欧洲:   
英国 United Kingdom   首都:伦敦  国家代码: uk   
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英国
英国
  国名释义:“不列颠”在凯尔特语为“杂色多彩”之意。因有部分不列颠人迁居法国,故将本土称为大不列颠。
  
  国旗:呈横长方形,长与宽之比为2∶1。为“米”字旗,由深蓝底色和红、白色“米”字组成。旗中带白边的红色正十字代表英格兰守护神圣乔治,白色交叉十字代表苏格兰守护神圣安德鲁,红色交叉十字代表爱尔兰守护神圣帕特里克。此旗产生于1801年,是由原英格兰的白地红色正十旗、苏格兰的蓝地白色交叉十字旗和爱尔兰的白地红色交叉十字旗重叠而成。
  
  国徽:即英王徽。中心图案为一枚盾徽,盾面上左上角和右下角为红地上三只金狮,象征英格兰;右上角为金地上半站立的红狮,象征苏格兰;左下角为蓝地上金黄色竖琴,象征北爱尔兰。盾徽两侧各由一只头戴王冠、代表英格兰的狮子和一只代表苏格兰的独角兽支扶着。盾徽周围用法文写着一句格言,意为“恶有恶报”;下端悬挂着嘉德勋章,饰带上写着“天有上帝,我有权利”。盾徽上端为镶有珠宝的金银色头盔、帝国王冠和头戴王冠的狮子。
  
  国歌:《天佑女王》 "god save the queen"(如在位的是男性君主,国歌改为"god save the king")
  
  
  面积:243600 平方公里
  
  人口:6020万(2005年6月),2006年统计,英国人口大约有6060万,现在英国人口总数约六千零七十八万人。其中英格兰4918万人,威尔士290万人,苏格兰506万人,北爱尔兰169万人(2001年中)。官方和通用语均为英语。威尔士北部还使用威尔士语,苏格兰西北高地及北爱尔兰部分地区仍使用盖尔语。居民多信奉基督教新教,主要分英格兰教会(亦称英国国教圣公会,其成员约占英成人的60%)和苏格兰教会(亦称长老会,有成年教徒66万)。另有天主教会和佛教、印度教、犹太教及伊斯兰教等较大的宗教社团。
  
  英国君主
  
  伊丽莎白二世 (Queen Elizabeth II) ,全称为“大不列颠及北爱尔兰联合王国与其他国土和领地之女王,联邦的元首”。1926年4月21日生于伦敦,原名为伊丽莎白·亚历山德拉·玛丽 (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary),是英国温莎王朝第四代君主、英王乔治六世的长女。自幼在皇宫内接受教育,主修宪法史和法律。她在历史、语言和音乐方面有造诣,能流利地讲法语、西班牙语和德语。第二次世界大战后期参加英国本土辅助部队,接受驾驶和维修摩托车的训练。1947年7月9日,她与远房表兄、希腊和丹麦亲王菲利普· 蒙巴顿中尉(现为爱丁堡公爵,菲利普亲王)订婚,同年11月20日结婚。
  
  伊丽莎白二世于1951年开始代表英王乔治六世出席各种正式场合。1952年2月6日国王逝世,她继承王位。1953年6月2日加冕。2003年12月,伊丽莎白二世在伦敦爱德华七世医院接受脸部和膝部外科手术。医生切除了女王脸部的一块坏皮与左膝盖中的破碎软骨。女王是英国世袭国家元首,除英国外,女王同时也是澳大利亚、新西亚、加拿大等国家的元首。伊丽莎白二世有三子一女。长子查尔斯王子为王位继承人、次子安德鲁、三子爱德华、女儿艾丽斯·路易丝公主。伊丽莎白二世于1986年10月访问中国,是英国历史上第一位来华访问的国家元首。
  
  6月17日,在英国首都伦敦,英国女王伊丽莎白二世(左)与丈夫菲利普亲王乘坐马车驶出白金汉宫,前往参加自己的80岁生日庆典。伊丽莎白二世的生日是4月21日。按照惯例,英国官方通常选择6月份的一个星期六为其举行生日庆典。
  
  首都:伦敦(London);人口:7,172,036 (2001年)。最热月份为7月,一般气温在13℃~22℃;最冷月份为1月,一般气温在2℃~6℃。2006年4月,北京与伦敦结为友好城市。伦敦是全国的政治中心,是英国王室、政府、议会以及各政党总部的所在地。威斯敏斯特宫是英国议会上、下两院的活动场所,故又称为议会大厅。议会广场南边的威斯敏斯特大教堂,1065年建成后一直是英国国王或女王加冕及王室成员举行婚礼的地方。内有20多个英国国王、著名政治家、军事家以及牛顿、达尔文、狄更斯、哈代等科学家、文学家和艺术家的墓地。白金汉宫是英国王宫,坐落在西伦敦的中心区域,东接圣詹姆斯公园,西接海德公园,是英国王室成员生活和工作的地方,也是英国重大国事活动的场所。
  
   英国城市 
  伯明翰是英国文化最多元化的城市,约200万总人口。根据2001年的统计,29.7%的人口不是白种人,有许多从加勒比地区、南亚和爱尔兰来的移民,是牙买加以外牙买加黑人基督教徒最多的地区,爱尔兰人庆祝“圣·帕特里克”节游行,在伯明翰规模仅次于都柏林和纽约,为世界第三。印度人在伯明翰发明的“巴拉提”咖喱烹饪法已经流行到各地。
  伯明翰每年接待大约2千2百万游客,商业中心繁华程度仅次于伦敦西区。
  伯明翰市中心有60公里长的河道,在工业革命时期,这些河道是工业的交通命脉,但现在只有旅游用途了,人们经常说伯明翰的河道比威尼斯的还要长,威尼斯只有43公里,实际上伯明翰要比威尼斯范围大多了,所以河流比例没有威尼斯大。
  在二战期间,伯明翰受到猛烈的轰炸,维多利亚时代的建筑已毁坏殆尽,目前都是20世纪50和60年代重新建设的,所以伯明翰成为英国最“丑陋”的城市,经常被人们称为“混凝土森林”。
  近年来,城市中心经过大力改造,恢复了许多旧的街道,并建了许多广场。
  历史
  伯明翰原来只是一个小村庄,14世纪成为一个大镇,工业革命后,由于附近发现煤矿,城市迅速发展起来,城市人口1800年为75000人,1900年为65万,1889年才被列入英国城市名录。
  
  
  
   国庆节:英国没有传统意义上的国庆节,只有女王的“官方生日”。英国女王伊丽莎白二世的真正生日是1926年4月21日,而其“官方生日”则定在每年靠近6月11日的那个星期六。每年的这个时候,一向有“雾都”之称的伦敦天气也比较好。其主要活动,是由女王亲自检阅“军旗敬礼分列式”。由于星期六本来就不是工作日,因而这一天也不在假日之列。
  
  国家政要:国家元首为女王伊丽莎白二世;政府首脑为工党领袖戈登·布朗
  国花:玫瑰花
  国鸟:红胸鸽
  国石:钻石
  
  
  
  地理环境
  概况:由大不列颠岛上的英格兰、苏格兰和威尔士,以及爱尔兰岛东北部的北爱尔兰共同组成的岛国,还包括一些英国海外领地。英国本土位于欧洲大陆西北面的不列颠群岛 ,被北海、英吉利海峡、凯尔特海、爱尔兰海和大西洋包围。24.36万平方公里(包括内陆水域),英格兰地区13. 04万平方公里,苏格兰7. 88万平方公里,威尔士2. 08万平方公里,北爱尔兰1. 36万平方公里。位于欧洲西部的岛国。由大不列颠岛(包括英格兰、苏格兰、威尔士)、爱尔兰岛东北部和一些小岛组成。隔北海、多佛尔海峡、英吉利海峡与欧洲大陆相望。它的陆界与爱尔兰共和国接壤。海岸线总长11450公里。全境分为四部分:英格兰东南部平原、中西部山区、苏格兰山区、北爱尔兰高原和山区。
   河流:塞文河(354公里)和泰晤士河(346公里)。北爱尔兰的内伊湖the lough neagh(396平方公里)面积居全国之首。
   气候:属海洋性温带阔叶林气候,终年温和湿润。通常最高气温不超过32℃,最低气温不低于-10℃,平均气温1月4~7℃,7月13~17℃。多雨雾,秋冬尤甚。年平均降水量约1000毫米。北部和西部山区的年降水量超过2000毫米,中部和东部则少于800毫米。每年二月至三月最为干燥,十月至来年一月最为湿润。全国气候类型为温带海洋性气候。
  时差:经过伦敦格林尼治天文台原址的本初子午线的所在时区为零时区。比北京时间晚8小时
  气候:温带海洋性气候
  英国生活习俗
  
  生活中的数字
  在英国,成人平均每周22小时从事全日工作或全日教育,并以相同数量的时间用于家务劳动。而从事家务劳动的人的性别仍以妇女为最高。但妇女参加工作的越来越多。据国家统计局最新统计,妇女参加工作的比例45%。在非体力工作部门,妇女占一半。而在服务行业,妇女则占一半多,可谓"半边天"!
  追求简单、舒适的生活
  西服仍称得上是英国的国服,但是,虽然上班族西装革履,甚至在重要场合,男士着燕尾服,女士着低胸晚礼服,但是,很多老百姓日常喜欢穿休闲服,式样简单、舒服合体。
  英国人的饮食习惯亦式样简单,注重营养。早餐通常是麦片粥冲牛奶或一杯果汁,涂上黄油的烤面包片,熏咸肉或煎香肠、鸡蛋。中午,孩子们在学校吃午餐,大人的午餐就在工作地点附近买上一份三明治,就一杯咖啡,打发了事。只有到周末,英国人的饭桌上才会丰盛一番。通常主菜是肉类,如烤鸡肉、烤牛肉、烤鱼等。蔬菜品种繁多,象卷心菜、新鲜豌豆、土豆、胡萝卜等。蔬菜一般都不再加工,装在盘里,浇上从超市买回的现成调料便食用。主菜之后总有一道易消化的甜食,如烧煮水果、果料布丁、奶酪、冰激凌等。
  公园与绿地
  英国气候温和、湿润。一年四季适合各种花草树木的生长。政府在制定市区规划时,几乎在每一个生活小区都专门规划出一大块绿地或公园,供人们休息或散步,为孩子们嬉戏提供空间。
  由于冬季阴雨多雾,使夏天的太阳对英国人来说变的特别宝贵。在阳光灿烂的周末,假日,公园里,沙滩上到处躺满了享受太阳浴的人们。更有英国人以把自己的皮肤晒成棕色发亮为时髦。
  自己动手做
  英国人喜欢在周末假日里自己动手修缮房屋,制作家具,装修房间,修整花园。甚至自己制作陶瓷工艺品,几乎无所不能。这不仅仅出于经济考虑,而是把此看作是培养个人技能,陶冶个人情操,也是休闲的生活方式之一。通过自己动手做,能使自己的居室更加舒适,更具个性化。
  酷爱运动
  据英国国家统计局最新统计,在1996至1997年间,有占总人口72%的男公民和57%的女公民,在4周之内,至少参加一体育运动。青少年参加校外体育活动的比例更高。
  在众多的体育运动项目中,骑自行车、踢足球、打司诺克球、打网球、游泳和滑旱冰鞋,是众多男女共同爱好的项目。而每天散步两英里或更长的距离,一直是流行的运动。
  丰富多彩的假日
  每年外出旅游度假对大多数英国百姓来说,无论时间长短,国内或国外,都是生活中必不可少的。据英国旅游机构调查,1996年,英国居民度过4夜或4夜以上假期的人共计5,900万,超过了英国人口的总数,而1997年英国居民离家度假超过一夜的人达7,080万。
  除旅游外,英国人在周末、银行节、复活节等五花八门的假日中的娱乐和消遣节目更是丰富多采:环境优雅的电影院、音乐厅、歌剧院和夏季露天音乐会更为不同阶层、不同年龄和不同口味的人们准备了各式各样的节目。数目众多的博物馆、名胜古迹更为人们提供了最佳休闲去处。
  如饥似渴的读者
  在英国242,500平方公里的国土上,遍布图书馆和阅览室约5,000所(包括专业图书馆、院校图书馆300多所)。无论白天或晚上,图书馆内常常是座无虚席。借书、查阅资料、浏览报纸、写文章的人有学生、老人、公司雇员,乃至工人。很多图书馆和阅览室提供IT。
  
  
  
   近代英国历史
  
   资产阶级革命胜利后,资本原始积累更加迅速。议会法令使圈地合法化,圈地规模迅速扩大。在广大被圈占土地上建立起资本主义农场或牧场,被剥夺生产资料的农民成为"自由"劳动力。国内市场扩大。1689~1763年间,英法为争夺殖民地屡开战端。法国资产阶级革命爆发后,英国政府在1793~1815年期间,积极组织并参加反法联盟。在整个18世纪,英国成为贩卖黑奴的国际中心。在国内,政府实行保护关税政策,高关税阻止外国商品输入,奖励本国工业品出口,以低税保护本国工商业发展。以上种种原始积累手段为工业生产的变革提供了前提。18世纪后半叶,在工业生产中出现并开始使用机器,这标志着工业革命的开始。变革首先发生在棉纺织业。1733年织机中开始采用飞梭,60~70年代纺纱机普遍采用;80年代,蒸汽机投入使用。随着蒸汽机采用范围的扩大,特别是机器制造业的出现,工业革命迅速扩展到各部门。到19世纪30~40年代,各主要工业部门都采用机器,大机器生产在纺织业中已占主导地位。英国从农业国发展成工业国,工业革命至此基本完成。工业革命改变了英国的经济地理面貌,西北地区兴起一批工业大城市,人口也向那里集中。19世纪中叶,英国已成为世界上第1个工业强国。工业革命造就了两个新阶级——工业资产阶级和工业无产阶级,他们之间的对立和斗争成为英国工业资本主义社会的基本矛盾。
  
  
  
  
  
  国家政治
  英国没有成文宪法,英国的宪法不同于绝大多数国家的宪法,并不是一个独立的文件,它是由成文法、习惯法、惯例组成。主要有大宪章(1215年)、人身保护法(1679年)、权利法案(1689年)、议会法(1911、1949年)以及历次修改的选举法、市自治法、郡议会法等。苏格兰另有自己独立的法律体系。政体为君主立宪制。国王是国家元首、最高司法长官、武装部队总司令和英国圣公会的“最高领袖”,形式上有权任免首相、各部大臣、高级法官、军官、各属地的总督、外交官、主教及英国圣公会的高级神职人员等,并有召集、停止和解散议会,批准法律,宣战媾和等权力,但实权在内阁。议会是最高司法和立法机构,由国王、上院和下院组成。上院(贵族院)包括王室后裔、世袭贵族、新封贵族、上诉法院法官和教会大主教及主教组成。1999年11月,上院改革法案通过,除92名留任外,600多名世袭贵族失去上院议员资格,非政治任命的上院议员将由专门的皇家委员会推荐。下院也叫平民院,议员由普选产生,采取最多票当选的小选区选举制度,任期5年。但政府可决定提前大选。政府实行内阁制,由女王任命在议会选举中获多数席位的政党领袖出任首相并组阁,向议会负责。英国陪审团的历史可以追溯到中世纪,至今已经是其刑事法制根深蒂固的组成部分了。从价值选择来看,不难发现,这实际上也是人为地将法理与情理结合在一起的制度设计。法律固然是社会关系的调节器,但“法有限而情无穷”的固有矛盾从未消失过;法官固然是精通法律的,但存在着机械执法、无视情理的可能性。来自社会的陪审员们虽然不懂法律,却懂社会情理。一个人难以代表复杂的社会心理,但来自方方面面的12个人应当说差不多了。知晓情理的陪审团和精通法理的法官结合在一起,这不能不说是一个巧妙的组合。这不等于诟病没有陪审团的诉讼模式,更不等于说不设陪审制度就必然会出现情与法的冲突。那么多大陆法系国家都没有陪审团,不照样好好的吗?没有陪审团,定然有别的结合方式,比如制度层面和操作层面。形式可以多种多样,但理念应是相近的,即刚性之法和柔性之理的统筹兼顾。有一点还需注意,情理是柔性的和不具体的,但吸纳情理的途径和范围应是刚性的和具体的,严防情对法的随意侵蚀。
  
  政党:
  (1)工党(Labour Party):执政党。1900年成立,原名劳工代表委员会,1906年改用现名。该党曾于1924,1929~1931,1945~1951年,1964~1970年,1974~1979年上台执政。1997年大选获胜,2001年6月大选后蝉联执政。工党近年来更多倾向于中产阶级的利益,与工会关系有所疏远。布莱尔当选工党领袖后,政治上提出“新工党、新英国”的口号,取消党章中有关公有制的第四条款,经济上主张减少政府干预,严格控制公共开支,保持宏观经济稳定增长,建立现代福利制度。对外主张积极参与国际合作,对欧洲一体化持积极态度,主张加入欧元,主张同美国保持特殊关系。现有党员近40万名,是英国第一大党。
  (2)保守党(Conservative Party): 主要反对党。前身为1679年成立的托利党,1833年改称现名。该党从1979至1997年4次连续执政,成为20世纪在英国占主导地位的政党。在1997年5月和2001年6月两次大选中惨败于工党。保守党的支持者一般来自企业界和富裕阶层,主张自由市场经济。通过严格控制货币供应量和减少公共开支等措施来压低通货膨胀。主张限制工会权利,加强“法律”和“秩序”。 近年来,提出实行“富有同情心的保守主义”,关注教育、医疗、贫困等社会问题。强调维护英国主权,反对“联邦欧洲”,反对加入欧元,主张建立“大西洋共同体”以加强英美特殊关系。强调北约仍是英国安全与防务的基石。现有党员30多万名。
  (3)自由民主党(The Liberal Democrat Party):1988年3月由原自由党和社会民主党内支持同自由党合并的多数派组成。主张继续维持与工党的合作关系,推动工党在地方选举及下院选举中实行比例代表制,在公共服务、社会公正、环境保护等问题上采取比工党更“进步”的政策。现有党员约10万名,是英国第三大党。
  
  英国议会
  一、立法立法是英国议会的第一项职责。所谓议会的至尊地位就是指议会的立法权。从理论上讲,议会有权制定和废除宪法以下的任何一项法律;此外,英国法律补承认任何人和单位有权推翻或废弃议会所通过的法律。从这个意义上说,议会是英国“权力的基础”,英国中央的一切宪政权力皆由选民赋予了议会,然后议会再将行政权授予政府,将司法权授予法院,而自己直接行使立法权。议会集三权于一身,高于政府和法院。它通过掌握立法权来体现自己的地位,同时也是借助于立法来实现对政府和法院的约束。不过实践中,政府是议会立法工作的组织者和领导者,议会在立法过程中没有主动权,以至于由学者指出:现代英国议会的立法工作不过是对政府提出议案予以“审议、批评、批准”。
  英国的立法过程大体有三个环节:准备并提出议案;审议并通过议案;批准议案使之成为法律。议会审议的议案分三种:公议案、私议案和混合议案。公议案可以提交给两院中的任何一个,私议案通常由经授权的当事人的代理人提出,混合议案由一个特别委员会处理。所有这些议案在经过了议会两院的各个阶段后,即呈送国王批准,由国王颁发特许证书,再交由议长在两院宣布。
  (一)政府议案绝大多数公议案都是政府议案。政府议案在议会审议时有优先地位。由于执政党通常在下院中占有多数议席,所以政府议案一般能够通过。这时,议会所起的作用实际上并不是“立法”而是将政府法案宣布为合法。但是,没有下院的同意,任何议案都不能成为法律。
  内阁对法案起草工作实行统一控制。起草工作由专门的法案起草室完成,起草室设在财政部内。政府立法计划内的重要议案,由国王在11月份议会开幕式的讲话中公布,随后送到两院中的任何一个审议,通常情况下是限送到下院。正常情况下,政府议案要经两院通过;但主要是涉及财政事务的议案永恒由下院审议通过。议会法还规定,在特定环境下,下院可不经过上院而通过议案。两院通过法案的过程相似。
  (二)普通议员议案普通议员议案占英国议会下院每年审议议案的10%。而且这种议案的通过率也比较低,但仍有其重要价值。这种议案起到了对政府议案拾遗补缺的作用。此外还体现了民主宪政精神,起到了调节政府与议会之间宪政关系的作用。
  普通议员议案在下院审议时受到一定程度的歧视,它们职能在议会开会时间的每星期五(抽签决定)被讨论。普通议员议案也可以利用“10分钟规则”和“普通提交法”提出。在审议普通议员议案的过程中,提案者不能指望党纪保甲,只能依靠议员个人努力来说服全院接受。
  (三)私议案私议案由议会外的个人、团体、地方政府提出,通常是由地方政府提出。具体操作是由提出私议案的代理人来进行,代理人要将议案提交下院私议案办公室。私议案大部分转给上院处理,其审议程序与公议案相近,只不过多数工作由委员会完成。
  (四)混合法案混合法案沿革来说是公议案,只不过其中某些条款影响了私人的权利,包含着一些私议案的性质。一项议案是否属于混合议案,由下院私议案办公室裁决或由议长裁决。混合议案一般提交给一个特别委员会处理,其程序与审议私议案大同小异。
  (五)委托立法这种制度就是,议会通过的法案只规定一般的原则,而授权给内阁大臣或得放行政部门去规定细则而成为法令。实行这种制度主要是为了减少议会的压力,也适应了内阁权力不断扩大的进程。议会通常将权力委托给那些直接向议会负责的部门,且保留确认或宣布委托立法无效的机会。两院设立一个联合委员会来报告制定中的法令的进度情况。为了节省全院大会的时间,下院利用常务委员会来辩论法令的价值,评判决定实际上是在全院委员会上作出。在上院,对法令的辩论是在全院大会上进行的。上院授权给一个审查委员会来考察被授权的机构是否正确行使了权力。
  二、监控财政英国议会的历史与争夺控制财政权分不开。议会就是通过掌握财政来控制政府的政策和工作的。1911年的议会法颁布后,议会对政府财政的监控权完全转移到了下院,上院无权通过和否决财政议案,只能对下院的决定表示同意。不过议会对财政大权的控制只是理论上的。议会对政府财政控制的效果令议员们失望,反倒是政府真正控制了财政大权。任何财政议案必须由政府提出,下院方可受理。将财政提议权授予政府是与英国宪政制度的特点密切相关。责任内阁制要求内阁拥有决策权,而财政决策是各种国事决策中最首要的决策,这就决定了必须由政府掌握财政决策权,而议会应该维护政府作出的财政决策。但这并不等于议会在财政问题上无所作为。议会仍可以对政府的财政事务进行监控,主要体现在:第一,任何财政提案必须首先向议会下院提出,由下院审议、表决;第二,任何财政议案必须转化为立法,才具有法律效力。议会监控财政的机构分两个层次,即全院大会和委员会。全院大会监控手段有三:辩论、质询和立法。委员会的监控主要侧重于跟踪相应的政府部门的工作和政策,并通过联络委员会向全院大会报告所获得的情况。在委员会中,起作用最大的是国家帐目委员会。议会监控财政的渠道主要有两条:一是监控财政收入,而是监控财政支出。
  
  英国宪法
  
   英国宪法与绝大多数国家宪法不同,不是一个独立的文件,它由成文法、习惯法、惯例组成。主要有大宪章(1215年)、人身保护法(1679年)、权利法案(1689年)、议会法(1911、1949年)以及历次修改的选举法、市自治法、郡议会法等。政体为君主立宪制。君主是国家元首、最高司法长官、武装部队总司令和英国圣公会的“最高领袖”,形式上有权任免首相、各部大臣、高级法官、军官、各属地的总督、外交官、主教及英国圣公会的高级神职人员等,并有召集、停止和解散议会,批准法律,宣战媾和等权力,但实权在内阁。苏格兰有自己独立的法律体系。
   全世界第一个成文宪法出自美国,然而其法治精神却来自英国母体。大宪章共65条,其内容分三部分:第一部分为国王与领主关系规定;第二部分为国王施政方针与程序规定;第三部分为国王与领主争端处理规定。按照大宪章的规定,国王要保障贵族和骑士的封建继承权,不得违例向封建主征收高额捐税,不得任意逮捕、监禁、放逐自由人或没收他们的财产,承认伦敦等城市的自治权。为了保证宪章不落空,由25名男爵组成一个委员会,对国王进行监督,如果宪章遭到破坏,封建领主有权以军事手段强迫国王履约。英国以后的宪政,追根溯源即来自大宪章,其基本精神即王权有限和个人自由。有的学者如斯托布斯就认为,整个英国宪政史,实际上是大宪章的注释史。
  
  
  
  司法:
   有三种不同的法律体系:英格兰和威尔士实行普通法系,苏格兰实行民法法系,北爱尔兰实行与英格兰相似的法律制度。司法机构分民事法庭和刑事法庭两个系统。在英格兰和威尔士,民事审理机构按级分为郡法院、高等法院、上诉法院民事庭、上院。刑事审理机构按级分为地方法院、刑事法院、上诉法院刑事庭、上院。英国最高司法机关为上院,它是民、刑案件的最终上诉机关。1986年成立皇家检察院,隶属于国家政府机关,负责受理所有的由英格兰和威尔士警察机关提交的刑事诉讼案。总检察长和副总检察长是英政府的主要法律顾问并在某些国内和国际案件中代表王室。英国陪审团的历史可以追溯到中世纪,至今已经是其刑事法制根深蒂固的组成部分了。从价值选择来看,不难发现,这实际上也是人为地将法理与情理结合在一起的制度设计。法律固然是社会关系的调节器,但“法有限而情无穷”的固有矛盾从未消失过;法官固然是精通法律的,但存在着机械执法、无视情理的可能性。来自社会的陪审员们虽然不懂法律,却懂社会情理。一个人难以代表复杂的社会心理,但来自方方面面的12个人应当说差不多了。知晓情理的陪审团和精通法理的法官结合在一起,这不能不说是一个巧妙的组合。
   这不等于诟病没有陪审团的诉讼模式,更不等于说不设陪审制度就必然会出现情与法的冲突。那么多大陆法系国家都没有陪审团,不照样好好的吗?没有陪审团,定然有别的结合方式,比如制度层面和操作层面。形式可以多种多样,但理念应是相近的,即刚性之法和柔性之理的统筹兼顾。有一点还需注意,情理是柔性的和不具体的,但吸纳情理的途径和范围应是刚性的和具体的,严防情对法的随意侵蚀。 
  
  
  
  国家经济
   英国是世界经济强国之一,其2007年国内生产总值位居世界第五。英国制造业在国民经济中的比重有所下降;服务业和能源所占的比重不断增大,其中商业、金融业和保险业发展较快。 旅游业是英最重要的经济部门之一。年产值700多亿英镑,旅游收入占世界旅游收入的5%左右。与以风光旅游为主的国家不同,英国的王室文化和博物馆文化是旅游业的最大看点。主要旅游点有伦敦、爱丁堡、加的夫、布赖顿、格林威治、斯特拉福、牛津、剑桥等。英国是世界第四大贸易国,贸易额占世界贸易总额的5%以上,商品和劳务出口约占国内生产总值的25%。
   英主要出口机械、汽车、航空设备、电器和电子产品、化工产品和石油,主要进口原材料和食品。英国还是世界第六大海外投资国和第六大对外援助国。伦敦是世界性金融和贸易中心。旅游业是英最重要的经济部门之一。 2001年,旅游业产值达728亿英镑;从旅游收入上计算,2001年,英国是世界第七大旅游国,收入占世界旅游收入的3.4%。2002年3月,从业人员205.6万,其中自由职业者约为14.8万人。2001年英国国内旅游产值约595亿英镑。2001年,到英国的外国游客达2280万,比2000年减少9%。其中西欧游客比上年减少8%,为1287万人,北美游客比上年减少13%,达423万人,其他地区游客减少9%,达375万,海外旅游总收入为 113亿英镑。商务旅游收入34亿英镑,占海外旅游总收入的30%,并有继续发展趋势。2001年,国内游客收入595亿英镑。2000年,全英酒店业总营业额为566亿英镑,比2000年增长7.2%。2001年,全英有各类旅馆6万多家;注册餐饮业企业有51500家,总营业额为182亿英镑,比 2000年增长12.1%;各类酒馆共有约49500家,自1990年以来减少8%。2001年2月疯牛病的爆发和“9·11事件”严重影响英国旅游业,损失达150亿英镑。主要旅游地区有:伦敦、爱丁堡、加的夫、布赖顿、格林威治、斯特拉福、牛津、剑桥等。主要观光景点有:歌剧院、博物馆、美术馆、古建筑物、主题公园和商店等。约50%的海外游客主要在伦敦参观游览。服务业包括金融保险业、零售业、旅游业和商业服务(提供法律及咨询服务等)。近年来发展迅速,到2001年底从业人员达2280万,占总就业人口的77.5%。2001年总产值比2000年增加1%,其增加值占国内总产值增加值的71.4%。伦敦是世界著名金融中心,从事跨国银行借贷、外汇交易、国际债券发行、基金投资等业务,同时也是世界最大保险市场,最大黄金现货交易市场及船贷市场以及重要非贵重金属交易中心。金融业是英国贸易平衡的主力,产值占国内生产总值的5%以上,从业人员100多万,达到创纪录的132亿英镑。工党政府执政后首次进行金融监管改革,并于1998年6月成立了金融服务管理局,取代原先英格兰银行的监管职能。英国政府鼓励外国向英国投资,并将其视为引进新技术、新产品、新的管理方法和提高就业、增加出口的有效途径。近年来,英国成为外商在欧洲投资的首选地。2001年,英国吸引外国投资总额538亿美元,居世界第三位。美国是英国的最大投资国,投资额占48.4%,其次是德国、加拿大和日本,分别占8.2%、6.4%和5.9%。投资领域包括汽车、通讯、信息、电子、医疗设备、金融服务、食品、饮料等。投资形式为收购、兼并现有企业、扩建已有生产厂、建立科研基地或跨国公司区域总部等。2000年,外国在英直接投资862亿英镑,证券投资1746亿英镑,其他投资2818亿英镑。截止到2000年底,外国在英累积直接投资额为3235亿英镑,证券投资总额10321亿英镑,其他投资额16853亿英镑,总额30408亿英镑。
  
  
  英国品牌
  
  Giorgio Armani 巴宝莉 尊尼获加 帝舵 登喜路 芝华士 555香烟 汇丰
  
  英国公共交通
  交通基础设施较齐全。陆路、铁路、水路、航空运输均较发达。伦敦有十分发达的地铁网。1994年英法海底隧道贯通,将英国的铁路系统与欧洲大陆的铁路系统连接起来。工党政府目前正探讨制定综合交通政策,以解决交通拥挤和污染问题。近年来的交通运输情况:
  铁路:1997年完成私有化。铁路总长3.2万公里。2000年铁路运输增长2.0%,轻轨铁路运输也呈上升趋势。2000-2001年客运量为470亿人公里。2002年1月,英政府宣布新的战略性铁路10年改革计划,以缓解运输压力,提高运营质量。政府投入335亿英镑,其余所需635亿英镑将向私人投资者筹集。
  公路:到2000年,公路总长达 39.2万公里,其中3500公里为高速公路。2001年,公路总运输量约6790亿人公里。到2001年底止,注册的机动车辆总数为2974.7万辆,其中小汽车2389.9万辆(240万辆为公司所有),货车422万辆,各类摩托车88.2万辆,公共汽车8.9万辆。
  水运:内河航运线总长3200公里,主要用于游览及改善自然环境,部分用于货运。截止2001年底,共有100吨以上商船594艘,总吨位为1200万吨。海运承担了95%(载重)的对外贸易运输。2001年,英国航船业收入37亿英镑,其中货运收入28亿英镑。英国有大小港口300多个,其中70个为重要商业港口。2001年英国港口出口2.36亿吨,进口3.29亿吨,其中52个主要港口总吞吐量达5.48亿吨,,其余每年吞吐量100万吨以下的小港吞吐总量为1600万吨。吞吐量超过1000万吨的港口有:伦敦、蒂斯-哈特浦尔、格里姆斯比-因明翰、福斯、南安普顿、萨仑沃、利物浦、菲利克斯托、米尔福德-黑文、多佛等。
   空运:英国的所有航空公司和许多机场都是私营企业。2000年有航空飞机约889架(不包括直升机),2001年从业人员93000余人。国际航线总长4.6亿公里。2000年,英国各航班共飞行15.12亿公里,为历来最长,比1990年高出78.8%。2001年民航班机客运量1.04亿人次,货运量92.5万吨。共有150多个注册民用机场,年客流量在10万人次以上的占1/4,主要有:希思罗(世界最繁忙机场之一)、盖特威克、曼彻斯特、格拉斯哥、伯明翰、爱丁堡等。英国航空公司 (British Airways)是英国最大的航空公司,也是世界最大航空公司之一。2001-2002年该公司营业额为83亿英镑。2001年“9.11”事件以来,英国民航受明显冲击,为预防劫机事件发生,政府加强了民航安全保障工作。
  
  
  货币:英镑(Pound)
  工业:航空航天、电子、石化、核能、汽车、纺织、冶金、机械、造船等
  农业:大麦、小麦、燕麦、甜菜、马铃薯等
  矿产:煤、铁、石油、天然气等
  
  
  
  
  
  国家军事
  建军时间约在17世纪中期。女王为英军名义上的最高统帅。最高军事决策机构是“国防与海外政策委员会”,首相任主席,成员有国防大臣、外交大臣、内政大臣、财政大臣等;必要时国防参谋长和三军参谋长列席会议。国防部为国防执行机构,既是政府行政部门,又是军事最高司令部。英国是北约集团的创始国和主要成员国,拥有独立的核力量,国家战略的核心是:积极参与世界事务,维护英国的国际地位;依靠和借助北约集体防务力量来保卫欧洲和英国本土的安全,并扩大英国在欧洲的影响;积极加强与英联邦国家的联系,保护其广泛的海外利益。2004年7月,英国政府公布了近十几年来规模最大的一次军事调整计划,对陆、海、空三军兵种结构及军事装备进行调整,以增加部队在远程作战中的灵活机动能力,从而更好适应现代战争的需要及有效应对21世纪的全球性威胁。据英国防部提供的数字,英军现有总兵力约为20.56万人,其中陆军10.95万,海军4.24万,空军5.37万。2004~2005财政年度的国防预算约为297亿英镑,2007~2008财政年度有望增长到334亿英镑。
  
  文化教育
  教育: 实行5~16岁义务教育制度。1998/1999财政年度教育经费占国内生产总值的4.9%。公立学校学生免交学费。私立学校师资条件与教学设备都较好,但收费高,学生多为富家子弟。著名的高等学校有牛津大学、剑桥大学、伦敦政治经济学院、爱丁堡大学。 世界首个国家博物馆——大英博物馆 英国博物馆:文化体验“不买票” 英国国立博物馆免费开放有招数。
  
  新闻出版:英国报纸的人均销量比任何发达国家的都多。全国共有约1350种报纸,7000种周刊和杂志:《每日快报》、《每日邮报》、《每日镜报》、《每日星报》、《太阳报》、《金融时报》、《每日电讯报》、《卫报》、《独立报》、《泰晤士报》、《世界新闻》、《星期日快报》、《星期日镜报》、《星期日邮报》、《人民报》、《星期日电讯报》、《观察家报》和《星期日泰晤士报》。通讯社主要有3家:(1)路透社:1850年成立,集体合营,世界重要通讯社之一,总部设在伦敦。(2)新闻联合社:1868年创办,由PA新闻、PA体育、PA检索和PA数据设计4家公司联合经营,专门为英国和加拿大的企业提供公关和投资信息。(3)AFX新闻有限公司:由法新社与金融时报联合经营,向欧洲的金融及企业界提供信息和服务,在欧洲12个国家、美国及日本设立分支机构,总部在伦敦。英国广播公司(无线电广播网)(BBCNetwork Radio)于1922年创办。
  节日:
  1、圣诞节:英国的圣诞节是最重要的家庭节日。12月25日和26日两天是国家法定节日。
  2、新年:1月1日也是公共节日。在新年前夜人们通常会熬到深夜,迎接新年的到来。在苏格兰,新年前夜被看作是大年夜,甚至是比圣诞节更有节日气氛的时候。
   3、复活节:复活节没有固定的日期,是在3月末和4月中旬之间。公共假期从星期五一直到复活节后的星期一,这时候又有特别的宗教活动,孩子们会收到巧克力彩蛋。在复活节当天,城镇有复活节游行。在复活节前的星期四,女王每年会访问一座不同的大教堂,送当地居民一些金钱,被称为濯足节救济金,作为象征性的礼物。
  
  
   体育:
   1.英国是现代足球的发祥地,是现代网球,羽毛球,乒乓球的诞生地(不是发源地哦)
   2.1966年举办世界杯,英格兰队本土夺冠。
   3.1996年成功举办欧洲杯
   4.伦敦于2006年7月6日成功申办将于2012年举办的夏季奥运会
   5.每年7月份将在伦敦南部的温布尔顿举行温布尔顿网球公开赛,这是网球四大满贯赛事中的一项。
  
  
  对外关系
  英国为联合国安理会常任理事国,是世界五个核大国之一,是欧盟、北约、英联邦、西欧联盟等120个国际组织的重要成员国。主张同美国加强关系,重视发展与其他大国的关系,努力改善同中、俄、印、日等大国的关系。努力维系同英联邦国家的传统联系,保持和扩大在发展中国家的影响。积极参与全球事务,保持强大的国防力量、强调自由贸易。加强在环境保护、人权、可持续发展等问题上的国际合作。将人权问题作为其外交政策的核心。
  
   与中国关系
  1997年7月1日,中英顺利完成香港回归的政权交接。1998年,两国政府首脑成功互访,并建立了全面伙伴关系。1999年10月,江泽民主席对英国进行国事访问,这是中国国家主席首次访问英国。2004年5月,温家宝总理对英国进行正式访问,两国发表联合声明。2005年9月,布莱尔首相访问中国。2005年11月,国家主席胡锦涛对英国进行国事访问。
  
  中英联合声明
  中华人民共和国国务院总理温家宝阁下于2004年5月10日正式访问英国期间,与大不列颠及北爱尔兰联合王国首相托尼·布莱尔在伦敦举行会晤。
  温家宝总理和托尼·布莱尔首相今天对中英建立全面战略伙伴关系表示欢迎。双方承诺共同致力于发展这一伙伴关系,使其造福于两国,并推动建立一个更加安全、繁荣和开放的世界。
  中英在双边、多边和全球问题上开展合作符合双方利益。我们均把两国关系视为各自对外关系的重点之一。
  中国经济的持续增长和发展,及其日益上升的全球经济大国地位,使中英伙伴关系近年取得了长足发展。双方在环境、教育、发展、科技等众多领域的关系蓬勃发展。
  我们一致认为,自从我们2003年7月会晤以来,中英合作取得了重要进展。英国将于2005年担任欧盟主席国。我们期待在2004年和2005年中国-欧盟领导人年度会晤以及我们业已同意建立的两国政府领导人年度会晤期间,继续这种高层对话。
  布莱尔首相去年访华后,我们决定成立双边关系互动小组,以促进两国关系快速发展。该小组汇聚了社会各界的智慧,在贸易与投资、金融、能源、教育文化、科学技术、环境包括气候变化和可持续发展等领域提出了新的建议(见附件)。我们对双方小组主席约翰·普雷斯科特副首相和唐家璇国务委员以及小组成员所做工作表示感谢。
  双方小组的建议,以及两国在包括环境治理和保护、能源、防扩散、反恐、打击有组织犯罪等一系列国际问题上日益增强的合作,体现了中英关系的广度和深度。
  我们同意加强两国在以下双边和多边领域的合作:
  一、巩固和加强双边关系。
  (一)我们同意增加高层互访。两国政府领导人和外长将进行年度互访,以加强并扩大双方在战略安全、防扩散等领域的双边政治合作。
  (二)两国同意根据双边关系互动小组的有关建议(见附件),通过经贸联委会加强在贸易和投资领域的广泛合作。
  (三)双方还将根据双边关系互动小组的建议,加强在科学、技术、教育、文化和环保领域的合作。在温总理访问期间,双方签署了一系列谅解备忘录,以推动上述各领域的合作。
  (四)我们注意到“中英论坛”在双边关系中发挥的重要作用。建议“论坛”参照双边关系互动小组的建议,就未来它在工业、金融服务、科学技术和环境领域应发挥的作用进行研究。
  我们就有关香港的问题友好、坦诚地交换了意见。我们重申两国政府共同致力于贯彻《中英关于香港问题的联合声明》,认为按照“一国两制”原则和基本法维护和促进香港的繁荣与稳定符合双方的利益。我们同意继续就这些问题交换意见。
  英国重申1972年中英互换大使联合公报中关于台湾问题的一贯立场,即:承认中国政府关于台湾是中国一个省的立场,承认中华人民共和国政府是中国的唯一合法政府。
  我们高度重视中英人权对话,将继续在平等和相互尊重的基础上开展这一交流。双方一致认为,所有国家都应尊重和保护人权。英方欢迎中方最近将尊重和保护人权写入宪法。下一轮中英人权对话将于2004年5月举行,这将为两国开展人权领域的具体合作提供良机。
  二、巩固和加强两国在多边机制内就双方和国际关注的问题开展的合作。
  两国将加强在联合国的协调,推动联合国改革,使其能够应对21世纪的挑战,并确保《联合国宪章》和国际法进一步得到尊重。双方将扩大在联合国维和框架内的合作。中国愿与英国就中东和伊拉克等问题加强磋商。
  我们重申打击恐怖主义的决心。两国政府将启动中英反恐对话机制,加强在反恐领域的交流与合作。
  我们重申在推动防扩散问题上的决心。英国欢迎中国在防扩散问题上所做的承诺和为此采取的行动,特别欢迎中国为加强与防扩散出口控制机制的关系所采取的措施。中国赞赏英国在国际原子能机构框架内为推动伊朗执行《不扩散核武器条约》保障监督协议、以及说服利比亚放弃大规模杀伤性武器计划所做的努力。英国欢迎中国在朝鲜半岛核问题六方会谈中发挥的领导作用。双方将加强在安全、军控、裁军和防扩散领域的交流与合作。
  我们重申将合作打击非法移民。两国政府签署了《关于便利人员合法往来和打击非法移民活动谅解备忘录》。
  双方决定密切警务合作,同意根据《联合国打击跨国有组织犯罪公约》等国际法律文书,加强信息交流和执法合作,共同合作打击跨国犯罪。
  双方高度评价亚欧会议在促进亚欧平等伙伴关系方面取得的积极成就,表示愿进一步加强在亚欧会议上的合作。
  三、中英两国承诺增进在国际经济问题上的合作,促进可持续发展。 双方将共同努力实现“联合国千年发展目标”,包括消除贫困、饥饿、疾病、环境恶化、文盲和歧视妇女。通过可持续发展委员会,在各层次实现联合国可持续发展世界首脑会议所做的承诺。
  双方都致力于国际贸易自由化,将继续推动多哈发展议程的谈判。双方一致认为,能否实现发展目标是“多哈回合”谈判成功与否的关键。双方同意,“多哈回合” 早日结束并取得均衡结果符合世界贸易组织所有成员的利益。双方将努力争取谈判在2004年达成框架协议。中英同意就此保持对话。
  双方都认识到有效保护知识产权的重要性,以及保护知识产权在促进外国投资和营造良好商业环境方面的重要作用。双方同意在保护知识产权方面加强双边合作。中国将遵守加入的国际知识产权公约或协议的承诺,并根据有关国内法保护知识产权所有者的权益。
  中英重申支持《联合国气候变化框架公约》,敦促尚未批准《京都议定书》的各方尽早批准该议定书。双方同时敦促所有国家最有效地利用能源,呼吁所有签署公约附件一的国家带头采取一致行动,减少温室气体的排放,实现该公约制定的目标。
  中英认识到《里约环境和发展宣言》原则十所强调的各项规定的重要性,如:信息公开、公众参与决策和环境问题司法公正。双方同意分享科学和经济方面的经验,以利于双方共同努力实现低碳经济和可持续发展,通过“可再生能源和有效利用能源伙伴关系”等,加速开发对气候有益技术的全球市场。
  双方重申愿意就包括气候变化、自然资源可持续管理、森林执法(制止非法采伐)、水资源保护、空气质量改善和污染控制等环境问题所采取的措施加强交流,在环境立法、监督和人员培训方面互相学习。
  双方将共同努力帮助发展中国家解决贫困和其他与发展有关的问题,更好地应对全球化带来的挑战。双方特别强调和平与安全以及非洲防治艾滋病和实现可持续发展问题,并将尽全力支持非洲国家为实现“千年发展目标”所做的努力。
  中英联合声明附件
  双边关系互动小组关于发展双边合作的建议:
  贸易与投资
  ●我们将在能源、金融服务、信息通信技术、卫生保健和水资源等五个方面开展双边合作,并将此作为双方在贸易与投资领域开展广泛合作的重点。上述各方面的合作计划将与产业相结合,明确商业成果。经贸联委会的作用将通过两国轮流举办部级年会的方式得以加强。上述年会将涉及贸易与投资政策问题。 ●英国对华贸易与投资战略。英国贸易与投资局将在现有贸易促进、重点领域以及遍布英国和中国各地商业服务网络的基础上,制定一个新的对华贸易与投资战略。
  ●双方将鼓励英国企业到中国投资,同时鼓励中国企业到英国投资。
  ●双方将促进两国中小企业开展交流与合作。
  金融
  ● 双方期待着“中英财政金融对话”机制下一轮部长级磋商,此次磋商将在北京举行,并提升为正部级。财金对话为双方继续加强和重点开展金融领域的交流与合作提供了框架,特别是在宏观经济政策、产业结构调整、公共财政管理、创造就业、竞争和监管政策、环境治理和环境保护等问题上的交流与合作。双方鼓励英国银行业参与中国银行业的改革。
  信息通讯技术
  ●双方欢迎有关2004年9月在中国举行“信息通讯技术周”的建议。
  能源
  双方重视能源领域的合作,愿通过各种方式在能源政策、能源改革和发展等领域进行交流与合作。同时,双方愿意在能源管理、能源效率和可再生能源的利用等领域共享信息,联合开展活动。中英重视可持续的全球能源安全,重视减轻并在可能情况下改变气候变化的影响。双方高兴地注意到,此访期间,中英签订了多项与能源有关的商业合同。
  教育
  ● 中英轮流举行两国教育部年度部级会晤。● 中国教育部与英国教育和技能部同意共同努力,提供奖学金机会,资助中英研究生进行交流,到对方大学开展研究。
  ●英国将与中国共同努力,增进英国对当代中国的理解。在此方面,校际交流项目将发挥有效作用。
  ● 开展商业性项目,鼓励教育与产业相结合,为工程技术等人员提供商业经验和实践知识。
  科技
  ●2005年1月将在中国举办“英国科技年”活动,增进中国对英国科学研究与科技政策的了解。
  ●双方愿就如何在知识产权领域有效工作组织一系列交流活动。建立有效的知识产权保护机制可以为科学技术发展提供有力支持。英国愿在帮助中国建立一个符合世界贸易组织和其他要求的知识产权保护机制方面与中国分享经验,同时愿意了解中国在这方面的工作重点。为保证双方的长远收益,可考虑在科技各领域建立研究伙伴关系。
  ●建立中英科技创业园指导委员会,指导和支持科技孵化器的工作。双方同意在传染病及流行病研究与防治领域开展合作,加强信息共享和交流。
  环境与可持续发展
  ● 建立中英气候变化工作组。
  ● 开展有针对性的项目,支持中国建立环境影响评估系统和战略环境评估系统。
  ●建立可持续发展对话机制。中英是发展问题的伙伴国,双方同意通过开展有非政府利益相关组织广泛参与的可持续发展高层对话,交流经验。文化
  ●双方同意加强文化交流与合作,支持2004年在英国举办中国文化节。
  ●双方欢迎近期在努力达成关于文化中心的协议方面所取得的进展,重申对早日成功签署该协议的决心。
  
  中英在战略安全、外交政策、人权、军控、环保等广泛领域建立并保持了磋商及对话机制。目前,我3个省和35个城市分别与英国的3个郡和35个城市建立了38对友城(省、郡、区)关系。


  England (pronounced /ˈɪŋglənd/) (Old English: Englaland, Middle English: Engelond) is the largest, and most populous country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total population of the United Kingdom, while the mainland territory of England occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. Elsewhere, it is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel.
  
  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. The capital of England is London, the largest urban area in Great Britain, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most, but not all, measures.
  
  England ranks amongst the world's most influential and far-reaching centres of cultural development. It is the place of origin of the English language and the Church of England, and English law forms the basis of the legal systems of many countries; in addition, London was the centre of the British Empire, and the country was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. England was the first country in the world to become industrialised. England is home to the Royal Society, which laid the foundations of modern experimental science. England was the world's first modern parliamentary democracy and consequently many constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that had their origin in England have been widely adopted by other nations.
  
  The Kingdom of England was a separate state, including the Principality of Wales, until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union resulted in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  
  Etymology and usage
  
  England is named after the Angles, the largest of the Germanic tribes who settled in England in the 5th and 6th centuries, and who are believed to have originated in the peninsula of Angeln, in what is now Denmark and northern Germany. (The further etymology of this tribe's name remains uncertain, although a popular theory holds that it need be sought no further than the word angle itself, and refers to a fish-hook-shaped region of Holstein.
  
  The Angles' name has had various spellings. The earliest known reference to these people is under the Latinised version Anglii used by Tacitus in chapter 40 of his Germania, written around 98 AD. He gives no precise indication of their geographical position within Germania, but states that, with six other tribes, they worshipped a goddess named Nerthus, whose sanctuary was situated on "an island in the Ocean".
  
  The early 8th century historian Bede, in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People), refers to the English people as Angelfolc (in English) or Angli (in Latin).
  
  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known usage of "England" referring to the southern part of the island of Great Britain was in 897, with the modern spelling first used in 1538,
  
  The word "England" is often used colloquially—and incorrectly—to refer to Great Britain or the United Kingdom as a whole. There are many instances of this usage in history, where references to England are actually intended to include Scotland and Wales as well. The term is used throughout the world and even by English people; the usage is problematic and causes offence in many parts of Britain.
  
  England is officially defined as "subject to any alteration of boundaries under Part IV of the Local Government Act 1972, the area consisting of the counties established by section 1 of that Act, Greater London and the Isles of Scilly."
  
  History
  Prehistory
  
  Stonehenge, a Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monument in Wiltshire, thought to have been erected c. 2000–2500 BCBones and flint tools found in Norfolk and Suffolk show that Homo erectus lived in what is now England about 700,000 years ago. At this time, England was joined to mainland Europe by a large land bridge. The current position of the English Channel was a large river flowing westwards and fed by tributaries that would later become the Thames and the Seine. This area was greatly depopulated during the period of the last major ice age, as were other regions of the British Isles. In the subsequent recolonisation, after the thawing of the ice, genetic research shows that present-day England was the last area of the British Isles to be repopulated, about 13,000 years ago. The migrants arriving during this period contrast with the other of the inhabitants of the British Isles, coming across lands from the south east of Europe, whereas earlier arriving inhabitants came north along a coastal route from Iberia. These migrants would later adopt the Celtic culture that came to dominate much of western Europe.
  
  Roman conquest of Britain
  
  By AD 43, the time of the main Roman invasion, Britain had already been the target of frequent invasions, planned and actual, by forces of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It was first invaded by the Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 55 BC, but it was conquered more fully by the Emperor Claudius in 43 AD. Like other regions on the edge of the empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans, and their economic and cultural influence was a significant part of the British late pre-Roman Iron Age, especially in the south. With the fall of the Roman Empire 400 years later, the Romans left England.
  
  Anglo-Saxons
  
  An Anglo-Saxon helmet found at Sutton HooThe History of Anglo-Saxon England covers the history of early mediaeval England from the end of Roman Britain and the establishment of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 5th century until the Conquest by the Normans in 1066.
  
  Fragmentary knowledge of Anglo-Saxon England in the 5th and 6th centuries comes from the British writer Gildas (6th century) the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (a history of the English people begun in the 9th century), saints' lives, poetry, archaeological findings, and place-name studies.
  
  The dominant themes of the seventh to tenth centuries were the spread of Christianity and the political unification of England. Christianity is thought to have come from three directions—from Rome to the south, and Scotland and Ireland to the north and west.
  
  From about 500, England was divided (it is believed) into seven petty kingdoms, known as the Heptarchy: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex, and Wessex.
  
  The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms tended to coalesce by means of warfare. As early as the time of Ethelbert of Kent, one king could be recognised as Bretwalda ("Lord of Britain"). Generally speaking, the title fell in the 7th century to the kings of Northumbria, in the 8th to those of Mercia, and in the 9th, to Egbert of Wessex, who in 825 defeated the Mercians at the Battle of Ellendun. In the next century his family came to rule all England.
  
  Kingdom of England
  
  Statue of Alfred the Great at WinchesterOriginally, England (or Englaland) was a geographical term to describe the part of Britain occupied by the Anglo-Saxons, rather than a name of an individual nation-state. It became politically united through the expansion of the kingdom of Wessex, whose king Athelstan brought the whole of England under one ruler for the first time in 927, although unification did not become permanent until 954, when Edred defeated Eric Bloodaxe and became King of England.
  
  In 1016 England was conquered by the Danish king Canute the Great, and became the centre of government for his short-lived empire which included Denmark and Norway. In 1042 England became a separate kingdom again with the accession of Edward the Confessor, heir of the native English dynasty.
  
  The Kingdom of England (including Wales) continued to exist as an independent nation-state right through to the Acts of Union. However the political ties and direction of England were changed forever by the Norman Conquest in 1066.
  
  Middle Ages
  
  The signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. It was one of the first steps towards the idea of modern democracy.
  Fifteenth-century miniature depicting the English victory over France at the Battle of Agincourt.The next few hundred years saw England as a major part of expanding and dwindling empires based in France, with the "Kings of England" using England as a source of troops to enlarge their personal holdings in France for many years (Hundred Years' War) ; in fact the English crown did not relinquish its last foothold on mainland France until Calais was lost during the reign of Mary Tudor (the Channel Islands are still crown dependencies, though not part of the UK).
  
  In the 13th century, through conquest Wales (the remaining Romano-Celts) was brought under the control of English monarchs. This was formalised in the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284, by which Wales became part of the Kingdom of England by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542. Wales shared a legal identity with England as the joint entity originally called England and later England and Wales.
  
  An epidemic of catastrophic proportions, the Black Death first reached England in the summer of 1348. The Black Death is estimated to have killed between a third and two-thirds of Europe's population. England alone lost as much as 70% of its population, which passed from seven million to two million in 1400. The plague repeatedly returned to haunt England throughout the 14th to 17th centuries. The Great Plague of London in 1665–1666 was the last plague outbreak.
  
  Reformation
  
  Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I made to commemorate the English victory over the Spanish Armada (1588)During the English Reformation in the 16th century, the external authority of the Roman Catholic Church in England was abolished and replaced with Royal Supremacy and ultimately describes the establishment of a Church of England, outside the Roman Catholic Church, under the Supreme Governance of the English monarch. The English Reformation differed from its European counterparts in that it was a political, rather than purely theological, dispute at root. The break with Rome started in the reign of Henry VIII.
  
  The English Reformation paved the way for the spread of Anglicanism in the church and other institutions.
  
  Civil War
  
  Cromwell at Dunbar. Oliver Cromwell united the whole of the British Isles by force and created the Commonwealth of England.The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651. The first (1642–1645) and second (1648–1649) civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third war (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The Civil War ended with the Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
  
  The Civil War led to the trial and execution of Charles I, the exile of his son Charles II and the replacement of the English monarchy with the Commonwealth of England (1649–1653) and then with a Protectorate (1653–1659) : the personal rule of Oliver Cromwell. After a brief return to Commonwealth rule, in 1660 The Crown was restored and Charles II accepted Convention Parliament's invitation to return to England. During the interregnum the monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England came to an end, and the victors consolidated the already-established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Constitutionally, the wars established a precedent that British monarchs could not govern without the consent of Parliament although this would not be cemented until the Glorious Revolution later in the century.
  
  Great Britain and the United Kingdom
  
  England United Kingdom
  Although embattled for centuries, the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland had been drawing increasingly together since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and after 1603, when the two countries became linked by a personal union, being ruled by the same Stuart dynasty. Following a number of attempts to unite the Kingdoms, on 1 May 1707, the Acts of Union resulted in a political union between the states creating the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Kingdom of Ireland later joined this union to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland changed its name to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927 to reflect its reduced territory following the secession of southern Ireland as the Irish Free State in 1922.
  
  Throughout these changes, England (including Wales) retained a separate legal identity from its partners, with a separate legal system (English law) from those in Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland law) and Scotland (Scots law). (See subdivisions of the United Kingdom)
  
  Wales had already been made part of the Kingdom of England by the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284, and it was legally incorporated into England by the Wales and Berwick Act 1746, making laws passed in England automatically applicable to Wales. This was reversed by the Welsh Language Act 1967, which thus effectively gave Wales a separate identity from England. Since then, legal and political terminology refers to "England and Wales". The county of Monmouthshire has long been an ambiguous area, its legal identity passing between England and Wales at various periods. In the Local Government Act 1972 it was made part of Wales.
  
  The Wales and Berwick Act 1746 also referred to the formerly Scottish burgh of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The border town changed hands several times and was last conquered by England in 1482, but was not officially incorporated into England. Contention about whether Berwick was in England or Scotland was ended by the union of the two in 1707. Berwick remains within the English legal system and so is regarded today as part of England though there has been some suggestion in Scotland that Berwick should be invited to 'return to the fold'.
  
  The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are Crown dependencies and are not part of England or of the United Kingdom.
  
  Government and politics
  
  A Mediaeval manuscript, showing the Parliament of England in front of the king c. 1300Main articles: Government of England and Politics of England
  There has not been a Government of England since 1707, when the Kingdom of England merged with the Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, although both kingdoms have been ruled by a single monarch since 1603. Before the Acts of Union of 1707, England was ruled by a monarch and the Parliament of England.
  
  Following the establishment of devolved government for Scotland and Wales in 1999, England was left as the only country within the United Kingdom still governed in all matters by the UK government and the UK parliament in London. (Those, like Mebyon Kernow, who claim that Cornwall should be viewed as having a distinct national identity and who campaign for a Cornish assembly along Welsh lines may dispute this claim.)
  
  
  The Palace of Westminster, Parliament of the United KingdomSince Westminster is the UK parliament but also legislates on matters that affect England alone, devolution of national matters to parliament/assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has refocused attention on the anomaly called the West Lothian question. The "Question" is that Scottish and Welsh MPs continue to be able to vote on legislation relating only to England in the post devolution era while English MPs have no equivalent right to legislate on devolved matters. (Of course, Scottish and Welsh MPs are also unable to vote on devolved issues affecting their own constituencies.) This 'problem' is exacerbated by an over-representation of Scottish MPs in the government, sometimes referred to as the Scottish mafia; as of September 2006, seven of the twenty-three Cabinet members represent Scottish constituencies, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Defence Secretary. In addition, Scotland traditionally benefited from moderate malapportionment in its favour, increasing its representation to a degree disproportionate to its population. In 2004 the Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Act 2004 was passed which rectified this to a degree, reducing the number of MPs representing Scottish constituencies from 73 to 59 and brought the number of voters per constituency closer to that in England. This change was implemented in the 2005 General Election.
  
  There are calls for a devolved English Parliament, and certain English parties go further by calling for the dissolution of the Union entirely. However, the approach favoured by the current Labour government was (on the basis that England is too large to be governed as a single sub-state entity) to propose the devolution of power to the Regions of England. Lord Falconer claimed a devolved English parliament would dwarf the rest of the United Kingdom.
  
  In terms of national administration, therefore, England's affairs are managed by a combination of the UK government, the UK parliament and England-specific quangos such as English Heritage.
  
  Subdivisions and local government
  
  The top tier of local administration within England are the Regions of England. London voted for a London Assembly and the plan was to hold further referenda in other regions to determine whether people wanted directly elected regional assemblies to watch over the work of the non-elected Regional Development Agencies. A referendum on a proposed directly elected North East Assembly was held in November 2004. During the campaign, a common criticism of the proposals was that England did not need "another tier of bureaucracy". On the other hand, many said that they were not decentralising enough, and amounted not to devolution, but to little more than local government reorganisation, with no real power being removed from central government, and no real power given to the regions, which would not even gain the limited powers of the Welsh Assembly, much less the tax-varying and legislative powers of the Scottish Parliament (but Welsh powers are now being expanded). They said that power was simply re-allocated within the region, with little new resource allocation and no real prospects of Assemblies being able to change the pattern of regional aid. Late in the process, responsibility for regional transport was added to the proposals. This was perhaps crucial in the North East, where resentment at the Barnett Formula, which delivers greater public spending per head to adjacent Scotland, was a significant impetus for the North East devolution campaign. The voters rejected the proposal, and plans for referendums in other Regions were shelved.
  
  Historically, the highest level of local government in England was the county. These have their origin in the shires, the subdivisions of the kingdom of Wessex, which were extended over the rest of England as Wessex expanded to unite the country in the ninth and tenth centuries. Some of these new shires, particularly in the south-east of England, retained the extent and names of the kingdoms or subdivisions of kingdoms that had existed there before, such as Sussex and Kent, but most were new creations, named after their principal town with the suffix "-shire" added, for example Warwickshire from Warwick. In the far north of England, the system took longer to become regularised and County Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland emerged after the Norman Conquest. The counties each had a county town.
  
  Since these historical county lines were drawn up before the Industrial Revolution and the mass urbanisation of England, the changes in the distribution of population and the demands on local administration resulting from those developments have led to a series of local government reorganisations since the latter part of the 19th century. The solution to the emergence of large urban areas was the creation of large metropolitan counties centred on cities (an example being Greater Manchester). The creation of unitary authorities, where districts gained the administrative status of a county, began with the 1990s reform of local government. Today, some confusion exists between the ceremonial counties (which do not necessarily form an administrative unit) and the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties.
  
  Non-metropolitan counties (or "shire counties") are divided into one or more districts. At the lowest level, England is divided into parishes, although these are not found everywhere (many urban areas for example are unparished). Parishes are prohibited from existing in Greater London.
  
  Geography
  
  Until 1998, the Humber Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.Main articles: Geography of the United Kingdom and Geography of England
  England comprises the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus offshore islands of which the largest is the Isle of Wight. It is bordered to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. It is closer to continental Europe than any other part of Britain, divided from France only by a 24-statute mile (52 km or 21 nautical mile) sea gap. The Channel Tunnel, near Folkestone, directly links England to the European mainland. The English/French border is halfway along the tunnel.
  
  Much of England consists of rolling hills, but it is generally more mountainous in the north with a chain of low mountains, the Pennines, dividing east and west. Other hilly areas in the north and Midlands are the Lake District, the North York Moors, and the Peak District. The approximate dividing line between terrain types is often indicated by the Tees-Exe line. To the south of that line, there are larger areas of flatter land, including East Anglia and the Fens, although hilly areas include the Cotswolds, the Chilterns, the North and South Downs, Dartmoor and Exmoor.
  
  The largest natural harbour in England is at Poole, on the south-central coast. Some regard it as the second largest harbour in the world, after Sydney, Australia, although this fact is disputed (see harbours for a list of other large natural harbour).
  
  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.
  
  The highest temperature recorded in England is 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on August 10, 2003 at Brogdale, near Faversham, in Kent. The lowest temperature recorded in England is −26.1 °C (−15.0 °F) on January 10, 1982 at Edgmond, near Newport, in Shropshire.
  
  Major rivers
  
  The River Severn viewed from Shrewsbury Castle in ShropshireMain article: Waterways in the United Kingdom
  Severn (the longest river and largest river basin in Great Britain)
  Tees
  Thames
  Trent
  Humber
  Tyne
  Wear
  Ribble
  Ouse
  Mersey
  Dee
  Aire
  Avon
  Medway
  
  Major conurbations
  
  London is the largest urban area in England, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.Main article: List of English cities by population
  London is by far the largest urban area in England and one of the largest and busiest cities in the world. Other cities, mainly in central and northern England, are of substantial size and influence. The list of England's largest cities or urban areas is open to debate because, although the normal meaning of city is "a continuously built-up urban area", this can be hard to define, particularly because administrative areas in England often do not correspond with the limits of urban development, and many towns and cities have, over the centuries, grown to form complex urban agglomerations. Various definitions of cities can be used. For the official definition of a UK (and therefore English) city, see City status in the United Kingdom.
  
  Birmingham
  
  Manchester
  
  Liverpool's skyline
  
  Leeds - Bridgewater Place
  
  According to the ONS urban area populations for continuous built-up areas, these are the 15 largest conurbations (population figures from the 2001 census):
  
  Rank Urban Area Population
  (2001 Census)
   Localities Major localities
  1 Greater London Urban Area 8,278,251 67 Croydon, Barnet, Ealing, Bromley
  2 West Midlands Urban Area 2,284,093 22 Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall
  3 Greater Manchester Urban Area 2,240,230 57 Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Stockport, Oldham
  4 West Yorkshire Urban Area 1,499,465 26 Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield
  5 Tyneside 879,996 25 Newcastle upon Tyne, North Shields, South Shields, Gateshead, Jarrow
  6 Liverpool Urban Area 816,216 8 Liverpool, St Helens, Bootle, Huyton-with-Roby
  7 Nottingham Urban Area 666,358 15 Nottingham, Beeston and Stapleford, Carlton, Long Eaton
  8 Sheffield Urban Area 640,720 7 Sheffield, Rotherham, Chapeltown, Mosborough/Highlane
  9 Bristol Urban Area 551,066 7 Bristol, Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Stoke Gifford
  10 Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton 461,181 10 Brighton, Worthing, Hove, Littlehampton, Shoreham, Lancing
  11 Portsmouth Urban Area 442,252 7 Portsmouth, Gosport, Waterlooville, Fareham
  12 Leicester Urban Area 441,213 12 Leicester, Wigston, Oadby, Birstall
  13 Bournemouth Urban Area 383,713 5 Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, New Milton
  14 Reading/Wokingham Urban Area 369,804 5 Reading, Bracknell, Wokingham, Crowthorne
  15 Teesside 365,323 7 Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar, Billingham
  
  Economics
  
  The City of London is a major business and commercial centre, ranking alongside New York City and Tokyo as the leading centre of global finance.Main article: Economy of England
  England's economy is the second largest in Europe and the fifth 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 industrialised 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.
  
  
  The Bullring shopping complex in Birmingham city centre attracted 36.5 million visitors in its début year upon opening in 2003.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.
  
  As part of the United Kingdom, England's official currency is the Pound Sterling (also known as the British pound or GBP).
  
  Demography
   This section may stray from the topic of the article into the topic of another article, United Kingdom.
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  Demography of EnglandWith 50,431,700 inhabitants, or 84% of the UK's total, England is the most populous nation in the United Kingdom; as well as being the most ethnically diverse. England would have the fourth largest population in the European Union and would be the 25th largest country by population if it were a sovereign state.
  
  The country's population is 'ageing', with a declining percentage of the population under age 16 and a rising one of over 65. Population continues to rise and in every year since 1901, with the exception of 1976, there have been more births than deaths. England is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, with 383 people per square kilometre (992/sq mi) , making it second only to the Netherlands.
  
  The generally accepted view is that the ethnic background of the English populace, before 19th- and 20th century immigration, was a mixed European one deriving from historical waves of Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Norman invasions, along with the possible survival of pre-Celtic ancestry. Genetic studies have shown that the modern-day English gene pool contains more than 50% Germanic Y-chromosomes.
  
  The economic prosperity of England has also made it a destination for economic migrants from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This was particularly true during the Industrial Revolution.
  
  Since the fall of the British Empire, many denizens of former colonies have migrated to Britain including the Indian sub-continent and the British Caribbean. A BBC-published report of the 2001 census, by the Institute for Public Policy Research stated that the vast majority of immigrants settled in London and the South East of England. The largest groups of residents born in other countries were from the Republic of Ireland, India, Pakistan, Germany, and the Caribbean. Although Germany was high on the list, this was mainly the result of children being born to British forces personnel stationed in that country.
  
  About half the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to foreign-born immigration. In 2004 the number of people who became British citizens rose to a record 140,795—a rise of 12% on the previous year. The number had risen dramatically since 2000. The overwhelming majority of new citizens come from Africa (32%) and Asia (40%), the largest two groups being people from India and Pakistan. One in five babies in the UK are born to immigrant mothers, according to official statistics released in 2007. 21.9% of all births in the UK in 2006 were to mothers born outside the United Kingdom compared with just 12.8% in 1995.
  
  In 2006, an estimated 591,000 migrants arrived to live in the UK for at least a year, while 400,000 people emigrated from the UK for a year or more, with Australia, Spain, France, New Zealand and the U.S. most popular destinations. Largest group of arrivals were people from the Indian subcontinent who accounted for two-thirds of net immigration, mainly fuelled by family reunion. One in six were from Eastern European countries. They were outnumbered by immigrants from New Commonwealth countries.
  
  The European Union allows free movement between the member states. While France and Germany put in place controls to curb Eastern European migration, the UK and Ireland did not impose restrictions. Following Poland's entry into the EU in May 2004 it is estimated that by the start of 2007 about 375,000 Poles have registered to work in the UK, although the total Polish population in the UK is believed to be 750,000. Many Poles work in seasonal occupations and a large number is likely to move back and forth including between Ireland and other EU Western nations. A quarter of Eastern European migrants, often young and well-educated, plan to stay in Britain permanently. Most of them had originally intended to go home but have changed their minds after living there.
  
  Culture
  
  England has a vast and influential culture that encompasses elements both old and new. The modern culture of England is sometimes difficult to identify and separate clearly from the culture of the wider United Kingdom, so intertwined are its composite nations. However, the traditional and historic culture of England is more clearly defined.
  
  English Heritage is a governmental body with a broad remit of managing the historic sites, artefacts and environments of England. London's British Museum, British Library and National Gallery contain some of the finest collections in the world.
  
  The English have played a significant role in the development of the arts and sciences. Many of the most important figures in the history of modern western scientific and philosophical thought were either born in, or at one time or other resided in, England. Major English thinkers of international significance include scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Charles Darwin and New Zealand-born Ernest Rutherford, philosophers such as John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell and Thomas Hobbes, and economists such as David Ricardo, and John Maynard Keynes. Karl Marx wrote most of his important works, including Das Kapital, while in exile in Manchester, and the team that developed the first atomic bomb began their work in England, under the wartime codename tube alloys.
  
  Architecture
  
  The dome of St. Paul's Cathedral designed by Sir Christopher WrenEngland has played a significant part in the advancement of Western architecture. It is home to some of the finest mediaeval castles and forts in the world, including Warwick Castle, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle (the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation). It is known for its numerous grand country houses, and for its many mediaeval and later churches and cathedrals.
  
  English architects have contributed to many styles over the centuries, including Tudor architecture, English Baroque, the Georgian style and Victorian movements such as Gothic Revival. Among the best-known contemporary English architects are Norman Foster and Richard Rogers.
  
  Cuisine
  Main article: English cuisine
  Although highly regarded in the Middle Ages, English cuisine later became a source of fun among Britain's French and European neighbours, being viewed until the late 20th century as crude and unsophisticated by comparison with continental tastes. However, with the influx of non-European immigrants (particularly those of south and east Asian origins) from the 1950s onwards, the English diet was transformed. Indian and Chinese cuisine in particular were absorbed into British culinary life, with restaurants and takeaways appearing in almost every town in Britain, and 'going for an Indian' becoming a regular part of British social life. A distinct hybrid food style composed of dishes of Asian origin, but adapted to British tastes, emerged and was subsequently exported to other parts of the world. Many of the well-known Indian dishes in the western world, such as Tikka Masala and Balti, are in fact dishes of this sort.
  
  Dishes forming part of the old tradition of English food include:
  
  Apple pie
  Bangers and mash
  Bedfordshire clanger
  Bubble and Squeak
  Cornish pasty
  Cottage pie
  Devonshire Cream Tea
  Faggot and peas
  Fish and chips
   Full English breakfast
  Gravy
  Jellied eels
  Lancashire hotpot
  Lincolnshire sausage
  Mince pies
  Pie and mash
  Ploughman's lunch
  Pork pie
   Scouse
  Shepherd's pie
  Spotted Dick
  Steak and kidney pie
  Sunday roast
  Toad in the hole
  Yorkshire pudding
  
  Engineering and innovation
  
  As birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, England was home to many significant inventors during the late 18th and early 19th century. Famous English engineers include Isambard Kingdom Brunel, best known for the creation of the Great Western Railway, a series of famous steamships, and numerous important bridges, hence revolutionising public transport and modern-day engineering.
  
  Other notable English figures in the fields of engineering and innovation include:
  
  Richard Arkwright – inventor of the first industrial spinning machine
  Charles Babbage – inventor of the first computer (in the 19th century)
  Tim Berners-Lee – inventor of the World Wide Web, http, html, and many of the other technologies on which the Web is based
  James Blundell – who performed the first blood transfusion
  Hubert Cecil Booth – inventor of the Vacuum cleaner
  Edwin Beard Budding – inventor of the lawnmower
  George Cayley – inventor of the seat belt
  Christopher Cockerell – inventor of the hovercraft
  John Dalton – pioneer of atomic theory
  James Dyson – inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner
  Michael Faraday – inventor of the electric motor
  Thomas Fowler – inventor of the thermosiphon
  Robert Hooke – Hooke's law of elasticity
  E. Purnell Hooley – inventor of tarmac
  Thomas Newcomen – inventor of the first practical steam engine
  Isaac Newton – defining Universal gravitation, Newtonian mechanics, Infinitesimal calculus
  Stephen Perry – inventor of the rubber band
  Thomas Savery – inventor of the steam engine
  Percy Shaw – inventor of the "cat's eye" road safety device
  George Stephenson and Robert Stephenson – railway pioneers (father and son)
  Joseph Swan – developer of the light bulb
  Richard Trevithick – builder of the earliest steam locomotive
  Jethro Tull – inventor of the seed drill
  Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers – inventors of the modern computer and its associated concepts and technologies
  Frank Whittle – inventor of the jet engine
  Joseph Whitworth – inventor of many of the modern techniques and technologies of precision engineering
  
  Folklore
  
  English folklore is rich and diverse. Many of the land's oldest legends share themes and sources with the Celtic folklore of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, a typical example being the legend of Herne the Hunter, which shares many similarities with the traditional Welsh legend of Gwyn ap Nudd.
  
  Successive waves of pre-Norman invaders and settlers, from the Romans onwards, via Saxons, Jutes, Angles, Norse to the Norman Conquest have all influenced the myth and legend of England. Some tales, such as that of The Lambton Wyrm show a distinct Norse influence, while others, particularly some of the events and characters associated with the Arthurian legends show a distinct Romano-Gaulic slant.
  
  Among the most famous English folk-tales are the legends of King Arthur, although it would be wrong to regard these stories as purely English in origin as they also concern Wales and, to a lesser extent, Ireland and Scotland. They should therefore be considered as part of the folklore of the British Isles as a whole.
  
  Post-Norman stories include the tales of Robin Hood, which exists in many forms, and stories of other folk heroes such as Hereward the Wake and Fulk FitzWarin who, although being based on historical characters, have grown to become legends in their own right.
  
  Literature
  
  William Shakespeare; an English poet and playwright widely regarded as the greatest writer of the English language, as well as one of the greatest in Western literature.Main article: English literature
  The English language has a rich and prominent literary heritage. England has produced a wealth of significant literary figures including playwrights William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Webster, as well as writers Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Jane Austen, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, H. G. Wells, George Eliot, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell and Harold Pinter. Others, such as J. K. Rowling, Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie have been among the best-selling novelists of the last century.
  
  Among the poets, Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sydney, Thomas Kyd, John Donne, Andrew Marvell, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, John Keats, John Milton, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, T. S. Eliot (American-born, but a British subject from 1927) and many others remain read and studied around the world. Among men of letters, Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt and George Orwell are some of the most famous. England continues to produce writers working in all branches of literature, and in a wide range of styles; contemporary English literary writers attracting international attention include Martin Amis, Julian Barnes and Zadie Smith.
  
  Music
  
  The composer Sir Edward Elgar is primarily remembered for his orchestral music, some of which develops patriotic themes.Composers from England have not achieved recognition as broad as that earned by their literary counterparts, and, particularly during the 19th century, were overshadowed in international reputation by other European composers; however, many works of earlier composers such as Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, and Henry Purcell are still frequently performed throughout the world today. A revival of England's musical status began during the 20th century with the prominence of composers such as Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, William Walton, Eric Coates, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frederick Delius and Benjamin Britten.
  
  In popular music, however, English bands and solo artists have been cited as the most influential and best-selling musicians of all time. Acts such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Queen, and The Rolling Stones are among the highest selling in the world. England is also credited with being the birthplace of many musical genres and movements such as hard rock, British invasion, heavy metal, britpop, glam rock, drum and bass, progressive rock, punk rock, gothic rock, shoegazing, acid house, UK garage, trip hop and dubstep.
  
  Science and philosophy
  Prominent English figures from the field of science and mathematics include Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, J. J. Thomson, Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Wren, Alan Turing, Francis Crick, Joseph Lister, Tim Berners-Lee, Andrew Wiles and Richard Dawkins. Some experts claim that the earliest concept of a Metric system was invented by John Wilkins, first secretary of the Royal Society in 1668.
  
  England played a major role in the development of Western philosophy, particularly during the Enlightenment. Jeremy Bentham, leader of the Philosophical Radicals, and his school are recognised as the men who unknowingly laid down the doctrines for Socialism. Bentham's impact on English law is also considerable. Aside from Bentham, major English philosophers include Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill, and Bernard Williams.
  
  Sport
  
  Several modern sports were codified in England during the 19th century, among them cricket, rugby union and rugby league, football, tennis and badminton. Of these, association football, rugby and cricket remain the country's most popular spectator sports. England contains more UEFA 5 star and 4 star rated stadia than any other country, and is home to some of the sport's top clubs. Among these, Aston Villa, Liverpool FC, Manchester United and Nottingham Forest have won the European Cup. The England national football team are considered one of the game's superpowers (currently ranked 11th by FIFA and 8th by Elo), having won the World Cup in 1966 when it was hosted in England. Since then, however, they have failed to reach a final of a major international tournament, although they reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1990 and the quarter-finals in 2002 and 2006 and Euro 2004.
  
  More recently, England failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 championships when it lost 2–3 to Croatia on November 21, 2007 in its final qualifying match. England, playing at home at Wembley Stadium, needed just a draw to ensure qualification. This is the first time since the 1994 World Cup that England has failed to qualify for a major football championship and first time since 1984 that the team will miss the Euros. On November 22, 2007, the day after the defeat to Croatia, England fired its football coach, Steve McClaren and his assistant Terry Venables, ostensibly as a direct consequence of its failure to qualify for Euro 2008.
  
  The England national rugby union team and England cricket team are often among the best performing in the world, with the rugby union team winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup (and finishing as runners-up in 2007), and the cricket team winning The Ashes in 2005, and being ranked the second best Test nation in the world. Rugby union clubs such as Leicester Tigers, London Wasps and the Northampton Saints have had success in the Europe-wide Heineken Cup. At rugby league, the England national rugby league team are to compete more regularly after 2006, when England will become a full test nation in lieu of the Great Britain national rugby league team, when that team is retired after the 2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations.
  
  Sport England is the governing body responsible for distributing funds and providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in England.
  
  The 2012 Summer Olympics are to be hosted by London, England. It will run from 26 July to 12 August 2012. London will become the first city to have hosted the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and 1948.
  
  Language
  
  Places in the world where English language is spoken. Countries are dark blue where English is an official language, de facto official language, or national language. Countries are light blue where it is an official, non-primary language or non-official primary language.
  Beowulf is one of the oldest surviving epic poems in what is identifiable as a form of the English language.As its name suggests, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue today (although not officially designated as such). An Indo-European language in the Anglo-Frisian branch of the Germanic family, it is closely related to Scots and the Frisian languages. As the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms merged into England, "Old English" emerged; some of its literature and poetry has survived.
  
  Used by aristocracy and commoners alike before the Norman Conquest (1066), English was displaced in cultured contexts under the new regime by the Norman French language of the new Anglo-Norman aristocracy. Its use was confined primarily to the lower social classes while official business was conducted in a mixture of Latin and French. Over the following centuries, however, English gradually came back into fashion among all classes and for all official business except certain traditional ceremonies, some of which survive to this day. Although, Middle English, as it had by now become, showed many signs of French influence, both in vocabulary and spelling. During the Renaissance, many words were coined from Latin and Greek origins; and more recent years, Modern English has extended this custom, willing to incorporate foreign-influenced words.
  
  It is most commonly accepted that—thanks in large part to the British Empire, and now the United States—the English language is now the world's unofficial lingua franca, while English common law is also the foundation of many legal systems throughout the English-speaking countries of the world. English language learning and teaching is an important economic sector, including language schools, tourism spending, and publishing houses.
  
  Additional languages
  UK legislation does not recognise any language as being official, but English is the only language used in England for general official business. The other national languages of the UK (Welsh, Irish, Scots and Scottish Gaelic) are confined to their respective nations, except Welsh to some degree.
  
  The only non-Anglic native spoken language in England is the Cornish language, a Celtic language spoken in Cornwall, which became extinct in the 19th century but has been revived and is spoken in various degrees of fluency, currently by about 2,000 people. This has no official status (unlike Welsh) and is not required for official use, but is nonetheless supported by national and local government under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Cornwall County Council has produced a draft strategy to develop these plans. There is, however, no programme as yet for public bodies to actively promote the language. Scots is spoken by some adjacent to the Anglo-Scottish Border, and Welsh is still spoken by some natives around Oswestry, Shropshire, on the Welsh border.
  
  Most deaf people within England speak British sign language (BSL), a sign language native to Britain. The British Deaf Association estimates that 250,000 people throughout the UK speak BSL as their first or preferred language, but does not give statistics specific to England. BSL is not an official language of the UK and most British government departments and hospitals have limited facilities for deaf people. The BBC broadcasts several of its programmes with BSL interpreters.
  
  Different languages from around the world, especially from the former British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nations, have been brought to England by immigrants. Many of these are widely spoken within ethnic minority communities, with Bengali, Hindi, Sinhala, Tamil, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Polish, Greek, Turkish and Cantonese being the most common languages that people living in Britain consider their first language. These are often used by official bodies to communicate with the relevant sections of the community, particularly in large cities, but this occurs on an "as needed" basis rather than as the result of specific legislative ordinances.
  
  Other languages have also traditionally been spoken by minority populations in England, including Romany.
  
  Despite the relatively small size of the nation, there are many distinct English regional accents. Those with particularly strong accents may not be easily understood elsewhere in the country. Use of foreign non-standard varieties of English (such as Caribbean English) is also increasingly widespread, mainly because of the effects of immigration.
  
  Religion
  
  Due to immigration in the past decades, there is an enormous diversity of religious belief in England, as well as a growing percentage that have no religious affiliation. Levels of attendance in various denominations have begun to decline[citation needed]. England is classed largely as a secular country even allowing for the following affiliation percentages : Christianity: 71.6%, Islam: 3.1%, Hindu: 1.1%, Sikh: 0.7%, Jewish: 0.5%, and Buddhist: 0.3%, No Faith: 22.3%. The EU Eurobarometer poll of 2005 shows that only 38% of people in the UK believe in a god, while 40% believe in "some sort of spirit or life force" and 20% do not believe in either.
  
  Christianity
  
  Stained glass from Rochester Cathedral in Kent, England, incorporating the Flag of EnglandChristianity reached England through missionaries from Scotland and from Continental Europe; the era of St. Augustine (the first Archbishop of Canterbury) and the Celtic Christian missionaries in the north (notably St. Aidan and St. Cuthbert). The Synod of Whitby in 664 ultimately led to the English Church being fully part of Roman Catholicism. Early English Christian documents surviving from this time include the 7th century illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels and the historical accounts written by the Venerable Bede. England has many early cathedrals, most notably York Minster (1080), Durham Cathedral (1093) and Salisbury Cathedral (1220), In 1536, the Church was split from Rome over the issue of the divorce of King Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon. The split led to the emergence of a separate ecclesiastical authority, and later the influence of the Reformation, resulting in the Church of England and Anglicanism. Unlike the other three constituent countries of the UK, the Church of England is an established church (although the Church of Scotland is a 'national church' recognised in law).
  
  Canterbury Cathedral is the mother church of the Church of England, a significant worldwide Christian denomination.The 16th century break with Rome under the reign of King Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries had major consequences for the Church (as well as for politics). The Church of England remains the largest Christian church in England; it is part of the Anglican Communion. Many of the Church of England's cathedrals and parish churches are historic buildings of significant architectural importance.
  
  Other major Christian Protestant denominations in England include the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church and the United Reformed Church. Smaller denominations, but not insignificant, include the Religious Society of Friends (the "Quakers") and the Salvation Army—both founded in England. There are also Afro-Caribbean Churches, especially in the London area.
  
  The Roman Catholic Church re-established a hierarchy in England in the 19th century. Attendances were considerably boosted by immigration, especially from Ireland and more recently Poland.
  
  The Church of England is still the official state church.
  
  Other religions
  Throughout the second half of the 20th century, immigration from many colonial countries, often from South Asia and the Middle East have resulted in a considerable growth in Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism in England. Cities and towns with large Muslim communities include Birmingham, Blackburn, Coventry, Bolton, Bradford, Leicester, London, Luton, Manchester, Oldham and Sheffield. Cities and towns with large Sikh communities include London, Slough, Staines, Hounslow, Southall, Reading, Ilford, Barking, Dagenham, Leicester, Leeds, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and others.
  
  The Jewish community in England is mainly in the Greater London area, particularly the north west suburbs such as Golders Green; although Manchester, Leeds and Gateshead also have significant Jewish communities.
  
  Education
  
  The chapel of King's College, Cambridge UniversityMain article: Education in England
  There is a long history of the promotion of education in England in schools, colleges and universities. England is home to the oldest existing schools in the English speaking world: The King's School, Canterbury and The King's School, Rochester, believed to be founded in the 6th and 7th century respectively. At least eight existing schools in England were founded in the first millennium. Most of these ancient institutions are fee-paying schools, however some state schools are also very old, most notably Beverley Grammar School founded in 700. Other notable English schools include Winchester College (founded 1382), Eton College (1440), St Paul's School (London) (1509), Tonbridge School (1553), Rugby School (1567), Harrow School (1572), Charterhouse School (1611), and Sherborne School, which was granted an official charter in 1550, but due to its attachment to Sherborne Abbey, which has been a place of scholarship since 705, it stakes a good claim to being among the oldest educational establishments in the country, and Radley College (1847). The oldest surviving girls' school in England is Red Maids' School founded in 1634. England is also home to the two oldest universities in the English speaking world: Oxford University (12th century) and Cambridge University (early 13th century). More than 90 universities are in England and many of these (most notably the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London) consist of autonomous colleges, many of which are world famous in their own right, for example University College, Oxford (founded 1249), Peterhouse, Cambridge (1284) Imperial College London and the London School of Economics (1895).
  
  The education system in England is run by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. The education is split into two main types; State schools funded through taxation and free to all, and private schools, which provide a paid-for education on top of taxes (also confusingly known as "Public" or "Independent" schools).
  
  The level of education in England is maintained by regular Government inspections of State run schools, and Ofsted inspections of private schools.
  
  Healthcare
  
  The NHS Logo for EnglandThe National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded healthcare system in England responsible for provided the majority of healthcare in the country. The NHS provides most services free at the point of use for the patient though there are charges associated with eye tests, dental care, prescriptions, and many aspects of personal care.
  
  The NHS began on 5 July 1948, putting into effect the provisions of the National Health Service Act 1946. (The Act originally set up the NHS in England and Wales but Wales was split off in the 1960s – see NHS Wales.)Private health care has continued parallel to the NHS, paid for largely by private insurance, but it is used by less than 8% of the population, and generally as a top-up to NHS services. Recently the private sector has been increasingly used to increase NHS capacity despite a large proportion of the public opposing such involvement.
  
  The NHS is largely funded from general taxation (including a proportion from National Insurance payments). The UK government department responsible for the NHS is the Department of Health, headed by the Secretary of State for Health (Health Secretary), who sits in the British Cabinet. Most of the expenditure of The Department of Health (£98.6 billion in 2008-9) is spent on the NHS.
  
  Transport
  
  Heathrow Airport is the world's busiest airport in terms of numbers of international passengersLondon Heathrow Airport is England's largest airport, the largest airport by traffic volume in Europe and one of the world's busiest airports, and London Gatwick Airport is England's second largest, followed by Manchester Airport. Other major airports include London Stansted Airport in Essex, about 50 kilometres (30 mi) north of London, Coventry Airport and Birmingham International Airport.
  
  The growth in private car ownership in the latter half of the 20th century led to major road-building programmes. Important trunk roads built include the A1 Great North Road from London to Newcastle and Edinburgh, and the A580 "East Lancs." road between Liverpool and Manchester. The M6 motorway is the country's longest motorway running from Rugby through North West England to the Scottish border. Other major roads include the M1 motorway from London to Leeds up the east of the country, the M25 motorway which encircles London, the M60 motorway which encircles Manchester, the M4 motorway from London to South Wales, the M62 motorway from Liverpool to Manchester and Yorkshire, and the M5 motorway from Birmingham to Bristol and the South West.
  
  Most of the British National Rail network of 16,116 route km (10,072 route miles) lies in England. Urban rail networks are also well developed in London and several other cities, including the Manchester Metrolink and the London Underground. The London Underground is the oldest and most extensive underground railway in the world, and as of 2007 consists of 407 km (253 mi) of line and serves 275 stations.
  
  There are around 7,100 km (4,400 mi) of navigable waterways in England, of which roughly half is owned by British Waterways. An estimated 165 million journeys are made by people on Britain's waterways annually. The Thames is the major waterway in England, with imports and exports focused at Tilbury, one of the three major ports in the UK. Ports in the UK handled over 560 million tonnes of domestic and international freight in 2005.
  
  The government department overseeing transport is the Department for Transport.
  
  People
  
  The ancestry of the English, considered as an ethnic group, is mixed; it can be traced to the mostly Celtic Romano-Britons, to the eponymous Anglo-Saxons, the Danish-Vikings that formed the Danelaw during the time of Alfred the Great and the Normans, among others. The 19th and 20th centuries, furthermore, brought much new immigration to England.
  
  Ethnicity aside, the simplest view is that an English person is someone who was born in England and holds British nationality, regardless of his or her racial origin. It has, however, been a notoriously complicated, emotive and controversial identity to delimit. Centuries of English dominance within the United Kingdom has created a situation where to be English is, as a linguist would put it, an "unmarked" state. The English frequently include themselves and their neighbours in the wider term of "British", while the Scots and Welsh tend to be more forward about referring to themselves by one of those more specific terms. This reflects a more subtle form of English-specific patriotism in England; St George's Day, the country's national day, is barely celebrated. The celebrations have increased year on year over the past five years.
  
  Modern celebration of English identity is often found around its sports, one field in which the British Home Nations often compete individually. The English Association football team, rugby union team and cricket team often cause increases in the popularity of celebrating Englishness.
  
  Nomenclature
  The country is named after the Angles, one of several Germanic tribes who settled the country in the fifth and sixth centuries. There are two distinct linguistic patterns for the name of the country.
  
  Most European languages use names similar to "England":
  
  "Anglie" (Czech)
  "Anglicko" (Slovak)
  "England" (Danish, German, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Luxembourgish)
  "Engeland" (Dutch)
  "Inglismaa" (Estonian)
  "Angleterre" (French)
  "Англия" (Angliya) (Russian, Bulgarian)
  "Anglaterra" (Catalan)
  "Inghilterra" (Italian)
  "Ingilterra" (Maltese, Egyptian)
  "Inglaterra" (Spanish, Portuguese, Galician)
  "İngiltere" (Turkish)
  "Anglia" (Latin, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Albanian)
  "Anglija" (Slovene, Lithuanian, Latvian, Ukrainian)
  "Engleska" (Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian)
  "Αγγλία" ("Aglía") (Greek)
  "Englanti" (Finnish)
  "Ingalaterra" (Basque)
  "ინგლისი" ("inglisi") (Georgian)
   The Celtic names are quite different, referring to the Saxons, another family of Germanic tribes that arrived at about the same time as the Angles.
  
  "Bro-Saoz" (Breton)
  "Pow Sows" (Cornish)
  "Sasana" (Irish)
  "Sostyn" (Manx)
  "Sasainn" (Scottish Gaelic)
  "Lloegr" (Welsh), an ancient geographic term and not Saxon-related; but the inhabitants are referred to as "Saeson".
  The names in Asian languages:
  
  "إنجلترا" (Ingiltra) or "إنكلترا" (Inkiltra) (Arabic)
  "ইংল্যান্ড" (Ingland) (Bangla)
  "انگلستان" (Inglistan) (Hindi, Persian)
  "אנגליה" (Anglia) (Hebrew)
  "イングランド" (Ingurando) (Japanese)
  "Engalaantha" (Sri Lankans (Sinhalese))
  "இங்கிலாந்து" (In-gi-laan-dhu) (Tamil)
  "Anh Quôc" (Vietnamese)
  "Inggris" (Indonesian)
  "อังกฤษ" (Ang-grit) (Thai)
  "英格蘭" (Yīnggélán) (Chinese)
  "잉글랜드" (Ing-geul-laen-deu) (Korean)
  "eng-ge-re-ji" ( Punjabi languages )
  "英倫" (Ying-lun)(Cantonese)
  Names in other languages:
  
  "Uingereza"(Ou-I-ng'e-re-za) (Swahili)
  
  Alternative names include:
  
  The slang "Blighty", from the Hindustani "bila yati" meaning "foreign" (which coincidentally resembles "Britain")
  "Albion", an ancient name, supposedly referring to the white (Latin alba) cliffs of Dover. Although it refers to the whole island of Great Britain, it is occasionally, and incorrectly, used for England. Following the Roman conquest of Britain, the term contracted to mean only the area north of Roman control and is today a relative of Alba, the Celtic languages name for Scotland.
  More poetically, England has been called "this sceptred isle...this other Eden" and "this green and pleasant land", quotations respectively from the poetry of William Shakespeare (in Richard II) and William Blake (And did those feet in ancient time).
  Slang terms sometimes used for the people of England include "Sassenachs" or "Sasanachs" (from the Scots Gaelic and Irish Gaelic respectively, both originally meaning "Saxon", and originally a Scottish Highland term for Lowland Scots), "Limeys" (in reference to the citrus fruits carried aboard English sailing vessels to prevent scurvy) and "Pom/Pommy" (used in Australian English and New Zealand English), but these may be perceived as offensive. Also see alternative words for British.
  
  
  National symbols, insignia and anthems
  The two main traditional symbols of England are the St George's Cross (the English flag), and the Three Lions coat of arms.
  
  Other national symbols exist, but have varying degrees of official usage, such as the oak tree and the rose.
  
  England's National Day is St George's Day (Saint George being the patron saint), which is on 23 April.
  
  A one-pound coin with an English oak tree
  
  A one-pound coin with the three lions of England
  
  Saint George and the Dragon, Paolo Uccello, c. 1470. This small dragon has the look of a griffin or a wyvern.
  
  The English rose at the border of Wales and England
  
  St George's Cross
  
  The St George's Cross is a red cross on a white background and is the national flag of England.
  
  It is believed to have been adopted for the uniform of English soldiers during the Crusades of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. From about 1277 it became the national flag of England. St George's Cross was originally the flag of Genoa and was adopted by England and the City of London in 1190 for their ships entering the Mediterranean to benefit from the protection of the powerful Genoese fleet. The maritime Republic of Genoa was rising and going to become, with its rival Venice, one of the most important powers in the world. The English Monarch paid an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this privilege. The cross of St George would become the official Flag of England.
  
  A red cross acted as a symbol for many Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. It became associated with St George and England, along with other countries and cities (such as Georgia, Milan and the Republic of Genoa), which claimed him as their patron saint and used his cross as a banner. It remained in national use until 1707, when the Union Flag (also known as the Union Jack, especially at sea) which English and Scottish ships had used at sea since 1606, was adopted for all purposes to unite the whole of Great Britain under a common flag. The flag of England no longer has much of an official role, but it is widely flown by Church of England properties and at sporting events.
  
  Until recently, the flag was not commonly flown in England with the British Union Flag being used instead. This was certainly evident at the 1966 football World Cup when English fans predominantly flew the latter. However, since devolution in the United Kingdom, the St George Cross has experienced a growth in popularity and is now the predominant flag used in English sporting events.
  
  Three Lions
  
  The arms of England are gules, three lions passant guardant or; the earliest surviving record of their use was by Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) in the late 12th century.
  
  Since union with Scotland and Northern Ireland, the arms of England are no longer used on their own; instead they form a part of the conjoined Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. However, both the Football Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board use logos based on the three lions. In recent years, it has been common to see banners of the arms flown at English football matches, in the same way the Lion Rampant is flown in Scotland.
  
  In 1996, Three Lions was the official song of the England football team for the 1996 European Football Championship, which were held in England.
  
  Rose
  The Tudor rose is the national floral emblem of England, and was adopted as a national emblem of England around the time of the Wars of the Roses.
  
  The rose is used in a variety of contexts in its use for England's representation. The Rose of England is a Royal Badge, and is a Tudor, or half-red-half-white rose, symbolising the end of the Wars of the Roses and the subsequent marriage between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. This symbolism is reflected in the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom and the crest of the FA. However, the rose of England is often displayed as a red rose (which also symbolises Lancashire), such as the badge of the England national rugby union team. A white rose (which also symbolises Yorkshire) is also used on different occasions.
  
  Anthem
  England does not have an official designated national anthem, as the United Kingdom as a whole has "God Save the Queen". However, the following are often considered unofficial English national anthems:
  
  "I Vow to Thee, My Country"
  "Land of Hope and Glory"
  "Nimrod"
  "Jerusalem"
  "Heart of Oak"
  "God Save the Queen" is usually played for English sporting events, such as football matches, against teams from outside the UK, although "Land of Hope and Glory" was used as the English anthem for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Since 2004, "Jerusalem" has been sung before England cricket matches, and "Rule Britannia" (Britannia being the Roman name for Great Britain, a personification of the United Kingdom) was often used in the past for the English national football team when they played against another of the home nations but more recently "God Save the Queen" has been used by the rugby union and football teams.
  
  Gallery
  
  Durham Cathedral
  
  Tower of London, London.
  
  The Palace of Westminster – the political centre of the United Kingdom.
  
  Stonehenge – a Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monument in Wiltshire.
  
  Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol.
 

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