T Nation

Are they the same?

Honestly I have no idea what the differance between England, The United Kingdom, and Great Britin are. They seem to be used interchangabley. Whats the differance?

England is a country, UK and GB are the same thing and consist of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. I’m not even go near the politics of it all.

Are the countries independant of each other? Or do they act like individual states do in the US?

England is the country. It’s the part of the island that does not include Scotland and Wales. Great Britain is the Island, which includes England, Wales, and Scotland. The United Kingdom includes Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK does not now include the Republic of Ireland, which was separated from the UK in 1922.

The UK behaves as a single “country” in international affairs, much like the US does. For example, the UK has a single UN membership, just like the US. (e.g., Scotland is not a separate member of the UN, just like New York is not a separate member). The UK is nominally governed by the monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II), but in reality it is governed by a Cabinet of Ministers. Tony Blair as Prime Minister is essentially Head of State for all practical purposes. The Legislative body is the Parliment, which comprises 2 houses, the Commons and the Lords. The House of Commons is made up of members elected from the entire UK (that is, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). The House of Lords has very limited power and is made up of appointed “Life Peers,” which have replaced the hereditary Peers of the old days. Until 1997, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were governed by cabinet level ministers called the Secretary of State for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, respectively. In 1997, a vote was held to devolve power away from the cabinet into regional legislative bodies, so that now Scotland has its own Parliment, and Wales and Northern Ireland have their own Assemblies. You can think of these as the equivalent of state governments in the US. All entities in the UK still send members to the UK Parliment, which is equivalent to the federal government in the US. I hope this helps.

Nice one Jay I take it you are British, where do you hail from and what profession are you in. I’m from Flint, North Wales.

Thanks for the help. One more question, Whats the differance between Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland?

Gray, no I’m American. I live in Virginia, near Washington, D.C. Some of us Americans do read and pay attention to things other than just McDonalds, Brittney Spears, American Football, and Friends. Not many, though.

Stumpy, the Island of Ireland has 2 political entities, the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland (or just Ireland) is an independent country and member of the United Nations, and comprises the majority of the Island (about 80%, I think). The Capital is Dublin. The Republic is a majority Catholic state, and attained independence from the UK in 1922. Northern Ireland is a division of the UK that is located in the North-East corner of the Island. It has a mixed Catholic and Protestant culture, and its capital is Belfast. When you hear of the IRA and Protestant battles, disagreements, and / or terrorism, this typically takes place in Northern Ireland. The Catholic population wants it to be part of the Republic of Ireland, and the Protestant population wants it to remain part of the UK. So people periodically kill each other over this.

Stumpy, you’re an ignoramus.
To all our limey friends, please don’t take Stumpy as an example of the American educational system. In fact, I don’t think he’s from the US, he must be from, um…Canada! That’s it, Canada.

Sonny your assumption about me couldn’t be farther from the truth. I find it very funny that you assume that. I’d be willing to match wits with you any day. Thanks for the laugh. Oh and sunny is a girls name. there now I feel better.

Actually, calling Brits “Limeys” is kind of ignorant.

Stumpy, that was a bit meaner than I intended it to be. I’m a teacher, and everyday I have kids ask me questions which they could easily answer if they picked up a dictionary or encyclopedia or maybe actually thought about it for more than 1 second. Oh, and “Sunny” is a girl’s name, not “Sonny”. The only Sunny I know is a valet in wrestling. Meanwhile, Sonny has cool namesakes like Sonny Corleone (James Caan in Godfather I)and Sonny Liston (one of the best and most intimidating heavyweights ever). Then there’s a ton of musicians like Sonny Rollins, Sonny Bono, Soony Burgess and more blues musicians than you can shake a stick at.