Is England a country?

I have gotten into a debate with my friend on whether or not England is a country. I say it isn't. I always thought that UK was a country (similar to the US) and England, Scotland, Whales and Northern Ireland were all provinces (like the US has states). Am I wrong, or is she?

30 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND (as it was once labeled), while technically correct if IRELAND is taken as the name of the country and not the island, can easily be misconstrued. THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND would not be correct since there is no country whose name is REPUBLIC OF IRELAND. THE UNITED KINGDOM AND ÉIRE is correct (two non-overlapping countries) but it contains a mixture of languages. Hence BRITAIN AND IRELAND (two non-overlapping islands) -- perhaps not quite adequate either since it might not encompass the various associated outlying islands.

    Let's begin by reviewing the terminology:

    BRITAIN, the largest island in the archipelago just north of France; the island of Britain contains three countries: ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, and WALES.

    ENGLAND is one of the countries of Britain.

    SCOTLAND is one of the countries of Britain.

    WALES is one of the countries of Britain.

    NORTHERN IRELAND is a jurisdiction having approximately the same status as England, Scotland, and Wales, but on a different island.

    The UNITED KINGDOM is the union of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, including whatever islands are also included in those countries. The full name of the United Kingdom is THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND. The United Kingdom itself is a country. Thus it is a country that is made up of four countries. A country made of countries might seem a paradox, yet the countries that make up the UK, especially England, Scotland, and Wales, do not think of themselves as anything less; Scotland has its own Parliament and banknotes, Wales has its own language and National Assembly, all three have national identities going back more than a thousand years, and the Encyclopedia Britannica calls them countries (next item). Perhaps more to the point, ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES, and NORTHERN IRELAND are listed in the USPS Index of Countries and Localities. (According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term UNITED KINGDOM was first used in 1801 and, until 1921, included Ireland.)

    GREAT BRITAIN is a term that means different things to different people. Canada Post uses it as their only recognized name for the United Kingdom. Webster's dictionary defines "Britain" as "the island of Great Britain", and defines Great Britain as "(a) island comprising England, Scotland, and Wales, or (b) United Kingdom" (which in turn is defined to include Northern Ireland). The Encyclopedia Britannica says "Technically, Great Britain is one of the two main islands that make up the British Isles. By this definition it includes the countries of England, Scotland, and Wales. Popularly, Great Britain is the shortened name for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland." The OED says that Great Britain is "the whole island containing England, Wales, and Scotland, with their dependencies". William Wallace says, however, that the term "is actually a remnant of the Norman Conquest times, and was used to distinguish between Large Britain (Grande Bretagne) and Little Britain (Petite Bretagne, Brittany). It has nothing to do with Empire or world domination and simply refers to the time when the island was administered and fought over by the French." In any case, the ambiguity of the term Great Britain -- is it a country, an island, or a group of islands? -- suggests it is best avoided.

    The BRITISH ISLES is another unclear geographical term denoting (according to both Webster and the OED) Great Britain, Ireland, and the adjacent islands, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Another term to avoid, since the Irish do not consider their island a British isle. A better term would be "The Islands of Britain and Ireland". BRITISH ISLES is sometimes used in postal addresses, but only within the UK postal system, e.g. when sending mail from England to the Isle of Man (the USPS does not recognize the term, and does not need it, as explained below).

    The CROWN DEPENDENCIES include the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, which are self-governing, and not part of the UK. Opinions are divided as to whether these and other "adjacent islands" such as the Scottish islands (Outer Hebrides) are also "British Isles" or part of "Great Britain" (see conflicting definitions above).

    The UNITED KINGDOM AND ISLANDS refers to England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    What Country Is England In

  • 6 years ago

    England is a country in a political construct with three other countries and nations. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Collectively, these four countries and nations are known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and this entity is a State, not a country.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    You are correct, but I wouldn't quite call England a province. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are all referred to professionally as political divisions. That is because they have a little bit more power than states or provinces. It can be very confusing, but the point is, England is NOT a country. This is coming from a man who was in the state geography bee as a child, and is still an avid geography lover today.

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  • The UK is a constituent country, and it consists of:

    England-a country

    Scotland-a country

    Wales-was a principality, but now it's a country

    Northern Ireland-province

    United Kingdom is short for United Kingdom of Great Britain ( England, Scotland and Wales ) and Northern Ireland.

  • 4 years ago

    In international law England is not a country - if country means a sovereign state, The UK is the sovereign state. The word "country" is used loosely in sport with football teams etc. People can say they are from Scotland or England or Wales or Northern Ireland but these geographic regions don't have passports. There is only one passport - UK, there is only UK embassies, there is one head of state (the Queen). There are regional and county and city governments by the overarching government is at Westminster.

  • 7 years ago

    England Scotland and Wales are three countries that are,together,called the United Kingdom.Ireland is a country on its own,but Northern Ireland is an area at the top if Ireland that is now part of the United Kingdom.but is on the island of Ireland.So yes,England is a country

  • 5 years ago

    If you are a country you have embassies around the world. There is no such thing as an English embassy because it is not recognised as a country in its own right.

    England cannot join the UN because England is not recognised as a country.

    If you still have doubts, look up the official list of world countries and let me know if England is there.

  • 7 years ago

    Sorry, but your friend was right on this. England is a country. The UK is a state with 4 countries: Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.

    Source(s): I live there...
  • 6 years ago

    I suppose it depends on your definition of "country". Some definitions of which are very broad and others quite a bit narrower. The "countries" of the UK (i.e. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) are not sovereign, nor independent (similar to states in the US), however they do operate under a level on independence, yet less independence than "countries" in the British Commonwealth (e.g. Canada). Some assert Northern Ireland is not a "country", but rather a province.....hmmmm, well then, how is Northern Ireland different from Wales....or England..or Scotland for that matter?

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Yes, England is a country.

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