United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established on 1 January 1801 under the terms of the Acts of Union 1800, by which the nominally separate kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were united. In 1922, twenty-six of thirty-two counties of Ireland seceded to form the Irish Free State (later becoming the Republic of Ireland) and, to reflect the change in the United Kingdom's boundaries, the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name of the UK Parliament to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Introduction United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic's withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The UK is also an active member of the EU, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999. The latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process, but devolution was fully completed in March 2010.
Western Europe, islands - including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland - between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea; northwest of France
Export - commodities::
manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco
British pounds (GBP) per US dollar -
0.6391 (2013 est.)
0.6307 (2012 est.)
0.6472 (2010 est.)
Coins of the pound sterling
The standard circulating coinage of the United Kingdom is denominated in pounds sterling (symbol "£"), and, since the introduction of the two-pound coin in 1994 (to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Bank of England 1694-1994), ranges in value from one penny to two pounds. Since decimalisation, on 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 (new) pence. From the 16th century until decimalisation, the pound was divided into 20 shillings, each of 12 (old) pence. British coins are minted by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales. The Royal Mint also commissions the coins' designs.
As of 30 March 2010, there were an estimated 28 billion coins circulating in the United Kingdom.