Great Britain

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Autor: janka
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 21.09.2008
Jazyk: Angličtina
Rozsah: 628 slov
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland occupies an area of 245 thousand square kilometers and has about 59 million inhabitants. The capital of Great Britain is London, the seat of the Queen, government and House of Commons and the political, cultural and economic center of the country.

Besides the largest islands – Great Britain (divided into England, Scotland and Wales) and Ireland (the northern part of which belongs to the United Kingdom) – we should mention the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England, the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea etc. Western Scotland is surrounded by numerous islands – the Hebrides, Orkneys and the Shetlands. The island of Great Britain can be divided roughly into the lowland area and the highland area. There are the Grampian Mountains, Pennines and Cambrian Mountains. The highest peak, however is not in England, is Ben Nevis. Of course there are several important rivers. The longest rivers are the Severn, the Thames in England, while Scotland’s chief river is the Clyde. Britain has a temperate and equable climate, but the country is notorious for cooly, rainy and foggy weather.

The history of Great Britain began by the Roman occupation in the 1st century. In the 5th century was carried out the Celtic revival. At the beginning of the 9th century the Danes and the Norsemen attacked England. King Alfred the Great was successful in stopping their influence in the southern parts of the country. They naturally gathered round a strong man for protection, so that their land could be cultivated in piece. After several years, in 1066, Harold was elected as the heir of throne. William of Normandy saw his chance of an invasion to England. At Hastings, luck and good archery skills gave William the victory and he was crowned in the same year.

Then was followed a lot of kings (William II., Henry I., Stephen, Henry II. etc.). The best known king was Richard I. (Lion Heart), who took part in the third crusade. In years 1337-1453 brought out the Hundred Years War, the fight between England and France. In this war was killed the Czech king – John Luxemburg. The war ended in the battle of Castillon, where England was defeated by French king. The Wars of the Roses took place in years 1455-1485.. They were the wars between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The battle which ended these wars was the Battle of Bosworth, when the king Richard III. was killed and Henry Tudor became King Henry VII. The Tudor Monarchy lasted till 1603.

The Tudor Age can be characterized by the consolidation of royal power. The most important Queen was Elizabeth I., which was able to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588. When Elizabeth I. died in 1603, England was a European power. The English throne got the Stuart dynasty – James I. These kings evoked the English Revolution (1640-1658). The man of the Revolution was Oliwer Cromwell., which elected himself as the Lord Protector.

Then followed restoration of the Stuart dynasty till the of The Glorioous Revolution in 1688. The important document was declared – the Bill of Rights, which definitely put the power into the hands of the Parliament. It was constituted the formal union of England and Scotland in 1707. At the beginning of the 19. century, the England cooperated with other European to war against Napoleon. In the second half of the 19. century, England became the economic and colonial great power.

The head of Great Britain and other dominion (Canada, Australia etc.)
is Queen Elizabeth II. The official language is English, but in some areas people speak Welsh or Gaelic. The currency in this state is pound sterling.
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