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GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

Good morning, everybody.

We are going to talk about Creat Britain and Northern Ireland.

Official name: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It is a sovereign state.

National flag of the UK, known as Union Jack, is made up of three crosses. The upright red cross is the cross of St.George, the patron saint of England. The white diagonal cross is the cross of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The red diagonal cross is the cross of St.Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

Coat of arms: On the crest there is a golden lion, royally crowned and standing on a royal crown. The supporters of the shield are a golden English lion and a silver Scottish unicorn. The plant badges of the UK ( rose, thistle and shamrock) are often displayed beneath the shield.

The colors of National flag are blue, red and white.

Capital Great Britain is London .It is one of the largest financial centers alongside New York City. London is one of the three “command centers” of the global economy (alongside New York City and Tokyo). It is the world’s largest financial centers alongside New York. London has the most international visitors of any city in the world.

Location: Great Britain is an island that lies off west the north west of Europe. It is the largest island in Europe. There is the Atlantic Ocean on the north of it and the North Sea on the east. The English Channel (about 21 miles) separates the UK from the continent in the south. The Strait of Dover, 18 miles wide, divides it from France The channel Tunnel links France and England. There are four countries in the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England, Scotland and Wales are three main parts of Great Britain. Scotland is to the north. Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Britain, Wales is in the west. The capital city of Wales is Cardiff. Ireland, which is also an island, lies off the west coast of Great Britain. Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic ( Eire) are on the island. Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland and its capital. Great Britain together with Northern Ireland constitutes the United Kingdom (U.K.). The capital of Great Britain is London which is situated in the south-east of England. London is more than 2 thousand years old.

Climate:The climate is generally mild and temperate due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. The southwestern winds carry the warmth and moisture into Britain. The climate in Britain is usually described as cool, temperate and humid. The weather is so changeable that English often say that they have no climate but only weather. The English also say that they have three variants of weather: when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the afternoon or when it rains all day long. The average temperature (from winter to summer) is from 5 to 23 degrees above zero. It seldom snows heavily in winter, frost is rare. January and February are usually the coldest months. July and August are the warmest.



Nature:The humid and mild climate of Great Britain is good for plants and flowers. The UK was originally a land of vast forests. Today only about six per cent of the total land area remains wooded. Oak, elm, ash and beech are the commonest trees in England, while Scotland has pine and birch. The fauna or animal life of the UK is much like that of northwestern Europe. Many larger mammals such as bear and wolf have been hunted to extinction, others are now protected by law. About 50 land mammals are still found in the UK. There are many foxes. Otters are common along rivers and streams, and seals live along parts of the coast. Hedgehogs, hares, rabbits, rats and mice are numerous. Deer live in some of the forests in the Highlands of Scotland and in England. Some 230 kinds of birds live in the UK, another 200 are regular visitors, and many are songbirds. Robin Redbreast is the national bird of the UK.

History:. Britain was part of the continent of Europe before it became an island but migration of peoples across the English Channel continued long afterwards. Britain has many centuries in making. Celts arrived 2,500 to 3,000 years ago. Their language survived in Welsh, Cornish and Gaelic enclaves.

England was added to the Roman Empire in 43A.D. The Romans conquered most part of Britain, but were unable to subdue the independent tribes in the West and in the North. Further waves of invaders followed: Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings and Normans. All these contributed to the mixture we call the English. For many centuries this country was known simply as England. It had a strong army and Navy. It waged numerous colonial wars. England, once “the workshop of the world”, was the first to become a highly developed industrial country.

Languages: Official language is English. Recognized regional languages are Irish, Scottish. Gaelic, Scots and Ulster Scots, Welsh, Cornish.

Largest cities: London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol.

London is political, economic and cultural capital of the United Kingdom. London is a city of commerce, finance, and trade. London is the insurance centre of the world. The Bank of England, created in 1694 and nationalized in 1946, remains a symbol of finance. London is a leading international auction mart for works of art through the sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Piccadilly Circus, the “Times Square” of London, the focal point for every tourist; the approaches and environs of St. Paul’s Cathedral; the shopping and office areas of the West End; the south bank of the river; north by the Tate Gallery: all are parts of the newly created London. The Houses of Parliament, seat of the Mother of Parliaments, at Westminster are not ancient, having been started in 1837. When Parliament sits, a flag flies from the Victoria Tower by day and at night a light shines in the clock tower above Big Ben, the famous clock named after Sir Benjamin Hall. Across Parliament Square is one of the masterpieces of the Middle Ages, Westminster Abbey. The early history of the abbey is unknown though the site was used by the Romans.

London has a number of royal palaces, but only one, St. James, was actually built as a palace, the others being originally private houses of the nobility. Buckingham Palace was built by the Duke of Buckingham, later it was bought by George III, who moved there from St. James’s.

Halfway along Whitehall is Downing Street, where at No.10 is the traditional residence of prime ministers. Close by is the Monument, built by Wren to commemorate the Great Fire.

On the waterfront is the famous Tower. In its time it has been fortress, mint, armoury, prison, and museum. London has many parks, among them Hyde Park with its Speakers’ Corner. From all over the world students come to the University of London (1836), with 20,000 students it is the largest in England. London is also a home of cu1ture. There are some 40 theatres in the West End. Theatres range from the Royal Shakespearean Theatre Company to the English Stage Company’s presentations of experimental works at the Royal Court Theatre. Musically London attracts major orchestras, soloists, and conductors. Its Royal Festival Hall was opened on the south bank for the 1951 Festival of Britain. The Royal Albert Hall, opened in 1871, has been the scene of the celebrated Promenade concerts. Opera and ballet performances are given at the Royal Opera’ House, which is set amid the Covent Garden flower market. The most important of the art galleries are the National Gallery, and the Tate, established in 1897.

BIRMINGHAMis the second largest city of England, and one of the principal industrial centres of the British Isles. Today the brass, jewelry, and gun trades still cling to the inner part of the city, but automobile, motorcycle, tire, electric parts, aircraft, machinery, and miscellaneous metalware plants are concentrated in the middle and outer rings. The great Austin Motor Works, for example, is in the southwest suburbs. Heavily bombed during World War II, the city’s centre has been considerably replanned and rebuilt with new roads and buildings. The Town Hall is now a meeting and concert hall. The old Council House is still the main administrative centre, but imposing new buildings such as the Civic Centre have been added nearby. The University of Birmingham was founded in 1900, and the Schools of King Edward VI received their royal charter in 1552. Like most great cities Birmingham has many colleges, spacious parks, a well-stocked reference library, and a famous museum and art gallery.

GLASGOWisthe largest city of Scotland (47 ml. northwest of Edinburgh).Its manufacturing is dominated by heavy industries, primarily shipbuilding, locomotives, and heavy machinery. Glasgow University (estab. 1451) is one of the largest universities in Great Britain. The municipal Mitchell Library, the largest reference library in Scotland, has many rare works, including an important collection of the works of the poet Robert Burns, and the city also has an excellent art gallery and museum. Glasgow has few historic buildings, but the Cathedral of St. Mungo, primarily of the XIII century, is a fine example of Scottish medieval architecture. The Royal Exchange, now a municipal reference library, is an excellent example of Early Greek Revival architecture, and many of the streets and squares built in the XIX century are of well-proportioned classical style.

LEEDS, industrial and educational city of Yorkshire. Leeds ranks with Sheffield as one of the largest communities in Yorkshire and the fifth or sixth largest in England.

It has many varied industries, the most important of which are wholesale clothing, woollens and worsted, engineering, coal mining, and leather, furniture, building, transport and distributive trades. Woollen manufacture was introduced in the XIV century. After 1800 Leeds developed rapidly as an engineering town.

Buildings of historic interest are Kirkstall Abbey, the Cistercian monastery (founded c. 1152); the Church of St. John; the Norman church at Adel; and the Jacobean-styled mansion of Temple Newsam (now an art gallery and museum). Leeds has three theatres, an art gallery, and two museums, including one of folklore. The University of Leeds was founded in 1904.

SHEFFIELD, industrial city of southern Yorkshire, on the Don River. Sheffield, the sixth largest city in England, is known throughout the world for the manufacture of cutlery, silverware, electroplated goods, and steel products. It produces alloys for automobiles, aircraft, railways, and atomic energy plants. Other industries include the manufacture of glass, confectionery, and optical instruments.

Sheffield has been an industrial town since the XVI century, and has long been associated with the manufacture of cutlery. It has always led in the iron and steel industries. It was here that Henry Bessemer established in 1858 his factory to develop the manufacture of steel, and it was here that stainless steel was invented in 1914.

The University of Sheffield and colleges of commerce, technology and art are here. There are also research institutes concerned with metallurgy, mining, fuel, glass technology and radiotherapy. There are two theatres, an observatory, and the Ruskin Museum. The Sheffield Philharmonic Society stages orchestral and choral concerts. Within the city are the Church of St. Peter (XIV—XV centuries), and Castle Hill, site of the Norman castle (now demolished) in which Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned for 15 years. Other buildings of historical and architectural interest are mainly post 1800. These include Cutler’s Hall (1832), and the town hall (1897).

LIVERPOOL. The modern rise of Liverpool was due largely to improvements in transport. Reconstruction of old docks and the building of new ones has given Liverpool 7 ml. of docks, and many industries developed beside them including sugar refining, oil-seed crushing, tanning, and cattle-feed manufacture.

. The old Georgian residential quarter, on a sandstone ridge 200 ft. high, now has the university and two cathedrals, as well as many crowded tenements. Suburbs extend for several miles along the coast and the estuary, giving the city greater length than breadth.

MANCHESTER is a great commercial centre, with the headquarters of banking firms and insurance offices, and a wide range of industry, especially in textiles and engineering.

In the early XIX century it became the main trade centre of cotton goods for the world market. By the 1840s a large area in the centre of the city was used for warehouses and offices and Manchester grew around its central core of shops, offices, warehouses, and railway stations. Many eighteenth-century buildings were pulled down, but some Tudor streets survived until the air raids of 1940. Since then the city has acquired buildings of modern design, which contrast with its Victorian Gothic town hall. Around the central core there is an industrial collar of factories and slum houses, while extensive new housing areas have developed on the outskirts of the city.

Manchester’s Halle orchestra is widely known. Victoria University (estab. 1851) is here, the “Guardian” is one of the most famous daily newspapers.

EDINBURGH is the capital and second largest city of Scotland. Situated on the southern shore, the city is overlooked by Salisbury Crags and the hill Arthur’s Seat. It is built on rocky hills, one of which rises westward to a precipitous rock, Castle Hill. Here since pre-Christian times, a castle has stood dominating the Lothian region. Besides the castle and palace one finds here Parliament House, the Royal Exchange, and many XVI and XVII century dwellings, some carefully restored as museums. Seen from the southernmost street of the New Town, Princess Street, the ridge descending from Castle Hill to the old Town, presents such a magnificent vista that Edinburgh is often called the “Athens of the North”. More familiarly, it is nicknamed “Auld Reekie” because of the low-lying smoke and fog.

Much of the city’s industry is related to its metropolitan and cultural functions. Printing, publishing are the most important commercial industries. Baking, confectionery and chocolate manufacturing, brewing, distilling and bottling are also important. New industries include the production of rubber and electrical and marine engineering.

BRISTOL is a city and port of southwestern England, within its own small county, 6 ml. inland from the Severn estuary. Established as a Saxon settlement at a bridge crossing of the Avon (its early name, Brycgstowe, meant “place of the bridge”), Bristol soon developed trade with Ireland. By the XV century venturesome Bristol seamen were trading with Iceland, and it was from Bristol that John Cabot sailed in 1497 and 1498 for discoveries in North America. In addition to shipbuilding, the principal industries include the manufacture of aircraft, brushes, cranes, electric motors, ventilation machinery, cocoa, chocolate, cigarettes, and tobacco.

Heavily bombed during World War II, the city has been considerably rebuilt. Old buildings of note include the cathedral, the Church of St. John the Baptist, and the Corn Exchange. The Colonnade at Hotwells recalls Bristol’s heyday as a spa during the XVIII century. Clifton College and the Bristol University are the main educational establishments. Typical of modern Bristol is the new Council House (1956) at College Green.

Literature and Art: The UK has many outstanding writers, poets, and painters. Among them the most popular are:

Writers –Geoffrey Chaucer , Daniel Defoe ( author of Robison Crusoe), children’s writer Lewis Carroll, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, science-fiction novelist H.G.Wells, Rudyard Kipling, A.A.Milne ( the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh), the popular novelists W.Somerset Maugham and Graham Green, the crime writer Agatha Christie ( the best-selling novelist of all time), Ian Fleming ( the creator of James Bond) and the fantasy writers J.R.R.Tolkien, C.S.Lewis and J.K.Rowling.

Poets – William Shakespeare, William Blake, William Wordsworth, T.S.Eliot, Philip Larkin, Robert Burns, Dylan Thomas.

Painters– John Constable, Samuel Palmer, J.M.W.Turner, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, William Morris, Francis Bacon, Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton.

Thank you for your attention.

 

 


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 1125


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by Major A. Andronov Zarubezhnoye voyennoye obozreniye (ISSN 0134-921X), No.12, 2012, pp. 37-43 | The President and Federal Departments US
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