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Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

The difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England is that UK, or the United Kingdom is a sovereign state that consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and North Ireland. Britain or Great Britain is a geographical term used to refer to the entire island of England, Wales, and Scotland. England is one of the countries that form the sovereign nation of the UK. Great Britain or Britain (occasionally England) usually refers to the UK, although Northern Ireland is not geographically a part of Great Britain island.

Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England PDF

And lastly, England, also known as the Land of the Angles, is one of the countries in the southernmost part that make up the British Isles. Even though the terms UK, Britain, and England are used quite synonymously to talk about the British Isles, they are not synonymous. This article highlights the important aspects of the difference between the United Kingdom (UK), Great Britain and England.

Table of content

(more)
  • 1. Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England (more)
  • 2. Difference Between UK and England – UK vs England (more)
  • 3. Difference Between UK and Great Britain – UK vs Great Britain (more)
  • 4. United Kingdom, Great Britain and England (more)
  • 5. United Kingdom or UK (more)
  • 6. Great Britain (more)
  • 7. England (more)
  • 8. Key Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England (more)

Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England

The Terms United Kingdom, Britain, and England may look the same but have fundamental differences. These terms are interchangeably used to describe the geography, polity, and history of the British Isles. The tabular difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England is discussed below.

United Kingdom vs Great Britain vs England

Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England

England

Britain

United Kingdom

England is located in the southernmost part of the British Isles (a group of islands off the northwestern coast of Europe).

Britain or Great Britain incorporates England, Scotland, Wales, and the neighbouring islands.

The United Kingdom is a commonwealth that encompasses the whole region of the British Isles except for the Republic of Ireland.

According to reports, England is the largest country in the British Isles in terms of both landmass and population.

The capital of England is London, also the UK’s capital.

The term Great was added before Britain in 1603 when King James I ruled the nation. The decision was made to affirm his rule over both Scotland and the Kingdom of Wales.

The United Kingdom is one of the members of the Commonwealth of Nations, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the United Nations.

The name “England” has been taken from the old English name Englaland, meaning Land of the Angles. Angles, a Germanic tribe, migrated to the nation in huge numbers following the withdrawal of Roman forces in the 4th century.

The term Britain is taken from the Roman word Britannia, which authors of classical antiquity used to portray the British Isles following its success by the Roman Empire in 87 AD.

The official use of the term United Kingdom began in 1801 when the parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland each passed an Act of Union, joining the two realms and making the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Difference Between UK and England – UK vs England

The United Kingdom is a political unit consisting of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. England is one of the countries that make up the British Isles. England is not a sovereign state and does not engage in international affairs alone.

  • While England specifically has had and persists in having considerable political influence, it independently doesn’t determine the political measures of the UK.
  • England was a sovereign monarchy governed by the same royal clan that continues to work as the constitutional monarch of the UK today before the presence of the UK and the British Empire.

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Difference Between UK and Great Britain – UK vs Great Britain

The United Kingdom is purely a political term: it’s the separate country that encloses all of Great Britain and the area currently called Northern Ireland. On the other hand, Great Britain is a geographic term signifying an island, also known merely as Britain.

  • Great Britain is a big island on which most of Scotland, England, and Wales are found.
  • Great Britain is commonly used as a synonym for the United Kingdom, conveying that Northern Ireland is contained.

United Kingdom, Great Britain and England

The United Kingdom, or UK, is a supreme state that constitutes four countries; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Britain is not regarded as a country; it is mainly a continent. It is known as Great Britain as it is the greatest island in the British Isles. England is generally referred to as a country but not a sovereign state. It is the largest country within the UK, considering landmass and overall population.

United Kingdom or UK

The United Kingdom is a sovereign state that includes England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. UK’s capital city is London. The UK is entirely a political expression; it’s the self-dependent country that encloses all of Great Britain and the area presently called Northern Ireland.

  • The UK also contains several dependencies and colonies; politically diverse countries depend on the UK for basic services.
  • These comprise the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and other smaller islands.

Great Britain

Great Britain is considered an island discovered off the Northwest Coast of Europe. It is a geographic title signifying the island, also famous as Britain. It is a political term for the United Kingdom’s part of England, Scotland, and Wales (including the remote islands they administer, namely the Isle of Wight). Great Britain also contains many offshore islands, including the Hebrides in Scotland.

England

England is a nation within the UK. It is the biggest and most populated country in the UK. Wales and the Irish Sea border England to the west and Scotland to the north. The English Channel, the Strait of Dover, and the North Sea divide it from Europe to the east.

  • Channel islands like the Isle of Wight, off the English Channel’s southern mainland, are considered part of England.
  • The Isles of Scilly, in the Atlantic Ocean off the southwestern tip of the continent, is also considered part of England.

Conclusion:

Key Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England

The key Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England is that the United Kingdom is a sovereign state that incorporates England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; Great Britain is an island off the northwest coast of Europe, and England is a country within the UK.

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