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Britain is separated from the continent by the English Channel. The country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Great Britain is separated from Belgium and Holland by the North Sea, and from Ireland – by the Irish Sea. There are two states in the British Isles. One of them governs of the most of the island of Ireland. This state is usually called the Republic of Ireland. The other state has authority over the rest of the territory. The official name of this country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But it is usually known by a shorter name – «The United Kingdom». The total area of Great Britain is 244,000 square km. The mountains in the country are not very high. It doesn’t usually get very cold in the winter or very hot in the summer. THE GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION
The British Isles which are surrounded by the ocean have an insular climate. The are 3 things that chiefly determine the climate of the UK:the position of the island in the temperate belt;the fact that the prevailing winds blow from the west and south-west and the warm current – the Gulf Stream that flows from the Gulf of Mexico along the western shores of England. It rains very often in all seasons in Great Britain. Autumn and winter are the wettest. The sky is usually grey and cold winds blow. On the average, Britain has more than 200 rainy days a year. The English say that they have 3 variants of weather:when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the afternoon, and when it rains all day long. Sometimes it rains so heavily, that they say «It’s raining cats and dogs»,Britain is known all over the world for its fogs. Sometimes fogs are so thick that it’s impossible to see anything within a few meters. The winter fogs of London are, indeed, awful;they surpass all imagination. In a dense fog all traffic is stoped, no venicle can move from fear of dreadful accidents. CLIMATE IN GREAT BRITAIN
The British Isles are the home of four nations – English, Scottish. Welsh and Irish. The Scots. Wels and Irish regard themselves as largely Celtic peoples. While the English are mainly Anglo-Saxon in origin. In the 1993 the population of the UK was about 58 million inhabitants. This figure gives a population density of 600 persons per square mile(284 per square km). England has an average density of 980 person per square mile(364 per square km).Within Europe only the Netherlands has a higher population than England. THE POPULATION OF THE BRITISH ISLES
THE HISTORY OF THE UK England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century. The union between England and Wales was enacted under the Stature of Rhuddlan in 1284. England and Scotland agreed to permanent union as Great Britain; the legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It was adopted in 1927. At its zenith, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth’s surface. United Kingdom is one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, a member of the EU, but still remains ouside the European Monetary Union.
The State Emblem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shows the union of its four parts: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The emblem was introduced after the union with Scotland in 1603. The shield of the emblem is divided into four parts. There are emblems of England)three lions on a red background), emblem of Scotland( a red lion on a yellow background) and the emblem of Northern Ireland(a yellow harp on a blue background). The emblem is headed with a crowned lion, the symbol of power and might. Below the emblem, there are floral symbols of the four parts of the country. EMBLEM OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
The Flag of the United Kingdom is called the Union Flag of THE UNION JACK. In 1603, King James 1 of England united England and Scotland. Then in 1801, there was the union with Ireland. Now the flag combines the emblems of the three countries(England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) united under one monarch. Wales is not represented in the flag because at the time the flag appeared in 1606, Wales was already united with England. The Union Jack is a combination of the crosses of three patron saints of the country: the red cross of Saint GEORGE for England on a white background the white diagonal cross of Saint ANDREW for Scotland on a blue background; the red diagonal cross of Saint PATRICK for Ireland on a white background. FLAG OF THE UK
THE STRUCTURE OF GOVERMENT The Queen Elizabeth is officially head of all the branches of government, but she has little direct power in the country. The constitution has three branches:Parliament, which makes laws, the government, which «executes»laws and the courts, which interpret laws. Parliament has two parts: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Prime Minister David Cameron is usually the leader of the political party. The Cabinet includes the minister in charge of major government departments of ministries.
Monarch – Queen Elizabeth 2 Prime Minister – David Cameron MP Deputy Prime Minister – Nick Clegg MP GOVERNMENT Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy With federal elements
In Great Britain people attach greater importance to traditions and customs than in other European countries. There is, for example, the Marble Championship, where the British Champion is crowned;he wins a silver cup known among folk dancers as Morris Dancing, where people, worn in beautiful clothes with ribbons and bells, dance with handkerchiefs or big sticks in their hands, while traditional music sounds. Another example is the Boat Race, which takes place on the river Thames, often on Easter Sunday. The Grand National horse race is the most exciting horse race in the world. It takes place near Liverpool every year. Amateur riders as well as professional jockeys can participate. BRITISH TRADITIONS
Halloween is a day on which many children dress up in unusual costumes. The day was originally called All Halloween’s Eve, because it happens on October 31, the eve of all Saint’s Day.The name was later shortened to Halloween.The Celts celebrated the coming of New Year on that day.This day one can see children with figures, made of sacks and straw and dressed in cold clothes.On November 5th, children put their figures on the bonfire, burn them, and loght their fireworks. In London, many people go to Trafalgar Square on new Year’s Eve. There is singing and dancing at 12 o’clock on December 31st. A popular Scottish event is the Edinburgh Festival of music and drama, which takes place every year.A truly Welsh event is the Eisteddfod, a national festival of traditional poetry and music, with a competition for the best new poem in Welsh HOLIDAYS IN THE UK
The oldest part of London is Lud Hill, where the city is originated. About a mile west of it there is Westminster Palace, where the king lived and the Parliament met, and there is also Westminster Abbey, the coronation church. Liverpool, the «city of ships» , is England’s second greatest port, ranking after London. The most interesting sight in Liverpool is the docks. They occupy a river frontage of seven miles. PLACES OF INTEREST IN GREAT BRITAIN
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument. Tintagel Castle is King Arthur’s reputed birthplace. Madam Tussaud’s Museum is an exhibition of hundreds of life-size wax models of famous people of yesterday and today. The collection was started by Madam Tussaud, a French modeller in wax, in the 18th century.Here you can meet Marilyn Monroe, Elton John, the Royal Family, the Beatles and many others:writers, movie stars, singers, politics, sportsmen, etc. Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London.It celebrated its 150th anniversary in May 2009. The tower is 96,3 metres high PLACES OF INTEREST IN GREAT BRITAIN
In Primary School and First School children learn to read and write and the basis of arithmetic. In the higher classes of Primary School children learn geography, history, religion and, in some schools, a foreign language. Then children go to the Secondary School. When students are 16 years old they may take an exam in various subjects in order to have a qualification. After that students can either leave school and start working or continue their studies in the same school as before. If they continue, when they are 18, they have to take further examinations which are necessary for getting into university or college. In England there are 47 universities, including the Open University which teaches via TV and radio, about 400 colleges and institutes of higher education. The oldest universities in England are Oxford and Cambridge. Generally, universities award two kinds of degrees: the Bachelor’s degree and the Master’s degree. EDUCATION
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