1. British Monarchy: the role of the queen in modern society, the royal prerogatives and functions, the royal family, the main sources of income, principal ceremonials connected with royalty, royal residences, the perception of monarchy in society
The Monarchy is called the dignified part of the Constitution as opposed to the efficient part – the executive (the Government). Under the British Constitution the Monarch remains the head of state which effectively means that British people are not citizens but Her Majesty’s subjects.
The Royal Prerogatives – an action of the Government that gets its legitimacy from the crown (there are certain actions that the Government performs, they are ultimately approved by the Queen.) It is a fiction because the Queen is advised on most of her actions by her Government.
1: to appoint the PM at the end of the election (normally the leader of the party that has the majority in the HC)
2: to summon, prorogue (объявлять перерыв) and dissolve the Parliament.
3: enact legislation (вводить законопроекты); to give her Royal Assent to bills when they’ve been passed by both Houses.
4: declares war / makes peace
5: recognizes foreign states and governments
6: concludes treaties
7: annexes / cedes territories
8: head of judiciary = all the courts of the land are the Queen’s Courts – all the trials carried out in the Queen’s name (Regina vs. Jones)
9: Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces
10: temporal governor of the Church of England
11: makes formal appointments to the most important offices of the state in the Armed Forces and churches
12: confers peerages, knighthoods and other honours
13: formal approval to decisions of the Government is given at the meetings of the Privy Council
14: the Queen of 16 former colonies, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, represented by the governor. The Head of the Commonwealth (16 + some more other countries)
Constitutional role of the Queen (monarch) was first explicitly formulated by the 19 cent writer and journalist Walter Bagehot (the English Constitution 1867). Famous triple formula: the Queen has the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn.
Every day studies cabinet papers, foreign office documents, receives a report of the parliamentary proceedings, regularly sees the PM in audience, in constant touch with foreign ambassadors and the Commonwealth representatives.
Important symbolic role: the unity of the nation, historical traditions and continuity. Defender of the Faith – only Anglicans can succeed to the throne. Spiritual head of state, the archbishop of Canterbury crowns the monarch.
2 archbishops (Canterbury and York) and 24 bishops, deans of Cathedrals (appointed by the Queen, advised by the PM). The Queen has ecclesiastic household – the College of Chaplains, the Chaplains and organists of the Chapels Royal at the Tower of London, St. James Palace and Hampton Court. The Royal Peculiars – not subjects to the jurisdiction of archbishops, they are monarch’s.
A number of special royal occasions , taking place regularly each year: the state opening of the Parliament – October, November (unless there has been general election). The Queen rides in a state carriage from Buckingham palace to the palace of Westminster (HL), reads her speech from the throne, wears a crown, speech prepared by the governor. The Remembrance day – in November, service in the White Hall for the dead of the 2WW, lays a wreath at the Cenotaph. June – goes to the Derby at Epsom, later in June at Windsor for the Royal Ascot. Second Saturday of June – official birthday. The Trooping of he Colour, Horse Guards Parade, birth honours are given. In summer 3 garden parties are given in the grounds of Buckingham palace – all people – each attended by ~ 8,000 people of different walks of life; tea, cakes, brass band.
The royal household – 350 courtiers, Private Secretary, ladies-in-waiting, the Mistress of the Robes, Ladies (Gentlemen) of the Bedchamber.
The Finance . More than ¾ of the Queen’s expenses is met by relevant government debts. £15,3mln – palaces (3 official residences – Buckingham palace in London, Holyrood palace in Edinburgh, Windsor castle). The Civil List – money provided by the Government and often by the Parliament, on a 10-year basis for the running of the Queen’s household. 2001-2011 – £7,9mln. Besides the Queen receives an income – the Duchy of Lancaster (the crown estate > 19,000 hectares) – annual income £7,3mln before tax.
The Duke of Edinburgh (husband), children (Princess Royal Ann, Prince Andrew, Edward) – receive annuities, but the Queen refunds all except the husband, he’s the only who receives strictly. The Queen pays for her children, they live at her expense. Prince Charles – the Heir to the Throne; Duchy of Cornwall – income, in 2003 ~ £10mln - ~ ¼ income tax. The Queen offered to pay tax on voluntary basis – decides how much to pay, on her private income, e.g. on part of the Civil List used for private purposes (e.g. banquet for friends). Others pay income tax on regular basis like ordinary citizens.
The Civil List is administrated by the so-called Keeper of the Privy Purse.
Private Royal residences . Sandringham (East Anglia), Balmoral (Scotland), Clarence House (Queen Mother resided), St. James’s Palace (Prince Charles, the minor royals), Kensington Palace (Diana). Grace and favour apartments, free of charge.
The Royal Family . The Queen’s husband – Philip the Duke of Edinburgh (1921) – famous for his quips. Princess Royal Ann, daughter. The Prince of Wales (1948), Heir to the Throne – Heir Apparent. Prince William (21 now) – Heir Presumptive, Prince Henry (1984). Prince Andrew (1960) – the Duke of York, Prince Edward (1964) – the Earl of Wessex.
The perception of monarchy in society – it has its symbolic role, unity, continuity, but young people are far from it, the general attitude – not interested, attracts tourists.
2. The national symbols of Britain and its constituent parts (the National flag, anthem, the national emblems, the Royal Beasts). The system of titles and honours
The National Flag – the Union Jack. Combination of three crosses – St. George’s cross – England, red cross on a white ground; the cross of St. Andrew for Scotland – white diagonal cross on a blue ground; the cross of St. Patrick for Ireland – red diagonal on a white ground. First introduced in 1606, had 2 crosses, union of England and Scotland (James I), 1801 – St. Patrick added.
National Emblems . Rose for England, thistle for Scotland, daffodil (leek) for Wales, shamrock (wild sorrel, red hand) for Ireland. Crown, scepter, sword of state, orb.
Monogram ER – Elizabeth Royal. In the centre of the emblem is situated a heraldic shield, divided into 4 parts. Left upper part & right lower part symbolize England (3 gold leopards on a red ground). Right upper part – Scottish emblem (a red lion on a gold ground). Left lower part – Irish emblem (yellow harp on a blue ground). Around the shield – garter. The shield is held by two Royal Beasts the Lion with the crown in the left, the Unicorn in the right. Under them a blue ribbon with words “Dieu et mon droit” (God & my right) – Richard I. In the background – rose (England), thistle (Scotland), trefoil (Ireland), leek (Wales).
The National Anthem – God Save the Queen (King). Adopted after the War with Napoleon.
The Royal Beasts . The Lion of England, the Unicorn of Scotland, the Red Dragon of Wales, the Grey Hound of Richmond, the White Horse of Hanover, the Griffin of Edward III, the Falcon of the Plantagenets.
The system of titles and honours . Twice a year (at the New Year and on the Queen’s official birthday – the Queen’s birthday honours) – solemn ceremony. 3000 honours are given annually – the majority the Order of the British Empire, most on PM’s advice, a few in the Queen’s personal gift.
The Order of the Garter (since Edward III 14th cent.) – 24 people at once, the Queen is a sovereign of the Order of the Garter, blue ribbon, Prince Charles, + foreign, e.g. the King of Spain. The Order of the Thistle – 16 knights, green ribbon. The Order of Merit (1902) – 24 people. Royal Victorian Order (1896) – who have directly served the Royal Family. The Order of the Bath (1725) – ceremonial ablutions, crimson ribbon. The Order of the British Empire: 5 degrees – member of the British Empire (MBE), officer (OBE), commander (CBE), knight commander (KBE) or dame commander (DBE), knight/dame grand cross (GBE). Lists are made by members of the public. Remain commoners, no special privileges, titles are not hereditary. Highest honour – peerage, historically hereditary, and since 1959 life peerage.
The 5 grades – Duke / Duchess (Your Grace), Marquis / Marchioness (My Lord), Earl / Countess (-“-), Viscount / Viscountess, Baron / Baroness. Connected with person’s occupation. On formal dresses – strawberry leaves, a coronet consisting of 8 strawberry leaves, 4 silver falls and 4 strawberry leaves for a marquis. Peers can disclaim their title, to get the right to sit in the HC – the title falls into abeyance, means title waits until this person dies and his son accepts it. The elder sons of peers have courtesy title, one degree lower than their fathers’. Duke can deprive his son inheritance, but no right to deprive of the title.
Elections in Britain
Members of the House of Commons (MPs) are elected by voters of 651 parliamentary constituencies, into which Britain is divided, each with electorate of about 60,000 voters. Each person over 18 has the right to vote, except prisoners, lords and the mentally ill. The voting is taken by a secret ballot. Each constituency is represented by one MP. The winner is the candidate who gets more votes than any other single candidate. The leader of the party with most seats usually becomes the PM and forms the Government, which can remain in power for up to five years. The second biggest party becomes the official Opposition, and its leader forms the Shadow Cabinet. The PM chooses the date of the next General Election. About a month before the election the PM meets a small group of close advisers to discuss the date. Then the PM formally asks the Queen to dissolve the Parliament – all MPs become unemployed, but government officers continue to function. . Voting takes place on Polling Day (usually a Thursday), the results are known by the next morning. The leader of the party that got the majority is invited by the Queen to form a government. The government is arranged in about 15 departments each with a minister as its head. The PM chooses about 20 MPs from his or her party to become the Cabinet of Ministers.
Members of the House of Lords are not elected. About 70 per cent of them are hereditary peers. The other 30 per cent are life peers, they are appointed by the Queen.
The proportional representation system – all political parties, small as well as large, are represented in the governing body according to the proportion of votes they receive.
Parties . 3 main parties – the Labour (Tony Blair), the Conservative (Ian Duncan Smith), the Liberal-Democrats (Charles Kennedy). Labour – red colour, Conservative – blue, Lib-Dem – orange. The party system since 17th cent.
The House of the Lords
The main function of the HL is to examine and revise bills from the Commons. It also acts as the final court of appeal. Bill send from the HC may be approved by the HL (if financial - automatically), they can amend the bill and send it back to the HC, cannot just reject, can delay for 13 months, after this it becomes a law (“kill a bill”), but the bill is no longer relevant.
Chamber : throne in the center with a canopy and a woolsack (source of Britain’s prosperity) where the Lord Chancellor sits (speaker of the HL). Governmental side – right of the speaker, opposition – left. Benches – red leather, green line separates government and opposition (for contrast) + cross benches. The speaker takes part in debates and votes. If the speaker decides to address as an ordinary – leaves the woolsack.
The House of Commons
Current membership : Labour 409 (a “comfortable” majority), Conservatives 163, Lib-Dem 53, total 659 (+ some smaller parties). Presided over by a speaker, has the right to maintain the order , elected at the beginning of each parliament session or when the previous retires or dies; doesn’t speak in debates, doesn’t vote, calls members to speak, puts the question (to vote).
The Chamber has the same arrangement – speaker’s chair (instead of the throne and the woolsack). Shadow Cabinet of the Opposition has the right to elaborate alternative policies .Frontbenchers, backbenchers, crossbenchers, the visitors’ gallery. The benches are green. Emphasize 2-party system. The process of debates is adversarial.
The main function is to make laws by passing Acts of Parliament, as well as to discuss current political issues.
Parliamentary procedure . Each session begins with the State Opening of the Parliament, if a part has the majority, the Queen reads the speech. A debate, a vote is taken. If no clear majority – hung parliament, dangerous situation, can lead to a parliament crisis. Most of the year – special routine. Proceedings are public, televised, press admitted, then publish the proceedings on the following day in Hansard (it was the first man who published). Business, order of business, parliamentary business; question time – 1 hour, MPs ask Ministers and other MPs questions, prepared 48 hours, by opposition – to reveal the weakness in the Government. The main debate: bills are introduced by the Government, Ministers mostly. The bill is introduced in a form of a motion, any Minister can move something; the question is open to debate. At the end of the debate the Speaker asks MPs if they accept a motion, sometimes the matter is decides on the spot. Approved by a majority, rare – a division is called: aye/no lobbies – vote by walking, a bell is rung, appoint tellers stay on a/n lobbies, each MP walk to the lobby and they are counted; have very little time. The bill goes through some stages: first reading – debated in detail, when is complicated, the House goes into committee, special committee remains (e.g. the Committee of Defense), others leave. 3rd time – passed or rejected, if passed –> the HL –> the Queen for the Royal Assent –> law. Bills are drafted by consultation with professional bodies. Sometimes the proposals take the form of white paper (states that the Government wants to know the attitude of public); if wants public discussion – green paper. The standing committees.
Guillotine motion (first introduced by Thatcher) – cuts down debate, fix the time is allocated. Every party has the party whips – like party policeman, press the members to vote for the Government, all party members vote for. They don’t play truant, if don’t come – reduction of the salary.
The Government and Cabinet
10, Downing Street – PM and the Cabinet. The White Hall – Her Majesty’s Government, governs in the name of the Queen. The Queen invites the leader of the party that has the majority to form a government. The Ministers are almost always the members of the Commons, also a few – Lords. It is based on a tradition, because in the Commons the Government is expected to explain its policies. In 19th century some Governments included members of different parties.
The main ministers and departments . ~100 Ministers, the central core is the Cabinet - ~20 senior Ministers invited by the PM, they are called the Secretaries of State. Minister – a junior member of the Cabinet. Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Foreign Secretary) – Jack Straw; Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) – Gordon Brown; Home Secretary (Home Department); Secretary for Defense, for Culture, Media and Sport, Education and Employment, Social Security, for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
The main principles : 1 collective responsibility (as if they were one person) even if individuals do not agree. If a Minister has done something wrong, his colleagues have to disown him/her, will have to resign. 2 PM first among equals. In theory the 2nd is supposed to encourage balance and freedom for individual ministers, in practice it can give rise to tension. Insure leadership, allow for each minister some responsibility and freedom in their field.
Cabinet meetings are held in private, 1-2 a week, while the Parliament is sitting, or, less often, during parliamentary recess. The proceedings are confidential, secretaries take a special oath not to disclose. Because of the great amount of business, Secretaries have junior Ministers working under them – Ministers of State (Undersecretaries).
Civil Service – a political body which administers the decisions of the Ministers. Employed ~600,000 civil servants, expected to be politically impartial, serves any government, equally loyal to whatever party is in office; if they want to stand for the Parliament they have to resign first. Centre – the Cabinet Office, responsibilities – considerable, including the proper running of the whole Civil Service.
The Local Government
1995-1998 – the system was reformed.
Types . 45 Unitary authorities, mostly around the big cities. Now the system of local government has one-tier authorities, only unitary. 2-tier authorities: county councils (councillor), subdivided into district / borough councils (mayors). In England – 45 u. c., 34 c. c. and 238 d. / b. c. Local elections – for 4 years, councillors elect annually, serve on voluntary basis; the council doesn’t have executive powers, no administrator – basically self-regulating. The Queen’s represented by Lord Lieutenant of the county, attends on the Queen when she comes to the county, gives honours and grants on behalf of the crown.
Functions . Responsible for education, the maintenance of the main roads, social services, welfare, libraries, fire service, refuse disposal. District councils: housing, urban roads, car parks, refuse collection, recreation, cemeteries, environmental health. Unitary councils – combine all these functions. Parish councils – in rural.
Sources of financing . 1 the council tax – on the owner-occupier or tenant of a dwelling which is their sole or main residence. Calculate: depending on evaluation of the market price of the dwelling. Standard Band D, divide dwellings into groups. 2 non-domestic rate – on other kinds of property; 3 government grants; 4 income from fees and charges for services.
London . 32 borough councils. The London mayor – Ken Livingston. Greater London authority (GLA) covers the area of 32 boroughs and the City of London. The Corporation of London: the Lord-Mayor – nominated annually by the City Guilds, 24 Aldermen, 130 councillors.
Wales . Only unitary authorities (22). Besides – devolution – the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff for 4 years, 60 members and presiding officer. Can introduce secondary legislation, on the basis of acts passed by the Parliament in Westminster, cannot raise or lower income tax. The Welsh Cabinet – 1st Secretary, secretaries for minor matters (~ economic development, education, health, etc.). Have measure of independence nowadays.
Scotland . 29 unitary authorities, for 3 years, elected. + 3 island councils. Have greater independence than Wales. The Scottish Parliament, in Edinburgh, since 1999, 128 members. Has the right to introduce primary legislation and raise / lower income tax by up to 3p in the pound. The Scottish Executive – the government, for education, health, law and order, headed by the 1st Minister. Own notes – Scottish pound.
Northern Ireland: 26 district councils elected for 4 years.
The system of law and order
The Constitution is not codified in any formal document. The legislative branch – the HL, the HC, the Queen; the Cabinet and the PM – executive; they are combined by the Queen. In fact the Parliament is controlled by the executive, as all the bills pass to the Parliament by the majority party, also it is in the Parliament. Judicial system is represented by Courts, the HL is the main one. So there is practically no separation of powers. The majority party has the real power in the country. There is no constitutional court, the system provides for no checks and balances.
The legal system of England and Wales are separated of these of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The system of courts . Supreme authority – the HL (supreme courts). The Ultimate Court of Appeal – Law Lords. Under the HL – Supreme Court of Judicature (rather abstract, no single body), including the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice (responsible for civil cases), the Crown Court (for criminal cases). The High Court of Justice: 3 divisions – the Chancery Division (financial matters: bankruptcy, interpretation of transactions and wills), the Queen’s Bench Division (for commercial law: breach of contracts, serious personal injury), the Family Division (adoption, divorce, etc.). Claimant/plaintiff <–> defendant.
Civil cases : most are minor, settled in Small Claims Court (involving sum of money < £5,000), by a district judge, if he decides that you are right can award costs and usually compensation / damages. The more serious matter (e.g. car) – to the County court (circuit judge – travels to the place). You’d be represented by a solicitor or a barrister, if the case is serious (e.g. road accident and somebody was badly injured). If you are dissatisfied – to the Court of Appeal (Civil Division).
Criminal cases : Crown Prosecution Service, headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, works under the guidance of the Attorney-General. Crown Prosecution Service sends barristers and solicitors.
3 types of offences : 1) summary offences (95%) – e.g. motoring offences, dealt with in Magistrates’ courts (Justice of the Peace) – 3 people, ordinary citizens, chosen by the community, appointed by the Lord Chancellor on recommendations by local groups; unpaid, not professional lawyers (lay magistrates), without any jury – so advised on points of law and procedure by a special legally qualified clerk. Magistrates’ court can sentence to less than 6 month imprisonment or a fine of less than £5,000, if more serious – send to the Crown Court. 2) Offence triable either way (e.g. car theft) – choice belongs to the defendant, decides either should be heard by lay magistrates or the Crown Court. 3) Indictable offences (e.g. robbery, at the point of the gun or knife) – only in the Crown Court, presided by High Court Judges (full-time circuit judges) with a jury of 12 people (jurors). Crown Courts also hear the cases from Magistrates. If dissatisfied – to the Court of Appeal (the Criminal Division). Verdict is reached by the jury, after they have heard. Jury – local people (constitutional duty). The judge sits in the court room, makes sure that the trial is properly conducted. Counsel for prosecution, for Defense. The judge ~ guides, helps the jury to reach the verdict. Person is presumed to be innocent unless the prosecution can prove guilt above all reasonable doubt. Convicted, acquitted, recessed.
Offences : murder, manslaughter, rape, assault, assault and battery, arson, robbery, burglary, theft, mugging, shoplifting, kidnapping, embezzlement, bribery, forgery, perjury, slander, libel, blackmail, abuse of power/confidence, disorderly conduct, speeding.
Punishment : fine, imprisonment, community service, probation (report to a special probation officer), remand in custody, remand on bail, to grant, deny bail, release on parole; death penalty abolished in 1969. The age of criminal responsibility 10 years. For children – Juvenile Court (youth court), 15 years peak age: allow to live within the family, under special supervision, take into local authority care (in a community home), attend special school, live with foster parents, community service.
Lawyers . Solicitors – the lower category, may deal with public, barristers – cannot approach public. A person –> solicitor –> barrister – speaks in court. Solicitor speaks in the Magistrates’ Courts. Law society – for solicitors, the Bar – for barristers. Queen’s Counsels (QC) – in important cases. No special training for judges, Lord Chancellor decides who is to be a judge, chooses barristers.
9. The class system of modern Britain: the expansion of the middle class, class mobility, the upper classes, the emergence of a new underclass, the main causes of this, the British notion of professional classes, the perception of class system and class conflict in modern society
1990’s: upper class 1%, upper middle 3%, middle 16%, lower middle 25%, skilled working 25%, unskilled working 17%, underclass 13%. A market feature of last 3 decades of 20th century – major expansion of the middle class. In 1900 75% of manual workers, in 1991 – 36%. 2mln jobs created in the professional and managerial fields, works became more skilled and the service sector grew considerably; average income grew, so nowadays much of the working class population can afford a middle class life style. Thatcher made 2/3 of population house-owners by selling council houses for give-away prices, overwhelming majority have a bank account or a building society account; share-holders due to the privatization of state companies in 1980’s. Traditionally working at a plant was considered working class, but essentially middle class – a lot of mobility between middle, lower middle and working classes. Least mobility in upper class, in underclass – another result of Thatcher’s policies (abolished full-employment). 1% own ¼ of the nation’s wealth; inheritance, spread around the family to minimize the effect of taxation. Young people – professionals, like civil servants, lawyers, armed forced – during Thatcher’s period, a lot of them moved from the public service to the private sector, because of salaries. In 1964 people were asked if there was class struggle – 48% “yes”, in 1995 – 81%.
10. Historic country houses as part of British national heritage: the development of attitudes from the mid-19th century to the present day. The role of the main aristocratic families, the National Trust and the government in the preservation of the country houses
Until early 19th century – private houses of the aristocracy. Their role as national heritage began then. The Victorian idea – Tudor and Jacobean houses, contrasted to the 18the century houses which considered not-English, cosmopolitan.
A writer Nash published a book about them, everybody could see. Started traveling a lot, one of the most popular pastimes, + railways (1825), all classes excluding working classes. Few owners needed financial contribution, so no fee (only in 3-4 houses).
In 2nd half of the 19th century – change, friendly attitude broken, general public began to be called philistines (commerce, urbanization, comforts). Middle class – cosmopolitan resorts (Nice, Biarritz – tone was set by Edward, Victoria’s son). In European countries – opposite. In Jan 1895 – a charitable trust was set up, the National Trust (1st chairman – Duke of Westminster). Accepted gifts from people who cared, bought houses by public subscription, membership fees. Bought only ~60 houses. The second group of people – owners themselves – barbarians. Didn’t want to maintain. Deep agriculture depression, prices of land fell, grain prices fell, => economic and political power suffered severe blows, land and money more important than houses and contents, large houses were very expensive to maintain – found buyers, or redecorated, destroying historical features. In 1894 – death duty introduced, this ruined many aristocratic families. The third group – small, almost marginal – aesthetes, criticized philistines and barbarians.
Between the WW – public valuation continued to deteriorate, visiting stopped, closed, abandoned or demolished. Urbanization of the country – landowners began to sell land (death duty – 50%), ~ 1/5 of landowners fell out of the class. While they could sell lands, nobody needed houses, they could be bough “for a song”. Lots demolished, lots sold to various institutions, like public schools, colleges, youth hostels.
After WWII – change, deal with the government (schools, or store houses for national art collections); if not – to accommodate troops. Also – once is taken – no death duty. Everybody felt there was no future for the country houses life, lots demolished, sold, needed for schools, hospitals.
Late 50’s-60’s period of growing land prices, many landowners became multimillionaires. Then a group was formed “heritage in danger”. Tax exemption for important works of art, buildings, stretches of land. Owners were allowed to put their property in “maintenance funds” – controlled by the family, but treated as public bodies. Apply for maintenance grants – historic building council.
Nowadays – 1: privately owned houses – HHA (historic houses association), in best condition. 2: owned by the National Trust (membership fee, but visiting free). 3: owned by the Government, 1984 English heritage set up, organization funded by the Government, shells – nothing inside, or ruins. There is Secretary in the Cabinet for English Heritage. Besides buying – grants export license to take it out of the country, administers Historic Buildings Council grants. 4: institutional use, e.g. Warwick Castle – Mme Tussaud’s.
1. Name the invaders who came to the British Isles before the Norman Conquest.
The Celts (700 BC), the Romans (55, 54 BC Caesar; 44, 77 AD Agricola), the Scotts from Ireland, the Picts from far north, the Anglo-Saxons (6th century), the Vikings (Danes, Norwegians, Swedes)
2. Who were the Druids?
The ancient Celtic priests and teachers, religious leaders, before Christianity.
3. What is Hadrian's Wall?
A stone wall which the Roman Emperor Hadrian ordered to be built across the north of England in 122 AD from the east coast to the west, in order to defend Roman Britain from attack by northern tribes. Every 15 miles – fort. In Northumberland.
4. What do the words "Danelaw" and "Danegeld" stand for?
Area conquered by the Danes, money (ransom) paid to the invaders.
5. What do you know about the battle of Hastings?
14 Oct 1066, the Norman King William the Conqueror defeated the army of the English King Harold.
6. Trace the history of religious on the British Isles up to the final conversion to Christianity.
Druids, paganism, –> pagan Romans, eradicated druids, –> 391 Theodosius ordered the closure of all pagan temples, –> 597 Pope Gregory sent mission to convert Anglo-Saxons, St. Augustine – missionary; monasteries, churches, by 8th century Christianized.
7. What changes did the Romans bring to Britain?
Introduction of towns, baths in each, aqueducts, drainage, sewage, walls against invasions, armed camps, villas, introduces some vegetables and fruits.
8. When was England part of a Scandinavian Empire? The Angevin Empire?
11th cent. 1154 - end of the 14th century.
9. Comment on the origin of names like Gloucester, Worcester, Essex, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Gloucester, Worcester – “castra” meaning the armed camp (lat.), Essex – east Saxons, Thursday – Vikings’ strongest god of thunder Thor, Friday – Freya’s day.
10. Which languages of Britain are of Celtic origin?
Gaelic, Erse (Scottish and Irish), Welsh, Irish.
11. What historical significance does the Bayeux Tapestry have?
A tapestry (large piece of heavy woven cloth) 70m long, made in Bayeux (France) in 11th -12th centuries, whose pictures tell the story of the Norman Conquest.
12. When was Westminster Abbey built? Rebuilt?
11th century, 13th century.
13. In what document is the story of the Viking invasion told?
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
14. What is Witenagemot?
The council of the nobility and top clergy in 10th century.
15. What was the capital of Anglo-Saxon and early Norman England?
16. How was the royal household expected to be financed in the medieval times? When did this practice end?
The king was believed to be the richest landowner, expected to live off his own. Then system of taxation – the knights were encouraged to stay in their manors and improve, pay taxes, rather than serve the king at the court. Ended when the Civil List was introduced, money was given by the Parliament.
17. When was trial by jury introduced? How did it work?
12th century, jurors were the witnesses themselves. Nobody could be convicted unless jurors swore that there was the case against somebody.
18. In what war was the battle of Crecy fought? What was its result?
The Hundred Years War. 1356. Prince of Wales (Black Prince) defeated the French.
19. What document was signed at Runneymede? In what year? What were its provisions?
Magna Charta, 1215. ~ 1st English constitution, lay down the foundation of the government, 60 articles. Most important – no free man was to be arrested, imprisoned except by the law of land (presumption of innocence); no tax should be introduced without the approval of thee Council. Privileges to boroughs – charted town, guaranteed freedom of cities.
20. What are the crusades?
8 wars led by Christian European kings in the 11th , 12th and 13th centuries to get control of Palestine from the Muslims, since both sides believed that Palestine was a holy land in their religion.
21. How and when did Parliament emerge in England?
13th century – 1265. Great councils more and more often, representatives from shires, towns came to meetings. In 1350 divided into HL and HC.
22. How was the feudal system organized under William the Conqueror?
Brought 170 tenants-in-chief, 5,000 knights. The honour (land) – to tenants-in-chief, manors – to knights. Ruling class – tenants, knights (gentry class), bishops (appointed by the King). William gave orders to tenants, they to knights. Common people belonged to the knights.
23. Why did the Hundred Years' War start? How did it end?
1337-1453. Attempt to reclaim the Angevin Empire, tried to keep control of lands in France. The French won and forced the English to leave France.
24. What is the Domesday Book?
The record of all the lands in England, showing their size, value, ownership, etc., made in 1086 on the orders of William the Conqueror.
25. What do you know about Thomas Becket?
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who was killed by Henry II’s soldiers (1170) in Canterbury Cathedral (“Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”). Becket was his friend. He was appointed Lord Chancellor, then became the Archbishop and began to claim estates from the noble people as being Church property. Then he declared that no power, but himself should appoint a priest to any church in England. Henry II tried to reduce the power of the Church. They quarreled, then Becket resigned and changed lifestyle to humility and self-denial, went to France for 6 years.
26. What are the royal regalia?
Ceremonial clothes and decorations. Crown, scepter, orb, + sword of state.
27. Who is Wolsey?
An English Cardinal, and politician who was rich and powerful, but lost power after failing to persuade the Pope to allow Henry VIII to divorce Catherine of Aragon. Accused of high treason, died just in time.
28. When and how were the feudal system and the power of the medieval nobility broken?
15th century. Continuous fighting among the noble people, the Wars of the Roses (civil war), physically wiped out, and common people stayed away from fighting. Battle of Bosworth, 1485 – end of medieval England.
29. What character in English history was called the King-maker? Why?
During the Wars of the Roses, Earl of Warwick, decided to interfere, and Edward IV became the king with his help.
30. What do you know about Thomas More?
An English politician and writer, he was the King’s adviser, Lord Chancellor, but when he opposed the King’s divorce and refused to accept him as the head of the Church of England, was put in prison and beheaded.
31. Name the main Tudor kings. What was the success of the Tudor rule based on?
Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, Elizabeth I. Absolute monarchy, set fashions in every field of public life, felt public opinion, gave rise to a new elite – the gentry, trade flourished, avoided expensive wars.
32. How did the Church of England emerge?
In 1527 Henry VIII wanted to remarry (Catherine of Aragon –> Anne Boleyn), the Pope didn’t acknowledge his divorce (was influenced by the Spanish king, Catherine’s nephew), in 1533 broke off with Vatican, announced himself a supreme head of the Church of England.
33. Who is Thomas Cranmer? What is he best remembered for?
The Archbishop of Canterbury, first after the creation of C of E, one of the leaders of Reformation. Granted the King his divorce.
34. The causes, two main periods and the results of the Wars of the Roses.
Dynastic crisis, Plantagenets perished, the rivalry between House of Lancasters and House of Yorks led to the civil war (1455-1485). The Battle of St. Albans (1455) – Richard of York (won) versus Henry VI. Queen Margaret (1960) – Lancaster. Edward IV (York). Richard III. 1485 - Henry VII Tudor. The Battle of Bosworth. End of medieval England, rise of new elite, Tudors came to the throne.
35. Who is William Cecil?
Elizabeth’s adviser, secretary. She had a good talent in choosing advisers in ruling. Cecils were commoners, but she made him Lord Burleigh.
36. What do you know about the dissolution of monasteries? Its social consequences.
In the beginning of 1530s in England were about 800 catholic monasteries. 1536-1540 all the monasteries were closed, the lands and belongings passed to the king’s treasury. Then the king sold the lands to gentry, it created a huge landowning class, which had political influence until the 19th century.
37. How did the interior of and service in the English church change as a result of the establishment of the Church of England?
1549 – Book of Common Prayer, retained much of Catholic practice, including mass. More radical (1552) – Catholic mass disappeared, introduced penalty. 1559 – Act of Uniformity. Service of the Holly Communion replaced the mass, Morning Prayer said in English, psalm singing, vicar delivered sermon from the pulpit. Before appealed to the eye, now to the ear. Appearance of churches changed – interior almost bare, Royal Arms instead of the image of Jesus Christ, relics, altar, pyx gone, walls whitewashed, no paintings, clergymen wore surplice. Abolition of church music.
38. What character in English history is called "Bloody Mary"? Why?
Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Wanted to convert the country to Catholicism. Lots of execution (Thomas Cranmer), reign was almost a disaster, unsuccessful war with France.
39. In what document is the doctrine of the Anglican Church contained? When was the final version of it adopted? How did the doctrine develop from Henry VIII to Elizabeth?
42 Articles of Faith 1552 by Cranmer. In 1562 – modified to 39, and in 1571 was imposed by the Parliament as the doctrine of C of E – till nowadays. More radical but proved to be the golden mean, meant different for different people.
40. What does Elizabethan religious settlement imply?
Protestants wanted to go further, to Calvinism, Catholics to preserve Catholicism. She was a protestant, but not religious, didn’t care much; motivated by political reasons had to come back to the C of E. In 1559 – Act of Supremacy (finally abolished foreign interference in English ecclesiastical affairs). Act of Uniformity (1559). She wanted moderate Protestantism, but majority wanted more radical form. Under pressure in 1552 issued the 2nd Prayer Book, which was more radical than she wanted.
41. Elizabeth versus Mary Stuart.
Mary was the Queen of Scotland (Elizabeth’s cousin). She has been married to the Dauphin, the heir of the French king. As the Roman Church never recognized the marriage (Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn), she claimed the English Crown. Mary was accused of murder of her second husband and was imprisoned, signed her abdication, then managed to escape to England. Elizabeth didn’t want Mary to be executed. Mary spent in prison 19 years, then executed for high treason.
42. Elizabethan foreign policies and their effect on the treasury.
England was not a great power, European countries dominated. England secretly did harm to them (pirates – got a lot of money to the treasury, so she didn’t punish them), and aided the Netherlands against Spain. Philip II, the Spanish King and “bloody” Mary’s husband, also supporting Mary Stuart – conflicted with Elizabeth. Sent fleet to defeat England, but England won the Invincible Armada and became the Mistress of the Seas. Financial problems, Elizabeth considered to be very miserly.
43. The main causes of the conflict between King and Parliament in the mid-17th century.
2 main problems when Stuarts replaced Tudors – religious and financial. Lack of money in the treasury, the Parliament refused to introduce any ordinary taxation. James I got rid of the Parliament. Also James stated that Puritanism in his country couldn’t be tolerated.
44. In what war was the battle of Naseby fought?
14th June 1645. The First Civil War. The first defeat of royalists.
45. Name the Stuart kings and queens.
James I, Charles I. After Restoration - Charles II, James II, Mary II, William III, Queen Anne.
46. What do you know about Guy Fawkes?
The Gunpowder Plot. 5th November 1605. He wanted to blow up the Parliament, when the King, the Lords and the Commons should be there. The Plot was disclosed, Fawkes imprisoned, found guilty, executed.
47. What event is commonly referred to as Regicide? How popular and lawful was it?
The execution of Charles I. People considered this to be a horrible event because they believed him to be lord-anointed. He was convicted not by the court of law but by a legislative assembly.
48. Under what circumstances was it possible for English kings to rule without Parliament? What kings did it? When was this finally stopped?
James I got rid of the Parliament. Charles I also. When Charles I had to summon the Parliament because he needed money badly (Scotts invaded the country and demanded money, to prevent from active war) – summoned the Long Parliament. It started passing laws – no dissolution of the Parliament without its consent, no type of taxation without its consent, king able to summon the Parliament when wanted, but at least in 3 years.
49. What events took place in England between 1642 and 1649?
In 1642 the King went to the North to assemble the army to fight with the Parliament. Nobody wanted the war but the chance for compromise was lost, Charles refused to abolish the royal prerogatives, so the war was inevitable. The Parliament created the “New Model Army” which defeated the Royal Army. Charles was captured but fled to the Isle of Wight, then arrested, put on trial, executed (1649).
50. What period is called the Personal Rule? How did it end?
1629-1640, Charles I, had problems with money, wanted to avoid wars, to raise money by royal prerogatives, granted new monopolies, remembered old taxes, conflicted with the Parliament and finally he didn’t summon. Peace with France and Spain, commercial prosperity. Ended with 2 civil wars and execution.
51. Who are Cavaliers and Roundheads?
Cavaliers were the people, mostly nobility, who supported the King during the English Civil War. Roundheads, mostly puritans, gentry, – supported the Parliament.
52. What do you know about Inigo Jones?
A British architect, who was the partner of Charles I (who was the patron of arts). Designed many important buildings, esp. in London. He was the first person to introduce the Italian Palladian style. Also designed scenery for the theatre.
53. Why are the events of 1642 - 1649 sometimes referred to as the Puritan revolution? What were its results?
Because the Parliament consisted mainly of puritans. They criticized the C of E, were persecuted for this, they wanted to get rid of all remains of Catholicism. Results – extreme puritans did away with the C of E and set new political system, the Republic.
54. What period in English history do we call the Protectorate?
The period after Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Parliament and proclaimed the Protectorate, assuming the title of Lord-Protector. 5 years (1653-1658). Then his son Richard, till 1659.
55. When and between what countries was the War for the Spanish Succession fought? What were its results?
In 1701-1713, England (+ Holland), France and Spain – for the Spanish throne after the Spanish King’ death. England won, got Minorca, Gibraltar, Newfoundland. French expansion stopped.
56. Why are the events of 1689 called either the Glorious or the Unexpected revolution? What were the consequences?
James II conflicted with the Parliament, the 2 parties decided to remove James and invite his daughter with her husband William of Orange. James fled to France, people didn’t object. No blood, no opposition, no battles. Absolutism in England came to its end, England became limited monarchy.
57. What does the term "Restoration" stand for?
No parliament, no stability, and at last the royalists invited Charles II (Charles I’s son) to become the King in 1660.
58. What role did the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough play in English history?
John Churchill for his victories in the War for the Spanish Succession (the battle of Blenheim) got the title of Duke of Marlborough, was granted the land. His wife Sarah Jennings was the Queen’s favourite.
59. Who are the Dissenters?
Members of one of the protestant groups that separated from the C of E, refused to accept the doctrine of the established church.
60. When did the party system emerge? What were the first parties, how did the system change with years?
1670’s. first there were two parties – Tory (court party that supported the King) and Whigs (who supported the Parliament – country / gentry, wanted reforms).
61. When did the King become king-in-Parliament? What did it mean?
1694, William of Orange, III. He ruled under certain conditions: accepted the Bill of Rights (no standing army, no laws without parliament’s consent), the Act of Settlement (no catholic succeed). Didn’t rule on his own, but a part of the Parliament.
62. When was the Civil List first introduced?
In William of Orange’s reign, 1698. The Parliament started giving money for keeping king’s household, so that he couldn’t dissolve it.
63. Who are the Hanovers?
After the Queen Ann’s death there was a change of dynasty, because she didn’t have children. George I was from German, but James I’s remote relative.
64. How and when did the office of the Prime Minister originate? What did the office imply? Who was the first PM?
1720’s. The first PM was Robert Walpole, he became the King’s representative in the HC.
65. What were the main periods of the reign of George III?
The first period 1760-1789, believed in an absolute monarchy, was an idealistic politician. When the colonies in America got independence, the Whigs returned to power. Also after the French Revolution, England felt that it was a great threat. After the War with Napoleon, the victory, he got national respect. The monarchy began to change.
66. Who are the Black Prince, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Prince of Wales?
The Black Prince was the Prince of Wales, during the Hundred Years War he defeated the French. Bonnie Prince Charlie – the grandson of James II, believed to have the right to be the king instead of George II. The Prince of Wales is the eldest son of the King / Queen, started when Wales joined England in Edward I‘s reign.
67. What period is called "the rule of the elite"? How did the political system work? When and why did it end?
The period of Whigs’ ruling, during the reign of George I and II, the country was effectively controlled by the ministers (Robert Walpole – the head). It ended with the accession of George III (who was brought up in England); he subjugated the Parliament.
68. What event is called "the Boston Tea Party"?
A protest in Boston in 1773 against the British tax on tea, when tea was thrown from the ship into the water in the Boston Harbour. This is considered to be the event that started the American Revolutionary War.
69. What period is referred to as Regency? Why was it necessary?
The period 1811-1820 when the country was ruled by the Prince Regent (George IV), because the King himself was mentally ill.
70. When was the first British Empire created? When did it end?
Created after the victory in the War for the Spanish Succession. It ended in 1783 when the colonies in America became independent.
71. Who is William Pitt the Younger? What role did he play?
He was the head of the fraction of the Whig Party, George III preferred him, became the PM – great stability, support of both King and the Parliament.
72. Who were the heroes of the wars against Napoleon?
Horatio Nelson defeated Napoleon several times, the battle of Trafalgar, he was fatally wounded; Duke of Wellington, defeated Napoleon in the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
73. How did the expression "to meet one's Waterloo" originate?
Napoleon was finally defeated in the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
74. The changes in the nature of monarchy and the ruling elite in the early 19th century.
The Monarchy became the symbol of the nation’s unity. After the war with Napoleon. Great proud. The ruling elite underwent great change. People deserving respect – not only birth and property, but industry and morality. A view that wealth and rank meant duty, private morality. Political power based on birth and property.
75. What is the Great Reform Bill? Why was it necessary and what were its main provisions?
It was a bill which gave a voting right to more social groups and big cities were now represented in the Parliament. Necessary – because industrial cities emerged and they had no representatives.
76. What were the main features of Victorian society and government?
The country was effectively ruled by the PMs, who were elected from the party that got the majority in the Parliament. 2nd Reform Bill in 1867 (aristocratic rule declined), electorate doubled, secret ballot introduced. Society: class division formed but no confrontation. Financial independence, respectability, philanthropy, hard work, earnestness. Police force created, public health, education for the lower classes. Free unregulated market.
77. The extension of franchise after the Great Reform Act of 1832, its consequences.
Every 5th received a vote. Redistribution of seats. Now big cities were represented, property qualification for candidates. Social consequence – tied the middle class to the aristocrats.
78. What was the role of Prince Albert in British history?
He was the Prince-Consort, was not fit for business, but had good influence on the young queen. He was interested in arts, music, science and industry, planned and organized the Great Exhibition in 1851. Many buildings are named after him.
79. What were the two main parties in the Victorian age and who were their most prominent leaders?
Tory –> Conservatives (Disraeli), Whigs –> Liberal (Gladstone). They alternated.
80. When did government social policy originate? What areas did it cover?
Social reforms in Victorian reign – public health, education for all children, state undertook the duty to provide schools, school attendance became compulsory, elementary education free.
81. What is the Boer War?
The war in South Africa against 2 Boer republics (Transvaal and Orange Free State), made them a part of the British Empire. Huge loss of life, Britain became unpopular in Europe.
82. What period do we call Edwardian? What were its distinctive features?
The reign of Edward VII. Society became cosmopolitan, new wealth was added to the old wealth of great landowning families (from Victorian time). Appearance of the Labour Party, social reforms. Crisis, suffragette movement. Poverty and unemployment. Irish question.
83. What do you know about the People's Budget?
Was introduced by David Lloyd George. It was designed to pay the costs of social welfare and naval rearmament. But the Lords rejected the project in 1909.
84. What were the effects of WWI on British society?
Had very important consequences, affected everyone, traumatized the whole generation, nothing was the same after it. It had provided the occasion for massive governmental experiments in economic enterprise, in insurance. It was the impulse for social and economical change. Rising unemployment. Rise of Labour Party and decline of Liberals. Very extensive program of social reforms – Liberals failed to respond.
85. The rise and fall of the Second British Empire.
1850 the 2nd British Empire, India added, exceeded the 1st. During the period from 1940 to 1980 years more than 40 British colonies became independent. Remained friendly with Britain, most of them –> the Commonwealth.
86. When did government economic policy begin?
After the WWI, the Government started defending the home market by introducing protectionist tariffs.
87. When did the Labour party emerge? How did it later change the party system? The changes in the Labour programme at the end of the 20th century, their main cause.
Emerged in 1906. In 1920’s rose and replaced the Liberal Party. Was traditionally the socialist party, but in 1980-90’s changed and move towards the political center (New Labour).
88. What were the main effects of WWII?
The economy declined, there was nothing to export, no money for import. Britain was effectively a totalitarian state, the Government had unlimited power, rationing introduced, luxuries had 100% tax on them, everyone of fighting age was conscripted, servants disappeared. Defeat of Conservatives and victory of the Labour Party.
89. What role did Mrs. Simpson, a divorced American, play in English history?
Wallis Simpson, had a relationship with Edward VIII. Because she had already been married twice before, Edward was not allowed to marry her. Then he decided to abdicate, she became the Duchess of Windsor.
90. What is a Welfare state? When was it created? What does the term "Welfare" mean today?
State with a system of social help provided by the state, giving money to people who are poor or unemployed, providing medical care. 1945-51. The department of social security.
91. What is meant by the "era of consensus"?
92. What is Affluent Society?
Wealthy society, which was created by expansion of the middle class. In 1990’s the society was defined by a prosperity that involved the majority of people.
93. What events are sometimes referred to as "The Winter of Discontent"?
The winter of 1978-79 when many workers refused to work in protest against the Labour government’s idea on limiting pay rises. The Labour party lost power after this.
94. What events are called "The Battle of Britain"?
The fights between German and Britain aircraft during the summer and autumn of 1940, when British aircraft tried to prevent German aircraft from bombing British cities. The bombing was stopped at the end of 1940 and it was considered as a great victory. Main result – prevented from invasion.
95. Why was Thatcher's period in office called a revolution? What did she mean when she proclaimed a return to Victorian values?
Changed a lot, reduced taxes, took away power from trade unions, started the programme of privatization, and created huge middle class. Free market. Everybody should work hard, be earnest, thrifty, and independent.