Sep 14, 2010

The British Isles outline map

This outline map can be downloaded and painted.
Tip: Use a school atlas or the maps below!


Strictly speaking, 'Great Britain' is a geographical expression but 'The United Kingdom' is a political expression. Great Britain is in fact the biggest of the group of islands which lie between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is approximately two and a half times the size of Ireland, the second largest. Together they are called the British Isles. The expression originally described the islands themselves, not the political or national divisions within them.
The British Isles today are shared by two separate and independent states. The smaller of these is the Republic of Ireland, with its capital in Dublin. The larger, with London as its capital, is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This long title, (usually shortened to the United Kingdom or UK) is the result of a complicated history.
The island of Great Britain contains three 'nations' which were separate at earlier stages of their history: England, Scotland and Wales. Wales had become part of the English administrative system by the sixteenth century. Scotland was not completely united with England until 1707. The United Kingdom is a name which was introduced in 1801 when Great Britain became united with Ireland. When the Republic of Ireland became independent of London in 1922, the title was changed to its present form.
'Britain' and 'British' have two meanings. They sometimes refer to Great Britain alone, and sometimes to the UK including Northern Ireland. 'England' and 'English' are often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Great Britain.

1 comment:

topher said...

Hi guys,

From Ullapool in the north of Scotland, your map is an interesting reflection of British politics. You are absolutely right to put the centre of British politics in London which is where you have put the centre of the Union Flag. It leaves Scotland and the north of England a long way from the centre, which is truly where they are politically.

Many of us in Scotland want independence as a country, leaving the United Kingdom of Great Britain and ireland, and in September 2014 we will be voting for or against independence.

We share the same patron saint as Greece, St Andrew. Wish us luck!