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

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


Welcome to the United Kingdom
(and a Whole Lot More)
explained by me, C. G. P. Grey. United Kingdom?
England?
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!

100 comments on “The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

  1. Smug wanker american being thick as always , patronising narration thinking we ate as brainless as he is , I hate English being used for "baby talk" like yanks do , i MY LANGUAGE , English , from the home counties he talks like verbal diorrea, I cant listen to that linguistic dunder headed
    abortion , so fast , needy desperate , sounds like hes having a wank, probably is

  2. I am a native speaker and I struggled to understand the commentary so a non-native speaker would be totally lost. Which is a shame.

  3. This is a wonderful summary and very useful…half speed would be rather nice and perhaps a follow up video about each nation.

  4. I dunno why this many people hit dislike on this video. Is this just bcoz he talked too fluently? Perhaps!
    Btw, it answered a lots of questions that were not known to me before i saw this.

  5. Everyone in the comments complaining about how fast he is talking, but it actually helped me, I have class in 30 minutes lmao

  6. CGP Grey is theoretically the best channel to watch when procrastinating but his videos teach a ton. Two birds with one stone.

  7. It drives me nuts when people refer to Elizabeth II as "The Queen of England". I ask them if they also call Donald Trump "President of New York", which of course they don't do, because there is no such office.

  8. Elizabeth is not Queen of the Isle of Man. She is "Lord of Man", a title purchased from the original holder by the monarchy.

  9. It's stupid for people to call the different parts of the UK 'Countries" when they aren't independent, if it's not independent than it's basically not a country, regardless of what the technical definition is.

  10. One error already. The GFA in Northern Ireland allows people to be either Irish, British or both. You don't automatically become British, your parents decide. Like me, lived in NI my whole life but have Irish citizenship and passport.

    Around 45 percent (I think) of NIs population are Irish, not British

  11. Mostly correct, but the term "British Isles" is out of date by 97 years as the Republic of Ireland is no longer part of the British empire. And to use the term when in the Republic of Ireland is insulting and potentially injurious to your health.

  12. If Canada and the rest of the realm are completely independent then makes no sense why they would continue to have the queen on their currency. I can see the territories do this (which many don’t) but makes no sense the for the independent ones. Hell Canada is not even part of the European Union and their citizens aren’t UK citizens.

  13. All pretty bang on but the currently occupied northern territories of Ireland have plenty of people who identify as IRISH living there . . .

  14. you boy, you got a talent there, why don't you join the likes of Fantan Mojah, Sean Paul and Tarrus Rilley as a rapper and stop leaving me hanging here?

  15. Am I the only British person who has a good relationship with loads of northern english people even though I'm Southern? 🤣

  16. Many thanks for the video, but by way of clarification Mr Grey, there is no such country as the Republic of Ireland, the official name of the non UK independent country is in fact Ireland same as the name of the island. The term Republic is used by some as a disimbiguation (although why is not clear as it is easier to say Ireland (exNI)) and is particularly favoured by the English (especially the BBC who seem to prefer to refer to Northern Ireland as Ireland), but in the interests of the clarity your video intends, getting the names of all the countries right might be important. You mentioned Ireland and the UK's membership of the EU so an easy confirmation of the name of the country might be to visit the EU's website, https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries_en
    or you can visit the Ireland Government website https://www.gov.ie/en/

  17. Why can't you talk normally like a normal person to get the message through? Are you paying by the second like those advertisement on radio. What a waste of talent!

  18. In case you are interested the term 'Great Britain' just means Big Island. The country of Ireland was originally Little Britain, or Small Island. England is full of villages with names like Great Bradley and Little Bradley, usually a mile or so apart. ie Big Bradley and Little Bradley. Hope this adds to the confusion……

  19. The British colonies are going alone, the ENGLISH queen is losing what was really never there's in the first place.
    So the quicker they leave the territories the better for everyone.
    All they've done is rape the best from each place and sent it to England, that's stealing.
    But they justify it with words.
    Conniving tipical poms.

  20. "It contains inside of it, 4 co-equal and sovereign nations" something that England would like the other 3 countries to forget

  21. The British are just murdering gypsy pirates who blight the lives of genuine English people in pursuit of their reptilian immoralities

  22. A brilliantly informative, clearly illustrated, high speed lesson on the geographical and political landscape of this rather complex part of the world. I love it! Maybe they should just rename the whole thing "England, etc"! 😁

  23. The united kingdom is the united things (?) of england, scotland, wales and northen ireland. Britain is the island and of course england was a country that now is part of the uk.

  24. That YT is a very fast introduction!
    Usually in Germany we call it England having Britain in mind. If saying Scottland you would like to express spending vacation or doing business explicit in Scottland or want to talk about scottish culture, same for Wales whereby Wales is seen closer to England than Scottland does. The Northern Irish border is felt as something unnaturally that doesn't belong to there remind about own recent history. The only thing Germans are envious about is that UK owns so many tropical Islands and we not even one. Well, we know Wilhelm made some wrong decisions losing all but hey, sometimes the sunshine is smiling over Helgoland 😉

  25. There may be some good information in there but it's difficult to catch with the speed reading. The video would be greatly improved if less caffeine were involved.

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