seems like the confusion endures...
There is a state, a political unit administered from Westminster, called:
The United Kingdom of great Britain and Northern Ireland
That is not only a description of the contents of this package, but its official
title under law since the Irish Free State removed itself from the 'union' in
The Uk is split into two units, 'Great Britain' and 'Northern Ireland'. Great
Britain is a definition that has no legal existence outside this title, and
refers to the landmasses of three nations which are recognised as legal units to
some extent. These are:
Wales, Scotland and England
In addition, the state includes one other nation, the Cornish nation, which,
though it exists still as a separate political unit as an English shire, and has
certain legal priveliges under the authority of the Stannary Parliament &
Stannary Law, is not recognised under law as a separate nation in any way.
The Welsh nation includes Inis Mon, or Angelsey as it is known in English.
England includes the Isle of Wight on the south coast. Scotland is more
complicated as it includes not only the Scottish mainland, but the Hebrides,
Orkney and Shetland spread around her western and northern coasts.
Northern Ireland is easier to define. It is comprised of the six counties of
Antrim, Armagh, Fermanagh, Derry, Tyrone and Down.
The lands specifically NOT a part of the UK state are:
The Republic of Ireland
The Isle of Man
The Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernesey etc)
Any nations currently members of the British Commonwealth of Nations other than
those named above, ie NOT Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand etc.
The name Britain also has no legal meaning. I can quote legal texts on that one
if anyone cares to listen, BTW.
The name Britain comes from the Pretani, who also occupied a part of the north
east of Ireland way, way back under the name of Cruithni. In the maps of the
Romans/ Greeks the island became known as Predain or similar after this people.
They mapped the coast (I think it was Pliny's map that started this myth) and
reached the firth of forth in Scotland and decided that, as it seemed to cut
right through to the other side (an idea supported when viewing the eastern
coast which is also cut by deep firths) the southern part was one large island
(Britannia Major) and the northern, smaller part was another (Britannia Minor).
Upon the arrival of the Saxons & subsequent flight of Britons to Armorica (what
is now known as Brittany) the Latin name Britannia Major was retained to refer
to the island as a whole, while the Britannia Minor title passed to Armorica.
There it mutated into Brittany while the island became Britain eventually.
The union of crowns in 1606 between Scotland and England (this guy was a
SCOTTISH king taking the crown of England, remember, not the other way round)
raised the issue of unity within the island (once again..) and by the time of
the Act of Union in 1707 the new state that replaced England and Scotland was
called the United Kingdom of Great Britain, a resurrection of the old Latin
name. Under law both England and Scotland ceased to exist (Wales had been
annexed to England almost 200 years earlier & did not legally exist at the
1801 saw the disollution of the parliament of Ireland and the addition of that
land to the onion. The state became The United Kingdom of Great Britain and
1921 & 1922 saw this change again as the Irish Free State left the onion, and a
new element was created called Northern Ireland. The constitution of the Uk
state is therefore based on The Government of Ireland Act from that time which
instituted the state as we know it: The UK of GB & NI.
There you have it.
This was discussed in the not too distant past that the name came from a tribe
called the Pretani (?) and the Romans thought the ONE island was actually TWO
when they charted up to the Firth of Forth. Hence, a division of Pretani the
Greater (south of the Forth) and Pretani the Lesser (north of the Forth). Great
Britain (I thought) has come to mean the whole island occupied by Wales,
Cornwall, Isle of Man, Scotland and England. The United Kingdom (I thought) came
into vogue with the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England under James VI
(I) of Scotland (England).