Velká Británie (Great Britain, the United Kingdom) - reálie Velké Británie

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UNITED KINGDOM

  • Full name = United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Consists of: Great Britain (Velká Británie)+ Northern Ireland (Severní Irsko)

United Kingdom

GREAT BRITAIN (Velká Británie)

  • Consists of three parts: England, Wales and Scotland (England occupies the middle and southern part of British Isles, Wales is situated along the peninsula (= poloostrov) of the same name along the west coast of the British Islands, Scotland consists of northern part and the Hebrides, Orkneys and the Outer Shetland)
  • Situated in the British Isles

BRITISH ISLES

  • British isles is the general term for the two largest islands – Great Britain and Ireland and about 5,000 smaller islands
  • British isles include the Isle of Wigh off the southern coast of England, the Isle of Scilly off the extreme south-west, Anglesey off North Wales, the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea
  • Western Scotland is surrounded by numerous islands  e.g. the Hebrides, the Orkneys and the Shetlands
  • very important are also the Channel Islands which lie near the French coast but belong to Britain (belong = patřit)
  • advantage of so many islands is fishing and the possibility of naval transportation (námořní doprava)

POLITICAL SYSTEM

  • GB is since 1953 a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II and without a written constitution (nemá psanou ústavu)
  • Parliamentary democracy (parlamentní demokracie) is practised here. Parliament consists of two houses: the House of Lords (hereditary and for life = dědičné a na celý život) and the House of Commons (voted, elections take place every 5 years),  these two houses are situated in the palace of Westminster
  • Two big parties: Conservatives and Labour Party
  • Current Prime Minister is David Cameron  (before: Gordon Brown)

The organs of government are:

the legislature - Parliament
the executive - the Government – the Cabinet and other ministers 
judicary - the judges 
pozn. exekutivní moc se dělí mezi podstatně více institucí, ale snad uznáte, že netřeba to více rozebírat

Queen
- is the head of the state and Commonwealth (but nowdays she’s just something like a symbol)
- she can: summon and dissolve Parliament (svolávat a rozpouštět parlament), appoint the Prime Minister, appoint archbishops and bishops of the Church of England, declare war and peace…

Prime Minister

- with a group of about 20 ministers (= the Cabinet) the Prime Minister makes important decisions, the Cabinet usually meets twice a week at 10 Downing Street (the residence of the Prime Minister)

SURFACE

  • surface of the United Kingdom and Great Britain is similar
  • Northern Ireland covers area of only 13,600 square kilometres, so you can say that both Great Britain and the United Kingdom covers the area of about 244 thousand square kilometres

POPULATION

  • 63 million

CURRENCY

  • 1 pound = 100 cents

FLAG

  • caled Union Jack
  • consists of three united crosses – St George’s for England, St Andrew’s for Scotland and St Patrick’s for Ireland

PATRON

  • -St George – he was a Christian martyr (křesťanský mučedník)


ANTHEM (= hymna)

  • God Save the Quenn

FURTHER DIVISION 

  • England has 47 and Wales 8 counties with 369 districts, Scotland has 12 regions and 53 districts, Northern Ireland 6 counties with 26 districts
  • The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are independent units
  • UK has 14 dependent derritories  e.g. Gibraltar

THE RELIEF

  • Based on the height above sea level (= nadmořská výška) Britain can be divided into lowland and highland areas
  • Lowland area lie in midland, southern and eastern England
  • Highland area comprises Scotland, most of Wales, the broad central upland known as the Pennies (also called the backbone of GB) and the Lake district
  • Mountain ranges extend about two thirds of the length of the British Isles (pohoří zabírají asi 2 třetiny Britských ostrovů); at most they reach medium height (maximálně jsou to třetihory)
  • The most mountainous area of GB is Scotland
  • The highest British mountain is Ben Nevis; it measures 1,343 m
  • Very diverse (rozmanitý): woodlands, a lot of meadow and pastures (pastvin), also a great deal of agricultural land mainly in lowlands

RIVERS AND LAKES

  • The longest river is the Severn and it’s length is 354 kilometres
  • The longest river in England (and the second longest in the UK) is the Thames, it’s 346 kilometres long
  • As for the lakes (co se týče jezer), the best known re those in the Lake District (e.g. Lake Windermere) and those in Scotland (Loch Lomon and Loch Ness)
  • GB has a dense network (hustou síť) of canals  which are important for freight transport (= doprava zboží), on the other hand although GB has a lot of lakes only very few of them are used for freight transport

CLIMATE

  • Climate is temperate (also called mild) and maritime, which means that winters are not very cold and summers are not very hot
  • Climate is determined by circulation of air masses (influenced by Gulf stream)
  • Weather changes all the time, so it’s said that the British weathers is totally unpredictable (nepředvídatelné)
  • Main disadvantages are the high rainfall (srážky) and the small amount of sunshine, which means that fogs are very common in GB

INDUSTRY AND AGRICULTURE

  • GB was the first country in the world to become highly industrialized (due to Industrial Revolution)
  • Old established British industries are those which were developed during the Industrial Revolution: coal, textiles (especially cotton), wool, iron, steel, shipbuilding
  • Since the 20th century there are new industries developing such as vehicles, electrical, chemical and aircraft industries
  • Britain has been a pioneer (průkopník) in many fields such as radar, television, nuclear power stations
  • Coal resources (= naleziště uhlí) are concentrated primarily in the Pennies and the Midlands
  • Small oil reserves and natural gas is located in the North Sea
  • What is mined in GB (co se těží): gravel (šťěrk), sand, sandstone (pískovec), chalk (křída)
  • Primary sources of energy used in Britain are petroleum, coal, natural gas and nuclear power
  • most important industrial centres are: Yorkshire, Manchester, London and South Wales

Manufacturing industries:
1. food, drink, tobacco, bakery products, cocoa (kakao)
2. chemicals and allied industries (s tím spojené průmysly) – e.g. fertilizers (umělé hnojiva) and plastic materials
3. metal manufactures (e.g. steel and iron)
4. mechanical engineering
5. ship building and marine engineering (building ships)
6. textiles (man-made fibres, wool, cotton, linen)

NEWSPAPERS

  • The best-known are: The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph,The Daily Mirror

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