The United Kingdom England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland
Englands Geographic Regions The Highlands are a band of hills running the length of Englands west coast. The Midlands are very heavily industrialized. Some major cities here are Birmingham and Manchester. The lowlands are located on the east coast by the English Channel. The land here is very fertile able to produce abundant crops.
London The city of London is located on the River Thames. This allows ships to come in and out of London to trade. London is located on the edge of Europe, which provides a great location to trade with the rest of the world.
The Industrial Revolution Because of their natural resources and location, England was the center of the Industrial Revolution. However, as their raw materials began to grow short, the United States and Germany overtook Great Britain as the leading exporters of manufactured goods.
Scotland physical characteristics Scotland occupies nearly one third of the land area in Great Britain; however, less than 10 percent of the population live in Scotland. The physical landscape of Scotland was formed by glaciers that moved across the North during the last ice age. Much of Scotland is covered in moors and bogs.
Scotland Economy The Scottish economy used to be centered around shipbuilding. However, new oil discoveries and advances in computer and electronic businesses have taken the place of older industries.
Scotland - Culture Instead of joining the Church of England, many Scots chose to remain a member of the Presbyterian Church. Also, in 1997, Scottish voters approved the creation of a Scottish Parliament.
Wales Physical Characteristics Wales has a marine west coast climate like the rest of Great Britain. However, it receives much more rain than most of England.
Wales - Economy Similar to England and Scotland, Wales used to have much industry and coal mining. Today, Wales economy is centered around technolgy and tourism.
Wales Culture Like Scotland, Welsh people have a strong sense of cultural independence. Many people still speak welsh as their first language.
Vocabulary Words Moor broad, treeless rolling plains Bog areas of wet, spongy ground Glen a narrow valley
Ireland Ireland is divided into two parts: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These parts are further divided between Catholics and Protestants, as well as Celtic and English.
Physical Characteristics The island of Ireland is shaped like a huge bowl. Hills line most of the coastline while the middle plain is mostly flat. About 1/6 of the island is covered by peat a spongy material containing waterlogged mosses and plants. Peat is cut and dried by farmers and used as fuel because Ireland has few forests.
History of Ireland The island of Ireland was first settled by Celtic tribes around 300 B.C. From around 800 A.D. until 1014 A.D. these tribes banded together to defend themselves from the Vikings. Then in 1066, the Normans invaded and conquered England and tried to rule Ireland as well.
English Possession After the Normans were kicked out, King Henry II of England declared himself Lord of Ireland in 1171. From this point on, the English began to think of Ireland and its people as possessions.
The Protestant Reformation In the 1500s, Ireland was even more divided by the Protestant Reformation. Most of the native Irish people remained Catholic, while the English who lived in Ireland became Protestant. This resulted in cultural divergence deliberate efforts to keep the cultures separate.
The Potato Famine In the 1840s, a blight (or plant disease) wiped out the potato crop in Ireland. The majority of the Irish population depended on the crops as their food sustenance. As a result, over one million people died of starvation and disease. Many Irish people immigrated into the United States.
Towards Independence Rebellions between 1916 and 1921 led officials in the United Kingdom and Ireland to divide the country into two parts: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (which was still under British supervision) Finally, in 1949 the Republic of Ireland became its own free country.
Since 1949, much fighting has taken place in Northern Ireland. However, in 1994, peace talks began between the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.