make up Great Britain), as well as Northern Ireland (#Terminology, variously descr ...
. The South of England has a higher life expectancy than the North; however, regional differences do seem to be slowly narrowing: between 1991–1993 and 2012–2014, life expectancy in the North East increased by 6.0 years and in the North West by 5.8 years, the fastest increase in any region outside London, and the gap between life expectancy in the North East and South East is now 2.5 years, down from 2.9 in 1993.


Demography


Population

With over 53 million inhabitants, England is by far the most populous country of the United Kingdom, accounting for 84% of the combined total. England taken as a unit and measured against international states would be the 25th largest List of countries by population in 2005, country by population in the world. The English people are
British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixe ...
. Some genetic evidence suggests that 75–95% descend in the paternal line from prehistoric settlers who originally came from the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian Peninsula
, as well as a 5% contribution from
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli; german: Angeln) were one of the main Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditional ...

Angles
and
Saxons The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...

Saxons
, and a significant Scandinavian (Vikings, Viking) element. However, other geneticists place the
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
estimate up to half. Over time, various cultures have been influential: Prehistoric Britain, Prehistoric, Britons (historical), Brythonic, Ancient Rome, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking (North Germanic), Gaels, Gaelic cultures, as well as a large influence from
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
. There is an English diaspora in former parts of the British Empire; especially the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Since the late 1990s, many English people British migration to Spain, have migrated to Spain. In 1086, when the ''
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. The English language underwent ...
'' was compiled, England had a population of two million. About 10% lived in urban areas. By 1801, the population was 8.3 million, and by 1901 30.5 million. Due in particular to the economic prosperity of South East England, it has received many economic migrants from the other parts of the United Kingdom. There has been Irish migration to Great Britain, significant Irish migration. The proportion of ethnically European residents totals at 87.50%, including British Germans, Germans and Polish British, Poles. Other people from much further afield in the former British colonies have arrived since the 1950s: in particular, 6% of people living in England have family origins in the Indian subcontinent, mostly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. About 0.7% of people are Chinese. 2.90% of the population are black, from Africa and the Caribbean, especially former British colonies. In 2007, 22% of primary school children in England were from minority group, ethnic minority families, and in 2011 that figure was 26.5%. About half of the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to immigration. Debate over immigration is politically prominent; 80% of respondents in a 2009 Home Office poll wanted to cap it. The Office for National Statistics, ONS has projected that the population will grow by nine million between 2014 and 2039. England contains one indigenous national minority, the Cornish people, recognised by the UK government under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in 2014.


Language

As its name suggests, the
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), g ...

English language
, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue spoken by 98% of the population.QS205EW – Proficiency in English
ONS 2011 census. Out of the 51,005,610 residents of England over the age of three, 50,161,765 (98%) can speak English "well" or "very well". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
It is an Indo-European languages, Indo-European language in the Anglo-Frisian languages, Anglo-Frisian branch of the Germanic languages, Germanic family. After the Norman conquest, the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
language, brought to Britain by the Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Saxon settlers, was confined to the Working class, lower social classes as Norman language, Norman French and
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
were used by the aristocracy. By the 15th century, English was back in fashion among all classes, though much changed; the Middle English form showed many signs of French influence, both in vocabulary and spelling. During the
English Renaissance The English Renaissance was a cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, cap ...
, many words were coined from Latin and Greek origins. Modern English has extended this custom of flexibility when it comes to incorporating words from different languages. Thanks in large part to the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
, the English language is the world's unofficial ''lingua franca''. English as a second or foreign language, English language learning and teaching is an important Economics, economic activity, and includes language schools, language schooling, tourism spending, and publishing. There is no United Kingdom legislation, legislation mandating an official language for England, but English is the only language used for official business. Despite the country's relatively small size, there are many distinct Regional accents of English speakers#England, regional accents, and individuals with particularly strong accents may not be easily understood everywhere in the country. As well as English, England has two other indigenous languages, Cornish language, Cornish and
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
. Cornish died out as a community language in the 18th century but is being revived, and is now protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. It is spoken by 0.1% of people in Cornwall, and is taught to some degree in several primary and secondary schools. When the modern border between Wales and England was established by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, many Welsh-speaking communities found themselves on the English side of the border. Welsh was spoken in Archenfield in Herefordshire into the nineteenth century, and by natives of parts of western Shropshire until the middle of the twentieth century if not later. State schools teach students a second language or third language from the ages of seven, most commonly French, Spanish or German. It was reported in 2007 that around 800,000 school students spoke a foreign language at home as a result of immigration among their family, the most common languages being Punjabi language, Punjabi and Urdu. However, following the 2011 census data released by the Office for National Statistics, figures now show that Polish is the main language spoken in England after English.


Religion

In the 2011 census, 59.4% of the population of England specified their religion as Christian, 24.7% answered that they had no religion, 5% specified that they were Muslim, while 3.7% of the population belongs to other religions and 7.2% did not give an answer. Christianity is the most widely practised religion in England, as it has been since the Early Middle Ages, although it was first introduced much earlier in Gaelic and Roman times. This Celtic Church was gradually joined to the Roman Catholic Church, Catholic hierarchy following the 6th-century Gregorian mission to
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert ...

Kent
led by Augustine of Canterbury, St Augustine. The established church of England is the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
, which left communion with Vatican City, Rome in the 1530s when Henry VIII of England, Henry VIII was unable to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the aunt of the Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, king of Spain. The church regards itself as both Catholic and Protestant. There are High Church and Low Church traditions and some Anglicans regard themselves as Anglo-Catholics, following the Tractarian movement. The monarch of the United Kingdom is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, which has around 26 million baptised members (of whom the vast majority are not regular churchgoers). It forms part of the Anglican Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury acting as its symbolic worldwide head. Many List of cathedrals in England and Wales, cathedrals and parish churches are historic buildings of significant architectural importance, such as Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Durham Cathedral, and Salisbury Cathedral. The 2nd-largest Christian practice is the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. Since its reintroduction after the Catholic Emancipation, the Church has organised ecclesiastically on an Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, England and Wales basis where there are 4.5 million members (most of whom are English). There has been one Pope from England to date, Pope Adrian IV, Adrian IV; while saints
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sa ...

Bede
and Anselm of Canterbury, Anselm are regarded as Doctors of the Church. A form of Protestantism known as Methodist Church of Great Britain, Methodism is the third largest Christian practice and grew out of Anglicanism through John Wesley. It gained popularity in the mill towns of Lancashire and
Yorkshire Yorkshire (; abbreviated Yorks), formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply the North, is the most northern area of England England ...

Yorkshire
, and amongst tin miners in Cornwall. There are other Nonconformist (Protestantism), non-conformist minorities, such as Baptists, Quakers, Congregational church, Congregationalists, Unitarianism, Unitarians and The Salvation Army. The patron saint of England is Saint George; his symbolic cross is included in the flag of England, as well as in the Union Flag as part of a combination. There are many other English and associated saints; some of the best-known are: Cuthbert, Edmund the Martyr, Edmund, Saint Alban, Alban, Wilfrid, Aidan of Lindisfarne, Aidan,
Edward the Confessor Edward the Confessor ( ang, Ēadƿeard Andettere ; la, Eduardus Confessor , ; 1003 – 5 January 1066) was one of the last Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the so ...

Edward the Confessor
, John Fisher, Thomas More, Saint Petroc, Petroc, Saint Piran, Piran, Margaret Clitherow and Thomas Becket. There are non-Christian religions practised. Jews have a history of a small minority on the island since 1070. They were expelled from England in 1290 following the Edict of Expulsion, only to be allowed back in 1656. Especially since the 1950s, religions from the British Empire, former British colonies have grown in numbers, due to immigration. Islam is the most common of these, now accounting for around 5% of the population in England. Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism are next in number, adding up to 2.8% combined, introduced from India and South East Asia. A small minority of the population practise ancient Pagan religions. Neopaganism in the United Kingdom is primarily represented by Wicca and Contemporary Witchcraft, Witchcraft religions, Neo-Druidry, Druidry, and Germanic neopaganism, Heathenry. According to the United Kingdom Census 2011, 2011 UK Census, there are roughly 53,172 people who identify as Pagan in England, and 3,448 in
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
, including 11,026 Wiccans in England and 740 in Wales. 24.7% of people in England declared Irreligion, no religion in 2011, compared with 14.6% in 2001. These figures are slightly lower than the combined figures for England and Wales as Wales has a higher level of irreligion than England. Norwich had the highest such proportion at 42.5%, followed closely by Brighton and Hove at 42.4%.


Education

The Department for Education is the government department responsible for issues affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including education. State-run and state-funded schools are attended by approximately 93% of English schoolchildren. Education is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Education. Children who are between the ages of 3 and 5 attend nursery or an Early Years Foundation Stage reception unit within a primary school. Children between the ages of 5 and 11 attend primary school, and secondary school is attended by those aged between 11 and 16. State-funded schools are obliged by law to teach the National Curriculum for England, National Curriculum; basic areas of learning include English literature, English language, mathematics, science, art & design, citizenship, history, geography, religious education, design & technology, computing, ancient & modern languages, music, and physical education. More than 90% of English schools require students to wear uniforms. School uniforms are defined by individual schools, within the constraint that uniform regulations must not discriminate on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief. Schools may choose to permit trousers for girls or religious dress. The Programme for International Student Assessment coordinated by the OECD currently ranks the overall knowledge and skills of British 15-year-olds as 13th in the world in reading literacy, mathematics, and science with the average British student scoring 503.7, compared with the OECD average of 493, ahead of the United States and most of Europe. Although most English secondary schools are comprehensive school, comprehensive, there are selective intake grammar schools to which entrance is subject to passing the eleven-plus exam. Around 7.2 per cent of English schoolchildren attend Independent school (UK), private schools, which are funded by private sources. Standards in state schools are monitored by the Office for Standards in Education, and in private schools by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. After finishing compulsory education, students take General Certificate of Secondary Education, GCSE examinations. Students may then opt to continue into further education for two years. List of further education colleges in England, Further education colleges (particularly sixth form colleges) often form part of a secondary school site. A-level examinations are sat by a large number of further education students, and often form the basis of an application to university. Further education (FE) covers a wide curriculum of study and apprenticeships, including T Level, T-levels, BTEC Extended Diploma, BTEC, NVQ and others. Tertiary colleges provide both academic and vocational courses. Higher education students normally attend university from age 18 onwards, where they study for an academic degree. There are over 90 universities in England, all but one of which are Public university, public institutions. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is the government department responsible for higher education in England. Students are generally entitled to student loans to cover the cost of tuition fees and living costs. The first degree offered to undergraduates is the bachelor's degree, which usually takes three years to complete. Students are then able to work towards a postgraduate degree, which usually takes one year, or towards a doctorate, which takes three or more years. List of universities in England, England's universities include some of the highest-ranked universities in the world; University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Imperial College London, University College London and King's College London are all ranked in the global top 30 in the 2018 ''QS World University Rankings''. The London School of Economics has been described as the world's leading social science institution for both teaching and research. The London Business School is considered one of the world's leading business schools and in 2010 its MBA programme was ranked best in the world by the ''Financial Times''. Academic degrees in England are usually split into classes: first class (1st), upper second class (2:1), lower second class (2:2), third (3rd), and unclassified. The King's School, Canterbury and King's School, Rochester are the oldest schools in the English-speaking world. Many of England's most well-known schools, such as Winchester College, Eton College, Eton, St Paul's School (London), St Paul's School, Harrow School and Rugby School are fee-paying institutions.


Culture


Architecture

Many ancient standing stone monuments were erected during the prehistoric period; amongst the best known are
Stonehenge Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, west of Amesbury. It consists of an outer ring of vertical sarsen standing stones, each around high, wide, and weighing around 25 tons, topped by connecting ho ...

Stonehenge
, Devil's Arrows, Rudston Monolith and Castlerigg stone circle, Castlerigg. With the introduction of Ancient Roman architecture there was a development of basilicas, Roman baths, baths, amphitheaters, triumphal arches, villas, Roman temples, Roman roads, Roman forts, stockades and aqueduct (bridge), aqueducts. It was the Romans who founded the first cities and towns such as London, Bath, York, Chester and St Albans. Perhaps the best-known example is Hadrian's Wall stretching right across northern England. Another well-preserved example is the Roman Baths (Bath), Roman Baths at Bath, Somerset. Anglo-Saxon architecture, Early Medieval architecture's secular buildings were simple constructions mainly using timber with thatch for roofing. Ecclesiastical architecture ranged from a synthesis of Early Christian Ireland, Hiberno–Germanic Christianity, Saxon
monasticism Monasticism (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). An ...
, to Early Christian art and architecture, Early Christian basilica and architecture characterised by pilaster-strips, blank arcading, baluster shafts and triangular headed openings. After the Norman conquest in 1066 various Castles in England were created so law lords could uphold their authority and in the north to protect from invasion. Some of the best-known medieval castles are the Tower of London, Warwick Castle, Durham Castle and Windsor Castle. Throughout the Plantagenet era, an English Gothic architecture flourished, with prime examples including the Architecture of the medieval cathedrals of England, medieval cathedrals such as Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and York Minster.. Expanding on the Norman architecture, Norman base there was also castles, palaces, List of historic houses in England, great houses, universities and parish churches. Medieval architecture was completed with the 16th-century Tudor architecture, Tudor style; the four-centred arch, now known as the Tudor arch, was a defining feature as were wattle and daub houses domestically. In the aftermath of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
a form of architecture echoing classical antiquity synthesised with Christianity appeared, the English Baroque style of architect
Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren PRS FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * Fa ...

Christopher Wren
being particularly championed. Georgian architecture followed in a more refined style, evoking a simple Palladian form; the Royal Crescent at Bath is one of the best examples of this. With the emergence of romanticism during Victorian period, a Gothic Revival was launched. In addition to this, around the same time the Industrial Revolution paved the way for buildings such as The Crystal Palace. Since the 1930s various modernist architecture, modernist forms have appeared whose reception is often controversial, though traditionalist resistance movements continue with support in influential places.


Gardens

Landscape gardening, as developed by Capability Brown, set an international trend for the English garden. Gardening, and visiting gardens, are regarded as typically English pursuits. The English garden presented an idealized view of nature. At large country houses, the English garden usually included lakes, sweeps of gently rolling lawns set against groves of trees, and recreations of classical temples, Gothic architecture, Gothic ruins, bridges, and other picturesque architecture, designed to recreate an idyllic pastoral landscape. By the end of the 18th century, the English garden was being imitated by the French landscape garden, and as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia, in Pavlovsk, Saint Petersburg, Pavlovsk, the gardens of the future Emperor Paul. It also had a major influence on the form of the public parks and gardens which appeared around the world in the 19th century. The English landscape garden was centred on the English country house and manor houses. English Heritage and the National Trust preserve great gardens and landscape parks throughout the country. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is held every year by the Royal Horticultural Society and is said to be the largest gardening show in the world.


Folklore

English folklore developed over many centuries. Some of the characters and stories are present across England, but most belong to specific regions. Common folkloric beings include pixies, giant (mythology), giants, elf, elves, bogeymen, trolls, goblins and dwarf (mythology), dwarves. While many legends and folk-customs are thought to be ancient, such as the tales featuring Offa of Angel and Wayland the Smith,. others date from after the Norman invasion. The legends featuring Robin Hood and his Merry Men of Sherwood Forest, Sherwood, and their battles with the Sheriff of Nottingham, are among the best-known of these. During the High Middle Ages tales originating from Brythonic traditions entered English folklore and developed into the Arthurian myth.. These were derived from Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman, Welsh and French sources, featuring King Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table such as Lancelot. These stories are most centrally brought together within Geoffrey of Monmouth's ''Historia Regum Britanniae'' (''History of the Kings of Britain''). Another early figure from Britons (historic), British tradition, King Cole, may have been based on a real figure from Sub-Roman Britain. Many of the tales and pseudohistory, pseudo-histories make up part of the wider Matter of Britain, a collection of shared British folklore. Some folk figures are based on semi or actual historical people whose story has been passed down centuries; Lady Godiva for instance was said to have ridden naked on horseback through Coventry, Hereward the Wake was a heroic English figure resisting the Norman invasion, Herne the Hunter is an equestrianism, equestrian ghost associated with Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor Forest and Windsor Great Park, Great Park and Mother Shipton is the archetypal witch. On 5 November people make bonfires, set off fireworks and eat toffee apples in Guy Fawkes Night, commemoration of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot centred on Guy Fawkes. The chivalrous bandit, such as Dick Turpin, is a recurring character, while Blackbeard is the archetypal pirate. There are various national and regional folk activities, participated in to this day, such as Morris dancing, Maypole dance, Maypole dancing, Rapper sword in the North East, Long Sword dance in Yorkshire, Mummers Plays, bottle-kicking in Leicestershire, and Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, cheese-rolling at Brockworth, Gloucestershire, Cooper's Hill. There is no official national costume, but a few are well established such as the Pearly Kings and Queens associated with cockneys, the Queen's Guard, Royal Guard, the Morris dance, Morris costume and Beefeaters.


Cuisine

Since the early modern period the food of England has historically been characterised by its simplicity of approach and a reliance on the high quality of natural produce. During the Middle Ages and through the Renaissance period, English cuisine enjoyed an excellent reputation, though a decline began during the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
with the move away from the land and increasing urbanisation of the populace. The cuisine of England has, however, recently undergone a revival, which has been recognised by food critics with some good ratings in ''Restaurant (magazine), Restaurant''s best restaurant in the world charts. An early book of English recipes is the ''Forme of Cury'' from the royal court of Richard II of England, Richard II. Traditional examples of English food include the Sunday roast, featuring a roasting, roasted joint (usually beef, lamb and mutton, lamb, chicken or pork) served with assorted vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. Other prominent meals include fish and chips and the Full breakfast, full English breakfast (generally consisting of bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes, fried bread, black pudding, baked beans, edible mushroom, mushrooms and eggs). Various meat pies are consumed, such as steak and kidney pie, steak and ale pie, cottage pie, pork pie (usually eaten cold) and the Cornish pasty. Sausages are commonly eaten, either as bangers and mash or toad in the hole. Lancashire hotpot is a well-known stew originating in the northwest. Some of the more popular cheeses are Cheddar cheese, Cheddar, Red Leicester, Wensleydale (cheese), Wensleydale, Double Gloucester and Stilton cheese, Blue Stilton. Many Anglo-Indian hybrid dishes, curries, have been created, such as chicken tikka masala and balti (food), balti. Traditional English dessert dishes include apple pie or other fruit pies; spotted dick – all generally served with custard; and, more recently, sticky toffee pudding. Sweet pastries include scones (either plain or containing dried fruit) served with jam or cream, dried fruit loaves, Eccles cakes and mince pies as well as a wide range of sweet or spiced biscuits. Common non-alcoholic drinks include tea, the popularity of which was increased by Catherine of Braganza, and coffee; frequently consumed alcoholic drinks include wine, ciders and English beers, such as bitter (beer), bitter, mild ale, mild, stout and brown ale.


Visual arts

The earliest known examples are the prehistoric rock and cave art pieces, most prominent in North Yorkshire, Northumberland and Cumbria, but also feature further south, for example at Creswell Crags. With the arrival of Roman culture in the 1st century, various forms of art such as statues, busts, glasswork and mosaics were the norm. There are numerous surviving artefacts, such as those at Lullingstone Roman Villa, Lullingstone and Isurium Brigantum, Aldborough. During the Early Middle Ages the style favoured sculpted crosses and ivories, manuscript painting, gold and enamel jewellery, demonstrating a love of intricate, interwoven designs such as in the Staffordshire Hoard discovered in 2009. Some of these blended Insular art, Gaelic and Anglian styles, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and Vespasian Psalter. Later Gothic art was popular at Winchester and Canterbury, examples survive such as Benedictional of St. Æthelwold and Luttrell Psalter. The Tudor era saw Artists of the Tudor court, prominent artists as part of their court, portrait painting which would remain an enduring part of English art, was boosted by German Hans Holbein the Younger, Hans Holbein, natives such as Nicholas Hilliard built on this. Under the Stuarts, Continental artists were influential especially the Flemish, examples from the period include Anthony van Dyck, Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller and William Dobson. The 18th century was a time of significance with the founding of the Royal Academy, a classicism based on the Renaissance art, High Renaissance prevailed, with Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds becoming two of England's most treasured artists. In the 19th century, John Constable, Constable and J.M.W. Turner, Turner were major landscape artists. The Norwich School (art movement), Norwich School continued the landscape tradition, while the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, led by artists such as Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais, revived the Early Renaissance style with their vivid and detailed style. Prominent amongst 20th-century artists was Henry Moore, regarded as the voice of British sculpture, and of British modernism in general. More recent painters include Lucian Freud, whose work ''Benefits Supervisor Sleeping'' in 2008 set a world record for sale value of a painting by a then-living artist. The Royal Society of Arts is an organisation committed to the arts and culture.


Literature, poetry, and philosophy

Early authors such as
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sa ...

Bede
and Alcuin wrote in Latin.. The period of Old English literature provided the epic poem ''Beowulf'' and the secular prose of the ''
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle The ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' is a collection of annals Annals ( la, annāles, from , "year") are a concise historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the stud ...
'', along with Christian writings such as ''Judith (poem), Judith'', Cædmon's ''Cædmon, Hymn'' and hagiography, hagiographies. Following the Norman conquest Latin literature, Latin continued amongst the educated classes, as well as an Anglo-Norman literature. Middle English literature emerged with Geoffrey Chaucer, author of ''The Canterbury Tales'', along with John Gower, Gower, the Pearl Poet and William Langland, Langland. William of Ockham and Roger Bacon, who were Franciscans, were major philosophers of the Middle Ages. Julian of Norwich, who wrote ''Revelations of Divine Love'', was a prominent Christian mystic. With the
English Renaissance The English Renaissance was a cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, cap ...
literature in the Early Modern English style appeared. William Shakespeare, whose works include ''Hamlet'', ''Romeo and Juliet'', ''Macbeth'', and ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'', remains one of the most championed authors in English literature. Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sydney, Thomas Kyd, John Donne, and Ben Jonson are other established authors of the Elizabethan literature, Elizabethan age.. Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes wrote on empiricism and materialism, including scientific method and social contract. Robert Filmer, Filmer wrote on the Divine Right of Kings. Andrew Marvell, Marvell was the best-known poet of the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...
, while John Milton authored ''Paradise Lost'' during the Restoration literature, Restoration. Some of the most prominent philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment were John Locke, Thomas Paine, Samuel Johnson and Jeremy Bentham. More radical elements were later countered by Edmund Burke who is regarded as the founder of conservatism. The poet Alexander Pope with his satirical verse became well regarded. The English played a significant role in romanticism: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, John Keats, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Blake and William Wordsworth were major figures. In response to the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
, agrarian writers sought a way between liberty and tradition; William Cobbett, G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc were main exponents, while the founder of guild socialism, Arthur Penty, and cooperative movement advocate G. D. H. Cole are somewhat related. Empiricism continued through John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell, while Bernard Williams was involved in analytics. Authors from around the
Victorian era In the history of the United Kingdom The history of the United Kingdom began in the early eighteenth century with the Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international l ...
include Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells and Lewis Carroll. Since then England has continued to produce novelists such as George Orwell, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, C. S. Lewis, Enid Blyton, Aldous Huxley, Agatha Christie, Terry Pratchett, J. R. R. Tolkien, and J. K. Rowling.


Performing arts

The traditional folk music of England is centuries old and has contributed to several genres prominently; mostly sea shanties, jigs, hornpipes and dance music. It has its own distinct variations and regional peculiarities. Ballads featuring Robin Hood, printed by Wynkyn de Worde in the 16th century, are an important artefact, as are John Playford's ''The Dancing Master'' and Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, Robert Harley's ''Roxburghe Ballads'' collections. Some of the best-known songs are ''Greensleeves'', ''Pastime with Good Company'', ''Maggie May (folk song), Maggie May'' and ''Spanish Ladies'' amongst others. Many nursery rhymes are of English origin such as ''Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary'', ''Roses Are Red'', ''Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme), Jack and Jill'', ''London Bridge Is Falling Down, The Grand Old Duke of York, Hey Diddle Diddle'' and ''Humpty Dumpty''. Traditional English Christmas carols include "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", "The First Noel", “I Saw Three Ships” and "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen". Early English composers in classical music include Renaissance artists Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, followed up by Henry Purcell from the Baroque music, Baroque period. German-born George Frideric Handel spent most of his composing life in London and became a national icon in Britain, creating some of the most well-known works of classical music, especially his English oratorios, ''Messiah (Handel), The Messiah'', ''Solomon (Handel), Solomon'', ''Water Music (Handel), Water Music'', and ''Music for the Royal Fireworks''. One of his four Coronation Anthems (Handel), Coronation Anthems, ''Zadok the Priest'', composed for the coronation of George II of Great Britain, George II, has been performed at every subsequent Coronation of the British monarch, British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing. Classical music attracted much attention from 1784 with the formation of the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival, which was the longest running classical music festival of its kind until the final concerts in 1912. The English Musical Renaissance was a hypothetical development in the late 19th and early 20th century, when English composers, often those lecturing or trained at the Royal College of Music, were said to have freed themselves from foreign musical influences. There was a revival in the profile of composers from England in the 20th century led by Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten, Frederick Delius, Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others. Present-day composers from England include Michael Nyman, best known for ''The Piano'', and Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose musicals have achieved enormous success in the West End theatre, West End and worldwide. In popular music, many English bands and solo artists have been cited as the most influential and best-selling musicians of all time. Acts such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Queen (band), Queen, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Def Leppard are among the highest-selling recording artists in the world. Many musical genres have origins in (or strong associations with) England, such as British invasion, progressive rock, hard rock, mod (subculture), Mod, glam rock, heavy metal music, heavy metal, Britpop, indie rock, gothic rock, shoegazing, acid house, UK garage, garage, trip hop, drum and bass and dubstep. Large outdoor List of music festivals in the United Kingdom, music festivals in the summer and autumn are popular, such as Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury, V Festival, and the Reading and Leeds Festivals. England was at the forefront of the illegal, free rave movement from the late 1980s, which led to pan-European culture of Teknival, teknivals mirrored on the UK free festival movement and associated travelling lifestyle. The Boishakhi Mela is a Bengali New Year festival celebrated by the British Bangladeshi community. It is the largest open-air Asian festival in Europe. After the Notting Hill Carnival, it is the second-largest street festival in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
attracting over 80,000 visitors from across the country. The most prominent opera house in England is the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.. The Proms – a season of orchestral classical concerts held primarily at the Royal Albert Hall in London – is a major cultural event in the English calendar, and takes place yearly. The Royal Ballet is one of the world's foremost classical ballet companies, its reputation built on two prominent figures of 20th-century dance, ''prima ballerina'' Margot Fonteyn and choreographer Frederick Ashton. The Royal Academy of Music is the oldest Music school, conservatoire in England, founded in 1822. It received its royal charter in 1830 from George IV of the United Kingdom, King George IV. England is home to numerous major orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra. The circus is a traditional form of entertainment in England. Chipperfield's Circus dates back more than 300 years, making it one of the oldest family circus dynasties.Great dynasties of the world: The Chipperfields
''The Guardian'' Retrieved 18 February 2011.
Philip Astley is regarded as the father of the Circus#Development, modern circus."The circus comes to the Circus"
BBC News. Retrieved 13 December 2014
Following his invention of the circus ring in 1768, Astley's Amphitheatre opened in London in 1773. As an equestrian master Astley had a skill for trick horse-riding, and when he added tumblers, tightrope-walkers, jugglers, performing dogs, and a clown to fill time between his own demonstrations – the modern circus was born.Explore PA history.com – Historical Markers
/ref> Pantomime is a British Musical theatre, musical comedy stage production, designed for family entertainment. It is performed in theatres throughout the England during the Christmas and New Year season. The art originated in the 18th century with John Weaver (dancer), John Weaver, a dance master and choreographer.David Christopher (2002). "British Culture: An Introduction". p. 74. Routledge, In 19th century England it acquired its present form, which includes songs, slapstick comedy and dancing, employing gender-crossing actors, combining topical humour with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale.


Cinema

England (and the UK as a whole) has had a considerable influence on the history of the cinema, producing some of the greatest actors, directors and motion pictures of all time, including Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, David Lean, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, John Gielgud, Peter Sellers, Julie Andrews, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Daniel Day-Lewis. Hitchcock and Lean are among the most critically acclaimed filmmakers. Hitchcock's first thriller, ''The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog'' (1926), helped shape the Thriller film, thriller genre in film, while his 1929 film, ''Blackmail (1929 film), Blackmail'', is often regarded as the first British Sound film#Transition: Europe, sound feature film. Major film studios in England include Pinewood Studios, Pinewood, Elstree Studios, Elstree and Shepperton Studios, Shepperton. Some of the most commercially successful films of all time have been produced in England, including two of the List of highest-grossing film series, highest-grossing film franchises (''Harry Potter (film series), Harry Potter'' and ''James Bond (film series), James Bond''). Ealing Studios in London has a claim to being the oldest continuously working film studio in the world. Famous for recording many motion picture film scores, the London Symphony Orchestra first performed film music in 1935. The Hammer Film Productions, Hammer Horror films starring Christopher Lee saw the production of the first gory horror films showing blood and guts in colour. The BFI Top 100 British films includes ''Monty Python's Life of Brian'' (1979), a film regularly voted the funniest of all time by the UK public. English producers are also active in international co-productions and English actors, directors and crew feature regularly in American films. The UK film council ranked David Yates, Christopher Nolan, Mike Newell (director), Mike Newell, Ridley Scott and Paul Greengrass the five most commercially successful English directors since 2001. Other contemporary English directors include Sam Mendes, Guy Ritchie and Richard Curtis. Current actors include Tom Hardy, Daniel Craig, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lena Headey, Felicity Jones, Emilia Clarke, Lashana Lynch, and Emma Watson. Acclaimed for his motion capture work, Andy Serkis opened The Imaginarium Studios in London in 2011. The visual effects company Framestore in London has produced some of the most critically acclaimed special effects in modern film. Many successful Hollywood films have been based on English people, British literature, stories or events. The List of Walt Disney Animation Studios films, 'English Cycle' of Disney animated films include ''Alice in Wonderland'', ''The Jungle Book'' and ''Winnie the Pooh''.


Museums, libraries, and galleries

English Heritage is a governmental body with a broad remit of managing the historic sites, artefacts and environments of England. It is currently sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The charity National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty holds a contrasting role. 17 of the 25 United Kingdom UNESCO World Heritage Sites fall within England. Some of the best-known of these are: Hadrian's Wall, Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, Tower of London, Jurassic Coast, Saltaire, Ironbridge Gorge, Studley Royal Park and various others. There are many museums in England, but perhaps the most notable is London's British Museum. Its collection of more than seven million objects is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world, sourced from every continent, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present. The British Library in London is the national library and is one of the world's largest research libraries, holding over 150 million items in almost all known languages and formats; including around 25 million books. The most senior art gallery is the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, which houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Tate galleries house the national collections of British and international modern art; they also host the famously controversial Turner Prize.


Media

The BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK's publicly funded radio, television and Internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world. It operates numerous television and radio stations in the UK and abroad and its domestic services are funded by the Television licensing in the United Kingdom, television licence. The BBC World Service is an International broadcasting, international broadcaster owned and operated by the BBC. It is the world's largest of any kind. It broadcasts radio news, speech and discussions in more than 40 languages. London dominates the media sector in England: national newspapers and television and radio are largely based there, although Manchester is also a significant national media centre. The UK publishing sector, including books, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover of around £20 billion and employs around 167,000 people. National newspapers produced in England include ''The Times'', ''The Guardian'' and the ''Financial Times''. Magazines and journals published in England that have achieved worldwide circulation include ''Nature (journal), Nature'', ''New Scientist'', ''The Spectator'', ''Prospect (magazine), Prospect'', ''NME'' and ''The Economist''. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has overall responsibility over media and broadcasting in England.


Sport

England has a strong sporting heritage, and during the 19th century codified many sports that are now played around the world. Sports originating in England include association football, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, tennis, boxing, badminton, squash (sport), squash, rounders, field hockey, hockey, snooker, billiards, darts, table tennis, bowls, netball, thoroughbred horseracing, greyhound racing and fox hunting. It has helped the development of golf, sailing and Formula One. Football is the Sport in the United Kingdom#Popularity, most popular of these sports. The England national football team, whose home venue is Wembley Stadium, played Scotland national football team, Scotland in the first ever international football match in 1872. Referred to as the "home of football" by FIFA, England hosted the 1966 FIFA World Cup, and won the tournament by defeating Germany national football team, West Germany 4–2 in the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final, final, with Geoff Hurst scoring a hat-trick. With a British television audience peak of 32.30 million viewers, the final is the List of most-watched television broadcasts#United Kingdom, most watched television event ever in the UK. At club level, England is recognised by FIFA as the birthplace of club football, due to Sheffield F.C. founded in 1857 being the world's oldest club. The Football Association is the oldest governing body in the sport, with the Laws of the Game (association football), rules of football first drafted in 1863 by Ebenezer Cobb Morley. The FA Cup and The Football League were the first cup and league competitions respectively. In the modern day, the Premier League is the world's most-watched football league, most lucrative, and amongst the elite. As is the case throughout the UK, football in England is notable for the rivalries between clubs and the passion of the supporters, which includes a tradition of football chants. The most successful English football team in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League is Liverpool F.C. who have won the competition on six occasions. Other English success has come from Manchester United F.C., winning the competition on 3 occasions; Nottingham Forest F.C. and Chelsea F.C. on 2 occasions, Aston Villa F.C. have only won the trophy once. Cricket is generally thought to have been developed in the early medieval period among the farming and metalworking communities of the Weald. The England cricket team is a composite England and Wales, team. One of the game's top rivalries is The Ashes series between England and Australia cricket team, Australia, contested since 1882. The climax of the 2005 Ashes series, 2005 Ashes was viewed by 7.4 million as it was available on terrestrial television. England has hosted five Cricket World Cups (1975, 1979, 1983, 1999 and 2019 Cricket World Cup, 2019), winning the 2019 edition in a final regarded as one of the greatest one day internationals ever played. They hosted the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009 ICC World Twenty20, 2009, winning this format in 2010 beating rivals Australia in the final. In the domestic competition, the County Championship, Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Yorkshire are by far the most successful club having won the competition 32 times outright and sharing it on 1 other occasion. Lord's Cricket Ground situated in London is sometimes referred to as the "Mecca of Cricket". William Penny Brookes was prominent in organising the format for the modern Olympic Games. In 1994, then President of the International Olympic Committee, IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, laid a wreath on Brooke's grave, and said, "I came to pay homage and tribute to Dr Brookes, who really was the founder of the modern Olympic Games". London has hosted the Summer Olympic Games three times, in 1908 Summer Olympics, 1908, 1948 Summer Olympics, 1948, and 2012 Summer Olympics, 2012. England competes in the Commonwealth Games, held every four years. Sport England is the governing body responsible for distributing funds and providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in England. The Minister for Sport and Civil Society has responsibility for sport in England. Rugby union originated in Rugby School, Warwickshire in the early 19th century. The England national rugby union team, England rugby union team won the 2003 Rugby World Cup, with Jonny Wilkinson scoring the winning drop kick, drop goal in the last minute of extra time against Australia. England was one of the host nations of the competition in the 1991 Rugby World Cup and also hosted the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The top level of club participation is the Guinness Premiership, English Premiership. Leicester Tigers, Wasps RFC, London Wasps, Bath Rugby and Northampton Saints have had success in the Europe-wide Heineken Cup. Rugby league was born in Huddersfield in 1895. Since 2008, the England national rugby league team has been a full test nation in lieu of the Great Britain national rugby league team, which won three Rugby League World Cup, World Cups but is now retired. Club sides play in Super League, the present-day embodiment of the Rugby Football League Championship. Rugby League is most popular among towns in the northern English counties of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria. The vast majority of English clubs in Super League are based in the north of England. Some of the most successful clubs include Wigan Warriors, Hull F.C. St Helens R.F.C., St. Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants; the former three have all won the World Club Challenge previously. Golf has been prominent in England; due in part to its cultural and geographical ties to Scotland, the Golf in Scotland, home of Golf. There are both professional tours for men and women, in two main tours: the Professional Golfers Association, PGA and the European Tour. England has produced grand slam winners: Cyril Walker (golfer), Cyril Walker, Tony Jacklin, Nick Faldo, and Justin Rose in the men's and Laura Davies, Alison Nicholas, and Karen Stupples in the women's. The world's oldest golf tournament, and golf's first major is The Open Championship, played both in England and Scotland. The biennial golf competition, the Ryder Cup, is named after English businessman Samuel Ryder who sponsored the event and donated the trophy. Nick Faldo is the most successful Ryder Cup player ever, having won the most points (25) of any player on either the European or US teams. Tennis was created in Birmingham in the late 19th century, and The Championships, Wimbledon, the Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and widely considered the most prestigious. Wimbledon is a tournament that has a major place in the British cultural calendar. Fred Perry was the last Englishman to win Wimbledon in 1936. He was the first player to win all four Grand Slam in tennis, Grand Slam singles titles and helped lead the Great Britain Davis Cup team, Great Britain team to four Davis Cup wins. English women who have won Wimbledon include: Ann Haydon Jones in 1969 and Virginia Wade in 1977. In boxing, under the Marquess of Queensberry Rules, England has produced many world champions across the weight divisions internationally recognised by the governing bodies. World champions include Bob Fitzsimmons, Ted "Kid" Lewis, Randolph Turpin, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis, Ricky Hatton, Naseem Hamed, Amir Khan (British boxer), Amir Khan, Carl Froch, and David Haye. In women's boxing, Nicola Adams became the world's first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Originating in 17th and 18th-century England, the thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. The National Hunt horse race the Grand National, is held annually at Aintree Racecourse in early April. It is the most watched horse race in the UK, attracting casual observers, and three-time winner Red Rum is the most successful racehorse in the event's history. Red Rum is also the best-known racehorse in the country. The 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone was the first race in the newly created Formula One World Championship. Since then, England has produced some of the greatest drivers in the sport, including; John Surtees, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill (only driver to have won the Triple Crown of Motorsport, Triple Crown), Nigel Mansell (only man to hold F1 and IndyCar titles at the same time), Damon Hill, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. It has manufactured some of the most technically advanced racing cars, and many of today's racing companies choose England as their base of operations for its engineering knowledge and organisation. McLaren Automotive, Williams F1, Team Lotus, Honda, Brawn GP, Benetton Formula, Benetton, Renault, and Red Bull Racing are all, or have been, located in the south of England. England also has a rich heritage in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, the premier championship of motorcycle road racing, and produced several World Champions across all the various class of motorcycle: Mike Hailwood, John Surtees, Phil Read, Geoff Duke, and Barry Sheene. Darts is a widely popular sport in England; a professional competitive sport, darts is a traditional pub game. The sport is governed by the World Darts Federation, one of its member organisations is the British Darts Organisation (BDO), which annually stages the BDO World Darts Championship, the other being the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), which runs its own world championship at Alexandra Palace in London. Phil Taylor (darts player), Phil Taylor is widely regarded as the best darts player of all time, having won 187 professional tournaments, and a record 16 World Professional Darts Championship, World Championships. Trina Gulliver is the ten-time Women's World Professional Darts Champion of the British Darts Organisation. Another popular sport commonly associated with pub games is Snooker, and England has produced several world champions, including Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan. The English are keen sailors and enjoy competitive sailing; founding and winning some of the world's most famous and respected international competitive tournaments across the various race formats, including the match race, a regatta, and the America's Cup. England has produced some of the world's greatest sailors, including Francis Chichester, Herbert Hasler, John Ridgway (sailor), John Ridgway, Robin Knox-Johnston, Ellen MacArthur, Mike Golding, Paul Goodison, and the most successful Olympic sailor ever Ben Ainslie.


National symbols

The St George's Cross has been the national flag of England since the 13th century. Originally the flag was used by the maritime Republic of Genoa. The English monarch paid a tribute to the Doge of Genoa from 1190 onwards so that English ships could fly the flag as a means of protection when entering the Mediterranean. A red cross was a symbol for many Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. It became associated with Saint George, along with countries and cities, which claimed him as their patron saint and used his cross as a banner. Since 1606 the St George's Cross has formed part of the design of the Union Flag, a Pan-British flag designed by King James I of England, James I. During the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
and Interregnum (England), Interregnum, the New Model Army, New Model Army's standards and the English Commonwealth, Commonwealth's Great Seal of the Realm#Commonwealth, Great Seal both incorporated the flag of Saint George. There are numerous other symbols and symbolic artefacts, both official and unofficial, including the Tudor rose, the nation's national emblem, floral emblem, and the Three Lions featured on the Royal Arms of England. The Tudor rose was adopted as a national emblem of England around the time of the
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a ...
as a symbol of peace. It is a syncreticism, syncretic symbol in that it merged the white rose of the
Yorkists The House of York was a cadet branch In history and heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the ...
and the red rose of the Lancastrians—cadet branches of the House of Plantagenet, Plantagenets who went to war over control of the nation. It is also known as the ''Rose of England''. The oak tree is a symbol of England, representing strength and endurance. The Royal Oak symbol and Oak Apple Day commemorate the escape of King from the grasp of the parliamentarians after his father's execution: he hid in an oak tree to avoid detection before safely reaching exile. The Royal Arms of England, a national coat of arms featuring three lions, originated with its adoption by Richard the Lionheart in 1198. It is blazoned as ''gules, three lions passant guardant or'' and it provides one of the most prominent symbols of England; it is similar to the traditional arms of Normandy. England does not have an official designated national anthem, as the United Kingdom as a whole has ''God Save the Queen''. However, the following are often considered unofficial National anthem of England, English national anthems: ''Jerusalem (hymn), Jerusalem'', ''Land of Hope and Glory'' (used for England during the 2002 Commonwealth Games), and ''I Vow to Thee, My Country''. England's National Day is 23 April which is St George's Day in England, Saint George's Day: Saint George is the patron saint of England.


See also

* Outline of England ** Outline of the United Kingdom


Notes


References


Bibliography

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External links


English Heritage
nbsp;– National body protecting English heritage
Natural England
nbsp;– Wildlife and the natural world of England
VisitEngland
nbsp;– English Tourist Board
BBC News – England
nbsp;– News items from BBC News relating to England
GOV.UK
nbsp;– The Official Website of the British Government * {{Coord, 53, N, 1, W, region:GB-ENG_type:adm1st, display=title England, English-speaking countries and territories Great Britain Island countries United Kingdom by country Germanic countries and territories Christian states