Countries and cities

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Ship-building is an important industry in the United Kingdom. The main ship-building centres are London, Glasgow in Scotland, Belfast in Northern Ireland and some others.

Oxford and Cambridge are not big industrial centres but they are famous all over the world as educational centres. The oldest and most famous universities of Great Britain are situated there. The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge date from the 12th and 13th centuries and the Scottish Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh from 15th -16th centuries.

Oxford is international because people from all over the world come to study there. Physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, biology, geography, agriculture are studied there.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a par-liamentary monarchy. Legislative power belongs to the Queen (formally) and the Parliament, which consists of the House of Commons and House of Lords. Officially the Head of the State is the Queen (from 1952 -Elizabeth II). But the actual power belongs to the parliament and the ruling party. The powers of the Queen are limited by the constitution.

There are three main parties on the political scene of the United Kingdom. The Conservative Party, founded in 1867 is the party supported traditionally by the rich: the monopolists and landowners. This party serves the interests of big business. The supporters of the Liberal Party are small traders and middle class people.

The Labour Party was founded in 1906. It mostly consists of workers, but its activity and political tactics show that it is a bourgeous party.

The Communist Party of Great Britain was founded in 1920 as a fusion of the British Socialist Party. The Party fully represents the interests of the working class.



London is the capital of Great Britain. It is a very old city. It is two thousand years old. London is not only the capital of the country, it is also a huge port.

London is situated upon both banks of the Thames. There are 17 bridges above the river.

The population of London is about 9 million people. London has three parts: the City of London, the West End, the East End.

The City of London is the oldest part of London. You can see narrow streets and pavements there. There are many offices, firms and banks in this part of London. The City of London is the financial centre of the United Kingdom.

The West End is the centre of London. There are many places of interest in the West End. They are: the Houses of Parliament with Big Ben. It is interesting that the clock "Big Ben" came into service in 1859. Big Ben is the biggest clock bell in Britain. It weighs 13,5 tons.

The other interesting place is Westminster Abbey, which was founded in 1050. It is situated in the centre of London. Many great Englishmen were buried in the Abbey: Newton, Darvin and others.

The official London residence of the Queen is Buckingham Palace. It was built in the 18th century.

There are many nice squares in London. Trafalgar Square is one of them and it is in the centre of the West End. One can see a statue of Lord Nelson in the middle of this square.

There are many museums, libraries and galleries in London. The Tate Gallery is one of the well-known galleries in London. Henry Tate was a sugar manufacturer. He was fond of paintings and collected many pictures.

The British Museum is a very interesting place in London. It was founded in 1753. The library of this museum has a lot of books.

The East End of London is the district for the working people. There are many factories, workshops, docks there.

There are many cars and buses in London. There is a tube (an underground) in London too. It is a nice one.

One can say that the City is the money of London, the West End is the goods of London, the East End is the hands of London.



London is the capital of Great Britain. The population of London is over 8 million people. It is one of the largest cities of the world and the largest city of the United Kingdom. London is situated on the river Thames about forty miles from the mouth and is divided into two parts by the river: north and south. Fourteen bridges over the river carry heavy traffic from one side to the other.

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