Entry about England - is the largest and most populous constituent country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. History. Government and politics. Geography. Climate. Economics. Demography. Culture. Language. Religion. People.
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Table of contents
Entry about England
II. Government and politics
Entry. England (Old English: Englaland, Middle English: Engelond) is the largest and most populous constituent country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total population of the United Kingdom, while the mainland territory of England occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. Elsewhere, it is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel.
England became a unified state in the year 927 and takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled there during the 5th and 6th centuries. The capital of England is London, the largest urban area in Great Britain, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most, but not all, measures.
England ranks amongst the world's most influential and far-reaching centres of cultural development. It is the place of origin of the English language and the Church of England, and English law forms the basis of the legal systems of many countries; in addition, London was the centre of the British Empire, and the country was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. England was the first country in the world to become industrialised. England is home to the Royal Society, which laid the foundations of modern experimental science. England was the world's first modern parliamentary democracy and consequently many constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that had their origin in England have been widely adopted by other nations.
The Kingdom of England was a separate state, including the Principality of Wales, until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union resulted in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain.
I. Bones and flint tools found in Norfolk and Suffolk show that Homo erectus lived in what is now England about 700,000 years ago. At this time, England was joined to mainland Europe by a large land bridge. The current position of the English Channel was a large river flowing westwards and fed by tributaries that would later become the Thames and the Seine. This area was greatly depopulated during the period of the last major ice age, as were other regions of the British Isles. In the subsequent recolonisation, after the thawing of the ice, genetic research shows that present-day England was the last area of the British Isles to be repopulated, about 13,000 years ago. The migrants arriving during this period contrast with the other of the inhabitants of the British Isles, coming across lands from the south east of Europe, whereas earlier arriving inhabitants came north along a coastal route from Iberia. These migrants would later adopt the Celtic culture that came to dominate much of western Europe.
Roman conquest of Britain
By AD 43, the time of the main Roman invasion, Britain had already been the target of frequent invasions, planned and actual, by forces of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. It was first invaded by the Roman dictator Julius Caesar in 55 BC, but it was conquered more fully by the Emperor Claudius in 43 AD. Like other regions on the edge of the empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans, and their economic and cultural influence was a significant part of the British late pre-Roman Iron Age, especially in the south. With the fall of the Roman Empire 400 years later, the Romans left England.
The History of Anglo-Saxon England covers the history of early mediaeval England from the end of Roman Britain and the establishment of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the 5th century until the Conquest by the Normans in 1066.
Fragmentary knowledge of Anglo-Saxon England in the 5th and 6th centuries comes from the British writer Gildas (6th century) the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (a history of the English people begun in the 9th century), saints' lives, poetry, archaeological findings, and place-name studies.
The dominant themes of the seventh to tenth centuries were the spread of Christianity and the political unification of England. Christianity is thought to have come from three directions--from Rome to the south, and Scotland and Ireland to the north and west.
From about 500, England was divided (it is believed) into seven petty kingdoms, known as the Heptarchy: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex, and Wessex.
The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms tended to coalesce by means of warfare. As early as the time of Ethelbert of Kent, one king could be recognised as Bretwalda ("Lord of Britain"). Generally speaking, the title fell in the 7th century to the kings of Northumbria, in the 8th to those of Mercia, and in the 9th, to Egbert of Wessex, who in 825 defeated the Mercians at the Battle of Ellendun. In the next century his family came to rule all England.
Kingdom of England
Originally, England (or Englaland) was a geographical term to describe the part of Britain occupied by the Anglo-Saxons, rather than a name of an individual nation-state. It became politically united through the expansion of the kingdom of Wessex, whose king Athelstan brought the whole of England under one ruler for the first time in 927, although unification did not become permanent until 954, when Edred defeated Eric Bloodaxe and became King of England.
In 1016 England was conquered by the Danish king Canute the Great, and became the centre of government for his short-lived empire which included Denmark and Norway. In 1042 England became a separate kingdom again with the accession of Edward the Confessor, heir of the native English dynasty. However,the political ties and direction of England were changed forever by the Norman Conquest in 1066.
The Kingdom of England (including Wales) continued to exist as an independent nation-state right through to the Acts of Union.
The next few hundred years saw England as a major part of expanding and dwindling empires based in France, with the "Kings of England" using England as a source of troops to enlarge their personal holdings in France for many years (Hundred Years' War) ; in fact the English crown did not relinquish its last foothold on mainland France until Calais was lost during the reign of Mary Tudor (the Channel Islands are still crown dependencies, though not part of the UK).
In the 13th century, through conquest Wales (the remaining Romano-Celts) was brought under the control of English monarchs. This was formalised in the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284, by which Wales became part of the Kingdom of England by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542. Wales shared a legal identity with England as the joint entity originally called England and later England and Wales.
An epidemic of catastrophic proportions, the Black Death first reached England in the summer of 1348. The Black Death is estimated to have killed between a third and two-thirds of Europe's population. England alone lost as much as 70% of its population, which passed from seven million to two million in 1400. The plague repeatedly returned to haunt England throughout the 14th to 17th centuries. The Great Plague of London in 1665-1666 was the last plague outbreak.
During the English Reformation in the 16th century, the external authority of the Roman Catholic Church in England was abolished and replaced with Royal Supremacy and ultimately describes the establishment of a Church of England, outside the Roman Catholic Church, under the Supreme Governance of the English monarch. The English Reformation differed from its European counterparts in that it was a political, rather than purely theological, dispute at root. The break with Rome started in the reign of Henry VIII.
The English Reformation paved the way for the spread of Anglicanism in the church and other institutions.
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations that took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1651. The first (1642-1645) and second (1648-1649) civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third war (1649-1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The Civil War ended with the Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
The Civil War led to the trial and execution of Charles I, the exile of his son Charles II and the replacement of the English monarchy with the Commonwealth of England (1649-1653) and then with a Protectorate (1653-1659) : the personal rule of Oliver Cromwell. After a brief return to Commonwealth rule, in 1660 The Crown was restored and Charles II accepted Convention Parliament's invitation to return to England. During the interregnum the monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England came to an end, and the victors consolidated the already-established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Constitutionally, the wars established a precedent that British monarchs could not govern without the consent of Parliament although this would not be cemented until the Glorious Revolution later in the century.
Great Britain and the United Kingdom
Although embattled for centuries, the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland had been drawing increasingly together since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and after 1603, when the two countries became linked by a personal union, being ruled by the same Stuart dynasty. Following a number of attempts to unite the Kingdoms, on 1 May 1707, the Acts of Union resulted in a political union between the states creating the Kingdom of Great Britain.The Kingdom of Ireland later joined this union to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland changed its name to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927 to reflect its reduced territory following the secession of southern Ireland as the Irish Free State in 1922.
Throughout these changes, England (including Wales) retained a separate legal identity from its partners, with a separate legal system (English law) from those in Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland law) and Scotland (Scots law). (See subdivisions of the United Kingdom)
Wales had already been made part of the Kingdom of England by the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284, and it was legally incorporated into England by the Wales and Berwick Act 1746, making laws passed in England automatically applicable to Wales. This was reversed by the Welsh Language Act 1967, which thus effectively gave Wales a separate identity from England. Since then, legal and political terminology refers to "England and Wales". The county of Monmouthshire has long been an ambiguous area, its legal identity passing between England and Wales at various periods. In the Local Government Act 1972 it was made part of Wales.
The Wales and Berwick Act 1746 also referred to the formerly Scottish burgh of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The border town changed hands several times and was last conquered by England in 1482, but was not officially incorporated into England. Contention about whether Berwick was in England or Scotland was ended by the union of the two in 1707. Berwick remains within the English legal system and so is regarded today as part of England though there has been some suggestion in Scotland that Berwick should be invited to 'return to the fold'.
The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are Crown dependencies and are not part of England or of the United Kingdom.
II. There has not been a Government of England since 1707, when the Kingdom of England merged with the Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, although both kingdoms have been ruled by a single monarch since 1603. Before the Acts of Union of 1707, England was ruled by a monarch and the Parliament of England.
Following the establishment of devolved government for Scotland and Wales in 1999, England was left as the only country within the United Kingdom still governed in all matters by the UK government and the UK parliament in London. (Those, like Mebyon Kernow, who claim that Cornwall should be viewed as having a distinct national identity and who campaign for a Cornish assembly along Welsh lines may dispute this claim.)
Since Westminster is the UK parliament but also legislates on matters that affect England alone, devolution of national matters to parliament/assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has refocused attention on the anomaly called the West Lothian question. The "Question" is that Scottish and Welsh MPs continue to be able to vote on legislation relating only to England in the post devolution era while English MPs have no equivalent right to legislate on devolved matters. (Of course, Scottish and Welsh MPs are also unable to vote on devolved issues affecting their own constituencies.) This 'problem' is exacerbated by an over-representation of Scottish MPs in the government, sometimes referred to as the Scottish mafia; as of September 2006, seven of the twenty-three Cabinet members represent Scottish constituencies, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Defence Secretary. In addition, Scotland traditionally benefited from moderate malapportionment in its favour, increasing its representation to a degree disproportionate to its population. In 2004 the Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Act 2004 was passed which rectified this to a degree, reducing the number of MPs representing Scottish constituencies from 73 to 59 and brought the number of voters per constituency closer to that in England. This change was implemented in the 2005 General Election.
There are calls for a devolved English Parliament, and certain English parties go further by calling for the dissolution of the Union entirely. However, the approach favoured by the current Labour government was (on the basis that England is too large to be governed as a single sub-state entity) to propose the devolution of power to the Regions of England. Lord Falconer claimed a devolved English parliament would dwarf the rest of the United Kingdom.
In terms of national administration, therefore, England's affairs are managed by a combination of the UK government, the UK parliament and England-specific quangos such as English Heritage.
III. England comprises the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus offshore islands of which the largest is the Isle of Wight. It is bordered to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. It is closer to continental Europe than any other part of Britain, divided from France only by a 24-statute mile (52 km or 21 nautical mile) sea gap. The Channel Tunnel, near Folkestone, directly links England to the European mainland. The English/French border is halfway along the tunnel.
Much of England consists of rolling hills, but it is generally more mountainous in the north with a chain of low mountains, the Pennines, dividing east and west. Other hilly areas in the north and Midlands are the Lake District, the North York Moors, and the Peak District. The approximate dividing line between terrain types is often indicated by the Tees-Exe line. To the south of that line, there are larger areas of flatter land, including East Anglia and the Fens, although hilly areas include the Cotswolds, the Chilterns, the North and South Downs, Dartmoor and Exmoor.
The largest natural harbour in England is at Poole, on the south-central coast. Some regard it as the second largest harbour in the world, after Sydney, Australia, although this fact is disputed (see harbours for a list of other large natural harbour).
IV. England has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round, although the seasons are quite variable in temperature. However, temperatures rarely fall below ?5 °C (23 °F) or rise above 30 °C (86 °F). The prevailing wind is from the south-west, bringing mild and wet weather to England regularly from the Atlantic Ocean. It is driest in the east and warmest in the south, which is closest to the European mainland. Snowfall can occur in winter and early spring, although it is not that common away from high ground.
The highest temperature recorded in England is 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on August 10, 2003 at Brogdale, near Faversham, in Kent. The lowest temperature recorded in England is ?26.1 °C (?15.0 °F) on January 10, 1982 at Edgmond, near Newport, in Shropshire.
V. England's economy is the second largest in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. It follows the Anglo-Saxon economic model. England's economy is the largest of the four economies of the United Kingdom, with 100 of Europe's 500 largest corporations based in London. As part of the United Kingdom, England is a major centre of world economics. One of the world's most highly industrialised countries, England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace, the arms industry and the manufacturing side of the software industry.
London exports mainly manufactured goods and imports materials such as petroleum, tea, wool, raw sugar, timber, butter, metals, and meat. England exported more than 30,000 tons of beef last year, worth around Ј75,000,000, with France, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain being the largest importers of beef from England.
The central bank of the United Kingdom, which sets interest rates and implements monetary policy, is the Bank of England in London. London is also home to the London Stock Exchange, the main stock exchange in the UK and the largest in Europe. London is one of the international leaders in finance and the largest financial centre in Europe.
Traditional heavy and manufacturing industries have declined sharply in England in recent decades, as they have in the United Kingdom as a whole. At the same time, service industries have grown in importance. For example, tourism is the sixth largest industry in the UK, contributing 76 billion pounds to the economy. It employs 1,800,000 full-time equivalent people--6.1% of the working population (2002 figures). The largest centre for tourism is London, which attracts millions of international tourists every year.
As part of the United Kingdom, England's official currency is the Pound Sterling (also known as the British pound or GBP).
VI. With 50,431,700 inhabitants, or 84% of the UK's total, England is the most populous nation in the United Kingdom; as well as being the most ethnically diverse. England would have the fourth largest population in the European Union and would be the 25th largest country by population if it were a sovereign state.
The country's population is 'ageing', with a declining percentage of the population under age 16 and a rising one of over 65. Population continues to rise and in every year since 1901, with the exception of 1976, there have been more births than deaths. England is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, with 383 people per square kilometre (992/sq mi), making it second only to the Netherlands.
The generally accepted view is that the ethnic background of the English populace, before 19th- and 20th century immigration, was a mixed European one deriving from historical waves of Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Norman invasions, along with the possible survival of pre-Celtic ancestry. Genetic studies have shown that the modern-day English gene pool contains more than 50% Germanic Y-chromosomes.
The economic prosperity of England has also made it a destination for economic migrants from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This was particularly true during the Industrial Revolution.
Since the fall of the British Empire, many denizens of former colonies have migrated to Britain including the Indian sub-continent and the British Caribbean. A BBC-published report of the 2001 census, by the Institute for Public Policy Research stated that the vast majority of immigrants settled in London and the South East of England. The largest groups of residents born in other countries were from the Republic of Ireland, India, Pakistan, Germany, and the Caribbean. Although Germany was high on the list, this was mainly the result of children being born to British forces personnel stationed in that country.
About half the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to foreign-born immigration. In 2004 the number of people who became British citizens rose to a record 140,795--a rise of 12% on the previous year. The number had risen dramatically since 2000. The overwhelming majority of new citizens come from Africa (32%) and Asia (40%), the largest two groups being people from India and Pakistan. One in five babies in the UK are born to immigrant mothers, according to official statistics released in 2007. 21.9% of all births in the UK in 2006 were to mothers born outside the United Kingdom compared with just 12.8% in 1995.
In 2006, an estimated 591,000 migrants arrived to live in the UK for at least a year, while 400,000 people emigrated from the UK for a year or more, with Australia, Spain, France, New Zealand and the U.S. most popular destinations. Largest group of arrivals were people from the Indian subcontinent who accounted for two-thirds of net immigration, mainly fuelled by family reunion. One in six were from Eastern European countries. They were outnumbered by immigrants from New Commonwealth countries.
The European Union allows free movement between the member states. While France and Germany put in place controls to curb Eastern European migration, the UK and Ireland did not impose restrictions. Following Poland's entry into the EU in May 2004 it is estimated that by the start of 2007 about 375,000 Poles have registered to work in the UK, although the total Polish population in the UK is believed to be 750,000. Many Poles work in seasonal occupations and a large number is likely to move back and forth including between Ireland and other EU Western nations. A quarter of Eastern European migrants, often young and well-educated, plan to stay in Britain permanently. Most of them had originally intended to go home but have changed their minds after living there
VII. England has a vast and influential culture that encompasses elements both old and new. The modern culture of England is sometimes difficult to identify and separate clearly from the culture of the wider United Kingdom, so intertwined are its composite nations. However, the traditional and historic culture of England is more clearly defined.
English Heritage is a governmental body with a broad remit of managing the historic sites, artefacts and environments of England. London's British Museum, British Library and National Gallery contain some of the finest collections in the world.
The English have played a significant role in the development of the arts and sciences. Many of the most important figures in the history of modern western scientific and philosophical thought were either born in, or at one time or other resided in, England. Major English thinkers of international significance include scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Charles Darwin and New Zealand-born Ernest Rutherford, philosophers such as John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell and Thomas Hobbes, and economists such as David Ricardo, and John Maynard Keynes. Karl Marx wrote most of his important works, including Das Kapital, while in exile in Manchester, and the team that developed the first atomic bomb began their work in England, under the wartime codename tube alloys.
Places in the world where English language is spoken. Countries are dark blue where English is an official language, de facto official language, or national language. Countries are light blue where it is an official, non-primary language or non-official primary language.
Beowulf is one of the oldest surviving epic poems in what is identifiable as a form of the English language.As its name suggests, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue today (although not officially designated as such). An Indo-European language in the Anglo-Frisian branch of the Germanic family, it is closely related to Scots and the Frisian languages. As the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms merged into England, "Old English" emerged; some of its literature and poetry has survived.
Used by aristocracy and commoners alike before the Norman Conquest (1066), English was displaced in cultured contexts under the new regime by the Norman French language of the new Anglo-Norman aristocracy. Its use was confined primarily to the lower social classes while official business was conducted in a mixture of Latin and French. Over the following centuries, however, English gradually came back into fashion among all classes and for all official business except certain traditional ceremonies, some of which survive to this day. Although, Middle English, as it had by now become, showed many signs of French influence, both in vocabulary and spelling. During the Renaissance, many words were coined from Latin and Greek origins; and more recent years, Modern English has extended this custom, willing to incorporate foreign-influenced words.
It is most commonly accepted that--thanks in large part to the British Empire, and now the United States--the English language is now the world's unofficial lingua franca, while English common law is also the foundation of many legal systems throughout the English-speaking countries of the world. English language learning and teaching is an important economic sector, including language schools, tourism spending, and publishing houses.
UK legislation does not recognise any language as being official, but English is the only language used in England for general official business. The other national languages of the UK (Welsh, Irish, Scots and Scottish Gaelic) are confined to their respective nations, except Welsh to some degree.
The only non-Anglic native spoken language in England is the Cornish language, a Celtic language spoken in Cornwall, which became extinct in the 19th century but has been revived and is spoken in various degrees of fluency, currently by about 2,000 people. This has no official status (unlike Welsh) and is not required for official use, but is nonetheless supported by national and local government under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Cornwall County Council has produced a draft strategy to develop these plans. There is, however, no programme as yet for public bodies to actively promote the language. Scots is spoken by some adjacent to the Anglo-Scottish Border, and Welsh is still spoken by some natives around Oswestry, Shropshire, on the Welsh border.
Most deaf people within England speak British sign language (BSL), a sign language native to Britain. The British Deaf Association estimates that 250,000 people throughout the UK speak BSL as their first or preferred language, but does not give statistics specific to England. BSL is not an official language of the UK and most British government departments and hospitals have limited facilities for deaf people. The BBC broadcasts several of its programmes with BSL interpreters.
Different languages from around the world, especially from the former British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nations, have been brought to England by immigrants. Many of these are widely spoken within ethnic minority communities, with Bengali, Hindi, Sinhala, Tamil, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Polish, Greek, Turkish and Cantonese being the most common languages that people living in Britain consider their first language. These are often used by official bodies to communicate with the relevant sections of the community, particularly in large cities, but this occurs on an "as needed" basis rather than as the result of specific legislative ordinances.
Other languages have also traditionally been spoken by minority populations in England, including Romany.
Despite the relatively small size of the nation, there are many distinct English regional accents. Those with particularly strong accents may not be easily understood elsewhere in the country. Use of foreign non-standard varieties of English (such as Caribbean English) is also increasingly widespread, mainly because of the effects of immigration.
IX. Due to immigration in the past decades, there is an enormous diversity of religious belief in England, as well as a growing percentage that have no religious affiliation. Levels of attendance in various denominations have begun to decline. England is classed largely as a secular country even allowing for the following affiliation percentages : Christianity: 71.6%, Islam: 3.1%, Hindu: 1.1%, Sikh: 0.7%, Jewish: 0.5%, and Buddhist: 0.3%, No Faith: 22.3%.The EU Eurobarometer poll of 2005 shows that only 38% of people in the UK believe in a god, while 40% believe in "some sort of spirit or life force" and 20% do not believe in either.
Christianity reached England through missionaries from Scotland and from Continental Europe; the era of St. Augustine (the first Archbishop of Canterbury) and the Celtic Christian missionaries in the north (notably St. Aidan and St. Cuthbert). The Synod of Whitby in 664 ultimately led to the English Church being fully part of Roman Catholicism. Early English Christian documents surviving from this time include the 7th century illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels and the historical accounts written by the Venerable Bede. England has many early cathedrals, most notably York Minster (1080), Durham Cathedral (1093) and Salisbury Cathedral (1220), In 1536, the Church was split from Rome over the issue of the divorce of King Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon. The split led to the emergence of a separate ecclesiastical authority, and later the influence of the Reformation, resulting in the Church of England and Anglicanism. Unlike the other three constituent countries of the UK, the Church of England is an established church (although the Church of Scotland is a 'national church' recognised in law).
The 16th century break with Rome under the reign of King Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries had major consequences for the Church (as well as for politics). The Church of England remains the largest Christian church in England; it is part of the Anglican Communion. Many of the Church of England's cathedrals and parish churches are historic buildings of significant architectural importance.
Other major Christian Protestant denominations in England include the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church and the United Reformed Church. Smaller denominations, but not insignificant, include the Religious Society of Friends (the "Quakers") and the Salvation Army--both founded in England. There are also Afro-Caribbean Churches, especially in the London area.
The Roman Catholic Church re-established a hierarchy in England in the 19th century. Attendances were considerably boosted by immigration, especially from Ireland and more recently Poland.
The Church of England is still the official state church.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, immigration from many colonial countries, often from South Asia and the Middle East have resulted in a considerable growth in Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism in England. Cities and towns with large Muslim communities include Birmingham, Blackburn, Coventry, Bolton, Bradford, Leicester, London, Luton, Manchester, Oldham and Sheffield. Cities and towns with large Sikh communities include London, Slough, Staines, Hounslow, Southall, Reading, Ilford, Barking, Dagenham, Leicester, Leeds, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and others.
The Jewish community in England is mainly in the Greater London area, particularly the north west suburbs such as Golders Green; although Manchester, Leeds and Gateshead also have significant Jewish communities.
X. The ancestry of the English, considered as an ethnic group, is mixed; it can be traced to the mostly Celtic Romano-Britons, to the eponymous Anglo-Saxons, the Danish-Vikings that formed the Danelaw during the time of Alfred the Great and the Normans, among others. The 19th and 20th centuries, furthermore, brought much new immigration to England.
Ethnicity aside, the simplest view is that an English person is someone who was born in England and holds British nationality, regardless of his or her racial origin. It has, however, been a notoriously complicated, emotive and controversial identity to delimit. Centuries of English dominance within the United Kingdom has created a situation where to be English is, as a linguist would put it, an "unmarked" state. The English frequently include themselves and their neighbours in the wider term of "British", while the Scots and Welsh tend to be more forward about referring to themselves by one of those more specific terms. This reflects a more subtle form of English-specific patriotism in England; St George's Day, the country's national day, is barely celebrated. The celebrations have increased year on year over the past five years.
Modern celebration of English identity is often found around its sports, one field in which the British Home Nations often compete individually. The English Association football team, rugby union team and cricket team often cause increases in the popularity of celebrating Englishness.
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