Great Britain According to Alden's 1885 Atlas of the World
The largest island of Europe, and forming, with Ireland and the adjacent islands, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The union of England and Ireland was effected January 1, 1800.
Area of the kingdom, 120,832 square miles. Pop., 35,241,482. The divisions are: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Capital, London; pop., 4,766,661. Thirty-five cities have over 75,000 population. Climate is variable but healthful. Average temperature, 50°. Rainfall, London, 25 inches; Glasgow, 21; and Dublin, 29.
Middle-class education is entirely unorganized; no complete, trustworthy statistics are to be had. There were, in 1884, 69 universities and colleges, with 23,823 students. In 1881, there were 1,855 schools of science, with 66,000 students. Number of public libraries, 202. The library of the British Museum has 32 miles of shelves, filled with books. Number of daily papers, 169.
The most important minerals are coal and iron. In 1883, coal product was 163,737,327 tons; value, $230,270,715. Iron ore, 17,383,046 tons; value, $25,611,905. In 1883, 1,724,251 tons of pig iron were used in the manufacture of Bessemer steel, 1,097,174 tons of it being made into steel rails. Over 800 tons of steel are annually consumed in the manufacture of pens, Birmingham alone using 500 tons; the average yearly production is 800,000,000.
There are 2,674 cotton factories, employing 482,903 persons. Total number of all factories, 7,105; number of persons employed, 975,546, of whom 110,585 are children under 13 years of age. Men employed, 38 per cent.; women, 62 per cent. Amount of cotton imported, 1883, 1,734,333,552 lbs.; wool, 495,946,779 lbs.
Standing army in time of peace unlawful without the consent of Parliament; annual appropriation of Commons for support of troops, based on "estimates" made by the Cabinet. For 1884 and 1885, home and colonial effectives and reserves, 644,753.
First railway opened in 1825. In 1883, there were 18,681 miles of railway; 13,215 belonging to England and Wales, 2,964 to Scotland, and 2,502 to Ireland. Number of postoffices, 1884, 15,951; and, in addition, 15,749 road and pillar boxes. There are 27,604 miles of telegraph lines, and 140,498 miles of wire.
The colonies and dependencies of Great Britain have an estimated area of 8,000,000 square miles. Of this vast extent of territory, over 3,500,000 square miles are in America, over 250,000 in Africa, over 1,000,000 in Asia, and 3,000,000 in Australasia.