The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained
Articles Blog

The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

August 27, 2019

Welcome to the United Kingdom
(and a Whole Lot More)
explained by me, C. G. P. Grey. United Kingdom?
Great Britain? Are these three the same place?
Are they different places? Do British people secretly laugh those
who use the terms incorrectly?
Who knows the answers to these questions? I do, and I’m going to tell you right now. For the lost — this is the world, this is the European continent, and this is the place we have to untangle. The area shown in purple is the United Kingdom. Part of the confusion is that the United Kingdom is not a single country, but is instead is a country of countries. It contains, inside of it —
four, co-equal, and sovereign nations. The first of these is England, shown here in red. England is often confused with the United Kingdom,
as a whole, because it’s the largest and most populous of the nations,
and contains the de facto capital city, London. To the north is Scotland, shown in blue,
and to the west is Wales, shown in white, and — often forgotten even
by those who live in the United Kingdom —
is Northern Ireland, shown in orange. Each country has a local term for the population. While you can call them all ‘British,’
it’s not recommended;
as the four countries generally don’t like each other. The Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh
regard the English as slave-driving, colonial masters (no matter that all three have their own, devolved, Parliaments; and are allowed to vote on English laws despite the reverse not being true), and the English generally regard the rest as rural, yokels who spend too much time with their sheep. However, as the four constituent countries
don’t have their own passports, they’re all British citizens, like it or not.
They are British citizens of the United Kingdom, whose full name, by the way, is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So where’s Great Britain hiding? Right here, the area covered in black is Great Britain. Unlike England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Great Britain is a geographical —
rather than a political — term. Great Britain is the largest island
among the British Isles. Within the United Kingdom,
the term ‘Great Britain’ is often used to refer to —
England, Scotland, and Wales alone — with the intentional exclusion of Northern Ireland. This is mostly, but not completely, true, as all three constituent countries have islands
that are not part of Great Britain: such as the Isle of Wight (part of England),
the Welsh Isle of Anglesey, the Scottish Hebrides, the Shetland Islands,
the Orkney Islands, and the Islands of the Clyde. The second biggest island in the British Isles is Ireland. It’s worth noting, at this point,
that Ireland is not a country; like Great Britain,
it’s a geographical — not political — term. The Island of Ireland contains, on it, two countries: Northern Ireland, which we have already discussed,
and the Republic of Ireland. When people say they are ‘Irish,’
they’re referring to the Republic of Ireland (which is a separate country from the United Kingdom). However, both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are members of the European Union — even though England, in particular, likes to
pretend that it’s an island in the mid-Atlantic, rather than 50 kilometers off the coast of France —
but that’s a story for another time. To review: the two largest islands in the British Isles
are Ireland and Great Britain. Ireland has, on it, two countries —
the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; while Great Britain, mostly, contains three:
England, Scotland and Wales. These last three, when combined with Northern Ireland, form the United Kingdom. There are still many unanswered questions:
such as, why, when you travel to Canada, is there British royalty on the money? To answer this, we need to talk about empire. You can’t have gone to school, in the English-speaking world, without having learned that the British Empire once spanned 1/4th the world’s land
and governed nearly 1/4th the world’s people. While it’s easy to remember the parts of the
British Empire that broke away violently, we often forget how many nations gained independence through diplomacy, not bloodshed. These want-to-be nations struck a deal with the Empire: where they continued to recognize the Monarchy as the Head of State, in exchange
for a local, autonomous parliament. To understand how they are connected,
we need to talk about the Crown. Not the physical crown — that sits behind glass in the Tower of London, and earns millions of tourist pounds for the UK — but the Crown as a complicated, legal entity, best thought of as a one-man corporation. Who created this corporation? God did. According to British tradition, all power is vested in God and the Monarch is crowned in a Christian ceremony. God, however, not wanting to be bothered with micromanagement, conveniently delegates his power his power to an entity called the Crown. While this used to be the physical
crown in the Tower of London, it evolved, over time, into a legal corporation; sole able to be controlled only by the ruling monarch. It’s a useful reminder that the United Kingdom is still, technically, a theocracy: with the reigning monarch acting as both the Head of State and the Supreme Governor of the official state religion: Anglicanism. Such are the oddities that arise when dealing with a thousand year-old Monarchy. Back to Canada and the rest. The former colonies that gained their independence through diplomacy, and continue to recognize
the authority of the Crown, are known as the Commonwealth Realm.
They are, in decreasing order of population: Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Jamaica, the Solomon Islands, Belize, the Bahamas, Barbados, Saint Lucia,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Tuvalu. All are independent nations, but still recognize the Monarchy as the Head of State (even though it has little
real power within their borders). There are three further entities that belong to the Crown, and these are the Crown Dependencies:
the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey. Unlike the Commonwealth Realm, they are not considered independent nations, but are granted local autonomy by the Crown, and a British Citizenship by the United Kingdom (though, the UK does reserve the right to over-rule
the laws of their local assemblies). Are we all done 𝘯𝘰𝘸?
Almost, but not quite; there are still a couple of loose threads,
such as this place: the tiny city of Gibraltar on the southern coast of Spain. Famous for its rock,
its monkeys, and for causing diplomatic
tension between the United Kingdom and Spain. But what about the Falkland Islands:
which caused so much tension between the United Kingdom and Argentina, that they went to war over them. These places belong in the last group of Crown properties known as: British Overseas Territories, but their former name,
‘Crown Colonies,’ gives away their origin. They are the last vestiges of the British Empire.
Unlike the Commonwealth Realm, they have not become independent nations and continue to rely on the United Kingdom for military and, sometimes, economic assistance. Like the Crown Dependencies, everyone born within their borders is a British citizen. The Crown Colonies are,
in decreasing order of population: Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands,
Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Saint Helena, the Ascension Islands, Tristan da Cunha, Montserrat, the British Indian Ocean Territory,
the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, the Falkland Islands, the British Antarctic Territory,
and the Pitcairn Islands. For our final Venn diagram: the United Kingdom is a country situated
on the British Isles and is part of the Crown,
which is controlled by the Monarchy. Also part of the Crown and the British Isles are the Crown Dependencies. The independent nations of the former Empire that still recognize the Crown are the Commonwealth Realm, and the non-independent remnants of the former Empire and are the British Overseas Territories. Thank you very much for watching!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. In Germany we use 'Great Britain' only as a political term and 'England' to describe the island of Great Britain

  2. it pains me when americans or really anyone says england is the same as everything on this island(s) like call it stereotypical but as a scot i DO NOT want to be called english

  3. I'm English and I have nothing against the Welsh, the Scots or the Irish. To suggest we dislike each other is both damaging and untrue. Thank you very much.

  4. is it me you guys can't understand him cause of his Speed of talking or you just Suprised? the he Speak very fast literally i can Understand him

  5. Scotland has its own Parliament able to pass its own laws. Scotland also has a different legal system from England and Wales and always has, based on Roman law. It also has 3 verdicts- Guilty, Not Guilty and Not Proven. Manslaughter is called culpable homicide in Scotland. Wales has an Assembly just given the right to make their own laws and Northern Ireland has an Assembly with similar powers. Isle of Man has its own Parliament and passes its own laws. Jersey and Guernsey are called Bailliewicks and are part of the Channel Islands. You did go too quickly for people who don't know about Great Britain however.

  6. You know what's interesting? They teach about the Great British Empire throughout North America and all the way down to Australia in most schools. You know where they dont teach, talk or even mention about the Great British Empire in schools? In the UK!!!

  7. "And the English regard the rest as yocals who spend too much time with their sheep”

    Now that’s funny. 🤣🤣🤣

    However, we only regard the Welsh and spending too much time with their sheep! 🤣

    Top video!

  8. Ok, the only thing that 5 minute video did was confuse me. But I also know that people outside U.S. will not understand my home state of California locally separated as Northern California and Southern California just because we want to and further distinguished as the United State of California. Foreigners also don’t understand why we call ourselves Americans when we’re just one of the Americas (North and South). Confused yet?……..good.

  9. I love my brother and sister's of my great British nation ,i am Welsh and proud, the only time i might get a bit aggressive is when Wales play England because we always want to win England more than our orther British Countries,it's just a bit of banter of old.

  10. the voting on english laws is a nonsense. england could have their own parliament but they think the UK one already is it.

  11. northern Ireland has the exception where we can choose Irish passports. I'm northern Irish with an Irish passport. I wonder if that means I still have freedom of travel in Europe after Brexit.

    Edit: also, this video will be outdated soon.

  12. excellent description of the UK or Great Britain…or wherever it is I live….a town in wales on the border with England but my address is classed as in an English city. you thought the country was complicated

  13. …thanks to BBC's guffaw over India's Kashmir as India Administered/occupied Kashmir….u should start calling Scotland as Britain occupied Scotland..n so on with Wales, Northern Ireland, Falklands etc…LOL

  14. Cornwall is not part of England, but being a duchy of the eldest son of the monarch it is part of the UK. The city of London is also not part of England, its a commune corporation with its own police, mayor, elections and laws

  15. Despite being British I actually didn't know what the definition was of Great Britain because I always presumed it was the UK, all of the overseas territories and the commonwealth collectively

  16. The British disembarked on the morning of January 3, 1833; First they raised their flag and then lowered Argentina. Two days later Pinedo left the islands aboard the Sarandí, taking with him a relatively large group of Rio Plata settlers.
    Argentina always claimed the islands as their own, before and after the English invasion! Until a friendly military dictatorship of the USA, to stay 10 more years in power, decided to take the Argentine Falklands. The 18-year-old civil Argentines forced at gunpoint to fight without training or modern weapons, dead of cold (bad equipment) for sterile lands that few knew! There is no enmity with the UK but we will always claim what is ours and they snatched us at gunpoint!

  17. Factually, mostly correct (geographical borders etc).

    Editorially, mostly rubbish (English attitudes and the constituent countries disliking each other etc).

  18. Why talk so fast? Barely intelligible. I stopped watching half-way through because I couldn't even comprehend what you were saying.

  19. Dude I enjoyed the content,you have
    something going for you,just slow it down I had to rewind it 5 times just to hear if they could or could not vote.
    Every thing else👌

  20. 2:01 I like how you think we WANT to be in any way associated with you lot. Just because we both speak the same language and are allies doesn't mean that we want to be PART of your country. I think you guys just made that up – to be honest you want to be involved in our country more than we want to be a part of yours, getting all involved with our issues. Like Brexit. Shut up about it please and stop trying to get in the way it isn't helping. And although we're far from perfect, you should probably try sorting out your own problematic country/president Can't we just have a mutual appreciation for each other and understand that we don't want to be a PART of you? Just cos you have cool stuff doesn't mean we want to be bffs with you lol. And in a country so vast nd densely populated, what else do u expect other than cool people and stuff. Please stop assuming that you're superior
    xoxo – Bovvered Briton

  21. The Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", and as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain". Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much later publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it actually came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, and others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. Article 4 of the Irish constitution adopted in 1937 by the government under Éamon de Valera states that Éire is the name of the state commonly but incorrectly referred to as Southern Ireland. Currently, Politically, Great Britain is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and constitutes most of its territory. Most of England, Scotland, and Wales are on the island. The term "Great Britain" is often used to include the whole of England, Scotland and Wales including their component adjoining islands; and is also occasionally but contentiously applied to the UK as a whole in some contexts.

  22. Dude,You make videoes which are very much informative.But whats the purpose if we dont even get what you are talking about.Because u talk so fast.If u want to talk that much faster u should add subtitles!
    Thanks for making such informative content.

    From:Bangladesh 🇧🇩

  23. Good but a bit dated. Scotland can no longer vote on English laws, for example. I might point out that unlike England, there is no state religion in Scotland. But a good rough explanation of the UK as it implodes.

  24. I am English. Thank you for your interesting disclosures, now I know more about where I come from. Go back to America.

  25. OMG I watched this before I started listening to Hello Internet (thanks to a brothers recommendation) and never knew it was you Grey ha mad one. And the other day the bro was saying about your YouTube channel and how you covered a video about the UK, I only came here to learn about the UK again to see who was right 😂

  26. The speaker inspires from Eminem when he speaks I can't even catch the subtitle (although it's on my mother language. Sad huh?) but contents are perfect. But it's still sad…

  27. If you think people will learn something from your rapid blabbering, you're sorely mistaking. You should speak slower than normal, not like this. Disliked and not even thinking of subscribing.

  28. I identify as Scottish only and I do not hate the English, Welsh, or Irish (NI/RoI)🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  29. UK – the country
    Republic of Ireland – the country

    Britain – the island
    Ireland – the island

    British Isles – UK & Ireland

    Inside Britain – England, Scotland, Wales
    Inside Ireland – Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland

  30. Wait why do Americans call quarters (1/4) fourths? This hurts my soul.
    Plus why did the USA originally have a rip off of the EU flag on the flag?

  31. Britain is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Great Britain (Greater Britain) is Britain, plus all the overseas islands and territories who recognise the morch as head of state.

    Greater is used to describe a larger geographical part, as in Greater Antilles, Greater Blue Mountains, Greater Tokyo.

    The Greeks described the people as Pritani; later, the Romans called them Britons, and their country, Britannia.

    The people of the Republic of Ireland (southern Ireland) prefer not to be regarded as British, but singularly Irish, although historically, they are the people of the British Isles. No-one in Britain describes the Irish as British, except those of Northern Ireland, who to date, prefer to remain British, being largely of Scottish descent.

    United Kingdom: It's people are subjects of the monarch, as compared to a republic, whose people are citizens. United Kingdom is a term of political convenience, as is the USA, and UAE.

    The British Commonwealth is a free membership of mostly former colonies of the British Empire.

  32. If you want to know just how far the British influenced the world, just look at the countries that play cricket 🙂

  33. so in the Olympics, Team Great Britain is just England, Scotland and Wales? Does that mean that Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland band together?

    How do they decide who to band with? In Football/Soccer, Northern Ireland has it's separate team. But in Rugby, Northern Ireland joins with Republic of Ireland to make the Irish team.

    who decides these things? Each association?

  34. 2:31. Feels wrong to hear the mention of violence with the image of Mahatma Gandhi! The man who fought for freedom with non-violence!! I get it that there were other Indian movements which used violence and you are just using the image to represent the overall outcome but still!!!

  35. People in "ireland" which is the official name of the country not Republic of Ireland. And people in Ireland do not use the term British Isles, we find that offensives as it makes it sound if we're British.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *