Book trade in the United Kingdom
Book trade in the United Kingdom has its roots as far back as the 14th century, however the emergence of internet booksellers such as Amazon partnered with the introduction of the e-Book has drastically altered the scope of the industry. Book retailers such as the Borders Group have failed to adjust to these changes, thus there has been a steep decline in the number of operating traditional and independent bookshops. However, still influential on the trade globally, British publishers such as Penguin Books and Pearson remain dominant players within the industry and continue to publish titles globally. By the 14th century a commercial book trade had been established in the UK, before printing was introduced to Europe by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439 the trade consisted of scribes who wrote manuscripts. By the early 15th century the majority of those engaged in these activities were situated in London and belonged to a trade guild called the Company of Stationers. By the 16th century publishers and printers controlled the book trade and introduced a commercial aspect, relying for much of their income on the sales of popular religious books, almanacs and similar literature.
By the 20th century, as literacy became universal within society and disposable income increased, publishers were faced with new opportunities. In 1900 the Net Book Agreement was introduced to ‘help to maintain a chain of stock holding bookshops while giving the publishers sufficient confidence to publish new titles’The introduction and demise of the Net Book Agreement impacted the publishing industry. First established in 1900, the Act involved an agreement between booksellers and publishers to fix the price of books in order to "help maintain a chain of stock holding bookshops while giving the publishers sufficient confidence to publish new titles" The structure of the industry within the UK has altered over the last few decades, which now establishes itself as part of wider industry globally dominated by international giants such a Pearson, Muse Corporation, Hachette; the gap between small independent booksellers and giant chain sellers has vastly increased, leading to the dissolution of many medium-sized companies.
Technology has extensively affected developments within the publishing industry. Due to having one of the highest levels of internet connectivity in Europe, the industry in the UK experiences the prevalent threat and the vast opportunity of revolutionary technological advances such as the e-book and Amazon. Bookshops have begun to decline over the years, with just over 73 closures in 2013 alone, the UK lost 7% of its remaining Independent book stores; the number of independent book shops has now fallen below 1,000 whilst bigger booksellers such as Borders went into liquidation. In 2013 the publishing contributed to the UK creative economy with 231,000 jobs that had an equal split between men and women. From 2014, brick and mortar shops have been performing better, seeing a light at the end of the Recession period and the boom of the Kindle. Looking at the data provided, Richard Mollet, chief executive of The Publishers Association, explains that "those who tried to maintain that this was a binary choice have been shown to have been posing the question in the wrong way.
It is not a question of either physical or digital winning out, but rather of the sector coalescing around a balanced marketplace where all formats have place. While publishing has been efficient and effective in its adaptation, the underlying driver of the evolution is of course the reader. What the 21st-century consumer desires above all is choice; as long as publishers can give readers the option of paper or screen, the market will - and is - taking care of itself. The ebook is no more a challenge to the lifespan of paper than television is to the theatre". UK publishers of online, publicly accessible open access books include Open Book Publishers, Ubiquity Press, UCL Press. Edinburgh International Book Festival 84 Charing Cross Road, 1987 Notting Hill, 1999 Black Books TV programme, 2000-2004 Bookselling List of bookstore chains#United Kingdom Places with lots of booksellers: Charing Cross Road, London Broad Street, Oxford List of largest book publishers of the United Kingdom Books in the United Kingdom Howard W. Winger.
"Regulations Relating to the Book Trade in London from 1357 to 1586". Library Quarterly. Marjorie Plant; the English Booktrade: An Economic History of the Making and Sale of Books Don-John Dugas. "The London Book Trade in 1709". Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. JSTOR 24304513. James Raven. Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade 1450-1850. ISBN 0300181639. John Hinks. "The Book Trade in Early Modern Britain: Centres and Networks". In Benito Rial Costas. Print Culture and Peripheries in Early Modern Europe: A Contribution to the History of Printing and the Book Trade in Small European and Spanish Cities. Brill. ISBN 9789004235748. William Noblett. "Samuel Paterson and the London Auction Market for Second-Hand Books, 1755–1802". Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. 108. Ian Maxted, Exeter Working Papers in Book History "Publications". Bibliographical Society
British cuisine is the heritage of cooking traditions and practices associated with the United Kingdom. Although Britain has a rich indigenous culinary tradition its colonial history has profoundly enriched its native cooking traditions. British cuisine absorbed the cultural influences of its post-colonial territories – in particular those of South Asia. In ancient times Celtic agriculture and animal breeding produced a wide variety of foodstuffs for the indigenous Celts and Britons. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savoury herb stewing techniques before the practice became common in Europe; the Norman conquest introduced exotic spices into England in the Middle Ages. The British Empire facilitated a knowledge of Indian cuisine with its "strong, penetrating spices and herbs". Food rationing policies put into place by the British government during the wartime periods of the 20th century are considered today to be responsible for British cuisine's poor international reputation. Well-known traditional British dishes include full breakfast and chips, the Christmas dinner, the Sunday roast and kidney pie, shepherd's pie, bangers and mash.
People in Britain however eat a wide variety of foods based on the cuisines of Europe and other parts of the world. British cuisine has many regional varieties within the broader categories of English and Welsh cuisine and Northern Irish cuisine; each has developed its own regional or local dishes, many of which are geographically indicated foods such as Cornish pasties, the Yorkshire pudding, Cumberland Sausage, Arbroath Smokie, Welsh cakes. Romano-British agriculture fertile soils and advanced animal breeding produced a wide variety of high quality foods for indigenous Romano-British people. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savoury herb stewing techniques and the Norman conquest reintroduced exotic spices and continental influences back into Great Britain in the Middle Ages as maritime Britain became a major player in the transcontinental spice trade for many centuries after. Following the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries "plain and robust" food remained the mainstay of the British diet, reflecting tastes which are still shared with neighbouring north European countries and traditional North American Cuisine.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, as the Colonial British Empire began to be influenced by India's elaborate food tradition of "strong, penetrating spices and herbs", the United Kingdom developed a worldwide reputation for the quality of British beef and pedigree bulls were exported to form the bloodline of major modern beef herds in the New World. Developments in plant breeding produced a multiplicity of fruit and vegetable varieties, with British disease-resistant rootstocks still used globally for fruits such as apples. During the World Wars of the 20th century difficulties of food supply were countered by official measures, which included rationing; the problem was worse in WWII, the Ministry of Food was established to address the problems. Due to the economic problems following the war, rationing continued for some years, in some aspects was more strict than during wartime. Rationing was not lifted until a decade after war ended in Europe, so that a whole generation was raised without access to many common ingredients.
These policies, put in place by the British government during wartime periods of the 20th century, are blamed for the decline of British cuisine in the 20th century. The last half of the 20th century saw an increase in the availability of a greater range of good quality fresh products and greater willingness by many sections of the British population to vary their diets and select dishes from other cultures such as those of Italy and India. Efforts have been made to re-introduce pre-20th-century recipes. Ingredients not native to the islands herbs and spices, are added to traditional dishes. Much of Modern British cooking draws on influences from Mediterranean, more Middle Eastern, South Asian, East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines; the traditional influence of northern and central European cuisines is significant but fading. The mid-20th-century British style of cooking emerged as a response to the depressing food rationing that persisted for several years after the Second World War, along with restrictions on foreign currency exchange, making travel difficult.
A hunger for exotic cooking was satisfied by writers such as Elizabeth David, who from 1950 produced evocative books, starting with A Book of Mediterranean Food, whose ingredients were often impossible to find in Britain. By the 1960s foreign holidays, foreign-style restaurants in Britain, further widened the popularity of foreign cuisine. Recent modern British cuisine has been influenced and popularised by TV chefs, all writing books, such as Fanny Cradock, Clement Freud, Robert Carrier, Keith Floyd, Gary Rhodes, Delia Smith, Gordon Ramsay, Ainsley Harriott, Nigella Lawson, Simon Hopkinson, Nigel Slater and Jamie Oliver, alongside The Food Programme, made by BBC Radio 4. Since appearing in Christmas dinner tables in England in the late 16th century, the turkey has become more popular, with Christmas pudding served for dessert; the 16th-century English navigator William Strickland is credited with introducing the turkey into England, 16th-century farmer Thomas Tusser noted that in 1573 turkeys were eaten at Christmas dinner.
Roast turkey is accompanied with roast beef or ham, is served with stuffing, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and vegetables. In addition to Christmas pudding, mince pies, Christmas cake or a yule log are popular des
As a physical object, a book is a stack of rectangular pages oriented with one edge tied, sewn, or otherwise fixed together and bound to the flexible spine of a protective cover of heavier inflexible material. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex. In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its immediate predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf, each side of a leaf is a page; as an intellectual object, a book is prototypically a composition of such great length that it takes a considerable investment of time to compose and a still considerable, though not so extensive, investment of time to read. This sense of book has an unrestricted sense. In the restricted sense, a book is a self-sufficient section or part of a longer composition, a usage that reflects the fact that, in antiquity, long works had to be written on several scrolls, each scroll had to be identified by the book it contained.
So, for instance, each part of Aristotle's Physics is called a book, as of course the Bible encompasses many different books. In the unrestricted sense, a book is the compositional whole of which such sections, whether called books or chapters or parts, are parts; the intellectual content in a physical book need not be a composition, nor be called a book. Books can consist only of drawings, engravings, or photographs, or such things as crossword puzzles or cut-out dolls. In a physical book the pages can be left blank or can feature an abstract set of lines as support for on-going entries, i.e. an account book, an appointment book, a log book, an autograph book, a notebook, a diary or day book, or a sketch book. Some physical books are made with pages thick and sturdy enough to support other physical objects, like a scrapbook or photograph album. Books may be distributed in electronic form as other formats. Although in ordinary academic parlance a monograph is understood to be a specialist academic work, rather than a reference work on a single scholarly subject, in library and information science monograph denotes more broadly any non-serial publication complete in one volume or a finite number of volumes, in contrast to serial publications like a magazine, journal, or newspaper.
An avid reader or collector of books or a book lover is a bibliophile or colloquially, "bookworm". A shop where books are bought and sold is a bookstore. Books are sold elsewhere. Books can be borrowed from libraries. Google has estimated that as of 2010 130,000,000 distinct titles had been published. In some wealthier nations, the sale of printed books has decreased because of the use of e-books, though sales of e-books declined in the first half of 2015; the word book comes from Old English "bōc", which in turn comes from the Germanic root "*bōk-", cognate to "beech". In Slavic languages "буква" is cognate with "beech". In Russian and in Serbian and Macedonian, the word "букварь" or "буквар" refers to a primary school textbook that helps young children master the techniques of reading and writing, it is thus conjectured. The Latin word codex, meaning a book in the modern sense meant "block of wood"; when writing systems were created in ancient civilizations, a variety of objects, such as stone, tree bark, metal sheets, bones, were used for writing.
A tablet is a physically robust writing medium, suitable for casual transport and writing. Clay tablets were flattened and dry pieces of clay that could be carried, impressed with a stylus, they were used as a writing medium for writing in cuneiform, throughout the Bronze Age and well into the Iron Age. Wax tablets were pieces of wood covered in a thick enough coating of wax to record the impressions of a stylus, they were the normal writing material in schools, in accounting, for taking notes. They had the advantage of being reusable: the wax could be melted, reformed into a blank; the custom of binding several wax tablets together is a possible precursor of modern bound books. The etymology of the word codex suggests that it may have developed from wooden wax tablets. Scrolls can be made from papyrus, a thick paper-like material made by weaving the stems of the papyrus plant pounding the woven sheet with a hammer-like tool until it is flattened. Papyrus was used for writing in Ancient Egypt as early as the First Dynasty, although the first evidence is from the account books of King Nefertiti Kakai of the Fifth Dynasty.
Papyrus sheets were glued together to form a scroll. Tree bark such as lime and other materials were used. According to Herodotus, the Phoenicians brought writing and papyrus to Greece around the 10th or 9th century BC; the Greek word for papyrus as writing material and book come from the Phoenician port town Byblos, through which papyrus was exported to Greece. From Greek we derive the word tome, which meant a slice or piece and from there began to denote "a roll of papyrus". Tomus was used by the Latins with the same meaning as volumen. Whether made from papyrus, parchment, or paper, scrolls were the dominant form of book in the Hellenistic, Chinese and Macedonian culture
Ethnic groups in the United Kingdom
People from various ethnicities reside in the United Kingdom. Intermittent migration from Northern Europe has been happening for millennia, with other groups such as British Jews well established. Since World War II, substantial immigration from the New Commonwealth and the rest of the world has altered the demography of many cities in the United Kingdom. Indigenous British people are descended from the varied ethnic stocks that settled on Britain from the time of the last ice age until the 11th century. Included in these peoples are pre-Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons and the Normans; some recent genetic analysis has suggested that the majority of the traceable ancestors of the modern British population arrived between 15,000 and 7,600 years ago and that the British broadly share a common ancestry with the Basque people, although there is no consensus amongst geneticists. The first Jews in Britain were brought to England in 1070 by King William the Conqueror, while Roma in Britain have been documented since the 16th century.
The UK has a history of small-scale non-European immigration, with Liverpool having the oldest Black British community, dating back to at least the 1730s during the period of the African slave trade, the oldest Chinese community in Europe, dating to the arrival of Chinese seamen in the 19th century. Since 1948 substantial immigration from Africa, the West Indies and the Indian Subcontinent has been a legacy of ties forged by the British Empire. Migration from new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe since 2004 has resulted in growth in these population groups. Sociologist Steven Vertovec argues that whereas "Britain's immigrant and ethnic minority population has conventionally been characterized by large, well-organized African-Caribbean and South Asian communities of citizens from Commonwealth countries or colonial territories", more the level of diversity of the population has increased as a result of "an increased number of new and scattered, multiple-origin, transnationally connected, socio-economically differentiated and stratified immigrants".
He terms this "superdiversity". The 2001 UK Census classified ethnicity into several groups: White, Asian, Mixed and Other; these categories formed the basis for all National Statistics ethnicity statistics until the 2011 Census results were issued. The 1991 UK census was the first to include a question on ethnicity. A number of academics have pointed out that the ethnicity classification employed in the census and other official statistics in the UK since 1991 involve confusion between the concepts of ethnicity and race. David I. Kertzer and Dominique Arel argue that this is the case in many censuses, that "the case of Britain is illuminative of the recurring failure to distinguish race from ethnicity". User consultation undertaken for the purpose of planning the 2011 census revealed that some participants thought the "use of colour to define ethnicity is confusing or unacceptable". According to the 2011 Census, the ethnic composition of the United Kingdom was as set out in the table below. Note: In the 2011 Census Black Africans surpassed Black Caribbeans for the first time and became the largest black group: https://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/2011-census-british-africans-now-dominant-black-group The British government recognises the Scottish, Welsh and Cornish peoples as national minorities under the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, which the UK signed in 1995 and ratified in 1998.
It is estimated that in 1950 there were no more than 20,000 non-white residents in the United Kingdom in England and all born overseas. With considerable migration after the Second World War making the UK an ethnically and racially diverse state in London, race relations policies have been developed that broadly reflect the principles of multiculturalism, although there is no official national commitment to multiculturalism; this model has faced criticism on the grounds that it has failed to sufficiently promote social integration, although some commentators have questioned the dichotomy between diversity and integration that this critique presumes. It has been argued that the UK government has since 2001, moved away from policy characterised by multiculturalism and towards the assimilation of minority communities. A poll conducted by MORI for the BBC in 2005 found that 62 per cent of respondents agreed that multiculturalism made Britain a better place to live, compared to 32 percent who saw it as a threat.
Ipsos MORI data from 2008 by contrast, showed that only 30 per cent saw multiculturalism as making Britain a better place to live, with 38 per cent seeing it as a threat. 41 per cent of respondents to the 2008 poll favoured the development of a shared identity over the celebration of diverse values and cultures, with 27 per cent favouring the latter and 30 per cent undecided. A study conducted for the Commission for Racial Equality in 2005 found that in England, the majority of ethnic minority participants called themselves British, whereas indigenous English participants said English first and British second. In Wales and Scotland the majority of white and ethnic minority participants said Welsh or Scottish first and British second, although crucially they saw no incompatibility between the two identities. Other research conducted for the CRE found that white participants felt that there was a threat to Britishness from large-scale immigration, the claims that they perceived ethnic minorities made on the welfare state, a rise in moral pluralism and perceived political correctness.
Much of this frustration was vented at Muslims rather than minorities in general. Muslim participants in the study reported f
Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon and Facebook. Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph. D. students at Stanford University in California. Together they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock, they incorporated Google as a held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering took place on August 19, 2004, Google moved to its headquarters in Mountain View, nicknamed the Googleplex. In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet Inc. Google is Alphabet's leading subsidiary and will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet's Internet interests. Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google.
The company's rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine. It offers services designed for work and productivity, email and time management, cloud storage, instant messaging and video chat, language translation and navigation, video sharing, note-taking, photo organizing and editing; the company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system based on the Chrome browser. Google has moved into hardware. Google has experimented with becoming an Internet carrier. Google.com is the most visited website in the world. Several other Google services figure in the top 100 most visited websites, including YouTube and Blogger. Google is the most valuable brand in the world as of 2017, but has received significant criticism involving issues such as privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust and search neutrality. Google's mission statement is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".
The companies unofficial slogan "Don't be evil" was removed from the company's code of conduct around May 2018. Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in Stanford, California. While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, the two theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships among websites, they called this new technology PageRank. Page and Brin nicknamed their new search engine "BackRub", because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site, they changed the name to Google. The domain name for Google was registered on September 15, 1997, the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998, it was based in the garage of a friend in California. Craig Silverstein, a fellow PhD student at Stanford, was hired as the first employee. Google was funded by an August 1998 contribution of $100,000 from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems.
Google received money from three other angel investors in 1998: Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Stanford University computer science professor David Cheriton, entrepreneur Ram Shriram. Between these initial investors and family Google raised around 1 million dollars, what allowed them to open up their original shop in Menlo Park, California After some additional, small investments through the end of 1998 to early 1999, a new $25 million round of funding was announced on June 7, 1999, with major investors including the venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital. In March 1999, the company moved its offices to Palo Alto, home to several prominent Silicon Valley technology start-ups; the next year, Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords against Page and Brin's initial opposition toward an advertising-funded search engine. To maintain an uncluttered page design, advertisements were text-based. In June 2000, it was announced that Google would become the default search engine provider for Yahoo!, one of the most popular websites at the time, replacing Inktomi.
In 2003, after outgrowing two other locations, the company leased an office complex from Silicon Graphics, at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway in Mountain View, California. The complex became known as the Googleplex, a play on the word googolplex, the number one followed by a googol zeroes. Three years Google bought the property from SGI for $319 million. By that time, the name "Google
Culture of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom's culture is influenced by its history as a developed state, a liberal democracy and a great power. To a lesser extent the culture of Greece has somewhat influenced British culture via Humanism. British literature, cinema, theatre, media, philosophy and education are important aspects of British culture; the United Kingdom is prominent in science and technology, producing world-leading scientists and inventions. Sport is an important part of British culture; the UK has been described as a "cultural superpower", London has been described as a world cultural capital. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw the UK ranked the third most positively viewed nation in the world in 2013 and 2014; the Industrial Revolution, which started in the UK, had a profound effect on the family socio-economic and cultural conditions of the world. As a result of the British Empire, significant British influence can be observed in the language, law and institutions of a geographically wide assortment of countries, including Australia, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, the United States and other English speaking nations.
These states are sometimes collectively known as the Anglosphere, are among Britain's closest allies. In turn the empire influenced British culture British cuisine; the cultures of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are diverse and have varying degrees of overlap and distinctiveness. First spoken in early medieval England, the English language is the de facto official language of the UK, is spoken monolingually by an estimated 95% of the British population. Individual countries within the UK have frameworks for the promotion of their indigenous languages. In Wales, all pupils at state schools must either be taught through the medium of Welsh or study it as an additional language until age 16, the Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 provide that the Welsh and English languages should be treated in the public sector, so far as is reasonable and practicable. Irish and Ulster Scots enjoy limited use alongside English in Northern Ireland in publicly commissioned translations.
The Gaelic Language Act, passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2005, recognised Gaelic as an official language of Scotland, commanding equal respect with English, required the creation of a national plan for Gaelic to provide strategic direction for the development of the Gaelic language. A 2010 poll among Scots saw a majority view Scots as a dialect of English and not a separate language; the Cornish language is a revived language that became extinct as a first language in Cornwall in the late 18th century. Under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the UK Government has committed to the promotion of certain linguistic traditions; the United Kingdom has ratified the charter for: Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Scots and Irish and Ulster Scots. British Sign Language is a recognised language. Owing to its long history and regional accents vary amongst the four countries of the United Kingdom, as well as within the countries themselves; some nearby cities have different dialects and accents, such as Scousers from Liverpool and Mancunians from Manchester, which are separated by just 35 miles.
Notable Scouse speakers include John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles, while Mancunians include Liam and Noel Gallagher from Oasis. The Cockney accent is traditionally spoken by working-class Londoners. Michael Caine is a notable exponent, as is Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, whose dialect includes words that are common among working-class Londoners, such as ain't: "I ain't done nothing wrong", said Doolittle. Received Pronunciation is the accent of standard English in the UK, with speakers including the British Royal Family. Brummie is the dialect of natives of Birmingham in the West Midlands of England: notable Brummies include rock musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Jeff Lynne, Rob Halford. Geordie is the dialect of people from Tyneside in northeast England: musicians Brian Johnson, Mark Knopfler and Sting are Geordies. Ant & Dec are notable television presenters with Geordie accents. Notable exponents of Scottish accents include Sean Connery, comedian Billy Connolly, The Proclaimers; the West Country accent from southwest England is identified in film as "pirate speech" – cartoon-like "Ooh arr, me'earties!
Sploice the mainbrace!" Talk is similar, while famous pirates hailed from this region, including Blackbeard. Well-known exponents include actor/producer Stephen Merchant, musician Tricky, journalist/writer Julie Burchill; the Northern Irish accent includes golfer Rory McIlroy and actor Liam Neeson the actor Daniel Day-Lewis adopts a strong Northern Irish accent in In the Name of the Father. The actor Russell Brand has a strong Essex accent, actor Sean Bean is known for his distinctive Yorkshire accent, the comedian Eric Morecambe possessed a Lancashire accent
Sport in the United Kingdom
Sport in the United Kingdom plays an important role in British culture. The United Kingdom has given birth to a range of major international sports including: association football, cricket, darts, tennis, table tennis, squash, fives, modern rowing, boxing, water polo, snooker and curling; this has meant that in the infancy of many sports, Scotland and Ireland formed among the earliest separate governing bodies, national teams and domestic league competitions. After 1922 some sports formed separate bodies for Northern Ireland though some continued to be organised on an all-Ireland basis. In a small number of sports, these teams are supplemented by high-profile events featuring a combined team representing one or more nations. For information on sports in a British home nation you may wish, therefore, to consider reading the Sport in England, Sport in Scotland, Sport in Wales or Sport in Northern Ireland articles, or the Sport in Ireland article where appropriate. Overall, association football attracts the most viewers and money though the nation is notable for the diversity of its sporting interests at the elite level.
Major individual sports include athletics, cycling and horse racing. Tennis is the highest profile sport for the two weeks of the Wimbledon Championships, but otherwise struggles to hold its own in the country of its birth. Snooker and Darts, enjoy period profile boosts in line with the holding of their largest events. Many other sports are played and followed to a lesser degree. There is much debate over which sport has the most active participants with swimming, cycling all found to have wider active participation than association football in the 2010 Sport England Active People survey. Writing about has explained the role of Puritan power, the English Civil War, the Restoration of the monarchy in England; the Long Parliament in 1642 "banned theatres with Puritan disapproval. Although similar action would be taken against certain sports, it is not clear if cricket was in any way prohibited, except that players must not break the Sabbath". In 1660, "the Restoration of the monarchy in England was followed by the reopening of the theatres and so any sanctions, imposed by the Puritans on cricket would have been lifted."
He goes on to make the key point that political and economic conditions in the aftermath of the Restoration encouraged excessive gambling, so much so that a Gambling Act was deemed necessary in 1664. It is certain that horse racing and boxing were financed by gambling interests. Leech explains that it was the habit of cricket patrons, all of whom were gamblers, to form strong teams through the 18th century to represent their interests, he defines a strong team as one representative of more than one parish and he is certain that such teams were first assembled in or after 1660. Prior to the English Civil War and the Commonwealth, all available evidence concludes that cricket had evolved to the level of village cricket only where teams that are representative of individual parishes compete; the "strong teams" of the post-Restoration mark the evolution of cricket from the parish standard to the county standard. This was the point of origin for first-class, cricket; the year 1660 marks the origin of professional team sport.
Cricket had become well-established among the English upper class in the 18th century, was a major factor in sports competition among the public schools. Army units around the Empire had time on their hands, encouraged the locals to learn cricket so they could have some entertaining competition. Most of the Empire embraced cricket, with the exception of Canada. Cricket test matches began by the 1870s. A number of the public schools such as Winchester and Eton, introduced variants of football and other sports for their pupils; these were described at the time as "innocent and lawful" in comparison with the rougher rural games. With urbanization in the 19th century, the rural games moved to the new urban centres and came under the influence of the middle and upper classes; the rules and regulations devised at English institutions began to be applied to the wider game, with governing bodies in England being set up for a number of sports by the end of the 19th century. The rising influence of the upper class produced an emphasis on the amateur, the spirit of "fair play".
The industrial revolution brought with it increasing mobility, created the opportunity for universities in Britain and elsewhere to compete with one another. This sparked increasing attempts to unify and reconcile various games in England, leading to the establishment of the Football Association in London, the first official governing body in football. For sports to become professionalized, coaching had to come first, it professionalized in the Victorian era and the role was well established by 1914. In the First World War, military units sought out the coaches to supervise physical conditioning and develop morale-building teams. British Prime Minister John Major was the political leader most identified with promotion of sports. In 1995 he argued: We invented the majority of the world's great sports.... 19th century Britain was the cradle of a leisure revolution every bit as significant as the agricultural and industrial revolutions we launched in the century before. The British showed a more profound interest in sports, in greater variety, than any rival.