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The most important English-speaking countries

The United Kingdom of Great Britain

Great Britain is the official name given to the two kingdoms of England and Scotland, and the principality of Wales. It is an island lying off the western coast of Europe, comprising the main territory of the United Kingdom.

Great Britain is made up of:

  • England - The capital is London.
  • Scotland - The capital is Edinburgh.
  • Wales - The capital is Cardiff.

Great Britain is divided into small regions called counties.

The UK includes Great Britain AND Northern Ireland

The term Great Britain was first used during the reign of King James I of England (James VI of Scotland) in 1603, to refer to the separate kingdoms of England and Scotland on the same landmass, that were ruled over by the same monarch. Despite having the same monarch, both kingdoms kept their own parliaments.

United Kingdom (The uniting of kingdoms)

The 'United Kingdom of Great Britain' was formed in 1707 by the Act of Union that created a single kingdom with a single Parliament. (Scotland has always retained its own legal system)

A hundred years later the Act of Union of 1801 joined Ireland to 'Great Britain' and the name "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" was first used. (Since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United Kingdom and so the name changed).

Capital City : London is the capital of the UK and of England. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. Cardiff is the capital of Wales. Highest mountain:

Ben Nevis in Scotland, at 1,343m (4,406 ft) above sea level.

Lowest Point:

The lowest point in the UK is the Fenlands, which is 4 m below sea level.

Longest river:

The Severn, 322 km long, which rises in central Wales and flows through Shrewsbury, Worcester and Gloucester in England to the Bristol Channel


England is the biggest country in the UK

England is a country in the UK and occupies most of the southern two thirds of Great Britain. The total area of England is 130,410 sq km (50, 352 sq mi).

England used to be known as Engla land, meaning the land of the Angles, people from continental Germany, who began to invade Britain in the late 5th century, along with the Saxons and Jute.

England contains about 84% of the UK population.

The capital of the UK is in England

The capital, seat of government, and the largest city in the United Kingdom is London.

London is also is the capital of England.

All of Great Britain has been ruled by the UK government in London since 1707. (In 1999 the first elections to the newly created Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales took place leaving England as the only part of the Great Britain with no devolved assembly or parliament.)

The English language comes from England

As it names suggest, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language from England, where it remains the principal tongue today.

English is the official language of the UK and the first language of the vast majority of the population. Both Wales and Scotland land have their own languages but English is spoken in both countries more.

The British Royal family live in England

The Royal family live in London.

Flag : Cross of St George

National Day: 23 April

Currency: Pound Sterling

Tallest Building: 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf (London), 245 metres (800 feet) high


Scotland is the northern section of the United Kingdom

Scotland can be divided into 3 areas ....

The Upper Lowlands This is the area that lies just north of the UK/Scotland border. This is an agricultural region and has some beautiful rolling hills and greenery.

The Central Lowlands This area is the most industrial, urban, and populated, region containing the big urban cities of both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The Highlands & Islands This region covers about 50% of Scotlands' landmass and has the wildest and most dramatic scenery. Towering peaks, cold deep lochs, and windswept islands make this area unforgettable. There are almost 800 (790 to be exact) Scottish islands, and only 130 are still inhabited by man.

There are only 6 officially recognized cities in Scotland - Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, but Glasgow is bigger in terms of population

Scotland is home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of St. Andrews, which was founded in 1410

The highest point in Scotland is the mountain peak of Ben Nevis. It's actually the highest peak in the UK at 4,418 ft.

The longest river in Scotland is the River Tay, at 120 miles in length

Scottish Symbols

National Symbol .......... The Scottish Thistle

National Motto .......... 'In My Defens God Me Defend' (or often shortened to read simply 'In Defens') Seen on Scotlands' Royal Coat of Arms

National Flag .......... The Saltire (diagonal white cross on blue background)

Unofficial Scottish Flag ..... The Lion Rampant (red 'rampant lion' on gold background)

Popular Anthem ......... Scotland doesn't have an 'official' national anthem, but the 'Flower of Scotland' is the most popular choice

National Instrument ..... Bagpipes

Patron Saint ............ St. Andrew. Said to be one of the Jesus' orginal Apostles.

National Poet ........... Robert ('Rabbie') Burns, 1759 - 1796

Official Animal ......... The Unicorn of Scotland

Scottish National Dress ................... Traditional Scottish Kilts. Gaelic in origin

Tartan .................. The checkered (or 'plaid') fabric used to make traditional Scottish clothing such as Scottish kilts

The Gaelic name for Scotland is 'Alba'


Wales (Cymru in Welsh) is a mountainous country on the western side of Great Britain, and is bordered by England to the east, the Bristol Channel to the south, St George's Channel in the west, and the Irish Sea to the north.

Technically, Wales is a principality. This means that it is ruled by a prince. Traditionally the Prince of Wales is the eldest son of the English monarch.

Wales is one of the four parts of the United Kingdom (along with England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland).

Wales has not been politically independent since 1282, when it was conquered by King Edward I of England. Until 1999, Wales was ruled directly from London; that year saw the first elections to the National Assembly of Wales, which has limited domestic powers and cannot make law. Wales does not issue its own currency and is not in control of any armed forces. These are the powers of the national government of the UK.

The national game of Wales is Rugby

National Day: 1 March
Capital City: Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Major Cities: Cardiff, Swansea and Newport
Official Language: English and Welsh
Nationality : Welsh and British Find out more
Anthem (Song): Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land Of My Fathers)
Currency: Pound Sterling (£)
Highest point: Snowdon 1085 metres (3559 ft)
Longest river: Towy (Tywi) 103 km (64 miles)
Largest Lake: Bala (4.4 sq km)
Official Animal Dragon

Traditional Welsh Food

Welsh food is usually made from local ingredients. Some traditional dishes include laverbread (made from seaweed), bara brith (fruit cake), cawl cennin (leek stew), Welsh cakes, Welsh Rarebit, and Welsh lamb. A type of shellfish, cockles, is often served with breakfast.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland lies in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering 5,459 square miles (14,139 km²), about a sixth of the island's total area.

Northern Ireland is the second most sparsely populated part of the UK after Scotland, with 317 people per square mile (122 per square kilometre).

History Northern Ireland

In 1801 the whole of Ireland became part of the United Kingdom, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

After years of civil war, Ireland became a republic in 1921. At this time, Britain negotiated with Ireland to keep the six counties in the north-east of Ireland. These six counties now make up what is known as Northern Ireland or Ulster. The southern part of the island is the Republic of Ireland, or Eire.

1927 - The current name of the UK, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted

Famous People of Northern Ireland

C S Lewis 1898-1963 Writer

Kenneth Branagh 1960- Actor and film director

James Nesbitt 1965- Actor

William Burke 1792-1829 Grave robber and murderer

George Best 1946-2005 Footballer

James Galway 1939- Musician

Northern Ireland is famous for ...

The Giant's Causeway

The Giant's Causeway, situated on the North East coast of Northern Ireland, is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

Most of the basalt columns are hexagonal in shape.

Interesting Fact

HMS Titanic ship was built in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.

National Day: 17 March St Patrick's Day
Capital City: Belfast
Major Cities: Belfast, Londonderry, Lisburn, Newtonabbey, Bangor, Craigavon
Official Language: English, Irish and Ulster Scots
Nationality : British and Irish
Main religions: Protestant and Catholic
Currency: Pound Sterling (£)
Highest point: Slieve Donard mountain 848 m (2782 ft),
Longest river: River Bann 129 kilometres (80 miles)
Largest Lake: Lough Neagh - 151 square miles (392 km²) Also the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles


The name ‘Australia’ comes from the Latin word ‘australis’, meaning southern. Australia, the smallest inhabited continent of the seven continents can also be considered the largest island in the world. In fact it is an island continent.

The country is divided into six states (Southern Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania) and two self-governing territories: Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory (which is around Canberra, the capital city).

The main cities in Australia are:

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra (capital city)

The highest mountain of Australia is:

Mount Kosciuszko with 2.228metres or 7,310ft.

Ayers Rock

also called 'Uluru' which is in the centre of the country is the largest alone standing rock in the world.

The Great Barrier Reef

in Eastern Australia is the biggest coral reef in the world. The reef consists of more than 3,000 reefs in which live more than 350 species of corals and over 1,500 species of fish.

Did you know?

  • Two thirds of the country consist of desert landscape which is referred to as 'outback'
  • Aborigines make up 2% of Australia's population today. The 'aborigines' are the indigenous Australians who originally settled on the continent and are said to have migrated there from the Australasian continent over 60,000 years ago.
  • Today aborigines live in all main centres but most of them still live in the desert areas of the Australian outback.

The 'outback'

is the vast, dry and remote inland parts of the Australian continent. Some aboriginal people live still in the sacred area around Ayres Rock, a huge rock formation in the centre of the continent. The aborigines call this sacred mountain 'Uluru'. They also settle in the Northern Territory in Kakadu National Park, which they call 'Arnhem Land', the land of their ancestors.

Australian animals are a fascinating group that includes some of the most unusual creatures on Earth.Approximately 90% of the animals native to Australia are found nowhere else, including the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat. On the roadsigns, you can see a wombat and a kangaroo. Both animals are marsupials, which means, they carry their babies in their pouch. Wombats have sharp teeth, but are herbivores that means they eat grasses, bark and roots. They mainly are night-active, but can also be seen out looking for food on cool and overcast days. Kangaroo meat can be purchased from the supermarket, butcher and available on restaurant menus as a leaner and healthier alternative to beef or lamb with a 1-2 percent fat content.

Koalas are actually not bears, but marsupials! They live in Australia and eat eucalyptus leaves (gum leaves)- which are low in nutrition, high in fiber, and high in water (so koalas don’t need to drink). They are in danger because the forests- their home and food source- are shrinking.


is in Northern America and shares borders with the United States of America. Canada and the USA actually share the longest international border in the world. It is 8,891km/5,525miles long.

The longest part of the border is shared with the US state of Alaska and is more than 2,475km/1,538miles long.

The Geography of Canada

Canada is the second biggest country in the world, after Russia - measured by total area!

Canada is a sparsely populated country, most of the people live close to the US-Canada border where the main urban areas such as Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec are.

Canada's longest river is

the McKenzie River in the North West. The river is 2,635miles or 4,241km long.

The highest mountain in Canada is

with 19,551ft or 5,959m the Mount Logan in the Yukon Territory at the border with Alaska.

Canada has the largest waterfalls by water volume. These are the Niagara Falls.

Attractions in Canada


in the West of the country is great for outdoor sports. The Winter Olympics in 2010 took place in and around Vancouver/British Columbia. In the city, great attractions for children are the Maritime and the Science museums as well as the fantastic Grouse Mountain Skyride or doing the cliff walk and crossing the Capilano River over the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Niagara Falls:

One of Canada's biggest tourist attractions, they were formed in the last Ice Age. The Niagara Falls are the largest waterfalls in Canada by volume of water.


The CN Tower and the Roger's Center are great attractions in this city at the shores of Lake Ontario. Roger's Center is a huge stadium with the world's first retractable roof.

Canadian people

The Canadian people are called Canadians. Most of the Canadian families have roots in England and France, as during the French and British colonised the country and thus many families from 'the old world' immigrated into Canada.

Canada has two official languages:

English and French. Almost half of the population can speak both languages. The majority of Canadians speak English as first language, but French is the main language in the Quebec province. In Quebec also almost half of the population is bilingual, which means that they are able to speak both languages fluently.

The Inuits

The indigenous people in northern Canada are called 'Inuit'. Inuits, which were called 'eskimo' previously but this name is not acceptable and pejorative. Today, only 5 in 100 Canadians refer to themselves as 'Inuit'.

The inuit live today in modern houses but still build igloos, especially when hunting. The inuit children go to the community's schools, but there are no universities in the North. So if the children decide to go on studying, they have to leave their communities and move to university cities. In the Inuit language, writing text was only begun in the 19th century before they mainly used symbols for writing.

The History of Canada

The first people to come to Canada arrived between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago across a land bridge that joined Asia and North America. Around A.D. 1000, the Viking explorer Leif Eriksson reached Newfoundland, Canada. He tried to establish a settlement, but it didn't last.

In the 16th century, French and British settlers arrived. Land disputes between farmers and fur traders led to four wars between 1689 and 1763. The final war, called the French and Indian War, left the British in control of Canada, but French influence remains strong even today.

In 1867, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick combined to form a dominion with its own government, parliament, and prime minister. Manitoba joined soon after. In 1931, Canada became an independent nation.

The Nature of Canada

Canada's remote north and extensive forests are home to wildlife, from bears, wolves, beavers, deer, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep to smaller animals like raccoons, otters, and rabbits. The country's lakes and rivers, which contain about 20 percent of all fresh water on Earth, are full of fish such as trout and salmon.

Canada's prairies in the south are home to bison and pronghorn antelope. Farther north are Canada's sprawling evergreen forests, which have lots of wildlife, including moose and black bears. Even farther north is the cold, bare tundra, where herds of caribou and musk ox live.

Canadians work hard to protect the native wildlife. Canada has 41 national parks and three marine conservation areas. Nevertheless, species like wolves, lynx, and Atlantic fish have been overhunted and overfished.


Its location

The United States of America is located on the continent of North America. There are 50 states in the U.S. Forty-eight of the states form the contiguous United States. The U.S. borders on Canada to the north, and Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. On the east coast, the U.S. is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west coast it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean.

To the northwest of Canada is the state of Alaska. The state of Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean, southwest of California.

In addition to the 50 states, the U.S. has several territories and possessions, located in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Capital: Washington, D.C.

Independence Day:

July 4, 1776


In God We Trust

National Bird:

Bald Eagle

National Flower:


National Anthem:

The Star-Spangled Banner

Largest State:


Smallest State:

Rhode Island

Largest Cities:

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix, San Antonio


Rocky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains


Mississippi, Missouri, Colorado

The most influential US presidents

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. Franklin Roosevelt
  3. George Washington: the first president
  4. Thomas Jefferson
  5. Andrew Jackson
  6. Theodore Roosevelt
  7. Harry Truman
  8. Dwight Eisenhower


Native American peoples played a variety of ball games including some that may be viewed as earlier forms of lacrosse. But today's ball games arose from children's bat-ball and foot-ball games that were brought to America by the first settlers that arrived from Europe in the 17th century. These games were re-fashioned and elaborated in the course of the 19th century and eventually became the typical American sports of baseball, basketball and football. In their current forms these are the most popular sports in the United States. Of course, Americans engage in many other athletic activities as well, but these games still occupy a special place in the American sports scene.

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