United Kingdom – education
The public education system in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has many common features; Among other things, it is free at primary school level, and there is 11 years of compulsory schooling for 5-16-year-olds everywhere. With approximately 7% of pupils in England and Wales attend influential private schools.
England and Wales got the first school law under a liberal government in 1870. Its aim was to combine secular and ecclesiastical interests by making the school a “national system administered locally”.
Of great importance was also the 1944 law, which in accordance with the then perception of intelligence as innate and measurably recommended streaming at the age of 11, ie. a distribution of the students in resp. grammar schools, technical schools and secondary modern.
At the local initiative, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, these forms of schooling were increasingly transformed into integrated comprehensive schools, where setting ‘level division’ and banding ‘team division’ are still quite widespread. The economic crisis of the 1970’s was the reason why the Conservative government in 1988 implemented a reform of the education system, the Education Reform Act.
The law significantly transferred the power from the local school authorities, Local Educational Authorities (LEA), to the central authorities, when establishing national curricula, however, with education planning and economics as local responsibility. At the same time, standard assessment tests were introduced, ie. centrally placed position tests for all 7-, 11- and 14-year-olds. Despite some opposition, this education policy has largely been continued.
The latest government documents, Excellence in Schools (1997) and the debate paper Teachers Meeting the Challenge of Change (1998), emphasize the socio-economic necessity of increased quality in teaching.
The preschool area includes one- to two-year volunteer reception classes or nursery schools. Compulsory schooling begins with the six-year primary school, which is divided into a two-year infant school for 5-6-year-olds and a four-year junior school for 7-11-year-olds. The five-year secondary school ends with the General Certificate of Secondary Education, which has replaced the so-called O-level, ie. ordinary level. This is followed by more specialized one- to two-year sixth forms, leading to A-level, ie. advanced level; A-level is admission to the universities.
The UK has a large and well-developed network of higher education institutions as well as two of Europe’s oldest universities, Oxford and Cambridge, both from the 1200’s. and still with elite status. Among the oldest universities is also the Scottish St. Andrews from 1411. The University of Wales in Cardiff is from 1893, and the Queen’s University of Belfast in Northern Ireland from 1845.
Part of the higher education is handled by Open University, which offers distance learning for all university degrees and is open to everyone. The university, which is the first of its kind, has approximately 210,000 students (1998). See also Scotland – education.
Private schools include public schools, egl. ‘public schools’, ie. schools that are open to children from all parts of the country and therefore boarding schools. The term may seem misleading today because over time the schools took on an aristocratic character and were mainly based on parental pay. The schools are now often referred to as independent schools, ie. pedagogically independent of the state education system. The oldest and most famous are Winchester (1382), Eton (1440), Rugby (1567) and Harrow (1571).
Despite the great decline in the number of pupils around 1800, the schools remained an attractive offer also for the emerging middle class, partly because the road to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge went through them, partly because they were reformed from within.
One of the great reformers was Rugby Rector Thomas Arnold, who saw it as his main task to raise boys to be “Christian gentlemen” with special emphasis on character upbringing. Important elements of the ideal of formation were religion, history, literature and the classical languages. He also reformed the prefect system by involving the oldest students as his pedagogical staff. Later, team sports were added, such as football, cricket and rugby.
Through the preservation of some of the original character-raising traits, the schools also around the year 2000 help to make their mark on British society.
ETYMOLOGY: Great Britain is called in English Great Britain, by Latin Britannia Major, as opposed to Latin Britannia Minor ‘Little Britain’ ie. Brittany in northwestern France.
OFFICIAL NAME: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
CAPITAL CITY: London
POPULATION: 63,181,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 242,525 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, other
RELIGION: Anglicans 44%, Presbyterians 5%, Methodists 2%, Catholics 10%, Orthodox 1%, other Christians 4%, Muslims 3%, Hindus 1%, Sikhs 1%, Jews 1%, others el. no 28%
CURRENCY CODE: GBP
ENGLISH NAME: United Kingdom
POPULATION COMPOSITION: whites 87%, Indians 1.5%, Pakistanis 1%, Afro-Caribbean 1%, Africans 0.5%, others 9%
GDP PER residents: $ 44,118 (2015)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 76 years, women 81 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.892
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 14
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .uk
Britain, the largest of the British Isles and surrounding smaller islands, including the Hebrides, Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands, Anglesey, Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight, all encompassing the nations of England, Wales and Scotland.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as UK which stands for United Kingdom.
In everyday speech and in this article, Britain is a short form of the British state encompassing the union between England as the central unit, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with the formal name United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the United Kingdom formally belongs also a number of overseas possessions (dependent territories) and crown dependencies, all of which are referred to independently elsewhere in the work and not in this article.
Furthermore, reference can be made to the articles on Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland is a kingdom in NW Europe in the British Isles of the North Atlantic, separated from the English Channel and the North Sea by the continent. Central to world history over the past 300 years is Britain, which was early industrialized with a background in technological advances and a wealth linked to the building of the British Empire.with a number of colonies and possessions. Britain became an economic, industrial, political and cultural superpower. This position was partially maintained despite the decolonization through the 1900’s. and major structural change problems in the Union’s industry and labor market, most recently due to globalization in the early 2000’s. English language has a prominent position in the world, as the official language of a number of countries, and the economic orientation of the former colonies is increasingly directed towards Great Britain, just as in other contexts there are connections, e.g. in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Politically, Britain has shaped the outside world, for example with parliamentarism and its parliamentary system. The British legal system common law is an element in a number of countries, and in the history of ideas, for example, liberalism has its roots in Great Britain. The Union has from the beginning of 2000-t. assumed a looser link with a higher degree of autonomy in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
In a referendum in 2016, the British people agreed that Britain should opt out of the EU (Brexit). The result of the vote triggered shock waves both domestically and internationally. Doubts have been raised as to whether Scotland and perhaps Northern Ireland continue to want to be part of a UK outside the EU.
|Facts about the four nations|
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United Kingdom (Geography)
Natural Geographically, the real Great Britain is mentioned here, while Northern Ireland is mentioned under its own key word.
Great Britain – language
The dominant language is English. The original Celtic languages, Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic, are to some extent preserved locally alongside English.
Welsh, which together with English is the official language of Wales, is spoken here by approximately 20% and is used in both teaching and media. In Northern Ireland, Irish is spoken by a minority. Scottish Gaelic belongs to the Scottish Highlands, where in the 1990’s it was spoken by almost 2% of the population. The British cities are also linguistically influenced by the many immigrants who have immigrated from former British colonies, especially the Caribbean and Pakistan, since the 1960’s.
United Kingdom (Religion)
There are historical reasons why religious conditions form a disparate pattern in the four nations. Furthermore, in the last decades of the 1900’s, these conditions have undergone major changes. While in rural areas one is faithful to tradition, considerable changes are taking place in the big cities.
England is traditionally Anglican, and Scotland Presbyterian; Wales has been Calvinist Methodist, but in the 1990’s the Episcopal Church grew larger and Northern Ireland is divided between a small Presbyterian majority and a large Catholic minority. The church structure and organization are different in the four nations, but it is true in all four that no church is monopolistic, and that many other churches play a significant role, which due to an unusual degree of ecclesiastical freedom for European affairs since the Act of Tolerance in 1689. Thus, the Roman Catholic Church has been permitted since 1829. The two established churches, the Anglican Church of England (see Anglican Church) and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland (seeScotland (church relations)), comprises only about a third of the two populations. In addition to those mentioned, there are, for example, Methodists, United Reformed (in England), Congregationalists, Baptists, Pentecostal churches and Quakers. Between the old denominations there is a developed ecumenical (joint church) collaboration.
While many of the ancient churches are in decline, the black West Indian Baptist and Pentecostal congregations are growing rapidly. Religious life, especially in the big cities, is also influenced by other religions; Britain’s old role as a colonial power has led to great immigration from other cultures. Of non-Christian religions, Islam is the largest, and Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism are widespread, as are Jewish congregations.
Great Britain – constitution and political system
Britain is a constitutional monarchy with male and female succession and a parliamentary democracy. It has no constitution. The constitution has grown over several hundred years and is largely unwritten.
The main sources are Parliament’s legislation and court decisions. In particular, a number of so-called fundamental laws can be emphasized, the Magna Charta (1215), the Petition of Rights (1628) (see petition), the Declaration of Rights (1689), see the Act of Settlement (1701), the Scottish Union Act 1707 and several election laws.
Issues for which there is no formal law, such as the parliamentary principles for the resignation of a government, are decided by conventions that have proved open to development or modification; it provides great political agility.
Constitutionally, the highest legislative authority lies with the monarch in Parliament, ie. that a bill to become law must be approved by the three parties that make up Parliament: the monarch, the upper house and the lower house (see also House of Lords and House of Commons). For the last 280 years, the monarch’s applause has been automatic, while the House of Lords today only has an exposing power over certain types of legislation.
Finance bills are always submitted first in the House of Commons; this usually also applies to other legislation. Since 1911, the House of Lords has not been able to block financial legislation, and since 1949 it has not been able to reject other bills if they have been passed in two immediately consecutive sessions. However, it has often proved to be a constructive forum for principled debate, as its members are not subject to the same party discipline as the House of Commons, and it is still the supreme court of appeal in a number of civil and criminal cases.
The number of members who are hereditary peers has been sharply reduced, and further cuts are being discussed, possibly with the Upper House’s total abolition as a goal – at least for part of the Labor Party. In 2005, the composition of the Upper House looked like this: hereditary 92, lifetime approximately 500, clergyman 26.
The members of the lower house are elected by majority vote in single-member constituencies. The number is subject to change taking into account population development; in 2005 there were 646 members spread over 529 from England, 59 from Scotland, 40 from Wales and 18 from Northern Ireland. Members of parliament are elected for five years, unless elections are called during the period.
Control over the government and legislation is the main tasks of the House of Commons. Although any member can make bills, most come from ministers. In 1979, specialized committees were set up, which prepare background material for a detailed debate and thus over the years have played an increasingly important role.
The executive power formally lies with the monarch, but with the prime minister and other members of the government. The leader of the party that can present a majority of votes in the House of Commons is elected Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister’s authority has grown sharply during the 1900’s, and he or she makes more and more decisions on his or her own without consulting his or her government colleagues, but must nevertheless have their trust and support to exercise power; it has happened several times in modern times that the Prime Minister has been voted down in government.
In the last decades of the 1900-t. Britain embarked on a policy of decentralization. Northern Ireland had a Parliamentary Assembly with advisory functions in 1982. Following referendums in 1999, parliaments with limited powers were set up in Scotland, which also had its own government, and in Wales; the former with 129 members, the latter with 60. The representation of these countries in the Parliament in Westminster continues unabated.
Great Britain – political parties
The British electoral system with majority elections in single-member constituencies has benefited the major parties. The norm has therefore been a two-party system, where one of two large parties can form a majority government alone. After 1945, the Conservative Party has thus had power 1951-64, 1970-74, 1979-97 and from 2010, and the Labor Party 1945-51, 1964-70, 1974-79 and 1997-2010.
Center parties such as the Liberal Party – from 1989 the Liberal Democrats after merging with the Social Democratic Party (1981-88) – have at times gained decent turnout and had influence in local politics, but have not been in government.
Small outer-wing groupings exist, but in the post-war period have been without political influence. From the 1970’s onwards, there was progress for smaller, regional nationalist parties such as the Scottish National Party and the Welsh Plaid Cymru, which are represented both in the House of Commons and in the Scottish and Welsh local assemblies.
Northern Ireland has its own party structure. Here the parties are grouped according to national and religious criteria with the Democratic Unionist Party and the Official Unionist Party as the largest Protestant-Unionist, and the Sinn Féin and Social Democratic and Labor Party as the most significant Catholic-Republican parties.
Great Britain – economy
In the years after World War II, Britain was still a significant colonial power, but had already begun its relative economic decline. Thus, the country moved from a position as the world’s second largest economy at the beginning of the 1900’s. to a more modest place as the fifth-largest at the turn of the millennium.
In the post-war years, the newly elected Labor government under the leadership of Clement Attlee carried out a marked reform of social policy in collaboration with the Conservative Party. Through the establishment of national insurance and health insurance schemes, the foundation was laid for the so-called welfare state.
Furthermore, the government introduced a higher degree of state interference in the economy, including nationalizations of the coal and steel industries as well as the transport sector. The Conservatives’ reign of 1951-64 did not lead to major changes in the policy pursued apart from the privatizations of the steel industry.
It was not until after the oil crisis of 1973-74 that waters began to separate between Labor and the Conservative Party over the main features of economic policy, and the final break came when the Conservatives took power in 1979. The new Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, set out to break the power of trade unions, liberalize the economy by privatizing public enterprises and open up hitherto protected sectors to competition, as well as increase the role of the private sector as a provider of social welfare services.
The liberal policies pursued by John Major after the departure of Margaret Thatcher in 1990 have been a major cause of Britain’s business structure having changed dramatically since the early 1980’s:
First, the service sector’s share of total production has increased significantly at the expense of industry in particular. Among other things. The financial sector has experienced great progress, cementing the City of London’s position as one of the world’s three leading financial centers.
Secondly, the regional inequalities were changed in favor of e.g. The London area and the south-east of England at the expense of especially the north-east as well as Wales, where unprofitable companies in the heavy and mining industry were closed in large numbers in the 1980’s.
After 17 years in opposition, a reformed Labor, New Labor, came to power in 1997 with Tony Blair as head of government. In his economic policy program, Mr Blair has focused in particular on reducing unemployment through labor market and tax policy reforms and on pursuing a more Europe-oriented economic policy.
The UK has traditionally taken a hesitant stance on European integration issues and first became a member of the EC in 1973, just as it chose to stay out of the EC countries’ monetary cooperation, the EMS, when it was set up in 1979. Relations between the EC and the UK were marked by conflicts in the years under Margaret Thatcher, who had a considerable aversion to the formation of closer economic and political cooperation within the Community.
However, after allowing the pound to follow the D-mark for a short period, the government decided in the autumn of 1990 to allow the UK to participate in the EMS with a wider fluctuation band of +/- 6%. At this time, the economy was on the verge of recession, which is why there was a widespread perception in the financial markets that the pound had entered the fixed exchange rate partnership at an overvalued level.
As early as the autumn of 1992, the government had to suspend membership after a dramatic financial crisis in which there was strong speculation about the pound, which eventually lost almost 20% in value against the D-mark. Since then, the pound has flowed freely, and Britain, like Denmark, chose to stand outside Economic and Monetary Union in the EU. Furthermore, the United Kingdom has chosen to stay out of the social dimension of the EU.
The monetary policy management, which is managed by the Bank of England via a monetary policy committee, has since the failed EMS accession been aimed at keeping inflation at a stable low level, which in the late 1990’s was defined as approximately 2.5% in the medium term. The Bank of England was made independent by the government in 1997 following Labor’s takeover.
Fiscal policy has been based on ensuring sound public finances since the early 1980’s, which in practice has resulted in an objective of balancing public budgets in the medium term. This is a significant reason why the UK’s public debt to GDP ratio of 43% (2005) is among the lowest in the OECD area.
After a significant crisis in the early 1990’s, the economy regained growth in 1993. The significant depreciation of the pound increased net exports, while falling interest rates boosted domestic demand. Towards the end of the 1990’s, the economy continued to grow well, but then only as a result of growth in domestic demand, as competitiveness had weakened again in the wake of a significant strengthening of the international value of the pound.
After 2000, growth has been modest, as in most countries, but inflation and interest rates remain low. Unemployment reached below 5% in 2001, the lowest figure in 20 years, and has been stable ever since. The growth period of Thatcherism had far from evened out Britain’s traditional and deep social divides, but the Blair government in particular, from its second period (from 2001), has invested heavily in health and education, leading to a budget deficit for 2005.
The long growth period has exacerbated the problems with the external balances. The UK has traditionally had large current account deficits, and as surpluses on other foreign transactions have generally not been sufficient to offset these, the current account of the balance of payments has most often shown deficits. In 2005, the deficit on the trade and balance of payments corresponded to resp. 5.0 and 2.6% of GDP.
The UK’s main trading partners are the EU countries, which together account for around 54% of total foreign trade (2005); Germany’s share is 12%. The USA is the UK’s second largest single trade partner with approximately 11% of foreign trade; then comes France.
The United Kingdom is Denmark’s third largest trading partner (after Germany and Sweden). Denmark’s exports to the United Kingdom (incl. Northern Ireland) in 2005 amounted to DKK 45.5 billion. DKK, while Denmark’s imports from there were 27.3 billion. The most important Danish export goods were meat, oil, various industrial machines and pharmaceutical products. Imports from there included of electronic equipment and pharmaceutical products.
Great Britain – social conditions
The social services in Great Britain are based on a reform, the so-called Beveridge Plan (after the British economist William Henry Beveridge), which was designed in 1942 and implemented in 1945-51. The British social system is distinctly state-run. The main components are a state health service, based on the general tax system, and a number of cash benefits, some of which are paid over the taxes, while others are financed by a social insurance contribution. The cash benefits are also administered by government agencies.
The National Health Service provides free medical treatment through general practitioners and in health care hospitals. The treatment is provided to anyone with permanent residence in the UK.
The contribution-financed cash benefits cover all employees as well as the self-employed who have employed employees. They include unemployment benefits, illness and maternity leave, as well as old-age and widow’s pensions. The tax-financed benefits include work injury compensation, disability pension, child allowance, allowance for single parents, old-age pension for non-insured persons and development assistance.
Entitlement to an old-age pension occurs at the age of 60 for women and the age of 65 for men. The pension consists of a basic amount and a superstructure, the amount of which depends on the average business income during the working period as well as on the length of the contribution period. The basic pension consists of a personal pension and a spouse’s pension. The superstructure can be replaced by contractual labor market pensions.
Unemployment insurance covers all employees who have had two years of employment. Unemployment benefits are paid after three qualifying days; the unemployment benefits cease after one year of unemployment, and then you switch to development assistance. Unemployment benefits are provided with a fixed amount and are relatively low, but need-based assistance can be provided as a supplement. The unemployment benefit is administered by the state employment service.
Sickness benefits are also granted after three qualifying days with fixed amounts. The right to this lapses after 28 weeks, after which you transfer to invalidity benefit or assistance.
There are three different types of assistance: Income Support is aimed at people with less than 16 hours of work per week; it supplements the income up to a minimum. Family Credit aims to help low-wage families with small incomes return to the labor market. Finally, there is special assistance for the disabled who are not insured. In all three schemes, the allocation is made on the basis of an individual needs assessment, but the payment is made with fixed amounts. Internationally, this is a rather unique system. Check youremailverifier for United Kingdom social condition facts.
United Kingdom (Health Conditions)
Life expectancy in 1997 was 74.8 years for men and 79.9 for women. Infant mortality in the same year was 5.9 per 1000 live births. Cardiovascular disease was the most common cause of death, but has been declining sharply for both sexes since 1970. Cancer is the second most common cause of death and slightly declining. Mortality due to lung cancer has almost halved in men since 1970, and for women it reached its maximum in 1994.
The country has had a National Health Service (NHS) since 1948. However, Scotland in particular has had a structural development different from the rest of the country at certain points. The NHS replaced a predominantly private healthcare system with partial health insurance and was part of the major reforms that Labor implemented after World War II. The system has undergone a number of organizational reforms, but the basic elements of central management and tax financing have not fundamentally changed. Thus, the country is divided into a number of NHS regions with boards appointed by the Minister of Health; the regions are further subdivided. The NHS structure does not usually coincide with the municipal division.
In 2002, the NHS underwent another restructuring without changing the basic structure of central, overall governance and tax-paid funding. The government has promised an increase in the budget by 7.5% annually in addition to inflation, so that in 2008 the country will spend 9.4% of GDP on health care, ie. more than the current EU average. Furthermore, the government also committed itself to a significant expansion of health education. In the long term, these initiatives will reduce the problems of undercapacity in the health care system and the resulting problems with long waiting lists. Despite the population’s criticism of waiting times in the NHS, there is still broad public support for a publicly funded healthcare system.
United Kingdom – management
Since the 1970’s, Great Britain has had several changes in local government, most recently a major local government reform in the 1990’s, and more are on the way, as a result of the progressive transfer of powers to individual countries and regions (devolution).
In the 1900’s. an ever-stronger central power has been an inhibiting factor for local self-government, which has otherwise historically stood strong.
In England, there have been 35 county councils outside the big cities since 1997, 36 metropolitan district councils, and Greater London is divided into 32 city councils. The majority of the county councils must be unitary, ie. that they must take care of all local tasks; these have in the past been largely outsourced to special bodies.
This plan, which is being gradually implemented, remains very controversial. According to a law from 1998, nine Regional Development Agencies must also be established for resp. Greater London, South East, South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, Yorkshire on the Humber, North East and North West.
Greater London gets a directly elected mayor, while it is (2000) unclear whether the other regions should have elected bodies.
Since 1996, Scotland has 29 unitary (municipal) units as well as the three Island Authority Areas: the Hebrides, the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands. There are also about 1000 local councils. In Wales, 22 unitary councils were established in 1996; there are 730 local councils. In Northern Ireland there are 26 district councils, based on the major population centers.
There are traditionally a number of differences between local administrations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but in general the local authorities (county councils and unitary units) are responsible for areas such as strategic planning, policing and fire, education, libraries, roads and traffic, urban planning, housing and the environment, but can delegate tasks to subordinate bodies such as district and municipal/local councils and parishes.
There is a tendency to offer more tasks in tendering and to privatize. To cover the expenses, the local administrations have a certain right to property tax and income from services, and not least subsidies from the central government.
Great Britain – legal system
Great Britain does not have a written constitution, as the constitution is based partly on customary law, partly on individual laws such as the Magna Charta (1215), the Habeas Corpus Act (1679), the Declaration of Rights (1689) and the Act of Settlement (1701), partly on judicial rules from previously pending constitutional issues.
The United Kingdom is the origin of the common law system adopted by and further developed in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and a number of former colonies. Common law is used as a collective term for the structure of these legal systems, which is characterized by the fact that a large part of the legal rules are judicial – some dating back to the 1300’s. Parliamentary legislation, so-called statute law, has previously been modest in scope, but has in recent times, and especially after Britain’s accession to the EU, become much more extensive.
The court organization is in principle divided into three parts. From 2009, a newly created Supreme Court will take over the House of Lords’ function as the supreme court, see the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The Court of Appeal is the middle court and appellate body for cases decided in the High Courts etc., and located at the bottom is the High Courts as the first instance. In addition, there are a number of other lower courts as well as courts with special jurisdiction, such as Magistrates’ Courts, which primarily adjudicate minor criminal cases.
Some crimes have been made punishable by law, but large parts of English criminal law are still defined by the judicial rules of former times; the same applies to the majority of private law. The law of contract is still characterized by great respect for the free will of the parties, ie. an extensive freedom of contract applies. However, both the courts and the legislature have made restrictions on this, for example in the Unfair Contract Terms Act of 1977. The Sale of Goods Act of 1893, which reproduces the previously judged court, became a cornerstone of commercial world trade and the basis of purchase law in many other countries.. A well-known but distinctive doctrine of contract law is consideration, which, like property rights, is characterized by the special concept of trust., developed by common law courts. Unlike in the United States, juries are no longer used in civil cases (except for injury cases), and the winning party is usually awarded legal costs, including legal fees.
The legal system in Scotland differs greatly from the legal systems in England and Wales in being more systematic and less marked by case law.
The legal profession is divided into barristers, who deal almost exclusively with litigation, and solicitors, who mainly offer general legal advice. The law program is a three-year university degree, which for the most part is followed by an internship period.
Great Britain (Military)
The Armed Forces is (2006) at 205,890. The Army is at 116,760, the Navy at 40,630 and the Air Force at 48,500. 3700 are cucumbers from Nepal. The reserve is 272,550, of which the army’s part 210,150, the navy’s 28,500 and the air force’s 42,900. The equipment in all three defenses is from the 1980’s or later, produced in the USA or in the UK, possibly. in cooperation with other EU countries. It has been kept up to date through modernizations at a pace surpassed only by US forces.
The British Army is organized as a pool of headquarters (1 corps, 2 division and 7 operational and 14 other brigade headquarters) and units of various types in both the standing forces and the reserve. From this, the forces that suit the individual mission can be put together on an ad hoc basis. On the whole, the conventional British military forces are now organized so that they can be deployed in “tailor-made” packages to solve a wide range of tasks inside and outside Europe.
The country’s long – range nuclear force, in contrast to the forces of the other four “old” nuclear powers, includes only missiles on submarines. The Royal Navy has four submarines in the nuclear deterrence force. In addition, the Navy 11 other nuclear-powered submarines, three aircraft carriers, 31 major combat units, 24 less fighting vehicles, 22 mine countermeasures vessels, 31 landing ships and – vessels, 15 combat aircraft (Fleet Air Arm) and a marine infantry force (Royal Marines) on 7000th
The Air Force (Royal Air Force) is a balanced force with 339 fighter aircraft, 7 radar warning aircraft, 25 tankers and more than 66 transport aircraft of various types.
United Kingdom (Trade Union Movement)
The trade union movement in Great Britain is considered to be the oldest in the world and it has been a role model for a large number of countries. Already in the mid-1800’s. the professionals’ organizations were strong enough to build overall structures. The main organization, the Trades Union Congress, TUC, was formed in 1868 and remains the absolutely dominant national organization.
The trade union movement was originally organized around individual subjects, and these often very class-conscious organizations collaborated from the 1880’s with the Liberal Party (Lib-Lab coalition), while the new trade union movement, which arose after a major conflict in 1889, organized unskilled male workers. Small socialist organizations and individuals, Karl Marx’s daughter Eleanor Marx (1855-98), made a significant contribution to the involvement of unskilled women in the trade union movement and in the establishment of the first union of unskilled (general union), Gasworkers ‘and General Laborers’ Union, in 1889. After the more combative new trade union movement had emerged, it became integrated into the TUC. The third wave came with the development of trade unions for white-collar workers in the early 1900-t. It remains characteristic of the British trade union movement that it consists of often very large industrial unions (industrial unions), of a number of unions for skilled workers (craft unions) and unions for white-collar workers (white collar unions) as well as of various types of mixtures. The trade union movement is undergoing a process of concentration, which is far from complete. In 2006, there were still a significant number of registered trade unions, of which 59 in TUC. The tendency to form very large unions such as UNITE (transport, metal and finance sector) by merging with 1.95 mill. members or UNISON (civil servants) with 1.35 million. members have increased. At the same time, however, there are still a large number of small unions with a few hundred up to 2-3000 members and approximately eight medium-sized unions with memberships fluctuating between 100,000 and 600,000 members.
Outside TUC are General Federation of Trade Unions, GFTU, founded 1899, which is the main organization for approximately 35 smaller unions with a total of approximately 250,000 members (2007), several of whom also have branches under the TUC federation. GFTU’s membership has halved in the last decade. Furthermore, there are unions for nurses, teachers, middle technicians and electricians who have increased their membership.
Around 1900, the trade union movement developed a need for a political partner, and by 1900, the Labor Representation Committee was set up in collaboration between various unions and socialist groups to get more workers elected to Parliament; in 1906 the name was changed to the Labor Party. The trade union movement then worked closely with the party, but the connection was dampened after 1994 with the development of New Labor under the leadership of Tony Blair, who wanted to be independent of the trade union movement. However, there are still several major unions affiliated with the Labor Party. TUC does not have such an affiliation and seeks to cooperate with all major parties; in the 1990’s, in particular, the connection with the Liberal Democrats was expanded. However, TUC is only a service body for the unions and cannot take initiatives itself.
Since the trade union movement in 1980 reached a peak with an organization percentage of approximately 55 and 13.3 million. members, of which approximately 12.2 million in TUC, it has suffered many setbacks. In 2006, the number of members had fallen to less than 30% of the labor force, ie. approximately 7.5 million members, of which almost 6.5 million. in TUC, however, with large fluctuations in the various professions and geographical areas; especially workers in the private sector and young workers are disorganized. However, a few more are covered by collective agreements. The decline is due to a combination of the industrial decline in Britain – the traditional heavy industry and mining has been sharply reduced, leading to rising unemployment – and the political changes initiated by the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher, among others. by legally restricting the trade union movement’s opportunities to work to, for example, organize a strike. The New Labor government since 1997 has not strengthened the trade union movement, and it has not achieved its former organizational strength. New Labor has distanced itself from the previous collaboration between the trade union movement and the Labor Party. This in turn has led to an increasing politicization of the trade union movement, which may develop into an independent political activity.
United Kingdom – Libraries and archives
The earliest libraries were attached to monasteries and convent schools, after 1200-t. supplemented by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge; the first catalog is the Cambridge University Library from 1424. The Reformation led to the dissolution and dispersal of several Catholic-clerical libraries.
Thomas Bodley (1545-1613) newly established in 1602 Oxford University Library (see Bodleian Library) as the first compulsory delivery library; since then, compulsory delivery has been extended to five other libraries: Cambridge University Library, The Royal Library, which from 1753 was part of the newly established British Museum, later for Trinity College in Dublin, and from the early 1900’s. the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales.
The country’s three largest libraries are research libraries: Bodleian Library, Cambridge University Library and British Library, the latter since 1973 an amalgamation of the British Museum’s library and a number of specialized scientific libraries.
From the middle of the 1700’s. private rental libraries provided book lending to a wide readership. A law from 1850 made it possible for municipal subsidies to public libraries, and the British library system became, alongside the United States, a model for public libraries in many countries, including Denmark.
The Public Record Office is the English National Archives, grdl. 1838. In 1977, parts of it moved to a modernly furnished archive building in the London suburb of Kew, where extensions have since been made. The collections consist mainly of the central administration’s archives from the early Middle Ages to the present.
Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own national archives, as well as an independent network of regional and local archives. The Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, established in 1869, maintains a list of public and private British archives.
Great Britain – mass media
As early as 1693 censorship was lifted. The first regularly published newspaper was The Daily Courant from 1702. Shortly afterwards, Daniel Defoe began publishing the weekly Review, published in 1704-13. He introduced the leader in the British press and gained great importance for other newspapers and for magazines such as The Tatler, The Examiner and The Spectator (founded 1709, 1710 and 1711 respectively).
|Largest dailies (early 2000)|
|Quality newspapers||Circulation (weekdays)|
|The Daily Telegraph||1033000|
|The Financial Times||445,000 of which 245,000 sold abroad|
|Popular and mid-market newspapers|
From 1785 the newspaper The Daily Universal Register, founded by John Walter, was published. In 1788 it changed its name to The Times and came to dominate the British press for much of the 1800’s. Sunday edition, The Sunday Times, was first published in 1822. Inspired by the United States released Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe) 1896 sensation newspapers Daily Mail and 1903 Daily Mirror, published in large editions; they have later changed their name and are now simply called Mail and Mirror. Northcliffe ran the newspapers with his brother Harold Rothermere. Other newspaper empires in the first half of the 1900’s. was the Beaverbrook Newspapers, founded by Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook), who included the Daily Express (purchased 1916) and the Sunday Express (founded 1918).
There are approximately 130 dailies and Sunday newspapers in the UK (2000); in addition, over 2000 weekly newspapers and around 7000 magazines are published. Nationwide newspapers are generally divided into quality and popular newspapers due to differences in style and content. Five dailies and four Sunday newspapers are described as quality newspapers.
The Observer, founded in 1791, is the world’s oldest nationwide Sunday newspaper, while The Times is Britain’s oldest nationwide newspaper. The newspapers are almost always financially independent of political parties. The nationwide newspapers, the London newspapers and a number of regional newspapers are owned by a number of large companies, most of which are also involved in other publishing and communication activities. It is estimated that over half of the population on an average weekday reads a nationwide morning newspaper.
Fleet Street in London was once a vibrant and famous center for the newspaper industry, but now all nationwide newspapers have moved editorial and printing to other parts of London or all the way away from the capital. One of the main forces in this development was the Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdoch, who from 1969 had acquired a number of British newspapers, tabloids as well as the respected Times Newspapers Ltd. Several newspapers, such as The Financial Times (founded 1888) and The Guardian (founded 1821), also have printed editions in other countries.
Over 85% of the population read a regional or local newspaper. Most cities in the UK have their own local newspaper, which mainly covers local material and is published as a morning, afternoon or Sunday newspaper. London has only one afternoon newspaper, The Evening Standard, founded in 1827. Since 1999, the publisher, Associated Newspapers, has also published a free newspaper, the London Metro.
Scotland has its own national dailies, and here the Daily Record, founded in 1885, has the largest circulation. In Wales, the weekly newspapers include Welsh and bilingual newspapers, and they receive state aid as part of the conservation of Welsh. Northern Ireland’s dailies are all published in Belfast, with the Belfast Telegraph, founded in 1870, being the largest.
Hundreds of free, advertising-funded newspapers have appeared in the UK in recent years, and many ethnic minority groups publish newspapers and magazines, most on a weekly or monthly basis. However, the Chinese Sing Tao, Daily Jang in Urdu and the Arabic Al-Arab are daily newspapers. Muslim News, a free weekly newspaper across the UK, is claimed to have over 60,000 readers. Many English-language provincial newspapers have special editions for local ethnic minorities.
The UK’s best-selling magazines have extensive radio and television programs, such as the Sky TV Guide and the Radio Times. Leading political magazines are The Economist (founded 1843), New Statesman (founded 1913) and another magazine called Spectator (founded 1828). The publishers of the national dailies are grouped in the Newspaper Publishers Association.
Regional and local publishers are represented by the Newspaper Society, founded in 1836, which is believed to be the world’s oldest publishing association. The main international news agencies are Reuters and the Associated Press (see AP), and the main national news agency is the Press Association.
Great Britain – visual art
Augustine’s arrival in England in 597 and the re – introduction of Christianity meant a new artistic production linked to cathedrals and monasteries. The book painting in particular flourished with lavishly illustrated manuscripts such as The Lindisfarne Gospels (approximately 700, British Library), in the 900’s and 1000’s with the center in Winchester and Canterbury.
Middle Ages and Renaissance
After 1066, the Normans brought the Romanesque style to the country; a unique work from this time is the Bayeux wallpaper. Later came the French-influenced Gothic, which was especially expressed in facade sculptures in the cathedrals in Wells and Exeter and in stained glass windows in Canterbury and York; a major work in the art of painting is the altar painting Wilton-diptychonet (approximately 1395-99, National Gallery, London).
Under Henry VIII, secular portrait painting gained ground, often by well-known foreign artists such as Hans Holbein dy, who settled in London in 1532; Holbein also cultivated miniature painting, a genre developed to perfection by Nicholas Hilliard.
Great Britain – visual art – baroque – 1850
The Baroque style came to the country via the Flemish Paul van Somer (approximately 1576-1621) and the Dutchman Daniel Meytens (1590-1647), who came to London respectively. 1616 and approximately 1618. Together with Cornelius Johnson (1593-1661), they shaped the development of portrait art and paved the way for the Flemish Antonis van Dyck, who from 1632 was court painter for Charles I and the most important portrait painter of the period. William Dobson (1610/11-46) painted solid and straightforward portraits of the royal family. The Dutch-born Peter Lely came to London in the 1640’s; after the Restoration in 1660 he became court painter for Charles II and an extremely productive portrait painter. After Lely’s death in 1680, John Riley (1646-91) and Godfrey Kneller became court painters.
Only late did European baroque decorative art break through in Great Britain, especially through the Italian Antonio Verrio (approximately 1639-1707), who from 1676 decorated numerous interiors in royal buildings, including Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace. His successor in the profession was James Thornhill.
The greatest satirist and social reformer of the 18th century was William Hogarth, who was also an excellent portrait painter, as were Allan Ramsey, Joshua Reynolds – who became the first director of the Royal Academy of Arts (grdl. 1768) – and Thomas Gainsborough, followed by George Romney and Thomas Lawrence.
The history painting was handled by Gavin Hamilton and Benjamin West.
Joseph Wright of Derby and William Blake were highly different representatives of the Romantics, while George Stubbs was the foremost animal painter of the period. Among the early landscape painters of the mid-18th century were Richard Wilson and Alexander Cozens, who both painted heroic landscapes; Like Thomas Girtin, JR Cozens painted landscapes in watercolor, a genre that was continued by JS Cotman, who founded the painting group Norwich School.
RP Bonington painted historical images and landscapes, but only with JMW Turner and John Constable did Britain gain a leading role in European landscape painting.
Great Britain – visual art 1850-2016
In 1848, the artists’ association The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded by WH Hunt, DG Rossetti and JE Millais.
Their medieval and renaissance-inspired art had a major impact on British art in the latter half of the 19th century, for example on Edward Burne-Jones; he, along with, among others, GF Watts, Frederick Leighton, Albert Moore (1841-93) and James McNeill Whistler formed The Aesthetic Movement, a beauty-seeking style that culminated in Aubrey Beardsley’s elegant drawings.
Impressionism was expressed in works by JS Sargent and WR Sickert, who was a student of Whistler and together with Spencer Gore (1878-1914) a central figure in the artist group The Camden Town Group, formed in 1911.
Fauvism was taken up by the Bloomsbury group’s painters Duncan Grant (1885-1978) and Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), while Cubism and futurism in the British context became vorticism, a grouping founded by Wyndham Lewis in 1914. Jacob Epstein was not a part of this group, but in his sculptures one finds futuristic stylistic features, mixed with elements from African art.
These stylistic features were cultivated in the interwar years by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, both active in the artist group Unit One (formed 1933), which also consisted of painters Paul Nash and Ben Nicholson, who worked in surreal and abstract, constructivist style, respectively.
At the same time, Graham Bell (1910-43) and William Coldstream (1908-87) attempted a socially critical realism. Likewise figuratively worked Stanley Spencer, whose distinctive painting from the interwar years was continued in Lucian Freud’s and Francis Bacon’s highly expressive figurations from the 1950’s and later.
Abstract expressionism in the United States in the 1950’s inspired Patrick Heron (1920-99) and Peter Lanyon (1918-64), both of whom belonged to the artists’ colony of Saint Ives in Cornwall. The broad brushstrokes and large canvases were continued in the 1960’s in William Turnbull’s abstract colorfield painting, while the abstraction found its sculptural expression in Anthony Caro and Philip King.
In the mid-1950’s, British pop art emerged, represented by Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Blake, RB Kitaj and David Hockney. International currents such as up art and land art got their British practitioners in resp. Bridget Riley and Richard Long, while the group Art & Language, formed by Terry Atkinson in the mid-1960’s, became the beginning of British concept art. Gilbert & Georgesperformance works and Richard Wilson’s (b. 1953) installations are masterpieces from the 1980’s, a decade that also saw the emergence of a new generation of artists, Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Sam Taylor-Wood and Gillian Wearing, all starring on the 1990’s British art scene.
However, the British art scene became seriously visible in an international context in the 1990’s. The reason must be found in the generation of young artists, often referred to as “young British artists”, who, out of the environment around Goldsmiths College in London (an educational institution at London University), have managed to create great interest in contemporary British art with works of often ironic, critical and very direct in nature.
In this respect, the annual media event since 1984, the awarding of the Turner Prize, has been important, as it has put both national and international focus on British contemporary art.
Art collector Charles Saatchi has also played a significant role with his leading art purchases and his own exhibition practice. In 1997, Saatchi’s collection could be seen at the much talked about exhibition Sensation at the Royal Academy in London. Here were works by Jake & Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, SamTaylor-Wood, Gillian Wearing and Rachel Whiteread, all major names on the British contemporary art scene.
Great Britain – crafts and design
From the late Middle Ages to the end of the 17th century, English handicrafts and furniture largely followed developments in the rest of Europe. From the end of the period, Grinling Gibbons’ (1648-1721) woodcarving works in Saint Paul’s Cathedral and the woven wallpaper from the Mortlake factory near London (1619-1703).
In the 18th century, the art of furniture gained a distinctiveness, where simple design, clean lines and tight solidity dominate in practical and comfortable furniture in walnut or mahogany; leading cabinetmakers were Thomas Chippendale, George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton, who also published illustrated furniture catalogs. Robert Adam introduced an elegant classicism with painted furniture.
Also in the field of ceramics, the 18th century offered innovations: stoneware from Staffordshire, basaltware and jasperware by Josiah Wedgwood and ceramics with printed decoration or luster glaze.
The regency style in the early 1800’s was based on the forms and ornamentation of antiquity.
In the second half of the 19th century, England again became a leader in terms of design. The modern design concept was formulated in theory and practice by versatile artists such as Owen Jones (1809-74), William Morris and Christopher Dresser and continued by the Arts and Crafts Movement and The Aesthetic Movement, which found form inspiration in Gothic and East Asian art, respectively.
Among the leading designers around the year 1900 were CR Ashbee, CFA Voysey and CR Mackintosh, who in Glasgow created their very own design line. Among other things, they renewed furniture art, glass, silver, book crafts, textile prints and glass mosaics.
In England, early experiments were made with laminated wood and chrome-plated tubular furniture, inspired by Alvar Aalto. Otherwise, British design only became international norms again from the 1960’s. Designer Terence Conran (b. 1931) launched plastic furniture and handicrafts in his Habitat stores, and in fashion, Mary Quant and later Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen were among the leading names.
From the 1980’s, high tech architect and designer Norman Foster has been an important figure just like Ross Lovegrove (b. 1959) with postmodern furniture design.
Great Britain – architecture
Great Britain – architecture, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
A number of small, towerless stone churches date from the 6th century. From the 10th century onwards, both church towers and the typically Anglo-Saxon, lattice-like wall decoration are known, for example in Earl’s Barton in Northamptonshire.
Until the 11th century, simple wooden buildings such as the Stave Church in Greensted, Essex (approximately 1070) were still built. The Romanesque Norman style, with its simple, massive might, became fundamental to architecture in the centuries after England’s conquest in 1066, thus Durham Cathedral (1093 ff.), Which also houses Europe’s probably earliest rib vault.
The early Gothic, Early English, seen from the 1190’s in the cathedrals of Wells and Lincoln, slipped from approximately 1250 into the richly ornamented decorated style represented by eg Lady Chapel and the octagon in Ely Cathedral (1320’s).
The last phase of the Gothic period, perpendicular style, arose approximately 1350 and lasted until after 1600. Especially the decorative equipment such as the fan vaults in King’s College Chapel in Cambridge (1446-1515) and the open roof chairs, also in secular halls, were from the mid-16th century mixed with French and Flemish forms as well. features from the Italian Renaissance to the Tudor style.
Only with the Palladian-Classicist court architect Inigo Jones did English architecture from the second decade of the 17th century take a whole new direction.
Old English period (to 1100)
The first poem in English – Anglo-Saxon or Old English – is written down in manuscripts from the 900’s, but as early as 731 the Benedictine monk Beda had completed his Latin Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Church History of the English People), of which more than 150 manuscripts have been handed down..
The long epic poem Beowulf about the Nordic chief Beowulf’s fight against monsters has probably been created in an oral tradition on the transition between pre-Christian and Christian times, while it only as a fragment handed down the poem The Battle of Maldon about Essex chief Byrhtnoth’s desperate defense against invading Danish Vikings in 991 is written immediately after the event.
The Book of Exeter, an approximately contemporary manuscript anthology, contains Old English riddles that testify to interest in the metaphorical possibilities of language, and older elegies: “Deor”, “Widsith”, “The Seafarer”, “The Wanderer”, “The Ruin” and “The Wife’s Lament “, all mourning the perishability of the world.
Some Old English poetry is versions of biblical material, such as the moving allegorical poem “The Dream of the Rood” (750 or earlier), which describes the poet’s dream of Christ’s cross and longing for a pure life.
Middle Ages (1100-1500)
The Norman conquest of England opened the English literature to the influence of the southern parts of mainland Europe, but the traditions of the Old English period can be traced back to the Middle Ages.
The Welsh monk and later Bishop Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote in Latin his version of early Romanesque-Celtic English history in the Historia Regum Britanniae (approximately 1135). With the assertion of an unbroken line of kings from the Trojan prince Brutus to the legendary king Arthur and his knights of the round table, the foundation was laid for a mythical complex that has also appealed to the literary imagination of recent times.
In the late 1100-t. Layamon wrote a chronicle in English, known as Layamon’s Brut, about the Arthurian legends, primarily based on the Anglo – Norman Waces Roman de Brut, a French version of Monmouth (see also Arthurian poetry).
The anonymous The Owl and the Nightingale from the early 1200’s, which allows the two birds to present prejudices about each other, is in the Latin debate tradition and perhaps written as an entertaining lesson to one of the numerous but not highly learned nuns of the time, as the rule Ancrene Riwle (approximately 1220) also targets.
The contemporary continental-European literary worship of “courtly love” was combined in England with the Arthurian legends; a result of which is seen in the anonymous story of the verse Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (second half of 1300-t.)
Like other texts, Patience, Cleanness and Pearl, attributed to the Gawain poet, it is a work that rises above most of the contemporary. Where the Gawain poem orients itself back in time to a mythical culture, William Langland’s Piers Plowman (approximately 1380), on the other hand, is a Christian hymn.
The poem takes the form of a dream vision of God’s creation on the basis of the concrete English reality, which in William Langland’s time had experienced both royal power struggle, plague and John Wycliffe’s and his lollard’s pre – Reformation protests against the church’s authority.
During Richard II’s reign 1377-99, English was again the standard language after 250 years of social exile, but greatly changed after significant Norman-French influence. The international orientation of the London metropolis is expressed in the modern English flexible English of the politician and official Geoffrey Chaucer, who in his great works Troilus and Criseyde (approximately 1382-85) and The Canterbury Tales (approximately 1387-1400) reflects the entire international literary literature of the Middle Ages. horizon.
The moral John Gower (approximately 1330-1408), Geoffrey Chaucer’s contemporary, has stood in the shadow of his friend, probably because he had the religious structure in mind, for example in Confessio Amantis (1386-90), rather than the everyday detail and the ironic feints, as one knows it from Chaucer.
The forerunners of the theater that was to flourish in Renaissance London were medieval miracle plays, moralities, and mystery plays. The text versions of the four mystery game cycles: York (48 games), Chester (24 games), Wakefield (32 games) and an unknown central English city (42 games) date from the mid-1400’s.
The popular games enjoyed progress until the Reformation stopped this form of entertainment. Among the many religious writers of the late Middle Ages, the passionate Margery Kempe is one of the first whose literary efforts in The Book of Margery Kempe (1436-38) are marked by an actual autobiography.
The ravages and significance of the Rose Wars for the individual’s daily life can be read about in the letters exchanged in the Paston family (from 1422-1509, but first published 1787-89). For English literature, the collaboration between the author and aristocrat Thomas Malory (died c. 1471) and the printer and citizen William Caxton was to be groundbreaking.
While Thomas Malory was imprisoned for various criminal acts, he worked on the Arthurian legends in eight episodes; these were re-edited into 24 books and printed and published as Morte Darthur (1485) by Caxton, who in 1475 had printed the first book in English, Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye.
With the art of printing, the Reformation, and intercontinental voyages of discovery, conquest, and trade, the century of the Renaissance in England was a changeable but also dynamic period that seriously placed England in a European context.
John Skelton, pastor and tutor of the young Henry VIII, was well acquainted with classical literature, but preferred English traditions and a simple, powerful language, so that learned, non-clergy courtiers such as Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard Surrey, which introduced Italian verse forms such as the sonnet, ottava rima, terza rima as well as the unrhymed iambic five-foot verse, which would later become the English poets’ preferred form of expression.
Thomas Wyatt’s and Henry Howard Surrey’s elegant, courtly love poem circulated in their own time in manuscripts among the nobility, and the nine printed versions from 1557 and 30 years onwards, known as Tottel’s Miscellany, also set the norm for the verbal handling of love in broader terms. circles.
The worship of Plato, which in the Renaissance replaced the medieval Aristotelian-scholastic tradition, was represented by the English humanists Thomas More, Thomas Elyot (1490-1546) and Roger Ascham (1515-68). They combined their knowledge of the language and philosophy of antiquity with an interest in the development of society, as expressed, for example, in Thomas More’s Utopia (1516).
The English Reformation, the course of which was largely due to realpolitik considerations, is reflected in John Fox’s Book of Martyrs (1563), a literary monument to a rather brutal period that also included a translation into English of the Bible. John Wycliffe had already caused a translation of the Latin Vulgate as early as the 1380’s, but it was the translator Miles Coverdale (approximately 1488-1569) who in 1535 provided the text for the first complete, printed English Bible.
A Great Bible, which Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in his 1539 ordinance required the church to use, was pieced together by many different single translators, the most notable of which was William Tyndale, who in 1536 was burned as a heretic in Brussels.
A more user-friendly, Calvinist-inspired translation, known as the Geneva Bible, was created during the exile of English Protestants during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I (1553-58). The more Vulgate- oriented version of the bishops came in 1568, but a final, royally authorized translation was commissioned by James I (James I) in 1604.
In 1611, 54 learned translators were able to present the King James Bible as a work that, however, had many contributions from both the Geneva Bible and Tyndale’s work.
In the secular prose of the time, the enthusiasm for antiquity showed itself. Philip Sidney’s Arcadia (1581) used the classical pastoral as a framework for stories that illustrated the contradictions of life and set the standard for elegant English, while John Lyly’s Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) stretched the rhetorical arc to the breaking point.
Sensation for a wider audience than the court is seen in the novel-anticipating stories of Thomas Deloney (1543-1600) and Robert Greene (1543-1600). A sober, descriptive prose was also used in the many narratives that followed the incipient geographical expansion.
In 1533, Henry VIII appointed John Leland (approximately 1506-52) as royal antiquarian in charge of historical and topographical studies, and Raphael Holinshed collected in his Chronicles (1577) material on the real and mythical history of the nation. They became a goldmine for his contemporary and immediate posterity playwrights.
Richard Hakluyt published accounts of the new worlds in The Principal Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589 and later expanded editions), and he also published the empire-thinking Walter Raleigh’s reports from the mercantile voyages of discovery.
The idea of order, harmony and symmetry between the earthly, with the monarch as the rallying point, and the heavenly permeates the literature of the Elizabethan period. Walter Raleigh praises, for example, Elizabeth I in both prose and poetry, and in Edmund Spenser’s long and learned epic poem The Faerie Queene (books 1-3, 1590, and books 4-6, 1596), a major work in the English Renaissance, is the Virgin Queen also the focal point.
Both Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare also cultivated the shorter lyrical genres, particularly the sonnet, and literary criticism found its early practitioners in Philip Sidney and George Puttenham (approximately 1520-90).
But it was the play that was to stand as the literary center of gravity of the English Renaissance. While the Reformation had removed the foundations of the Catholic mystery games, the acting tradition lived on, but now with worldly subjects.
The first English playwright, John Bale, combined in King John (approximately 1538) and three other pieces of antipapist propaganda with patriotic royal flattery. The students of the Latin schools and the students of the universities were active actors and performed both their own plays and the classics, of which the bloody revenge dramas of the Roman Seneca in particular were favored.
In Gorboduc (1562) by Thomas Norton (1532-84) and Thomas Sackville (1536-1608), reference is made to a mythical national past, and in this prince’s mirror the difference between an orderly and a chaotic state is shown. Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy (b. 1592) had an unprecedented individualized main character and made the revenge drama a popular genre.
Christopher Marlowe explored human ambitions and dreams, while William Shakespeare, the lesser scholar of the two, showed an ingenious sense of drama as a performing art and existential exploration. At the same time, Ben Jonson dealt with a slightly more modest but highly entertaining level of temperaments and character flaws in temperament comedy.
The divided century (1600-1700)
While there took care broad entertainment in the theater houses, entertained Jakob 1st and Karl 1st courts with masques (masques), spectacular stagings of themes that paid tribute to the monarchy and with the court’s own people as participants.
The growing distance between monarch and subjects, which would later lead to two revolutions, together with Protestantism’s focus on the individual, formed the main background for a new worldview and outlook on life.
Francis Bacon’s essays (1597) helped pave the way for a rationalist way of thinking that can be found with different starting points and goals in Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Thomas Brownes (1605-82) Religio Medici (1642) and Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan (1651), who gained his institutional framework with the establishment of an Academy of Sciences, The Royal Society, in 1660.
While the tradition of elegant courtly poetry was continued by the cavalry poets Thomas Carew, John Suckling (1609-42), Richard Lovelace (1618-57), Edmund Waller (1606-87), Abraham Cowley (1618-67) and Robert Herrick, the tone had become markedly fervent and the style radically religiously sought after by John Donne, George Herbert, Richard Crashaw (approximately 1613-1649) and Henry Vaughan (1622-95).
The combination of Protestant faith, classical doctrine, rational approach, and idealistic individualism was found in John Milton, who supported Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth Republic in deed and writing. His reputation in posterity is first and foremost secured with Paradise Lost (1667) and the sequel Paradise Regained (1671), the large-scale Protestant counterpart to Dante’s Divine Comedy.
While John Milton’s epic is aimed at the general public, the period’s many diary writers are a sign of the growing interest in formulating themselves about the private. Lady Hutchinson (1620-?), For example, recounts the life of her Republican-active husband, and Samuel Pepys writes down his swarming impressions of today’s significant as well as trivial events.
The English Reformation had its Anglican cornerstone in the authorized King James’ Bible of 1611 and its confessional dogma established in the Book of Common Prayer in 1662, but it was with the priest John Bunyan’s allegorical The Pilgrim’s Progress (part 1 1678 and part 2 1684), that the more radical-Puritan low-church movement gained its first literary reference point.
The reinstatement – the restoration – of the Stuarts in 1660 meant a flare-up of a court-centered cultural life, and the arrogant, cynical and mundane-weary tone of the cavalry poems is found in the satires of John Wilmot Rochester and in the witty seat comedies of George Etherege (approximately 1635-92) and William Wycherley (1640-1716), whom the court favored.
The seat comedy of the Restoration era continued as the now established genre after the system change in 1688, but in a broader socially defined framework, with pieces by William Congreve, John Vanbrugh and George Farquhar (1678-1707). Samuel Butler’s far-reaching satirical poem Hudibras (1663-78) had a broad and long-lasting appeal.
Aphra Behn, the first professional female writer of English literary history, delivered with a sense of market fiction and acting with bold wit; her Oroonoko, or the History of a Royal Slave (1688) reflects her own experience of oppression both as a colonizer and a courtesan.
The learned and text-skilled John Dryden, who considered himself the nation’s official poet, also wrote pieces for performance at court, and his satirical pen was often used to support the re-established monarchy, including the Catholic sympathies of the monarchs who were on a collision course with, what the still stronger bourgeois England wanted.
Neoclassicism and bourgeoisie (1700-1790)
After rejecting the absolute monarchy with the revolution of 1688 and in the consciousness of a rapidly growing global empire, England saw itself as a new Augustinian Rome.
Both Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope wrote their satires and epistles after the Roman model, while the great nature poem of the time in elegiac tone The Seasons (first part 1726, rev. Numerous times until 1746) by James Thomson had Vergil’s idylls as a model; however, the poem also provided space for reflections on the new worldview that Isaac Newton had introduced.
While Joseph Addison and Richard Steele (1672-1729) with their Spectator (1711-12 and 1714), a forerunner of later newspapers, helped to define the civic virtues of a new age, realistic prose fiction was central to a new mass market for literature.
Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Sarah Fielding (1710-68) and Charlotte Lennox (1720-1804) wrote about the lives and destinies of ordinary people with daily life as a recurring backdrop. Together with Tobias Smollett’s picaresque stories and Laurence Stern’s self-reflective Tristram Shandy (1760-67), they show the range of mass-produced prose fiction that felt so refreshingly new that in English it was simply given the genre designation novel (‘new’).
English 1700’s drama was in many ways a continuation of the seat comedy, with a keen eye for human weaknesses and hypocrisy, as seen both in Beggar’s Opera (1728) by John Gay and in Oliver Goldsmith’s and Richard Sheridan’s development of the witty restoration comedy.
In poetry, the predilection of neoclassicism for the restrained and moderate was gradually replaced by a propensity for the felt that ran parallel to the Methodist low-church revival; it is seen in John Wesley’s hymn collections.
The standard for so-called cemetery poetry was set by Thomas Gray in his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” (1751), but is also seen in Oliver Goldsmith’s elegy The Deserted Village (1770). It is about life in the countryside after the statutory fencing of the poor farmers ‘common grazing areas in favor of the lord’s large-scale operation and about the emigration to the cities’ growing industry.
Sides of the more sentimental attitude are also seen in the worship of the Gothic in prose fiction (see Gothic literature) and the growing interest in folklore, as evidenced by Thomas Percy’s publication of collected folk songs, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765).
The encyclopedic interests of the writer Samuel Johnson, classically formed tastes, legendary diligence and insatiable appetite for life, which not infrequently went against him, have often been used as a symbol of a century that heralded modernity in English literature, but at the same time held on to the classical ideals.
The romance of English literature is in many ways a protest movement, both political, spiritual and aesthetic. Although Edmund Burke called for political restraint in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), the predominantly literary-intellectual mood was in the period of the overthrow of established institutions and truths.
Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man (1791-92) put the radical political agenda together with social philosophical writings and prose fiction of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft as well as poetry by William Cowper. William Blake registered poverty and freedom in a personal revelatory mythology of epic dimensions, and the young William Wordsworth wrote enthusiastically about revolution and the groundbreaking escape of thought, while Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge had plans to create a “municipality” in the United States.
William Wordsworth’s and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s joint writing and publishing project Lyrical Ballads (1798) signaled a break with centuries of tradition for a special lyrical language register and recommended a poetic language that reflected common language usage.
Also Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley idealistically advocated for equality, freedom and brotherhood, whereas John Keats preferred the less direct tone of a lyric characterized by a desire to experiment with and put himself beyond the traditionally given idiom in trying to combine a saturated texture with abstract ideas.
While the lyric explored the imagery’s ability to express states of mind and emotions, the prose proved to be able to deal more flexibly with the reflection of everyday life to which the novel had become exponent, as seen in Jane Austen’s seat novels, Walter Scott’s historical narratives, and Maria Edgeworth’s social writings. in fictional form.
Numerous and popular essays by William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, Thomas De Quincey and Thomas Love Peacock testify that essay writing had also found a form that worked in relation to topics and audiences.
Victorian and Edwardian period (1830-1920)
The energy that characterized British industry, trade, and colonial expansion in the first half of the 1800’s is reflected in the literature of the period. Symptomatic literary expressions are Thomas Carlyle’s hero worship, Charles Kingsley’s “muscular Christianity” and Thomas Babington Macaulay’s optimistic-liberal historiography.
But that material progress also had a downside is evident in the great prose writer of the time, Charles Dickens, who had a keen eye for human costs. While Dickens maintained a belief in the victory of the good, there is bitter societal criticism in Elizabeth Gaskell. William Makepeace Thackeray and Anthony Trollope each viewed in their own way the human comedy of the Victorian era from an exalted perspective, and far away from the socially polarized life of the metropolis, the Brontë sisters wrote demonized tales of rural life.
There are strong reverberations of the romance in Alfred Tennyson’s poetry, which at the same time sing of progress and express a sense of personal powerlessness, bordering on longing for death.
Tennyson’s ambiguous attitude of faith and doubt became characteristic of much English literature from the mid-1800’s. until the First World War and the breakthrough of modernism. Novelists such as George Eliot and George Meredith opposed conventional morality, while the pre-Raphaelite lyricists and the highly productive Robert Browning sought refuge in an idiosyncratic evoked past.
Doubt and longing for spiritual and aesthetic clues characterize Matthew Arnold’s poetry and essay writing, but where Arthur Hugh Clough chose the agnostic position, others such as prose writer and theologian John Henry Newman and lyricist Gerard Manley Hopkins chose to convert to Catholicism.
Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear contributed their reality- and language-problematizing prose and verse from “child height” to children being considered independent individuals and not imperfect adults.
Towards the end of the century, English literature became, to a large extent, an instrument for the exploration of alternatives to Victorian-era implemented bourgeois views of life. A showdown with Anglican Christianity finds expression in Mary Ward’s (1851-1920) novels, and Samuel Butler’s distancing himself from accepted Victorian values also problematizes the Darwinian theory, which gained more and more ground.
With Walter Pater’s cult of the purely aesthetic, for example in the novel Marius the Epicurean (1885), the so-called decadent current culminated, which was the pre-Raphaelite’s contribution to post-romanticism, and which acquired different but still conscious aesthetic expressions from both the Browning couple, Algernon Charles Swinburne and William Morris.
While the novelists George Robert Gissing and Arnold Bennett sought to realize a French-inspired naturalism on English soil, the 1800’s and early 1900’s English novels were characterized by a realism that contained elements of “romance”, ie. features in both structure (eg melodrama) and subject (eg demon) that complement a traditional perception of reality with pronounced fantasy elements.
This is clearly seen in the prose fiction of HG Wells, A. Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Bram Stoker and Robert Louis Stevenson, which was also to form the basis of much of the 1900’s mass-widespread genre fiction. In both Thomas Hardy, whose subdued tone has much in common with the equally gloomy-minded lyricist AE Housman, and Joseph Conrad, this particular form of “romantic” realism sets itself through in the form of a sometimes almost intrusive symbolism.
Rudyard Kipling’s verse and prose fiction is a tribute to the British Empire as a global force of civilization, whereas the empire theme is played through in moles in Conrad’s tales.
The American prose writer Henry James, who lived in England, was interested in the significance of the encounter between different national cultures, and in the equally internationally oriented EM Forster’s prose fiction, a claustrophobic image of bourgeois England is drawn as a prison of the soul.
Although theater was an immensely popular entertainment medium in 1800’s England with melodrama as the preferred genre, new playwright talents were not fostered until the end of the century with Henrik Ibsen as the model.
Arthur Pinero wrote well-made plays on stripe, but with a growing socially and culturally critical angle. In effervescent dialogues, Oscar Wilde impaled bourgeois childishness, and George Bernard Shaw turned upside down adopted ideas and norms.
Both Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and WB Yeats had an Irish background, but only Yeats, as one of the initiators of the Irish Renaissance, gained importance in his homeland with plays in national-mythological style.
The last reverberation of romance is found in Edward Marsh’s (1872-1953) extremely popular collections Georgian Poetry, 1-5 (1912-22), whose patriotic-idyllic tone, like the entire Victorian and Edwardian worlds, was destroyed by World War I.
The literary monument of the war was set in the elegiac and ironic lyricism of the “trench poets,” which effectively expressed the sense of general existential disillusionment which became one of the starting points of modernist English literature.
Modernism and after (from 1920)
Literary modernism in England articulated the feeling of meaninglessness in the wake of World War I, but had many and varied elements. In a purely literary context, the inspiration came from French symbolism, as is clear from the prose and poetry of the American-born TS Eliot and from the Anglo-American collaboration in the metaphorical imaginative movement (see imagism).
The American-British cosmopolitan Wyndham Lewis, James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson, Virginia Woolf and DH Lawrence expressed prose fiction in the awareness of the connection between the experience of the outside world and the literary accounts of it.
The Bloomsbury group and the three siblings Sitwell radicalized English intellectual life in conflict with Victorian norms, and Robert Graves and David Jones (1895-1974) worked on their war experience in respectively. traditional and experimental prose.
Aldous Huxley and Evelyn Waugh challenged with great wit and some arrogance traditional attitudes in a number of novels in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The growing political polarization, not least under the influence of events abroad, generally allied the literature of the 1930’s with the left, as seen by the poets WH Auden, Stephen Spender, Louis MacNeice, Cecil Day Lewis and Hugh MacDiarmid, and the prose writer George Orwell.
Graham Greene followed his own path in a successful exploitation of the thriller’s format for exploring morality and conscience. World War II did not yield such a markedly groundbreaking literary result as the first, but lyricists Keith Douglas (1920-44) and Alun Lewis (1915-44), like their trench predecessors, also captured the horrors of this war with suggestive precision.
During the interwar period, English theater had mainly cultivated the play (Noel Coward and JB Priestley), but with the sober 1950’s, a new seriousness entered the drama. Samuel Beckett’s absurd drama, like its author, had an international frame of reference, but with John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger (1956) there was room for national self-criticism.
The interweaving of socially critical topics and the reality – problematic possibilities of the absurd theater are characteristic of English drama since: John Arden, Arnold Wesker, Harold Pinter, Joe Orton, Tom Stoppard, Edward Bond, Alan Ayckbourn.
Some novelists, Kingsley Amis, John Wain and John Braine, viewed with some cynicism post-war England and thus continued the 1900’s tradition of the state-of-England novel, from the 1960’s eminently represented by Margaret Drabble.
Others were drawn to the fictional possibilities of fiction, such as Lawrence Durrell, John Fowles, Anthony Burgess, AS Byatt, Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson (b. 1959). Doris Lessing, Anthony Powell and CP Snow used the long epic novel in many volumes to map British society each from its point of view, while Paul Scott and JG Farrell kindly followed the British Empire to the door.
Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Geoffrey Hill, Tony Harrison and Seamus Heaney have set high standards for British poetry, which since the 1950’s has been a highly productive but not very experimental genre.
Over the last few decades of the 1900’s, there has been a clear development towards a British literature that breaks with traditional frameworks in terms of nationality, gender, class and media.
A new, internationally oriented consciousness, often linked to a sense of rootlessness after the dissolution of the empire, to regionalization desires and to the sense of the world as a “global village” is evident in, for example, novelists Salman Rushdie, Timothy Mo, Julian Barnes, Kazuo Ishiguro and Martin Amis and the lyricists Moniza Alvi (b. 1954) and David Dabydeen (b. 1955), whose relationship to Britain does not have the uniqueness of the past. See also Scotland literature and Ireland literature.
Great Britain – theater
Great Britain has made a strong mark in the field of theater since the Middle Ages. From the first liturgical plays and the secular farces to the mystery plays and moralities of the late Middle Ages, many texts and descriptions of theater culture have been preserved. Biblical motifs alternated with coarse-grained scenes in these games, which were performed simultaneously, i.e. at the same time, by the artisan laves on chariots in processions. In the moralities, virtues and vices were personified in edifying settings for the people as in The Castell of Perseverance (approximately 1425) or the Dutch-translated Everyman. But also Roman classics like Plautus and Seneca were performed in the more learned college and university environments.
During the Renaissance under Elizabeth I, theater life flourished in earnest and laid the groundwork for the international fame of British theater. Classical and national narratives often formed the basis of contemporary tragedies and comedies performed by professional troops associated with the court or nobility. The interim stage productions prevented actual theater houses from being designed to make the performance of plays a profitable business. The plays were performed with strong sympathy from the audience on the floor stands in the open theater houses and in the covered lodges on the floors, first in The Theater (1576) and later in The Globe Theater(1599) on the outskirts of London. In this lush theatrical setting, one of history’s greatest playwrights, William Shakespeare, worked and created his works with both philosophical insight, linguistic virtuosity, and a sense of the theatre’s demands for suspense, humor, and entertainment; Shakespeare himself was an actor and knew the means of his profession. Although the theater of the time did not allow women on stage, but had the female figures produced by young men, he managed to portray most of the facets of human life both in the relations of the sexes and in the struggles of power. Shakespeare was not only in Elizabethan theater, but competed with playwrights such as Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, John Ford (c. 1586-c. 1639) and John Webster, just as the Italian stage machinery was introduced to the aristocracy by Inigo Jones in the so-called masques. (mask play), which can be seen as the transition from masquerades to later ballet theater.
After a long puritanical period during Cromwell’s Civil War and after the theaters closed in 1642-60, a new heyday arose with the Restoration period. French classicism inspired John Dryden (An Essay of Dramatick Poetry, 1668 and the tragedy All For Love, 1677), while seat comedies with daring intrigues and witty revelations of human performance in the upper classes, by playwrights such as William Congreve, William Wycherley (1640- 1716) and George Farquhar (1678-1707), gained a hearing in response to Puritanism and provided space for women on the indoor scenes (Drury Lane, 1643), which now emerged.
In the 1700’s. continued interest in the light and elegant comedy with RB Sheridan The School for Scandal (1777) and Oliver Goldsmith as the greatest writers alongside John Gay (The Beggar’s Opera, 1728) and George Lillos’ (1693-1739) bourgeois drama (The London Merchant, 1731). In 1765, Sadler’s Wells Theater received a new theater building, later home to the Royal Ballet. 1700-t. became at the same time the starting point for the actors’ central position in British theater, led by big names such as David Garrick and Edmund Kean.
In the 1800’s. continued this acting tradition with Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, while the drama of the Romantic era stood in the shadow of poetry and only really unfolded again in the last decade, and then with two Irish-born playwrights: Oscar Wilde, who with his poignant wit and satirical distance built on the restoration comedy, and George Bernard Shaw, who mastered both the Ibsen-inspired, socially critical discussion drama and the spirited comedy. At the turn of the century, WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan introduced their entertaining musical theater tradition (HMS Pinafore, 1878, The Mikado, 1885), which became a forerunner of today’s British musical. In the field of scenography, however, Ellen Terry’s son Gordon Craig appeared at the turn of the century as the great stylistic innovator with greater influence abroad than at home.
The beginning of the 1900’s was marked by the well-made playat the many West End theaters in London with playwrights such as Noel Coward and Terence Rattigan (1911-77), who carried British comedy traditions further in the play, while the more literary drama was cultivated by TS Eliot and Christopher Fry. In 1932, the Shakespeare Memorial Theater was established in the national poet’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, where he had been occasionally celebrated, first by David Garrick in 1769. From the mid-1950’s, a new heyday of British theater emerged, partly with the introduction of the so-called absurdists (the Irishman Samuel Beckett and the Romanian Eugène Ionesco), partly through a new wave of British playwrights, the “angry young men” (John Osborne, Arnold Wesker, Edward Bond) with a socially engaged drama and with Harold Pinter as a kind of link between the social and the absurd.Old Vic in 1963 under the direction of the then leading actor, Laurence Olivier, and for the construction of the new National Theater in 1976. At the same time, the Shakespeare tradition was renewed at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in London and Stratford-upon-Avon under the direction of directors Peter Hall and Trevor Nunn. In 1982, RSC got a new theater in the Barbican Center, just as in 1997 a faithful copy of the Globe Theater in London was inaugurated.
Around the year 2000, a flourishing musical wave with Andrew Lloyd Webber at the helm of London’s West End is seen side by side with a new generation of playwrights, such as Sarah Kane (1971-1999) and Mark Ravenhill, who have broken through at the smaller fringe theaters and Royal Court Theater, which throughout the 1900’s. has been home to the innovations of diverse British theater life.
Great Britain – film
The French Lumière brothers directed the first film screening in London in 1896, but British film pioneers designed the apparatus themselves and soon made inventive and original films, such as GA Smiths (1864-1959), Grandma’s Reading Glass (1900) and Cecil Hepworths (1874-1953).) Rescued by Rover (1905). British film, however, lagged behind from approximately 1910
In the late 1920’s came a certain revival with Anthony Asquith and especially Alfred Hitchcock, whose talent for cinematic suspense was already seen in The Lodger (1926, The London Mystery). Hitchcock took audio file while opportunities up in Blackmail (1929 kidnap) and his action movies, such as The 39 Steps (1935, The 39 Steps) and The Lady Vanishes (1938, A Woman disappears), made him a British film’s most successful filmmaker in he traveled to the United States in 1939.
In the 1930’s, it succeeded in partially curbing Hollywood’s dominance with quota legislation, just as singing films with roots in the music-hall tradition became popular. Producer Alexander Korda was successful with The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933, Henry the Eighth’s Private Life) and continued with pompous costume films aimed at the American market.
At the same time, at the initiative of John Grierson, a state-sponsored documentary film production began, and classics such as Night Mail (1936) made British documentary film a model. During World War II, a number of emergency films were produced, and the war was also the subject of many feature films, such as Noel Coward and David Leans In Which We Serve (1942, The Sea is Our Destiny).
In the post-war years came several major works, including Laurence Oliviers Hamlet (1948) and Carol Reeds The Third Man (1949, The Third Man), the partner couple Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger made overstretched technicolor dramas, among others. The Red Shoes (1948, The Red Shoes), and David Lean distinguished himself as one of the most prominent filmmakers with Brief Encounter (1945, The brief meeting) and Oliver Twist (1948). The Ealing studio, led by Michael Balcon, became famous for his subtle comedies, such as Whiskey Galore(1949, Lots of Whiskey) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949, Seven Little Sins). In the 1950’s, Hammerstudiet similarly became known for its horror films.
Based on the documentary movement Free Cinema and new socially critical literature, original, socially engaged directors emerged in the late 1950’s, often associated with the new wave in France, among others. Tony Richardson, Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson.
In the 1960’s, Richard Lester’s Beatles films and the James Bond series, produced in close collaboration with Hollywood, enjoyed great international success. British film production benefited from the capital injection from the United States, but from 1970, declining investment and fewer cinema visits led to a deep crisis. At the same time, however, the prominent social realists Ken Loach and Mike Leigh and the extravagant stylists Ken Russell and Nicolas Roeg emerged.
Producer David Puttnam played an important role in British film’s short-lived success wave around 1980 with a number of commercial film-trained directors, including Alan Parker, brothers Ridley and Tony Scott as well as Hugh Hudson (b. 1936), whose Chariots of Fire (1981, The Will to Victory) won an Oscar. The television company Channel Four invested in film production and created the basis for a number of acclaimed films, such as Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette (1985, My Beautiful Laundry). Deliberately aestheticizing directors like Derek Jarman, Peter Greenaway, Terence Davies (b. 1945) and Sally Potter (b. 1949) created a number of notable films. The British tradition of tasteful costume film is continued in films like James Ivorys A Room with a View (1986 View Room), Ang Lee (b. 1954) Sense and Sensibility (1995, Reason and feeling) and John Madden (b. 1949) Shakespeare in Love (1998).
During the 1990’s, film production almost doubled, due to increased public subsidies and international hits. The romantic comedy with a special British flavor had a major international breakthrough with Mike Newell’s (b. 1942) Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994, Four Weddings and a Funeral), followed by Notting Hill (1999) and Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001, Bridget Jones’ Diary). A group of films based on the British working class with humor and warmth achieved a similar success, especially Peter Cattaneo’s (b. 1964) stripper comedy The Full Monty (1997, Det ‘bare men), as well as Mark Hermans (b. 1954) Brassed Off(1996) and Stephen Daldrys (b. 1961) Billy Elliott (2000). Since 2000, the American-funded but British-made Harry Potter series (since 2001) has been prominent. In the field of animation, the studio Aardman Animations has become famous for their modeling wax films, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005, Walter and the Faithful – The Great Vegetable Cup).
Renewal with a young, dynamic expression was seen in Danny Boyle’s humorous junkie portrayal Trainspotting (1997) and in Guy Ritchie’s (b. 1968) crime comedies, as well as Jonathan Glazers’ (b. 1965) crime thriller Sexy Beast (2000). Mike Leigh and Ken Loach are both still artistically prominent; the same goes for the versatile Michael Winterbottom.
Britain – the British crime genre
British culture has a special tradition of crime fiction that has characterized both literature, film and television. After pioneers such as Wilkie Collins, whose novel The Moonstone (1868, then the Moonstone, 1920) is considered the first real crime novel, and Dickens, whose last work was the unfinished crime novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870, then Edwin Drood’s Secret)), the genre reached a climax with Conan Doyle, whose novels and short stories about Sherlock Holmes (ed. 1887-1927) present a type of detective who, through shrewd use of inductive methods, solves crimes that are often part of complicated puzzle-like intrigues. In the early 1900-t. the main character was the extremely productive Edgar Wallace, but since then the detective novel has followed in Sherlock Holmes’ footsteps with related detectives with Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple), Dorothy L. Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey) and most recently with PD James (Adam Dalgliesh). The characters have not least retained their popularity through film and television.
Another direction that has characterized British crime fiction is the spy and agent genre with writers such as Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, John Le Carré, Len Deighton, Ian Fleming and Frederick Forsyth. This also includes several of Hitchcock’s films from the 1930’s, including The 39 Steps (1935, The 39 Steps), Carol Reeds The Third Man (1949, The Third Man) with screenplay by Greene as well as the entire series of James Bond films (1962-), based on Fleming’s books; in addition, successful TV series have been made about le Carré, eg Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979, The Spy Who Came Into the Circle) and Smiley’s People (1982, Till Death Do You Divide), and two American film adaptations (1973, 1997) of Forsyth’s breakthrough novel, The Day of the Jackal (1971, The Jackal, 1972).
Great Britain – dance
In the 18th century, a number of action ballets were created in London, including by John Weaver (1673-1760), and in the following centuries there was a lively dance activity in the town, especially with guest dancers from outside.
In the 1840’s, the romantic ballet was introduced, but the entertaining dominated, with Pas de Quatre (1845), in which the most celebrated ballerinas of the period danced. In the late 1800’s, ballet life concentrated on the amusement establishments Alhambra (1871) and The London Empire (1884). Eventually, the Danish-British ballerina Adeline Genée became the attraction from 1897.
The openness to foreign dance continued in the 20th century, in parallel with London having its own dance life. Ninette de Valois (b. 1898) founded a school in 1926. From here the dancers came to The Vic-Wells Ballet, which later became The Sadler’s Wells Ballet, which in 1946 moved to Covent Garden and in 1956 became The Royal Ballet. Here Frederick Ashton was the main choreographer and became ballet master in 1963, replaced 1970-77 by Kenneth MacMillan. Later ballet masters are Norman Morrice (1977-86) followed by Anthony Dowell (1986-2001). From 2003 Monica Mason is ballet master.
In 1920, the Polish-British Marie Rambert opened a school, which in 1930 led to The Ballet Club, from 1935 Ballet Rambert. Ninette de Valois and Marie Rambert both came from Diaghilev ‘s Ballets Russes, as did Alicia Markova (1910-2004) and Anton Dolin (1904-83), who in 1951 created the London Festival Ballet, from the 1989 English National Ballet.
In the mid-1950’s, London opened up to “the new dance” with the London Contemporary Dance School and the London Contemporary Dance Theater giving their first performance in 1967.
Modern choreographers such as Richard Alston (b. 1948), Christopher Bruce, Michael Clark (b. 1962) and the Danish Kim Brandstrup and not least the very popular Matthew Bourne, who connects the classical with the modern, appeared.
Powerful groups such as Lloyd Newsons (b. 1957) DV8 Physical Theater, founded in 1986, have also helped to make London an interesting dance city with the theater The Place as its inspiring center. Outside London, the major companies are the Scottish Ballet and the Birmingham Ballet.
Great Britain – dance – folk dance
England’s major contribution to European dance culture is country dances. Their popularity was strengthened by John Playford’s (1623-approx. 1669) collection The English Dancing-Master, published in 1651. In the 18th century, they developed into fashion dances in Scotland and Ireland.
Around 2000, morris dance and sword dance are performed as a show dance on traditional holidays such as Christmas, May 1 and Pentecost as well as in social contexts.
Jig is widespread throughout the UK and is part of morris and step dance. Step and clog dance, which is danced with shoes with wooden soles, occurs especially in competitions and existed in an unbroken tradition until World War II (eg Lancashire Clog Dance).
Characteristic of these dances are rapid heel and toe stamping in complex and syncopated rhythms as well as sliding steps. The same family includes skill dances with jumping over a stick, broom dance or the like
The male dance hornpipe has roots in the maritime culture; it became very popular in the 19th century as a stage dance (Sailor’s Hornpipe) and gained status as an English national dance. Other important dance forms are real, square dance and couple dance. In the early 1900’s, the revival movement and Cecil Sharp’s folk dance collections contributed to the transmission of the dances.
Great Britain – sports
Britain played the central role in the expansion of the modern sports movement in the late 1800’s, when sports were made widely available, nationally organized and commercially mature. The English public schools, in contrast to the continent’s various gymnastics systems, developed their own form of physical activity for the youth (games and sports), where especially the ball games, especially cricket, football and rugby, were highlighted for their character building among the athletes.
The sport was given the status of moral discipline (sportsmanship), also in relation to the colonies of the empire, see sport. The first official meeting of the empire’s athletes took place as part of the coronation celebrations for George V in 1911, and since 1930, the Commonwealth Games have been held every four years.
As a ball-playing nation, the UK has made a name for itself internationally in football, rugby and cricket. In addition, British athletes have dominated in motorsport and athletics. The Olympics were held in London in 1908 and 1948, and the city once again hosted the 2012 Olympics.
United Kingdom (Kitchen)
A solid and simple country kitchen forms the basis of British cuisine, but influence from parts of the former empire, especially from India, completes the picture of British food culture. Thus it was the British who brought curry to Europe. Several dishes prepared with curry, eg the soup mulligatawny, must thus be considered British. The close relationship with the United States and the British great desire to travel, especially to southern Europe, has further contributed to changing eating habits in an international direction in recent times. British food writers like Jane Grigson (1928-90) and especially Elizabeth Davidhas played an important role in spreading the knowledge of especially Italian and French food culture, and through the 1990’s, younger British chefs have helped to make London a center of gastronomic innovation.
The classic cuisine includes quite a few specialties from all parts of the British Isles, preferably based on vegetables such as cabbage, root vegetables, leeks and potatoes in combinations with pork, beef and mutton. Among the most well-known are roast beef (beef roast) with yorkshire pudding from the north of England, irish stew (gets long – cooked in a pot with potatoes and onions) from Ireland and cock-a-leekie (rooster cooked with leeks and prunes) and haggis (chopped offal most often of sheep cooked in sheep’s stomach) from Scotland. From Wales in particular come quite a few dishes with leeks.
The British have a tradition of meat baked into pies or pies; steak and kidney pie, i.e. baked beef and kidneys, and shepherds pie, a remnant of minced meat baked under a layer of mashed potatoes, are well-known examples. As in Denmark, salting and smoking have been preferred ways of preserving both meat and fish. Kippers are an integral part of the traditional and hearty British breakfast table.
Many desserts of British origin can be traced back to the 1600’s. They are often based on cream and eggs and preferably supplemented with fruits. This applies, for example, to fools, fruit purees turned into whipped cream, syllabs (wine, sugar and spices whipped up with cream) and trifles (trifles). Also, the traditional Christmas cake Christmas pudding is probably from the 1600’s. Among the British’s most important contributions to international gastronomy are cheeses. This is especially true of cheddar, which is considered one of the most widespread types of solid cheeses in the world, but also the blue cheese stilton enjoys a great reputation.