Scan the text and quest for definitions in the Internet to determine whether these statements are true (T) or false (F), and if they are false say why.

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Scan the text and quest for definitions in the Internet to determine whether these statements are true (T) or false (F), and if they are false say why.

1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland came into being on 1 May 1707, as a result of the political union of the Kingdom of England (which included Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland.

2.The British political history has essentially been a struggle to shift political power and accountability from regional parliaments to national parliament.

3.Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are not independent countries but are four somewhat autonomous regions which are part of the country known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or just United Kingdom for short.

4.Hereditary and primogeniture principles mean that the oldest female child of a monarch is the next in line to the throne.

5.Magna Carta was the first document forced onto a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges.

6. GDP per capita is a measure of personal income and cannot be considered an indicator of a country's standard of living.

7. The UK is the world's leading global financial services centre and the most internationally focused marketplace in the world.

8. The Party of Whigs included many of the leading aristocratic dynasties committed to the Protestant succession, and later drew support from elements of the emerging industrial interests and wealthy merchants, while the Party of Tories were associated with the landed gentry, the Church of England and the Church of Scotland.

9. By the mid 19th century the Tories had evolved into the Liberal Party, and the Whigs had evolved into the Conservative Party.

10. The recovery effort of the UK’s economy from the 2008 crisis has been rather strong.

11. Inflation rate refers to a general rise in prices measured against a standard level of purchasing power.

12. Having two legislative chambers grew out of the monarchy system in the UK, where there was a need to represent both the aristocracy and the common man.

13. One of the disadvantages of a bicameral parliament is that with two legislative bodies, there is enhanced oversight of the executive branch.

14. A bicameral parliament has the capacity to formally represent diverse constituencies (regional, class, ethnic, etc.)


2.4.3. Develop the following ideas. Make use of the active vocabulary and helpful phrases given in brackets:

1. The British have no written constitution.

(fundamental continuity, a revolution experienced by other countries, invaded or occupied, almost uniquely, gradual and pragmatic, on consensus)

2. The British way to full democracy is paved with severities and a lot of political effort.

(political history, a struggle, to shift political power, accountability, national parliament, representative, accountable, milestones)

3. Universal franchise in the UK as an apple of discord between the political parties.

(to extend franchise, Reform Act of 132, legislation promoted by the Whigs, to be opposed by, forerunners, to achieve)

4. The UK’s membership in the EU.

(important characteristic, the European Union, limited in some respects, policy or decision-making, a matter for, to operate through a European Commission, member governments, member states, part of a single market, free movement, to maintain one’s own economy, the Pound Sterling, national currency, to convert to the Euro)

5. The British Queen reigns but she doesn’t rule.

(constitutional monarchy, a head of state, essentially ceremonial, practical power, to form a government, to follow the convention, with the most seats, on the hereditary and primogeniture principles, the next in line to the throne, the monarch's spouse, the Head of the Church of England, to be under review)

6. The British system of checks and balances.

(the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, separation of powers, not to be the case, members of the legislature, senior judges, the upper house, a formal head, a senior minister, pragmatic and flexible, political system)

7. The current values of the UK’s economic variables.

(current inflation rate, to sabotage, government austerity plans, to keep interest rates under control,to hit the government’s target, to remain consistent, current account balance deficit,UK’s GDP (PPP), to improve, UK’s GDP (PPP) per capita, to experience slow but steady growth)

8. The glorious past of the British Empire versus the current struggle for the economic recovery from the 2008 crisis.

(heyday, most influential economy, the birthplace, Industrial Revolution, ushered in, in mankind’s history, to be at the forefront, technological advances, an advantage over, to catch up technologically wise, to be affected by, the breaking up of the British Empire, to reclaim one’s former position, to face a struggle, to recover from the financial crisis, sluggish, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, to rank as, with the exception of)


2.4.4. Comment on the following topics thinking like sociologists:

1. Magna Carta, also called The Great Charter of Liberties of England, was originally issued in Latin in the year 1215. Comment on the social aspect of this event.

2. According to the author of the text, being a monarchy, the UK has come a long and troubled way to full democracy. There is a controversy between the concepts of ‘monarchy’ and ‘democracy’, isn’t there?

3. A bicameral parliament has the capacity to formally represent diverse constituencies (regional, class, ethnic, etc.). How does it contribute to the democratic progress of society?

4. The British political system is pragmatic and flexible. How can you prove it?

5. Is there any evidence in the text to state that the UK is a post-industrial society?

6. Why do you think a government’s austerity plan is a highly unpopular measure to eliminate a current account balance deficit?


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