Modern United Kingdom is the result of more than two thousand years of conflicts between the populations living in the islands located at the North West of Europe. The settlements in which inhabitants have organized and developed themselves and the arriving of massive migration during the last century have built a modern union where the definition of a national identity has become a recurrent matter of discussion. This essay will analyze the different point of view within Britain countries focusing meanly in Northern Ireland and the vision of Englishness, and the new challenge that such a heterogeneous society bring to this topic. .
"Britain may be a country but it is not really a place" (Ware, 2007:1). This is the starting sentence that Ware chose to illustrate that Britain is an institution working above four countries. The United Kingdom has been the result of tensions and struggles between Wales, England, Scotland and the Irish Island. Differences between these countries are based on geographical and historical facts. The Romanization of Britain, the arriving of Germanic tribes and the different attempts to invade foreign territories by English Monarchs have developed struggles based on different cultures, religions, languages and nationalities. The composition of the Act of Union in 1707 joined Scotland to Wales and England uniting the biggest island under the name of Britain. .
The case of Ireland has been more conflictive. The union of this country to the United Kingdom was achieved in 1801, but a bloody fight drove to the independency of the Irish Free State in 1921 while attempts to gain control have took place since the 12th century. Conflicts in the western island have been related to religion, economics, land ownerships, and the actual state of peace was reached when in 1998 the Irish Republican Army signed the Peace Agreement. (Oakland, 2011: 138). That this conflict is still unresolved is shown by the creation of the Nothern Irish Assambly and Executive in 2000 with the aim to strengthen self-governance.