Map of United Kingdom

Map of UK

Brief history of UK

Multicultural birth - Celts, Saxons, Romans

 

1583 - 1997: British Empire the largest in history

Envious of the wealth gathered by Portugal and Spain during the 15th and 16th century (referred to as the 'Age of Discovery/Exploration'), England, France and Netherland began establishing their own colonies around Americas, Africa and Asia. The defeat of French Napoleonic Empire in 1815, which was the dominant power in Europe during 19th century, ensured England remained unchallenged for over a century. Their dominance in the sea, the major form of transport in those days, made Britain adopt the role of global policeman, referred to as 'Pax Britannica' (literally 'the British Peace').

Private companies, most notably the British Eas India Company, were established to administer colonies and trade overseas. They used the 'divide and conquer' rule, where a nation would be split into factions, to capture much of the land. The 'slave trade' (where Britain brutally transported 3.5 million African 'slaves' to the Americas) and 'British Raj' (ruling Indian sub-continent) are two major examples of this strategy in action.

By 1922 the British Empire ruled over about 458 million people, one-quarter of the world's population at the time, and covered more than 33 million km2, almost a quarter of the Earth's total land area. In every continent there was a country that was ruled by the British Empire so much so that the phrase "the sun never sets on the British Empire" was often recited to descibe the dominance.

However, with the growth of Germany and United States in late 19th century and the heavy losses incurred in both the world wars, the Empire declined rapidly. British India, the most valuable and populuos of all its possession, gained independence in 1947, two years after the Second World War ended. They were followed by decolonisation of other territories owned by England and other European powers, culminating with the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 to mark the end of the Empire.

Though the Empire no longer exist, their political, cultural and linguistic legacy is still widespread.

1801: Birth of UK

On 1 May 1707 Great Britain was created by the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland.

Ninety-four years later on 1 January 1801 Great Britain and Ireland were united and became known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain after the Acts of Union of 1800 was passed by parliament.

In 1921 disputes within Ireland over the terms of Irish Home Rule led eventually to the partition of the island into Norther Ireland and Irish Free State. Northern Ireland remained a part of the United Kingdom, and as a result, in 1927 the formal title of the United Kingdom was changed to its current form, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

 

1760+: Industrial Revolution starts in UK and spreads to the rest of the world

From 1760 onwards there began a transformation in Great Britain's previously manual labour and animal-based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal. Trade expansion was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways.

In the two centuries following 1800, major advancement in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation and technology increased the world's average per capita income 10-fold.

These advancement initiated in UK and then spread to Europe, America and finally to the rest of the world. This period of 'machinisation' became known as the 'Industrial Revolution' and led to the emergence of modern capitalist economy.

The two world wars

Beside Russia, France and (after 1917) the USA, the British were one of the major powers opposing Germany and its allies in World War I (1914–18).[33] Engaged in much of its empire, several regions in Europe and increasingly taking a major role on the Western front, the armed forces grew to over five million people.[34] The nation suffered an estimated two and a half million casualties and finished the war with a huge national debt.[34] After the war the United Kingdom received the League of Nations mandate over former German and Ottoman colonies and the British Empire had expanded to its greatest extent, covering a fifth of the world's land surface and a quarter of its population.[35] The Great Depression (1929–32) occurred at a time when the UK was still far from having recovered from the effects of the war and led to hardship and political and social unrest.[36] The United Kingdom was one of the three main Allies of World War II. Following the defeat of its European allies in the first year of the war, the United Kingdom continued the fight against Germany, which took form in these years with the Battle of Britain. After the victory, the UK was one of the Big Three powers that met to plan the postwar world. The war left the United Kingdom financially damaged. However, Marshall Aid and loans taken from both the United States and Canada helped the UK on the road to recovery.

1966: England win football world cup at home

The 8th Fifa World Cup was held in England from 11 - 30 July 1966. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final in London's Wembley Stadium in front of 98,000 crowd, winning the World Cup for the first time. They became the first host to win the tournament since Italy in 1934.

Both team were level 2-2 after 90 minutes and the match went on to extra time. Geoff Hurst scored two more goals (adding to his and England's first) including his debatable second "Ghost Goal". BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme's description of the match's closing moments has gone down in history: "Some people are on the pitch. They think it's all over ... [Hurst scores] It is now!".

World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot, and one of the first mascots to be associated with a major sporting competition. World Cup Willie is a lion, a typical symbol of the United Kingdom.

a rather unusual hero off the field, a dog called Pickles. In the build up to the tournament the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen from an exhibition display. A nationwide hunt for the icon ensued. It was later discovered wrapped in some newspaper as the dog sniffed under some bushes in London. The FA commissioned a replica cup in case the original cup was not found in time. This replica is held at the English National Football Museum in Preston, where it is on display.

England beat France (2-0 at group stages), Argentina (1-0 at Quarter final) and third-place Portugal (2-1 in semi-final) to reach the final.

managed by alf ramsey.

2000: Death of Princess Diana

first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales

Camilla Parker-Bowles

separated December 1992 and finalised on 28 August 1996

On 31 August 1997, Diana, (aged 36) Princess of Wales, died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Her companion, egyptian Dodi Fayed, (aged42) and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz W140, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Fayed's bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, was the only survivor. Although at first the media pinned the blame on the paparazzi, the crash was ultimately found to be caused by the reckless actions of the chauffeur, who was the head of security at the Ritz and had earlier goaded the paparazzi waiting outside the hotel.[1] An 18-month French judicial investigation concluded in 1999 that the crash was caused by Henri Paul, who lost control of the car at high speed while drunk. His inebriation may have been made worse by the simultaneous presence of an anti-depressant and traces of a tranqulizing anti-psychotic in his body.[2][3]

From February 1998, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed (the owner of the Hôtel Ritz, for which Paul worked) claimed that the crash was a result of a conspiracy,[4] and later contended that the crash was orchestrated by MI6 on the instructions of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[5] His claims that the crash was a result of a conspiracy were dismissed by a French judicial investigation[2] and by Operation Paget, a Metropolitan police inquiry that concluded in 2006. They had intended to stay overnight. Mohamed al-Fayed was and is the owner of the Hôtel Ritz Paris. He also owned an apartment in Rue Arsène Houssaye, a short distance from the hotel and located just off the Avenue des Champs Elysées. Henri Paul, the Acting Head of Security at the Ritz Hotel, had been instructed to drive the hired black 1994 Mercedes-Benz S280 through Paris in order to elude the paparazzi.[9]

A decoy vehicle left the Ritz first, attracting a throng of photographers. Diana and Fayed would then depart from the hotel's rear entrance. At around 12:20 am on 31 August 1997, Diana and Fayed left the Ritz to return to the apartment in rue Arsène Houssaye. They were the rear passengers in a black Mercedes-Benz S280, registration number "688 LTV 75", driven by Paul. Trevor Rees-Jones, a member of the Fayed family's personal protection team, was in the front passenger seat. They left from the rear of the hotel, the Rue Cambon exit. After crossing the Place de la Concorde they drove along Cours la Reine and Cours Albert 1er (the embankment road running parallel to the River Seine) into the Place de l’Alma underpass.

At around 12:23 am at the entrance to the tunnel, their driver lost control; the car swerved to the left of the two-lane carriageway before colliding head-on with the 13th pillar supporting the roof at an estimated speed of 105 km/h (65 mph).[10] It then spun and hit the stone wall of the tunnel backwards, finally coming to a stop. The impact of the crash caused substantial damage, particularly to the front half of the vehicle. There was (and still is) no guard rail between the pillars to prevent this. The Place de l'Alma underpass is the only one on that embankment road that has roof-supporting pillars. Diana, who had been sitting in the rear right passenger seat, was still conscious.

It was first reported that she was crouched on the floor of the vehicle with her back to the road. It was also reported that a photographer who saw Diana described her as bleeding from the nose and ears with her head rested on the back of the front passenger's seat; he tried to remove her from the car but her feet were stuck. Then he told her that help was on the way and to stay awake; there was no answer from Diana, just blinking. In June 2007 the Channel 4 documentary Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel claimed that the first person to touch Diana was Dr. Maillez,[12] who chanced upon the scene. He reported that Diana had no visible injuries but was in shock and he supplied her with oxygen. The first police patrol officers arrived at the scene at 12.30. Shortly afterwards, the seven paparazzi on the scene were arrested. Diana was removed from the car at 1:00 am. She then went into cardiac arrest. Following external cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Diana’s heart started beating again. She was moved to the SAMU ambulance at 1:18 am. The ambulance departed the crash scene at 1:41 am and arrived at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital at 2:06 am.[13]

Despite attempts to save her, her internal injuries were too extensive: her heart had been displaced from the left to the right side of the chest, which tore the pulmonary vein and the pericardium. Despite lengthy resuscitation attempts, including internal cardiac massage, she died at 4 am.[14] At 5:30, her death was announced at a press conference held by a hospital doctor; Jean-Pierre Chevènement, France's Interior Minister; and Sir Michael Jay, Britain's ambassador to France. Diana's death was met with extraordinary public expressions of grief, and her public funeral at Westminster Abbey on 6 September drew an estimated 3 million[25] mourners and onlookers in London, as well as worldwide television coverage, which overshadowed the news of the death the previous day of Mother Teresa.

2,000 people attended the ceremony in Westminster Abbey[1] while the British television audience peaked at 32.78 million, one of the United Kingdom's highest viewing figures ever.[2] Two billion people traced the event worldwide,[3] making it one of the most watched events in history. The event was not a state funeral, but a national public funeral that included royal pageantry and Anglican funeral liturgy.[ Her grave is on an island (52.283082°N 1.000278°W) within the grounds of Althorp Park, the Spencer family home for centuries in Northamptonshire.

2012: Upcoming Olympics

http://www.london2012.com/ -----

are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012.[1] London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times,[2][3] having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948.------

London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris after four rounds of voting.[6] The successful bid was headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe.

There have been two London 2012 logos: one for the bidding process created by Kino Design and a second as the brand for the Games themselves. The former is a ribbon with blue, yellow, black, green, and red stripes winding through the text "LONDON 2012," making the shape of the River Thames in East London. The latter, designed by Wolff Olins,an international brand consultancy http://www.wolffolins.com/ was unveiled on 4 June 2007 and cost £400,000.[117] This new logo is a representation of the number 2012, with the Olympic Rings embedded within the zero-------

302 events in 26 sports ------- 10,500 athletes (estimated) ---- 204 (estimated) nations

 

 

National...

...emblem:

 

...flag: Union Jack

 

...parliament:

 

...monument:

 

...flower: Tudor Rose

Adopted since Wars of the Roses - civil wars (1455-1485) between the royal house of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) and the royal house of York (whose emblem was a white rose).

...food & drink: Fish and chips & tea

 

...fruit: Apple

 

...animal(s): Lion & bulldog

 

...bird:

 

...tree: Oak

 

...sport: Cricket

 

UK's national anthem

God Save the Queen

  • Created by
  • Original music by
  • English translation by
  • First used in
  • Hasani? Didn't know that!

In English

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all.
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.

{modal url=media/audio/gaan/jatiyo-sangeet-vocals.mp3|width=300|height=125}Listen to 'God Save the Queen'{/modal}

UK Government

Main political parties within UK

Conservative (Tories)

 

centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism.

Colloquially referred to as the Tory Party or the Tories, the Conservative Party emerged in 1834 out of the original Tory Party, which dates to 1678. The party was one of two dominant parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberals. It changed its name to Conservative and Unionist Party in 1912 after merging with the Liberal Unionist Party, although that name is rarely used and it is generally referred to as simply the Conservative Party.

In the 1920s, the Liberal vote greatly diminished and the Labour Party became the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers led governments for 57 years of the 20th century, including Winston Churchill (1940–45, 1951–55) and Margaret Thatcher (1979–90). Thatcher's tenure led to wide-ranging economic liberalisation, placing the Conservatives firmly as the most free market and eurosceptic of the three major parties. The party was returned to government in 2010 under the more liberal leadership of David Cameron.[11][12][13]

In the European Parliament, the Conservatives are the largest British party with 25 MEPs, who sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, while the party is a member of the soft eurosceptic AECR. They are the third-largest party in the Scottish Parliament and second-largest in the Welsh Assembly. They are currently allied to the Ulster Unionist Party, which is part of the five-party Northern Ireland Executive.

official hq = Conservative Campaign Headquarters, 30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP,

official colours = blue

177,000 unconfirmed  members (2010)

Official website:  www.conservatives.com/

Labour Party

centre-left social democratic and democratic socialist party

Throughout its history, it has been criticised by other leftist commentators and historians for not being truly socialist in its policies, instead supporting anti-socialist stances such as capitalism and neo-colonialism and has been described as a "capitalist workers' party"

Membership  (2010) 193,961

official colours = red

HQ = 39 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0HA,

Official website: www.labour.org.uk/

Liberal Democrat

Though most exterior commentators describe the party as either centrist, or centre-left

 

The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party. The two parties had formed the electoral SDP–Liberal Alliance for seven years before then, since the SDP's formation. The Liberals had been in existence for 129 years and in power under leaders such as Gladstone, Asquith and Lloyd George.

hq = 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE

Membership  (2010) 65,038

official colours = yellow

Official website: www.libdems.org.uk

Education system in UK

GCSEs, A-Levels, Degree, Masters - discover the education system in UK here →

Festivals

 

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Islam in Britain

There are 2,869,000 Muslims in Britain (2010) constituting 4.6% of the total population.

Britain has the third largest number of Muslims in Europe behind Germany (4,119,000) and France (3,574,000).

'Londoni'

Over 95% of the 500,000 Bangladeshis living in UK are from the Sylhet district. Most of us came here during the 1970s when the Bangladesh Liberation War broke out. The largest concentration of Bangladeshis (or Bengalis as we are commonly referred to) is in London, primarily in the east London boroughs of which Tower Hamlet has the highest proportion.

This large number of Bengalis residing in London has lead people in Bangladesh to refer to British Bangaldeshis as "Londonis" (People from London). They use this term to describe anybody coming from UK - even outside of London! It's very funny when people in Bangladesh ask you the question 'so where do you live in London?' and you reply with 'Liverpool'.

A large community of Bengalis also live in Birmingham, Oldham, Luton, Bradford, Liverpool, Sunderland, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Cardiff.

Bengalis had been present in Britain as early as the 19th century. The records of first arrivals from the region what is known today as Bangladesh (was British India), were Sylheti cooks in London during 1873, part of the East India Company, who arrived to the UK as lascars in ships to work in restaurants. Most settled in Tower Hamlets, particularly around Spitalfields and Brick Lane. During 1971 Mukhtijuddho, war also caused large numbers of Sylhetis to flee, mainly to Britain. In the 1970s, changes in immigration laws encouraged a new wave of Bangladeshis to come to the UK and settle. Job opportunities were initially limited to low paid sectors, with unskilled work in small factories and the textile trade being common. When the "Indian' restaurant" concept became popular, some Sylhetis started to open cafes. From these small beginnings a network of Bangladeshi restaurants, shops and banks became established in Brick Lane and surrounding areas.

Currency

UK money

Long live Britain!

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Videos of UK

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Proud to be British!

Famous British reverts include:

  • # Marmaduke Pickthall (1876-1936) Renowned translator of Qur'an into English. A journalist & novelist esteemed by D.H. Lawrence, H.G. Wells & E.M. Forster. Dad Reverend Charles Grayson Pickthall has lineage to a knight of Willam the Conqueror. Completed his magnum opus "The Meaning of Glorious Qur'an" in India. Buried in Brookwood, Surrey, England.
  • # William Abdullah Quilliam (1856-1932) Founder of UK's first mosque, the Liverpool Muslim Institute in 1889. Helped convert over 150 English people into Islam including mother and sons. Reverted to Islam after visiting Morocco in 1887. Buried in same Brookwood cemetery, Surrey, as Marmaduke Pickthall.
  • # Martin Lings (aka Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din) (1909-2005) Sufi and Shakespearean scholar. A follower of Frithjof Schuon, a Swiss Muslim philsopher. Best-selling author of "Muhammad: His life based on the earliest sources". Born in Manchester.
  • # Shaykh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi (aka Ian Dallas) (Born 1930) Born in Ayr, Scotland.
  • # Shaykh Rahmatullah al-Farooq (aka Rowland Allanson-Winn) (1855-1935) 5th Baron Headley
  • # Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad (aka Tim Winter) (Born 1960) Islamic scholar at Faculty of Divinity at University of Cambridge. Secretary of Muslim Education Trust www.muslim-ed-trust.org.uk. Younger brother Henry Winter is a famous football writer.
  • # Hassan Abdul Hakeem (aka Charles le Gai Eaton) (1921-2010) Reverted in 1951.
  • # Yvonne Ridley (Born 1959) British Journalist, war correspondent, and member of the Respect Party. Formerly chief reporter of Sunday Express newspaper. Reverted after being kidnapped and released by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.
  • # Chris Eubank (Born 1966) World Middleweight & Super Middleweight boxing champion.
  • # Peter Sanders () Photographer
  • # Ahmad Thomson (aka Martin Thomson) () Barrister
  • # Lauren Booth (Born 1967) Journalist and broadcaster. Sister-in-law of Tony Blair, ex Prime Minister of England.
  • # Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) ()

Famous 'Londoni' include:

  • # Baroness Uddin ()was the first Bangladeshi and Muslim woman to enter the House of Lords; she swore the oath of office in her own faith.
  • Rushanara Ali (Born 1975) First Bangladeshi to be elected as an MP for the British parliament in 6 May 2010 and one of UK's first female Muslim MP. Represents Labour Party from the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow. Won by a large majority of more than 10,000 .
  • # Iqbal Ahmed () placed at number 511 on the Sunday Times Rich List 2006,
  • Anwar Choudhury (Born 1959) Former British High Commissioner to Bangladesh (2004), , the first non-white British person to be appointed in a senior diplomatic post.. Now Director of International Institutions at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Born in Jagganathpur Sunamganj
  • # Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari () is the chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain - the largest Muslim organisation in Britain.
  • # Lisa Aziz () TV presenters
  • # Monica Ali ()(born October 20, 1967) is a British writer of Bangladeshi origin. She is the author of Brick Lane, her debut novel, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2003. Ali was voted Granta's Best of Young British Novelists on the basis of the unpublished manuscript.

Other famous British include:

  • # Queen Elizabeth II ()
  • # William Shakespeare ()
  • # Charles Dickens ()
  • # Tim Berners-Lee (Born 1955) Inventor of the internet (world wide web)
  • # Stephen Hawkin ()
  • # Charles Darwin ()
  • # Steve Redgrave ()
  • # David Beckham ()

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May Allah bless UK and our people. Ameen.

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