akj53in Posted November 9, 2008 Report Share Posted November 9, 2008 The United Kingdomon> or Britainon>, is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. It is an island country, spanning the island of Great Britain, the northeast part of the island of Ireland, and many small islands. Northern Irelandon> is the only part of the UKon> with a land border, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UKon> is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britainon>, is linked to Franceon> by the Channel Tunnel. The United Kingdomon> is a unitary state consisting of four countries: Englandon>, Northern Irelandon>, Scotlandon> and Waleson>. It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in London, the capital, but with three devolved national administrations in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, the capitals of Northern Irelandon>, Waleson> and Scotlandon> respectively. The UKon> is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are Crown Dependencies and not part of the UKon>, but form a federacy with it. The UKon> has fourteen overseas territories, all remnants of the British Empire, which at its height encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface, the largest empire in history. British influence can continue to be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies. Queen Elizabeth II remains the head of the Commonwealth of Nations and head of state of each of the Commonwealth realms. (Indiaon> is not part of Commonwealth nations). The UKon> is a developed country, with the fifth (nominal GDP) or sixth (PPP) largest economy in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom#cite_note-19#cite_note-19' target="_blank"> but the economic cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. The UKon> nevertheless remains a major power with strong economic, cultural, military and political influence and is a nuclear power, with the second highest defence spending in the world. It is a Member State of the European Union, holds a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and is a member of the G8, NATO, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization and the Commonwealth of Nations. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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