United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern IrelandTimeline: Scotland says "Yes"
OTL equivalent: United Kingdom
God Save the Queen
Location of the United Kingdom (dark green)
– in Europe (green & dark grey)– in the European Union (green)
(and largest city)
|Other cities||Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol|
|Regional languages||Welsh, Cornish, Irish|
|Ethnic groups (2011)||87.1% White
7.0% Asian 3.0% Black 2.0% Mixed0.9% Others
|Demonym||British - Briton|
|Government||Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Ed Miliband|
|-||Deputy Prime Minister||Nick Clegg|
|-||Upper house||House of Lords|
|-||Lower house||House of Commons|
|-||Acts of Union||1 May 1707|
|-||Scottish Independence||5th May 2015|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
|-||Total||2.660 Trillion (10th)|
|-||Per capita||40,958 (28th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
|-||Total||2.865 Trillion (5th)|
|-||Per capita||44,118 (19th)|
|Gini (2014)||31.6 (Medium) (33rd)|
|HDI (2014)||0.907 (very high) (14th)|
|Time zone||GMT (UTC) (UTCUTC+1)|
|Drives on the||Left|
|Patron saint||Saint George|
The United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland is a sovereign nation located in the Isles of the North Atlantic, in North West Europe. It is a unitary state and shares land borders with the Commonwealth of Scotland, which recently gained independence in 2015, and the Republic of Ireland.
Settlement by modern humans in the British Isles began in waves starting around 30,000 years ago; by the end of the prehistoric period, the population belonged to the Insular Celtic culture, comprising Brythonic Britain and Gaelic Ireland.
In 43 AD the Romans invaded southern Britain and within X years, they had conquered England and Wales. The Roman Empire ruled for 400 years but decided to withdraw in the 5th century to protect Rome and its surrounding areas. After the withdrawal, Germanic settlers migrated to England, hence the origins of the English language. Viking raids and invasions were common before the unified Kingdom of England by Wessex in the 10th Century. Meanwhile, Gaelic speakers in north west Britain united with the Picts to create Scotland in the 9th century.
In 1066 England was invaded by the Kingdom of Normandy (led by William I) which brought great French influence to the British Isles, though slowly assimilating with the local cultures. The next few hundred years brought conflict as England conquered Wales and attempted to invade Scotland and France.
Often at odds with the Catholic Church, the reformation saw the introduction of Protestant state churches in each country. The Principality of Wales was integrated into the Kingdom of England and Ireland formed personal union with England. In 1603 the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were united under a common king, James VI, who inherited both crowns and moved the court to London, though each kingdom remained separate.
After a brief civil war and interregnum, in 1707 the Acts of Union were passed, uniting the Kingdoms of England and Scotland as the Kingdom of Great Britain. However, by no means was the new kingdom stable. A series of Jacobite Uprisings aimed to reverse the Protestant Hanoverian Succession and place a Catholic Stuart as King. In addition, the British 13 Colonies of America declared independence in 1776, causing Britain to turn its attention towards India and Australia for colonial territories.
During the 18th century, British ships transported an estimated two million slaves from Africa to the Americas before banning the trade in 1807 which led to the banning slavery overall in 1833, pressing other nations to do likewise through Anti-Slavery International.
Ties within the kingdom were further tightened with the Acts of Union 1801 uniting the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Industrial Revolution transformed Britain: the political power shift from the Whig to the Tory, landowning classes towards the industrialists and alliances leading to the creation of the Liberal Party. The Great Reform Act transferred power from the aristocracy to the middle classes, as enclosure of land and urbanisation began.
France was left 2nd to England in the aftermath of two devestaing wars: Seven Years War and the Napoleonic Wars. The UK was the largest naval and imperial power, London being the largest city around 1830, leading to a period known as Pax Britannica, when the British Empire adopted the role of 'Global Policeman'.
Over the remainder of the century and beginning of the 20th century social change continued. This included home rule for Ireland and Universal Male Suffrage, with the foundation of the Labour Party in 1900. This century brought conflict again, first with Britain, France, Russia (1914-1917) and the US (1917-1918) against Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire in World War I (1914-18), engaging throughout the Empire and Europe. After the war the League of Nations was formed and the UK received LoN mandate over a number of former German and Ottoman colonies, the Empire reaching its greatest extent of one-fifth of the world's land surface and quarter of its population, despite a huge national debt and 2.5 million casualties.
Nationalism lead to the partition of Ireland in 1921, as the American Great Depression hit Britain and much of the world, with a coalition government formed in 1931. The rise of the German Reich and occupation of many central European nations by Germany lead to the Second World War, with Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister in 1940 after the fall of Norway. The UK gained hard-fought victories in the Atlantic, North Africa and Burma campaigns and played a major role in the Normandy Landings alongside the US and the commonwealth.
In the aftermath of World War II in 1945 the UK supposedly became one of the Big Five powers (the USSR, UK, USA, France and China), who met to plan a post-war world. Britain played a significant in the formation of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Despite its continued presence in the world, the world wars had left the UK severely weakened and dependent on US-Aid. Immediately after the war, the Labour government initiated many radical reforms, including mass nationalisation, and the introduction of the Welfare State.
The economic state and rise of nationalism also lead to an unavoidable decolonisation, with independence granted to India and Pakistan in 1947, with most other colonies of the empire leaving within the next three decades. Many of them became members of the Commonwealth, where Queen Elizabeth II is seen as the leader. Britain's global status, despite becoming the third country to develop nuclear weapons, was further diminished with the Suez Crisis of 1956, when the UK and France were forced to retreat from the Sinai and Suez.
Further illustrating the changing nation, the UK government encouraged immigration from Commonwealth countries in the 1950's to reduce shortages of workers. This resulted in the UK became a far more multi-ethnic society, with rising living standards and economic performance. Despite this, European integration was on the way, with the foundation of the EU in 1992.
From the later 1960's Northern Ireland suffered communal and paramilitary violence, occasionally affecting the mainland UK, known as The Troubles. Despite some occasional unrest, the Troubles are considered to have ended with the Belfast "Good Friday" Agreement of 1998.
The 1970's saw wide economic and industrial slowdown, leading to the election of the Thatcherite Conservative Government of the 1980's, in which Thatcher initiated many radical policies, including regularisation of the financial sector and sale of state-owned companies. While resulting in high unemployment and social unrest, economic growth was ultimately achieved.
The end of the 20th century saw major changes to UK Governance including devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and rising roles in the EU, NATO and UN, though overseas military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq were, and remain to be, controversial. The 2008 global financial crisis severely affected the UK economy, with the coalition government of 2010 introducing austerity.
On the 19th September 2014, the result of the Referendum on Scottish Independence came out as an overwhelming "Yes". While in Scotland there were mass celebrations, in London share and stock prices started to plummet. Indeed, while international leaders start to congratulate Scotland, over the next few days many TNC's start to announce movements from Scotland to London, and Tory back-benchers started to call for Cameron's resignation. The Northern Isles also called for a second referendum on their status.
On the 22nd September Scottish and UK representatives started to meet in London to discuss the separation of the nation. That same day David Cameron announced his resignation as Tory leader, with George Osbourne, Theresa May and various other figures announcing their candidacy the next day. To the surprise of many, Boris Johnson did not run for candidacy.
On the 17th October Parliament voted to use a new design of the Union Flag incorporating the Welsh flag, but also to allow the continued usage of the old Union Flag (up to the discretion of the building it is being flown on). While there were praises for the flag, especially from Plaid Cymru for the inclusion of the Welsh colours, many people still support the old Union Flag, which "generations of servicemen died under".
The UK occupies the most southern two-thirds of the Island of Great Britain as well as Northern Ireland.
The United Kingdom is temperature, with plentiful rainfall. The temperature generally stays within −11 °C (12 °F) AND 35 °C (95 °F). Atlantic currents warmed by the Gulf Stream bring mild winters, whilst heavy snowfall can occur during winter.
There is no standard system in the United Kingdom, as each country (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) of the United Kingdom developed their own separate governments prior to the UK's formation.
The United Kingdom has sovereignty over 18 territories which are not part of the UK itself: 14 British Overseas Territories and four Crown dependencies. These are the remnants of the British Empire which chose to remain British territories.
The Crown dependencies are possessions of the Crown, as opposed to the Overseas Territories. Recently, after Scotland left the United Kingdom, the Orkney and Shetland Islands elected to become a Crown dependency.