A city is a large human settlement. Cities have extensive systems for housing, sanitation, land use, communication, their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process. City-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability. Present-day cities form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters traveling towards city centers for employment and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are in different degree connected globally beyond these regions; the most populated city proper is Chongqing while the most populous metropolitan areas are the Greater Tokyo Area, the Shanghai area, Jabodetabek. The cities of Faiyum and Varanasi are among those laying claim to longest continual inhabitation.
A city is distinguished from other human settlements by its great size, but by its functions and its special symbolic status, which may be conferred by a central authority. The term can refer either to the physical streets and buildings of the city or to the collection of people who dwell there, can be used in a general sense to mean urban rather than rural territory. A variety of definitions, invoking population, population density, number of dwellings, economic function, infrastructure, are used in national censuses to classify populations as urban. Common population definitions for a city range between 1,500 and 50,000 people, with most U. S. states using a minimum between 5,000 inhabitants. However, some jurisdictions set no such minimums. In the United Kingdom, city status is awarded by the government and remains permanently, resulting in some small cities, such as Wells and St Davids. According to the "functional definition" a city is not distinguished by size alone, but by the role it plays within a larger political context.
Cities serve as administrative, commercial and cultural hubs for their larger surrounding areas. Examples of settlements called city which may not meet any of the traditional criteria to be named such include Broad Top City and City Dulas, Anglesey, a hamlet; the presence of a literate elite is sometimes included in the definition. A typical city has professional administrators and some form of taxation to support the government workers; the governments may be based on heredity, military power, work projects such as canal building, food distribution, land ownership, commerce, finance, or a combination of these. Societies that live in cities are called civilizations; the word city and the related civilization come, via Old French, from the Latin root civitas meaning citizenship or community member and coming to correspond with urbs, meaning city in a more physical sense. The Roman civitas was linked with the Greek "polis"—another common root appearing in English words such as metropolis. Urban geography deals both with their internal structure.
Town siting has varied through history according to natural, technological and military contexts. Access to water has long been a major factor in city placement and growth, despite exceptions enabled by the advent of rail transport in the nineteenth century, through the present most of the world's urban population lives near the coast or on a river. Urban areas as a rule cannot produce their own food and therefore must develop some relationship with a hinterland which sustains them. Only in special cases such as mining towns which play a vital role in long-distance trade, are cities disconnected from the countryside which feeds them. Thus, centrality within a productive region influences siting, as economic forces would in theory favor the creation of market places in optimal mutually reachable locations; the vast majority of cities have a central area containing buildings with special economic and religious significance. Archaeologists refer to this area by the Greek term temenos; these spaces reflect and amplify the city's centrality and importance to its wider sphere of influence.
Today cities have downtown, sometimes coincident with a central business district. Cities have public spaces where anyone can go; these include owned spaces open to the public as well as forms of public land such as public domain and the commons. Western philosophy since the time of the Greek agora has considered physical public space as the substrate of the symbolic public sphere. Public art adorns public spaces. Parks and other natural sites within cities provide residents with relief from the hardness and regularity of typical built environments. Urban structure follows one or more basic patterns: geomorphic, concentric and curvilinear. Physical environment constrains the form in which a city is built. If located on a mountainside, urban structure may rely on winding roads, it may be adapted to its means of subsistence. And it may be set up for optimal defense given the surrounding landscape. Beyond these "geomorphi
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status; the NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK. As with other emergency services, the public access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers. In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, as part of community provision of services such as community first responders. Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations.
Paramedics are seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service. Public ambulance services across the UK are required by law to respond to four types of requests for care, which are: Emergency calls Doctor's urgent admission requests High dependency and urgent inter-hospital transfers Major incidentsAmbulance trusts and services may undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts, although these contracts are fulfilled by private and voluntary providers; the National Health Service Act 1946 gave county and borough councils a statutory responsibility to provide an emergency ambulance service, although they could contract a voluntary ambulance service to provide this, with many contracting the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance or another local provider.
The last St John Division, to be so contracted is reputed to have been at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, where the two-bay ambulance garage can still be seen at the branch headquarters. The Regional Ambulance Officers’ Committee reported in 1979 that “There was considerable local variation in the quality of the service provided in relation to vehicles and equipment. Most Services were administered by Local Authorities through their Medical Officer of Health and his Ambulance Officer, a few were under the aegis of the Fire Service, whilst others relied upon agency methods for the provision of part or all of their services.” The 142 existing ambulance services were transferred by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 from local authority to central government control in 1974, consolidated into 53 services under regional or area health authorities. This led to the formation of predominantly county based ambulance services, which merged up and changed responsibilities until 2006, when there were 31 NHS ambulance trusts in England.
The June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health led to the merging of the 31 trusts into 13 organisations in England, plus one organisation each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Following further changes as part of the NHS foundation trust pathway, this has further reduced to 10 ambulance service trusts in England, plus the Isle of Wight which has its own provision. Following the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of the ambulance services in each area passed from central government control into the hands of regional clinical commissioning groups; the commissioners in each region are responsible for contracting with a suitable organisation to provide ambulance services within their geographical territory. The primary provider for each area is held by a public NHS body, of which there are 11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries. In England there are now ten NHS ambulance trusts, as well as an ambulance service on the Isle of Wight, run directly by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, with boundaries following those of the former regional government offices.
The ten trusts are: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust London Ambulance Service NHS Trust North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS TrustThe English ambulance trusts are represented by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, with the Scottish and Northern Irish providers all associate members. On the 14 November 2018 West Midlands Ambulance Service became the UK's first university-ambulance trust; the service was operated before reorganisation in 1974 by the St Andrews’ Ambulance Association under contract to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Scottish Ambulance Service is a Special Health Board that provides ambulance services throughout whole of Scotland, on behalf of the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
Due to the remote nature of many areas of Scotland compared to the other Home Nations, the Scottish Ambulance Service has Britain's only publi
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Carrickfergus is a 44-line poem by Louis MacNeice. It was written in 1937 and first published in book form in MacNeice's poetry collection The Earth Compels; the poem reflects on MacNeice's childhood in Carrickfergus, a large town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Although the title of the poem is Carrickfergus, the text of the poem refers to "Carrick", as the town is known locally and colloquially. Louis MacNeice was born in 1907 in Belfast, as he notes in the opening lines of Carrickfergus: In November 1908 Louis MacNeice's father, John MacNeice, was appointed Rector of St Nicholas' Church, in January 1909 the family moved to Carrickfergus, a town ten miles from Belfast on the northern shore of Belfast Lough: The MacNeices lived first in a house at 5 Governor's Walk, facing the harbour. "Its front door opened on the street, the farther side of, flanked by the harbour wall, so that in rough weather spray would lash the windows. The rector liked its closeness to the sea as well as to the historic castle and to his church."
In early 1911 the MacNeices moved into Carrickfergus Rectory, a large house with a garden, "far from the dirt and noise of the harbour, on the other side of town." Here Louis MacNeice spent his childhood until, at the age of ten, he began at Sherborne Preparatory School, Dorset: In Carrickfergus, Louis MacNeice reflects on his childhood growing up in Carrickfergus. One stanza describes his position as the son of John MacNeice – "I was the rector's son, born to the anglican order" – and mentions the Chichester Monument, an elaborate marble monument in St Nicholas' Church which made a deep impression on the young Louis MacNeice, he would include a description of the Chichester Monument in his unfinished autobiography, The Strings are False: "a huge Elizabethan monument to the Chichester family, the power in the land."Carrickfergus describes a wartime childhood, with rationing and "maps above the fireplace", a "huge camp of soldiers" in sight of Carrickfergus Rectory. Carrickfergus is a poem of each of four lines.
The second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyme. MacNeice makes use of poetic devices such as assonance – "the clang of trams" – and alliteration – "sweat and khaki in the Carlisle train"; the poem is autobiographical, is narrated in the first person by Louis MacNeice: "I was born in Belfast... I was the rector's son... I went to school in Dorset..."
County Antrim is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 3,046 square kilometres and has a population of about 618,000. County Antrim has a population density of 203 people per square kilometre or 526 people per square mile, it is one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland, as well as part of the historic province of Ulster. The Glens of Antrim offer isolated rugged landscapes, the Giant's Causeway is a unique landscape and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bushmills produces whiskey, Portrush is a popular seaside resort and night-life area; the majority of Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, is in County Antrim, with the remainder being in County Down. According to the 2001 census, it is one of only two counties of Ireland in which a majority of the population are from a Protestant background; the other is County Down to the south. A large portion of Antrim is hilly in the east, where the highest elevations are attained.
The range runs north and south, following this direction, the highest points are Knocklayd 514 m, Slieveanorra 508 m, Trostan 550 m, Slemish 437 m, Agnew's Hill 474 m and Divis 478 m. The inland slope is gradual, but on the northern shore the range terminates in abrupt and perpendicular declivities, here some of the finest coast scenery in the world is found differing, with its unbroken lines of cliffs, from the indented coast-line of the west; the most remarkable cliffs are those formed of perpendicular basaltic columns, extending for many miles, most strikingly displayed in Fair Head and the celebrated Giant's Causeway. From the eastern coast the hills rise but less abruptly, the indentations are wider and deeper. On both coasts there are several resort towns, including Portrush and Ballycastle. All are somewhat exposed to the easterly winds prevalent in spring; the only island of size is the L-shaped Rathlin Island, off Ballycastle, 11 km in total length by 2 km maximum breadth, 7 km from the coast, of similar basaltic and limestone formation to that of the mainland.
It is arable, supports a small population. Islandmagee is a peninsula separating Larne Lough from the North Channel; the valleys of the Bann and Lagan, with the intervening shores of Lough Neagh, form the fertile lowlands. These two rivers, both rising in County Down, are the only ones of importance; the latter flows to Belfast Lough, the former drains Lough Neagh, fed by a number of smaller streams. The fisheries of the Bann and of Lough Neagh are of value both commercially and to sportsmen, the small town of Toome, at the outflow of the river, being the centre. Below this point lies Lough Beg, the "Small Lake", about 4.5 m lower than Lough Neagh. County Antrim has a number of air and sea links. Northern Ireland's main airport, Belfast International Airport, at Aldergrove is in County Antrim. Belfast International shares its runways with 38 Brigade Flying Station Aldergrove, which otherwise has its own facilities, it is the fifth-largest regional air cargo centre in the UK. There are regular services to Great Britain and North America.
The region is served by George Best Belfast City Airport, a mile east of Belfast city centre on the County Down side of the city, renamed in 2006 in honour of footballer George Best. The main Translink Northern Ireland Railways routes are the major line between Belfast, Ballymena and Derry, Belfast to Carrickfergus and Larne, the port for Stranraer in Scotland and Coleraine to Portrush. Two of Northern Ireland's main ports are in County Antrim and Belfast. Ferries sail from Larne Harbour to destinations including Cairnryan in Scotland; the Port of Belfast is Northern Ireland's principal maritime gateway, serving the Northern Ireland economy and that of the Republic of Ireland. It is a major centre of industry and commerce and has become established as the focus of logistics activity for Northern Ireland. Around two-thirds of Northern Ireland's seaborne trade, a quarter of that for Ireland as a whole is handled at the port, which receives over 6,000 vessels each year; the population of County Antrim was 615,384 according to recent census information, making it the most populous county in Northern Ireland.
Statistics for 2009–2010 show 1,832 students attending the 12 Gaelscoileanna and 1 Gaelcholáiste. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland is the largest religious denomination, followed by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church of Ireland. County Antrim is one of two counties in Ireland in which the majority of people are Protestant, according to the 2001 census, the other being Down; the strong Presbyterian presence in the county is due to the county's historical links with lowland Scotland, which supplied many immigrants to Ireland. Protestants are the majority in most of the county, whilst Catholics are concentrated in Belfast the west of the city, the northeast, on the shore of Lough Neagh; the traditional county town is Antrim. More Ballymena was the seat of county government; the counties of Northern Ireland ceased to be administrative entities in 1973, with the reorganization of local government. In Northern Ireland the county structure is no long
Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Besieged in turn by the Scottish, Irish and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in Northern Ireland, it was strategically useful, with 3/4 of the castle perimeter surrounded by water. Today it is maintained by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency as a state care historic monument, at grid ref: J4143 8725. Carrickfergus was built by John de Courcy in 1177 as his headquarters, after he conquered eastern Ulster in 1177 and ruled as a petty king until 1204, when he was ousted by another Norman adventurer, Hugh de Lacy. De Courcy built the inner ward, a small bailey at the end of the promontory with a high polygonal curtain wall and east gate, it had several buildings, including the great hall. From its strategic position on a rocky promontory almost surrounded by sea, the castle commanded Carrickfergus Bay, the land approaches into the walled town that developed beneath its shadow.
It appears first in the official English records in 1210 when King John laid siege to it and took control of what was Ulster's premier strategic garrison. Following its capture, constables were appointed to command the surrounding area. In 1217 the new constable, De Serlane, was assigned one hundred pounds to build a new curtain wall so that the approach along the rock could be protected, as well as the eastern approaches over the sand exposed at low tide; the middle-ward curtain wall was reduced to ground level in the eighteenth century, save along the seaward side, where it survives with a postern gate and the east tower, notable for a fine array of cross-bow loops at basement level. A chamber on the first floor of the east tower is believed to have been the castle's chapel on account of its fine Romanesque-style double window surround, though the original chapel must have been in the inner ward; the ribbed vault over the entrance passage, the murder hole and the massive portcullis at either end of the gatehouse are insertions started by Hugh de Lacey who died in 1248 and did not live to see its completion in around 1250.
It was finished by King Henry III. After the collapse of the Earldom of Ulster in 1333, the castle remained the Crown's principal residential and administrative centre in the north of Ireland. During the early stages of the Nine Years War, when English influence in the north became tenuous, crown forces were supplied and maintained through the town's port, and in 1597, the surrounding country was the scene for the Battle of Carrickfergus. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries improvements were made to accommodate artillery, including externally splayed gunports and embrasures for cannon, though these improvements did not prevent the castle from being attacked and captured on many occasions during this time. Marshal Schomberg besieged and took the castle in the week-long Siege of Carrickfergus in 1689; this is the place where Schomberg's leader, King William III first set foot in Ireland on 14 June 1690. In 1760, after fierce fighting in the town, it was surrendered to French invaders under the command of Francois Thurot.
They looted the castle and town and left, only to be caught by the Royal Navy. In 1778, a small but significant event in the American War of Independence began at Carrickfergus, when John Paul Jones, in the face of reluctance by his crew to approach too close to the Castle, lured a Royal Navy vessel from its moorings into the North Channel, won an hour-long battle. In 1797 the Castle, which had on various occasions been used to house prisoners of war, became a prison and it was defended during the Napoleonic Wars. For a century it remained a armoury. During the First World War it was used as a garrison and ordnance store and during the Second World War as an air raid shelter, it was garrisoned continuously for about 750 years until 1928, when its ownership was transferred from the British Army to the new Government of Northern Ireland for preservation as an ancient monument. Many of its post-Norman and Victorian additions were removed to restore the castle's original Norman appearance, it remains open to the public.
The banqueting hall has been restored and there are many exhibits to show what life was like in medieval times. It was built and re-built three times, still stands today. On the day of his wedding, 29 April 2011, Prince William of Wales was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus; the latter title of peerage, along with the geographical barony itself, had been extinct since Victorian times. The title is now only ceremonial with no official connection to the castle. Governors of the garrison at Carrickfergus included: 1568: William Piers 1597: John Chichester 1599: Arthur Chichester, 1st Baron Chichester 1606–: Sir Faithful Fortescue and Roger Langford 1625–1648: Edward Chichester, 1st Viscount Chichester 1648: Arthur Chichester, 1st Earl of Donegall 1648: General George Monck 1649–1650: Thomas Dalzell of Binns 1660–1675: Arthur Chichester, 1st Earl of Donegall 1675–1687: Arthur Chichester, 2nd Earl of Donegall 1689: Charles Macarty Moore 1716: Lord Mark Kerr 1728–1732: Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Baron Conway 1763: Nehemiah Donnellan 8 September 1787: Francis Dundas 30 January 1817 – 1828: Sir Baldwin Leighton 20 N
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments". Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Unlike Southern Ireland, which would become the Irish Free State in 1922, the majority of Northern Ireland's population were unionists, who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom.
Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain. However, a significant minority Catholics, were nationalists who wanted a united Ireland independent of British rule. Today, the former see themselves as British and the latter see themselves as Irish, while a distinct Northern Irish or Ulster identity is claimed both by a large minority of Catholics and Protestants and by many of those who are non-aligned. For most of the 20th century, when it came into existence, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two sides in what First Minister of Northern Ireland, David Trimble, called a "cold house" for Catholics. In the late 1960s, conflict between state forces and chiefly Protestant unionists on the one hand, chiefly Catholic nationalists on the other, erupted into three decades of violence known as the Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties; the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a major step in the peace process, including the decommissioning of weapons, although sectarianism and religious segregation still remain major social problems, sporadic violence has continued.
Northern Ireland has been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown since the late 1990s; the initial growth came from the "peace dividend" and the links which increased trade with the Republic of Ireland, continuing with a significant increase in tourism and business from around the world. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17.2% in 1986, dropping to 6.1% for June–August 2014 and down by 1.2 percentage points over the year, similar to the UK figure of 6.2%. 58.2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Prominent artists and sportspeople from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, Joey Dunlop, Wayne McCullough and George Best; some people from Northern Ireland prefer to identify as Irish while others prefer to identify as British. Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, the rest of the UK are complex, with Northern Ireland sharing both the culture of Ireland and the culture of the United Kingdom.
In many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games; the region, now Northern Ireland was the bedrock of the Irish war of resistance against English programmes of colonialism in the late 16th century. The English-controlled Kingdom of Ireland had been declared by the English king Henry VIII in 1542, but Irish resistance made English control fragmentary. Following Irish defeat at the Battle of Kinsale, the region's Gaelic, Roman Catholic aristocracy fled to continental Europe in 1607 and the region became subject to major programmes of colonialism by Protestant English and Scottish settlers. A rebellion in 1641 by Irish aristocrats against English rule resulted in a massacre of settlers in Ulster in the context of a war breaking out between England and Ireland fuelled by religious intolerance in government.
Victories by English forces in that war and further Protestant victories in the Williamite War in Ireland toward the close of the 17th century solidified Anglican rule in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the victories of the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne in this latter war are still celebrated by some Protestants. Popes Innocent XI and Alexander VIII had supported William of Orange instead of his maternal uncle and father-in-law James II, despite William being Protestant and James a Catholic, due to William's participation in alliance with both Protesant and Catholic powers in Europe in wars against Louis XIV, the powerful King of France, in conflict with the papacy for decades. In 1693, Pope Innocent XII recognised James as continuing King of Great Britain and Ireland in place of William, after reconciliation with Louis. In 1695, contrary to the terms of the Treaty of Limerick, a series of penal laws were passed by the Anglican ruling class in Ireland in intense anger at the Pope's recognition of James over William, felt to be a betrayal.
The intention of the la