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GREAT BRITAIN Introduction Geography Climate Britain’s government Economy Agriculture Regions
Introduction Britain comprises Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland. Its full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is often abbreviated to «UK».
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elisabeth II as Head of State. The population of the UK is almost 58 million. The area is 242 thousand square kilometers. The capital is London with 6.75 million people.
GEOGRAPHY The British Isles are separated from the continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The western coast of Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. In Great Britain you can find mountains, plains and valleys. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain, but only 1343 meters high. There are a lot of rivers in Great Britain, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.
CLIMATE Britain has a temperate, humid climate. Its characteristic features are mild winters, not very hot summers, rain all the year round and frequent changes of the weather.
BRITAIN’S GOVERNMENT The UK is a constitutional monarchy. In law, the Head of State is the Queen. In practice, the Queen reigns, but does not rule. The country is ruled By the elected government with the Prime Minister at the head. The British Parliament consists of two Chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
ECONOMY The UK is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding.
AGRICULTURE Farming is based on livestock breeding and poultry farming. More than half of the farms grow dairy and beef cattle and sheep. Pigs and poultry are next in importance. The main crops are wheat, barley and oats. Potato and vegetable growing are also very important.
REGIONS Great Britain consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England is the most important region in the country. London is Britain’s and England’s capital and main communication centre, one of the world’s important financial centers, one of the world’s three largest cities (with Tokyo and New York) and one of the largest ports. London is the main centre in Britain of printing, cinema film production, food and drink.
Scotland is the part of the United Kingdom and is governed from London. Comprising an area of 30,000 square miles. Scotland has a population of just over 5 million people of whom one third live in the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. All the inhabitants speak English although about 100,000 still speak Scottish Gaelic. Edinburgh has long been recognized as the capital of Scotland, in spite of being second in size to Glasgow.
Wales is a small country, bounded on the north and west by the Irish Sea, and on the south by the Bristol Channel. Its main industries are coal mining, iron, steel, and engineering. About two thirds of the population live in the South Wales coastal area, where the three biggest towns are located: Swansea, Cardiff and Newport. Cardiff is the capital of Wales. It has a modern shopping centre.
Northern Ireland is the second largest of the British Islands lying in the Atlantic off the west coast of Great Britain. The island of Ireland is politically divided into two parts: Northern Ireland (Ulster), which forms part of the united Kingdom of Great Britain, capital Belfast, and the Republic of Ireland – a separate state named Eire in Irish; its capital is Dublin.