England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the North Sea to the east, with the English Channel to the south separating it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
The area now called England has been settled by people of various cultures for about 35,000 years,but it takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world.
The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law—the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world—developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations.The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation.England's Royal Society laid the foundations of modern experimental science.
As part of the United Kingdom, the basic political system in England is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. There has not been a Government of England since 1707, when the Acts of Union 1707, putting into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union, joined England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Geographically England comprises the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus such offshore islands as the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly. It is bordered by two fellow countries of the United Kingdom—to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. England is closer to the European Continent than any other part of mainland Britain.
England has a temperate maritime climate meaning that it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0 °C (32 °F) in winter and not much higher than 32 °C (90 °F) in summer.
The weather is damp relatively frequently and is subject to change. The coldest months are January and February, the latter particularly on the English coast, while July is normally the warmest month. Months with mild to warm weather with least rainfall are May, June, September and October.
England's economy is one of the largest in in the world, with an average GDP per capita of £22,907.Usually regarded as a mixed market economy, it has adopted many free market principles in contrast to the Rhine Capitalism of Europe, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure.
The body responsible for state education in general up to the age of 19, in the United Kingdom is the Department for Children, Schools and Families—this body directly controls state schools in England. Funded through taxation state-run schools are attended by approximately 93% of English schoolchildren.
The national flag of England, known as St. George's Cross, has been the national flag since the 13th century. Originally the flag was used by the maritime state the Republic of Genoa. The English monarch paid a tribute to the Doge of Genoa from 1190 onwards, so that English ships could fly the flag as a means of protection when entering the Mediterranean. A red cross acted as a symbol for many Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. It became associated with Saint George, along with countries and cities, which claimed him as their patron saint and used his cross as a banner.