The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland



Lecture 1. Geography of the UK

foreigners say "England" and "English" when they mean Britain, or the UK, and the British. This is very annoying for the 5mil people who live in Scotland, the 2,8mil in Wales, and l,5 mil in N. Ireland who are certainly not English. However, the people from Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland and England are all British.

1. Territory and its structure

UK of GB and NI is the political name of the country which is made of England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland (Ulster). Several islands off the Br.coast are also part of the UK (the Isle of Wight, the Orkneys, Hebrides and Shetlands, and the Isle of Scilly). GB is the name of the island which is made up of England, Scotland and Wales and it doesn't include N. Ireland. The southern part of the isle of Ireland is the Republic of one of the world's smaller countries with an area of some 244 100 square km, with some 58 mil people. It stretches for 1000 km from the south to the extreme north, and for 500 km in the widest part.half the people live in a large belt stretching north-westwards from London across England. Other large concentrations of population are in the central lowlands of Scotland, south-east Wales and the Bristol area, parts of north-east England and along much of the English Channel coast.

Wales is located on a peninsula in central-west Britain. Its area, the size of Wales, is about 20,779 km² (8,023 square miles - about the same size as Massachusetts, Slovenia or El Salvador). It is about 274 km (170 miles) north-south and 97 km (60 miles) east-west. Wales is bordered by England to the east and by sea in the other three directions: the Môr Hafren (Bristol Channel) to the south, St. George's Channel to the west, and the Irish Sea to the north. Altogether, Wales has over 1,200km (750 miles) of coastline. There are several islands off the Welsh mainland, the largest being Ynys Môn (Anglesey) in the northwest.of Wales' diverse landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions. The mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia (Eryri), and include Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), which, at 1085 m (3,560 ft) is the highest peak in Wales. The 14 (or possibly 15) Welsh mountains over 3,000 feet (914 m) high are known collectively as the Welsh 3000s. The Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) are in the south (Highest point Pen-y-Fan 886m (2,907ft)). and are joined by the Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales, the latter name being given to the earliest geological period of the Paleozoic era, the Cambrian.has three National Parks: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast. It also has four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These areas include Anglesey, the Clwydian Range, the Gower Peninsula and the Wye Valley. The Gower Peninsula was the first area in the whole of the United Kingdom to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in 1956.with its Celtic cousins in Cornwall, the coastline of South and West Wales has more miles of Heritage Coast than anywhere else. The coastline of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, the Gower Peninsula, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion is particularly wild and impressive. Gower, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay all have clean blue water, white sand beaches and impressive marine life. Despite this scenic splendour the coast of Wales has a dark side; the south and west coasts of Wales, along with the Irish and Cornish coasts, are frequently blasted by huge Atlantic westerlies/south westerlies that, over the years, have sunk and wrecked many vessels. On the night of October 25, 1859, 114 ships were destroyed off the coast of Wales when a hurricane blew in from the Atlantic; Cornwall and Ireland also had a huge number of fatalities on its coastline from shipwrecks that night. Wales has the somewhat unenviable reputation, along with Cornwall, Ireland and Brittany, of having per square mile, some of the highest shipwreck rates in Europe. The shipwreck situation was particularly bad during the industrial era when ships bound for Cardiff got caught up in Atlantic gales and were decimated by "the cruel sea".Cornwall, Brittany and Ireland, the clean, clear waters of South-west Wales of Gower, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay attract visitors including basking sharks, Atlantic grey seals, leatherback turtles, dolphins, porpoises, jellyfish, crabs and lobsters. Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion in particular are recognised as an area of international importance for bottle nosed dolphins, and New Quay in the middle of Cardigan Bay has the only summer residence of bottle nosed dolphins in the whole of the U.K.modern border between Wales and England is highly arbitrary; it was largely defined in the 16th century, based on medieval feudal boundaries. It has apparently never been confirmed by referendum or reviewed by any Boundary Commission. The boundary line (which very roughly follows Offa's Dyke up to 40 miles (64 km) of the northern coast) separates Knighton from its railway station, virtually cuts off Church Stoke from the rest of Wales, and slices straight through the village of Llanymynech (where a pub actually straddles the line).

2. Seas and coastline

UK is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the north-west, north and south-west, and is separated from the European continent by the North Sea, the Straight of Dover and the English comparatively small, but there is hardly a country in the world where such a variety of scenery can be found in so small a compass. There are small and desolate mountains in the northern Highlands of Scotland -the home of the deer and the eagle - that are as lonely as any in Norway. There are flat tulip fields round the Fens (low marshy land with lots of waterways) that would make you think you were in Holland. Within a few miles of Manchester and Sheffield you can be in glorious heather-covered moors. Once the British Isles were part of the mainland of Europe - the nearest point is across the Strait of Dover, where the chalk cliffs of Britain are only 22 miles from those of France.seas round the British Isles are shallow. The North Sea is nowhere more than 600 feet deep, so that if St. Paul's cathedral where put down in any part of it some of the cathedral would still be above water. This shallowness is in some ways an advantage. Shallow water is warmer than deep water and helps to keep shores from extreme cold. It is, too, the home of millions of fish.coastline is very indented. This indentation gives a good supply of splendid harbours for ships. On the north-west the coasts are broken by high rocky cliffs. This is especially noticeable in north-west Scotland where you have long winding inlets and a great many slands.

. Relief

In Scotland you have 3 distinct regions. There is the Highlands, then the central plain of Lowlands, finally there are the southern uplands with their gently rounded hills where the ship wander.England and Wales all the high land is in the west and north-west. The south-eastern plain reaches the west coast only at one or two places - at the Bristol Channel and by the mouths of the rivers Dee and Mersey.the north you find the Cheviots (a wool producing country in Britain), separating England from Scotland, the Pennines going down England like a backbone and the Cumbrian mountains of the Lake District, one of the loveliest and wettest parts of England. In the West are Cambrian mountains which occupy the greater part of Wales. The south-eastern part of England is a low-lying land with gentle hills and coast which is regular in outline, sandy or muddy, with occasional chalk cliffs, and inland a lovely pattern of green and gold - for most of England's wheat is grown here - and brown plough land with pleasant farms and cottages in their midst. Its rich brown soil is deeply cultivated - much of it is under wheat; fruit-growing is extensively carried on. A quarter of the sugar used in the country comes from sugar beet grown there, but the most important crop is potatoes.position of the mountains naturally determined the direction and length of the rivers, except the Severn and Clyde, flow into the North Sea. The rivers of Britain are of no great value as waterways - the longest, the Thames, is a little over 200 miles - and few of them are navigable except near the mouth for anything but the smaller vessels. In the estuaries of the Thames, Mersey, Tyne, Clyde, Tay, Forth, and Bristol Avon are some of the greatest ports.

4. Climate

The climate of the United Kingdom is classified as a mid-latitude oceanic climate, with warm summers, cool winters and plentiful precipitation throughout the year. The principal factors that influence the country's climate include its northerly latitude, the close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and the warming of the surrounding waters by the Gulf Stream. The weather can be notoriously changeable from one day to the next but temperature variations throughout the year are relatively small.average total annual sunshine in the United Kingdom is 1339.7 hours, which is just under 30% of the maximum possible. The south coast of England often has the clearest skies because cumulus cloud formation generally takes place over land, and prevailing winds from the south-west keep this cloud from forming overhead. The counties of Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent have annual average totals of around 1,750 hours of sunshine a year. Northern, western and mountainous areas are generally the cloudiest areas of the UK, with some mountainous areas receiving less than 1,000 hours of sunshine a year.hours of sunshine in winter range from 38-108 hours in some mountainous areas and western Scotland, up to 217 hours in the south and east of England; while average hours of sunshine in summer range from 294-420 hours in northern Scotland and Northern Ireland, to 592-726 hours in southern English coastal counties. The most sunshine recorded in one month was 383.9 hours at Eastbourne (East Sussex) in July 1911.amounts can vary greatly across the United Kingdom and generally the further west and the higher the elevation, the greater the rainfall. The Lake District is one of the wettest places in the country with an average annual rainfall total that exceeds 2000 mm. The mountains of Wales, Scotland, the Pennines and the moors of the south-west of England are the wettest parts of the country, and in some of these places up to and exceeding 5000 mm of rain falls annually, making these locations some of the wettest in Europe.of England are surprisingly dry, which is contrary to the stereotypical view-London receives less rain annually than Rome, Sydney or New York. In East Anglia it typically rains on about 113 days per year. Most of the south, south-east and East Anglia receive less than 700 mm of rain per year. The English counties of Essex and Cambridgeshire are amongst the driest in the UK, with an average annual rainfall of around 600 mm. In some years rainfall totals in Essex can be below 450 mm-less than the average annual rainfall in Jerusalem and Beirut.of the United Kingdom have had severe drought problems in recent years, particularly in the south-east of England, which experienced the driest period on record in 2006. Fires broke out in many areas, even across the normally damp higher ground of north-west England and Wales. The landscape in much of England and east Wales became very parched, even near the coast; water restrictions were in place in some areas.2006 was the hottest month on record for the United Kingdom and much of Europe, however England has had warmer spells of 31 days which did not coincide with a calendar month-in 1976 and 1995. As well as low rainfall, drought problems were made worse by the fact that the driest parts of the England also have the highest population density, and therefore highest water consumption. The drought problems ended in the period from October 2006 to January 2007, which had well above average rainfall.the United Kingdom has cool to mild winters and warm summers with moderate variation in temperature throughout the year. In England the average annual temperature varies from 8.5 °C in the north to 11 °C in the south, but over the higher ground this can be several degrees lower. This small variation in temperature is to a large extent due to the moderating effect the Atlantic ocean has-water has a much greater specific heat capacity than air tends to heat and cool slowly throughout the year. This has a warming influence on coastal areas in winter and a cooling influence in summer.floors of inland valleys away from warming influence of the sea can be particularly cold as cold, dense air drains into them. A temperature of −26.1 °C was recorded under such conditions at Edgmond in Shropshire on 10 January 1982, the coldest temperature recorded in England and Wales. The following day the coldest maximum temperature in England, at −11.3 °C, was recorded at the same site.average the warmest winter temperatures occur on the south and west coasts, Temperatures in these areas can rise to 15 °C in winter on rare occasions This is a particularly unusual event in northern Scotland, mainly Aberdeenshire, where these high temperatures can occur in midwinter with just a couple of hours of on average the warmest month, and the highest temperatures tend to occur away from the Atlantic in southern, eastern and central England, where summer temperatures can rise above 30 °C. It soared to 38.5 °C in Kent in the summer of 2003, the highest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom.

saw unprecedented warmth, with many more records being broken. While the year started off around average, and even fell well below average in early-March, the period from mid-April onwards saw a lack of any cooler than average weather. Early-May and June saw temperatures 10-12 °C above average at times. July was the hottest month on record, with records stretching back hundreds of years; the highest maximum temperature for July was also broken in 2006. September was the warmest September on record and October was one of the warmest on record. November was also extremely mild, making it the warmest Autumn on record by some margin. May to October was also the warmest consecutive six months on record.the United Kingdom is not particularly noted for extreme weather, it does occur, and conditions have been known to reach extreme levels on occasions.have been occurrences of severe flash floods caused by intense rainfall, the most severe was the Lynmouth disaster of 1952 in which 34 people died and 38 houses and buildings were completely destroyed. In the summer of 2004, a severe flash flood devastated the town of Boscastle in Cornwall.

britain economic education culture

Lecture 2. Historical outline of the UK

1. The earliest period. The first inhabitants on the territory of the British Isles. The Celts

In prehistoric times Britain was joined to the rest of the continent. The first human inhabitants and many of the animal inhabitants came there over the dry land. Towards the end of the ice age the mighty prehistoric river which joined the present-day Thames with the Rhine overwhelmed the land joining Britain to the continent and formed the present-day English Channel. Immediately after its formation the Channel was too stormy and full of strong currents. That's why the hunters of the new-stone age crossed the sea to Britain to the west off the Channel and settles along the western shores in their search for food.3 thousand years B.C. many parts of Europe in including the British Isle were inhabited by a people, who came to be known as the Iberians. Some of their descendants are still found in the north of Spain. They used stone weapons and tools. Soon after 2000 B.C. a new race of Alpine stock came from the east of Europe. This time they entered the country from the south-east and east. According to their essential features of their pottery they are known as Beakeafolk.the period from the 6th to the 3d century B.C., a people called the Celts spread across Europe from the east to the west. More than one Celtic tribe invaded Britain. From time to time one Celtic tribe was attacked and overcome by other tribes. Celtic tribes called the Picts came to the mountains on the North, some picts as well as tribes of Scots crossed over to Ireland and settled there.on some Scots returned to the larger island and came in such large numbers that the whole territory was named Scotland after them. The most powerful and civilized tribe was the tribe of Britons, and as a result the southern half of the island which was inhabited by them was named Britain after them. The Celts were very unusual people. They were tall, with long fair hair, blue eyes, they wore moustaches. They could use make things from copper, tin and iron. They kept large herds of cattle and sheep which formed their chief wealth. The Briton's clothing was made of wool, woven in many colours while the other Celts wore skins.Celts were very good warriors. Not only a man but a woman could become a good warrior. The Celts could frighten an enemy not only by their war art, but by their severe look as well. They used to paint their hair, arms and legs red and blue in the time of war. As we've already mentioned the Celts lived in tribes. A chief was at the head of the tribe. In some places chiefs were called kings; usually the best and the most respectable warrior became a chief. The Celts were pagans. They believed in many gods. They thought rivers, lakes trees to be rules by beings like themselves, only much more powerful. They sacrificed not only animals but also human beings. The Celts believed in another life after death. They were taught by priests called druids that their souls passed after death from one body to another.druids were very important and powerful people. The Celts believed in their magic power and also believed that the druids were able to foretell the future. They were often called upon to settle disputes or solve family problems, even to begin or to stop warfare. There are some mysterious places on the territory of Britain connected with that period. The most famous one is Stonehenge, upright stones standing in groups of twos, 8,5 meters high, with flat stones on the top.are many versions to explain the origin of this place. According to one version Stonehenge used to be an ancient observatory, but another version tells that this place was connected with the religion of druids.

. The Roman conquest

While the Celts were still living in tribes, the Romans were the most powerful people in the world. The Roman Empire was one of the strongest in the history and its society included slaves and slave-owners. The Romans were more civilized than the Celts and they were city-dwellers.Romans conquered all the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Julius Caesar who was the head of the Roman Army was sent to conquer Gaul (France). In the course of his campaigns Caesar reached the Channel and that was the first time when the Romans saw the white cliffs of the Br. Isles.55 B.C. a Roman Army of 10000 men crossed the Channel to invade Britain. As the Celts saw the ships approaching they rushed to attack the army in the sea. They also fought them on foot and in chariots with loud shouts, red hair and moustaches, the arms legs painted blue. The well-armed Romans, being frightened had to return to Gaul. In the next year, 54 B.C. Julius Caesar came to Britain again. This time the army was much larger: 25000 men. The Romans were well-armed and trained. In spite of the fact that the Celts were very brave they were not strong enough to drive the Romans off. So, the Celts were defeated in several battles. Some of the chiefs submitted and promised to pay tribute to Rome.Julius Caesar came to Britain twice in the course of two years, he was not able to conquer it. The real conquest of the country began many years after Caesar's visits to the island.43 A.D. a Roman Army invaded Britain and conquered the South-East. Other parts of the country were taken from time to time during the next 40 years. The Celts fought fiercely against the Romans and the Romans never managed to become masters of the whole territory. They didn't manage to invade the Scottish Highlands. From time to time the Picts managed to raid the Roman part of the island, burn their villages and drive off their cattle and sheep.a result of the conquest there was a great influence of Roman civilization over the British Isles. The Romans were city-dwellers, and having conquered Britain they started building towns, villas, public baths. They built strong fortified walls to protect themselves from the attacks of the natives. Straight roads were built so that the legions might march quickly, whenever and wherever they were needed. In the course of time the Roman way of life was adopted by the chiefs and their surroundings. The Latin language penetrated into the speech of the natives. The words the Romans left in English are for the most part the names of the things which they taught the Celts. e.g.Lat> strata> portus> vallumnames of many modern E. towns are of Latin origin too. The fortified Roman towns were called "castra" = "camps". This word can be found in such names as: Chester, Winchester, Manchester, Lancaster, Gloucester., Gloucester, Lincoln and London became the chief Roman towns which grew up as markets and centres of administration. London became a centre of trade both by land and river.Romans were great builders and we may find ruins of their work all over Britain. Unfortunately a great part of their work perished because of the Anglo-Saxons who came after the Romans. The Anglo-Saxons were country-dwellers and they disliked towns. So, many magnificent Roman structures were ruined, but still some traces of Roman constructions are still alive.Romans remained in Britain for about 4 centuries. In the 3-4th centuries the power of the Roman Empire weakened. In the 5th century the Romans had to return to their own country to defend the Roman Empire from the attacks of the barbarian tribes. They didn't return to Britain, and the Celts were left alone.

. The Anglo-Saxon conquest

After the Romans' leaving the Celts remained independent but not for long. Germanic tribes, such as the Jutes, the Saxons and the Angles began to migrate to Britain. At first they only came to plunder, but they returned again and again and the invasion began. In the 449 the Jutes landed in Kent and this was the beginning of the conquest. The British natives fought fiercely and it took the invaders more than a hundred and fifty years to conquer the country. The final refuge of the Celts was Cornwall and Wales, the northern part of the island (Scotland), where the Celts were still living in tribes, and, later on, some independent states were formed. The Celts, of Ireland remained independent too.the conquest many Celts were killed or taken prisoners and made slaves, or had to pay tribute to the under new masters was very hard and differed in many ways from the life under the Romans. The new comers were country-dwellers. They disliked towns preferring to live in small villages. So, many roman towns, villas, were destroyed in the course of the conquest. The majority of the population lived in villages, where most of the necessities were produced (food, clothing, tools). There was almost no communication between the villages. There were only muddy tracks between one village and another one. A person might live in his own village all his life but without moving anywhere and very often without an idea what was going on in the world.the end of the 6th century and the beginning of the 7th century the Saxons formed a number of kingdoms: Sussex (the land of the south Saxons), Wessex (the land of the West Saxons), and Essex (the land of the East Saxons). In the north the Angles founded Northumbria. These kingdoms were very hostile to one another. Looking at the map we may find names of E. towns ending in 'ton' (a Saxon word, means 'hedge' or a place surrounded by the hedge)..g. Southampton, Brighton, Preston.

'Burgh' or 'bury' was the Saxon for to 'hide'. There are many village- and town-names derived from the words: Canterbury, Edinburgh, Salisbury.Anglo-Saxon 'ham', a form of the word 'home' can also be found in such name as: Nottingham, Birmingham, Cheltenham.Angles, the Jutes and the Saxons were closely akin to each other in speech, manners, and way of life and as a result in a course of time they merged into one people. The name of Jutes died out and the whole period is usually known as the period of Anglo-Saxon invasion.Anglo-Saxons made up the majority of the population. Their customs, religion and language became predominant. They called the Celts 'welsh' which means 'foreigners' as they could not understand the Celtic language. But gradually the Celts which were in the minority adopted their customs and learned to speak their languages. Only the Celts who remained independent in the West, Scotland and Ireland spoke their native language.the course of time all the people of Britain were referred to as the English after the Angles and the new name of England was given to the whole country. Their language was called the English language.Anglo-Saxons lived in communities. The life wasn't easy but the strong of the Anglo-Saxons was the arable-farming, a system of 2 or 3 fields. While one field was used, another one was waiting for its turn. The field was divided into stripes. Each family got stripes of both good and not very good land. Besides the community possessed forests, rivers, meadows, lakes, and the thing and the animals which were picked up or caught there might be used by any member of the community. Tools were usually common; the chiefs decided when and how to use them, what to grow. The results of the common labour were equally shared among the members of the community, but the equality didn't last for long. The signs of inequality could be seen even before the Anglo-Saxon invasion. Some archeological researches show how rich the tribal chiefs became in the course of the conquest.the end of the 6th century the inequality became quite noticeable. In the 7th-9th centuries the arable land held by families became their private property. Now it could be inherited, sold, presented or given in turn for debts to another owner.peasants were losing their land and freedom because of the frequent raids and wars in the course of which they lost almost everything and had nothing to do but to go to the landowner to ask for protection. The land then would be given back to them but they were no owners of their land, they held it only and in return they had to cultivate the lord's field and give him a part of their harvest and promise to follow him in a battle. Besides, the Anglo-Saxon nobles began to seize the land of the free communities to make the free peasants work for them., in the 7th-8th centuries feudal relations were beginning to develop, that is a class of rich landowners and the free peasants, gradually losing their land and freedom. The Christian church also influenced the growth of the new-feudal relations. The conversion of Anglo-Saxons to Christianity began at the end of the 6th century (597) and was over in the 2nd half of the 7th century. Before this the Angles, Saxons and Jutes were pagans. They worshipped the sun and the moon, the sea, springs and trees. Their believes were reflected in many things that surrounded them..g. the Anglo-Saxons named the days of the week after their gods:- the Sun's day= the Moon's day= the day of the god of darkness Tuesco= the day of the god of war Woden= the day of the god of thunder Thor= the day of the goddess of peace and plenty Freya= the day of a Roman god Saturnhas developed in a primitive Anglo-Saxon society. With the beginning of feudal relations kings and lords needed a new religion, teaching the peasants obedience and showing that this order of society in which the peasants had to work for their master had been established by god.religion that was to serve the interests of the rich Anglo-Saxons was Christianity. Besides teaching people some moral qualities, it promised them a happy life after death. Many churches and monasteries were built. There were held services, books were brought and the Latin language was heard again. People became more educated. The Christian religion had a tremendous influence over men's minds and actions. It controlled the most important events of their life: baptism, marriage and burial. The churchmen who became rich landowners themselves did their utmost to preach up the king, to justify the exploitation of the peasants and the power of the great landlords over them.

centuries later the Danes began to disturb the country. First they came in spring and summer only to plunder but they returned home for the winter. Every year they went to different places. Thus all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms faced the same dangerous enemy, but nobody could catch them, as there were no sea guards and other kinds of protection. The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were too busy struggling against each other. But before the danger of the new invasion the problem of the unification came urgent. The first raids on Britain began in 793. In a course of time the Danes managed to take York and then the whole Yorkshire and East Anglia. At last all England north of the Thames was in their hands. It was not easy to stop such an enemy but Wessex was not ready to gield. Under the reign of King Alfred (871-899) the small Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united.managed to raise an army and to stop the offensive of the Danes. He made new rules for the army, in which every free man had to serve and to come provided with the proper weapons. During the reign of Alfred the Great the first British Navy was built and a war fleet of ships larger and faster than those of the Danes protected the island. Besides, many places that could be attacked by the enemy were fortified. As a result the Anglo-Saxons won several victories over the Danes. At the end of the 9th century new Danish attacks were made but there were beaten off.time of peace Alfred took measures to improve the laws in the interests of the landlords and to raise the standard of culture among them. He invited people from the continent to teach the Anglo-Saxons different crafts and arts. The churches and the monasteries ruined by the Danes were rebuilt. Alfred wanted all the priests and the officials to know Latin (the books and services were in Latin).school was organized in the palace itself where the sons of the nobles learned to read and write. Alfred himself taught there. Almost all the books were in Latin at that time and people couldn't read them. That's why some translations into Anglo-Saxon were made.offered to begin writing a history of England - known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which was continued for 250 years after Alfred's death. Also under the supervision of Alfred a Code of English Law was drawn up.

4. Great Britain after WWII

Winston Churchill again became Prime Minister. His third government - after the wartime national government and the short caretaker government of 1945 -lasted until his resignation in 1955. During this period he renewed what he called the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States, and engaged himself in the formation of the post-war order., he paid more attention to international policy, than to domestic affairs. A series of foreign policy crises happened because of the continued decline of British military and imperial prestige and power.

1. Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute was one of the problems the UK faced. (In March 1951, the Iranian parliament wanted to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Churchill wanted to undermine the Iranian government created political and economic blockade of Iran, which led to the coup plots in the country.)

2.       The Mau Mau Rebellion of 1951 in Kenya (the Kenya Africa Union demanded greater representation and land reform. When these demands were rejected, more radical elements came in power, Mau Mau rebellion began. On 17 August 1952, a state of emergency was declared, and British troops were flown to Kenya to deal with the rebellion. As both sides increased their attacks, the country moved to full-scale civil war.)

.         Malaya Emergency. In Malaysia, a rebellion against British rule had been in progress since 1948. Churchill chose to use direct military action against those in rebellion and tried to build an alliance with those who were not. He approved the creation of fortified villages, a tactic that became a part of Western military strategy in South-East Asia. (Vietnam War).

5. The Suez Canal conflict

In April 1955, Churchill finally retired, and Sir Anthony Eden became Prime Minister. Eden was a very popular figure, as a result of his long wartime service and also his famous good looks and charm. He immediately called a general election, at which the Conservative party returned in power. But Sir Anthony had little experience in economic matters and concentrated largely on foreign policy, forming a close alliance with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.alliance was not a success which was proved during the Suez Canal conflict. In 1956 Sir Anthony, together with France, tried to prevent the nationalising of the Suez Canal, which had been owned since the 19th century by Britain and France.October 1956, after months of negotiation Britain, France and Israel, invaded Egypt and occupied the Suez Canal Zone. But Eisenhower strongly opposed the invasion. The U.S. President was for decolonisation, because it would liberate colonies, strengthen U.S. interests, and make other Arab and African leaders more sympathetic to the United States. Also, the Soviet Union threatened to drop nuclear bombs on Paris or London unless Britain and France withdrew. Eisenhower feared another global war. When the UK asked for financial help, Eisenhower stated that Britain would have to pull-out before the US would provide any more financial aid to Britain. Eden was forced to withdraw. The Suez Crisis is widely taken as marking the end of Britain (along with France) as a World power.

6. Britain in 1957 - 1979


Harold Macmillan.

Eden’s Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan became Prime Minister in January 1957. The economy was his prime concern. Macmillan also took close control of foreign policy. He worked to create better relationship with the USA after Suez conflict, and his wartime friendship with Dwight D. Eisenhower was useful. The better relationship remained after the John F. Kennedy became President. During Macmillan office many colonies became free. His "wind of change" speech (February 1960) indicated his policy. Ghana and Malaya were granted independence in 1957, Nigeria in 1960 and Kenya in 1963. However in the Middle East Macmillan wanted Britain to remain a force - he invaded Iraq in 1958 and 1960, and becoming involved in Oman.

Harold Wilson and Edward Heath

In 1964, Labour party came into power with Harold Wilson as Prime Minister. During his first period of office, Wilson's government set up the Open University which is regarded as his greatest achievement. Overseas, Wilson was troubled by crises in several of Britain's former colonies, especially Rhodesia and South Africa. Wilson gave diplomatic support but resisted pressure for military support to the United States in the Vietnam War.premiership of his successor Sir Edward Heath was the bloodiest in the history of the Northern Ireland Troubles. He was prime minister at the time of Bloody Sunday in 1972 when 14 unarmed men were killed by British soldiers during an illegal march in Londonderry City.'s major achievement as prime minister was to take Britain into the European Economic Community in 1973. However great inflation led him into confrontation with some of the most powerful trade unions, and because of the energy shortages the country's industry worked a three-day week to conserve power.he, nor his successors labour PM’s were able to fight the economic crisis in the country. The Conservatives ran a campaign on the slogan "Labour isn't working." As expected, Margaret Thatcher won the election.

7. Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher formed a government on May 4, 1979, promising to reverse the UK's economic decline and to reduce the role of the state in the economy.economic policy, Thatcher started increased interest rates to drive down the money supply. Value added tax (VAT) rose sharply to 15% and the inflation also rose. These moves hit businesses, especially in the manufacturing sector, and unemployment quickly passed two million. Unemployment continued to rise, peaking at a figure of more than 3.2 million.defense budget was cut, the Falkland Islands defense was disregarded, and immigration reform was passed (the citizens of the few remaining British colonies did not have the same rights as the citizens of the UK) - all this was the most difficult foreign policy decision of Thatcher's era.Argentina, an unstable military junta was in power and on April 2, 1982, it invaded the Falkland Islands, the only invasion of a British territory since World War II. Thatcher sent a naval task force to recapture the Islands. The ensuing military campaign was successful, resulting in a wave of patriotic enthusiasm for her personally. Additionally, Thatcher's 'Right to Buy' policy, when people were permitted to buy their homes at a discount did much to increase her government's popularity in working-class areas.aimed at reducing the power of the trade unions. Several unions went on strikes that were aimed at damaging her politically. The most significant of these was carried out by the National Union of Mineworkers. However, Thatcher had made preparations long in advance for an NUM strike by building up coal stocks, and there were no cuts in electric power, unlike 1972.

(Police tactics during the strike concerned civil libertarians: stopping suspected strike sympathisers travelling towards coalfields when they were still long distances from them, phone tapping, and a violent battle with mass pickets at Orgreave. But images of massed militant miners using violence to prevent other miners from working, along with the fact that (illegally under a recent Act) the NUM had not held a ballot to approve strike action, swung public opinion against the strike).Miners' Strike lasted a full year, 1984-85, before of half the miners went back to work and the NUM leadership gave in without a deal. This failed political strike marked a turning point in UK politics: no longer could militant unions remove a democratically elected government.Thatcher, the Hong Kong (the only remaining British territory in Asia) was transferred to China in 1997.the early morning of October 12, 1984, Thatcher escaped death (on the day before her 59th birthday) from the bomb placed by the  Irish Republican Army in Brighton's Grand Hotel during the Conservative Party conference. Five people died in the attack. Thatcher insisted that the conference open on time the next day and made her speech as planned.November 15, 1985, Thatcher signed the Hillsborough Anglo-Irish Agreement, the first acknowledgement by a British government that the Republic of Ireland had an important role to play in Northern Ireland. But it did little to reduce IRA violence.'s political and economic philosophy emphasised free markets and entrepreneurialism. After the 1983 election, the Government became sold off most of the large utilities which had been in public ownership since the late 1940s. The policy of privatisation has become synonymous with Thatcherism.the Cold War, Mrs Thatcher supported Ronald Reagan's policies against the Soviets. US forces were permitted by Mrs. Thatcher to station nuclear cruise missiles at British bases, arousing mass protests by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. However, she later was the first Western leader to respond warmly to the rise of reformist Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, declaring she liked him and "We can do business together" after a meeting three months before he came to power in 1985.supported the US bombing raid on Libya from bases in the UK in 1986 when other NATO allies did not.winning the 1987 general election, on the economic boom and against an anti-nuclear Labour opposition, she became the longest serving Prime Minister of the UK since Lord Liverpool (1812-1827), and first to win three successive elections since Lord Palmerston in 1865.UK newspapers supported her - with the exception of The Daily Mirror and The Guardian - and were rewarded with regular press briefings by her press secretary. She was known as "Maggie" in the tabloids, which inspired the well-known "Maggie Out!" protest song, sung throughout that period by some of her opponents. Her unpopularity on the left is evident from the lyrics of several contemporary popular songs: "Stand Down Margaret", "Tramp the Dirt Down", and "Mother Knows Best".the late 1980s, Thatcher, a former chemist, became concerned with environmental issues. In 1988, she made a major speech accepting the problems of global warming, ozone depletion and acid rain. In 1990, she opened the Hadley Centre for climate prediction and research.she had supported British membership, Thatcher believed that the role of the EC should be limited to free trade and effective competition, and feared that new EC regulations would reverse the changes she was making in the UK.. She was specifically against Economic and Monetary Union, through which a single currency would replace national currencies, and for which the EC was making preparations.'s popularity once again declined in 1989 due to the introduction of the Poll Tax. (a tax paid as the same sum of money by every individual resident, with only limited discounts for low earners.) A large London demonstration against the poll tax on March 31, 1990 - the day before it was introduced in England and Wales - turned into a riot. Millions of people resisted paying the tax. Mrs Thatcher refused to compromise, or change the tax, and its unpopularity was a major factor in Thatcher's downfall.


8. Tony Blair

Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 after the victory over the Conservative Party. He served as the Prime Minister of the UK from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007, the Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. With victories in 1997, 2001, and 2005, Blair was the Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister, the only person to lead the party to three consecutive general election victories. Under the title of New Labour, he promised economic and social reform. Early policies of the Blair government included the minimum wage and university tuition fees. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown also gave the Bank of England the power to set the base rate of interest autonomously.domestic government policy, Blair significantly increased public spending on health and education while also introducing controversial market-based reforms in these areas. Blair has raised taxes; introduced some new employment rights; introduced significant constitutional reforms (which remain incomplete and controversial); promoted new rights for gay people in the Civil Partnership Act 2004; and signed treaties integrating Britain more closely with the EU, and introduced tough anti-terrorism and identity card legislation.contribution towards assisting the Northern Ireland Peace Process by helping to negotiate the Good Friday Agreement after 30 years of conflict was widely recognised.Blair has been criticised for his alliance with U.S. President George W. Bush and his policies in the Middle East, including the Iraq War, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Blair is also criticised for an alleged tendency to spin important information in a way that can be misleading. Blair is the first ever Prime Minister of the UK to have been formally questioned by police officers whilst in office, although he was not under caution when interviewed.also regard Tony Blair as having eroded civil liberties and increased social authoritarianism, by increasing police powers, in the form of more arrestable offences, DNA recording. His style was sometimes criticised as not that of a prime minister and head of government, which he was, but of a president and head of state, which he was not.evaluations of Blair's skills as a parliamentarian differ, he is acknowledged to be a highly skillful media performer in other contexts, appearing modern, charismatic, informal and articulate. Perhaps his best known television appearance was his tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales on the morning of her death in August 1997, in which he famously described her as "the People's Princess".10 May 2007, Blair announced during a speech his intention to resign as both Labour Party leader and Prime Minister the following June. On June 24 he formally handed over the leadership of the Labour Party to Gordon Brown at a special party conference in Manchester. Blair handed in his resignation as Prime Minister of the UK to the Queen on 27 June 2007, his successor Gordon Brown assumed office the same afternoon. He also resigned his seat in the House of Commons.


9. Brown as Prime Minister


Brown became the Prime Minister of the UK on 27 June 2007. Like all Prime Ministers. Brown has proposed to give some traditional powers of a Prime Minister to Parliament, such as the power to declare war ,he wants parliament to have the right to ratify treaties and have more oversight into the intelligence services. He has also proposed moving some powers from Parliament to citizens, including the right to form "citizen's juries" and to petition Parliament for new laws.

During his Labour leadership campaign, Brown proposed some policy initiatives:

·  End to corruption. Following the cash for honours scandal, Brown emphasised cracking down on corruption.

·  Constitutional reform Brown has not stated if he proposes a U.S.-style written constitution - something the UK has never had. He said in a speech that he wants a “better constitution” that is “clear about the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in Britain today.’ Brown has said he will give Parliament the final say on whether British troops are sent into action in future.

·        Housing. House planning restrictions are likely to be relaxed. Brown said he wants to release more land and ease access to ownership with shared equity schemes. He backed a proposal to build five new eco-towns, each housing between 10,000 and 20,000 homeowners - up to 100,000 new homes in total.

·        Health. Brown intends to have doctors' surgeries open at the weekends, and GPs on call in the evenings. Brown stated that the NHS was his "top priority", yet he had just cut the capital budget of the English NHS from £6.2bn to £4.2bn.

Foreign policy. Brown remains committed to the Iraq War, but said in a speech in May 2007 that he would "learn the lessons" from the mistakes made in Iraq.

"We will not allow people to separate us from the United States of America in dealing with the common challenges that we face around the world. I think people have got to remember that the relationship between Britain and America and between a British prime minister and an American president is built on the things that we share, the same enduring values about the importance of liberty, opportunity, the dignity of the individual. I will continue to work, as Tony Blair did, very closely with the American administration."

Lecture 3. Population

. Natural growth

people who now inhabit the British Isles are descended mainly from the people who inhabited them nearly 9 cent ago. The English nation was formed as a result of the amalgamation of the native population of the Br. Isles with the invaders.

Located as they are on a group of islands close to Continental Europe, the lands now constituting the United Kingdom have been subject to many invasions and migrations, especially from Scandinavia and the continent, including Roman occupation for several centuries. Present day Britons are descended mainly from the varied ethnic stocks that settled there before the eleventh century. The pre-Celtic, Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse influences were blended on Great Britain under the Normans, Scandinavian Vikings who had lived in Northern France. Between the various constituent countries, there has been sufficient internal migration to mix the population.

Today in England, Wales. Scotland and N. Ireland, English is the language predominately spoken. In Wales, however. Welsh, a form of British Celtic, is spoken by some 20 per cent of the population. In Scotland over 80000 people speak the Scottish form of Gaelic A few families in N. Ireland still speak the Irish form of Gaeliccenturies the British governments promoted the spread of English at the expense of other languages. Moreover, at times it was strictly forbidden to study any of the languages of the minorities living on the British Isles. Today some of the country's ethnic minorities formed as a result of recent immigration have their own languages, normally as well as English.of the people have been taken regularly every 10 years since 1801, except that there was no census in 1941 because of the Second World War. It is believed that at the end of the 11th century the population of GB was about 2 mil, while at the end of the 17th century the population was about 6,5 mil. The main factor in this gradual growth of population was a slow natural increase, with high death rates and, in particular, very high infant and maternal mortality.most extensive growth of the population of GB took place in the 19th century, when the number pf inhabitants increased from 9 mil to 38 mil.birth-rates have fallen since the mid - 1960s. The main reason is associated with the social conditions in the country: the growth of unemployment, deterioration of the living standards, social tension, expensive housing.

At the April 2001 UK Census, the United Kingdom's population was 58,789,194, the third-largest in the European Union (behind Germany and France) and the twenty-first largest in the world. This had been estimated up to 59,834,300 by the Office for National Statistics in 2004. Two years later it had increased to 60.2 million, largely from net immigration, but also because of a rising birth rate and increasing life expectancy. Immigration began to play a more important role in population growth more recently.number of population GB holds one of the first places among the European countries.English make up 4/5 of the total population and they inhabit England proper and many of them live in industrial cities of Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland. The proportion of the Scotsmen, Welshmen and Irishmen is about 15 %. This group includes foreigners, too. The inhabitants of Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland have preserved their culture, originality and languages.population of England is and has been for centuries, greater than that of all other parts of Britain (England - 48 mil, Wales - 3 mil, Scotland - 5 mil, N. Ireland -2 mil).are about 6 % more male than female births every year. Because of the higher mortality of men at all ages, however, there is a turning point, at about 50 years of age, at which the number of women exceeds the number of as a whole has a population density of about 233 people to sqr km, in England proper - 363 people to the sqr km, in Wales - 137, in Scotland - 66, in N. Ireland - 112 (1989). Its overall population density is one of the highest in the world.most highly populated regions are the industrial districts: South-East England and North- East England. About a quarter of the population lives in England's prosperous south-east and is predominantly urban and suburban, with an estimated 7,517,700 in the capital of London.

. Migration

Traditionally Britain has a net outflow of people to the rest of the world. During the 100 years, from 1836 to 1936 about 11 mil people left the British Isles. This mass migration especially in the 19th century was a movement of ruined peasants, the unemployed-people who hoped to find new opportunities and happiness on new territories. The immigrants went mainly to North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, to other lands in Asia and Africa, where they settled, spreading the economic, social, political and cultural influence of GB, as well as the English language, which became the state language of many countries.were periods when on the contrary the country experienced a large influx of people.was in the 1930s when there was a considerable flow of refugees from continental Europe as a result of fascist persecution, and in the late 1950s and early 1960s mainly the result of a large influx of people from the West Indies and the Indian sub-continent. After the 1950s and in the 1960s considerable numbers of people entered Britain from Commonwealth countries, especially from the West Indies, Asia and Africa and settled permanently in the country. Today in Britain there are sizeable groups of Americans, Australians, Chinese and various European communities such as Greek, Turkish, Italians and Spaniards living in Britain.

As of 2001, 7.9% of the UK's population identified themselves as an 'ethnic minority'. The United Kingdom has amongst the highest immigration rates in Europe, along with Italy and Spain  it is now believed that the percentage of 'ethnic minorities' is some 9% of the total UK population. In some UK cities the percentage of 'minority groups' is large but is still less than half, for example; Birmingham (UK's 2nd largest city) has 29.6%, Leicester 36%. The latest figures (for 2004) show a record level of immigration, with net migration to the UK of 223,000.latest wave of immigration to hit the UK began in May 2004 when the European Union was expanded. From May 2004 to June 2006, around 600,000 people from Central and Eastern Europe emigrated to the UK to work, although this figure is for arrivals only and therefore does not take account of people leaving, hence net migration is likely to be lower. In 2004 net migration from EU states stood at 74,000. Along with this, there is a large number of Indians, mainly from northern India, which make up about 2.0% of the population.

. Distribution

As regards the proportion of urban population Britain probably holds the first place in the world. Over 90 % of its population live in towns. In Britain there are 91 towns with the population of over 100 thousand people. About one third of the country's population is concentrated in the town districts, which comprise numerous merged towns and are called conurbations. They are: Greater London, Central Clydeside, Merseyside, South-East Lancashire, Tyneside, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire.general about half the population lives in a belt across England with South Lancashire and west Yorkshire at one end, and the London area at the other, having the industrialized Midlands at its centre.areas with large population are: the central lowlands of Scotland; north-east England from north of the river Tyne down to the river Tees; south-west Wales; the Bristol area; and the English Channel coast from Poole, in Dorset, eastwards. Rural settlements of GB differ from the traditional villages situated in other countries. They are located not far from towns and resemble their suburbs. The 1980s witnessed a steady growth of mass unemployment and deterioration of the living standards of the people. The number of poor people in the country reached about 12 mln.most notable trend in the employment pattern during the last years has been the growth of people employed in services. This is a typical feature which is observed in all developed countries.

. Ethnic identity

National ('ethnic') loyalties can be strong among the people in Britain whose ancestors were not English. (Scottish, Welsh or Irish) They may even join one of the sporting and social clubs for these nations that promote national folk music, organize parties on special national days and promote doing things differently from the English.Scotland several important aspects of public life are organized and differently from the rest of Britain - education, law and religion. The Scottish way of speaking English is very distinctive. A modern form of the dialect known as Scots has many features which are different from other forms of English and can’t usually be understood by people who aren’t Scottish.people of Wales don’t differ much in everyday life. The organization of public life is similar to that in England. Many people in Wales even don’t consider themselves to be especially Welsh at all. In the 19th century large numbers of Scottish, Irish and English people went to find work there, and today many English people still live in Wales or have holiday houses there. However, there is one important symbol of Welsh identity - the Welsh language. Everybody in Wales can speak English, but it isn’t everybody's first language. For about 20% of the population (more than half a million people), the mother-tongue is Welsh. Thanks to many campaigns, the language receives a lot of public support. All children in Wales learn it at school there are many local newspapers in Welsh, there is a Welsh television channel and nearly all public notices and signs are written in both Welsh and English.English people usually make no distinction in their minds between 'English' and 'British'. For example, at international football or rugby matches, when the players stand to attention to hear their national anthems, the Scottish, Irish and Welsh have their own songs, while the English one is just 'God Save the Queen' - the same as the British national anthem.of Northern Ireland can be divided into 2 groups: Protestants who came from England and Scotland who want to remain in the UK and the native Irish Catholics who want to become a pert of the Irish republic. These groups live separately in different housing estates, listen to different radio and TV programmes, go to different doctors, read different newspapers and so on.great wave of immigration from the Caribbean and south Asia took place between 1950 and 1965. These immigrants brought with them different languages, different religions (Hindu and Muslim) and everyday habits and attitudes. As they usually married among themselves, these habits and customs have been preserved.

5. Geographic Identity

Place of birth is not very important nowadays. People are just too mobile and very few live in the same place all their lives. There is quite a lot of local pride, and people find many opportunities to express it. This pride arises because people are happy to live in what they consider to be a nice place and often when they’re fighting to preserve it.everybody has a spoken accent that identifies them as coming from a particular large city or region. In some cases there is quite a strong sense of identification. Liverpudlians (from Liverpool), Mancunians (from Manchester), Geordies (from the Newcastle area) and Cockneys (from London) are often proud to be known by these names.English people see themselves as either 'northerners' or 'southerners'. The fact that the south is on the whole richer than the north, and the domination of the media by the affairs of London and the south-east, leads to resentment in the north. this reinforces the pride in their northern roots felt by many northerners, who, stereotypically, see themselves as tougher, more honest and warmer-hearted than the soft, hypocritical and unfriendly southerners. To people in the south, the stereotypical northerner (who is usually male) is rather ignorant and uncultured and interested only and beer-drinking

6. Being British

British people, although many of them feel proud to be British, aren’t normally actively patriotic. They often feel uncomfortable if, in conversation with somebody from another country, that person refers to 'you' where 'you' means Britain or the British government. They are individualistic and do not like to feel that they are personally representing their country.the last quarter of the twentieth century there was a dramatic and severe loss of confidence in British public institutions. Nearly one third of the people questioned in an opinion poll in the early 1990s said that they could think of nothing about Britain to be proud of. In addition, almost half said that they would emigrate if they. This decrease in confidence was accompanied by a change in the previous rather patronizing attitude to foreigners and foreign ways. In the days of empire, foreigners were often considered amusing, even interesting, but not really to be taken seriously. These days, many foreign ways of doing things are admired and there is a greater openness to foreign influences.with this patriotism often takes a rather defensive form. The British keep distinctive ways of doing things, such as driving on the left and using different systems of measurement.British people know remarkably little about Europe and who lives there. They continue to be very bad about learning other peoples' languages. Fluency in any European language other than English is generally regarded as exotic. But there is nothing defensive or deliberate about this attitude. The British do not refuse to speak other languages. They are just lazy.

7. Family

In comparison with most other places in the world, family is less important in Britain, especially in England. Families are rather nuclear than extended, except among some racial minorities. It’s unusual for adults of different generations within the family to live together. The average number of people living in each household in Britain is lower than in most other European countries. The proportion of elderly people living alone is similarly highfamily events such as weddings, births and funerals aren’t automatically accompanied by large gatherings of people. It is still common to appoint people to certain roles on such occasions, such as 'best man' at a wedding, or godmother and godfather when a child is born. But for most people these appointments don’t imply lifelong responsibility. In fact, family gatherings of any kind beyond the household unit are rare. For most people, they are confined to the Christmas period.the stereotyped nuclear family of father, mother and children is becoming less common. Britain has a higher rate of divorce than anywhere else in Europe except Denmark and the proportion of children born outside marriage has risen dramatically and is also one of the highest (about a third of all births). However, these trends do not necessarily mean that the nuclear family is disappearing. Divorces have increased, but the majority of marriages in Britain (about 55%) do not break down. In addition, it is notable that about three-quarters of all births outside marriage are officially registered by both parents and more than half of the children concerned are born to parents who are living together at the time.'s financial situation is not just the responsibility of the man. But they would still normally complement the woman, not the man, on a beautifully decorated or well-kept house. Everyday care of the children is still seen as mainly the woman's responsibility. Although almost as many women have jobs as men, nearly half of the jobs done by women are part-time. In fact, the majority of mothers with children under the age of 12 either have no job or work only during school hours. Men certainly take a more active domestic role than they did 40 years ago. Some things, however, never seem to change. A comparison of child-rearing habits of the 1960s and the 1980s showed that the proportion of men who never changed a baby's nappy had remained the same (40%)!the public level there are contradictions. Britain was one of the first European countries to have a woman Prime Minister and a woman chairperson of debate in its Parliament. However, in the early nineties, only about 5% of MPs were women, only 20% of lawyers in Britain were women, less than 10% of accountants were women and there was one female consultant brain surgeon in the whole country.the 1997 election the proportion of women MPs increased sharply (to 18%) and nearly every institution in the country has opened its doors to women now. One of the last to do so was the Anglican Church, which, after much debate, decided in favour the ordination of women priests in 1993. However, there are a few institutions which, at the time of writing, still don't accept female members - for example, the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London, an association for graduates of these two universities.

8. Class

Historians say that the class system has survived in Britain because of its flexibility. It has always been possible to buy or marry or even work your way up, so that your children (and their children) belong to a higher social class than you do. As a result, the class system has never been swept away by a modern Britain are very conscious of class differences. They regard it as difficult to become friends with somebody from a different class. Although most people say they do not approve of class divisions, different classes have different sets of attitudes and daily habits: they eat different food at different times of day, they like to talk about different topics using different styles and accents of English, they enjoy different pastimes and sports, they have different values about what things in life are most important and different ideas about the correct way to behave, they go to different kinds of school.interesting feature of the class structure in Britain is that it is not just, or even mainly, relative wealth or the appearance of it which determines someone's class. Of course, wealth is part of it - if you become wealthy, you can provide the conditions to enable your children to belong to a higher class than you do. But it is not always possible to guess reliably the class to which a person belongs by looking at his or her clothes, car or bank balance. The most obvious and immediate sign comes when a person opens his or her mouth giving the listener clues to the speaker's attitudes and interests, both of which are indicative of class.even more indicative than what the speaker says is the way that he or she says it. The English grammar and vocabulary which is used in public speaking, radio and television news broadcasts, books and newspapers and also - unless the lessons are run by Americans - as a model for learners of English as a foreign language; is known as 'standard British English'. Most working-class people, however, use lots of words and grammatical forms in their every day speech which are regarded as 'non-standard'., nearly everybody in the country is capable of using standard English (or something very close to it) when they judge that the situation demands it. They are taught to do so at school. The most prestigious accent in Britain is known as "Received Pronunciation" RP. - English spoken with an RP accent , 'BBC English' or 'Oxford English' or 'the Queen's English'.class people in particular are traditionally proud of their class membership and would not usually wish to be thought of as belonging to any other class. Interestingly, a survey conducted in the early 1990s showed that the proportion of people who describe themselves as working class is actually greater than the proportion whom sociologists would classify as such! This is one manifestation of a phenomenon known as 'inverted snobbery', whereby middle-class people try to adopt working-class values and habits. They do this in the belief that the working classes are in some way ' better' (for example, more honest) than the middle classes.general, the different classes mix more readily and easily with each other than they used to. There has been a great increase in the number of people from working-class origins who are house owners and who do traditionally middle-class jobs.


Lecture 4. The State System of the UK

1. Monarchy

The UK is a constitutional monarchy, with executive power exercised on behalf of the monarch by the prime minister and other cabinet ministers who head departments. The cabinet, including the prime minister, and other ministers collectively make up Her Majesty's Government. These ministers are elected from and are responsible to Parliament, the legislative body, which is traditionally considered to be "supreme". The UK is one of the few countries in the world today that does not have a codified constitution, relying instead on traditional customs and separate pieces of constitutional law - Acts of Parliament.1215 the nobles forced king John to accept Magna Charta (The Great Charter) which was aimed to limit some powers of the king. In 1265 Simon de Montfort summoned the first parliament. Since then the so-called British constitution has evolved as a result of countless Acts of Parliament. The Bill of Rights (1689) was a major step towards constitutional monarchy and since then the power of the parliament has grown and the power of the monarch has weakened.head of state, theoretical and nominal source of executive, judicial and legislative power in the UK is the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. However, sovereignty in the UK no longer rests with the monarch, since the English Bill of Rights in 1689, which established the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty.British Sovereign possesses many hypothetical powers, including the right to choose any British citizen to be her Prime Minister and the right to call and dissolve Parliament whenever she wishes. However, in accordance with the current uncodified constitution, the Prime Minister is the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons, and Parliament is dissolved at the time suggested by the PM. The monarch retains the ability to deny giving a bill Royal Assent, although in modern times this becomes increasingly more unlikely, as it would cause a constitutional crisis. Queen Anne was the last monarch to exercise this power, which she did on 11 March 1708 with regard to a bill "for the settling of Militia in Scotland". Other royal powers called royal prerogative, such as patronage to appoint ministers and the ability to declare war, are exercised by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, with the formal consent of the Queen.the Sovereign has an essentially ceremonial. However the monarch does continue to exercise three essential rights: the right to be consulted, the right to advise and the right to warn. As a consequence of these ideals, PMs hold weekly confidential meetings with the monarch.the abolition of the monarchy has been suggested, the popularity of the monarchy remains strong in the UK. Support for a British republic usually fluctuates between 15% and 25% of the population, with roughly 10% undecided or indifferent. The current monarch is HM Queen Elizabeth II who acceded to the throne in 1952 and was crowned in 1953

. Executive

The Government performs the Executive functions of the UK on behalf of the Sovereign. The monarch appoints a PM, from the members of the House of Commons who is most likely to be able to form a Government with the support of the House. The PM then selects the other Ministers which make up the Government and act as political heads of the various Government Departments. About twenty of the most senior government ministers make up the Cabinet. The ministers are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the PM. The majority of ministers are members of the House of Commons, although there are some representatives of the Lords. The PM may make changes in the size of their cabinet and may create new ministries and make other changes. The PM informs the queen of the general business of the Government, presides over the Cabinet and is responsible for allocation of functions among ministers.Government of the United Kingdom contains a number of ministries known as departments, e.g. Ministry of Defence. These are politically led by a Government Minister who is often a Secretary of State and member of the Cabinet. He or she may also be supported by a number of junior Ministers.Government has the major share in controlling and arranging the business of the House. As the initiator of policy, it dictates what action it wishes the Parliament to take. The major functions of the Cabinet are: the final determination of policies, the supreme control of the government and the coordination of government departments.of the Minister's decisions is carried out by a permanent politically neutral organization known as the civil service. Its constitutional role is to support the Government of the day regardless of which political party is in power. "Whitehall" is often used as a synonym for the central core of the Civil Service. This is because most Government Departments have headquarters in and around the former Royal Palace of Whitehall.

. Legislative

Parliament is the national legislative power of the UK It is the ultimate legislative authority in the UK composed of the elected House of Commons and the unelected House of Lords, whose members are mostly appointed. The House of Commons is the more powerful of the two houses.Parliament Act 1911 fixed the life of a parliament at 5 years, although it may be dissolved. It can make, unmake or alter any law. The life of the Parliament is divided into sessions, each lasting for one year. Each session begins and ends most often in October and November.UK is divided into parliamentary constituencies of equal population, each of which elects a Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons. Of the 646 MPs there is currently only one who does not belong to a political party. In modern times, all Prime Ministers and Leaders of the Opposition have been drawn from the Commons, not the usually has a majority in Parliament - the party that wins most seats at a general election, or which has support of the majority of the House of Commons, usually forms the government. The largest minority becomes the official opposition with its own leader and its own ‘Shadow’ cabinet whose members act as spokesmen on the subjects for which ministers have responsibility. The members of any other party support or oppose the Government according to their party policy.

The basic procedure for business in the Commons is a debate on a particular proposal, followed by a resolution which either accepts or rejects this proposal. Sometimes the resolution just expresses a viewpoint, but most often it is a matter of framing a new law or of approving (or not approving) government plans to raise taxes or spend money in certain ways. Occasionally, there is no need to take a vote, but there usually is, and at such times there is a 'division'. That is, MPs have to vote for or against a particular proposal. They do this by walking through one of two corridors at the side of the House - one (right) is for the 'Ayes' (those who agree with the proposal) and the other (left) is for the 'Noes' (those who disagree). All speeches in the House of commons are addressed to the Speaker and he calls upon the members to speak.a proposal for a new law starts its progress through the parliament, there will be much discussion. Most bills begin life in the House of Commons, where they go through a number of stages.reading: This is a formal announcement only, with no debatereading: The house debates the general principles of the bill and in most cases, takes a vote.stage: A committee of MPs examines the details of the bill and votes on amendments (changes) to parts of it.stage: The House considers die amendments.reading: The amended bill is debated as a whole.bill is sent to the House of Lords, where it goes through the same stages. (If the Lords make new amendments, these will be considered by the Commons.)both Houses have reached agreement, the bill receives the royal assent and becomes an Act of Parliament which can be applied as part of the law.

. Judiciary

The Lord Chancellor is the head of the judiciary in England and Wales. He appoints judges and magistrates for criminal courts on behalf of the Sovereign. However, the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 removes much of the power in this role and gives it to others in the British government, mainly the newly created post of Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. Another part of The Lord Chancellor's duties in the House of Lords have been replaced by a dedicated "Lord/Lady Speaker", who acts as a permanent presiding officer for the House of Lords.addition to the House of Commons, Scotland now has its own parliament and Wales and Northern Ireland have assemblies.

. Elections and Parties

Historically, the UK had two major political parties, though currently three parties dominate the political landscape. Originally, the Conservatives and the Liberals dominated British politics, but the Liberal Party collapsed in the early 20th century and was largely replaced by the Labour Party. In the 1980s, the Liberals merged with the Social Democratic Party and have recently experienced a resurgence as the Liberal Democrats, enough so to again be considered a major party. In addition to the three major parties, many minor parties contest elections. Of these, few win seats in Parliament. In the most recent general election in 2005, the Labour Party won re-election.

The Conservative party (The National Union or Conservative and Unionist Associations) - 1867 - was organized on the basis or political groups of English landed aristocracy. The origins of the party go down to the 17th c, when it was called the Tory party.Conservative party has no official permanent programme. On the eve of general elections the party issues a pre-election manifesto whish states the main aspects of the home and foreign policies of the future Conservative government if the party wins the elections. The Conservative party has no official membership, no membership cards and party dues.Labour party was established in 1900 on the initiative of the trade unions and several socialist organizations. The main aim was to win working class representation in has no long political programme which would determine the final aims and means to achieve them. Instead the party endorses current political issues containing measures, which the future Labour government intends to implement if the party takes office as a result of a majority in the general elections.

Major issues in current British national politics, in descending order of voter concern are:

·   Defence / Terrorism

·        Race relations / immigration

·        The NHS

·        Education

·        Law and order

·        Pensions and benefits

·        The state of the economy

·        European integration and the single currency

·        Housing and house prices

·        Taxation

. Local Government

The UK is divided into a variety of different types of Local Authorities, with different functions and responsibillities, which are further subdivided in rural areas and some urban areas into parishes.Authorities are responsible for such matters as administering education, public transport, and the management of public spaces. Local authorities are often engaged in community politics.have councils too and some are known as city or town councils. These councils are either made up of elected parish councillors, or in very small parishes, they use direct democracy.are two common systems of local government in the UK: the old-style two-tier and newer single-tier system. The older (and far more complex) two-tier system consists of District Councils and County Councils. The District Councils are responsible for rubbish collection, granting planning permission and council housing. County Councils are responsible for education, social services, some public transport and other local functions.Authorities, which are in use throughout the whole of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and in some areas in England, have a single tier of local government, and combine District and County Council functions into one body.

. European Union

The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union (EU). As such, UK citizens elect Members of the European Parliament to represent them in the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg. The UK elects 78 MEPs.

Lecture 5. National Economy

. The place of Britain in the world economy

has lost its former position of the leading industrial nation of the world. Britain today is fifth in size of its gross domestic product. As a result of World War I the country lost its monopoly in world trade. After World War II Britain lost its colonial empire and experienced an accelerated growth of monopolies. The export of capital abroad continues to be a major factor in its development the bulk of foreign investments is directed to the manufacturing industries of West European countries.monopolies in the country lay special emphasis on the development of such branches of the manufacturing and chemical industries which require high-skilled labour. Manufacturing and other production industries have undergone considerable reorganization to improve competitiveness. A number of industries such as aerospace, chemicals, oil, gas, electronics, and biotechnology have gained strength while textiles and some other traditional industries, including steel and shipbuilding, have contracted. As the development of the new industries does not compensate the decline of the traditional old industries there is a market growth of mass unemployment in the country. The British economy is primarily based on private enterprises. Part of public transport, industrial products, the coal mines, some steel, manufacturing plants are managed by the state. The atomic industry is also within the public sector. The national economy of GB is vitally dependent on foreign trade. About a third of the industrial products of the country is exported. Agriculture supplies nearly two-thirds of the country's food.structure of the economy has experienced serious changes: a decline in the relative importance of manufacturing and a rise in that of services. The general location of industry has changed little in recent years: four-fifths of industrial and agricultural production is concentrated in England.

2. Chief industries

Chief industries in GB include:

-         electricity (the first public supply was in 1881): steam power stations, gas turbines and oil engines ( 80%), nuclear plants (18%), hydro-electric plants manufacturing; - metals (iron, steel and non-ferrous industry);

- the mechanical engineering industry (non-electrical machinery, machine tools, industrial engines;

the electrical and electronic engineering industry (motors, telecommunications and broadcasting equipment, electronic equipment and systems);

- the motor vehicle (Ford, Chrysler, Rover, etc);

aerospace industry (civil and military aircraft, helicopters, aero-engines, guided weapons, space vehicles);


the chemical industry (chemicals, soap, detergents, dyestuffs, fertilizers, mineral oil refining);

the textile industry (cotton, wool); - leather and footwear industry;

the food, drink and tobacco industries;

the pottery industry;

paper and board manufacture.

. Agriculture

supplies nearly 2/3s of the country's food. The cool temperature climate and the comparatively even distribution of rainfall contribute favorably to the development of agriculture. Most of the lands is owned by big landlords. Farmers rent the land and hire agricultural workers to cultivate it. Part of the land belongs to banks, insurance self-sufficient in milk, eggs, meat, potatoes, wheat. However she needs to import butter, cheese, sugar, and some other agricultural products. Britain's second source of food is the surrounding sea. The fishing industry provides about 70% of British fish supplies Forestry. Woodland covers about 9% of the total land area of the country. Britain imports 90% of its timber needs from Scandinavia and ex-USSR countries.

4. Transport and communication

Passenger and freight traffic is carried mainly by road. Railways, pipelines and inland waterways are important in carrying certain types of freight, particularly bulk goods. The railway and much of the bus industry are state owned, but road haulage is almost entirely in the hands of private enterprises. Today the railway network is 18000 km long, of which about 4000 km are electrified. There are underground railway services in three British cities: London, Glasgow, and Liverpool. The most ambitious project is the English Tunnel - a fixed railway link across the English Channel between Britain and France. Today the inland waterways of Britain are experiencing a considerable revival of interest in the use for recreation, freight-carrying and for their contribution to the environment. They play an important part in land drainage and water supply. Almost all of Britain's trade is handled at a comparatively small number of ports. Most of these are old established and have been involved in trade for several hundred years.most striking development in the field of transport in recent years has been the growth of air traffic. Airline services are operated by British Airways and by a number of independent airlines. Their fleets contain modem types of equipment and international services are operated to Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia, Africa and North served by two major airports - Heathrow and Gatwick. Of these, Heathrow is far more important and dominant among other British airports.

5. Overseas trade

Overseas trade presents a combination of export and import. In exports manufactured goods include machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum, in imports - different manufactured goods, food and crude oil (petroleum).important part of overseas trade consists of what are called 'invisible exports'. These are not actual goods, but they represent services paid for by foreigners. Tourism, organized by what is usually called the tourist industry, is an important part of this group: it involves accomodatating, catering and providing transport for the millions of foreigners who spend money on holidays in Britain. Another part is represented by services of the large insurance companies. Other invisible exports include the services to foreigners of British bankers. Engineers, scientists and technical experts of many kinds

6. Regional differences

Regional differences in the country's economy are essential despite its small territory. Historically England proper is divided into the following economic regions: the South Industrial and Agricultural region, Central England, or the Midlands, Lancashire, Yorkshire and North England. [Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland are also regarded as independent economic regions of the UK. Hence, the whole country consists of eight economic regions.of the main problems to emerge in Britain during the 20th century has been the imbalance of economic activity between individual regions. This has been the result of the decline of the traditional industrial structure, based largely on the coalfields and its replacement by a new structure more closely related to accessibility and transport network. Hence, such regions as South England and the Midlands are in a more favorable position than Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland.

Lecture 6. Mass Media

1. Broadcasting



Television in the UK is made up of two chartered public broadcasting companies, the BBC and Channel 4 and two franchised commercial television companies, (ITV and Five). There are five major free-to-air analogue networks: BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five.BBC is funded by public money from a television licence fee gathered from all UK households with a television set. This fee is legally compulsory and failure to pay it is punishable by prosecution, resulting in a fine or imprisonment. There are exceptions to paying, for homes with a pensioner (person over 65 years old). It is cheaper for those with a black & white TV or eyesight that is impaired. It is currently set at £135.50 , but is not set in stone. The fee chargeable is limited by the government and regulatory authorities. The BBC provides two analogue networks, BBC One (consisting of a network of local BBC stations) and BBC Two.4 is similarly chartered to the BBC, with a remit to provide public service broadcasting and schools programmes, however it runs commercial advertisements to provide a revenue stream.commercial operators rely on advertising for their revenue, and are run as commercial ventures, in contrast to the public service operators. (ITV1, Five)broadcasters provide additional networks on the digital television service, and all of these channels can be accessed via a cable or satellite provider, such as Virgin Media or BSkyB.the UK the BBC has eight digital networks:

·              BBC One (also available on analogue)

·              BBC Two (also available on analogue)

·              BBC Three

·              BBC Four

·              BBC Parliament

·              BBC News 24

·              CBBC Channel

·              CBeebies

ITV has six digital networks:

·              ITV1 (also available on analogue)

·              ITV2

·              ITV3

·              ITV4

·              ITV Play

·              CITV Channel

Channel 4 has four digital networks:

·              Channel 4 (also available on analogue)

·              E4

·              More4

·              Film Four

Five has three digital networks:

·              Five (also available on analogue)

·              Five Life

·              Five US

% of households in 2005/06 received some digital television service.


There are many hundreds of radio stations in the UK, the most prominent of which are the national networks operated by the BBC. Recent advances in digital radio technology have enabled the launch of several new stations by the Corporation.

·              BBC Radio 1 broadcasts pop music output on FM and digital radio, with live music throughout the year

·              BBC Radio 2 is the UK's most listened to radio station, featuring presenters Terry Wogan and Jonathan Ross, with a mix of music from the last thirty years

·              BBC Radio 3 is a serious classical station, broadcasting high-quality concerts and performances. At night, it transmits a wide range of jazz and world music

·              BBC Radio 4 is a current affairs and speech station, with news, debate and radio drama. It broadcasts the daily radio soap The Archers, as well as flagship news programme Today

·              BBC Radio Five Live broadcasts live news and sports commentary with phone-in debates and studio guests

·              BBC 6 Music transmits predominantly alternative rock, with many live sessions. Phill Jupitus presents the morning show

·              BBC 1Xtra broadcasts rap, RnB and drum'n'bass

·              BBC 7 uses the BBC's large archive of speech programming to broadcast classic comedy and drama, mainly originally from Radio 4

The BBC also provide 40 local radio services, mainly broadcasting a mix of local news and music aimed at an older audience.available nationally are three national commercial channels, namely Virgin Radio, Classic FM and talkSPORT. As with the BBC, digital radio has brought about many changes, including the roll-out of local stations (particularly those based in London) to a national audience. Examples of this are Kiss 100 and Xfm. Commercial radio licences are awarded by government body Ofcom, which advertises a licence for a specific area and holds a so-called beauty contest to determine which station will be granted permission to broadcast in that area. Stations submit detailed application documents containing their proposed format and the outcome of research to determine the demand for their particular style of broadcast.local commercial stations in the UK broadcast to a city or group of towns within a radius of 20-50 miles, with a second tier of regional stations covering larger areas such as North West England. The predominant format is pop music, but many other tastes are also catered for, particularly in London and the larger cities, and on digital radio.than operating as independent entities, many local radio stations are owned by large radio groups which broadcast a similar format to many areas. The largest operator of radio stations is GCap Media with over 40 local commercial stations, mainly of the smaller variety. It also owns Classic FM and London's most popular commercial station, Capital FM. Other owners are Emap, holding mainly large city stations in the North of England and Chrysalis Group, owner of the major Heart and Galaxy brands.of these stations, including all the BBC radio, are also available via digital television services.

2. Print

the beginning of the 17th century the right to print was strictly controlled in England. This was probably the reason why the first newspaper in English language was printed in Amsterdam by Joris Veseler around 1620.Civil War escalated the demand for news. News-pamphlets or books reported the war, often supporting one side or the other. Following the Restoration there arose a number of publications, including the London Gazette (first published on November 16, 1665 as the Oxford Gazette), the first official journal of record and the newspaper of the Crown.were 12 London newspapers and 24 provincial papers by the 1720s (the Daily Courant was the 1st London newspaper).the early 19th century there were 52 London papers and over 100 other titles. The Daily Universal Register began life in 1785 and was later to become known as The Times from 1788. This was the most significant newspaper of the first half of the 19th century, but from around 1860 there were a number of more strongly competitive titles, each differentiated by its political biases and interests.Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by a group of non-conformist businessmen. Its most famous editor, Charles Prestwich Scott, made the Manchester Guardian into a world-famous newspaper in the 1890s. It is now called The Guardian.the same time there was the establishment of more specialized periodicals and the first cheap newspaper in the Daily Telegraph and Courier (1855), later to be known simply as the Daily Telegraph.1860 until around 1910 is considered a 'golden age' of newspaper publication, with technical advances in printing and communication combined with a professionalization of journalism and the prominence of new owners. Newspapers became more partisan and there was the rise of new or yellow journalism. Socialist and labour newspapers also proliferated and in 1912 the Daily Herald was launched as the first daily newspaper of the trade union and labour movement.World War I the newspaper industry took on an appearance similar to today's. The post-war period was marked by the emergence of tabloid newspapers (or red tops.are now going online as well with their own websites and with the ever increasing pressure to reduce waste in the UK and paper and ink cost rising it will not be far off when all newspapers will become electronic only using the internet and e-paper as ways to publish. This rise in costs made one UK media group to publish the UK first online only recognized local newspaper. It was the Southport Reporter and it went online fully in 2000 as an online only publication from day one. This type of local newspaper could spell the move for all local newspapers in the UK to publish only on the internet.newspapers still in circulationby year the paper was established:

·              The News Letter (1737)

·              The Herald (1783)

·              The Times (1785)

·              The Observer (1791)

·              The Scotsman (1817)

·              The Guardian/Manchester Guardian (1821)

·              The Sunday Times (1822)

·              Evening Standard (1827)

·              News of the World (1843)

·              The Daily Telegraph (1855)

·              The People (1881)

·              Financial Times (1888)

·              Daily Record (1895)

·              Daily Mail (1896)

·              Daily Express (1900)

·              Daily Mirror (1903)

·              Sunday Mirror (1915)

·              Sunday Express (1918)

·              The Morning Star/Daily Worker (1930)

·              Sunday Telegraph (1961)

·              The Sun (1964)

·              Daily Star (1978)

·              Mail on Sunday (1982)

·              Independent (1986)

·              Sunday Sport (1986)

·              Daily Sport (1988)

·              Independent on Sunday (1990).


A bewildering range of magazines are sold in the UK covering most interests and potential topics. Famous examples include Private Eye, Hello!, The Spectator, the Radio Times and NME.

Obscure magazines are featured on the topical news quiz Have I Got News For You, where the missing words round has a 'guest publication' - a little known magazine that is chosen for its amusing subject matter. Each week a different magazine is showcased.

Lecture 7. Education in the UK

. Compulsory schooling

Education in Britain is provided by the Local Education Authority (LEA) in each county. It is financed partly by the Government and partly by local taxes. Until recently, planning and organization were not controlled by central government. Each LEA was free to decide how to organize education in its own area. In September 1988, however, the ‘National Curriculum’ was introduced, which means that there is now greater governmental control over what is taught in (under 5 years) Children do not have to go to school until they reach the age of five, but there is some free nursery-school education before that age., LEAs do not have nursery-school places for all who would like them and these places are usually given to families in special circumstances, for example families with one parent only. Because of the small number of nursery schools, parents in many areas have formed Playgroups where children under 5 years can go for a morning or afternoon a couple of times a (5 to 11 years)education takes place in infant schools (pupils aged from 5 to 7 years) and junior schools (from 8 to 11 years). (Some LEAs have a different system in which middle schools replace junior schools and take pupils aged from 9 to 12 years.)

Primary School or Infant School, age 4 to 51, age 5 to 62, age 6 to 7School or Junior School3, age 7 to 84, age 8 to 95, age 9 to 106, age 10 to 11

Private education (5 to 18 years)parents choose to pay for private education in spite of the existence of free state education. Private schools are called by different names to state schools: the preparatory (often called ‘prep”, schools are for pupils aged up to 13, and the public schools are for 13 to 18 year-olds. These schools are very expensive and they are attended by about 5 per cent of the school (11 to 16/18 years) Since the 1944 Education Act of Parliament, free secondary education has been available to all children in Britain. Indeed, children must go to school until the age of 16, and pupils may stay on for one or two years more if they wish.schools are usually much larger than primary schools and most children -over 80 per cent - go to a comprehensive school at the age of 11. These schools are not selective - you don’t have to pass an exam to go there.1965 the Labour Government introduced the policy of comprehensive education. Before that time, all children took an exam at the age of 11 called the ‘11 + ‘. Approximately the top 20 per cent were chosen to go to the academic grammar schools. Those who failed the ‘11 + ‘ (80 per cent) went to secondary modern schools.lot of people thought that this system of selection at the age of 11 was unfair on many children. So comprehensive schools were introduced to offer suitable courses for pupils of all abilities. Some LEAs started to change over to comprehensive education immediately, but some were harder to convince and slower to act. There are a few LEAs who still keep the old system of grammar schools, but most LEAs have now changed over completely to non-selective education in comprehensive schools.schoolsschools want to develop the talents of each individual child. So they offer a wide choice of subjects, from art and craft, woodwork and domestic science to the sciences, modern languages, computer studies, etc. All these subjects are enjoyed by both girls and comprehensive schools are quite often put into ‘sets’ for the more academic subjects such as mathematics or languages. Sets are formed according to ability in each subject, so that for example the children in the highest set for maths will not necessarily be in the highest set for French. All pupils move to the next class automatically at the end of the year.

. Educational reform

In the late 1980s the Conservative Government made important changes to the British educational system. One of the most fundamental changes was the introduction of a new ‘National Curriculum’. The aim was to provide a more balanced education.secondary schools, for example, 80% of the timetable must be spent on the ‘core curriculum’. This must include English. Mathematics, Science and a Modern Language for all pupils up to the age of 16. (Before 1989 pupils of 13 or 14 used to choose the subjects they wanted to continue studying.) At the same time, the new curriculum places greater emphasis on the more practical aspects of education.are being taught which students will need for life and work, and ‘work experience’ - when pupils who are soon going to leave school spend some time in a business or industry - has become a standard part of the school programme.with the ‘National Curriculum’, a programme of’Records of Achievement’ was introduced. This programme is known as ‘REACH’, and it attempts to set learning objectives for each term and year in primary school, and for each component of each subject at secondary school. This has introduced much more central control and standardization into what is taught. Many people think this will raise educational standards, but some teacher? argue that they have lost the ability to respond to the needs and interests of their pupils, which may be different from pupils in other areas.part of the ‘REACH’ programme, new tests have been introduced for pupils at the ages of 7,11, 13 and 16. The aim of these tests is to discover any schools or areas which are not teaching to high enough standards. But many parents and teachers are unhappy. They feel that it is a return to the days of the ‘ 11 +’ and that the tests are unfair because they reflect differences in home background rather than in ability. Some teachers also fear that because of preparation for the tests, lessons will be more ‘narrow’, with a lot of time being spent on Mathematics and English, for example, while other interesting subjects which are not tested may be left out.reform is bringing other changes too. City Technology Colleges (CTCs) are new super-schools for scientifically gifted children, who - the Government hopes-will be scientists and technological experts of the future. These schools are partly funded by industry.addition to the CTCs, since 1988 the Government has given ordinary schools the right to ‘opt out of (choose to leave) the LEA if a majority of parents want it. Previously all state schools were under the control of the LEA, which provided the schools in its area with money for books etc., paid the teachers, and controlled educational policy. Now schools which opt out will receive money direct from the Government and will be free to spend it as they like. They can even pay teachers more or less than in LEA schools if they want to, and they can accept any children - the pupils do not have to come from the neighbourhood. Many people fear that this will mean a return to selection, i.e. these schools will choose the brightest children. The Government says that the new schools will mean more choice for parents.

3. Exams

At the age of 14 or 15, in the third or fourth form of secondary school, pupils begin to choose their exam subjects. In 1988 a new public examination - the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) - was introduced for 16 year-olds. This examination assesses pupils on the work they do in the 4th and 5th year at secondary school, and is often internally assessed, although there may also be an exam at the end of the course.who stay on into the sixth form or who go on to a Sixth Form College (17 year-olds in the Lower Sixth and 18 year-olds in the Upper Sixth) usually fall into two categories. Some pupils will be retaking GCSEs in order to get better grades. Others will study two or three subjects for an 'A' Level (Advanced Level) GCE exam (General Certificate of Education). This is a highly specialised exam and is necessary for University entrance. Since 1988 there has been a new level of exam: the 'AS' Level (Advanced Supplementary), which is worth half an 'A' Level. This means that if pupils wish to study more than two or three subjects in the sixth form they can take a combination of 'A' and 'AS' Levels. In Scotland the exam system is slightly different.

. Leaving school at sixteen

Many people decide to leave school at the age of 16 and go to a Further Education (FE) College. Here most of the courses are linked to some kind of practical vocational training, for example in engineering, typing, cooking or hairdressing. Some young people are given 'day release' (their employer allows them time off work) so that they can follow a course to help them in their job.those 16 year-olds who leave school and who cannot find work but do not want to go to FE College, the Goovernment has introduced the Training Credit Scheme. This scheme allows young people a sum of money to buy training leading to National Vocational Qualification from an employer or training organisation that participates in the scheme. Because the young people pay for their own training it encourages employers to give them work. It also gives the trainee valuable work experience.

. British universities

For all British citizens a place at university brings with it a grant from their Local Education authority. The grants cover tuition fees and some of the living expense The amount depends on the parents' income. If the parents do not earn much money, their children will receive a full grant which will cover all their expenses.18 and 19 year-olds in Britain are fairly independent people, and when the time comes to pick a college they usually choose one as far away from home as possible! So. many students in northern and Scottish universities come from the south of England and vice versa. It is very unusual for university students to live at home. Anyway, the three university terms are only ten weeks each, and during vacation times families are reunited.they first arrive at college, first year university students are called 'freshers'. Often freshers will live in a Hall of Residence on or near the college campus, although they may move out into a rented room in their second or third year, or share a house with friends.the first week, all the clubs and societies hold a 'freshers' fair' during which they try to persuade the new students to join their society.well as lectures, there are regular seminars, at which one of a small group of students (probably not more than ten) reads a paper he or she has written. The paper is then discussed by the tutor and the rest of the group. Once or twice a term, students will have a tutorial. This means that they see a tutor alone to discuss their work and their progress. In Oxford and Cambridge, and some other universities, the study system is based entirely around such tutorials which take place once a week. Attending lectures is optional for 'Oxbridge' students!three or four years (depending on the type of course and the university) these students will take their finals. Most of them (over 90 per cent) will get a first, second or third class degree and be able to put BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BSc (Bachelor of Science) after their name.

Students who have completed a first degree are eligible to undertake a postgraduate degree, which includes:

·      Master's degree (typically taken in one year)

·        Doctorate degree (typically taken in three years)education is not automatically financed by the State, and so admission is in practice highly competitive.

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Lecture 8. British Culture

The culture of the United Kingdom is rich and varied, and has been influential on culture on a worldwide scale. It is a European state, and has many cultural links with its former colonies, particularly those that use the English language.

. The Arts

Literatureearliest existing native literature of the territory of the modern UK was written in the Celtic languages of the isles and dates back to the 6th century.Saxon literature includes Beowulf, a national epic, but literature in Latin predominated among educated elites. After the Norman Conquest Anglo-Norman literature brought continental influences to the isles.literature proper developed in the late 14th century, with the rise and spread of the London dialect of Middle English. Geoffrey Chaucer is the first great identifiable individual in English literature: his Canterbury Tales remains a popular 14th-century work which readers still enjoy today.the introduction of the printing press into England by William Caxton in 1476, the Elizabethan era saw a great flourishing of literature, especially in the fields of poetry and drama. From this period, poet and playwright William Shakespeare stands out as the most famous writer in the world.English novel became a popular form in the 18th century, with Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Samuel Richardson's Pamela and Henry Fielding's Tom Jones.the early 19th century, the Romantic period showed a flowering of poetry with such poets as William Blake, William Wordsworth, John Keats, and Lord Byron. The Victorian period was the golden age of the realistic English novel, represented by Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Anne), Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, George Eliot, Lord Alfred Tennyson and Thomas Hardy.War I gave rise to British war poets and writers such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves and Rupert Brooke who wrote of their expectations of war, and/or their experiences in the trench.English novel developed in the 20th century into much greater variety and was greatly enriched by immigrant writers. It remains today the dominant English literary form. Other well-known novelists include Arthur Conan Doyle, D. H. Lawrence, George Orwell, Mary Shelley, J. R. R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Virginia Woolf and J.K. Rowling.poets include Elizabeth Barrett Browning, T. S. Eliot, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, John Milton, Alfred Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Alexander Pope.UK also has an old tradition of theatre - it was introduced to the UK from Europe by the Romans.reign of Elizabeth I in the late 16th and early 17th century saw a flowering of the drama and all the arts. William Shakespeare, wrote around 40 plays that are still performed in theatres across the world to this day. They include tragedies, such as Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear; comedies, such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night; and history plays, such as Henry IV, part 1-2. The Elizabethan age is sometimes nicknamed "the age of Shakespeare" for the amount of influence he held over the era. Other important Elizabethan and 17th-century playwrights include Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, and John Webster.the West End of London has a large number of theatres, particularly centred around Shaftesbury Avenue. A prolific composer of the 20th century Andrew Lloyd Webber has dominated the West End for a number of years and his musicals have travelled to Broadway in New York and around the world, as well as being turned into films.Royal Shakespeare Company operates out of Shakespeare's birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon in England, producing mainly but not exclusively Shakespeare's plays.and CinemaWilliam Byrd, John Taverner, John Blow, Henry Purcell, Edward Elgar, Arthur Sullivan, William Walton, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett have made major contributions to British music, and are known internationally. Living composers include John Tavener, Harrison Birtwistle, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Oliver Knussen.also supports a number of major orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Because of its location and other economic factors, London is one of the most important cities for music in the world: it has several important concert halls and is also home to the Royal Opera House, one of the world's leading opera houses. British traditional music has also been very influential abroad.UK was one of the two main countries in the development of rock and roll along with the US, and has provided bands including The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Queen, Elton John, David Bowie, Iron Maiden, Status Quo, the Sex Pistols, Duran Duran, The Jam, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Oasis, Blur, Radiohead and Coldplay, Massive Attack, The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers.has been at the forefront of developments in film, radio, and television.important films have been produced in Britain over the last century, and a large number of significant actors and film-makers have emerged. Currently the main film production centres are at Shepperton and Pinewood Studios.artEnglish Renaissance, starting in the early 16th century, was a parallel to the Italian Renaissance, but did not develop in exactly the same way. It was mainly concerned with music and literature; in art and architecture the change was not as clearly defined as in the continent. Painters from the continent continued to find work in Britain, and brought the new styles with them, especially the Flemish and Italian Renaissance styles.a reaction to abstract expressionism, pop art emerged originally in England at the end of the 1950s.visual artists from the United Kingdom include John Constable, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, William Blake and J.M.W. Turner. In the 20th century, Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, and the pop artists Richard Hamilton and Peter Blake were of note.recently, the so-called Young British Artists have gained some notoriety, particularly Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.illustrators include Aubrey Beardsley, Roger Hargreaves, and Beatrix Potter.

. Science and technology

Ever since the scientific revolution, the UK has been prominent in world scientific and technological development. It was home of the philosopher Francis Bacon, possibly the most famous of all British scientists, Isaac Newton, who is most famous for realising that the same force is responsible for movements of celestial and terrestrial bodies, that is gravity. It is commonly reported that he made this realisation when he was sitting underneath an apple tree and was hit on the head by a falling apple. He is also famous as the father of classical mechanics, formulated as his three laws.Newton's time, figures from the UK have contributed to the development of most major branches of science. Examples include Michael Faraday, who, with James Clerk Maxwell, studied electric and magnetic forces; James Joule, who worked in thermodynamics and is often credited with the discovery of the principle of conservation of energy; Paul Dirac, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics; Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species and discoverer of the principle of evolution by natural selection., the UK is also amongst the world's leaders. Historically, it was at the forefront of the industrial revolution, with innovations especially in textiles, the steam engine, railroads and civil engineering. Famous British engineers and inventors from this period include James Watt, Robert Stephenson, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Richard Arkwright.then, the UK has continued this tradition of technical creativity. Alan Turing, Frank Whittle (inventor of the jet engine), Charles Babbage (who devised the idea of the computer) and Alexander Fleming (discoverer of penicillin) were all British. The UK remains one of the leading providers of technological innovations today, providing inventions as diverse as the World Wide Web and Viagra.

. Religion

Although today one of the more 'secularised' states in the world, the UK is traditionally a Christian country:

·              Anglicanism, in the form of the Church of England, is the Established Church in England. The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

·              Presbyterianism (Church of Scotland) is the official faith in Scotland.

4. Food

Although there is ample evidence of a rich and varied approach to cuisine during earlier historical periods (particularly so amongst wealthy citizens), during much of the 19th and 20th century Britain had a reputation for somewhat conservative cuisine. The stereotype of the native cuisine was of a diet consisting of "meat and two veg". Even today, in more conservative areas of the country, "meat and veg" cuisine is still the favoured choice at the dinner table.British fare usually includes dishes such as fish and chips; roast dishes of beef, lamb, chicken and pork; both sweet and savoury pies and puddings, as well as regional dishes such as the Cornish pasty and Lancashire Hotpot.the period of the 1970s a greater experimentation with the new ingredients started due to the spread of supermarkets. The evolution of the British diet was further accelerated with the increasing tendency of the British to travel to continental Europe (and sometimes beyond) for their annual holidays, experiencing new and unfamiliar dishes as they travelled to countries such as France, Italy, and Spain.the mid to late 1990s an explosion of talented new 'TV chefs' began to come to prominence, (such as Jamie Oliver, James Martin and Keith Floyd). This brought about a noticeable expansion in the variety of cuisine the general public were prepared to try and their general confidence in preparing food that had would once have been considered merely staples of foreign cultures, particularly the Mediterranean European, South and East Asian diets. As a result, a new style of cooking called Modern British emerged.immigrants introduced new and exotic dishes and ingredients to the British repertoire and national consciousness. Many of these new dishes have since become deeply embedded in the native culture, culminating in a speech in 2001 by Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, in which he described Chicken Tikka Masala as 'a true British national dish'.

5. Sport

The national sport of the UK is football, having originated in England, and the UK has the oldest football clubs in the world. The home nations all have separate national teams and domestic competitions, most notably the FA Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Scottish Premier League. The first ever international football match was between Scotland and England in 1872. The match ended goalless.famous British sporting events include the Wimbledon tennis championships, the Grand National, the London Marathon, the Six Nations rugby championships (of which 4 "home nations" participate), the British Grand Prix, the ashes series of cricket matches and the boat race between Oxford and Cambridge universities.great number of major sports originated in the UK, including: Football, squash, golf, tennis, boxing, rugby, cricket, snooker, billiards, badminton and curling.

. National costume

There is no specifically British national costume. Even individually, England, Wales and Northern Ireland have only vestiges of a national costume; Scotland has the kilt and Tam o'shanter (шотландский берет). In England certain military uniforms such as the Beefeater or the Queen's Guard are considered to be symbolic of Englishness, though they are not official national costumes. Morris dancers (танец в костюмах героев легенды о Робин Гуде) or the costumes for the traditional English May dance are cited by some as examples of traditional English in large part due to the critical role that British sensibilities have played in world clothing since the 18th century. Particularly during the Victorian era, British fashions defined acceptable dress for men of business. As such, it could be argued that the national costume of the British male is a three-piece suit, necktie and bowler hat - an image regularly used by cartoonists as a caricature of Britishness.

. Naming convention

The naming convention in most of the UK is for everyone to have a given name, usually (but not always) indicating the child's sex, followed by a parent's family name. This naming convention has remained much the same since the 15th century in England although patronymic naming remained in some of the further reaches of the other home nations until much later. Since the 19th century middle names have become very common and are often taken from the family name of an ancestor.given names were largely taken from the Bible; however, in the Gothic Revival of the Victorian era, Anglo Saxon and mythical names became commonplace. Since the middle of the 20th century however given names have been influenced by a much wider cultural base.

. Religious, political, social and everyday contacts

In comparison with some other European countries, neither religion nor politics is an important part of people's life in modern Britain. Of course, there are many people who belong to this or that church or party. Few people are regular churchgoers and active members of political parties. For the vast majority of parents in the country (some ethnic groups excepted), the religion or voting habits of their future son-in-law's or daughter-in-law's family are of only passing interest and rarely the major cause of objection to the proposed marriage.people give a relatively high value to the everyday personal contacts that they make. It is certainly true that the pub, or the numerous clubs devoted to various sports and pastimes play a very important part in many people's lives. In these places people make contacts with other people who share some of the same interests and attitudes. Many people make their social contacts through work. However British people don’t spend more of their free time out of the house than most other Europeans do.

. Stereotypes and change

Many things which are often regarded as typically British derive from books, songs or plays which were written a long time ago and do not show modern life. There is a popular belief that Britain is a land of tradition. The claim is based on what can be seen in public life: the annual ceremony of the state opening of Parliament follows customs which are centuries old and so does the military ceremony of 'trooping the colour', the changing of the guard outside Buckingham Palace., in their private everyday lives, the British don’t follow tradition more than the people of most other countries. There are very few ancient customs that are followed by the majority of families on special occasions. The country has fewer local parades or processions with folk roots than most other countries have. The English language has fewer sayings or proverbs that are in common everyday use than many other languages do. In addition, it should be noted that they are the most enthusiastic video-watching people in the world - the very opposite of a traditional pastime!are many examples of typical British habits which are simply not typical any more. For example, the traditional 'British' breakfast is a large 'fry-up' preceded by cereal with milk and followed by toast, butter and marmalade, all washed down with lots of tea. In fact, only about 10% of the people in Britain actually have this sort of breakfast. Two-thirds have cut out the fry-up and just have the cereal, tea and toast. The rest have even less. The image of the British as a nation of tea-drinkers is another stereotype which is out of date. It is true that it is still prepared in a distinctive way (strong and with milk), but more coffee than tea is now bought in the country's shops. As for the tradition of afternoon tea with biscuits, scones, sandwiches or cake, this is a minority activity, largely confined to retired people and the leisured upper-middle class (although preserved in tea shops in tourist resorts).British have few living folk traditions and don’t mean that they like change. They may not behave in traditional ways, but they like symbols of tradition and stability. For example, they don’t consider it especially smart to live in a new house and, in fact, there is prestige in living in an obviously old one. They have a general sentimental attachment to older, supposedly safer, times. Their Christmas cards usually depict scenes from past centuries; they like their pubs to look old; they were reluctant to change their system of currency.of measurement are another example. The British government has been trying for years and years to promote the metric system and to get British people to use the same scales that are used nearly everywhere else in the world. But it has had only limited success. British manufacturers are obliged to give the weight of their tins and packets in kilos and grams. But everybody in Britain still shops in pounds and ounces. The weather forecasters on the television use the Celsius scale of temperature. But nearly everybody still thinks in Fahrenheit . British people continue to measure distances, amounts of liquid and themselves using scales of measurement that are not used anywhere else in Europe . Even the use of the 24-hour clock is comparatively restricted.

. The Love of nature

Most of the British live in towns and cities. But they have an idealized vision of the countryside. To the British, the countryside has almost none of the negative associations which it has in some countries, such as poor facilities, lack of educational opportunities, unemployment and poverty. To them, the countryside means peace and quiet, beauty, good health and no crime. Most of them would live in a country village if they thought that they could find a way of earning a living there. Ideally, this village would consist of thatched cottages built around an area of grass known as a 'village green'. Nearby, there would be a pond with ducks on it. Nowadays such a village is not actually very common, but it is a stereotypical picture that is well-known to the British.history connected with the building of the Channel tunnel provides an instructive example of the British attitude. While the 'chunnel' was being built, there were also plans to build new high-speed rail links on either side of it. But what route would these new railway lines take? On the French side of the channel communities battled with each other to get the new line built through their towns. It would be good for local business. But on the English side, the opposite occurred. Nobody wanted the rail link near them! Communities battled with each other to get the new line built somewhere else. Never mind about business, they wanted to preserve their peace and quiet.areas of the country are official 'national parks' where almost no building is allowed. There is an organization to which thousands of enthusiastic country walkers belong, the Ramblers' Association. It is in constant battle with landowners' to keep open the public 'rights of way' across their lands. Maps can be bought which mark, in great detail, the routes of all the public footpaths in the country. Walkers often stay at youth hostels. The Youth Hostels Association is a charity whose aim is 'to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside'. Their hostels are cheap and rather self-consciously bare and simple. There are more than 300 of them around the country, most of them in the middle of nowhere!

. The love of animals

Rossendale Pet Cemetery in Lancashire is just one example of an animal graveyard in Britain. It was started by a local farmer who ran over his dog with a tractor. He was so upset that he put up a headstone in memory of his dog. Now, Rossendale has thousands of graves and plots for caskets of ashes, with facilities for every kind of animal, from a budgie to a lioness. Many people are prepared to pay quite large sums of money to give their pets a decent burial (a trait they share with many Americans). As this example shows, the British tend to have a sentimental attitude to animals. Nearly half of the households in Britain keep at least one domestic pet. Most of them do not bother with such grand arrangements when their pets die, but there are millions of informal graves in people's back gardens. Moreover, the status of pets is taken seriously. It is, for example, illegal to run over a dog in your car and then keep on driving. You have to stop and inform the owner.


1. Удальцова З.В. История средних веков. Учебник для вузов в 2-х томах. / З.В. Удальцова, С.П. Карпова. - М., 1990.

. Фураева В.К. Новейшая история зарубежных стран: Европа и Америка, 1917-1945: Учебник для педагогических институтов / В.К. Фураева. - М., 1989. Гл.3. С.45-63.

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