What is England?


by SW VandeCarr
Tags: england
SW VandeCarr
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#1
Sep16-10, 11:52 PM
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It may seem like a strange question to ask, but England isn't really a country, it's a part of a country; the UK. So it's not a kingdom onto itself. Scotland is also a part of the UK, but it now has it's own parliament although it is subordinate to the Westminster Parliament. Wales has an assembly of its own and a prince of its own. Northern Ireland also has its own subordinate parliament.

England has no parliament of its own and no Queen of its own (although it has its own flag: the cross of St George that I see at soccer matches). The Queen serves as sovereign for all the UK as well as Canada and other far flung Commonwealth nations: not to mention those little bits off England's shore like Jersey, Guernsey, Sark and the Isle of Man (all of which have their own little 'parliaments' which I understand are not subordinate to Westminster).

So what is England exactly?
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JaredJames
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#2
Sep17-10, 12:07 AM
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England is a country. As is Wales and Scotland. Together they form Great Britain.

The UK is all of the above plus Northern Island. The UK is not a country, it is as it says, the United Kingdom.
loseyourname
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#3
Sep17-10, 12:14 AM
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A bounded region of land.

SW VandeCarr
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#4
Sep17-10, 12:20 AM
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What is England?


Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
England is a country. As is Wales and Scotland. Together they form Great Britain.

The UK is all of the above plus Northern Island. The UK is not a country, it is as it says, the United Kingdom.
Hmm. I'm thinking of a country as a nation state with a seat at the UN, diplomatic relations and all that. BTW, I was wrong about Northern Ireland having a parliament. It was abolished in 1972.

If the UK is not a country, what it is it? There's the United States. Is it not a country? The word "kingdom" is singular in United Kingdom. Therefore it's one thing. I suggest it is a nation state. "Country" is a vague term. I suppose you could call Flanders a "country" but it really is just a part of Belgium.
JaredJames
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#5
Sep17-10, 12:25 AM
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Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
Hmm. I'm thinking of a country as a nation state with a seat at the UN, diplomatic relations and all that. BTW, I was wrong about Northern Ireland having a parliament. It was abolished in 1972.

If the UK is not a country, what it is it? There's the United States. Is it not a country? The word "kingdom" is singular in United Kingdom. Therefore it's one thing. I suggest it is a nation state. "Country" is a vague term. I suppose you could call Flanders a "country" but it really is just a part of Belgium.
It's united in the sense you have four countries all as one. And a kingdom because we have a king (or queen) as a figure head of it.
The uk is a nation.
SW VandeCarr
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#6
Sep17-10, 12:45 AM
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Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
It's united in the sense you have four countries all as one. And a kingdom because we have a king (or queen) as a figure head of it.
The uk is a nation.
I agree with that. But what is England? Ontario is a province of Canada. It has it's own government institutions within a federal structure. The same for the states of Australia and the US, the lander of Germany and the cantons of Switzerland.

England is divided into counties which have their own local governing councils and public responsibilities. But what about England as a whole? What political institutions exist for England and only for England?

I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'd really like to know.
JaredJames
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#7
Sep17-10, 12:58 AM
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It's a country.

The government for england is parliament in westminster. Scotland may have it's own parliament but they are still under the rule of westminster ultimately, wales also has an assembly but that has even less power. The UK is all under the parliament in westminster. Scotland and wales are not seperate. To be truly seperate would make them he same as southern ireland. Which is under its own government.
SW VandeCarr
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#8
Sep17-10, 01:15 AM
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Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
It's a country.

The government for england is parliament in westminster. Scotland may have it's own parliament but they are still under the rule of westminster ultimately, wales also has an assembly but that has even less power. The UK is all under the parliament in westminster. Scotland and wales are not seperate. To be truly seperate would make them he same as southern ireland. Which is under its own government.
I understand all that. You seem to be saying that England is country like Castile is a country within Spain. Both have some distinct identity within a nation state but no uniquely identifying political institutions. Scotland and Wales have there own "local" institutions and Scotland seems to have its own courts as well. But you haven't named any political institutions that exist uniquely for England and only England. Are there any? Westminster legislates for the entire UK. Even if some laws are framed only for England, Westminster is not uniquely an English institution.

EDIT: For example, do the English MPs ever sit as a separate body to legislate for England without Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish MPs?
JaredJames
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#9
Sep17-10, 01:45 AM
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England is a country in the same way spain is a country, in the same way france is a country, in the same way germany is a country. Which is why england, scotland and wales all have international football teams that play in the world cup against france, germany, spain.
JaredJames
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#10
Sep17-10, 01:55 AM
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You seem to be missing the point, westminster legislates for the whole UK. England doesnt need its own government (neither does scotland and wales but thats a seperate debate).

The welsh assembly is pointless and scotland still dont have full control. As far as I'm aware, neither can pass laws.

I live in wales. I really don't see what you want, why is it important england has its own government?

The UK is in the EU. The UK is in the UN. Not the individual countries of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There is no need. The UK is governed as one and operates as one (for the most part).
SW VandeCarr
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#11
Sep17-10, 02:52 AM
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Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
England is a country in the same way spain is a country, in the same way france is a country, in the same way germany is a country. Which is why england, scotland and wales all have international football teams that play in the world cup against france, germany, spain.
That's simply not true. England is a country like Castile or Flanders is a country. (Castile in particular as the historical center of political power in Spain) Yes England does compete under its own flag in sports. That's what makes this an interesting question to me. However it is the UK that is a country like France, Germany and Spain are countries.

You haven't named a single political institution that exists for England and only for England. I'm pretty sure Scotland can legislate for itself for schools and and other areas, If the Scottish Parliament had nothing to do, why would it exist? Same for the Welsh Assembly.

I'm just curious if Welsh and Scottish MPs get to vote for legislation that only affects England in the Westminster Parliament. I think they do, but not the other way round.
cristo
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#12
Sep17-10, 03:16 AM
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I can see your confusion, and it's quite understandable why!

Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
I'm just curious if Welsh and Scottish MPs get to vote for legislation that only affects England in the Westminster Parliament. I think they do, but not the other way round.
Yes, this is true; the issue is known as the West Lothian Question. As you know, every constituency in the UK votes for an MP that sits in Westminster. But those constituencies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland also vote people to sit in their own parliament/assembly. These then have full control over certain devolved issues. But no, there is no separate body that legislates only for England.

As for your question "what is England", it is a country, that is part of a larger country and sovereign state (the UK).
Gokul43201
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#13
Sep17-10, 08:03 AM
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Quote Quote by cristo View Post
As for your question "what is England", it is a country, that is part of a larger country and sovereign state (the UK).
To borrow a quote from someone here: What a weird country!
JaredJames
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#14
Sep17-10, 08:04 AM
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Quote Quote by SW VandeCarr View Post
That's simply not true. England is a country like Castile or Flanders is a country. (Castile in particular as the historical center of political power in Spain) Yes England does compete under its own flag in sports. That's what makes this an interesting question to me. However it is the UK that is a country like France, Germany and Spain are countries.
The UK is what people look at when they consider things such as the EU and UN. Like I said, it is all governed as one and operates as one. There is no need to look at individual country governments. Although when it comes to other matters, they are viewed separately (I say this because, as with my football example, they are given the same standing as France and Germany to compete individually against them. Does Castile have an international team that play against other places such as Spain? No, then it would seem they aren't viewed on the same level).

You haven't named a single political institution that exists for England and only for England.
There isn't one.

I'm pretty sure Scotland can legislate for itself for schools and and other areas,
The only good thing I'm aware of that the Welsh Assembly has done is make all prescription medicine free (as opposed to England where you have to pay for prescriptions).

If the Scottish Parliament had nothing to do, why would it exist? Same for the Welsh Assembly.
For the same reason you end up with ridiculous numbers of management in organisations (particularly the NHS). Someone has a 'good idea' at some point which people see as potentially useful. So far, the Welsh Assemblies job seems to focus on pouring money into various schemes and 'addressing' the somewhat less important issues in Wales (again, this is a a completely separate debate and something I don't think appropriate given your initial question).

I'm just curious if Welsh and Scottish MPs get to vote for legislation that only affects England in the Westminster Parliament. I think they do, but not the other way round.
They do.

England is a country, that, if it chooses can leave the UK (as we could leave the EU) and become independent like Southern Ireland.

I do agree, it is an interesting question, something that I've never really thought about. But then I wouldn't think of it too much, I know what everything is and where each one fits in (UK, GB and the individual countries), I suppose it's one of those 'you have to live there' kind of things.
cristo
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#15
Sep17-10, 08:10 AM
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Quote Quote by Gokul43201 View Post
To borrow a quote from someone here: What a weird country!
Touché!
DaveC426913
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#16
Sep17-10, 08:14 AM
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Wales is a country?
JaredJames
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#17
Sep17-10, 08:14 AM
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Quote Quote by Gokul43201 View Post
To borrow a quote from someone here: What a weird country!
Good job I read this before posting, I thought you put "What a wired country". Was going to start ranting about how the people of the UK are not all drug addicts and it was an accusation without proof. Could have ended badly...
cristo
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#18
Sep17-10, 08:17 AM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
Wales is a country?
It sure is.


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