When many people hear the words United Kingdom, they instantly think of England. This region, part of the European island of Great Britain, is indeed a large part of the greater entity known as the United Kingdom. But many people do not realize that the UK also includes Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Today the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. Many years ago, however, the area now known as the United Kingdom was made up of many smaller kingdoms. Through the centuries the leaders of those kingdoms fought for the right to rule the larger region. A long line of kings and queens played parts in those battles. Eventually, a government made up of the people emerged–an ever-evolving government that exists to this day.