Economic Geography of The UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Essay by laraa March 2005

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England has been more and more dependent on its industry since the 15th century. The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to become highly industrialized, and today fourteen people work in mining, manufacturing and building for every one in agriculture. It is the world`s third largest exporter of manufactured goods. It has a very wide range of industrial manufactures, and is one of the most important workshops of the world.

The United Kingdom belongs among the top industrial countries. It is economically connected with the Commonwealth countries and since 1973 - when Britain joined the European Economic Community, popularly known as the Common Market - Britain has also worked very closely with Western Europe. It is also a member of G - 7 (The group of Seven leading industrialized countries).

Up to the beginning of the 18th century, Britain`s industry was mainly carried on in the home or in small factories where water-power from rivers was used to drive, for example, looms.

The process of smelting iron with coal was discovered in England in the 17th century.

Then came the industrial revolution with the discovery of steam-power, from coal. Coal and iron ore are both heavy and hard to transport. So industry grew up where they were available - in 25 of the 49 English counties, along the foothills of Highland Britain.

Major industries include iron and steel engineering (including motor vehicles and aircraft), textiles, plastics, cotton, chemicals, electronics, wool, shipbuilding and food products.

The agricultural system is very well developed but the agriculture provides only half the food it needs. The other half of its food have to be imported.

The main products are oats, hay, wheat, barley and sugar beets. Cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry are the most important farm animals in the United Kingdom...