A. PHYSICAL FEATURES
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a part of that group of islands, described geographically as the British Isles. It lies off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The main lands of England, Scotland and Wales form the largest island and are known politically as Great Britain. Northern Ireland shares the 2nd largest island with the Republic of Ireland (Eire), which is politically independent and not a part of the UK. Some smaller islands are also included in the British Isles.
The British Isles has attracted settlers throughout most of their history. There is no accurate picture of what the early settlement of Britain was actually like. The earliest human bones found (1994) in Britain are 500,000 years old. The 1st inhabitants were Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) nomads from Europe. Later, between 8300 and 2000 B.C., immigrants came from Europe and Mediterranean regions in New Stone Age (Mesolithic and Neolithic). The main origin lands were England, Scotland, Welsh and Ireland, from where immigrants now settled in Britain have national identities. But there are immigrant’s minorities with their respective cultures who came and made UK their homeland. Even the English language, they say, is a mixture of Germanic, Romanic and other world languages.
ENGLAND: England, with a population of 48,208,000 consists largely of undulating or flat lowland countryside, with some upland areas in the north and southwest. There are low hill ranges stretching all over the country. In the east, are the low-lying flat lands.
The upland zones are marked by Cheviot hills, which lie (between England and Scotland. It heaviest population concentrations center on the large towns and cities, namely London, England, West Midland regions around Birmingham, the Yorkshire cities of Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield, Liverpool and Manchester, and not to forget, Newcastle and Sunderland.
WALES: Another important country of the British Civilization is Wales.
It is a
mainland, with long stretches of moorland plateau, hills and mountains, which are of the broken by deep valleys. Cambrian mountains are also known as the Welsh Massif, though the highest mountains are in Snowdownia. Chief urban places are the Capital Cardiff, Swansa, and Newport. In the past, the highland nature of Wales has hindered conquest, agriculture and settlement of people.
SCOTLAND: Having a population of 5,107,000, it may be divided in 3 main areas. The 1st is Northwest and Central highlands, together with islands. Though thinly populated, they comprise half of the country’s landmass. 2nd is central lowland, which comprises of ¾ of Scottish population, mostly industrial and commercial. The 3rd if Southern uplands, which consists of a number of hill ranges.
Main commercial cities are its capital Edinburgh, Glasglow (an industrial and commercial city), Aberdeen (an oil industry city) and Dundee.
Its climate, isolation and harsh physical conditions have made conquest, agriculture and settlement difficult.
NORTHERN IRELAND: Northern Island has a population of 1,594,000. It has a northeastern tip, which is 13 miles from the Scottish coast. This fact has encouraged migration in the past, mostly Irish and Scottish. It has a rocky coastline, fertile plains and mountains.
The chief cities and towns are its capital Belfast. It is situated in the valley and at the mouth of the river Lagan. It has a sparse and scattered population, mainly rural. The central plain is good for agriculture harvest.