England England_flagg.htm

England is the largest, and probably the most well-known of the British countries. The Constitutional Monarchy holds a population of more than 51 450 000 people, and with a landmass of only about 130 400 km, it clearly stands out in population density compared to its northern neighbour, Scotland. The capital of England and the UK is London, and is the largest city on the British Isles, the largest in Europe after Moscow. England shares borders with Scotland in the north and Wales in the west. It is also surrounded by the Irish Sea in the north-west, the Celtic Sea in the south-west, the North Sea to the east, and the English Channel in the south-east between England and France separates Great Britain from the Eurasian continent.

History
The first well-known culture that inhabited England as well as the rest of Britain was the Celts. These people came from Europe to England about 600 BC, and they should remain theKeltisk_busetnad.htmre for more than 600 years. However, in AD 43, England, as well as Wales and parts of Scotland were invaded and occupied by the Roman Empire. Despite the resistance from many Celtic tribes, led by different Gaulish chieftains such as Boudica and Brennus, the Roman government remained in Britain until about AD 410. At the time when the Romans left Britain, the Celts had been forced out to the fringes of Britain, to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Cornwall. England now stood unprotected to new invaders, and in 450, England was invaded and occupied by the heathen Anglo-Saxons.

In 793, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in England was raided by Vikings from Norway, and this is often seen to mark the beginning of the Viking Age as well as more than two centuries of raiding in England to follow. In 1066, at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, The Norsemen lost to the Englishmen or the Anglo Saxons, and an era of Viking dominance in England ended. However, the English victory should not be long-lasting, as England again should be forced under foreign rule, now from its eastern neighbour France. The same year, the invasion led by William the Conqueror of Normandy succeeded, and England would not be able to govern itself Britisk_løve.htmfor centuries. However, under the years to come, the Norman culture slowly melted together with the English, and under the rule of monarchs such as Elizabeth and Victoria, England, together with Scotland and Wales as Great Britain were to dominant the world for centuries.

England today
Today, England is one of the largest economies in the world, and the largest in the United Kingdom. The country is often regarded as a mixed marked economy, however, in the later decades, the country has adapted many free marked principles. Its membership in the European Union secures great freedom of trade with the European countries, but the USA still remains England's main trading partner. The main exports consist of pharmaceutical (medicines), automobiles and petroleum.

Cornish Nationalism
Cornwall is a rather small area situated in the south-west of England. The former independent kingdom has a unique culture, with its own language, history and flag. The Celtic heritage in the area has for many years led to Cornish nationalism or separatism, which is seen in the constant growth of the Cornish Nationalist Party (CNP). Every year on the 27th of June, the Cornish people remember the Cornish rebel against English rule in 1497.






Scotland Skotsk_flagg.htm

Scotland is the northernmost country of the United Kingdom The country has a population of just above 5.2 millions. The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, situated in the south east of the country. Edinburgh is currently the second largest city in Scotland, with Glasgow the largest. Scotland shares borders with England in the south, and is surrounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the North Channel and the Irish Sea to the southwest.

History Den_skotske_sjølvstendestriden.htm
The first written History of Scotland dates back to the roman occupation of Britannia. Back then, Scotland was divided into many different tribes or clans, which is also notable in the northern parts of Scotland today. In the year 843, Scotland was united by Kenneth the first of Scotland, and remained an independent nation until the first of May in 1707, when England and Scotland formed an union between the two countries. However, even though the unification between the two nations in 1707 happened without war, many Scottish wars of independence had been fought in the earlier history of the nation.

Scotland today
Today, Scotland’s main export material is petroleum from the North Sea. As a matter of fact, Scotland’s extraction of petroleum is the largest in the European Union, far larger than its southern neighbour England. Due to a thriving economy, as well as a more comprehensive national sentiment, the thought of an independent Scotland is rising. When the ScottisDet_skotske_nasjonale_partiet.htmh National Party was formed in 1935, the party only got 1.1 percent of the votes. However, the party has systematically grown throughout the decades, and in the election in May 2011, the party got 45.4% of the votes, 25% more than in 2010, and is now the largest political party in Scotland. If this trend continuous, it is very likely to see an independent Scotland in the near future.





Irelandireland_map22.gif


Ireland is the third largest island in Europe, and is surrounded by hundreds of small islands and islets. The Island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Celtic Sea to the east and St. George’s Channel to the south east. The Irish Sea to the east separates Ireland from Great Britain. The Island is since 1922 divided into two countries; The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The island holds a total population of 6.2 millions, 4.5 in The Republic of Ireland and 1.8 in Northern Ireland. The two countries in Ireland are primary divided into religion, ethnicity, culture and administration.



The Republic of Ireland
Det_Irske_flagg.png

The Republic of Ireland is the largest nation on the isle of Ireland. The nation occupies more than 5/6 of the island, and the population is almost 3.5 times higher than its northern neighbour. The capital, founded in 841 by Norsemen, is Dublin, and is situated in the east of the nation. The national language in Ireland is Irish/Gaeilge, but English is the most used language. Gaeilge is mainly spoken in the western fringes of Ireland.

By the time Ireland joined the European Union in 1973, Ireland was one of the most impoverished countries in Europe. Today, Ireland has the highest quality of life in the world, and is placed the fifth on the Human Development Index. When Ireland’s economy crashed due to the financial crisis in 2007-2010, Ireland got financial aid from the European Union. However, the crisis in Ireland was unreversable, and still today young Irishmen are fleeing the country in order to make a proper job.


Northern Ireland and the conflict



The republic of Ireland declared its independence in 1916, but it would go almost six new years before Ireland’s independence in the Anglo-Irish Treaty was recognized. IRA.htmOn the 6th of December 1922, the Irish Free State was formed. However, as Northern Ireland now mainly was inhabited by British Protestants, Northern Ireland chose to stay in the UK. Due to this decision, many Irishmen were frustrated, and the same group that earlier had fought for Irish independence, the Irish Republican Army (IRA), should now fight for a new goal; a united Ireland. This conflict would go on for decades, and is very real today, even though the IRA now has agreed, after pressure from the political party Sinn Féin, who has the same goal as them, to lay down their weapons. The conflict is often seen as a religious conflict with the British Protestants against the Irish Catholics, the Anglicans against the Celts, even though the true conflict is hold to be a struggle for a nation to reclaim its own land.

Wales
Wales has a population of three million and a total area of 20 799 square kilometers. The country borders England and is situated in between England and Ireland. The Welsh have their own language, Welsh, but the country is officially bilingual, where English and Welsh function as official languages. Over 580 000 people speak Welsh in Wales, and the language is widely known as a backbone of Welsh culture. The National Assembly for Wales was set up in 1999 and controls the central government budget for Wales.