The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland includes England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and a few Islands in the surrounding area. Sometimes it is also referred to as Great Britain, however Great Britain only includes England, Wales and Scotland. The country of Ireland which shares a land border with Northern Ireland is a separate and sovereign country. Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland are considered as countries within a country, meaning that they have their own governments, but they are under the overall control of the government of United Kingdom.
The Empire of the United Kingdom, or the British Empire as it was known then was the largest empire in history and at its peak in 1922, it controlled approximately 25% of the world’s landmass. It was said that the sun never sets on the British Empire, and it is not surprising that British Influence can be seen in the language, culture and political systems in many of its past colonies. Today immigrants from these very colonies form a substantial part of UK’s population giving real meaning to a recent banner which read ‘ We are here because you are there ‘. Even though English is the official language in the UK, the accent can change every few kilometres. It is estimated that there are more Indian restaurants in the UK than in some major Indian cities, in fact the citizens even voted Chicken Tikka Masala as their National Dish.
The Influence and power of the United Kingdom has reduced gradually since the end of the Second World War. However the United Kingdom remains one of the most economically, politically and culturally important countries in the World.