The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries.England became a unified state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world.It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west.
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The earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late ninth century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations.
England's terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England.