Project BritainProject Britain

British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

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British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Origins of the names


Britain was the name made popular by the Romans when they came to the British islands.


England used to be known as Engla land, meaning the land of the Angles, people from continental Germany, who began to invade Britain in the late 5th century, along with the Saxons and Jute.

Great Britain

The term Great Britain was first used during the reign of King James I of England (James VI of Scotland) in 1603, to refer to the separate kingdoms of England and Scotland. on the same landmass, that were ruled over by the same monarch. Despite having the same monarch, both kingdoms kept their own parliaments.

United Kingdom (The uniting of kingdoms)

The 'United Kingdom of Great Britain' was formed in 1707 by the Act of Union that created a single kingdom with a single Parliament. (Scotland has always retained its own legal system)

A hundred years later the Act of Union of 1801 joined Ireland to 'Great Britain' and the name "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" was first used. (Since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United Kingdom and so the name changed).

Find out more by visiting our Union Flag pages .

Other pages on the same theme

Click here to find out more about Great Britain.

Find out about the UK Go to UK page

Questions about the United Kingdom

Where is the UK?
What countries make up the UK?
What is the official title (name) of the UK?
Why is the whole of Ireland not part of the UK?
How and why was the UK formed?

Questions about the British Isles

What are the British Isles?

Questions about England

Why does England dominate the UK?

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All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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