The Essential Information About the UK/ Najważniejsze Informacje o Zjednoczonym Królestwie

8 Gru

  1. The British Isles
  • It is a group of Island located off the North-west coast of Europe
  • 5 independent states occupy the Isles
  • Two largest islands are Great Britain and Ireland
  • Additionally 6 thousand isles and islets
  • They are bounded by:

a         The English Channel and the Strait of Dover to the South

b        The North Sea to the east

c         The Atlantic Ocean to the west and north

  • 2 sovereign states occupy the archipelago:

a         The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

b        The Republic of Ireland

  • Other big islands include:

a         The Orkney Islands – belong to Scotland

b        The Shetland Islands – belong to Scotland

c         The Hebrides – belong to Scotland

d        The Isle of Man – self-governing dependency –geographical centre of the Isles located on the Irish Sea – Crown Dependency

e         The Channel Islands – near the French coast (not physical part of the Isles)– consist of 2 dependencies – the Bailiwick of Guernsey & the Bailiwick of Jersey – Crown Dependency

  • Britain is also called Albion
  • The island of Ireland is also called the Emerald Island
  1. The United Kingdom
  • It consists of :

a         Northern Ireland – Capital – Belfast

b        Great Britain – which can be divided on:

(1)   England – London

(2)   Scotland – Edinburgh

(3)   Wales – Cardiff

  • Biggest cities – London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool
  • Total area – 244,820 sq km

a         Great Britain is the largest island in Europe and the 8th in the world

  • Highest mountain in the UK – Ben Nevis 1343m
  • Longest river  – Severn
  • Largest lake – Lough Neagh 388 sq km in Northern Ireland
  • Largest lake in Great Britain – Loch Lomond 72 sq km in Scotland
  • Climate is varied but is generally temperate due to the Atlantic Ocean and the influence of the Gulf Stream
  • Union JackUK flag since 1801
  • God save the Queen/ King – anthem of the UK
  • Royal Coat of Arms – herb
  • Motto – Dieu et mon droit – God and my right
  1. England
  • Area – 130,000 sq km
  • Population – 50 mln people
  • Density – 400 people per sq km
  • Biggest cities – London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield & Newcastle
  • There are 3 physical regions:

a         The Pennines – mountain system known as the backbone of England; from Scotland to England

b        Southwest Peninsula – a low plateau; the westernmost point of England ( Land’s End) and the southernmost point ( Lizard Point) are there

c         The English Lowlands – greatest population and the most farmable region;

  • Land’s End – westernmost point
  • Lizard Point – southernmost point
  • The natural border with Scotland is created by River Tweed and Cheviot Mountains
  • The typical English landscape is that of rolling hills
  • Climate is temperate maritime
  • Longest river:

a         Thames 340 km

 

  • Highest mountain – Scafell Pike 978m – located in Lake District in Cumbria
  • Largest lake – Windermere
  • Highest waterfall – Cauldron Snout
  • English Channel – separates England from France, in the Strait of Dover it is only 34 km wide
  • England is named after Angles – Germanic tribe which settled in England in the 5th &6th c
  • St. George Cross – English flag
  • St. George  – England 23.04
  • Plant symbol – England – rose
  1. Scotland
  • Area – 78,000 sq km
  • Population – 5 mln people
  • The least populated region of the UK (the Highlands)
  • Biggest cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness
  • There are 3 main regions:

a         The Highlands – are two mountainous regions: the Northwest Highlands and the Grampian Mountains

(1)   Glens – steep, narrow valleys

(2)   straths – broad rolling valleys

(3)   moors – treeless areas

b        the Central Lowlands – best farmland

c         the Southern Uplands – sheep & cattle

  • climate is temperate and oceanic; more rainfall than in other parts of the region

a         Lochaber – the wettest place in the UK

  • Highest mountain – Ben Nevis; 10 of UK highest mountains are there
  • Longest river – River Tay 193 km
  • Biggest lake – Loch Lomond 72 sq km
  • Loch Ness – second biggest area; Nessie – the Loch Ness monster
  • Tartans – material for making kilts – traditional Scottish dresses
  • The typical instrument is a bagpipe
  • Typical drink – whisky
  • Best known dish – haggis
  • Scottish parliament is called – Holyrood
  • Queen’s official residence in Scotland is The Palace of Holyrood
  • MSPMember of the Scottish Parliament
  • Edinburgh – Called the Athens of the North
  • Queen’s unofficial residence in Scotland is Balmoral
  • Arthur’s Seat – famous viewpoint in Edinburgh
  • Festivals

a         Edinburgh Festival – July – September

b        Edinburgh Fringe – the largest performing art festival in the world

c         Hogmanay – celebration of the New Year

d        Edinburgh Military Tattoo – orchestras

  • People

a         Alexander Graham Bell – telephone

b        Charles Darwin – evolution

c         Adam Smith – economy

d        Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes

  • St. Andrew’s Flag – Scotland
  • St. Andrew – Scotland 30.11
  • Plant – thistle
  • Common names for people – Jock
  1. Wales
  • Area – 20,000 sq km
  • Population – 3 mln
  • The National Assembly for Wales – the parliament
  • AM – Assembly Member
  • Biggest cities – Cardiff, Swansea, Bangor
  • Largest island – Anglesey (north-west coast of Wales)
  • Highest mountain – Snowdon (1,085m)
  • Deepest cave in UK – Ogof Ffynnon Ddu
  • Welsh name for Wales is Cymru
  • Largest festival in Wales – the National Eisteddfod – the largest outdoor festival in UK
  • Millennium Stadium – in Cardiff
  • Cardiff is located on 3 rivers
  • Cardiff is the capital since 1955
  • Land of Our Fathers – anthem of Wales
  • The red Dragon – flag
  • St. David – patron 01.03
  • Plant – daffodil, leek
  • Common names for people – Dai, Taffy
  • Instrument – harp
  1. Northern Ireland
  • Area – 13,843 sq km
  • Population – 1.7 mln
  • Divided into 6 counties
  • Separated from Scotland by the North Channel
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly – Irish parliament
  • MLA – Member of the Legislative Assembly
  • Largest cities – Belfast, Armagh, Derry,
  • Highest mountain – Slieve Donard (852m)
  • Longest river – River Bann (76 km)
  • Is called Ulster
  • The Troubles – fights between Roman Catholics (Nationalists) and Protestants (Unionists)
  • Londonderry Air – anthem of the Northern Ireland
  • Flag – St. Patrick’s cross
  • Patron – St. Patrick 17.03
  • Plant – shamrock
  • Common names for people – Paddy, Mick
  1. London
  • Londonium – 1st name
  • Population – 8 mln
  • Buckingham Palace – queen’s residence
  • The house of parliament – Westminster
  • The City of London – financial centre; 10000 people live there
  • Tower bridge
  • The Tower of London – crown jewels are there; guarded by the Beefeaters; ravens – ravenmaster; Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress; last prisoner – Rudolph Hess; ceremony of the Key;
  • Westminster Abbey – place of coronations; Poets’ Corner – place where the poets are buried
  • The British Museum – established in 1753; over 13 mln objects; Hans Sloan
  • The National Gallery – 2300 paintings
  • Tate – modern art gallery
  • The London EyeThe Millennium Wheel
  •  Madame Tussauds – wax figures museum; the Chamber of Horrors
  • Harrods – department store
  • 8 royal parks
  • The centre of London is marked by the London Stone in Cannon Street
  • The Tube – the Underground
  • Windsor Castle – largest inhabited castle in the world
  1. National emblems
  • Britannia – personification of the UK
  • John Bull – representation of English people
  • Union Jack – UK flag
  • National anthem

a         God save the Queen/ King – anthem of the UK

b        Londonderry Air – anthem of the Northern Ireland

c         The Land of Our Fathers – anthem of Wales

  • Flags:

a         St. George Cross – English flag

b        St. Andrew’s Flag – Scotland

c         St. Patrick’s Flag – Ireland

d        The red dragon – Wales

  • Patrons

a         St. George  – England

b        St. Andrew – Scotland

c         St. Patrick – Northern Ireland

d        St. David – Wales

  • Symbols

a         England – rose

b        Scotland – thistle

c         Wales – daffodil, leek

d        Northern Ireland – shamrock

  1. The Sovereign
  • UK is a constitutional monarchy
  • Queen Elisabeth II –

a         Accession – 1952

b        Coronation – 1953

c         Provides stability

d        Is politically neutral

e         Is head of 15th Commonwealth Countries

f         Head of the Armed Forces

g         Declares war and peace

h        Head of the Church of England

i          Appoints and dismisses ministers

j          Accredits ambassadors

k        Royal Assent (last refusal 1708)

  • There is no constitution – only laws
  1. The Parliament (is bicameral)
  • 1st meeting in 1707
  • Consists of 3 components:

a         House of lords

(1)   Not elected but appointed by the Queen

(2)   Red chamber

b        House of commons

(1)   Elected – 5 years

(2)   Leader – the Speaker

(3)   Question time – PM answers the question

(4)   Green chamber

c         Queen

(1)   Doesn’t vote

  • Palace of Westminster – the residence of parliament
  1. Elections
  • Every 5 years
  • MP – member of Parliament – 18 years old, UK citizen, £500 deposit
  • First-Past-The-Post – wins the one with the most votes
  • 646 parliamentary constituencies in the UK
  1. Prime Minister & the Cabinet – Called Whitehall
  • Prime Minister is a head of the government
  • PM is first among equals
  • Kissing Hands – 1st meeting of PM and the Queen
  • Whips – party discipline
  • He makes a Cabinet
  • 10 Downing Street – residence of the Prime Minister
  • Shadow Cabinet – opposition
  • Cabinet meets every Tuesday
  • David Cameron – Prime Minister
  • Backbencher – the least important in the party
  • Crossbenchers – independent peers
  1. Royal family
  • People

a         Queen Elisabeth II + Prince Phillip (Duke of Edinburgh) = Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward

b        Prince Charles (Prince of Wales) + Lady Diana Spencer (died 1997) = William, Harry

c         Prince Charles + Camilla Parker Bowles (Duchess of Cornwall)

d        Prince William (Duke of Cambridge) + Kate Middleton = ?

  1. Political parties
  • Labour Party

a         Ramsay MacDonald

b        Clement Atlee

c         Harold Wilson

d        Tony Blair – 1997-2007

e         Gordon Brown

f         Ed Miliband – leader no

  • Conservative Party

a         Robert Peel – policemen – bobbies

b        Winston Churchill – the Nobel Prize in literature 1953

c         Margaret Thatcher – the Iron Lady; 1979 – 1990; 1st woman as a PM

  • Liberal – Democrats

a         Nick Clegg – leader

  • SNP – Scottish National Party
  • Plaid Cymru – Wales
  • Sinn Fein – Northern Ireland; IRA – Irish Republican Army
  1. Places
  • Cambridge University – Peterhouse
  • Durham Castle – Norman’s Chappel
  • BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation – Portland Place
  • Underground – Waterloo Station
  • Stonehenge – Salisbury Plain
  • The City of London – the Square Mile
  • The Tower – Traitor’s Gate
  • Bank of England – the Old Lady
  • Gherkin – financial centre
  • Charity shops – Oxfam
  1. Other
  • GP – General Practitioner
  • NHS – National Health Service
  • NIN – National Insurance Number
  • CHOGM – Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (in Marlborough House in London); 52 countries
  • LSE – London Stock Exchange
  • 1973 – UK became the member of the European Union
  • 1543Henry VIII became the head of the Church of England
  • The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien – runic alphabet
  • Cockney – dialect in London

 

 

  1. History
  • 1st evidences – 250,000 BC
  • King Arthur – Excalibur
  • Celts – druids, runs
  • Romans
  • Anglo-Saxons
  • Vikings
  1. Writers
  • William Shakespeare
  • William Blake
  • Joseph Conrad – the heart of darkness
  • Charles dickens – christmas carol, oliver twist
  • Oscar wilde – the picture of dorian gray
  • George orwell – 1984, animals farm
  • Jane austen – pride and prejudices
  • Emily bronte – wuthering heights
  • Agtha Christie – hercule poirot
  • AA Milne – winnie-the-pooch
  • Lewis carol – Alice in the wonderland
  • Arthur connan doyle – Sherlock holmes
  • HG wells – the war of the worlds
  • JRR Talkien – lord of the rings
  • Salman Rushdie – midnight’s children
  • JK Rowling – harry potter

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