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A General Survey of the United Kingdom Foreign Languages College, Longyan University, Rao Yanyan
Content • Related names • Physical geography • Climate • Cultural information
the UK • The full name of this country: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (just say Britain, the United Kingdom or simply the UK)
British Isles • northwest of Europe in the Atlantic Ocean • two large islands (Great Britain and Ireland) and hundreds of small islands
British Empire ¼ of the world’s land area and population
British Commonwealth worldwide association of nations and their dependencies, whose members share a common commitment to promoting human rights, democracy, and economic development All members accept the British monarch as the symbolic head of the Commonwealth Almost all members of the Commonwealth were once ruled by Britain as part of the British Empire.
Physical Geography • An Overview • Rivers & lakes • Four parts of the country • England • Scotland • Wales • Northern Ireland
Q:Where is this country? An overall view (I)
● The country is slowly tilting with the Northwest slowly rising and the Southeast slowly sinking. ● The north and west of the country are mainly highlands, while the east and southeast are mostly lowlands. Overall view (II)
Rivers and Lakes (I) • Rivers in Britain do not freeze in winter. They play a very important role in Britain’s economy. • The longest river is the Severn River which is only 338 km long. • The second largest river in Britain is the Thames River, which is 336 km long.
Rivers and Lakes (II) There are many lakes in Britain especially in northern Scotland, the Lake District in north-west England and north Wales. The largest lake in Britain is the Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland which covers an area of 396 km2.
the Thames The Thames meanders its way through beautiful countryside reaches and historic settlements with an enormous variety of places to visit, pubs and restaurants to nourish both body and soul. Many riverside pubs and eating places are themselves part of the river's history, a reminder of the days when this was truly a Royal River Highway.
Climate *climate and weather • Features • Factors that contribute to such a climate
Features A Favorable Maritime Climate • a rainy, changeable and unpredictable weather • mild winters and cool summers • a steady and reliable rainfall throughout the year • a small range of temperature (4-6 ºC in the north in winter, and 12-17 ºC in the south in summer)
Q: Why does Britain have such a good and favorable climate? Britain is an island country which lies between latitudes 50-60 degrees north, farther north than even the northernmost part of Heilongjiang Province of China.
Factors • The surrounding waters tend to balance the seasonal differences by heating up the land in winter and cooling it off in summer. • The prevailing south-west winds blow over the country all the year round, bringing warm and wet air in winter and keeping the temperatures moderate. • The North Atlantic Drift, a warm current, passes the western coast of the British Isles and warms them.
Cultural Information • John Bull • God Save the Queen • Four parts of the nation • the Union Jack
John Bull • John Arbuthnot History of John Bull (1712) • A personification of the English nation or a typical Englishman
God Save the Queen • the national anthem of the United Kingdom
God save our gracious Queen,Long live our noble Queen,God save the Queen!Send her victorious,Happy and glorious,Long to reign over us;God save the Queen! O Lord our God arise,Scatter her enemiesAnd make them fall;Confound their politics,Frustrate their knavish tricks,On Thee our hopes we fix,God save us all! From every latent foe,From the assassins blow,God save the Queen!O'er her thine arm extend,For Britain's sake defend,Our mother, prince, and friend,God save the Queen! Lord grant that Marshal WadeMay by thy mighty aidVictory bring.May he sedition hush,And like a torrent rush,Rebellious Scots to crush.God save the King!
Capital & Emblem rose thistle leek and daffodil shamrock
The Union Jack Fusion of three different emblems into a Union Flag, recording the growth of one kingdom out of the successive union of three crowns • 1536 Act of Union, Kingdom of England (Henry VIII)
1707 Act of Union, Kingdom of Great Britain (Queen Elizabeth I, James VI & I)
1801 Act of Union, Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (George III) current Union Flag adopted on Jan. 1st, 1801 1922, Irish Free State, or the Republic of Ireland 1927, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland