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Great britain


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Great Britain - geography, brief history, government

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Great britain

  1. 1. Great Britain
  2. 2. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom is made up of: England - The capital is London. Scotland - The capital is Edinburgh Wales - The capital is Cardiff. Northern Ireland - The capital is Belfast.
  3. 3. The UK is bordered by four seas: • to the south by the English Channel, which separates it from continental Europe • to the east by the North Sea • to the west by the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean
  4. 4. The Land • The UK Landscape is very varied, ranging from the Grampian Mountains of Scotland to the lowland fens of England which are at or below sea level in places.
  5. 5. The Land • Scotland and Wales are the most mountainous parts of the UK. A ridge of hills, the Pennine, runs down the centre of northern England. Many coastal areas are low-lying, especially in the east and south of England. These include the wetlands of the Somerset levels, that regularly flood during heavy rain. • Most of the UK is made up of gently rolling hills with isolated areas of high ground such as Dartmoor in the south-west of England or the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.
  6. 6. Rivers Being a relatively small Island, the UK's rivers are not very long. The Severn, its longest river, is just 338 km in length. Other major rivers include the Thames, which flows through Oxford and London.
  7. 7. Climate The UK's climate varies greatly according to season and location, but on the whole can be described as mild with few extremes. Britain is an island country and the surrounding sea gives England a varied climate. In general there are warm summers and cool winters. The summers are cooler than those on the continent, but the winters are milder. The overall climate in England is called temperate maritime. This means that it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0ºC in winter and not much higher than 32ºC in summer. It also means that it is damp and is subject to frequent changes.
  8. 8. The main influence on British climate is close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, northern latitude, and the warming of the waters around the land by the Gulf Stream . Month Average Sunlight (hours) Temperature Average Precipitation (mm) Wet Days (+0.25 mm) Average Record Min Max Min Max March 4 3 10 8 21 37 11 April 5 6 13 2 26 37 12 May 6 8 17 1 30 46 12 Month Average Sunlight (hours) Temperature Average Precipitation (mm) Wet Days (+0.25 mm) Average Record Min Max Min Max June 7 12 20 5 33 45 11 July 6 14 22 7 34 57 12 Aug 6 13 21 6 38 59 11 Month Average Sunlight (hours) Temperature Average Precipitation (mm) Wet Days (+0.25 mm) Average Record Min Max Min Max Sept 5 11 19 3 30 49 13 Oct 3 8 14 4 26 57 13 Nov 2 5 10 5 19 64 15 Month Average Sunlight (hours) Temperature Average Precipitation (mm) Wet Days (+0.25 mm) Average Record Min Max Min Max Dec 1 4 7 7 15 48 15 Jan 1 2 6 10 14 54 15 Feb 2 2 7 9 16 40 13
  9. 9. Area: 244,100 km² Population: about 60 million Capital: London (7 million ) Official language: English Currency: pound sterling The UK part of Europe and is a member of the European Union (EU).
  10. 10. The main industries: steel, metals, vehicles, shipbuilding, shipping, chemicals or electronics. 30 percent of land is arable and the main agricultural products are grains, sugar, beet, fruit and vegetables. Resources : coal, oil, gas and lead The main trading partners: Germany, the USA, France and the Netherlands.
  11. 11. Brief history • The first men and women came to Britain over 2.5 million years ago. They were hunters and gatherers of food who used simple stone tools and weapons. • 500 BC - The Celtic people arrived from Central Europe. The Celts were farmers and lived in small village groups in the centre of their arable fields. They were also warlike people. The Celts fought against the people of Britain and other Celtic tribes.
  12. 12. The Romans came to Britain nearly 2000 years ago ( in 43 AD). The Roman Empire made its mark on Britain, and even today, the ruins of Roman buildings, forts, roads, and baths can be found all over Britain. Britain was part of the Roman Empire for almost 400 years!
  13. 13. • By the time the Roman armies left around 410 AD, they had established medical practice, a language of administration and law and had created great public buildings and roads. • Many English words are derived from the latin language of the Romans.
  14. 14. Romans gave British: • Language (words of Latin origin) • The Calendar • Laws and a legal system • The Census • straight roads • central heating • concrete • aquaducts (bridges for water)
  15. 15. Anglo-Saxon Britain • The Roman army left Britain about AD 410. When they had gone there was no strong army to defend Britain, and tribes called the Angle, Saxon, and Jute (the Anglo-Saxons) invaded. They left their homelands in northern Germany, Denmark and northern Holland and rowed across the North Sea in wooden boats.
  16. 16. Vikings
  17. 17. Who were the Vikings? • Vikings were also known as the Norsemen. They were great travellers and sailed to other parts of Europe, where they traded, raided, and often settled • They were also farmers, fishermen, trappers and traders. Viking craftsmen made beautiful objects out of wood, metal and bone; Viking women were skilful weavers, produced fine, warm textiles. • Norsemen means 'people from the North' • Many Vikings were great travellers and sailed all over Europe and the Atlantic Ocean in their long ships.
  18. 18. Vikings´ships
  19. 19. Why did the Vikings invade Britain? • Most Vikings who sailed overseas were simply searching for better land for their farms. Their land was not very good for farming. Norway was very hilly, Sweden was covered in forests, and Denmark had a lot of sandy home land.
  20. 20. Place Names • Place names ending in –by eg. Derby, Rugby, Whitby, Selby, Grimsby –by meant farm or homestead (village). These places mark the earliest Viking settlements. • Derby - A village where deer are found • Place names ending in –thorpe (or -thorp, -throp or – trop) eg. Scunthorpe and Grimethorpe -thorpe meant farms. • Place names ending in –toft or-tofts. A -toft referred to the site of a house or a plot of land.
  21. 21. Normans • The Normans were people who lived in Normandy in Northern France. They were originally Vikings from Scandinavia. • They invaded England in 1066
  22. 22. The story behind invasion • King Edward III (called also the Confessor – built Westminster Abbey) died on January 5th, 1066 after a reign of 23 years. • left no heirs • rivalry for the crown Battle of Hastings • destruction of the Anglo – Saxon rule in England
  23. 23. Who should be the next King? • no firm rules about who should be the King • the crown passed to whoever could: • show that they had some sort of blood claim • grab the throne before anyone else got it
  24. 24. Claimants to the English throne Harold Godwinson • powerful noble in England • good soldier (had won many battles) • said that it was Edwards dying wish that he, Harold, should have the crown (no witness) • not a direct blood link to the King Edward • King Harold II of England – the day after Edward´s death
  25. 25. Claimants to the English throne William, Duke of Normandy • distant cousin of Edward the Confessor • claimed that Edward and Harold promised him the throne
  26. 26. Battle of Hastings 1066 • lasted one day • William won
  27. 27. William Duke Of Normandy, King of England • feudal system – King owning everything (land, animals and buildings) • built a string of castles in strategic areas across the country (Tower of London, Windsor)
  28. 28. The Tudors • Welsh-English family • 1485 to 1603 - they ruled for 118 years • encouraged new religious ideas, overseas exploration and colonisation. Henry VII 1485 - 1509 Henry VIII 1509 - 1547 Edward VI 1547 – 1553 Jane Grey 1553 - 1553 Mary I 1553 – 1558 Elizabeth I 1558 - 1603
  29. 29. 1. Catherine of Aragon 2. Anne Boleyn 3. Jane Seymour 4. Anne of Cleves 5. Catherine Howard 6. Katherine Parr "Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived..."
  30. 30. • Golden age of English history • foreign trade, exploration, literature, art • Francis Drake • Virginia in USA is named after her
  31. 31. During Queen Victoria's reign: Britain became the most powerful and richest country in the world, with the largest empire that had ever existed, ruling a quarter of the world's population. Towns and cities got piped water, gas and, by the end of the century, electricity The number of people living in Britain more than doubled from 16 million to 37 million, causing a huge demand for food, clothes and housing.
  32. 32. • Factories and machines were built • Railways, originally built to transport goods, meant people could travel easily around the country for the first time. Railways brought new foods to towns and cities. • Many households had a servant or servants – in 1891, 2 million servants were recorded in the census • Seaside holidays were 'invented' (became popular).
  33. 33. Monarchy •constitutional monarch •officially the head of the state, but the country is run by the government, led by the Prime Minister •Queen of 16 former British colonies including Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the head of the Commonwealth
  34. 34. Political System Prime Minister Leader of the majority party In the House of Commons Cabinet Treasury Foreign Office Home Office The Speaker The Lord Chancellor House of Commons cca 650 Members of Parliament MPs are elected House of Lords 700 members (hereditary and life peers) Lords Spiritual (senior Bishops) Lords Temporal (lay peers) Peers are not elected Government Parliament
  35. 35. Currency The monetary unit is a pound. 1 pound = 100 pence (100p)