1.Geographical names: the British Isles, Great Britain and England.
2.Three political divisions on the island of Great Britain: England, Scotland and Wales.
(1) England is in the southern part of Great Britain. It is the largest, most populous section.
(2) Scotland is in the north of Great Britain. It has three natural zones (the Highlands in the north; the Central lowlands; the south Uplands) Capital: Edinburgh.
(3) Wales is in the west of Great Britain. Capital: Cardiff
(4) Northern Ireland is the fourth region of the UK. Capital: Belfast.
3.The Commonwealth (of nations) is a free association of independent countries that were once colonies of Britain. It was founded in 1931, and has 50 member countries until 1991.
4.Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Britain
Severn River is the longest river in Britain.
Thames River is the second longest and most important river in Britain.
Lough Neagh is the largest lake in Britain which is located in Northern Ireland.
River Clyde is the most important river in Scotland.
5. Britain has a maritime climate
6. Britain has a population of about 57 millions and it is very unevenly distributed. 90% of the population is urban and only 10% is rural. The population of Britain is made up mainly of the English, the Scottish, the Welsh, the Irish , the Northern Irish and other peoples.
7. The ancestors of the English are Anglo-Saxons, the Scots, Welsh and Irish are Celts.
8. The difference in character：
The Welsh are emotional and cheerful people. They are music lovers and are proud of their past.
The Scots are said to be a serious, cautious and thrifty people, and they are also hospitable, generous and friendly.
The Irish are charm and vivacity.
9.The Welsh keep their language and culture in this way:
Throughout the year they have festivals of song and dance and poetry called Eisteddfodau. The great event of the year is the National Eisteddfod. On these occasions competitions are held in Welsh poetry, music, singing and art.
10. The first known settlers of Britain were the Iberians.
11. The Anglo-Saxons brought their own Teutonic religion to Britain. In 579 St. Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. He was remarkably successful in converting the king and the nobility, but the conversion of the common people was largely due to the missionary activities of the monks in the north.
12. The Early Anglo-Saxons make the contributions to the English state.
The Anglo-Saxons laid the foundations of the English state. Firstly, they divided the country into shires, with shire courts and shire reeves, or sheriffs, responsible for administering law. Secondly, they devised the narrow-strip, three-field farming system which continued to the 18th century. Thirdly, they also established the manorial system. Finally, they created the Witan（council or meeting of the wisemen） to advise the king, the basis of the Privy Council which still exists today.
13. King Alfred
Alfred was a king of Wessex.
He defeated the Danes and reached a friendly agreement with them in 879. The Danes gained control of the north and east, while he ruled the rest. He also converted some leading Danes into Christians.
He founded a strong fleet and is known as " the father of the British navy".
He translated a Latin book into English.
He also established schools and formulated a legal system. All this earns him the title "Alfred the Great."
14. The Norman Conquest and its consequences
The Norman Conquest of 1066 is perhaps the best-known event in English history. William the Conqueror confiscated almost all the land and gave it to his Norman followers.
He replaced the weak Saxon rule with a strong Norman government.
He replaced the weak Saxon rule with a strong Norman government. So the feudal system was completely established in England.
Relations with the Continent were opened, and the civilization and commerce were extended. Norman-French culture, language, manners and architecture were introduced. The Church was brought into closer connection with Rome, and the church courts were separated from the civil courts.
15. Contents and the significance of the Great Charter
Great Charter was signed by King John in 1215 under the press of the barons. It consists of sixty-three clauses.Although The Great Charter has long been popularly regarded as the foundation of English liberties, it was a statement of the feudal and legal relationships between the Crown and the barons, a guarantee of the freedom of the Church and a limitation of the powers of the king. The spirit of the Great Charter was the limitation of the powers of the king, keeping them within the bounds of the feudal law of the land.
16. The Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War refers to the war between England and France that lasted intermittently from 1337 to 1453. The causes of the war were partly territorial and partly economic. The English's being driven out of France is regarded as a blessing for both countries
17 The Black Death
The Black Death is the deadly epidemic disease spread by rat fleas across Europe in the 14th century. It reduced England's population from four million to two million by the end of the 14th century.
The economic consequences of the Black Death were far-reaching. As a result of the plague, much land was left untended and there was a terrible shortage of labour. The surviving peasants had better bargaining power and were in a position to change their serfdom into paid labour. In 1351 the government issued a Statute of Labourers which made it a crime for peasants to ask for more wages or for their employers to pay more than the rates laid down by the Justices of the Peace.
18.The Wars of Rose
The name Wars of the Roses was refer to the battles between the House of Lancaster, symbolized by the read rose, and that of York, symbolized by the white, from 1455 to 1485. Henry Tudor, descendant of Duke of Lancaster won victory at Bosworth Fireld in 1485 and put ht country under the rule of the Tudors. From these Wars, English feudalism received its death blow. The great medieval nobility was much weakened.
the most important contribution for Henry VIII was the reform of the church.
20. The Civil Wars
Because of the absolute rule of Charles, the confrontation between Charles I and the parliament developed into the civil war. The English Civil War is also called the Puritan Revolution. It has been seen as a conflict between the parliament and the King, and a conflict between economic interests of the Crown. The English Civil War not only overthrew feudal system in England but also shook the foundation of the feudal rule in Europe. It is generally regarded as the beginning of modern world history.
21. The Glorious Revolution
In 1685 Charles II died and was succeeded by his brother James II. James was brought up in exile in Europe, was a Catholic. He hoped to rule without giving up his personal religious vies. But England was no more tolerant of a Catholic king in 1688 than 40 years ago. So the English politicians rejected James II, and appealed to a Protestant king, William of Orange, to invade and take the English throne. William landed in England in 1688. The takeover was relatively smooth, with no bloodshed, nor any execution of the king. This was known as the Glorious Revolution
22. Whigs and Tories辉格党人和托利党人
These two party names originated with the Glorious Revolution (1688).
The Whig were to form a coalition with dissident Tories in the mid-19th century and become the Liberal Party.
The Tories were those who supported hereditary monarchy and were reluctant to remove kings. The Tories were the forerunners of the Conservative Party.
23. The Industrial Revolution (1780-1830)
The industrial Revolution refers to the mechanisation of industry and the consequent changes in social and economic organization in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
24.Postwar Britian（After the World War II）
(1) One of the most far-reaching consequences of the War was that it hastened the end of Britain's empire.
(2) In 1952 Princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth II.
(4) In January 1973, Britain became a full member of the European Economic Community which was still called the Common Market in 1973. Britain witnessed the first oil shock in 1973.
25 Mrs Thatcher
Thatcherism referred to the policies put forward by Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister in England in 1979.
The main contents of her policies included the return to private ownership of state-owned industries, the use of monetarist policies to control inflation, the weakening of trade unions the strengthening of the role of market forces in the economy, and an emphasis on law and order. To some extent her program was successful and she led one of the most remarkable periods in the British economy.
26Government and Administration
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, the head of state is a king or a queen. The United Kingdom is governed, in the name of the Sovereign by His or Her Majesty's Government. The System of parliamentary government is not based on a written constitution, the British constitution is not set out in any single document. It is made up of statute law, common law and conventions. The Judiciary determines common law and interprets statutes.
27. The Queen
The Queen is the symbol of the whole nation. In law, She is head of the executive, an integral part of the legislature, head of the judiciary, the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces and the "supreme governor" of the Church of England. She gives Royal Assent to Bills passed by parliament.
The monarch actually has no real power. The monarch's power are limited by law and Parliament. Constitutional monarchy began after the Glorious Revolution in 1688.
The United Kingdom is a unitary, not a federal, state. Parliament consists of the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
The main functions of Parliament are:
(1) to pass laws;
(2) to provide, by voting for taxation, the means of carrying on the work of government;
(3) to examine government Policy and administrations, including proposal for expenditure; and
(4) to debate the major issues of the day
The House of Lords is made up of the Lords Spiritual and the Lords Temporal.
The House of Common is elected by universal adult suffrage and consists of 651 Members of Parliament (MPs). It is in the House of Commons that the ultimate authority.
29. The Privy Council
1. The Privy Council was formerly the chief source of executive power in the state and give private advice to the King. So the Privy Council was also called the King's Council in history. Today its role is largely formal, advising the sovereign to approve certain government decrees.
2. Its membership is about 400, and includes all Cabinet ministers, the speaker of the House of Common and senior British and Commonwealth statement.
30. Criminal courts in Scotland
There are three criminal courts in Scotland.（1）the High Court of Justiciary;(2) the sheriff court;(3) the district court.
31. The Judiciary
There is no ministry of justice in the United Kingdom. Central responsibility lies with the Lord Chancellor the Home Secretary and the Attorney General. The highest judicial appointments and made by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister.
32. Health and Social Services
Britain is regarded as a welfare state. This system is funded out of national insurance contributions and taxation. In Britain the term applies mainly to the National Health Service (NHS), national insurance and social security.
Everyone in Britain has the right to religious freedom with out interference from the community or the State.
Established churches 国教
There are two established church in Britain: in England the church of England and Scotland the Church of England.
There are include: the Anglican Churches(圣公会)，the Free Churches(自由教)，the Roman Catholic Church（罗马天主教）。
34.Festival and Public Holidays
The Christian festival of the year and Christmas, Easter, and Whit Sunday.
Football ( or "soccer" as it is colloquially called ), the most popular sport in England as well as in Europe.
Cricket, the most typically English of sports, has been in existence since the 16th century
Although tennis has been played for centuries, the modern game originated in England in late 19th. The main tournament is the annual Wimbledon fortnight, one of the 4 tennis "Grand Slam" tournaments.
Here is a considerable following and participation of athletics in Britain. For example, the London Marathon, which takes place every spring.
The home of golf is Scotland where the game has been played since the 17th century and naturally the oldest golf club in the world is there
1. Alaska and Hawaii are the two newest states in American
2 .Of all states of American,Alaska is the lagest in area and Rhode Island the smallest.But on the mainland Texas is the largest sate of the country.
3The Rockies,the backbone of the North American Continent,is also known as the Continental Divide.
4 The two main mountain ranges in American are the Appalachian mountains and the Rocky mountains. The Appalachians run slightly from the northeast to southwest and the Rocky mountains run slightly from the northwest to southeast.
5. The Mississippi River is the largest river in American, over 6000 kilometers. The Mississippi has been called "father of waters"or "old man river"
6. The Rio Grande River forms a natural boundary between Mexico and the United States.
7.the most important lakes in the United States are the Great Lakes. They are Lake Superior,which is the largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Michigan ,the only entirely in the U.S.,Lake Huron,Lake Eire and Lake Ontario.They are located between Canada and the United States except Lake Michigan.
8.New English is made up of six states of the Northeast .Becaust of its stony soil it is not noted for its agriculture .Dairying is the most inportant farm activity,New English is also well-known for its position in education,Many famous universities and colleges such as Yale,Harvard,thd Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) are located here.
New Englanders were originally knows as Yankees,which came to stand for alll American.
The soil is rich, the rain usually pientiful and the growing season long, These factors make the Midwest America's most important agricultural area .It is also a major manufacturing region and the nation's leading center of heavy industry.
Chicago,the largest and busiest port on the Great Lakes, is the largest industral and commercial center of the area.
Detroit is known as the automobile capital of the world.Omaha is known as the agricultural capital of the United states.
Dry farming ,irrigation farming,and the cattle and sheep herding are the main cativities of the Great Plains of the American West.
Colorado has been called the steel city of the west ,Denver is the largest city of the Great Plains.
The largest groups of Native Americans are found on the Colorado Plateau.
Mmauna Loa, the world's largest volcano, is located on Haiwaii and erupts from time to time, 莫纳洛阿火山是世界最大和活火山
Suger cane and pineapples anr Haiwaii's main crops.Tourism is Haiwaii's most important industry.，
Honolulu is the capital of Haiwaii and Juneau is the capital of Alaska.
9.The“discovery” of the New World
The “first Americans” were the Indians
In the late 15th century, Christopher Columbus, an Italian navigator, supported by the Spanish queen, he led his men to sail across the vast ocean in 1492 and reached some small islands in the now west Indies.He thought he had reached Asia and didn’t know he had disvovered a New Continent.。
Ameriga Vespucci proved that the land was a new continent.Therefore, the land was named America after him.
In 1620,201 of Pilgrims sailed to the New World in a ship called Mayflower.They arrived at Plymouth and built the Plymouth colony. The Puritans（清教徒）,unlike the Pilgrims who were artisans and peasants, were wealthy, well-educated gentlemen. The Puritans did not allow religious dissent. The colonists were building a new way of life in the New World .There were a number of features which would play a role in forming the American character. They were representative from of government, rule of law, respect of individual rights, religious tolerance and a strong of individual enterprise.
11. The American War of Independence
Continental Army and Navy under the command of Washington; appointed a committee to draft a formal declaration(Thomas Jefferson was the man who draft it), the Declaration of Independence, And adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
IN September ,1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed. Britain recognized the independence of the United States; the war was from 1775 to 1781, it shows that, in a just war ,a weak nation can defeat a strong one. American people gained independence and capitalism developed in America.
12. Establishment of a federal form of government
The Articles of Confederation was unusual in many ways.
1)it provided for no king;
2)while the Articles created a central government in the form of a Congress, the emphasis was still on state powers.
3)the Articles of Confederation was a written constitution for the U.S..
But there were serious weaknesses,it was difficult to carry on the business of the government without someone to do the executive’s job. Congress was too large a body to function as government.And Congress had no power to raise taxes.A conference was held in Philadelphia in May 1787 to consider what should be done to make the Articles of Confederation adequate.