Essay about British Culture

Words: 11555
Pages: 47

Summary of ‘Britain’
The country and its people: an introduction for learners of English
Revised and Updated

Author: James O’Driscoll


The chapters which you need to study for the exam are as follows: Chapters 1 – 5, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 20 – 23 plus reader 07 2538 SCC UK: Government and Monarchy

Chapter 1. Country and People

The British Isles lie off the north-west coast of Europe. It consists of two great isles and several much smaller ones.
- Great Britain is the largest Island.
- Ireland is the other large one.

There are two states:
- The Republic of Ireland
- The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The last state mentioned above is more familiar known as:
- ‘the United Kingdom’ or

This had the following consequences:
- England  Anglicanism
- Lowland Scotland  Calvinism
- Highland Scotland  Catholic
- Ireland  Catholic

Three long-reigning queens in British history:
- Elizabeth I
- Elizabeth II
- Queen Victoria

The Seventeenth century

English became the written standard in Scotland as well because the Scottish Protestant church rather adopted English than Scots bibles. Also, religion and politics became more and more linked to each other. Furthermore, Parliament overtook the power of the monarchy in Britain. Anger due to the practices of the Anglican Church grew and ultimately caused:

The Civil War (1642) = war between ‘Cavaliers’ and ‘Roundheads’

1649 – King Charles I is executed  Britain briefly becomes a republic and is called ‘The Common Wealth’.

The Glorious Revolution = From now on, a monarch could only rule with the support of parliament.

The eighteenth century

A relatively stable century.

Two groups in parliament:
- The Whigs (respect for Protestant values of hard work and thrift)
- The Tories (respect for the idea of monarchy and Anglican Church)

This may be described as the beginning of the party system in Britain.

Increase of trade with African coast and in India was one factor which led to the Industrial Revolution.

The nineteenth century

Not long before this century began: Britain had lost its most important