THE UNITED KINGDOM 308. An island kingdom.—The People of England sometimes say their country is a "Right little, tight little island ". It is a fine country, rich in things useful to man. The island called Great Britain has three political divisions, England, Scotland and Wales. Ireland is also part of the king dom, the full name of which is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. We often say Great Britain for short.
All together, both of these larger islands and the several islands near them are not as large as California. But fifteen times as many people live there. This is because the British Isles are good from end to end, and have in them so many things that people need for making a living.
309. Climate.—The climate of these isles is fine for men. The west wind from the Atlantic blows most of the time and gives a mild winter and a cool summer. This happens because the water of the ocean does not become hot in sum mer or so cold in winter as the land does. Enough rain falls to keep the British fields green, the pastures growing, and the country beautiful. The Eng: lish people love to have their homes in the country. Even the king is proud of his farm and of his fine cattle. There are more British breeds of sheep and horses and cattle than of any other three coun tries of the world. People have bought them and taken them to every continent, because they are the best animals to be had anywhere..
310. of the land in Wales, in northwest England, and in the highlands of Scotland is hilly. Every day or two the land is wet by rains and mists. In so moist a climate plenty of grass will grow for pasture; therefore this is a great sheep and cattle country. For hundreds of years the herdsmen and the farmers of Scotland and Wales made their living by selling meat, wool, and milk. Southeastern England is a plain. It has less rain than west England and so is a better country for general farming. Here farmers grow wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and vege tables. To make room for pastures and fields nearly all the British forests have been cut down, and no lumber is left.
Almost every board used in Britain comes there in a ship from some other country.
311. Harbors, trade and many good harbors in the British Isles pro tect ships, and make it easy to fish in the sea, and to sail to other countries for trade. There are more good harbors on any one side of Great Britain than on the whole west coast of South America. Every year thousands of ships from every continent go to the British cities such as Liverpool, Glasgow, and London. London, on the river Thames, even though fifty miles in land from the seacoast, sends ships to more places than does any other city in the world. To let the many ships in and out, the river Thames had to be dug deeper, and when the ships filled the river for miles, places for great docks were dug out of the dry land. The city now stands all around these docks, and a second basin has been dug several miles below the city.
312. Manufacturing parts of the United Kingdom are close to the sea, but some of her big cities are inland, near the coal mines, which supply the fuel for factory engines. The cities of Birming ham and Sheffield make iron articles; Manchester (Sec. 185) is famous, you remember, as the great center for cotton cloth; at Leeds and towns near it, woolen cloth is made. From these four cities British ships carry machinery and material for clothing to every country in the world. And the same ships bring back from other lands all the raw cotton used in Great Britain, as well as the sugar, lumber, copper, and oil, most of the wool, and much of the wheat, meat, and fruit. See how useful her ships are to Great Britain. They are kept very busy carrying away the things the kingdom makes, and bring ing back other kinds of things that her people need for food and for manufacturing their exports.
London is the greatest manufacturing city of all, with thousands of factories where hundreds of thousands of people work.