Political Structure, Geography and Economy. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) is a constitutional monarchy
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) is a constitutional monarchy. It has a monarch – a King or a Queen. The present British monarch is Queen Elizabeth II (Queen Elizabeth the Second). Everything today is done in the name of the Queen. We can say that the Queen reigns with the support of Parliament. Parliament is made up of two chambers — the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Parliament and the monarch have different roles in the Government of the country. The members of the House of Lords are not elected, they are peers. The House of Commons, by contrast, has 651 seats which are occupied by Members of Parliament. The chairman of the House of Commons is the Speaker. The chairman of the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor. The functions of the Queen are: to open the sessions of Parliament, to head the commonwealth, to be Commander-in-Chief, to declare the war, to make peace. All new laws are debated (discussed) by Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, then debated in the House of Lords, and finally signed by the Queen. There are several political parties in Great Britain. They are the Conservative, the Liberal, the Labor, the Social Democratic and the Communist parties. There may be five or more parties, fighting for one seat, but only one person — the candidate who gets the greatest number of votes — can win. Some parties win a lot of seats and some win very few, or none at all. Leader of the party which has the majority of seats in the Government becomes Prime minister. The Prime minister forms the Cabinet.
The population of the UK is over 60 million people who mostly live in towns and cities and their suburbs. The UK is inhabited by the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish who constitute the British nation. The British are descendants of different peoples who settled in the British Isles at different times. Britain is a country of mixed cultures. London has the largest non-white population of any European cities and over 250 languages are spoken there.
In general the territory of the UK is over 244,000 square kilometers; it takes the 75th place among other countries in the world. The capital of the country is London. The UK consists of four parts: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
The UK occupies most of the territory of the British Isles the largest of which are Great Britain and Ireland. The British Isles are washed by the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and separated from the European continent by the English Channel and the Strait of Dover. Northern Ireland is the smallest component of the UK. It occupies the northeast of the Island of Ireland which is a plateau.
There are manу rivers in G.B. but they are not very long. They are of great importance for communication and especially for carrying the goods. The longest rivers are the Thames and the Severn, which are each over 200 miles long. The lakes of the British Isles are mostly too small. The lakes (lochs) in Scotland and those of the Lake District in Northern England, together with a few in North Wales are attractiveto tourists on account of the beauty of surrounding scenery.
Once forests covered the greater part of lowland. Now they occupy only 6% of the land of G.B. The most common trees in G.B. are oak, elm, ash, beech, pine, birch.
The climate in G.B. is mild and humid. The weather is so changeable that the English often say that they have no climate but only the weather. It is not too hot in summer and it is not too cold in winter. It often rains. Snow falls a few times in winter and usually melts very soon.
Great Britain is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of iron and steel products, machinery and electronics, chemicals and textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. Mineral resources include coal, low grade iron ore, oil, gas and some polymetal ores. Coal was of great importance for the industrial development of Great Britain, coal-mining and textile are the oldest and traditional industries.
One of the main industries of the country is shipbuilding. Another important industry which provides people with food is sea fishing. There are also a number of seaports. Hull is one of the world's largest fishing ports. Glasgow is a very large city in Scotland. It is also a large sea port and a big ship-building centre.
Wales is one of the big mining districts in Britain. In the towns and villages of Wales you can see thousands of miners.
Sheffield is a big centre of the steel industry, and in Manchester there are many textile factories. West of Manchester is Liverpool. It is one of the big ports on the west coast of the island.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. It is near the east coast of the country.
Farming is one of the most important industries. The economic basis of farming in Great Britain is complex. There are some types of farming. They are sheep breeding, stock breeding, dairy farming, mixed farming, crop farming, fruit and vegetable farming, market gardening. There are very big farms, but most farms are small family farms with a mixture of cattle, sheep and cereal crops. The tenant farmer is the characteristic countryman of modern England. The tenant farmer is the farmer who rents his farm from the gentry.
The British farmers cannot provide food for all the people of the country, because there is not enough crop and pasture land. Therefore Great Britain has to import wheat, meat, butter, grain, citrus fruits, tea, etc.
III. Translate the words in the brackets into English:
1. We can say that the (королева правит) with the support of Parliament.
2. The (членов) of the House of Lords are not (выбирают), they are peers.
3. The (председатель) of (палаты общин) is the Speaker.
4. There are (несколько политических партий) in Great Britain.
5. The British Isles are washed by (Северным морем), (Ирландским морем) and the Atlantic Ocean and separated from the European continent by (Ла-Манш) and (Па-де-Кале).
6. The (озера) of the British Isles are mostly (слишком маленькие).
7. The most common trees in G.B. are (дуб), (вяз), (ясень), (бук), (сосна), and (береза).
8. The climate in G.B. is (умеренный) and (влажный).
9. Great Britain has a (высокоразвитую) steel (промышленность).
10. The tenant farmer is the characteristic (сельского жителя) of modern England.
IV. Find the corresponding translation of the words and word combinations:
|1) cattle 2) stock rearing 3) to build 4) to import 5) important||A. строить B. важный C. крупный рогатый скот D. животноводство E. импортировать|
|1) beauty 2) government 3) island 4) monarchy 5) to carry goods||A. монархия B. правительство C. перевозить грузы (товары) D. остров E. красота|
|A. из-за B. пейзаж C. привлекательный D. занимать E. низкая местность, низменность||1. attractive 2. to occupy 3. on account of 4. scenery 5. lowland|
V. Answer the following questions:
1. What kind of state is the UK?
2. Who is the head of the State?
3. Who is the country governed by?
4. Who makes laws?
5. Whose support does the Queen reign with?
6. What territory does the UK occupy?
7. What seas are the British Isles washed by?
8. What separates the British Isles from the European continent?
9. What parts does the UK consist of?
10. Name the capitals of the UK parts.
11. What is the smallest component of the UK?
12. Is Northern Ireland a plateau?
13. Speak about the British rivers and lakes.
14. How much of the land of Great Britain do woodlands occupy now?
15. What are the most common trees?
16. What is the climate in Great Britain?
17. Is it cold in winter (hot in summer)?
18. Does it often rain?
19. What is the population of the UK?
20. Where do people mostly live?
21. What people constitute the British nation?
22. Whose descendants are the British?
23. Is Great Britain a highly industrialized country?
24. What mineral was of great importance for the industrial development of Great Britain?
25. What are the oldest industries in the UK?
26. What other industries are developed in Great Britain?
27. What does Great Britain live by?
28. What goods does it export?
29. What are the main types of farming?
30. What is known to you about the tenant farmer?
VI. Translate the sentences into English:
1. В общем, территория Объединенного Королевства занимает около 244 000 кв. километров.
2. Объединенное Королевство занимает большую часть Британских островов.
3. В Великобритании много рек, но они не очень длинные.
4. Климат в Великобритании мягкий и влажный.
5. Население Объединенного Королевства составляет около 57 миллионов человек, большинство из которых живут в больших и маленьких городах и их пригородах.
6. Британцы являются потомками разных народов, которые жили на Британских Островах в различные времена.
7. Великобритания это высокоразвитая промышленная страна.
8. Судостроение это одна из основных отраслей промышленности страны.
9. Фермерство это наиболее важная отрасль промышленности.
10. Следовательно, Великобритания должна импортировать пшеницу, мясо, масло, зерно, цитрусовые, чай и др.
VII. Find out the sentences which correspond to the text. Correct the wrong sentences in accordance with the text:
1. The population of the United Kingdom is over 37 million people who mostly live in towns and cities and other suburbs.
2. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a democratic republic.
3. The UK occupies most of the territory of the Kurils the largest of which are Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
4. The British Isles are washed by the North Sea, Black Sea and the Pacific ocean.
5. The United Kingdom consists of 6 parts.
6. The longest rivers are the Thames and the Yenisey, which are each over 200 miles long.
7. Now lakes and rivers occupy only 6% of the territory of G.B.
8. The UK is a lowly industrialized country with undeveloped agricultural production.
9. There are very big farms, but most farms are small family farms with a mixture of cattle, sheep and cereal crops.
10. The tenant farmer is the farmer who has his own farm.