The United kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - ENG


area: 244,872 sq kilometres
lies between 50° and 60° North latitude, prime meridian of 0° passes through the observatory of Greenwich
consists of England (capital London), Wales (Cardiff), Scotland (Edinburgh) and Northern Ireland (Belfast)
two larges islands: Great Britain and Ireland
otrher islands: Isle of Whight, Isles of Scilly, Anglesey, Isle of Man, The Hebrides, Orkneys, Shetlands, Channel Islands
mountains: Cornish Heights (south-wet England), the Cambrians (Wales), the Cumbrian Mountains (Lake District), the Pennienes (backbone of England), The Cheviot Hills, The Highlands of Scottland (Ben Nevis - 1342)
rivers: Severn (354 km), Thames (336 km), Clyde, Humber lakes: Loch Ness, Loch Lomonds, Lough Neagh Britain has a temperate and equable climate determined by Gulf stream
population: 57,576,000, density: 243
cities: London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bradford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol


the Celts arrived 2500 to 3000 ago; their language survives in Welsh and Gaelic enclaves
43 A. D. - Britaind was added to the Roman Empire; the Romans built camps, fotrs, roads, Hardian's wall (against Celtic tribes)
after the withdrawal of Roman legions in 410 the waves of Jutes, the Angles and Saxons arrived from German lands; they drove Celtic people into the mountains of Wales and Scotland; they fought with Danes
1066 - the battle of Hastings - king Harold was defeated by William the Conqueror, who established a strong central government and appointed Norman noblemen to high positions 1215 - Magna Carta Libertatum - king John I., Lackland - guarantee of rights and the rule of law, an impuls for development of British parliamentary system
English dynastic claims to large parts of France led to the Hundred Years' War (1338 - 1453) and the defeat of England; after it civil war, The War of Roses, between the House of Lancaster (white) and the House of York (red) lasted 1455 - 1485, ended with establishment of the House of Tudor
1543 - establishment of the Church of England by Henry VIII.
Queen Elizabeth I. (1558 - 1603) - Britain became the major sea power; founding colonies; Drake, Raleigh;
1588 - defeating the Spanish Armada
1603 - England and Scotland under reign of one monarch (James I.); The Act of Union on 1707 united England and Scotland formally
Civil War (1642 - 1649), king Charles beheaded, lord protector - Oliver Cromwell;
1660 - restoring of monarchy; 1688 - Glorious Revolution
Industrial Revolution - 18th and 19th century 1801 - Ireland became a part of union
1815 - defeating of Napoleon
Queen Victoria (1837 - 1901)
WWI (1914 - 1918)
1921 - independence of Ireland
WWII, Winston S. Churchill
Margaret Thatcher

Political system

GB consists of 4 parts, capital London parliament consists of Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons the Sovereign is formally head of state, summons and dissolves Parliament and opens each new annual session with a speech from the throne the House of Lords is made up of hereditary and life peers and peeresses, including the law lords and the Lords Spiritual the House of Commons is elected by universal adult suffrage and consists of 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) - England 523, Scotland 72, Wales 38, Northern Ireland 17; the chief officer is the Speaker general election must be held every five years; passive 18, active 21;
parties: Conservative, Labour, Liberal and Social Democratic
British constitution - common law, convention


industry: steel, metals, vehicles, shipbuilding, banking, insurance, textiles, chemicals, electronics, aircraft, machinery, distilling
agriculture: grain, sugar beet, fruit, vegetables, cattle and sheep breeding
natural resources: coal, tin, oil, gas, limestone, iron, salt, clay, chalk, lead
Places of interest in England
Cambridge and Oxford - universities
Stratford-upon-Avon - birthplace of Willian Shakespeare
Canterbury - cathedral , Canterbury Tales (Chaucer)

Places of interest in Scotland
historically and culturally separated area - own legal and educational system and currency, special traditions (pipes, kilts, whisky)
Glasgow - an old Victorian town, the biggest in Scotland
Edinburgh - the capital of Scotland, old middle-aged castle Loch Ness, Loch Lomond

Places of interest in Wales
land of mystery, mountains, woods, castles Cardiff, Newport, Swansea

Places of interest in Northern Ireland Lough Neagh
fights between catholic and protestant peo