Missouri Southern State University’s 20th annual themed semester focuses on Great Britain, consisting of England, Scotland, and Wales. (The term “United Kingdom” refers to Great Britain plus Northern Ireland.) Great Britain occupies the ninth largest island in the world with an area of about 80,000 square miles or roughly the size of Kansas. With a population of approximately 62 million, Great Britain is the world’s third most populous island after Java (Indonesia) and Honshu (Japan).
Great Britain’s importance is indisputable. It has the world’s fifth biggest economy, is a nuclear power, and holds a permanent seat on the United Nations’ Security Council. It has vibrant cities, scenic beauty, magnificent cathedrals, museums, and castles, and two prestigious universities – Cambridge and Oxford. Last year London’s Heathrow was the world’s sixth busiest airport.
Britain has produced extraordinary contributions to global civilization. Consider these 20 examples:
The United Kingdom is a country that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Its official name is “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are often mistaken as names of countries, but they are only a part of the United Kingdom.
The British Isles is another term altogether and encompasses Great Britain, the island of Ireland, and several other smaller islands, such as the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man is not a part of the United Kingdom or the European Union, even though its Lord is the Monarch of the United Kingdom.
The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of countries that were formerly British colonies. Members of the Commonwealth of Nations recognize the United Kingdom Monarch as their own king or queen, but remain politically independent.
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