Discuss the density and the distribution of the population in Great Britain. Urban and rural population. The main conurbations.
Population density: in England — 363 people to the square km. In Wales-142, in Scotland - 65, in Northern Ireland - 125. The Highlands of Scotland, the northern Pennines and mountainous Wales - are very sparsely populated. The most highly populated regions are the industrial districts: South- East England with Greater London, the Midlands, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, South Hales, Clyde side in Scotland and North-East England. The population of England is and has been for centuries, greater than that of all other parts of Britain. The distribution of the British population: England population-49,997p, area 130,439, density - 383p per km2; Wales - 2,946p, area 20,76, density - 142, Scotland - 5,1p, area 78,772, density - 65, NI - l,698p, area 14,121, density - 125; UK -59,756, area 244,100, density -246.
As regards the proportion of urban population Britain probably holds the first place in the world. Over 90% of its population lives 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. The seven major metropolitan areas which have been denoted as 'conurbations' are: Greater London, Central Clyde side, Merseyside, south-East Lancashire, Tyneside, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire
These regions are famous for their poor and worn out residential districts and high population density and narrow streets of old towns and cities. They create very serious problems, including traffic congestion. The proportion of residents in Greater London and most of the metropolitan areas of England has recently been falling. People have tended to leave city centers and conurbations because of their unhealthy environment, although such migration may not necessarily mean a change of job but rather an increase in the distance of travel to and from work. In other cases it has been a consequence of falling employment in city centers. More than 1.5 million people left major British cities during the 10 years between the censuses of 1971 and 1981 Greater London's population fell by 756,000 to under 7 million for the first time since 1901. In some districts of London, such as Kensington and Chelsea the population fell by almost 30 per cent. Among the many reasons are the unhealthy environment, transport congestion, noise pollution, poor municipal services, and the growing crime rate. Soaring rents and high unemployment are also important factors which drive the people out of the big cities.
In general about half the population lives in a belt across South Lancashire and west Yorkshire at one end, and the London area at the other, having the industrialized Midlands at its centre. Other areas with large populations are: the central lowlands of Scotland; north-east England fromnorth 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. Less densely populated areas are the eastern fringes of England. Rural settlements of Great Britain differ from the traditional villages situated in other countries. They are located not far from towns and resemble their suburbs. They are inhabited by farm workers, clergymen, teachers, shopkeepers, and old-age people. Lately there has been a strong influx of townsmen to villages, where houses are cheaper. Farmers do not live in such places. The farmers live in isolated farms scattered all over the farm land.
7. Describe Great Britain as a constitutional monarchy and its role and social influence. The UK is one of the few developed countries where a constitutional monarchy has survived with its ages-old customs, traditions and ceremonies. There is no written constitution in GB. There are 2 basic principles of the British constitution; THE ROLES OF LAW and THE ROLES OF CUSTOMS. In 1215 Magna Carta was accepted which was aimed to limit the powers of the king. In 1265 the 1st parliament was summoned. Since then British const, has evolved as a result of countless Acts of parliament. A constitutional monarch is one who can rule only with the support of parlament.. The Bill of Rights [1689) was a major legal step to constitutional monarchy.
Since 1689 the power of parliament has grown steadily, while the power of the monarch has weakened. Today the Queen reigns, though she doesn't rule. Being a constitutional monarch the Queen acts on the advice of her prime minister and doesn't make any major-political decisions. The Queen is not only the head of state, but also the symbol of the nation unity. The QUEEN-personifies the state, she is head of the executive, an integral part of legislature, head of the judiciary, the commander in chief of all armed forces, the supreme governor of the established Church of England the Anglican church and the personal Head of the Common wealth.
The functions of Queen:
1) Summoning, proroguing, dissolving Parliament
2) Giving royal assent to Bills passed by both Houses
3) Appointing every important office holder, including government ministers, judges, officers in armed forces etc.
4) Conferring peerages, knighthoods and other honours.
5) She appoints the Prime Minister to form a government of state.
6) In international affairs the Q has the power to declare war, make peace, recognize foreign states and governments etc., she is informed and consulted on every issue in national life.
7) Queen is Head of the Commonwealth where she is represented by the Governor-General appointed by her on the advice of the government of the country concerned and completely independent of the British government. The general public supports the idea of preserving the Royal family traditions. The latter has also become more flexible and open to public. The crown provides unity and stability to Britain and the Commonwealth.
8. Describe the structure and composition of the British Parliament. The reform of the House of Lords and its role. The House of Commons, composition and role. There are 3 elements of the Br. Parliament - the Queen and the 2 Houses of Parliament, (the House of Lords and the elected House of Commons). These elements ace separate, constituted on different principles and meet only on occasions of symbolic significance. The supreme legislative authority in GB, parliament, resides in Westminster Palace, and all its power is concentrated in the British Constitution.
Members of parliament are elected at general election which is usually held every 5 years. The arrangement of seating in both Houses reflects the party system. Both debating chambers are rectangular in shape and have at one end the seat of the Speaker, and the other end a technical barrier. Leaders of the Government and the Opposition sit on the front benches of their respective to the seat of the Speaker.
The House of Lords consists of Lords Spiritual (senior bishops) and Lords Temporal (lay peers). Members are not elected; the House of Lords underwent a major reform in 1999. The hereditary lords or peers lost the right to sit in the House of Lords. The number of Conservative peers reduced. The procedure of the House of Lords is rather informal and is comparable to that of the House of Commons.
The Lord Chancellor presides over the House as its Speaker. There is no Minister of Justice but the Lord Chancellor performs some of its functions. The House of Lords consists of 675 members. The House of Lords also includes ministers, government Whips, the Leader of the main opposition party and 2 Chairmen of the Committees.
The House of Commons is elected by the adult population. Consists of 646 MPs. The chief officer of the House of Commons is the speaker. He is elected by the House at the beginning of each Parliament. His chief function is to preside over the House in its debate. When elected. The Speaker must not belong to any party.
The House of Commons has 6 Administrative and executive departments: 1) of the Clerk of the House 2) of the Sergeant at Arms 3) of the Library 4} of the official Report 5) Administration Dep. 6) Refreshment Dep. The 6 administrative Departments are under the supervision of The House of Commons Commission composed by the MPs, and chaired by the Speaker.
Give an account of the main functions of the Parliament outlining the process of passing a bill. Explain the term Devolution and its significance. The main functions of the Parliament: to pass laws, to provide the means of carrying on the work of Government policy and administration, to debate the most important political issues of the day. Nevertheless, the principal duty is legislation, making laws. In the past Legislation was initiated from both sides of the House: from the government and from the opposition. But in present-day practice almost all bills are brought forward by the Government in power. Bills may be introduced in either House, unless they deal with finance or representation, when they are always introduced in the Commons. The process of passing bills is the same in the House of Lords as in the House of Commons.
On introduction, the bill receives a formal 1 Reading. It is not yet printed. The Clerk of the House reads out only the short title, of the bill and the Minister responsible for it names a day of a Second Reading. It is then printed and published. After a period of time it may be given a 2nd Reading as a result of a debate on its general merits or principles. Then each clause of the bill is considered and voted on. Then it is formally reported to the House by the Chairman and further, debate takes place. Finally the Bill is submitted for a 3rd Reading. Then, if passed, it is sent to the Lords from the Commons or from Common's- to Lord’s. All bills are sent to the Sovereign for Royal Assent, after this the bill becomes a law and is known as an Act of Parliament.
Devolution. The power in Britain was decentralized after the labor government came to power at the 1957. Their program included plans for a parliament in Scotland, assemblies in Hales and House of Ireland and regional development agencies in England.
Discuss the electoral system. Give an evaluation of the «majority electoral system» existing in Great Britain? Comment on the latest general elections. Change of government in 2007. Reasons.
The House of Commons is the only chamber in the British Parliament which is elected at General Elections. British subjects and citizens can vote provided they are 18 and over, resident in the UK, registered in the annual register of electors and not subject to any disqualifications.
The UK is divided into 659 electoral districts, called constituencies of approximately equal population and each const, elects the member of the House of Commons. No person can be elected except under the name of the party, and there is little chance except as the candidate backed by either the Labor or the Conservative party. In every constituency each of the 2 parties has a local organization, which chooses the candidate, and then helps him to conduct his local campaign, in a British election the candidate who wins the most votes in elected, even if he doesn't get as many as the combined votes of the other candidates. The winner takes it all. This is known as notorious majority electoral system that is often criticized for being unfair to smaller parties that have very little chance to send their candidate to the Commons. It is often argued that the British system of elections is so unfair that it ought to be changed, by the introduction of a form of proportional representation. It aims to give each party a proportion of seats in Parliament corresponding to the proportion of votes it receives at the election. As soon as the results of general elections are known, it is clear which party will form the government. The leader of the majority party becomes Prime Minister and the new House of Commons meets. The chief officer of the House of Commons is the Speaker. He is elected by the House at the beginning of each parliament. His chief function is to preside over the House in the debate. The Speaker must not belong to any party. (G Brown)
10. Give a general survey of the organization of the educational system of Great Britain commenting on the public and private sectors and the main types of schools. The comprehensive school and its advantage. The educational system of GB has developed for over a 100 years. 3 partners are responsible for the education service: central government- the Department of Education and Science(DES)(assisted by Her Majesty's inspectorate), local education authorities (LEAs) provision day-to-day running of the schools and colleges in their areas, the recruitment and payment of the teachers, the head (a Chief Education Officer) and schools themselves. The legal basis for this partnership is supplied by the 1944 Education Act. Compulsory education in GB begins at the age of 5, and the minimum school leaving age is 16. Education is provided both in publicly maintained(state) schools(no tuition fees are payable)-'public sector', and in private independent schools-private sector (have to pay)- Education within the state school system comprises either 2 stages - primary and secondary, or 3 stage-first schools, middle schools, upper schools. Nursery education- in nursery schools or in nursery classes attached to primary schoolchildren 3-5, some sort of play, activity, as Car as possible of an educational kind). Primary school (5-11) Middle school (8-14) is a sort of a compromise between primary c secondary educations. The Upper School keeps middle school leavers until the age of 18. This 3-stage system is becoming more and more popular.
Secondary education is compulsory up to the age of 16, 6 pupils may stay here until they are 10. Secondary schools are much larger than primary and most children go to comprehensive schools (11-18)- admit children of all abilities in a given area and provide a wide range of different courses.
3types:1)11-18. 2) Middle School leavers 12, 13, 14 -18, 3) the age group 11-16. In some areas children moving from Primary to Secondary education are still selected for certain types of school according to their current level of academic attainment.
Grammar schools provide a manly academic education for 11-18 age groups preparing for higher education.
Technical schools- a manly academic education for 11-18 age groups, place emphasis on technical subjects.
Secondary modern schools offer a more general education with a practical bias up to the minimum school-leaving age of 16(cannot enter the university but start work).
There is special school adapted for the physically and mentally handicapped children (5-16). These schools and their classes are more generously staffed and provide different forms of treatment. They can be both state and private. Though limited in number, the largest and most important of the independent schools are the public schools (12-13) on the basis of the strict selection. They are fee-charging & very expensive; their standards for entries are very high, & more concerned with examinations & universities. The pupils are the children of the rich parents. The principal examinations taken by secondary school pupils at the age of 16 are those leading to the General Certificate of Secondary Education. The chief examinations are leading to the General Certificate of Education Advanced level.
Admission to universities is by examination or interviews. Applications are sent to the Universities & Colleges Admission Services - you can list up to 5 universities or Colleges.