What is the difference between England and Britain?
There are so many people outside of the United Kingdom who confuse England and Great Britain and think that they refer to the same location. While they do share the same history, they are not the same. Great Britain is the name given to the island off the west coast of Europe across the English Channel from France. There are two countries on this island – England and Scotland and the principality of Wales. Therefore England is part of Great Britain but it is not all of it.
Each of the countries has its own capital city. London is the capital of England, Cardiff is the capital of Wales and Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. Each country is also divided into different regions known as counties.
There is also a difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Great Britain is a part of the United Kingdom but so is Northern Ireland. Great Britain is a different location altogether from Northern Ireland and the only connection that they have is as part of the United Kingdom.
Great Britain is used as both a political and geographical term. When it is used in the political sense it refers to England, Scotland and Wales. When it is used in the geographical sense it refers to its position as an island in the North Atlantic.
England was once known as Enga Land and the people were known as Angles, who originally came from Germany when they invaded the island in the 5th century A.D. They were aided by the Saxons and the Jutes in this invasion. The term Great Britain as the name of the land was not used until 1603 during the reign of King James I.