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?
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!

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Ever considered going into business as an Auctioneer or one of those people that speak really fast at the end of a commercial

  2. Why the fuck are you speaking so fast, you fucking asshole? If the point of the video is to educate people, then how do you expect them to learn if you're speaking so fast?

  3. so while pretending to know about what might cause offence you chose 'orange' for Northern Ireland… Even this Englishman is not that culturally insensitive and dumb…

  4. A country of countries. That is the official position. The fact is that the UK is a country of provinces, except England. The British have done a poorer job of structuring the UK than in legislating the structures for Canada and Australia. The reason is obvious. The Canadians and Australians structured themselves and the UK Parliament passed the Acts that became their constitutions. But the British did not learn from their own former colonials how to structure the United Kingdom. Or how to structure the proposed Dominion of Ireland prior to 1922. They made the same mess of Ireland that they made of Sri Lanka by ignoring federalism as a solution to ethnic differences. Mumble, mumble, bumble and bodge. When will they ever learn?

  5. we live in divided England '''' British should have less priority ' how ever traitors give our lives away to any one that jumps off banana boats .

  6. wow I never knew the UK structure was so convoluted. thanks for that excellent and quick report, may I suggest single shot latte as apposed to your apparent quad shot next time?

  7. Legally speaking the crown is also a non statutory corporation; meaning not subject to statutes or laws. Hence there isn't an easy legal way to abolish the crown. The 'office of the crown' as a legal concept is also fused with the office holder of the 'office of the crown', to the point where they are indistinguishable. This means that statements such as 'the crown owns the crown estates' are misleading, because it's also legally true that the queen owns the Crown Estates as a corporation sole.

  8. The UK describes itself as a Nation State (not a country), comprising the countries of England and Scotland, the principality of Wales, and the provinces of Northern Ireland. This is the official legal description as noted by the UK government.

  9. You’d be amazed at how many citizens of the British Isles need this explanation too. Tell any supporter of the Scottish National Party that even in the event of independence, the citizens of Scotland will still be and always will be British, and they just can’t get their heads round it!

  10. we will talk about United Kingdom formes by 4 equal countries, the first and the most powerful being England then the rest that don't have a lot of rights

  11. British Ulster is not a country. It is a provenance directly run as a satellite by the English parliament, as it has no flag or parliament.

  12. Dude! Slow down! Meth is not good for you! Do you talk that fast in real life? If so, that's why people avoid you; in case you didn't already know that.

  13. Edgar Wallace wrote a comic gem called “The Adventures of Heine”. The story of an inept spy of the German Empire. MI5 runs rings around him, and he messes everything up – a Teutonic Inspector Clouseau. Get a copy. Anyway, this is in his first report to Berlin.


    I have the honour to report that I have discovered the following facts about the United Kingdom, which may be of use in foiling their unjust war against the Fatherland.

    1. The Welsh hate the English.

    2. The English hate the Welsh.

    3. The Scots despise them both.

    4. The Irish hate everybody, including themselves.

  14. Wales is a nation, but legally it is part of England. That is why it is called a ‘principality’, not a kingdom, and is represented on the flag by England.

  15. They're called the Commonwealth RealmS – plural, with an "s." A "Commonwealth realm" would be only one of those countries, singular. If you're going to glean all of your information from Wikipedia, at least get it right:

  16. He said northern ireland is a country.🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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!!!

  23. "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!

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