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England, UK Description
England is the UK's largest constituent unit, occupying more than half of the island. Despite its political, economic, and cultural legacy, England is no longer a governmental or political unit.
With its rich soil and crisscrossing network of rivers and streams, England has been and remains a thriving agricultural economy. England became the epicenter of the global Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, quickly rising to the top of the global industrialization rankings. Manufacturing industries in Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool turned raw materials into finished goods for export. London, the country's capital, became one of the world's most important cities, a hub for a global political economy. The London metropolitan area continues to be Europe's financial center and a hotbed of innovation, particularly in the fields of popular culture.
One of the most fundamental features of the English language is its diversity within a limited compass. Even England's most remote regions are accessible by car or train within a day's drive or train ride of London. Many English people identify with the regions or shires from which they are descended—for example, Yorkshire, the West Country, or the Midlands—and maintain strong ties to those regions even if they live in other parts of the country. Some differences exist, but many more, especially as England transitioned from a rural to an urban society, began to fade after 1945. The country's island location has shaped the English character, which values social harmony, social harmony, and good manners that ensure orderly relations in a densely populated landscape, among other characteristics.
During the dismantling of Britain's vast overseas empire in the mid-20th century, England suffered an identity crisis, and much attention has been paid to discussions of "Englishness"—that is, what it means to be English in a country that now has large immigrant populations from many former colonies and is far more cosmopolitan than insular. Although influenced by other cultures, English culture is distinct and difficult to define. The Lion and the Unicorn by George Orwell, a self-described "revolutionary patriot" who chronicled politics and society in the 1930s and 1940s, makes this observation.
Geographical Description of England
Except for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire in the east, England's topography is low-lying but rarely flat. The area has many rolling hillsides, with the highest elevations in the north, north-west, and southwest. Intricate underlying structures have resulted in intricate patterns in the landscape. The oldest sedimentary rocks and some igneous rocks (found in isolated granite hills) are found in Cornwall and Devon, while the most recent alluvial soils are found in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and Norfolk. Both the sandstone and limestone bands that separate these two regions date from prehistoric times when large sections of central and southern England were submerged under warm seas. Geological forces lifted and folded some of these rocks, forming northern England's spine. Scafell Pike, England's highest point, stands at 3,210 feet (978 metres) and is part of the world's highest mountain range. The northern mountains are mostly slate, while the southern mountains are mostly lava flows. Mountain ranges have developed from the North Downs at 965 feet (294 meters) to the Cotswolds at 1,083 feet (330 meters).
The Chiltern Hills, North Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds, and Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds were rounded into distinctive plateaus with west-facing escarpments during the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago). A land bridge connecting Britain to the rest of Europe was engulfed as the last glacial sheet melted. The retreating glaciers left behind gravel, sand, and glacial mud, further altering the land surface. Rain, rivers, and tides, as well as subsidence, have shaped the hills and coastline of eastern England. Limestone, gritstone, and carboniferous strata plateaus are associated with major coalfields, some visible as surface outcrops.
A great example of England's geologic complexity is its cliff structure. The chalk cliffs of Dover are made up of a series of sedimentary rocks of varying ages that start at Land's End in the far southwest and end at the Isle of Wight. The English coastline is dotted with cliffs, bays, and river estuaries that add to the overall beauty of the landscape.
England's weather is as varied as its topography. The average temperature in England, like other temperate maritime zones, is moderate, ranging from around 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) in January to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) in July in the Thames river valley (32 degrees Celsius). Tacitus, the Roman historian, described it as "unpleasant" with "frequent rains and mists but no extreme cold." However, the higher elevations of England receive snow for roughly 50 days out of the year. In fact, the northwest and southwest of England are particularly "wet". These areas receive less than 30 inches (750 mm) of rain per year and are frequently subject to severe drought. Rainfall averages only 20 inches in parts of the southeast (500 mm). The weather has influenced English art and literature not only seasonally but also day-to-day and even hour-to-hour. The bumbershoot's moniker as the stereotypical English gentleman's walking stick is not accidental.
The Economy of England
In the 18th and 19th centuries, England's economy was primarily agricultural until the Industrial Revolution transformed it into a highly urbanized and industrialized region as a result of the Industrial Revolution. A result of the close proximity of coal and iron ore deposits, heavy industries (iron and steel, textiles, and shipbuilding) sprang up in the north-eastern counties, and they continue to thrive today. During the 1930s, the Great Depression and foreign competition both contributed to a decline in manufactured goods production and an increase in unemployment in the industrial north, which contributed to the Great Depression. Residents of these northern counties who were out of work were forced to relocate south to London and its environs. Because of urbanization and industrialization, the southeast has become dominated by industries such as automotive, chemical, electrical, and machine tool manufacturing. Despite the fact that population growth and urbanization significantly reduced farmland in England during the twentieth century, the geographical counties of Cornwall, Devon, Kent, Lincolnshire, Somerset, and North Yorkshire have retained a significant proportion of their agricultural land.
Another period of industrial decline occurred in the late twentieth century, during which coal mining was virtually phased out and job losses in industries such as iron and steel production, shipbuilding, and textile manufacturing were particularly severe. The decline of these industries had a disproportionately negative impact on the economies of the north and the Midlands, while the economies of the south remained relatively prosperous. By the turn of the twenty-first century, the service sector had taken over as the dominant sector of the English economy, with banking and other financial services, retail, distribution, media and entertainment, education, health care, and hotels and restaurants among the leading sectors.