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Geography of the UK

 

1. General Characteristics

- The UK – constitutional monarchy

- The largest island in the archipelago, known as the British Isles

- Wales – on the west, Scotland on the north

- Northern Ireland – in the northeast corner of Ireland

- Area – 244.110 sq km (roughly the size of Oregon or Colorado)

- Climate – mild, chilly and often wet. Rein – expected for up to 300 days per year

- Estimated population density -252 persons per sq km in 2008

- Highly developed economically, preeminent in the arts and sciences, sophisticated in technology and highly prosperous and peaceful.

- English comes closer to being a world language

- “Daughter nations” – Canada, Australia, New Zealand

- India – the most important colony

- Many countries have adopted the British system of parliamentary government, often referred to as the Westminster model

- Pioneer in economic measures. The first industrial revolution occurred in Britain in the 18th and 19th

- Half of its population living in urban areas

- The richest nation in the world during the reign of queen victoria in the 19th century

- Spinning machine

2. The relief and borders of the country

- bordered in the south by the English Channel, in the east – by the North Sea and in the west – by the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean

- England is the largest, most populous and wealthiest division of the UK

Scotland – twice as small – 78790 sq km, Wales – 21, Northern Ireland – 14

- England – 53, Scotland – 32, Wales – 8,5, Northern Ireland – 5,8

- A number of small islands

- Anglesey, the Isles of Scilly, The Herbides, the Orkney island, the Shetland Islands

- Dependencies – the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, remains of the former British Empire. Britain assists the territories economically

- Gibraltar

- Highland zone and the lowland zone

- Lowland – south and est – rolling plains of a milder climate and better soils for farming

- Highland zone – Ben Nevis – 1,343 m located in the Highlands, high hills and mountains – the Pennine Chain – the backbone of England

- Western part of Highlands – Scotland’s famous lochs or lakes

- Northern Ireland – hilly highlands – Lough Neagh – 29 long – 18 wide

- Wales – covered by mountains – industrial establishments in Wales – coal mines

3. Climate

· moist climate with much rainfalls, river and lakes

· Severn is the longest

· Lough Neagh largest

· Loch Lomond largest

4. Mineral and energy resources

- Relies upon import from larger, cheaper foreign supplies

- Limestone, sand, gravel, rock, sandstone, clay, chalk, salt, gypsum, potash are quarried

- Has the richest energy sources in the EU, oil and natural gas resources are of vital importance

- Exports oil and natural gas

- Coal is far less important to the British economy nowadays

- Nuclear energy facilities

- Developing biofuels

5. Environmental issues

- Environmental protection is an important issue

- Good record of protecting

- Disposal of radioactive waste



- Another serious EI – the pressure to develop more land

- Restricted urban and suburban development in some areas. Land prices are extremely hign.

 

UK POLITICAL SYSTEM

1. Government of the UK

- Parliamentary monarchy

- Based on constitution composed of various historical documents, laws and formal customs

- Parliament – House of Lords, House of Commons and the monarch

- The House of Commons is far more influential than the House of Lords

- The CE is the prime minister, who is the member of HC

- The executive branch includes Her Majesty’s Government

- The government is composed of ministers in the Cabinet – members of HC

- Because the HC is involved in both legislative and executive branches of the British government, there is no separation of powers between executive and legislature as there is in the US

2. The constitution

v the written part consists of the Magna Carta, written in 1215, Petition of Right, passed by Parliament in 1628 and the Bill of Right of 1689.

v the entire body of laws enacted by Parliament, precedents established by decisions made in British courts of law and various traditions and customs.

v The democratically elected House of Commons can alter these laws with a majority vote

v C evolves as new laws are passed and judicial decisions are handed down. All laws passed by Parliament are regarded as constitutional.

v Although the crown gives its royal assent to legislation, this is a mere formality

 

3. The monarchy

4. Prime Minister

Ø the chief executive is the prime minister

Ø is the leader of the party that holds the most seats in the HC

Ø Monarch participates in the election of the prime minister

Ø PM presides over the cabinet and selects the other Cabinet members

Ø Acting through the Cabinet and in the name of the monarch, the PM exercises all the theoretical powers of the crown. Gordon Brown=> David Camerom

 

5. The cabinet

6. Privy Council

- Large ceremonial body 450 mtmbers

- Comprises all current and former cabinet members

- Advises monarch and arrangers for formal handling of documents

7. The legislature: Parliament

- Elected every 5 years

- Dissolved by the crown on the advice of the prime minister

- Sessions are held each year in October or November, at House of Parliament

- Legislated for the entire nation and includes representatives from E, S, W and NI.

The House of lords:

- Place of discussion and debate, passes legislation already approved by the HC

- Members not elected

- Made up of the lords temporal, spiritual, and the law lords

- The lords temporal are either hereditary peers or life peers

- 600 – life peers, appointed by monarch

- Made peers Winston Churchil and Harold Wilson

- Spiritual- archbishops of Canterbury and York, London

- Law lords\appeal assist in the judicial functions of the House of Lords

- Lords have the right to delay legislation, and may delay bills for up to about a year.

House of Commons:

- Real political power

- Elected by democratic voting over the age 18

- Elected from geographical constituencies determined by population

- Review the constituencies every 8-12 years

- Living abroad may vote for up to 20 years after leave

Judiciary:

- No supreme court

- Solicitors and barristers

- S perform everyday work of the law, legal matters – paperwork

- Θ plead cases in court. In Scotland – advocates. S engage Θ when they believe a client needs to go to court.

The principles:

- The right to trial by jury

- Right to due process of law

- Freedom from unlawful imprisonment

- The trial system of prosecution and defense

- The presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty

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Date: 2015-01-12; view: 946


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