English Reading Practice
The United Kingdom is a country in Northern Europe. It is
actually a country made up of four different countries: England,
Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
This is why the full name of the
United Kingdom is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
The United Kingdom has been a very important country in the world since
the 1600s. It was especially powerful in the 19th and 20th centuries
when it had colonies around the world. "Colonies" are countries that
are ruled by another country.
When the United Kingdom was at its largest, it ruled one-fifth of the
world's population. Today, the United Kingdom does not have many
colonies. It is, however, still a very influential country in the world.
Throughout history, the people of the United Kingdom have been leaders
in many areas. They have made important contributions to literature,
philosophy, science, and math. A "contribution" is something you
give, usually ideas or money.
Perhaps the most important area of
contribution was to the Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution occurred between 1760 and 1840. "Occurred"
means happened or took place. This was a period of time in which
manufacturing, or making things, changed from being done by hand to
being done by machine.
For example, before the Industrial Revolution,
clothes used to be sewn by hand. After the Industrial Revolution,
clothes were sewn by machine.
Making clothing and other products by machine was very important
because it meant that more items could be made in a shorter amount of
For the sellers, the people who sold the items, this was good
because it meant that they had more to sell. For the consumers, the
people who bought the items, it meant that the items cost less for them
Making things with machines also created jobs. People were needed to
run the machines, to fix the machines, and to build the machines.
Because of this, during the Industrial Revolution, many more people
were employed than ever before. "Employed" means having a job.
The economy boomed (became bigger very fast) and people and countries
had more money and items
than ever before. People also had more food and better
housing than they had in the past.
The Industrial Revolution began in the United Kingdom and spread
throughout the world. First, it spread to the rest of Europe and then
to the United States and Asia. Each of these countries benefited from
the use of machines in manufacturing. "Benefited" means to have good
things happen because of something else.
Many historians have said that the Industrial Revolution is one of the
most important events in history. The invention of machines and the use
of them in factories allowed for more people to have items they would
never have been able to afford before. It also helped people have
better food, jobs, and lives.
And now, practice:
The United Kingdom - Exercises
1. What does "contribution" mean?
a) something you take
b) something you give
c) something someones gives you
d) something someone takes from you
2. What does "employed" mean?
a) have a job
b) not have a job
c) have a home
d) not have a home
3. What does "benefitted" mean?
b) have bad things happen
a) have good things happen
b) made something
1. This is why _______ full name of the United Kingdom
is _______ United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2. The United Kingdom _______ a very important country in the
c) has been
d) will be
3. This was a period of time in which manufacturing changed from being
done by hand to being done _______ machine.
1. How many countries make up the United Kingdom?
2. What was the big change that happened in the Industrial Revolution?
3. What did people have more of because of the Industrial Revolution?