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  • terrain: mostly rugged hills and low mountains
    A mainly lowland country with a few upland regions :
    - North (Pennine Chain, Cumbrian Mountains, Yorkshire Moorlands)
    South West (Cornwall, Devon, Somerset)
    populated central lowlands
    sparsely populated highlands and the northern islands
    WALES: agriculture accounts for 80% of the land area:
    - cattle rearing in the hill regions
    - dairy farming in the lowlands
    Population and industry concentrated on the eastern seaboard
    / the rest is mainly rural
  • While Scotland makes up about one-third of the area of the United Kingdom, it has less than one-tenth of the population, of which the greatest concentration (nearly three-fourths) lives in the central belt.
    Historically, England has been the main beneficiary of Scottish emigration, especially during economic downturns. Large-scale emigration also placed Scots in such countries as Canada, the United States, and Australia until the late 20th century; despite this phenomenon, however, the size of the Scottish population has remained relatively stable since World War II. The pattern of migration began to reverse when the North Sea petroleum industry brought many people to the northeast and the north, not only from various parts of Scotland and the United Kingdom but also from other countries, notably the United States.
    Scotland is now increasingly seen as an attractive place to work and live.
    Wales: The Industrial Revolution dramatically increased the Welsh population from around 500,000 people in the mid 18th century to some 2,600,000 by 1921. In the 1890s alone roughly 130,000 migrants were drawn into the coalfields of South Wales from England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and elsewhere; many people from rural areas in Wales also migrated to industrial centres. Although new manufacturers and mines provided employment for many Welsh workers, others emigrated, particularly to the northeastern United States.
    Heavy industry declined during the 20th century, and agriculture became increasingly commercialized and capital-intensive, producing further emigration from Wales, mainly of younger workers, and leaving behind a disproportionately aged population.
    In the late 20th century new industrial growth stemmed the population loss, except in South Wales and other coalfield regions. There is now a rough balance between inward and outward migration; however, many of the more recent arrivals have been seasonal vacationers or rural retreaters from metropolitan England, which has produced considerable tensions in traditionally Welsh-speaking areas where up to half the population was born outside Wales. In contrast, nonnatives account for less than one-tenth of the residents of some southern districts.
    Many African seamen were attracted to South Wales during the industrial boom of the late 19th century, but people of African ancestry now account for only a tiny fraction of Wales's total population. Cardiff is home to one of the oldest black communities in Britain. (Source: Britannica)
  • Has much reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programmes since the 80s (Thatcherism)
  • Since 1997 the labour governments (T. Blair then G. Brown) have been speeding up the improvement of education, transport, health services, affordable housing + introduction of the minimum wage -> higher taxes & public deficit.
    Incentives and regenerations schemes to solve the high unemployment linked to the decline of traditional industries and to support new industrial and service sectors (investment in higher education)
    The relatively good economic performance has complicated the Labour governments’ efforts to make a case for Britain to join the European Economic and Monetary Union while its economy is still much involved with the rest of the world and public opinion polls show a majority of Britons are opposed to the euro.
    New Coalition gvt vowed to reduce deficit -> cuts in public spending, higher taxes
  • 1.markets.uk.apprentis.2013

    1. 1. Lecture THE UNITED KINGDOM Geography, Society, Politics
    2. 2. Terrain 09/01/14 2
    3. 3. Geography Climate temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic more than one-half of the days are overcast Natural resources coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land Environment continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (has met Kyoto Protocol target of a 12.5% reduction from 1990 levels and intends to meet the legally binding target and move toward a domestic goal of a 20% cut in emissions by 2010); by 2005 the government reduced the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfill sites to 85% of 1998 levels and recycled or composted at least 25% of household waste, increasing to 33% by 2015 09/01/14 3
    4. 4. Population density 09/01/14 4
    5. 5. Population UK: . Land: 242 sq km (= Oregon) (79th biggest in the world (total: 223) . Coastline: 12,429 km . Total population: 63 million (22nd most populated country in the world) Arable land: 23 % Urban pop. 80 % / rural pop. 10 % Age breakdown: - Under 15: 17 % - 65 and over 65: 16 % Median age: 40 Life expectancy at birth: 80 (30) Fertility rate: 1.9 (138) 1.7 (175) in 2010 (average per woman of child bearing age) 0,5 % annual rate of change (2005-2010 est.) Population density: UK (2005) : - England (2001) : - Scotland (2001) : - Wales (2001) : - Northern Ireland (2001) : 09/01/14 (2012 est.) Immigration rate: 2.59 (29) 2.16 migrants / 1 000 p. (40) (2005: total of 235 000) 247 p./sq 380 65 141 125 5 Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica, CIA world factbook 2010, 2012 Office for National Statistics, 2005
    6. 6. Main conurbations and cities (2008 figures) Greater London 7.7 million (inner london: 3) Metropolitan Counties: Major Cities: Greater Manchester Merseyside South Yorkshire Tyne and Wear 2.5 million -> 1.4 million -> 1.3 million -> 1.1 million -> Manchester 470 000 Liverpool440 000 (—) Sheffield 540 000 Newscastle 280 000 Gateshead 200 000 West Midlands West Yorkshire 2.6 million -> 2.1 million -> Birmingham Leeds & Bradford Scotland: Glasgow Edinburgh Wales: Cardiff Northern Ireland: Belfast 09/01/14 580 000 (—) 470 000 330 000 370 000 6 1 000 000 780 000 500 000 (ONS, 2012)
    7. 7. Ethnicity, Religion Ethnic composition - 92 % White (of which 84 % English, Scottish 9 %, Welsh 5 %, Northern Irish 3 %) - 2 % black - 1.8 % Indian - 1.3 % Pakistani - 1.2 % mixed Languages -Welsh (26% of the pop. of Wales, - Scottish form of Gaelic (about 1/10th of the pop. in Scotland) Religion Christian : %) Muslim: Hindu: Unspecified or none: 09/01/14 (Source: ONS, 2001 Census) 72 % (of which Anglican 29 %, Roman Catholics 11 2.7 % 1% 23 % 7
    8. 8. National identity A multicultural society? In our attempt to avoid imposing a single British identity and culture, have we ended up with some communities living in isolation of each other, with no common bonds between them? Ruth Kelly, Sec. State for Communities and Local Gvt, 2005 (just after the bombings in London) British society: diverse or divided ? Only 50 % of English people describe themselves as British 35 % of Welsh people do 15 % of Scottish people do 2007 election results for Scotland -> SNP is now the largest party in the Scottish Parliament 09/01/14 8
    9. 9. History & Administration 4 Nations: • England • Wales • Scotland • Northern Ireland divided in counties (Home counties?, shires?) British isles ? Great Britain / Ireland? The UK = Britain ? The English have anglo-saxon origins, wheareas the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish have Celtic origins 09/01/14 9
    10. 10. The UK Government: a Constitutional or Parliamentary Monarchy A few dates on the formation of the UK as a Country 4 Act of Unions: 1536 : Wales formally joins the kingdom of England 1707: England and Scotland unite 1801: Ireland, invaded in the 12th century, ceazes to be a colony and sends MPs to Westminster 1921: Only Ulster remains part of the UK, creation of the Irish free State A few dates on the formation of the Parliamentary Monarchy and Democracy Britain has no written constitution but a series of statutes, acts and common law amount to an unwritten consitution -> pragmatic and flexible 1688 Glorious Revolution (a bloodless one contrary to the French Revolution) -> 1689 Bill of Rights : the sovereign must govern with Parliament 1832 Beginning of the extension of the franchise (right to vote) to the middle class 1911 The elected House of Commons, becomes the supreme legislative body over the Hosue of Lords 1928 All men and women over 21 can vote (1969 over 18) 09/01/14 10
    11. 11. Executive Power Chief of State: Heir: Queen Elizabeth (since 06/02/1952) reigns but does not rule (mainly symbolic role, politically impartial, cannot vote) Prince Charles (born 14/11/1948) Head of government: the Prime Minister (PM) David Cameron Cons.(2010-), vice PM Nick Clegg Lib. Dem. Gordon Brown (since 27 June 2007) Lab.; Tony Blair (1997-2007) Lab. John Major (1990-1997) Cons.; Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) Cons. "Cabinet" = Cabinet of Ministers = Members of Parliament (MPs) from the House of Lords or Commons, appointed by the PM Elections The monarchy is hereditary Following the general (=legislative) elections, the leader of the majority party or of the majority coalition becomes the PM 09/01/14 11
    12. 12. Legislative Power 1. House of Commons Last elections held in May 2010 Percentage of vote by party Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats other 29% 36% 23% 12% Seats by party Labour 258 Conservative 305 Liberal Democrat 57 Other (Scottish National Party/Plaid Cymru 30 Democratic Unionist; Sinn Fein 09/01/14 12 -
    13. 13. 2. House of Lords 09/01/14 Source: House of Lords, 2010 13
    14. 14. Major dates 1940 The Battle of Britain, the Blitz (Britain fights alone against Germany and faces invasion) 1942 Beveridge Report (5 giants: Want, Ignorance, Disease, Squalor and Idleness) 1944 Butler Act: free and compulsory education for all 1945 VE Day The newly elected Labour gvt creates the Welfare State: (NHS, welfare payments, unemployment benefits, education for all) 1947-49 Many former colonies reach independence (lecture on Commonwealth) 1951-64 Conservative gvts 1956 Suez Canal crisis 1964-70 Labour Gvt : death penalty abolished, Abortion Act, Sexual Offences Act, Divorce Act 1968 Beginning of the troubles in Ulster between Catholics and Protestants 1973 Britain and Ireland enter the Common Market 1979 Winter of discontent: strikes in ≠ sectors paralyse Britain 09/01/14 14
    15. 15. 1970s-1980s Neo liberalism Thatcherism: reduction of public ownership & of social welfare programmes Conservative culture Heritage movies 1976-1980s: punk scene Sex Pistols 1979-90 First woman PM: Margaret Thatcher (nicknamed: "the Iron Lady") introduces liberal policies: "Thatcherism" brings reform to Britain 1982 Falklands War won by Britain after Argentina invades the islands 1984 General (= national) miner’s strike to protest against the closure of pits lasts a year and is defeated 1994 Channel Tunnel opens 09/01/14 15 coal
    16. 16. New Labour New Britain? 1997 Labour landslide victory: Tony Blair PM with a "New Labour" approach 1998 Creation of a Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament (devolution) 1999 First steps in the reform of the House of Lords 2001 After 9/11, Britain support the US’s war on terrorism 2002 Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee 2003 Britain sends troops to Iraq 2005 Tony Blair reelected for a third term Terrorist attacks in London kill 52 people 2007 Blair stands down as PM and is replaced by Gordon Brown 2008 Crisis From mid 1990s Incentives and regenerations schemes - European Economic and Monetary Union? Since 1997 the labour -> higher taxes & public deficit. cultural Renaissance: London becomes popular again 2010David Cameron, Conservative PM head cons/lib dem coalition gvt 09/01/14 16