Ø Great Britain: Geographical Position, Political System, Origins and Nomenclature
Ø Religion in Britain
Ø The Union Jack
Ø British Royal Ceremonies & Holidays
Ø Britain, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
1. Discuss these questions
- Have you ever been to the United Kingdom?
- What interesting do you know about Great Britain?
Read the information below about Great Britain and try to answer the questions below.
Britain in brief
The name was first used in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became also James I of England
In ancient geography (after the time of Caesar), the name of the island of Great Britain, and especially of the southern part of the island; a poetic name for Great Britain; a female personification of Great Britain.
A poetic name for Britain; comes from the ancient name of Britain, especially England. The Romans associated the term with albus ("white"), and identified it with the Dover chalk cliffs.
What once used to be the British Empire is now known as the Commonwealth. It includes many countries such as Burma, the Sudan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others. These countries are "associated" under the British Crown with the British Queen nominally proclaimed their head of State, and represented there by governor-general.
Originally the lands of a count or an earl. Now one of the chief administrative divisions in England and Wales. In 1974 some counties were grouped together and renamed. Now there are 7 metropolitan counties, including Greater London, and 47 non-metropolitan counties in England and Wales. A metropolitan county includes a big city (metropolis).
Any of large areas of the United Kingdom; one of the chief administrative divisions in Scotland. Since 1975 the old Scottish counties have been reorganized into 9 regions and 3 island areas with some alternation of the old boundaries.
One of the chief administrative divisions in Northern Ireland where there are 26 districts.
The name given to the counties near London: Kent, Surrey, Essex, and occasionally Hertfordshire and East and West Sussex.
1. When was the name "Great Britain" first used?
2. What is a female personification of Great Britain?
3. What is a poetic name for Great Britain?
4. What countries are "associated" under the British Crown?
5. How many metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are there in Great Britain?
6. How many administrative divisions are there in Scotland and Wales?
& 1. Read the following text about Great Britain, translate it into Ukrainian. Make sure you study the language of the text to be competent in further exercises and discussions.
Great Britain, also called Britain, is an island beautifully modeled by nature lying off the western coast of Europe, comprising the main territory of the United Kingdom, and consisting of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and over 5,500 small islands. With an area of 242,000 sq.km, the island of Great Britain is the largest of the British Isles,an archipelago that also includes Ireland and the Isle of Man. Its rank among the islands in the world is either eighth or ninth, depending on whether you count Australia. The British Isles lie between latitudes, 50 and 60 degrees north and are separated from the European continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The nearest point is across the Strait of Dover, where the chalk cliffs of Dover are only 22 miles from those of France.
Western coast of Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea.
Britain is comparatively small, but there is hardly a country in the world where such a variety of scenery can be found. The charm of it lies in the finest combination of sea and highland, the valleys of South Wales, the smiling orchards of Kent, the desolate mountains of Scotland, glorious heather-covered moors, smooth fields, mysteriouswoods and numerous parks. There are flat tulip fields round the Fens that would make you think you were in Holland. Britain looks like one well-ordered park under the charge of a skilful landscape gardener.The seas round the British Isles are shallowand flow over submerged plains,which long ago joined Britain to the rest of Europe. This submergenceproduced an indented coast linewith deep inletsproviding good natural harbors. In some ways shallowness is an advantage.Shallow water is warmer than deep water and keeps shores from extreme cold. It is the home of millions of fish.
Owing to the shape of the country there is no point in it that is more than 70 miles from the sea. It greatly facilitates the export of manufactures and has made the English race a sea-loving one.
The rivers of Britain are of no great value as waterways and few of them are navigable. However many rivers have been joined by canals so that it is quite possible to travel by water from one end of England to the other. The estuaries of the Thames, Mersey, Tyne, Clyde, Tay, Forth, Severn shelter the largest ports of Britain such as London, Glasgow, Newcastle, Plymouth, Liverpool and others.
Over the centuries, Great Britain has evolved politically from several independent states (England, Scotland, and Wales) through two kingdoms with a shared monarch (England and Scotland), a single all-island Kingdom of Great Britain, to the situation following 1801, in which Great Britain together with the island of Ireland constituted the larger United Kingdom (UK). The UK became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the 1920s. Because of this complex history the term Great Britain (or Britain) is often erroneously used when the UK is meant.
Great Britain is a monarchy. The powers of the Queen of Great Britain are not absolute but constitutional. They are limited by Parliament, and are hereditary, not elective. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the party that has the majority in the House of Commons. All the affairs of the state are conducted in the name of the Queen, but it is the prime Minister who is responsible for every measure submitted to Parliament. Once a party has won a majority of votes, it forms the Government and holds office for five years or more until it is defeated by opposition.