Great BritainGREAT BRITAIN
LOCATION, dividing, capitals:
Great Britain is situated on the British Isles and it is part of Western Europe. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, and the Irish Sea. It consists from England (London), Wales (Cardiff), Scotland (Edinburgh) and Northern Ireland (Belfast). The capital is London.
Great Britain has got mild and rainy climate determined by the warm Gulf Stream. It has got four seasons. The coldest months are January and February, and most sunshine is in June. The average temperature is 16 degrees. It is mostly raining all the year long.
Great Britain: The official title is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It is a constitutional monarchy.
Powers: executive, lawmaking and political power.
The formal head is monarch (Her Majesty the Queen – she has no real political power) and the real head is the parliament. It has got law-making power. It is divided into:
House of Commons – it has got a real law-making power, they are elected
House of Lords – 900 – they inherit the status
Political power is in the hands of cabinet and prime minister (10, Downing Street).
There are two main political parties: Conservative and Liberal
National anthem is “God Save the Queen”
PEOPLE - POPULATION, LANGUAGES
Great Britain has got the population of more, than 56 million people.
Languages are English, Welsh (which is a Celtic language), Gaelic (the ancient Scottish language).
Great Britain is a developed, industrialised country. Major industries include iron and steel engineering (including motor vehicles and aircraft), textiles, plastics, cotton, chemicals, electronics, wool, shipbuilding and food products.
Coal, oil, steel, gas are Britain’s leading mineral resources. The chief agricultural products are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, sugar beet (c. repa), milk, and meat.
Tasso di cambio sterlina britannica (GBP)
TOWNS AND PLACES
The largest cities of Great Britain are London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, Leeds and Edinburgh.
HABITS, TRADITIONS, PREJUDICES:
British are said to be calm, cold and well-behaved (polite) and always on time. They celebrate many holydays. (Pancakes day, Valentines Day, Mothers day...) If I had the chance, I would like to go to LONDON.
London, with its population of about 8 million inhabitants is the 9th largest city in the world. It is situated on the river Thames.
London has the oldest underground in the world. There are many places of interest. We can see them by walking or by various means of transport. London famous double-deckers go almost everywhere. For fast transport we can go by underground.
London consists of the City, the East End and the West End (Westminster).
Trafalgar square is the biggest square in London called the true heart of London. It was named in honour of the victorious naval battle at Trafalgar in 1805 where Admiral Nelson won over Napoleon. There are many pigeons and tourists feed them. The square is a very popular place for various meeting and demonstrations. At Christmas time a big Christmas tree stands there and on New Year’s Eve people gather here at midnight, they sing and dance. There is also the National Gallery in this square.
The Tower of London is the oldest surviving place in London. From the 11th century it has served many purposes – fortress, a royal palace, a prison, royal zoo, a treasury. It is a museum of arms, armour and instruments of torture now. There are also the crown jewels displayed there.
Tower Bridge is one of many bridges across the Thames.
The Houses of Parliament are built in gothic style. It has been the seat of government since the 11th century. The houses are situated on the bank on the Thames near the Westminster Bridge.
The Clock Tower nicknamed Big Ben is of a stout (solídny) figure. The second tower is Victoria Tower.
Westminster Abbey: It is the place where all the English monarchs have been crowned for over 600 years and many of them also buried. There are also graves of famous artist, writers and scientist.
St Paul’s Cathedral is the second largest Christian church in the world. The cathedral is known for its Whispering Gallery. Standing on this Gallery you can clearly hear what is whispered on the opposite side 107 feet far from you.
Piccadilly Circus: is the centre of the West End entertainment world. In the middle there is the statue of Eros.
Buckingham Palace: the Queen’s official London home. The custom by which the Royal Standard is flown shows that the Queen is in residence. Every second day there is arranged the spectacular ceremony of changing guards.
Downing Street: is the most famous street in London, for no. 10 is the official home of the Prime Minister
The British Museum is the largest museum in the world. It houses many antiquities from ancient Greece, Rome and the Orient, Egyptian mummies, middle Ages manuscripts.
Parks: There are many parks in London’s James Park, Green Park. The largest of them is Hyde Park. It is also known for its Speaker’s Corner where anybody can have a speech.
The original inhabitants of Great Britain were Britons - Celts by race and were divided into many tribes. In A.D. 43 the Romans began an invasion which resulted in the Roman occupation of Britain, which lasted over 400 years. To prevent attacks from the north the Romans built Hadrian’s Wall. In the second half of the 5th century there where attacks from Gremany, led mainly by Angles, Saxons and Jutes. They settled on the east and south-east coast and began to spread across the island, driving back the original Britons into the western and northern part.
At the beginning of the 9th century the Danes and the Norsemen attacked England. William of Normandy (William the Conqueror) was crowned 1066. Henry I. issued a Charter of Liberties. Very famous is king Richard the Lion-Heart. After his death in war in France, his brother John I. the Lackland lost almost all the English territories in France. In conflict with barons he was forced to sign the Magna Charta Libertatum in 1215.
Hundred Years’ War (1338-1453) It began as a war between kings, but later on it became a war between two nations, British and French. In the end, the French led by Joan from Arc won and made English lose their power in France. The Wars of the Roses took place in the 15th century.
Henry VIII. (1509-1547) is known as a king who had 6 wives and established the Church of England. Elizabeth I (1558-1603) (his daughter) In her age - called Elizabethan Age – England prospered in many ways. She enforced the Protestant religion by law. England became the leading power on the sea, which led to colonial developement of the Engllish power in America and East India. The Rennaissance reached its height because of the works of many important artists (Shakespeare). Also the trade prospered.
The Civil war in England was beteen king Charles I. and parliament. It was won by the Parliament.
England was ruled by Oliver Cromwell as the Lord Protector and from 1649 to 1660 England was a republic. But after Oliver Cromwell’s death there was no suitable man for the leading position, so the monarchy was renewed. At the end of the 18th century England became the richest country in the world, it was transformed from an agricultural to a manufacturing country – Industrial Revolution (Stevenson invited a steam engine, textile machines were developed).
The Napoleonic War (1803-1815) between Britain and France: Napoleons plan to invade England failed when Admiral Nelson defeated the French at Trafalgar. Queen Victoria reigned from the beginning of the 19th century till the end of this century. Large parts of Africa and Asia were added to the empire during her reign. She made changes in education, society, etc.
During the decade after the WW II Britain had to recognize the independence of the majority of its colonies. Nevertheless, most remained members of the Commonwealth.
Zones.sk – Najväčší študentský portál