America has long been known as an ethnic "melting pot." Its current population is 252.5 million, made up of immigrants or their descendants from virtually every country in the world. It is believed that the first people to arrive—from Siberia, more than 10,000 years ago—were the Native Americans or the American Indians.
Learning English naturally leads to learning facts about the country it is spoken in, or better to say, it was born in. I am greatly interested in everything connected with Great Britain. So here are some basic facts about this country.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands. The total area of the islands is over 224’000 square kilometers.
The UK is made up of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast respectively. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales and doesn’t include Northern Ireland. But in everyday speech “Great Britain” is used to mean the UK.
The capital of the UK is London. It stands on the River Thames.
The British Isles are separated from the European Continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The western coast of Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. The surface of the British Isles varies very much. The north of Scotland is mountainous and is called the Highlands; while the south, which has beautiful valleys and plains, is called the Lowlands. The north and the west of England are mountainous, but all the rest-east, center and southeast - is a vast plain. Mountains are not very high. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain (1343 meters over the sea level).
There are a lot of rivers in Great Britain, but they are not long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.
The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters of Gulf Stream influenced the climate of the British Isles. It is mild all over the year round.
The UK is a highly developed industrial country. It’s known as one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding. The main industrial centers and at the same time the largest cities of the country are London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy. In law, the Head of the state is the Queen or the King. In practice, the monarch reigns but doesn’t rule. Elected Government with the Prime Minister at the head rules the country. The British Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Common. It makes the Laws of the UK. There are three main political parties in Great Britain: the Labour, the Conservative and the Liberal Parties.
Two characteristic of the British Constitution confuse most foreigners: there is no written constitution; it is not contained in any single document. There are two kinds of rules by which GB is governed: Rules of Law and Rules of Custom. The Rules of Law are those set out in such historical declarations as Magna Charta (1215)? The Bill of Rights of 1689 and the Act of Settlement of 1701. Many principles of the British Constitution by which Britain is governed are principles of Common Law. There are principles, which are not established by any law passed by Parliament but established in the courts.
I can’t but say some words about Britons. Crowded together on their “tight little island”, cut off from the rest Europe by the Sea, and secure from invasion, the British developed their own character and way of life. They came to respect privacy and to value old traditions. They developed a dry wit, a love for personal freedom and a high degree of self-criticism. They have produced some of the world’s greatest writers, scientists, explorers, artists and political figures. The undying genius of William Shakespeare, in my opinion, determined the development of the whole world’s literature, influenced the minds of many generations, became their moral compass.
Some of the British national traits are resulting from the British way of life. The British are known as a people self-assured, absolutely confident in their national sense of superiority. Deep down the British still fell pretty satisfied with themselves.
The British display a very wide toleration of individual differences among themselves, and even among others. This trait comes out most clearly as willingness to tolerate; sometimes it seems a willingness to encourage individual eccentricities.
As a very sportive nation, the British invented and still do some original sports and games. Two of them obtained world-wild popularity; I mean football, or soccer, and boxing.
The history of the UK is the story of how a small island country became the world’s most powerful nation and then declined. Though it is no longer the world’s power, the UK is still a leading industrial and trading nation. The UK of today is in a state of change and is seeking its new role in the world.
The history of the UK is in its museums. There are about 2000 museums and galleries in Britain, which include the chief national collections, and a great variety of independently or privately, owned institutions. But some of the most comprehensive collections of objects of artistic, archaeological, scientific, historical and general interest are contained in the national museums and galleries in London. Among them are the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery, the Natural History Museum, Madame Tussaud’s, the Tower of London and many other treasure institutions. There are also national museums and art galleries in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Most cities and towns have museums and other treasures devoted to arts, archeology and natural history.
One of my greatest dreams is to visit Great Britain one day. Of course, I’d like to go to London first, it’s a must, I think. But there are so many places in this country that are worth visiting. Liverpool - the home city of the Beatles, Manchester - famous for its football club, Stratford-on-Avon - the birthplace of W. Shakespeare; Lock Ness - the lake where a monster is supposed to live. And I’d like to visit the Lake District. It’s a beautiful region of lakes and mountains in the country of Cumbria, in northwest of England. The region contains 15 lakes. Its beauty attracted many poets, writers and artists.
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Зоологический музей Московского университета — старейший и самый крупный московский музей, в котором посетители могут познакомиться с разнообразием современных животных нашей планеты, а специалисты-зоологи найдут богатейшие научные коллекции. Зародившись первоначально (1791 г.) как кабинет естественной истории университета, в котором были собраны животные и растения, минералы и монеты, музей с начала XIX века становится уже собственно зоологическим. В 1902 г. было завершено строительство здания музея на улице Большая Никитская, в котором разместились коллекции музея, все его сотрудники, а с 1911 г. и по сей день действует экспозиция для публики.