History & Culture of the GB & the USA
The state system of the UK
3 branches of power: legitative, executive
Parliamentary monarchy the Queen is the head\part of the branches. The monarch is the personification of state, the symbol of the nations stability, unity & continuity of power. The Queen is by the grace of God the head of state, the defender of faith (Church), the commander in chief of the British armed forces, and the head of the Commonwealth.
Queen + Parliament
She summons & dissolves Parliament. Gives her royal assent to bills (законопроект). Since 1708 never resignes to sign.Executive
The head Queen
Prime minister + the government
Appoints the PM & the ministers. She confers peerages for the House of Lords (on the advice of the PM). In her name wars are declares & peace is made. She signs treaties that are concludes by the g-nts. She recognizes new states & governments. She visits all the countries needed. The best-informed person in the UK is informed & consulted on all the aspects of the British lives. Gives audiences to the heads of states.
The PM visits her once a week and consults her.Judiciary
The Royal Power was limited. For the 1st time in the 1215 then came a number of acts that limited the RP more & more. In 1687 Act: the Queen reigns on the advice of the government.
Queen Elizabeth the II, born in 1926, crowned in 1953. Her grandfather was George the V. Sons Edward & George. Elder son Edward the VIII abdicated the throne & married. George was not ready for governing. E-II is his elder daughter. Her sister Margaret died. E-II, Married in 1944 Phillip Mountainbatton. Was a poor Greek Prince. Entitled the Duke of Edinborough. Children Charles b.1948, entitled the Prince of Wales the heir to the throne, has 2 sons by Diana William & Harry; Ann b.1950, Andrew b. 1960, the prince York; Edward, b. 1964, married a photographer.
All the members are paid a salary. All the castles are kept at state expense, though not thoroughly. The tax-payers are concerned with money. E-II is really hardworking & responsible for the country.
Britain has no written constitution it is made up of different statutes. Now they are going to write a constitution but it might be too difficult to do.
The legislative power
Is vested in the Parliament & the Queen. The P consists of two chambers: the House of Lords (red) & the House of Commons (green). The HoC consists of elected members who do the legislation. There 659 MP 1 representative for each constituency. The majority system. The Chairman is the Speaker, who sits in the centre in a wooden armchair. On both sides there are benches. The party that won the majority sits on the right of the speaker, they also form the government. Sometimes there is a coalition, because one party does have the absolute majority. The four rows of benches are occupied by the elected MP (back benches). The front benches are occupied with the government (appointed!). In the same chamber L & E power. Opposition sit on the opposite side on the left of the speaker. The front bench is occupied by the shadow government, whos aim is to criticize the majority party & the government. All the elected members (MPs) are assigned to standing & select committees. The aim is to specialize in the bills. About 20 correspond to the names of the ministries. Smtms MPs are assigned to two committees.
The powers of the HoC
- To discuss bills & make laws the government also can initiate bills like any MP. But the bills have to go through the whole procedure. There are also private bills, by a sg member.
- To scrutinize the activity of the Gnmnt. Every day begins with “the question time” once for the PM, then for the ministers. The majority of questions must be sent two days before.
- The progress of bills. A bill has to go through 3 readings 5 stages:
- 1st reading by the title, the text is handed out
- 2nd reading the discussion, amendments are made
- the committee stage goes to the committee, who originated it, to include the amendments
- the report stage report to the MPs what they have done
- 3rd reading the discussion is possible & minor changes are possible
=> to the House of Lords for the same procedure[have the delaying power for 11 months to reconsider then, but have no veto power upon the financial bills] => to the Queen.
All party members are divided into groups headed by whip, who knows his MP, he brings them to the promotion of the speakers, informs them what they should vote. There is a Chief whip, they are responsible to him, who lives next door to the PM & informs him. The whips are allowed to be present in the House of Lords. They inform the HoC about this.
The procedure in debate. MP address each other: “my honourable friend” if same party, “my honourable member for Westminster” if opposite, to the speaker. The whips stand behind the speaker chair to whisper to him. Red lines a distance a bit longer than 2 swords.
Order of works.
A session in HoC lasts (from November to Summer holidays) for 160-170 days. 3 terms:
- November Christmas
- January Easter
- 10 days after Easter August: Queen dissolves P.
Start working: in the morning in committees in their constituencies if nor far; the work on the floor at 2.30 PM, begin with a prayer. in 15 minutes question time 2.45. Work till 10.00 PM. There are debates & hearings (слушание). At 10.00 PM make a motion of adjournment (предложение) & after that they discuss any other matter than they think worth discussing, and 10.30 the House rises. Stms works later.
After all to vote, the house divides into those whose for & against go through the doors (FOR to the AYE lobby, AGAINST to the NO lobby). Tellers count people who vote.
The House of Lords
It is appointed. The members of the Royal family are present. All the members of the HOL dressed in red formal clothes. the Head of the HOL is the Lord Chancellor. Sits of a wool sack. Is filled in by the wool sent from the country-members of the Commmonwealth. LC is the second important person after the Queen because he is the second minister in the cabinet. He heads the Court of Appeal too. The member of the HOL fall into 2 groups: temporal peers (светские лорды) life-peers (given by the Queen for the service of the country, e.g. Agatha Christie, Sir Laurence Olivier), hereditary peers (92 left), law peers (judiciary); spiritual lords represent the Church 24 bishops & 2 archbishops.
At first the HOL was the only house. Then started inviting common people. Finally formed a permanent group of commons sitting together. From the 14th century they have been sitting separately. The bar.
In the 15th century the temporal lords were given the name of peers. In the great fire 1844 in London the building was ruined, but it was restored & rebuilt. Returned there in five years. In 1876 Law Lords were created the Court of Appeal. In 1911-1949 Acts of Parliament were made that limited the powers of the HoL. The work of HoL is similar also concentrate on revision of bills, have the right to check on the actions of the government, provides a forum of independent opinion on different spheres of life there is a big committee on the European Union Law. They work less 150 days, start at 11.00 AM on Thursday & Friday, same on the other days.
Lecture 2. 16.09.2011
In the HOL among temporal lords there are peers, who are members of some parties, but some members have no affiliation they sit on special benches & are called “cross benches”.
The executive power
The EP is the Government (PM the cabinet 20 ministers (Secretaries of State)deputies (ab.100)).
E.g. the first Lord of Treasury deals with money; the Secretary of State for Home Affairs Министр Внутренней политики; SoS for Foreign Affairs; SoS for Defence; SoS for Science & Education; SoS for Social Services; etc.
Downing st., 10 the resisdence of the PM; 12 the Chief Whip.
The government sits in the House of Commons.
The judiciary branch
The Court of Appeal which sits in HoL. County Courts Magistrate Courts
659 counties 659 members. During the pre-electoral campaign representatives start campaigning have meetings presenting their party program & their own programs. On the election day the one who gets the majority wins.
Symbols of Power
The flag The Union Jack
England Rose \ A red cross on the white filed St. Georges cross
Scotland Thistle \ A white diagonal cross on the blue field St. Andrews
Wales A daffodil \ A red dragon on the white-green field
Northern Ireland Clover/Shamrock \ A red cross on the white field with a symbol in the centre
XIX Tories (conservative) & Wigs (liberal).
Parties express interests of certain classes.
Tories landed aristocracy. Wigs middle class.
Tori 1830 The Conservative Party formed itself
Wigs 183~ The Liberal Party
As the class of workers was formed & started fighting for their rights they set up Socialist groups. These groups united and finally a new party was formed The Labour party (1906). Some of the supporters of the older parties came to support it, especially the Liberals. Thus there remained 2 strong parties: Conservative & Labour. It took the Labour party only 20 years to get to the parliament. In 1924 it was for the first time elected in Parliament.
It was the LabP that introduced the old age pensions, they organized the w…fare system, they set up the national health service, different social security benefits (expectant mothers, invalids & other members of society that needed support), set up the minimal salary, nationalized important branches of economy (the coal industry, telephone industry), stood for governmental interference into economy, for planned economy. LabP = Socialism, “A road of Britain to Socialism” (the programme). But after the USSR fewer & fewer people supported them.
- social support for the population
- increase budget for social needs: schools, hospitals, pensions, payouts for big families etc.
- reduce the military budget
- support state interference into the economy mining, railroads, telephone
- *is usually financed by the trade unions
- *collective fees
- support the private sector
- reduce the budget for social needs
- increase for the military
- limit the trade unions rights
- *usually is financed by the rich people
Blue collar workers have been decreased white collars increased.
In the 80s the LabP had disagreements & split into 2 parts Left (retained the name) & Right (set up another party Centrists, then renamed as S-Democratic party), that remained a small and insignificant party. Then LP & SDP decided to unite 1988 Social-Liberal Democrats (LibDems). They have been becoming stronger & stronger.
Now the coalition government: Conservartives with LibDems.
C David Cameron
LD Nick Clegg
L David Milliband
There are some other parties the Green Party (environment), National Parties (Scottish, Welsh, Irish, English), the National Front (fascists),
In 1999 there was Devolution of Power some of the central power was given to Scotland, so they resurrected their national parliament.
Welsh Assembly (a small p.) the name of the party is the same.
The commonwealth of nations
Members all colonies.
1\4 of the world territory British Empire.
America, Carribean sea, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Australia etc.
BE had a very powerful fleet & lots of missionaries.
Colonies were a source of natural resources & agricultural products. And cheap labour. It also was a huge market.
In the Second World War, being cut off from colonies, the food was rationed in Britain.
However, the struggle for independence was going on there. Empire started to fall apart. But also there were white dominions: Australia, Canada & New Zealand. Under the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 Australia, Canada, NZ & SAR formed a sort of confederation (politically independent, economically connected with Britain). In 1926 they agreed to set up a free assotiation with the name The British Commonwealth of Nations. And in 1931 these relations were formalized by the Statute of Westminster. There are 50 states in the Commonwealth. The first country that joined C. was India in 1947. Later in the 60s there was a powerful liberation movement in Africa, so those countries gained political independence, but they decided to remain in the Commonwealth. Britain still has dependencies: St.Helenas Island, Gibralter, Escention Islands, Faukland Islands (Maldivians), - they are all self-governed, have their own legislature & s… service, but Britain has general responsibility for their defense, internal security & foreign relations.
State system of the counrties in the C.
Elizabeth the II is the head of the state in 17 countries, 28 are republics, 5 have their own monarchies. In the C. there is no legal constitution, no obligations connected with the membership. They keep relations through regular consultations between the governments. And also they have a number of organizations operating in these countries. The main principle is economic cooperation in agriculture, environment, health, law, education, technologies. Heads of States meet every 2 years to consult & discuss ways of improving their cooperation & their needs. They keep in tough through the C. Secretariat. It is the central coordinating body (est. in 1965). It organizes consultaions & cooperation. In 1976 it was given the observer status in the UN. The head of the CS is the Secretary General, who has access to all heads of states & all governments. It is in Londod in Marlboro House. The staff ≈ 500 officers from the member states. They have a budget. The biggest countries pay fees, they are based on the population (Br 30%, Can 20%, Aus 10%, India 4%, NZ 2%). The budget is spent on financial aid (building electric power station, to provide drinking water in Africa, to plant trees in dry areas etc.), technical cooperation (provide modern equipment) there is a special fund, emergency relief (humanitarian assistance in caser of unforeseen nat.disasters & wars voluntary aid: ab.120 agencies who select & send volunteers to the poor members of the C.; they receive government support & there can be private investment), education (teachers , students ), medical cooperation.
- the UK
- the Bahama Islands
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Barbados isl.
- Western Samoa
Britain and EU
EU started as a very small union “BeNeLux”. In 1958 Germany, Italy, France & Benelux joined together. The aim of EU was to have common economies & trade policies, common law. By the 80s the relations had extended, become more various & the single currency was introduced, union citizenship, control over finances, cooperation in justice & law.
- excutive body EU Comission
- legislative body Council of Ministers
- judicial Strasbourg Court
- EU Parliament
- Flag 12 yellow stars
- Anthem Ode en die Freude
Education in Britain
In England & Wales at the age 3-5 they start the pre-school education (in private institutions);
5-11 primary school (5-7 infant; 8-11 junior): at 7 & 11 they have their first tests.
11-16 secondary school; provided by types of schools (GSCE):
- comprehensive set up in the 60s in order to overcome the class-based educational system
Every school have to provide the results of the exams in the local papers. People can choose a school so far a s size of the school permits.
- grammar schools mostly humanitarian (like «гимназия»), the oldest schools, they are selective (ab. 4% of all), provide very good education in humanities.
- modern schools less academic, more practical
- city-technology colleges (technical schools)
16-18 high school (GPE sertificate opportunity to go to the Uni): A-level exams (you must get 2-3 exams to get to the Uni, others on O-level).
There are Independent Schools (7,5% of children less than in Fr & USA) they may charge from 3 000 P to 20 000 \semester. The oldest private schools are called Public Schools:
After secondary school you can go to colleges with professional education.
Classes start not early. Children start with assembly линейка. After that they register at the class leader. Classes start (8.30-9.00 up to 12.00 without breaks), then they have lunch (40 min 1 hour), at 1.00 pm they resume classes (register again), classes run up to 3.00-3.30 pm. They have little homework.
The school year begins on the 5th of September (usually on Tuesday, not Monday). The year is divided into 3 terms (1st: Sep Christmas, Xmas Easter, Easter July). Every term breaks into half-terms. In November they have a week holiday.
Teachers are quite strict. For misbehavior children may be left after classes, punished with writing lines. Children may be sustained from school on detention. Dismissal is the last measure. Every child at the end of the year receive characteristics (& at the end of the school) with which they go to the Uni. Assessment of the student effort & achievement. Every school teacher writes his own assessment.
High School (6th form).
To get Masters degree they make a research for one-two years. If they want they continue their research to get a PhD degree.
Students are admitted through UCCA (University Central Council for Asmission). In the year prior to finishing school they send an application to the UCCA. They write 5 universities in order of priority they what to enter. These applications are sent to the Unis. In addition they should send references from schools and a list of extra-curriculum activities. In a year, having passed the a-level exams, they send its result. Admition is done either through examinations or interview.
Only 25% manage to get into Unis. Student get grants to pay for their study, accommodation, books & transport & socialization. Since 1990 the grants have to be repaid to the Uni. A lot of students work. About 15% per cent drop out. The system of education consists of lectures, seminars & tutorials. Every student has a tutor (supervision), that advises what courses to take. They must take a certain number of courses. The tutor also supervises the papers, essays. 15 students per a tutor.
Types of Unis
There are about 100.
The oldest are Oxbridge, St. Andrews Uni, Glasgow Uni, Aberdeen Uni, Edinborough & Dublin Uni. They provide classical education.
Red-bricks Unis provide technical education. London Uni appeared. They were also polytechnics. At the beginning they didnt have a right to award degrees. They were built in industrial cities.
Later in the 2nd half of the XX cent. appeared a new type smaller & developed from colleges. They were given right to award degrees.
There is also Open University established in 1869. Is open to people of any age. The course of study is not limited. Tutoring is provided through different courses in big cities, radio, television & sessions. Studying by correspondence. Several times a year they attended a short course (session) to listen to a course or take exams.
Every Uni-college has their own dining room, where professors & students dine together. Sports grounds are common for the whole Unis.
It has always been popular. Th.art has achieved a greatest height. Even TV or films cant compete with the Th. London has ab.100 theatres that are usually full. Amateur theatricals are very popular. Every school produce a play each semester or year.
A lot of famous actors played at school and then at Uni.
There ab.17 000 amateur th.
There were only commercial thatre before 1947, when a law was passed about establishing the National Theatre. Commercial theatres usually are one-play th. Every time they invite actors, not having a permanent company or building. It runs as long as it is a box-office attraction.
2\3 of money is provided by the state in … Th.-s.
Women were not allowed to play until 1660.
A great reformer was David Harrick. He was not a good actor, but director & reformer of the stage. He made the audience cry blood at his performances of Shakespeare. He introduced a radical change in the style of acting. It be3came more true to life, more emotional & expressive. Before his time actually actors did not bother to read the whole play. They read only their part. There was no team playing. Harrick demanded that they read the whole play & establish relations on the stages with the other members of the cast. He was dir of Drury Lane Th.. At his time the wealthy th-lovers were allowed to come to the stage & sit there, go to the green-rooms. Harrick forbade it, politely, but insistently.In add-n he introduced the special illumination of the stage, they went along the stage. He put the candles along the stage (it usually protrudes into the audience, that sat on the three sides of it). Another innovation was in collecting money. Before his time people could come any time, and it was collected throughout the performance. In his theatre money was collected twice before & in the interval. And it was not returned.
18th Olver Goldsmith & Sheridan. The latters written a play “Школа злословия”.
19th No outstanding dramatists. Appeared a link btw a th. & literature. Dramas were based on Charlotte Brontes, Jane Ostins, Russian Literature (Crime & Punishment, Chekhov).
20th Bernard Shaw. “Pigmalion”, “Caesar & Cleopatra”, “Man & Superman”, “Major Barbara”, “Widowers Houses” etc.
John Galsworthy. The Forsyte Saga. Wrote plays “The Silver box”, “Strive Justice”.
Oscar Wilde. “Lady Windermares fan”, “Salome”, “The ideal husband”, novels.
Somerset Maughamn. ~20 plays.
Middle The theatre of the absurd.
Arnold Wesco, Harold Pinter, David Story, David Hare.
The modern th. John Osborn “Look back in anger”. It became a classics of modern th. It brought modern characters: the working class with rude manners, language & their problems.
Lawrence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, John Guilgood, Michael Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Paul Scoffield, Peggy Ashcraft.
- The Royal Shakespeare company Stratford-upon-Avon. It has always been a sight of Fairs & Th.festivals (in spring once a year). Charles Flower decided to build a permanent theatre there. Collected money by subscription. Built at the end of 19th c. In 1926 in was ruined by fire. 8 years later a new one was built of red brick. Was the most modern th. With the tilting stage. In 1960 Peter Hall (a director) took up the direction of this theatre. In got a permanent company. He borrowed a very interesting style from Berthold Brecht. His productions were very laconic. Basic scenery & simple costumes were used. Wanted to focus the audiences attention on the acting. This simplicity was for the sake of bringing the play to the audience. Wanted to make an ensemble of actors. Later this theatre received a site in London in the Barbican Center (there are two th. The B.Th. & The Pit). Now the R.S.T. is being reconstructed. Thats why the Th. they play oin is The Courtyard Th. Smaller - The Swan, The other place.
- The National Theatre a huge complex of three th. Olivier, Court…, …. Opened in 1976. But Lawrence Olivier did not want tpo wait. He was granted the right to take the Old Big theatre. He collected a company. In 1962 he opened the first season of the Nat.comp. with two productions Hamlet & Uncle Vanya. In 1976 the company moved to a bigger complex, where the main hall was for classical productions. In 197 Peter Hall was invited by Lawrence Olivier to direct the Nat.Theatre.
- The Royal Court Theatre in Sloan Square. An average company for a long time. But a t the beginning of the XXth century they staged Bernard Shaw. They became very popular. Later they made another risky step & staged “Look back in anger”.
Opera art is also popular.
Royal opera house Covent Garden. Used to be situated at a market place that was called C.G. Almost underground there is a popular stage for beginning singers. The up-and-coming singers come there & perform. Perform in the languages of the original. There are subtitles running at the top of the stage. They also have a ballet company. It was founded by Minet Devaloi??? who was born in Ireland. Danced in Dyagilevs company in 1923 only for 3 years. In 1926 she decided to establish her own ballet school. The premniere ws in 1931 in the S.W.Th.??? She also was a good choreographer. She made a ballet based on Hogurths? series. She retired in 1963 and was entitled Dame.
The Coliseum the Eng.nat.company performs there. They perform it in English & its much cheaper.
The Fringe outskirts of the theatre. Innovations in the th. It is a movement. These th. are small. They may have tiny audiences or may perform in pubs, hospitals, railway stations, schools, their main aim is to awaken the interest in the theatre & raise important social problems. Plays by unknown playwrites. Aim is to bring the theatre closer to people.
Was born in the family of a barber. Were well-off. Lived not far from Covent-Garden in the Strand. A fashionable are of hairdressers and wig-makers. Very often after school he went to docks to look at the ship & the harbor. His first drawings were made on his way to school. When he was 14 his father collected his drawings and exhibited them for sale. Turner didnt get any systematic education. He attended Royal Academy Schools on & off. He preferred to copy other painters works and sketching from nature. Turner combined self-education wityh Reynolds method. He travelled a lot both in the country and abroad. He could walk 25 miles a day. He looked for a subject-matter for his painting. He attained an absolute mastery of light and shade, of perspective and architectural details watching nature. He also travelled in Europe Italy was visited 5 times. On his first visit he made 1500 drawings. They were his memoranda.
His works were exhibited in the Royal Academy. They were admired and prized. He had been painting for 30 years. Later he became a full academician and a professor of perspective. At the same time he was severely criticized. They said the made a mixture of chalk and soap. He was very perlifique? painter, who painted an amazing range of subject and style.
“The fighting Temeraire”; “Eternal stillness”; “Burial in the sea”; “War exile”; “Snow storm”; “Rain, speed & steel”; “Ship wreck”; “The Rhoine Cathedral”
Watercolours brought him reputation and fortune. With fame came prosperity and independence. Because he could paint what he wanted despite the taste of public. He took the use of oils and watercolor to the limits of artistic possibility. He called his oil-paintings hi children. As he was not happy in his private life. His father became his close companion and so he spent the whole life with him. And the end of his life he lived with a woman and got 2 children. On dying he left 3000 oil paintings and 19000 drawings in watercolours. He gave this treasure for the Nation. In the Tate there is the Turner Gallery.
As a person he was taciturn, miserly, avoided public life, but meticulous descripting his work. He died in anonymous obscurity. He acquired the name of Admiral Booth and was leading a lonely life.
William Blake (
He is an outstanding personality and painter. Also engraver, poet, philosopher and visionary. Regarded art as imagination and religion. Trough the poetry and painting the tried to embody his spiritual vision of the world and mystical philosophy. He was apprenticed to an engraver. Later he attended the royal academy, but was at odds with Reynolds. He produced the so-called “illuminated painting” in the style of medieval manuscripts. His first work was the Songs of Innocence and the Songs of Experience. But he supplemented his poems with his pictures. Both were so complicated that he was not recognized. He lived from hand to mouth and was saved by his brother-painters and few wealthy benefactors.
He called himself “ the English Blake”.
“Creation of Adam”
He knew Latin, Greek, French, Jewish.
honest in depiction and subject matter
Rossetti took part in the decoration of the Oxford union in Oxford University.