Developed Nations (England)
If a country could be described with a simple phrase, then England would be called a “world shaker”. Dating back to the times when the very first stones of Stonehenge where set at their present places and until the beginning of the 21st century, this little island-country had influenced the whole human civilization. This country with a great passion for drinking tea cultivated this habit all around the world. This nation, just like the ancient Rome, conquered half of the world and spread its culture to the foreign lands. These people are famous for the tales about King Arthur, Robin Hood, the wonderful plays of William Shakespeare, the adventures of secret agent James Bond, music of the Beatles band, great inventions like the fire extinguisher, chocolate bar, steam engine and even toothbrush. Moreover, the language of this country has become the most widely learned and used on every continent. Undoubtedly, England is a very extraordinary country, and its most important feature will be analyzed in this paper.
England is a country situated on the island of Great Britain and neighbored by Scotland on the northwestern side and Wales on the southwestern side. These countries, along with the Northern Ireland, belong to the United Kingdom. England is not considered a separate nation, but it is an independent country and the most significant one in the United Kingdom. Its population is over 60 million inhabitants and is one of ever-increasing diversity. The country covers approximately 50 256 square miles. The capital city of England is London. According to its political system, a monarch, Queen Elisabeth II, rules the country. However, England is governed as a constitutional monarchy. Therefore, it has a working parliament and a prime minister who manage the country on behalf of the Queen.
The landscapes in this country are generally flat, but rocky hills and mountains of different sizes are situated in its northern part, closer to Scotland. England has numerous water resources. The most significant are the tidal rivers (Mersey, Tyne and Thames) and the Lake District.
The landscape of England in general can be divided into two parts: the highland zone, which is close to Scotland, and the lowland zone, which is close to Wales. The highland of the country can be characterized as a place filled with rocky hills and diverse mountains, in contrast to extensive plains. The lands in this part of England experience regular rainfalls. The lowland zone is quite opposite: the land there is mostly plain, rarely rolling hills may be encountered. This soil is quite suitable for farming. Therefore, most people live in the lowland zone.
The climate of England can be characterized as temperate maritime. Usually, during summer, temperature can reach up to 30 degrees Celsius, but quite seldom, in winter the temperature falls beloved zero. Because England is close to the Atlantic Ocean, it experiences regular rainfalls during the whole year. Such climate conditions have created great opportunities for the native flora and fauna.
England has a great diversity of natural vegetation. Extensive forests are mostly situated in the southeast. Oaks, elms, and beech trees are very common. Almost all lowland territories outside of the industrial cities are farmlands, where flora mostly consists of grass and flowers. Gorse, bracken, etc. are very widespread. The fauna is quite similar to the northwestern Europe. Unfortunately, such creatures as bears, wolves, and reindeers are extinct in these lands. However, there is a great variety of smaller animals such as rabbits, hares, foxes, mice, etc. Salmon, perch, pike, roach and other fish are quite numerous in the native rivers and lakes. Different species of birds can be found all over England. Their number is close to 230 species.
Historical and Settlement Characteristics
The history of England dates back to the prehistoric times. Approximately 500 000 years ago was the time when the first modern humans came to these lands during the Ice Age, when the continents where still connected by land and the sea levels where low. These were the people who build the famous Stonehenge. Between 1 500 and 500 BC the Celtic tribes came to the island of Britain from Central Europe. It happened during the Bronze Age. The Celtic tribes mixed with the native inhabitants and formed a new culture – the one that later on formed a great nation.
At one point Romans tried to invade Britain. During the reign of Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, after invading the island the second time (the first time was under the reign of Julius Cesar in 55 BC), they have succeeded. Romans have established a number of cities, one of which was the great London. During the 5th century Romans abandoned Britain and returned to Europe.
After the Roman Empire, England was invaded numerous times by different nations: Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, Normans and others. During the 11th century, after a great multitude of different conflicts and invasions, finally, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, became King William I of England in 1066. He was the King, whose descendants still occupy the throne to this very day. Starting from this time and straight to the beginning of the middle ages, French language became the official language of England. However, English still stayed the generally used language in the country.
The 14th and 15th centuries have been memorable in the history of England for many reasons. First of all, the “Hundred Years' War” occurred between England and France. Secondly, the epidemic of “the black plague” took away lives of many inhabitants. Finally, the civil war called “War of the Roses” concluded the end of the 15th century.
The 16th century, the down of Renaissance, started with the reign of Henry VIII, who, by passing the Acts of Union with Wales (1543), became the king of Wales and the leader of Ireland. After the reign of Elizabeth I (1533-1603), the daughter of Henry VIII, James VI of Scotland followed her. May 1st, 1707 is the historical date when the Act of Union was passed by the English and Scottish parliaments that united the two countries and officially established the kingdom of Great Britain.
Modern England is a divorce-concerned society. The country is the most populous among the four others in the UK (80% from the total population). England has always been a quite prosperous nation. Due to this fact, its demographic situation has changed through years with the arrivals of new emigrants. Nowadays the country has a high number of different ethnic groups: Asian/Indian – 2.3%, African/Caribbean/Black British – 3 %, and a high number of people from Arabic countries. Considering religion, England is mostly Christian (70%), but there is also a high rate of people that admit to have no religion at all (15 % of residence). Other popular religions are Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and others.
According to the latest data, the population’s growth rate is 0.54% (2014), the birth rate is 12.22 births/1,000 population (2014), the death rate is 9.34 deaths/1,000 population (2014), the net migration rate is 2.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014), and health expenditures are 9.3% of GDP. One of the greatest problems in England is obesity among the native population..
Economic and Recourse Characteristics
Nowadays, England is considered one of the most powerful world’s economies. Both the private and the governmental sectors bring great contribution and greatly develop the mixed economy of the country. England’s capital is the world’s largest financial center. Therefore, the country suffered difficulties during the world crisis of 2008. However, the situation changed since then and the capital returned to the financial center of the world. In general, England is mostly involved in the sphere of services (about 75%), especially the financial sector, and other services related to business operations.
According to the Central Intelligence Association’s Fact Book concerning England’s resources:
Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK became a net importer of energy in 2005. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, are key drivers of British GDP growth. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has declined in importance but still accounts for about 10% of economic output (n.d.).
Major Internal Issues
The country faces many difficult issues. Considering the economic situation of England, the main problems are low economic growth, unemployment and government’s borrowing. The latest data about economic growth shows that the country is struggling with recession. The low rate of economic growth has led to significant losses in potential output. Stagnant economic growth has caused the fall in real wages and general living standards, which has led to the problem of high debt. The latest data, provided by the CIA Fact Book, shows that England’s public debt is 91.1 % of its GDP (2013). Such a high rate may influence the stability of the economic system of England.
However, currently this problem is not the most serious issue, since unemployment is devastating. The current rate of unemployment is 7.2 % (2013), according to the CIA Fact book. Such a figure demonstrates the increase of relative poverty in the country and signs of social division.
Another major issue in England we is aging population. The number of elderly people is dramatically high and grows every year. Demographic issues are also caused by the increase in the number of ethnic groups, mainly because of emigrants from the Arabic countries. Thus, the country is expected to become a Muslim-dominated nation.
Due to multiple achievements in the past, England has become one of the world’s most powerful and influential countries. Previously the country was known as the “workshop of the world” due to the industrial revolution that greatly benefited the country. However, due to new industrial leaders in the world economy such as the USA and China, England has lost its previous leading position. Nowadays, the country is still quite powerful. England as part of the United Kingdom has influence over the multilateral agreements and strong economic relations with other countries. It is also a proud member of such organizations as the World Bank, NATO, and the UN General Assembly. Moreover, additional factors allow this country to exercise influence in the world scene. They include membership of the G8 (or G7 without Russia, according to the recent changes), membership of the UN Security Council. In addition, England is a major arms seller and nuclear missiles owner.What is more, London is the center of international finance. Such global affiliation of the country with other nations and the world itself makes England quite powerful and influential.