Great Britain

 The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or simply Britain, is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another state: the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea in the east, the English Channel in the south and the Irish Sea in the west.

The relationships among the United Kingdom's constituent countries has changed many times. The Principality of Wales was joined to England in 1536, forming the Kingdom of England. In 1707 the kingdoms of Scotland and England were united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801 the Irish and British parliaments were combined to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 twenty-six counties left the UK to form the Irish Free State, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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