Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 514,417 as of 2013. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.55 million. Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation.
The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was established in about 79 AD on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. It was historically a part of Lancashire, although areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated during the 20th century. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialised city.
Manchester achieved city status in 1853, the first new British city for three hundred years. The Manchester Ship Canal, at the time the longest river navigation canal in the world, opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and linking the city to sea, 36 miles (58 km) to the west. Its fortunes declined after the Second World War however, owing to deindustrialisation, but investment spurred by the 1996 Manchester bombing led to extensive regeneration.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers much of the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic; and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight.
England's terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north (for example, the mountainous Lake District, Pennines, and Yorkshire Dales) and in the south west (for example, Dartmoor and the Cotswolds). The capital of England is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. England's population of over 53 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, largely concentrated around London, the South East, and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.
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