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#3551 - 06/18/00 05:36 PM Great Britain/United Kingdom
Loc: lower upstate New York
What's the difference?
#3552 - 06/18/00 11:46 PM Re: Great Britain/United Kingdom
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
This is what Encarta says:
Great Britain or United Kingdom, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a parliamentary monarchy in northwestern Europe. The kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, comprising England, Scotland, and Wales; and Northern Ireland, an integral component of the kingdom, occupying part of the island of Ireland. The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands in the English Channel are not part of the United Kingdom; they are direct dependencies of the British crown and have substantial internal self-governing powers. The United Kingdom lies entirely within the British Isles. The total area of the kingdom is 244,111 sq km (94,252 sq mi).
"Great Britain," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 97 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
#3553 - 06/19/00 03:04 AM Re: Great Britain/United Kingdom
Loc: Somewhere outside New York
> Great Britain or United Kingdom, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a parliamentary
monarchy in northwestern Europe. The kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, comprising England, Scotland, and
Wales; and Northern Ireland, an integral component of the kingdom, occupying part of the island of Ireland. The Isle of
Man and the Channel Islands in the English Channel are not part of the United Kingdom; they are direct dependencies
of the British crown and have substantial internal self-governing powers.
Damn. I was beaten to this. To hell with these time zones.
Just to add. The difference between the UK and GB is Northern Ireland which seems pithy considering its relative size but, you must remember, the UK used to include the entire British Isles until Irish independence and partition in 1922.
Since the Isle of Mann and the Channel Islands are dependencies they are NOT members of the EU and are well-known tax havens within Europe. The Manx government is one of the oldest in the world and holds its meetings out of doors. The Channel Islanders were the only 'British' people to come under Nazi occupation during the WW II and their link to Britain comes from William the Conqueror who invaded the islands the same year as he defeated the Saxons at Hastings in 1066. Incidentally, the government in the Channel Islands officially calls the British monarch 'the Duke of Normandy' - regardless of gender.
Britain is an island of three nations - Scotland, England and Wales - all of whom are fiercely patriotic. It is quite common for visiting foreigners to refer to them collectively as 'English' but this is very irritating, particularly for the Scots. 'British' is the correct term but usually it can be more prudent to refer to each by their country of origin - 'Scottish (not Scotch!)', 'English', 'Welsh'.
As for Northern Ireland most will not mind being called 'Irish' but some hard-nosed Unionists will not want a common tag with the rest of us and willl insist on being called an 'Ulsterman' after the province.
#3554 - 06/19/00 04:53 AM Re: Great Britain/United Kingdom
Here are some links which try to explain the history of the words “United Kingdom” as defined by Jackie and Rubrick. If you get a chance to read some of the following links (some of the first I found with a Google search), you will see that the issues involved are highly political. It would be easy to spend a few hours on the Internet and gather together a number of different points of view as is always possible with history.
Great Britain was formed in 1707 when the Act of Union was passed joining Scotland with England and Wales. http://www.scotclans.com/clans/1707.htm
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established in 1801 after the Act of Union was passed joining Ireland to England, Wales and Scotland. http://www.dialspace.dial.pipex.com/town/terrace/adw03/peel/ireland2.htm
You may be interested in the following extract from Hansard, the official record of the United Kingdom Parliament http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld199697/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds00/text/00207w02.htm
Act of Union of 1801: Bicentenary
Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have to celebrate the bicentenary of the creation of the United Kingdom through the 1801 Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland.[HL742]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: None.
As Rubrick says after partition in 1922 it became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland http://inac.org/history/partition.html
Our passports show us as living in the United Kingdom and having British nationality - which is why many of us live most of our lives in a state of confusion.
In Scotland, for example, many people will describe themselves as “Scottish” or “Scots” and will answer to “British” but will get quite upset if they are referred to as “English” which tends to be used generically.
Lots of English people live their lives in blissful ignorance of this fact, especially those who live a long way from Scotland or who don’t have any links with Scotland, so it easy to understand that people from other countries will have difficulties getting the terminology right. In the same way, in a previous discussion, people from the USA tend to refer to themselves as Americans, which can be construed as ignoring the presence of Canada, Central and South America. I suspect this is a common problem where one country or region is bigger than another.
We have the same problem with flags. Many English people do not realise that the Union Flag is not always viewed with sympathy when flown over buildings in Scotland and Northern Ireland. http://www.flaginst.demon.co.uk/fiunionflag.htm
I have noticed a big difference in the teaching of history, now that my children are at school in Scotland. My (very limited) history lessons were about the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians; daily live in Tudor times and other relatively non-controversial topics. My children’s lessons seem to cover a great deal more about the life of Mary Queen of Scots (in particular her death at the hands of Queen Elizabeth I) and the Scottish Wars of Independence.
So next time you wonder what the difference is between The United Kingdom and Great Britain is, make sure you have a few hours to spare!
#3555 - 06/19/00 06:03 AM Re: Great Britain/United Kingdom
Loc: Somewhere outside New York
Some great links Jo! Thanks for those. The one about the flags was particularly interesting. I'm glad that they mentioned the inappropriate use of 'St. Patrick's' flag. This flag is not flown anywhere in Ireland as it is quite rightly not recognised. At the time of the 1916 rising the adopted flag was the 'plough and the stars' - what Americans would know as the 'big dipper'. Sean O'Casey used this as a title for one of his most famous plays about his contemporary Dublin. The current tricolour consists of Green for nationalism (or Catholics), Orange for Unionism (or Protestants) and white for peace or neutrality. Optimistic, huh?
It seems a bit ominous that you picked the link below:
This is the official website of Sinn Féin - the political wing of the IRA. INAC stands for the Irish National Ard Comhairle. They may have declared a ceasefire and they may be in government in NI but you will certainly never see me vote for them. Catch the most senior figures at: http://inac.org/history/peace.html
The first is president of Sinn Féin, the second the Minister for Education in the Devolved parliament and the third the first Sinn Féin member of Dáil Eireann since 1980. Martin McGuinness also used to be the commander of the IRA though he denies this strongly (as Sinn Féin tends to do quite often when asked about terrorist offences).
An interesting article in last week's Irish Times is a tongue-in-cheek view of the way that most foreigners perceive recent Irish history - especially Hollywood.
#3556 - 06/19/00 06:18 AM Re: Great Britain/United Kingdom
I hadn't noticed the link was Sinn Fein - hence the disclaimer on views of history. I just looked for the ones which gave the relevant dates and highlighted some of the issues.
I'm afraid that I have met several people who have had ideas of solutions for the problems of these islands and as far as I know they have all found it much, much more complex than they had ever imagined. I'm keeping my head down.
By the way. I wondered if all the kerfuffle about the Millennium was a way of giving us celebration lethargy, so no-one suggest building domes, or anything else, to celebrate the bi-centenaries and and tri-centenaries years of various unions that are imminent. I loved the very short reply in Hansard!
#3557 - 06/19/00 06:56 AM Re: Great Britain/United Kingdom
Loc: lower upstate New York
Thank you all very much!! Understood. The short answer: Northern Ireland. I can't wait to start going through the long answer!
#3558 - 06/19/00 12:21 PM Re: Great Britain/United Kingdom
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Sorry, 'Brick; I didn't know there was a contest! Guess these time zones render quite literally true this saying:
if you snooze, you lose!
Thanks for all the info you added (you too, Jo). I am
ignorant of a great many things, but if I knew that a person was from Scotland, or Wales, I would NEVER
have called them "English"! Also, this question had caused me to wonder if a person from Scotland would mind being referred to as "Scotch", and you answered that.
I reckon I figured out why!
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