COUNTRIES

UNITED KINGDOM

Programs Offered

Greenwich: University of Greenwich

A few facts about the country:

OFFICIAL NAME: England

GOVERNMENT TYPE: Constitutional Monarchy

MONARCH: Elizabeth II

PRIME MINISTER: Gordon Brown

POPULATION: 51,092,000

LOCATION: Western Europe, bordered by Scotland to the north, Wales to the west and North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel.

TERRAIN AND CLIMATE: England has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round, although the seasons are quite variable in temperature. However, temperatures rarely fall below −5 °C (23 °F) or rise above 30 °C (86 °F). The prevailing wind is from the south-west, bringing mild and wet weather to England regularly from the Atlantic Ocean. It is driest in the east and warmest in the south, which is closest to the European mainland. Snowfall can occur in winter and early spring, although it is not that common away from high ground.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English

GENERAL HISTORY: England became a unified state in the year 927 and takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled there during the 5th and 6th centuries. It has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world[13] being the place of origin of the English language, the Church of England, and English law, which forms the basis of the common law legal systems of countries around the world. In addition, England was the birth place of the Industrial Revolution, thus being the first country in the world to industrialize. It is home to the Royal Society, which laid the foundations of modern experimental science.[15] England has the world's oldest parliamentary system, and consequently, other constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that stemmed from England have been widely adopted by other nations. The Kingdom of England (including Wales) continued as a separate state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union, putting into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulted in political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1800, Great Britain was united with Ireland through another Act of Union 1800 to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1921, the Irish Free State was created, and the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act in 1927 officially established the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which exists today.

ECONOMY: England's economy is among the largest in the world. It follows the Anglo-Saxon economic model. England's economy is the largest of the four economies of the United Kingdom, with 100 of Europe's 500 largest corporations based in London. As part of the United Kingdom, England is a major centre of world economics. One of the world's most highly industrialized countries; 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 exports mainly manufactured goods and imports materials such as petroleum, tea, wool, raw sugar, timber, butter, metals, and meat. England exported more than 30,000 tons of beef last year, worth around £75,000,000, with France, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain being the largest importers of beef from England. The central bank of the United Kingdom, which sets interest rates and implements monetary policy, is the Bank of England in London. London is also home to the London Stock Exchange, the main stock exchange in the UK and the largest in Europe. London is one of the international leaders in finance and the largest financial centre in Europe. Traditional heavy and manufacturing industries have declined sharply in England in recent decades, as they have in the United Kingdom as a whole. At the same time, service industries have grown in importance. For example, tourism is the sixth largest industry in the UK, contributing 76 billion pounds to the economy. It employs 1,800,000 full-time equivalent people—6.1% of the working population (2002 figures). The largest centre for tourism is London, which attracts millions of international tourists every year.