The British Isles are a Archipel located at the North-West of the continental Europe including/understanding mainly the Great Britain and the Ireland as well as many smaller islands located in the vicinity such as the island of Man, the Scillies, the Hébrides, the the Shetland and the the Orkneys.
The archipelago counts more than 6.000 islands adding up 315.134 km ². Although called “ British ”, it is divided since 1922 into two sovereign states, the the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, plus a dependence of the crown of the United Kingdom, the Island of Man. Although they do not form part of British Isles geographically, the Channel Islands are generally arranged politically among British Isles and are divided into two baillages: that of Jersey and that of Guernesey.
80% of the population of British Isles are concentrated in England. In Ireland, Scotland and with the Wales, the population is densest close to their respective capitals, in their neighborhoods. The most important agglomerations of population (of more than 1 million inhabitants) are located in the following zones:
- London and its conurbation: 8,5 million
- West the Midlands and its conurbation: 2,28 million
- Dublin and its conurbation: 1,7 million
- West Yorkshire and its conurbation: 1,5 million
- Glasgow: 1,2 million
The population in England unceasingly increased throughout the decades, while those of Scotland and the Wales increased little during the 20th century - the population in Scotland not having changed since 1951. Ireland carries today still the prints of the Grande Famine which prevailed there between 1845 and 1849, even 1951: the population does not represent any more whereas less than one tenth of the population of British Isles of the million victims die, others emigrate massively towards the the United Kingdom or the the United States.
Political co-operation between the islands
Between 1801 and 1922, the Great Britain and the Ireland formed the United Kingdom by the Acte of the union in 1801. Following the War of Irish independence, only 6 counties of the Northern Ireland (having a strong majority of Protestants) remain attached to the the United Kingdom, the 26 others are linked in the Irish Republic. There remains however several fields of co-operation between the islands:
Circulation enters the islands: since the independence of the Irish Republic, a zone of freedom of movement continued to exist through all the areas. In 1997, the European Union officially recognized in the Traité of Amsterdam a “Common Zone of circulation”. However, it would seem that the situation is likely to change under the decision of the British government, even if that is not a certainty.
- right to vote: All the citizens of British Isles have a joint right to vote in the jurisdictions of the archipelago, except for the presidential elections and the referendums in Ireland.
- Diplomacy: the British embassies have, by a bilateral agreement, the right to represent and act as an Irish embassy when the Irish Republic is not present in certain countries.
Time pre-Roman and RomanThe density of the history of British Isles is connected to the evolution of the geographical structure of the islands:
the Âge of ice leaves a cold and wet mountain landscape. The grounds were used especially with the breeding as cattle. The agricultural production and artisanal was thus limited (in Scotland, one does not find a trace of activity of pottery), the population was much less dense than in Europe. Consequently, the political organization was not very developed.
- Until 6500 av J.C., which we call “the United Kingdom” was connected to continental Europe by a strip of land, today in the place of the English Channel.
- Around 1000 years front J.C., the Celts come from the North of Europe, after having crossed the west of Europe while passing through Gaulle, arrive in British Isles. For this reason, the Scot, the Welsh and especially Irish preserved this Celtic culture to be different from the Anglo-Saxons.
400-1066 av jc: The Saxon ones, Vikings and Celts
The Middle Ages
The 16th century, century of Tudors
The 17th century towards the rebellion
18th: glorious revolution with the French revolution
1815-1914: the Old one of the reforms
the 20th century
British Isles today (2007)
- List of British Isles
- United Provinces (British Isles)
Simple: British Isles
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