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Quiz about The United Kingdom Explained
Quiz about The United Kingdom Explained

The United Kingdom Explained Trivia Quiz


The challenge is to figure out how the United Kingdom, its four constituent countries, its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, and the broader British Commonwealth fit together as a geo-political whole.

A multiple-choice quiz by reedy. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
reedy
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
401,988
Updated
Apr 06 24
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
479
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: rivenproctor (10/10), Guest 213 (8/10), bigdaviedoc (9/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Let's begin with some basic physical geography. Which of these countries is NOT on the island of Great Britain? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Speaking of islands, let's look at 'The British Isles'. They are an archipelago off the northwest coast of mainland Europe comprised of more than 6,000 islands, although fewer than 200 of them have permanent settlements.

Which of these island groups are not part of the archipelago?
Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Politically, 'The United Kingdom' is a sovereign nation comprised of four constituent countries. If you know which four countries, can you name their capital cities? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. There are three island territories (near Great Britain) that are self-governing possessions of the Crown (The British Monarchy) that are not part of the United Kingdom. Which of these is NOT one of them? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Once upon a time there was a 'British Empire' when the Crown extended its influence across the globe through the 'Age of Exploration' and colonialism. At its height, 'the empire on which the sun never sets' had direct influence over what percentage of the Earth's total land area? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The last remnants of the British Empire are embodied in the 'Overseas Territories' that are still under the direct control of the United Kingdom, in one form or another. The majority of these territories are internally governed, but rely on the U.K. for defence and foreign relations.

Which of these is NOT one of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories?
Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The 'Commonwealth of Nations' is a free association of (mostly) former British colonies or dependencies that achieved independence from the United Kingdom through peaceful diplomatic process. Which of these countries is NOT part of the Commonwealth? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Within the Commonwealth of Nations there is a subset of fifteen co-equal member states that recognize the British monarch as their head of state while still maintaining independent sovereignty.

Which country led the way in the establishment of the 'Commonwealth Realms' by achieving legislative independence from the United Kingdom as a 'Dominion' in 1867?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. After the 1926 Imperial Conference of British Empire leaders, the Balfour Declaration stated that the United Kingdom and Dominions were "autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations."

Who was the King of the United Kingdom at the time of the Balfour Declaration?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Adopted in 2012, the Charter of the Commonwealth sets out the values of the Commonwealth of Nations as well as the commitment of its 53 member states to the statutes therein. Queen Elizabeth II officially signed the Charter in 2013 on Commonwealth Day.

Formerly known as Empire Day, on what day of the year does Commonwealth Day fall?
Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Let's begin with some basic physical geography. Which of these countries is NOT on the island of Great Britain?

Answer: Ireland

Once known as Albion, the island of Great Britain is the largest within archipelago known as 'The British Isles', and it also qualifies as the largest European island. It is the ninth-largest island in the world with an area of 209,331 sq km (80,823 sq mi).

It's highest point, located within the borders of Scotland, is Ben Nevis, with an elevation of 1344 metres (4409 ft).
2. Speaking of islands, let's look at 'The British Isles'. They are an archipelago off the northwest coast of mainland Europe comprised of more than 6,000 islands, although fewer than 200 of them have permanent settlements. Which of these island groups are not part of the archipelago?

Answer: The Channel Islands

The Channel Islands, though politically connected to the United Kingdom, are actually an archipelago to the west of the Cotentin Peninsula of Normandy (France).

In recent years there has arisen some controversy of the use of the term 'The British Isles' to refer to the greater archipelago, largely to the fact that the term 'British' typically refers to someone from Great Britain or to a citizen of the United Kingdom. Some take exception to being lumped in with either of those groups.

Some suggested alternatives for the British Isles include:
- Britain and Ireland
- Atlantic Archipelago
- Anglo-Celtic Isles"
- British-Irish Isles
- Islands of the North Atlantic

It should be noted that in documents drawn up jointly between the British and Irish governments, the archipelago is referred to as "these islands".
3. Politically, 'The United Kingdom' is a sovereign nation comprised of four constituent countries. If you know which four countries, can you name their capital cities?

Answer: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and London

Historically, the Kingdom of England (est. 927) conquered Wales in the 13th century, making it a principality alongside the marcher Lordships, then fully annexed it under English law (making it a single state) in the 16th century. The 1707 union of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain, but even that union was preceded by the monarch of both kingdoms being the same person (James VI of Scotland as James I of England) in 1603. And then came the 1801 union with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Then the Irish War of Independence (1919-21) concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the establishment of an Irish Free State in 1922.

The remaining portion of the island (Northern Ireland) remained within the U.K., and the name was altered to more accurately reflect its composition. 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' was made official by the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act in 1927.

And with the establishment of Northern Ireland as a separate entity from the Irish Free State (later the Republic of Ireland), Belfast became the capital of the newly formed country.
4. There are three island territories (near Great Britain) that are self-governing possessions of the Crown (The British Monarchy) that are not part of the United Kingdom. Which of these is NOT one of them?

Answer: The Faroe Islands

Referred to as 'Crown Dependencies', the three island territories in question are:

(located within the Channel Islands)
-The Bailiwick of Jersey;
-The Bailiwick of Guernsey (sub-jurisdictions of Guernsey, Alderney and Sark); and
-The Isle of Man (located between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland).

----

The Faroe Islands is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark located 320 km (200 mi) north-northwest of Scotland (approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland).
5. Once upon a time there was a 'British Empire' when the Crown extended its influence across the globe through the 'Age of Exploration' and colonialism. At its height, 'the empire on which the sun never sets' had direct influence over what percentage of the Earth's total land area?

Answer: 24%

The British Empire was essentially born out of (largely commercial) competition with other expansionist European states, such as France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. In terms of land under control, direct or indirect, the British Empire was at its peak at the end of the First World War, with 35,500,000 sq km (13,700,000 sq mi) under its sway.

But the Great War, the secession of Ireland, the Great Depression and the Second World War all took its toll on the ability of the Empire to maintain the status quo. Add to that the beginnings of devolution of power to the colonies, begun in the mid to late 19th century, and more and more pressure was put on the government to pursue decolonization.
6. The last remnants of the British Empire are embodied in the 'Overseas Territories' that are still under the direct control of the United Kingdom, in one form or another. The majority of these territories are internally governed, but rely on the U.K. for defence and foreign relations. Which of these is NOT one of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories?

Answer: Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon is an 'Overseas Collectivity' of France, in the same manner of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories.

With the exception of the British Antarctic Territory and the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on Cyprus, all of the other Overseas Territories are islands or island groups.

In the Mediterranean (Strait of Gibraltar):
-Gibraltar

In the Indian Ocean:
-British Indian Ocean Territory

In the Pacific Ocean:
-Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands

In the North Atlantic:
-Bermuda
-Turks and Caicos Islands

In the Caribbean Sea:
-Anguilla
-British Virgin Islands
-Cayman Islands
-Montserrat

In the South Atlantic Ocean:
-Falkland Islands
-Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
-South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
7. The 'Commonwealth of Nations' is a free association of (mostly) former British colonies or dependencies that achieved independence from the United Kingdom through peaceful diplomatic process. Which of these countries is NOT part of the Commonwealth?

Answer: The United States of America

Before they revolted against British rule and declared their independence, the United States of America were part of the initial expansion of the British Empire. The 'First' British Empire reached its pinnacle after the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) with the defeat of the French and the subsequent Treaty of Paris that gave the British control over New France.

It did not take long before Britain was once again embroiled in a fight for possession of the New World, this time against its own Thirteen Colonies. The Revolutionary War lasted from 1775 until 1783 when Colonial forces accepted Cornwallis' surrender and the United States of America was born.
8. Within the Commonwealth of Nations there is a subset of fifteen co-equal member states that recognize the British monarch as their head of state while still maintaining independent sovereignty. Which country led the way in the establishment of the 'Commonwealth Realms' by achieving legislative independence from the United Kingdom as a 'Dominion' in 1867?

Answer: Canada

When Canada was formed through the British North America Act (1867), they became the Dominion of Canada, still under British rule, but with legislative independence (albeit with Royal Assent needed through the Crown's representative, the Governor-General).

This pattern of government began to replicate within certain colonies, and at the 1907 Imperial Conference of British Empire leaders, Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier insisted that a formula be created to differentiate between the Crown and the self-governing colonies. The Canadian precedent was followed, and the term 'Dominion' was extended to apply to Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and the colonies that would become the Union of South Africa in 1910. The Irish Free State would also join in 1922.

Along with the United Kingdom itself, the fourteen nations that are Commonwealth Realms are:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.
9. After the 1926 Imperial Conference of British Empire leaders, the Balfour Declaration stated that the United Kingdom and Dominions were "autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations." Who was the King of the United Kingdom at the time of the Balfour Declaration?

Answer: George V

George V reigned from 1910 until his death in 1936. It was he who held the throne when the British Empire was at its height, and he who ushered it into a new existence.

The Balfour Declaration was named for Alfred Balfour, the Lord President of the Council and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The catalyst for what would become the Balfour Declaration came from the King-Byng affair in Canada, when the Crown's representative, Governor-General Field Marshal the Lord Byng of Vimy refused the advice of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King to dissolve parliament and call a general election. This resulted in a constitutional crisis and the resignation of the Prime Minister.

Following the 1926 Imperial Conference, the same conclusions were restated at the 1930 conference, and subsequently incorporated into the 1931 Statute of Westminster, in which the British parliament renounced any legislative authority over Dominion affairs.

The 1949 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference birthed the modern Commonwealth with the London Declaration, which allowed for the admittance and retention of members that were not Dominions, including both republics and indigenous monarchies. It also changed the name from the 'British Commonwealth of Nations' to the current moniker.
10. Adopted in 2012, the Charter of the Commonwealth sets out the values of the Commonwealth of Nations as well as the commitment of its 53 member states to the statutes therein. Queen Elizabeth II officially signed the Charter in 2013 on Commonwealth Day. Formerly known as Empire Day, on what day of the year does Commonwealth Day fall?

Answer: The second Monday in March

Empire Day was instituted following the death of Queen Victoria and originally celebrated on May 24th, the Queen's birthday. In 1958, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan announced the renaming of Empire Day as Commonwealth Day, and in 1973 the Commonwealth Secretariat selected the second Monday in March as the date on which Commonwealth Day is observed throughout all countries of the Commonwealth.

It should be noted that not all the Commonwealth nations actually celebrate Commonwealth Day.

The Charter of the Commonwealth has a total of sixteen core beliefs:

1. Democracy 2. Human Rights 3. International Peace and Security 4. Tolerance, Respect and Understanding 5. Freedom of Expression 6. Separation of Powers 7. Rule of Law 8. Good Governance 9. Sustainable Development 10. Protecting the Environment 11. Access to Health, Education, Food and Shelter 12. Gender Equality 13. Importance of Young People in the Commonwealth 14. Recognition of the Needs of the Small States 15. Recognition of the Needs of the Vulnerable States 16. The Role of Civil Society. (Source: thecommonwealth.org/about-us/charter)
Source: Author reedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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