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A) Great Britain
Words and expressions
1. Northwest coast of Europe
2. lies on the British Isles
3. to be separated from
4. the English Channel
5. the Strait of Dover
6. washed by
9. much varied
10. parliamentary democracy
11. head of State
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the Northwest coast of Europe. The UK consists of 4 parts. They are: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK lies on the British Isles. There are some 5 500 islands. The two main islands are: Great Britain and Ireland. They are separated from the continent by the English Channel and the Strait of Dover. The west coast of the country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea; the east coast is washed by the North Sea. The area of the UK is some 244.100 square km. Its population is over 57 million people.
English is the official language, but it is not the only language, which people speak in the country.
Britain has been many centuries in the making. The Romans conquered most part of Britain, but were unable to subdue the independent tribes in the West and in the North. Other invaders were Angels, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings and Normans. For many centuries this country was known simply as England. It had a strong army and navy. It waged numerous colonial wars. In the modern world England was the first country, where capitalism was established.
Geographically Great Britain is divided into Lowland Britain and Highland Britain. Lowland Britain comprises Southern and Eastern England. Highland Britain includes Scotland, Wales, the Pennies and the Lake District. The highest mountain – Ben Nevis – is in Scotland. The flora of the British Isles is much varied and the fauna is similar to that of the northwest Europe. The country is not very rich in natural resources.
There are many rivers in Great Britain. The Severn is the longest river; the Thames is the most important one.
London is the capital of the UK. It was founded by the Romans. The population of London is over 8 million people.
London is situated on the river Thames. Traditionally it is divided into several parts: the City, Westminster, the West End and the East End. London offers the visitors a great variety of places of interest. World famous places are the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London and so on.
The largest cities of Great Britain besides London are: Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, Leeds and Edinburgh. Oxford and Cambridge are famous for their universities.
Great Britain is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as head of State. The organs of government are: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.
In Great Britain there is no written constitution, only customs, traditions and precedents.
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