Todays Britain

You may often hear about a country called the United Kingdom of Great Britain. It is an important world power in all aspects including economy, stock exchange, industry, and fashion. One of the world's most renowned and famous cities, London, is even the U.K.'s capital, not to mention a very important port. The U.K. itself comprises of 4 separate countries, 3 of which, being England, Scotland, and Wales, are found on the main island of Great Britain, and last but not least, Northern Ireland lying to the west of the main island. The whole country is situated to the northwest of Europe's mainland, from which it is separated by the English Channel, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. This being a strategic location helped make Britain become such a strong and powerful empire in the past by enabling quality trade routes and encouraging the country to become a strong sea power and this conqueror and explorer, as well as defender. We mustn't forget, that Britain is where the Industrial Revolution started, paving the way for the country to become a leading world power as well as providing the world with many important inventions, discoveries, and technology such as the steam engine and the railway.

Britain would, however, perhaps be nowhere without its rich history that helped pave the way to its current worldly position. Much of Britain's culture, especially that of areas like Wales, the Highlands in Scotland, Cornwall, and Ireland, has its origins in the rituals of the country's original inhabitants: the Celts. To them is Britain thankful for aspects such as the Welsh and Gaelic languages, Scotland's Highland games, and the Welsh Eistedfodd's music festival. Contributing to Britain's development aspects such as the development of language, cities, and paved roads were the Romans, whose settlement influenced the Celts to flee to the more mountainous parts of the country. Other settlers, invaders, and conquerors of the island were the Vikings and the Normans. This early array of inhabitants contributed to and laid the foundations for the fame of today's Britain. The country has witnessed many important monarch's including Henry VIII, who separated the founded the Anglican Church thus separating it from Rome, his daughter Elizabeth I, who made the country Protestant and developed it into an explorer and major sea power, Queen Victoria, who's rule provided over the Industrial Revolution, and of course we mustn't forget today's Elizabeth II.

Today's British government is a constitutional monarchy consisting of the queen as head of state with the Parliament thinking up laws and limiting her power. The Parliament is headed by the Prime Minister and consists of the elected House of Commons and the House of Lords, whose members gain their positions by heritage.

Britain is also a very important industrial power, being once the main industrial powerhouse or the world by means of beginning the Industrial Revolution and becoming the world's first industrialized country. This process was made possible as early the rule of King Henry VII, when he began developing a strong navy, which flourished even more under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. Under the rule of King William, the Bank of England was set up, enabling the country to borrow money to fund colonial wars and the building of roads, factories, and canals. Queen Victoria's reign was the peak of it all, when factory work took off on full bloom, Britain's valuable deposits of raw materials were discovered enabling the evolution of heavy industry, and inventions of great magnitude began appearing one after the other. Examples of some of Britain's famous inventions are James Watt's steam engine of 1778, James Hargreaves's spinning jenny, the electric telegraph, and the vaccination for small pox. Today's British industry has subsided a bit in comparison to the rest of the world, but they remain a leading power. We can encounter such industries as engineering in the Midlands, wool in Yorkshire, cloth in Manchester, iron and steel in Sheffield, and tobacco in Northern Ireland. Britain has an abundance of natural resources, mainly of coal which is mined in the Midlands, South Wales, and Durham. An important aspect of British industry which has been present for quite some time is shipbuilding centered around ports such as Glasgow and Liverpool.

Though many European countries consist of a population of an overpowering majority of their own race, Britain's population is quite varied. The composing mainly of the English, the people range from African American to Turkish to Asian. Over time, the culture has evolved to reflect the influence of these immigrants. We can see this in various restaurants and integrated school systems of various languages. The main people and cultures however continues to the be the English, the Welsh, the Scottish, and the Irish. Though Britain is no New York, it may be slightly considered as a melting pot rich in history, a powerful industry, and character.

Přidal: kamomille 6. 6. 2010
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