1. LOCATION, POPULATION, CLIMATE
The official name of Great Britain is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK).
It occupies the territory of the British Isles.
It is composed of about 5,500 large and small islands.
The two biggest islands are Great Britain and Ireland.
Great Britain (UK) consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
The total area of the UK is about 244,100 square kilometers.
The country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Irish Sea.
The population of Great Britain is over 57 million people.
As the United Kingdom is an island state the climate there is very specific.
It is not very cold in winter and never very hot in summer.
There is no ice on the lakes and rivers in winter.
It often rains in all seasons.
Besides, Britain is famous for its fogs.
The weather changes so often that Englishmen say that they have no climate in Great Britain, but only weather.
The nature of Great Britain is picturesque.
There are many rivers and beautiful lakes there.
One of the most wonderful parts of the country is called Lake District.
The main rivers of Great Britain are the Severn and the Thames.
There are no great forests in the British Isles.
As for the mountains they are not very high, but very beautiful.
The most picturesque region of the country is Highlands in the North of Scotland.
This is the region of mountains, rivers and cosy towns and villages.
2. TOWNS, INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE.
Great Britain is mainly an industrial country.
That’s why most of the people there live in large towns.
The largest cities of Great Britain are London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh and others.
London is the capital of England and the capital of the United Kingdom, too.
It is a very big city.
Its population is more than 11 million people.
London stands on the river Thames.
The Thames is rather a deep river, so all kinds of ships can come into London port.
That makes London one of the biggest sea ports of world.
London is also one of the main ship-building centres.
Besides, lots of things such as clothes, food, airplanes and cars are made in London.
Birmingham is the biggest town in an important industrial region in the centre of England.
Machines, cars and lorries as well as TV- and radiosets are produced there.
Manchester in the north-west of England is the centre of the cotton textile industry.
Here computers, electronic equipment, various machines, foods and other things are made.
Glasgow is the biggest city of Scotland.
Shipbuilding is one of its most important industries.
Other industries are iron and steel manufacture, heavy and light engineering and coal mining.
It’s an industrial city and an important port.
The largest city of Wales is Cardiff, its capital.
It is an important industrial city and a port.
It is also an administrative and educational centre.
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland is the leading industrial centre and a large port.
Its chief industries are the production of linen and other textiles, clothing, shipbuilding, engineering.
Great Britain is also a highly developed agricultural country.
Wheat is grown in the east of England.
Vegetables are grown in all parts of the country, especially in the south.
Potatoes are grown everywhere in the British Isles.
Some kinds of fruit can grow in the south where the temperature is higher and there is more sunshine.
There are a lot of cattle farms and farms which produce milk, butter and cheese.
Great Britain is also famous for its wool.
3. THE POLITICAL SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy.
This means that it has a monarch (a king or a queen) as its head of state.
Everything today is done in the Queen’s name (Her Majesty the Queen Elisabeth II).
She approves all the Ministers, including the Prime Minister.
But the monarchy today has practically no power.
The monarch reigns with the support of the parliament.
A parliament is the group of people who make the laws of their country.
British parliament consists of two Houses: the House of Lords and the House of Commons and the Queen as its head.
The House of Commons plays the main role in lawmaking.
It consists of 650 members of Parliament who are elected for a period of five years.
The House of Lords has more than 1,000 members, although only about 250 take an active part in the work of the House.
The members of the House of Lords are not elected, they inherit their seats in Parliament.
The chairman of the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor and he sits on a special seat called the Woolsack.
It shows that wool made England rich.
Members of the House of Commons belong to different political parties, and the party which gets the majority of seats in the House is called the ruling party, and the others – the oppositions.
The main British political groups are the Conservative and Labour Parties and the Party of Liberal Democrats.
The Conservative Party is the ruling party, the Labour Party – the opposition to the Conservatives.
The Conservative Party is often called the Tory Party.
It is the party of big business, industry, commerce and landowners.
The Conservative Party and the Liberal are more than three hundred years old.
The Liberals were called “Whigs”.
It was the party of the trading and manufacturing classes.
The Labour Party was formed in 1900.
It was founded by the Trade Unions, but had not done much to change the conditions of working class.
Among the other political parties of Great Britain there are Social Democratic Party, the Scottish National and Welsh Nationalist Parties, the Communist Party of Great Britain.
4. THE FLAG AND THE NATIONAL EMBLEMS OF GREAT BRITAIN
The flag of the United Kingdom is often called the Union Flag, or the Union Jack.
It consists of several flags.
In 1603 Scotland was joined to England and Wales.
The Scottish Flag, St.Andrew’s Cross (the patron saint of Scotland0, blue with a white cross from corner to corner, was joined to the English flag, St.George’s Cross (the patron saint of England), white with a red upright cross.
Later, in 1801, the Irish Flag of St.Patrick’s Cross (the patron of Ireland) was added, white with a red cross from corner to corner.
As for the national emblems of Great Britain they are very unusual and surprising.
Everybody knows about the War of the Roses (1455-1485), which was led between the two contending Houses for the English throne.
The emblem of one of them, the Lancastrians, was the red rose, and the emblem of the Yorkists was the white rose.
Since the end of this war the red rose has been the national emblem of England.
The people of Scotland chose the thistle as their national emblem.
They say that it saved their land from foreign invaders many years ago.
This happened so.
During a surprise night attack by the invaders the Scottish soldiers were awakened by the shouts of one of the invaders, whose bare feet stepped on the thorns of the thistle.
The alarm was given and soon the Scots won victory over the enemy, and the thistle became their national emblem.
The little shamrock is the national emblem of the Irish.
It is worn in memory of St. Patrick, Irelands patron saint.
A legend says that St. Patrick used a small green shamrock when he was preaching the doctrine of the Trinity to the pagan Irish.
There is a legend according to which St. David (the patron saint of Wales) lived for several years on bread and wild leeks.
So Welshmen all over the world celebrate St. David’s Day by putting leers onto their clothes.
They consider the leek their national emblem.
By the way the daffodil is also associated with St. David’s Day, it flowers on that day.
5. MICHAEL FARADAY
Could you imagine your life without television, radio, telephones, without electricity?
“Of course not!” – this is the answer.
The discovery of how electricity could be generated was one of the great scientific events of history.
It was made by Michael Faraday.
Michael Faraday was born in 1791 in London in a poor family.
His father, a blacksmi th, couldn't find work for a long time, and so when Michael was 14 years old he was sent to work.
He found work in a bookshop.
There he learnt how to bind books and read as much as he could.
He was especially fond of books about science.
Once a customer at the bookshop gave him a ticket to a lecture by Humphrey Davy, England's greatest scientist of that time.
After some time Michael got a job of an assistant in a laboratory of Davy.
He got interested in the strange new power, electricity, which had been discovered by that time.
Michael Faraday spent long weeks and months studying this strange force.
At last he tried to move a magnet between coils of wires.
He discovered that electricity passed from the magnet to the wires, and could become a strong electric current.
This is the method which is used in every electric generator throughout the world.
This was the beginning of all great machines that make our electricity today.
6. ROBERT BURNS
Robert Burns is the national poet of Scotland.
Burns’s poetry is loved and enjoyed by all his countrymen.
Burns was born in Alloway, on the 25th of January, 1759.
His father was a small farmer.
He was a hard-working man and wanted to give his family the education he could.
Thanks to his father Robert got a good knowledge of English, he made a rapid progress in reading and writing, he read and tried to understand Shakespeere, Milton and other writers of the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries.
Robert’s father also taught his children arithmetic and other subjects.
And at the same time young Robert worked hard on his family farm.
When he was 14 he composed his first poem “Handsome Nell”.
In 1784 his father died and the family had to move to another farm.
While working on this farm Burns composed some of his best known poems.
Robert Burns was not successful as a farmer.
He wanted to emigrate to Jamaica and to leave behind something by which his country would remember him.
So he composed his most brilliant poems.
He published his poems, they were a success.
That’s why he made up his mind to go to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.
He travelled much across his native country which he so dearly loved.
He admired the beautiful landscapes and lochs of the Highlands.
He visited some historic places which made a great impression on him.
All this influenced his literary work and resulted in many fine poems.
But Robert Burns had the serious heart dies, from which he died on the 21st of July, 1796, at the age of 37.
His poems he song and described joys, sorrows and life of the common people.
People loved Burns for the generosity and kindness of his nature, for his patriotism and truthfulness.
1. Географическое положение, население, климат.
Официальное название Великобритании – Соединенное Королевство Великобритании и Северной Ирландии (СК).
Она занимает территорию Британских островов.
Она состоит из примерно 5500 больших и маленьких островов.
Два самых крупных острова – Великобритании и Италии.
Великобритания состоит из четырех стран: Англии, Шотландии, Уэльса и Северной Италии.
Их столицы – Лондон, Эдинбург, Кардифф и Белфаст.
Общая площадь Соединенного Королевства около 244,100 квадратных километров.
Страна омывается Атлантическим океаном, Северным морем и Ирландским морем.
Население Великобритании (СК) более 57 миллионов человек.
Поскольку Соединенное Королевство – островное государство, климат здесь очень специфичен.
Зимой не очень холодно, а летом никогда не бывает очень жарко.
Зимой на озерах и реках не бывает льда.
Во все времена года часто идет дождь.
Кроме того, Британия знаменита своими туманами.
Погода меняется так часто, что англичане говорят, что в Великобритании нет климата, есть только погода.
Природа Великобритании живописна.
Там много рек и красивых озер.
Одна из красивых частей страны называется Озерным Краем.
Основные реки Великобритании – Северн и Темза.
На Британских островах нет больших лесов.
Что касается гор, они не очень высокие ,но очень красивые.
Самый живописный район страны – Нагорье в Северной Шотландии.
Это район гор, рек, уютных городков и деревень.
2. Города, промышленность и сельское хозяйство.
Великобритания, в основном, промышленная страна.
Поэтому большинство населения там живет в крупных городах.