History of UK
As the dominant industrial and maritime power of the 19th century, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth’s surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK’s strength seriously depleted in two World Wars and the Irish republic withdraw from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe.
The UK is a developed country with the sixth largest economy in the world. It was a superpower during the 18th, 19th and early 20th century and was considered since the early 1800s to be the most powerful and influential nation in the world, in politics, economics (For it was the wealthiest country at the time.) and in military strength. Britain continued to be the biggest manufacturing economy in the world until 1908 and the largest economy until the 1920s. The economic cost of two world wars and the decline of the British Empire in the 1950s and 1960s reduced its leading role in global affairs. The UK has strong economic, cultural, military and political influence and is a nuclear power. London, the capital, is famous as being the largest center of finance in the world, along with New York City in the United States. The UK, a leading trading power, and financial center, is one of the quintets of trillion dollar economies of Western Europe. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force.
Britain is an island country and the surrounding sea gives England a varied climate. We never know what the weather will be like from one day to the other. It can be sunny one day and rainy the next. It is difficult to predict the weather. In general UK experiences warm summers and cool winters. The summers are cooler than those on the continent, but the winters are milder. Overall, the climate is temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast.
There is a wide mix of cultures in the UK. In London, there are foreign communities from most parts of the world. British people are usually tolerant to foreigners, and respect the freedom to have different opinions and beliefs. People usually feel free to express their own opinions and wear what they want. Don’t expect people to agree with you all of the time. British people have a strong sense of humor, but it can be hard for foreigners to understand when someone is joking. People often avoid talking to strangers until they have been introduced, partly to avoid any possible embarrassment. Individual ideas are encouraged. Arts and music are creative. British people are often not so good at working as a group. People are quite modest. They do not like to complain directly: life is peaceful, but when there is poor service it is not challenged and changed.
There is, in fact, a very wide variety of food available (both traditional British` food and international cuisine), especially in the bigger cities. There are many fresh ingredients which are delicious when cooked well. However, many busy people don’t pay much attention to preparing food well and prefer instant meals. It is increasingly popular for British people get a takeaway or go to a restaurant instead of cooking at home, and often this is used as a chance to try different types of food. Most towns have an Indian restaurant, serving foods such as curry and chicken tikka masala. Chinese restaurants are also very common. Many people like Italian pizza and pasta dishes. Fast food restaurants often serve beef burgers or fried chicken. Fish and chip shops are still popular, especially in towns by the coast.
The United Kingdom is the beautiful tourist destination for any age group of people. It is the sixth biggest tourism place in the world. Tourism is very important to the British economy. With over 32.6 million tourists arriving in 2014, the United Kingdom is ranked as the eighth major tourist destination in the world. London is the second most visited city in the world with 17.4 million visitors in 2014, behind first-placed Hong Kong (27.8 million visitors). It has many tourist attractions like Alton Tower and Buckingham Palace in London and many other beautiful experiences in Scotland and Wales. Cities like London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow are prominent for food, pubs, and traditional approach. The tourism department of UK has facilities many services for the convenience of both international and domestic tourists. Many universities provide campus tours for their students.
- Full name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Population: 67.7 million (UN, 2020)
- Capital: London
- Area: 242,495 sq km (93,638 sq miles)
- Major language: English
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 80.2 years (men), 83.3 years (women) (UN)
- Monetary unit: 1 pound sterling = 100 pence
- Main exports: Machinery goods (15.6%), Vehicles (10.8%), Gems, precious metals (9%), Mineral fuels (8.8%)
- GNI per capita: US $45,350 (World Bank, 2018)
- Internet domain: .uk
- International dialing code: +44
ADMISSION SUPPORT KIT
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