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Formarea profesională a cadrelor didactice din învăţământul preuniversitar pentru noi oportunităţi de dezvoltare în carieră

Reghina DASCĂL

Program de conversie profesională la nivel postuniversitar pentru cadrele didactice din învăţământul preuniversitar Specializarea LIMBA ŞI LITERATURA ENGLEZĂ Forma de învăţământ ID - semestrul I


British Studies Course

Reghina DASCĂL


© 2010

Acest manual a fost elaborat în cadrul "Proiectului pentru Învăţământul Rural", proiect co-finanţat de către Banca Mondială, Guvernul României şi comunităţile locale. Nici o parte a acestei lucrări nu poate fi reprodusă fără acordul scris al Ministerului Educaţiei, Cercetării, Tineretului şi Sportului.

ISBN 973-0-04114-8

4 1.a ‘blessing in disguise’? The Anglo-Saxon invasion The Viking invasion The Norman Conquest and its consequences A History of four nations? The major waves of immigration Summary Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs SAA No.2.2.9 1. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own 17 languages? British Identity between oneness and hybridity 17 “The way we never were”.2.6 1.5 1.1 Selected bibliography 31 1.1.10 1.3 1.2.1 1.2 1.1.7 31 33 35 39 42 44 46 49 49 50 53 55 56 1 .1. The major waves of immigration What is a nation? The Celtic past and its posterity The Roman Conquest .6 1.3 8 CHAPTER I Ten questions and answers about the British Isles Is there any difference between the United Kingdom and 8 Great Britain? What is the population of Britain? 9 Which are Britain’s largest ethnic minority groups? 9 Which religions are represented in Britain? 10 What does the Union Jack stand for? 11 Does Britain have a National Day? 12 What are Britain’s floral symbols? 12 How do the British celebrate traditional and religious 13 holidays? How many people speak English worldwide? 17 Do Wales.1.2 1.7 1.1.4 1.1.8 1.1.2 1.1.Contents Contents Introduction to the British studies course Unit 1 WHO ARE THE BRITISH? BRITISH IDENTITY – A PROCESSUAL APPROACH Unit objectives 4 6 7 1.11 1.2.1 1.1 1. Cultural icons and their value 20 23 Key concepts 24 Glossary 30 Answers to SAQs CHAPTER II The making of a nation: historical invasions and their contribution to the ethnogenesis of the British.

4 2.2.3 2.1 127 CHAPTER II For or against the monarchy? The tragic death of a princess and calls for the reform of the 131 monarchy 132 Summary 132 Key concepts 2 .1.3 3.1 2.5 2.2 3. 2 Selected bibliography BRITISH MONARCHY IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM Unit objectives CHAPTER I British monarchy – how valid an institution in the third millennium? Monarchy – “an oasis of aristocracy in a modern world” Is the monarch a figurehead? Functions of monarchy.1. plural identities vs.1.2 2.2.7 2.5 2.1.1 2.4 2.1.3 2.6 Unit 3 3. national identities The resilience* of a term: Britain / British The history of an idea: devolution The legacy of the English revolution The Glorious Revolution Dissent and the industrial revolution Home Rule Devolution Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs CHAPTER II Inter-racial relations in contemporary Britain From immigration to multiculturalism A short historical survey of immigration in Britain Racism Racial relations in contemporary Britain and the fight against racial discrimination Factfile: The Lawrence case Ethnic / racial / national / cultural identities in a globalised world Summary Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs SAA No.2 2.1 3. Royal prerogatives Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs 57 58 59 59 63 63 66 69 73 76 79 79 84 87 87 88 94 96 99 101 103 104 104 105 107 107 108 109 110 110 111 115 121 122 124 2.1.1 2.2.2 3.1.2.Contents Unit 2 BRITAIN – A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY? Unit objectives CHAPTER I Britishness / Englishness / Europeanness – hybrid.2.1 3.2 2.6

1 4.2.1 BRITISH DEMOCRACY IN ACTION Unit objectives 132 133 134 134 135 136 4.4 4.3 4.1.5 3 .2.1.2 4. 3 Selected bibliography Unit 4 4.1.2 4.1 4.5 4.1.2 4.3 4. The House of Lords and its radical reform under New Labour A brief historical outline of the British Parliament 137 Life of Parliament The House of Lords in history Functions of the House of Lords Calls for the reform of the House of Lords New Labour and the Reform of the Lords: 800 years of history ends in 7 minutes Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs CHAPTER II British democracy in action: the House of Commons. the thrust towards decentralization Elections Political parties The House of Commons Functions of the House of Commons The decline of commons power and the movement for reform Summary Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs SAA No.Contents Glossary Answers to SAQs SAA No. 4 Selected bibliography GALLERY OF FAMOUS BRITS General Bibliography 140 143 145 147 148 153 153 156 157 157 160 163 166 171 173 174 174 177 179 180 181 184 4.2.4 137 CHAPTER I A brief historical outline of the British Parliament.2.1.

and a number of key-words and cultural concepts are to be found in all of them. Thus you will be able to take responsibility for your own 4 . Throughout the course you are given ample opportunities to critically reflect on the new material and new ideas presented by solving the tasks assigned: Think First and SAQs (you can compare your answers to questions with answers provided at the end of each unit or chapter). globalization. on your own. to permanently encourage you to resort to your own life and cultural experience. The course attempts to mentally equip you with new. You are also asked to collect your answers and include them in a portfolio so as to be able to ask for clarification or discuss your answers during the tutorials. Every unit and chapter specify in their objectives the skills and competences targeted and that is what you will actually be able to do after you have covered a certain unit. The main objective of the tasks is to help you make use of and integrate previously acquired knowledge and skills and to discover. The main goal of all these units is to enable you to identify and critically relate to fundamental aspects of contemporary British society such as cultural identity. the ethnogenesis* of the British people. The new concepts are not only presented in a summary at the end of each unit and sub-unit but also defined in the Glossary section (the words and concepts to be defined are marked with an asterisk *). nationalism vs. It is also the goal of this course to stimulate you to go beyond simplifying and reductionist* oppositions such as national identity vs. more integrative approaches and strategies of analysing the phenomena of the contemporary world. to engage in a civilized and meaningful dialogue of ideas. The four units are interconnected. The content and the themes of the units are not meant to stimulate mechanical reproduction but first and foremost to challenge and question your received notions and judgments. Pictures of important personalities and institutions are also provided. The heroes and heroines of our ‘story’ are featured in the Gallery of Famous Brits at the end of the course (the personalities whose pictures you can see in the Gallery are marked with the symbol *). expand concepts and also integrate the knowledge and these skills at various levels of the curricular area. multiculturalism. to your values and mind-sets. traditional political and cultural institutions currently undergoing radical changes. compare. Further on. enabling you to analyse. to base your assumptions on logical arguments and facts and thus to steer clear of emotional side-taking.Introduction Introduction to the British studies course The British Studies Course is structured in four units divided in turn into chapters and subchapters. such acquisitions and skills will help you to make more sense of your own society and its mechanisms in the age of globalization. Should you fail to provide the correct answer you will be asked to reread certain subchapters or pages so as to succeed. new concepts. Throughout the course you will be stimulated to construct logical argumentation. multiculturalism.

linguistic and sociocultural perspectives • The making of a nation: historical invasions and their contribution to the ethnogenesis of the British. plural identities • Inter-racial relations in contemporary Britain UNIT 3: British monarchy in the third millennium • British monarchy . as agreed upon with your tutor. 5 . the thrust towards decentralization Instruments of evaluation At the end of each unit you will be asked to submit a test paper to your tutor who will check it and return it to you complete with feed-back and valid an institution in the third millennium? • For or against the monarchy? UNIT 4: British democracy in action • A brief historical outline of the British Parliament. on the other hand. British democracy in action The units are further subdivided into the following chapters: UNIT 1: Who are the British? British identity – a processual approach • Ten questions and answers about the British Isles from the geographical. The four units are the following: 1. religious. These assignments will either be submitted via snail mail or via e-mail. SAQs (Self-Assessed Questions) are meant to check newly-acquired knowledge. Formative evaluation . demographic. accounts for 40% of your final grading. Summative evaluation accounts for 60% of your overall grade. Think First tasks are meant to build on previously acquired knowledge and offer new contexts for integrating this knowledge. Summative evaluation.Introduction learning process. and competences. There are four SAAs (Send-Away Assignments) to be submitted and you can find them at the end of each of the four units. Who Are the British? British identity – a processual approach 2. The House of Lords and its radical reform under New Labour • British democracy in action: the House of Commons. Britain – a multicultural society? 3. as you will be in a position to monitor and assess your own progress and take initiative for further action. The major waves of immigration UNIT 2: Britain – a multicultural society? • Britishness / Englishness / Europeanness taken as hybrid. provides information on whether you learned what you were supposed to learn after using a certain instructional module. British monarchy in the third millennium 4. skills.whose purpose is to validate or ensure that the goals of instruction are being achieved and to improve the instruction.

1.6 1.4 1.2.3 1.9 1.1. Cultural icons and their value 20 Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs 23 24 30 31 1.1.8 1.7 1.7 CHAPTER II The making of a nation: historical invasions and their contribution to the ethnogenesis of the British.1.2 1.6 1. The major waves of immigration What is a nation? The Celtic past and its posterity The Roman Conquest .1.2.1.a ‘blessing in disguise’? The Anglo-Saxon invasion The Viking invasion The Norman Conquest and its consequences A History of four nations? The major waves of immigration Summary Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs SAA No.1 Selected bibliography 31 33 35 39 42 44 46 49 49 50 53 55 56 6 .5 1.2.5 1.4 1.2 1.1 1.2 CHAPTER I Ten questions and answers about the British Isles Is there any difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain? What is the population of Britain? Which are Britain’s largest ethnic minority groups? Which religions are represented in Britain? What does the Union Jack stand for? Does Britain have a National Day? What are Britain’s floral symbols? How do the British celebrate traditional and religious holidays? 7 8 8 9 9 10 11 12 12 13 How many people speak English worldwide? 17 Do Wales.3 1.Who are the British? Unit 1 WHO ARE THE BRITISH? BRITISH IDENTITY – A PROCESSUAL APPROACH Unit Outline Unit objectives 1. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own 17 languages? British Identity between oneness and hybridity 17 “The way we never were”.2.11 1.

holidays in Britain and Romania. cultural and political aspects of the constituent units of Great Britain. 7 . Unit objectives After you have completed the study of this unit. plural and diverse. draw parallels between traditional practices. you should be able to: • • • • • • • • • • describe and analyse demographic. It aims to clarify the role that the historical invasions played in the ethnogenesis of the British people. accounting for their relative epistemological* value. challenge old-fashioned and counterproductive references to nation-states criticize arguments in favour of a monolithic perception of the British as a homogeneous entity. one nation. customs. linguistic. as important moments in the shaping of a national identity. It is also meant to establish a clear-cut distinction between invasions and immigration underlining their defining and distinctive traits. clearly distinguish between invasion and immigration draw parallels between ethnogenetic processes in Britain and Romania recognize and use specific concepts and cultural studies terminology. one race. religious. This unit also deals in its first part with cultural stereotypes and clichés and offers ways of challenging such reductionist views. It is also meant to rid our minds of ethnical.Who are the British? This introductory unit assumes the form of a questionnaire in its first part. or even as four nations in one. racial. It challenges traditional approaches that view such complex phenomena as ‘historical disasters’ suggesting instead an analysis that views them in their entirety. identify cultural icons. as I think that this constitutes a most motivating and awareness-raising activity enabling us as teachers to revisit and brush up our students’ knowledge of Britain and things British. identify the specific contribution of various ethnic groups to the moulding of a plural identity confidently talk about British identity as hybrid. and national purism.

1.Who are the British? 1.1 Is there any difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain? Think First! You might wish to look at a map or try to remember which are the parts of Great Britain. This will certainly help you to answer the question.1 A Map of the United Kingdom 8 . Use the space provided below to write your answer.1 Ten questions and answers about the British Isles 1. Figure 1.

Who are the British? We generally use the term Britain informally to mean the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.2 What is the population of Britain? According to the last census* of 2001. the British government is responsible for their defence and international relations. Scotland. The United Kingdom is made up of the countries of England. Can you mention any of the rock. Please include your answer in your portfolio for easy access to matters that need further clarification and discussion during the tutorials.1. hip-hop and pop artists. fashion trends. Great Britain is the largest island of the British Isles.1. Jersey. Alderney and Sark) are not part of the United Kingdom. 1. film stars or football players belonging to ethnic minority groups? Please use the space provided below to write down your answer. Nevertheless. the population of the UK rose to almost 59 million people (it has more than doubled since the beginning of the 20th century) and the segment of population that has increased most dramatically is that of the ethnic minorities (from 6% of the total population in 1991 to 9% in 2001). Scotland and Wales.3 Which are Britain’s largest ethnic minority groups? Think First! Before you answer this question reflect for a minute on the unique contribution that the ethnic minorities have made over recent decades to the overall picture of British society today. Wales and Northern Ireland and its full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. They are largely self-governing with their own legislative assemblies and systems of law. Being made up of England. whilst Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic form the second largest island. famous novelists. The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (Guernsey. 9 . 1.

to joke about such a question? Your answer is based on your personal experience and it would be a good idea to include it in your portfolio and discuss it with your classmates and tutor.4 What religions are represented in Britain? Think First! Before you answer the question could you take some time and think back to the census we had in Romania three years ago? What did you experience when the census clerk asked what your religious faith was? Were you tempted. Pakistanis and Bangladeshis (altogether 2 million people). Australians. Greek and Turkish Cypriots.1.Who are the British? The largest ethnic minority is that of the Afro-Caribbeans (over 1. 10 . followed by Indians.000). Poles. London boasts the largest ethnic population amongst all European cities (ethnic minority groups representing 27% of its total population). people from the USA and Canada are also resident in Britain.300. Italians. even for a second. New Zealanders. Considerable numbers of Chinese. 1.

who are no longer a nation of church-goers -. The Sikh* community is also quite substantial. while half of the population is Protestant. that is the church legally recognised as the official church of the state. whilst the Jewish faith and several other religions are also represented. 0. the white diagonal cross of St. hence there is no Established Church.the Established Church. The Presbyterian Church is the Established Church of Scotland. Patrick.7% of the British -. for Ireland.declared their religion to be ‘Jedi’*. for England. The crosses that appear on the union Flag are those of the three patron saints of the constituent countries: the red cross of St.5 million people and over 600 mosques and prayer centres. Manchester and Birmingham.Who are the British? Several religions are represented in Britain. One British citizen in 10 is Roman-Catholic and there are almost 2 million members of the Anglican Church -. on a white ground. on a white ground. In Wales the Anglican religion was disestablished in 1920. According to the latest census. on a blue ground and the red diagonal cross of St.over 1. Andrew.2 The Union Jack 1.1. mostly concentrated in London. There are over 160 Hindu temples in the UK. In Northern Ireland nearly 40% are Catholic. for Scotland. George. Britain also boasts one of the largest Muslim communities in Western Europe . 11 . some of them in jest but quite a few of them in response to an online campaign that urged British people to register as Jedi since 10.000 recordings of it would render the religion of the Jedi… official. Figure 1. but Methodism and Baptism are the two most widespread religions.5 What does the Union Jack stand for? Among the most cherished national symbols we should mention the Union Flag or as it is commonly known. the Union Jack (which derives its name from its use on the jack-staff of naval vessels to show their nationality) which brings together and embodies the emblems of its three constituent units.

Andrew’s Day (30 November). It is customary to display the three flowers beneath the shield on the royal coat of arms*. but it is of course widely used throughout Wales. The military saint’s name. David’s Day (1 March) is the national day of Wales. Born in Britain.1. 1. St Patrick’s Day (17 March) is the national day of Northern Ireland.6 Does Britain have a National Day? Scotland’s national day is St. Henry of Lancaster inaugurated the Tudor dynasty and married Elizabeth of York.7 What are Britain’s floral symbols? The national flower of England is the rose and it has been adopted as an emblem since the time of the Wars of Roses (14551485). The Scottish national flower is the thistle*.1. Patrick was a vital factor in the spread of Christianity in Celtic Ireland in the 5th century. Patrick.Who are the British? The final version of the Union Flag appeared in 1801 when the union of Great Britain with Ireland was completed with the inclusion of the cross of St. 12 . “The fiery dragon of Wales” on a field of white and green is not represented on the Union Jack since Wales was already united with England. George’s Day (23 April). The Wars of the Roses were the civil wars waged by the royal houses of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) and that of York (whose emblem was a white rose). George during the Hundred Years War (1338-1453). After his victory over Richard III. The day is marked by the wearing of shamrocks*. and it is commemorated by the wearing of daffodils or leeks* by patriotic Welsh women and men. The work of St.1.8) has tended to overshadow it lately. the national badge of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. 1. St. he was carried off by pirates and spent six years in slavery before escaping and training as a missionary. Thus the two roses were symbolically united in the new Tudor rose (a red rose with a white centre). rescuer of a hapless maid and slayer of dragons had his name used as a battle cry by English knights who fought beneath the red cross banner of St. although Burns’ Night (see section 1. England’s national day is St.

apple bobbing*. and they deserve special attention: Halloween which falls on 31 October is thought to be derived from the most important of the four holidays of the British Celts (first millennium BC) the festival of Samhain. Some traditional holidays recall ancient or more recent historical events or religious festivals. Easter Monday. the realm of the dead.1. although the custom originated in Celtic Britain. Do you know any specific British holidays? After you write your answer in the space provided below you could check it against the following paragraphs.Who are the British? 1. George and the Dragon are still a common sight during the festive season. Ghoulish* costumes. traditional plays based on St. May Day. Spring and Late Summer bank holidays and Boxing Day (26 December). There are six bank holidays in England and Wales: New Year’s Eve. write in the space below what holidays Brits and Romanians might share. Holidays in England are either common law holidays such as Good Friday and Christmas or bank holidays (since on these days banks are legally closed). 13 . Halloween lanterns. a critical moment of the year when spirits were believed to circulate freely between the world of the living and the underworld. pumpkins carved in the shape of human faces (glowing when candles are lit inside) and the custom of ‘trick or treat’ are characteristic of contemporary celebrations of Halloween. Most of the bank holidays fall on a Monday thus extending the weekend.8 How do the British celebrate traditional and religious holidays? Think first! Before you read the answer. It is mostly associated with America today. People had to arm themselves with the right incantations and rituals so as to keep the evil spirits at bay. In some villages and market towns Christmas waits (carol singers) and wassailers (people who carry boughs and cribs of ribbon and evergreen) or mummers who perform old.

customs and ritual practices that have been observed since times immemorial are gradually dying out. dark. 14 . good-looking men) step over the threshold bringing the New Year’s Luck. In Scotland the New Year remains the greatest of all annual festivals. Think first! In our increasingly urbanized world. They enter the house. At midnight on 31 December first footers (traditionally tall. Please do not forget to include this answer in your portfolio for further discussions during tutorials. Give examples of such traditions and practices and suggest ways in which they could be rescued from extinction. It is called Hogmanay and its culminating point is at the stroke of midnight with huge gatherings of people greeting the new year by linking arms and singing Auld Lang Syne (see below). put the loaf on the table and pour a glass for the head of the house and they do not speak as a rule before wishing everyone “A Happy New Year”. place the fuel on the fire. a loaf and a bottle of whisky. usually a piece of coal.Who are the British? First footing is another old tradition.

shrove. 15 . On this specific day all the goodies in the pantry have to be finished off. It is the day preceding Ash Wednesday (a day of penitence just before the start of Lent) and derives its name from the compulsory confessions made on that day (‘shrifts’ from the verb shrive. ‘being absolved’. For auld lang syne. onion. pride of place being held by haggis minced mutton. herbs and spices all boiled in a sheep’ stomach. at the end of this unit. shriven. link arms at the end and sing the most famous song Auld Lang Syne whose verses were written by Robert Burns: Should auld acquaintance be forgot.Who are the British? Burns’ Night commemorates the birthday of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) and it is celebrated on 25 January. Another custom this time linked to Easter and the Lenten* fast preceding it is Pancake Day whose religious name is Shrove Tuesday. making room for the ascetism of the Lenten fast. ‘having your sins forgiven’). And never brought to min’? Should auld acquaintance be forgot And days o’ auld lang syne? For auld lang syne. then check it against the “Answers” section. oatmeal. We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet For auld lang syne! SAQ 1 Could you translate the poem by Burns from Scots into English? Use the space provided to write your translation. People gather in great numbers in inns and Burns clubs. a day of traditional meals. my dear. offal*.

Who are the British? Some villages have won some fame as pancake race organizers. the British wear red paper poppies on the lapel of their coats thus paying homage to the nation’s heroes. attempted to blow up King James I* (the first of the Stuarts) and the Houses of Parliament. On November 5th people symbolically celebrate the victory of order. effigies. as they disagreed with the King’s Protestant policies. which falls on the Sunday closest to 11 November. They managed to store about 30 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar under the Houses of Parliament.4 Guy Fawkes Several weeks before Remembrance Day. tradition and of the Establishment over disruption. Guy Fawkes together with his fellow plotters were executed for high treason. the Gulf War or the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. where many thousands of British soldiers lost their lives in the First World War.which fell on 5 November that year . the day the peace treaty was signed that put an end to World War I (Armistice Day). when at 11 am a two-minute silence is observed at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Figure 1. this money being used as a contribution towards their fireworks.the gunpowder plot was discovered.3 Guy Fawkes meets his intended victim (King James I) Figure 1. those who lost their lives in the two world wars and subsequent conflicts like the Falklands War. The queen leads the ceremonies held on Remembrance Sunday. more recently. The race is only 380 metres long but not a piece of cake for the competitors (women over 16 wearing a cap and apron) who have to run it and at the same time toss their pancakes at least three times during the race. The flower badges represent the poppies that grew in the cornfields of Flanders in Belgium. anarchy and lawlessness. 16 . Children traditionally parade their home-made ‘guys’ on the streets of their town or villages and ask passers-by for ‘a penny for the guy’. stuffed figures of Guy Fawkes are burnt and there are also firework displays. London and elsewhere in the country and when again wreaths of poppies are left at the Cenotaph and other war memorials in the country. Bonfires are lit. The oldest and most famous among them is Olney in Buckinghamshire. Guy Fawkes Night brings to mind the plot of 1605 when Guy Fawkes. law. but before the State Opening . a fervent Roman Catholic at the head of a group of conspirators.

architecture.Who are the British? 1. completely separate from Gaelic. its literary tradition being based especially on Robert Burns’ poetry. a dialect derived from the Northumbrian branch of Old English. Since the Viking invasion (8th century). the visitor can communicate with people from Wales to Kent. In both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland there are speakers of Gaelic (about 200. English is the lingua franca* of the contemporary world as Latin was the lingua franca of mediaeval times. place names and local customs.9 How many people speak English worldwide? Recent estimates suggest that over 337 million people speak English as their first language. The linguistic unity is very much in favour of the idea of oneness and sameness: one nation -.10 Do Wales.000 people speaking Scottish Gaelic. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own languages? Languages belonging to the Celtic family are still spoken in Britain and today there are still about 70. The greatest concentration of speakers of Gaelic is in the Highlands (north of Scotland) and in the islands of the Hebrides (west of the Scottish mainland). the cultures of the British Isles have interacted with each other. has been spoken for centuries in the south of Scotland. 17 language. Scotland and Wales have not lived in isolation. the impact of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Scots. Although people are struck by various accents and unfamiliar words or ways of constructing sentences. Ireland. the consequences of imperial expansion – all have left a lasting mark upon the cultural relationships within these islands. Britishness presupposes the existence of a more or less Standard English. Over two thirds of the world’s scientists write in English and over 80% of the world’s electronically stored information is in English. if not earlier. political culture and religion . 1.000). Although one would expect to encounter many differences in landscape. the Norman Conquest. in the Lowlands. another language of Celtic origin is spoken in Wales.1. rendering the transmission of a cultural inheritance possible throughout the kingdom. 1. The conflict between Celtic and Germanic cultures.1.11 British identity between unity and diversity During the last millennium England. Welsh. with possibly some 350 million speaking it as a second language and a further 100 million others use it fluently as a foreign language. the effect of migration within the British Isles. English is the official or semiofficial language in over 60 language.1. a lingua franca.

Anglicanism is essentially English and Scottish. not least by the Scots and Welsh themselves. the British churches have expressed. In the 19th century the Liberal Party in Wales and in Scotland sought to present itself as the national party. A common religious culture does exist despite the intricacies of tensions between religious cultures in the constituent units of the British Isles. Home Rule (or to use the political jargon of postmodernity ‘devolution’*) has been met with considerable reserve by many. It is difficult to territorialize Methodism in its various forms. being essentially Scottish in numerical strength and stature. But at the same time. 18 . Write your answer in the space below. besides those mentioned above. Presbyterianism is a minor phenomenon in England. and Scottish and Welsh Liberals pressed hard at times for Home Rule*. and the transmission of this British culture does not preclude* the existence of a literature which is more limited in appeal to a particular region or nation. who found this surge of nationalism and this celebration of cultural individuality a major hindrance* to social and political stability. and Liberal Unionist / Labour. Another point of convergence would be the political culture expressed in a party system. created and transmitted a certain sense of identity. as it was everywhere but was nowhere dominant. Today non-church going has become a defining trait of the British religious life. and the nature of British identity might be transformed by a marginalisation of all Christian traditions. which has extended throughout Britain with the same labels: Whig / Tory. A visitor to both Caernarfon* and Canterbury* might experience a true culture shock when confronted with such different cultural milieus*. either by virtue of language or of cultural context. and Presbyterian/Free Church. Think First! Before you read the next paragraph. Liberal / Conservative. At the beginning of the 19th century one could have spoken unequivocally of a British Protestant self-image. Anglican/Episcopalian.Who are the British? This basis for oneness is however not absolute. that would make the British take pride in their identity as ‘British’. religious allegiance* has been far from uniform. One can mention three major ecclesiastical communities: Roman Catholic. try to anticipate the next factor. Despite the homogeneity of this pattern. Even Welsh Episcopalians had to defend themselves against the charge that they belonged to an alien church. which also holds true for other Dissenting* or Free Churches.

Who are the British?

The British identity is predominantly conceived as imperial. The Empire was frequently stated to be the logical expression of British greatness. It was the goal to which all previous British history had pointed: “England without an Empire! England in that case would not be the England we love!” (Joseph Chamberlain*); “If we lose India, we will become a third-rate power” (W. Churchill*). The Empire, being the common achievement of all the peoples of the islands, added one more vital justification for their political unity. The maintenance of unity in Britain during World War I seemed to testify both to the vitality of the British Empire and the cohesion of Britain. But at the same time, one cannot ignore the fact that the very unity of the UK of Great Britain and Ireland was in a process of dissolution. The constitutional settlement of the Irish Free State in 1922 gave the appearance of strengthening a sense of Britishness. Colonial nationalism became more and more demanding and Britain was made to acknowledge the equal status of the selfgoverning Dominions at the 1926 Imperial Conference, codified in the 1931 Statute of Westminster. Unrest in India finally led to the 1933 Government of India Act. It was a measure bitterly opposed by Churchill* who feared the disappearance of the “brightest jewel in the Crown”. Churchill declared in 1940 that he had not become the King’s Prime Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire, but by the year of his death, 1965, that Empire had virtually passed away. Of course the British Empire had in a way only been transmuted* into the British Commonwealth. Although decolonisation, despite its difficult moments, did not cause a domestic crisis, the psychological adjustments which governments and people had to make to the changed conditions cannot be overlooked. The imperial myth that had underpinned British national existence for so long, crumbled, and the general feeling of loss that accompanied it cast ever more doubt on a world role for Britain. Many attempts have been made to define Britain’s essential character. Britain appears to some as a multi-national state or as a national one to others. Its distinctive cultural attributes have all received considerable emphasis and central funding. For many it remains undesirable to seek an integral nationalism, though some might feel attracted to this view. Sometimes people talk very vividly about a federation of Britain as a structure capable of embracing the totality of relations within the island. As someone once said, Britain is a house with many mansions, which can and should contain Ulster (Northern Ireland) and Clydeside (Scotland) within the United Kingdom for so long as this remains the wish of most inhabitants. We, Europeans, live in a world that is equally marked by a quest for unity -- not uniformity -and at the same time, paradoxically, for individuality.


Who are the British?

1.1.12 “The way we never were”. Cultural icons and their value
It is very risky to reduce something as complex and diverse as identity to some images, objects, rituals, behaviour patterns and current practices that we often call ‘cultural icons’. Cultural icons, nevertheless, like all cultural clichés and stereotypes have some value as they are short-cuts to acquiring authentic knowledge about cultural identities. Some years ago the Brits were invited by a prestigious paper to respond to a questionnaire regarding the cultural icons of Britishness. In the Daily Telegraph of October 8, 1995, the results of the opinion poll appeared. When reading the readers’ reactions, what becomes apparent is the difficulty of essentializing a very complex and heterogeneous phenomenon like British society today. What shone through the respondents’ answers was also the fact that when the English are debating Britishness, they are really debating Englishness. Many are inclined to attribute to Britain icons and traditions, which are deeply English. In some cases using Britain for England represents an attempt to find a term that sounds more pluralistic than England. Think first! Before moving on, try and predict what the British have chosen as cultural icons of Britishness, i.e. images, social practices, customs, food, meals, everyday routines that in some way or another even we, foreigners, have come to identify as typically English. Write down your answer in the space provided and then check it against the next paragraphs.


Who are the British?

Some of the cultural icons that surfaced were: vicars on bicycles, thatched cottages*, net curtains, changing trains at Crewe (an important railway junction in Cheshire, N-W England), Brief Encounter (a famous British film directed by David Lean in the 50’s), walking the dog, ducks on the village pond, orderly queues, Spitfires (aircraft flown by the British in World War II), God Save the Queen/King*, Magna Carta*, Trooping the Colour*, the Salvation Army playing carols outside Fortnum’s*, the white cliffs of Dover*, Beefeaters*, Francis Drake*, Stonehenge*, a robin in the snow*, half-timbering*, Marks and Spencer*, .… However, nearly all the interviewees agreed upon five items of ‘Englishness’: cricket on the green, pubs, church bells, The Last Night of the Proms* and... fish and chips. We should add however that over 90 per cent of the fish and chips shops are run by members of ethnic minorities. Other important icons are the motto of the Royal House, the phrase that belongs to the Royal Family’s coat of arms (Dieu et mon droi – ‘God and my right’) but also to the sacred institution of monarchy itself. The present-day Queen can claim a royal lineage stretching back virtually unbroken to the West Saxon King Cerdic* in the 5th century. But if we look in detail at the Royal Family tree, it turns out to have been anything but British. In the 1000 years since the death of the last English monarch Harold Godwinson* in the 10th century, there have been neo-French Normans in the 11th, French Angevins and Plantagenets* in the 12th, 13th and 14th, Welsh Tudors*, Scottish Stuarts*, a Dutch Prince of Orange at the end of the 17th century and the Germans Hanoverians* throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. These foreign kings and queens have made it their habit to marry a succession of French, Danish, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Prussian, German and Greek consorts.


Persian (caravan. Haitian (potato). Not only Dutch. Spanish. Shakespeare. Scones and crumpets traditionally served with tea are both Dutch words. Hindi (chintz). but also Arabic (soda. Maybe no other language is so diverse in its provenance*. Portuguese. whose vocabulary is another example of a heavy ransacking of the lexicons of the many cultures it came into contact with. they eat an Aztec bird (turkey) by an Alsatian tree (fir-tree). a further 10 in Italy. alcohol) Gujarati (bungalow). four in Rome and four in Greece. The legacy of multiple linguistic invasions is present in Modern English. Australian (budgerigar). A last argument comes from the English language. The Yule log* is Viking (and the Yule Tide is another name for The Twelve Days of Christmas). Use the space provided and write what you think is typically British about Christmas in Britain. a supreme celebrator of Englishness. Read the next paragraph to check your answers. Only 10 of his 37 plays are set in England. The sources of Hamlet are a Latin history of Denmark and a story from a French collection of Histoires Tragiques (Tragical Stories). Similarly. ransacked the cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome and of medieval and Renaissance Europe in search of plots. characters and inspiration for his plays.Who are the British? Think First! Before reading on. When the British have a traditional Christmas Dinner. two in mythical Ancient Britain. Toast and marmalade are French and Portuguese respectively. Old Norse. reflect on the fact that people can hardly think of a more typically British festive occasion than Christmas. five in France. Chinese (tea). pantomime is Italian and crackers are French. sofa). The vocabulary of English is a heterogeneous multilingual hotchpotch. Danish and German. Italian. an institution in himself. Polynesian (tattoo). followed by a pudding spiced with sub-tropical preserves. Mexican (tomato). Santa Claus is Dutch. Old French or Latin. 22 . while in England itself the most popular of Christmas carols still tells us of a Bohemian king Wenceslas to music taken from a Swedish Spring song.

Key Concepts • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • stereotype cliché census devolution Home Rule hybrid identity ethnical purism multicultural Commonwealth decolonisation bank holidays common law holidays Established Church cultural icons coat of arms 23 . Cantonese. human beings can and do put on several at a time. Widely spoken languages include Punjabi – 52 per cent of British Asians speak it. We live in a world where it is possible to hold. Bengali. Vietnamese and Caribbean Creole/Patois. Urdu. Gujarati. Mandarin. value and reconcile separate identities.Who are the British? Britain is a multilingual country par excellence. with a quarter of London’s school pupils speaking another language at home. There is a double consciousness about being both Welsh and Scottish and at the same time British or British and European. It is often said that nationalities are not like hats. Hindi. Pluralism in Britain requires expansion of the vision of what it is to be British. Today Londoners alone speak nearly 200 languages other than English.

bank holiday = an official holiday (on a day other than Saturday and Sunday) when banks. There are some accounts of military campaigns that he fought in during the fifth and sixth centuries which are recorded mainly in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. it has turned into a platitude. which is the chief church of England. and the latest from 2001 marked a century since the first modern census was organized. This action helped to 24 . The most interesting fact about Cerdic is that his name is Celtic and not Germanic. Beefeater = soldier who wears a special old-fashioned uniform (which dates back to the 15th century) and acts as a ceremonial guard in the Tower of London. cliché = an idea or expression used so often that it has lost much of its expressive force. Geoffrey V. this could either be because his parents in naming him were influenced by the surrounding Celtic culture or that he was in fact part Celtic himself. Caernarfon = a small holiday town on the coast of NW Wales which is well-known for its castle that has hosted since the late 13th century the investiture of the monarch’s first born son as Prince of Wales. Count of Anjou. Chamberlain. rather than pure Germanic. Canterbury = a small city in SE England. He was a minister in Gladstone’s first government but resigned over the issue of Irish Home Rule. census = an official counting of a country’s total population. bobbing (apple-) = trying to pick up apples floating on water using only one’s mouth and not one’s hands (typical of Halloween parties). idea etc. country. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the head of the Church of England. Joseph = member of the Liberal Party.Who are the British? Glossary allegiance = loyalty. cultural structure of the population. professional. famous for its cathedral. religious. Cerdic = (in Anglo-Saxon tradition) the first Germanic king of Wessex. Angevins and Plantagenets = royal family of England from 1154 to 1399 which included Henry II. often used ‘Plantagenet’ to name his English royal descendants. Richard II and Richard III. father to Henry II. post offices and factories as well as many shops are closed. complete with other important information about the economic. faith and dutiful support to leader. whose successful social reforms made him a national political figure. In Britain there is usually a census every ten years. a leader of the Radicals.

In 16 countries.nearly one-third of the world’s independent states with a combined population of over 1. Thirty countries. He is unanimously admired and remembered for his great leadership of the nation. work of art. symbol. Sir Winston (1874-1965) = English politician who was the Prime Minister of Britain during most of the Second World War. are republics and six of them. Dissenting (churches) = separation from the Church of England of various religious faiths because of their refusal to accept doctrines of the Established Church. for his famous speeches and brilliant sense of humour. Malaysia. Bangladesh. coat of arms = set of patterns or pictures usually pained on a shield or shield-like shape. such as Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. Pakistan. among which only a few. town council. used by a noble family. Churchill. Neville Chamberlain. The Commonwealth = a loose association of states with no formal constitution or rules. Guyana. including Canada and Australia.. university as their special sign. around one quarter of the total population of the world. The second referendum for devolution organized in Wales and Scotland in September 1997 was successful and on 6 May 1999 elections were held in the two countries and their parliaments were reopened after 500 and 300 years. The Queen is recognised as Head of the Commonwealth. India. His son. etc.5 billion. Cyprus. 25 . leaving them independent. respectively. like Brunei. Chamberlain became leader of the Liberal Unionists and in 1886 he formed an alliance with the Conservative Party. Ghana. Lesotho and Tonga have their own royal families common law holiday = traditional holidays whose origins go back to the common law. There are 50 odd states within the Commonwealth.Who are the British? bring down the Liberal government. the unwritten law of England based on judges’ decisions and custom rather than on written law passed by Parliament cultural icon = a person. He wanted to transform the British Empire into a united trading block. like Zimbabwe. she is also Head of State. object. This process was accelerated a great deal after World War II. remain dependencies of Britain. devolution = the transfer (or devolving) of governmental or personal power to a person or group at a lower or more local level. practice invested with special symbolic value for a nation. . with a particular representational force for an entire culture decolonisation = withdrawal of a state from its former colonies. place. also became a leading figure in politics.

/ God save the Queen!”. / Long to reign over us. 26 . London which sells quality goods and is thought of as being a place where rich people buy their supplies and go for their afternoon tea. Established Church = official. pure essence of a nation. morbid. Godwinson (Harold) = the earl of Godwin and his son Harold II dominated the last years of Anglo-Saxon history bringing to an end the House of Wessex (802-1066). half-timbering = an old. He led the English navy to victory against the Spanish Armada in 1588. hindrance = act of stopping. / Happy and glorious. sinister. etc. Sir Francis (1540-1596) = English navigator and important courtier of Queen Elizabeth I*. etnogenesis = the long process of the creation. On official occasions it is usual to sing the first stanza only. state church established by law (in England and in Scotland where the Presbyterian Church is the Established Church). English people say that the first sight of the white cliffs of Dover is a sign that one is near home again after travelling. ethnical purism = a meaningless attempt to search for an untainted. the words of which are as follows: “God save our gracious Queen! / Long live our noble Queen! / God save the Queen! / Send her victorious. especially in the outer walls. Hanoverian = a line of kings and queens who originally came from Hanover (NW Germany) and who reigned between 1714 and 1901. obstructing or delaying the development of a person. traditional style of house building with the wood of the frame showing in the walls. God Save the Queen/King = the British national anthem which originated in a patriotic song first performed in 1745. of a nation. shaping of a group of people. The port is below some high cliffs which can be seen from a distance. epistemological = relating to the method and grounds of knowledge. Fortnum’s (Fortnum and Mason) = a famous food store in Piccadilly.Who are the British? Drake. ghoulish (ghoul) = spirit preying on corpses in Muslim superstition. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. activity. Dover (white cliffs of) = a town in SE England known as a port from which ships travel to and from France carrying passengers and goods. unspoilt by ‘foreign’ influences.

Proms = concerts in which parts of the audience stand. lungs) used as food. Magna Carta = a famous document in British history agreed by King John at Runnymede. near London. plural. It is also used with reference to the nationalist movement in Ireland between 1870 and 1921 when the Free Irish State was established. These performances of classical music are held over a period of several weeks every summer in the Royal Albert Hall in London. homogeneous identity Home Rule = self-government by an area that was once politically dependent.Who are the British? hybrid identity = mixed. offal = inner organs of animals (liver. food. social surrounding. system providing mutual understanding. noble characters that were featured in the popular science fiction film Star Wars (directed by Steven Spielberg). They were established by Henry Wood in 1895 and have become a great national event. The Last Night is a very special occasion when the second part of the programme always consists of some well-loved 27 . and other goods for the home under the name St Michael.Welsh national symbol Lent (Lenten) = period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Eve of 40 weekdays devoted to fasting and penitence. It is considered to be the earliest monument to English freedom and the basis for all further legislation defining civil rights. kidneys. lingua franca = a language serving as medium between different nations whose own languages are not the same. Jedi = good. Marks and Spencer = one of a group of very well-known department stores found in mainly large towns in Britain selling clothes. prevent.5 Leek . Leek = vegetable related to onion. state of life. milieu = environment. make impracticable. heterogeneous identity as opposed to pure. preclude = exclude. but with lower leaves and bulb in cylindrical white form. Britain’s best known constitutional document. in 1215. Welsh national emblem. Figure 1.

Below the motto of the Sovereign. thistle and shamrock -.are often displayed beneath the shield. which symbolises the Order of the Garter. an ancient order of knighthood of which the Queen is Sovereign. Figure 1. The shield is supported by the English lion and Scottish unicorn and is surmounted by the Royal crown. A robin in the snow is one of the most frequent motifs represented on British Christmas cards. Dieu et mon droit ('God and my right') appears. surrounded by a garter. the shield shows the various royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters. the lion of Scotland in the second and the harp of Ireland in the third. The plant badges of the United Kingdom -. provenance = (place of) origin. Royal Coat of Arms (also shortened to ‘Royal arms’) = heraldic symbol of the British Royal House consisting of a shield topped by a helmet and a lion bearing the Royal crown and flanked by two rampant (standing) animals: a lion and a unicorn. In the design. It is surrounded by a garter bearing the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense ('Evil to him who evil thinks'). narrow and limiting perspective robin (in the snow) = a common small European bird with a brown back and wings and a red breast.Who are the British? tunes which the standing crowds sing along with.6 The Royal Coat of Arms 28 . reductionist = an unjustifiably simplistic.rose. The programme ends with Sir Edward Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory and people sing it while waving Union Jacks.

and there are only a few hundreds left in Britain as the maintenance of the roof is extremely costly. substance into another. on coins. used as symbol of Ireland Figure 1. shamrock = clover. 29 . thistle = prickly plant with globular heads of purple flowers. which is wrongly believed to be true in all cases. Stonehenge = a group of very large and tall stones arranged in circles which stand on the Salisbury Plain in S England.are still the subject of heated debate. in churches and on public buildings. The royal arms are borne only by the Sovereign. etc.Who are the British? The function of the Royal Coat of Arms is to identify the person who is Head of State. They date back to Megalithic times (3500-3000 BC) and their functions . They are also used in many ways in connection with the administration and government of the country. They are considered to be lovely and oldfashioned. stereotype = fixed mental impressions. Stuart = royal family of England and Scotland from James I (1603) to Anne (1714). nature. trefoil.8 Thistle – Scottish national emblem transmute = change from one form. a fixed set of ideas about what a particular type of person or thing is like. reeds. Scottish national emblem Figure 1. Male Sikhs usually have beards and wear turbans.7 Shamrock – symbol of Ireland Sikh = a member of a religion (Sikhism) that developed from Hinduism in the 16th century to become a completely separate religion which is important in modern India. thatched cottages = a house in the country with a roof covering of straw.either astronomical or religious or both .

Derived from the Danish ‘yule’. Yule Log = a sacred log. And never remembered (brought to mind)? Should old friends be forgotten. For (the sake of) long ago. my dear. Both the Ukrainians and Albanians call the log that is traditionally burned on the shortest night of the year to ‘help’ the waning god kërcum or keregum ). Before Christian times it was customary for the pagans to make huge fires on winter solstice day to honour the Great Sun at a most critical moment of the year. Tudor(s) = a famous dynasty of British monarchs inaugurated by Henry VII in 1485 and which came to an end with the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. (The most probable etymology for the Romanian Crăciun originates in the ancient name of the same sacred log. Answers to SAQs SAQ 1 Roughly. and the Queen herself takes the salute. For (the sake) of long ago. A log wasvthen taken from the big communal fire and used to light the fire in individual homes. We’ll drink a toast For the sake of long ago! 30 .Who are the British? Trooping the Colour = a ceremony held on the British Queen’s official birthday in June when many horses and foot soldiers march across Horse Guards Parade in London carrying their flags. And days of long ago. the verses mean: Should old friends be forgotten.

However. They increasingly demand that one gains a broader perspective on issues such as national identities. Leopold Von Ranke – a great German historian of the 19th century developed a concept of the nation that continues to carry weight even today. independence or autonomy tend to lose their absolute value.2. Defining the nation as a universalist concept. In the context of the contemporary globalized world concepts such as nation-states. the nation is not only a unifying concept but also exclusive and divisive. What does the term refer to? What does it include and what does it exclude? Use the space provided below to write down your answer. The making of a nation: historical invasions and their contribution to the ethnogenesis of the British. Ranke stresses the role of nations in history and the belief that the nation was a divinely created unit at work in universal history.1 What is a nation? Think First! ‘Nation’ is a concept that we often take for granted rarely questioning its meaning or its appropriacy in usage. It would be a good idea to add this answer to your portfolio so that you could further clarify this important concept with your peers and tutor during tutorials. of the continuous intermingling of cultural elements which individuals could define as cultural osmosis*. sovereignty. Before reading on.2. People should be more interested in discovering here the episodes of interchange. with each nation having its own appointed moment of destiny. The major waves of immigration 1. take a minute to reflect on your understanding of the term. because what we now perceive as national boundaries had in the past little or no reality. It provides a narrow working frame. 31 . stressing a difference between a particular society and its neighbours.Who are the British? 1.

E and W on the map below) as within England and at another to include Celtic Cumbria* (you can find Cumberland marked as CUL in the map below) within the kingdom of Strathclyde*.Who are the British? An example is the border between Wales and England.9 A Map of the British counties With this pattern in mind let us see how the history of the various nations of the British Isles transcends the internal boundaries of later date. Figure 1. The modern distinction between Ulster and south-west Scotland did not exist in the late middle ages. East and West Lothian are clustered together as L. Herefordshire and Shropshire are part of England. which was drawn at one time to include the Lothians* (Midlothian. and their inhabitants are English with all the appropriate mental equipment that goes with it (in the map below you can find them under the coding SAL and HEF). 32 . The same point may also be made about the border between England and Scotland. But in fact these border counties have been the scene of continuous intermingling between the Welsh and English cultures over a long period of time. since the channel dividing the two areas served as a unifying element for the post-Viking society which occupied the isles.

extermination and displacement’. The processual approach highlights. crag. Wiske. the barbarian invasions. exchange networks of complementary crafts and episodes of convergence and divergence. which favours a pattern of interaction between local communities with the subsequent fashioning of a nuclear area. What words belonging to the Thraco-Dacian substratum of Romanian can you remember? Check your findings against the answer given in the “Answers” section. pantheon (all their deities. religious beliefs. the lower status language survived especially in place names: Wear. Scholars are divided on the issue of migration. They reject the theories about the advent of the war-mad Indo-European tribes emerging from a proto-Indo-European fatherland. 1. Such catastrophe theories postulate the utter extermination of the peaceful Neolithic* farmer cultures and the consequent displacement of ideology. Ouse. the Reformation*. Dore. In fact we are dealing here with linguistic and cultural differences. there are many similarities in their tribal organisation. Esjk. especially on its definition as ‘conquest. Don.2. brock. Rye. all derived from Isca (‘water’): Axe. Thames. on the contrary. Usk. SAQ 1 In the case of Celtic. bin.Who are the British? Thus the Roman Conquest. we also have several river names from the Celtic substratum of English. The number of words is much more limited than in the case of the Thraco-Dacian substratum of 161 words. of a style zone. the Celts and Anglo-Saxons. interaction. Many are supporters of an anti-migrationist point of view or of the processual approach*. the Viking raids. This episode is generally seen as an arena for the confrontation of two distinct races. gods) and social organization. social classes characteristic of the configuration of Indo-European societies.2 The Celtic past and its posterity Let us begin with the Celts. avon. Both linguistic branches stem from a common IndoEuropean* stock. the Norman Conquest. combe. and also a few words such as tor. Avon. of continuous development. Exe. 33 . CounterReformation* and the Industrial Revolution* were events that affected the British Isles as a whole and brought about crucial changes in the models of interaction and exchange within these isles and between the British Isles and Europe. London.

the communities with which the Romans came into contact in the 1st century BC were Celtic-speaking. conquest longer than their continental neighbours. Persians and Libyans. a cult of roses. In her classic work. Pagan Celtic Britain. Bucuresti. blood brotherhood. artefacts and iconographic motifs in Romanian traditional society and art. SAQ 2 In her book Urme celtice în spiritualitatea şi cultura românească (Univers. contracts reinforced by oaths with no written support. circumscribed cross. the cult of the severed head. But on the other hand. Can you guess which they are? Check your findings against the answer provided in the “Answers” section. a cult of sacred stones. totemic animals and plants. reinforcing contracts by curses. marriage fairs (such as the famous Mount Gaina Fair). language and art also indicate that they shared a common culture with the Celts of continental Europe. Anne Ross assembles evidence in favour of a common pattern reflected in attitudes and beliefs: a reverence for rivers and wells.Who are the British? The Celts were among the four great Barbarian peoples known alongside the Scythians. the wheel. All over Britain there are also clear indications of a unity of artistic expression. Their culture. 34 . of ritual and religious beliefs. the head considered the seat of the soul. since they enjoyed freedom from foreign. These indigenous elements. written contracts signed by both parties. Three of the items listed below are not Celtic. groups of whom crossed the Alps and sacked Rome in 390 BC. iron-using societies organized on a tribal pattern. underlining the lasting effects of Celticity on Romanian territory. these Celts have left us the most complete picture of their civilization. especially Roman. In parts they escaped such influences altogether and thus preserved their culture in a purer form. sacredness of the severed head (endowed with prophetic gifts). rituals. The British Celts were neither among the earliest Celts nor among those of widest distribution. oaths taken on a hot iron. 1972) Virginia Cartianu offers a comparative analysis of similar practices.

South of a line between Lincoln and Lyme Bay. The southern Lowlands formed a military province with the most Romanised section of Britain. the swan torcs. communication with the underworld through various objects and practices. the horse.2. the raven.3 The Roman Conquest – a blessing in disguise? The Roman Conquest led to a social and cultural revolution. boars. 35 . Figure 1.10 A Celtic torc 1. the crow. stags. a zone existed over which there was military rather than administrative control. North and west.Who are the British? a cult of sacred trees. sacrifices for the duration of a new building. scroll and spiral motifs. various Celtic kingdoms lost their independence and were incorporated into the empire. pigs and sows. temples.

determined some people to term this development prior to the actual Conquest as ‘Indirect Romanization’. Write your answer in the space provided below and don’t forget to include it in your portfolio for further discussions during your tutorials.11 A Map of Roman Britain When we speak about the ‘blessing in disguise’. 36 . it is sometimes forgotten that a process of modernization had already been under way in the south. Think first! Before you read the next paragraph try to anticipate what the great benefits of the Roman conquest of Celtic Britain might have been. the development of larger political units. urbanisation and a wider market economy. accompanied by a certain level of literacy and numeracy. where social change.Who are the British? Figure 1. Think of a similar process undergone by the Roman province of Dacia. and the modernizing effects of the Roman Conquest.

Why were the Baths so important for the Romans so as to name a city after them? A comparison with similar places in Romania will certainly help you to come up with the right answer. mosaics.Who are the British? Modernisation was greatly accelerated after the Claudian invasion of 43 A.12 The Great Bath 37 . Figure 1. central heating.D. etc. development of a centralised road system. of domestic comfort (villas. sewage). SAQ 3 The Roman Baths in the city of Bath constitute the best preserved Roman religious baths from the ancient world.: the setting up of a literate bureaucracy. refinement of manners. rationalization of the infrastructure of settlements.

Over much of the British Isles. The Christian missionaries to Ireland in the course of the 5th century were also agents of Romanisation. and its centre was Rome.. Thus. a process stretching over a period of 20 years or so. it marked the opening up of Ireland to the values of Rome. narrative histories which were eventually committed to writing in the early middle ages (amongst 38 . the most important was undoubtedly Christianity. the Celtic-speaking world survived the arrival and departure of the Roman legions.D. on the other hand.13 The Gorgon’s head Figure 1. Patrick to Northern Ireland and of other missionaries to the southern half of the country is normally seen as part of the history of the Christian Church. The Christian Church was no longer a network of sects: its organization was monarchical in the sense that both the Emperor and the Pope exercised a great deal of power. to old institutions like ‘fosterage’* and ‘wake’*. around the year 400 A. it made Ireland part of the Roman-led ‘globalisation’ process that was going on at the time.Who are the British? Figure 1. whilst a second cultural area including Scotland. these societies still clung to their own rites of passage. England south of a line from the Thames estuary was heavily Romanised. Christianity. to immemorial customs. The success of the new faith in Ireland should not be exaggerated. The coming of St. although the impact of the Christian teaching was very powerful.14 Goddess Minerva Of all Romanising influences. The vitality of local cultures led to the invention or re-editing of origin legends and genealogies of founding heroes. since many traditional aspects of Irish life survived for many centuries. But the ‘splendid isolation’ of Ireland was broken down during this period. however. and in general. Here local kinships prevailed as well as the patronage of local aristocratic elites and. was a religion of the book. The Druids* and filids* of the Celts committed to memory tens of thousands of verses. no matter that it functioned on a restricted scale. so it also brought literacy in its wake. Ireland and Wales was made up of societies still rather heavily local in their outlook. Latin was the sacred language of the Church. There were other marked differences between the religions formerly professed and Christianity. we can easily perceive a contrast between cultural areas. In cultural terms.

the AngloSaxon invasion. shows that kingdoms were won and lost for such treasures. It was a society riddled with feuds. We know from archaeological evidence that the continuous history of Anglo-Saxon settlements actually began under Roman rule. a concept that indicates the instability of political power and dominance in a heptarchy* marred* by internal battles for power) who depended on warfare for amassing wealth.a word used with remarkable consistency in place names: Mameceaster (Manchester) or Ventanceaster (Winchester). The criterion of eligibility for kings was gift-giving or potlatch*. The character of this invasion has to be judged critically. may serve as a reminder that there was no instant Christianization. we have as an extraordinary source of information. complete with massacres and the total destruction of villas. but for many bretwaldas or Brytenwaldas (these were sub-kings. etc. the conversion to Christianity was skindeep. It was a world in which if a king lost support he quickly perished and his kingdom with him. The splendour of the great royal shipburial at Sutton Hoo (discovered in 1939). his followers lay him with rich treasures in a mound overlooking the sea. great scholar and historian Bede (mostly known as the Venerable Bede).Who are the British? the most famous examples: The Arthurian cycle and the Cornish legend of Tristan and Iseult). round the year 400. who completed his Ecclesiastical History of the English People in 731. Beowulf fights with monsters and dragons. The pagan ship-burial of Sutton Hoo and the pagan aristocratic ideas expressed in Beowulf (8th century epic about the adventures and fortunes of Beowulf) or in the heroic lines of the Battle of Maldon (a poem celebrating a great battle against the Vikings in 991). they became the tuns or settlements (manors) of the powerful Anglo-Saxon chieftains. and the succession to kingdoms was fluid and uncertain. the work of the monk. Bede solved the problem by attributing the English victory to the working of Divine Providence. We should also avoid an understanding of this invasion as catastrophe-ridden. a trait that the Germanic tribes shared with many heroic warrior societies on the continent. 1. There are hints at the clashes of different cultures in the 6th and th 7 centuries. It is an account related from the angle of the invaders. When he is killed. The Roman towns were not totally abandoned. who were pagan while their victims were Christian. There is ample evidence that the English knew what a ceaster was -. inhabitants of a pre-Christian mental world.2. The impact of Christianization was important. just as the East Angles had done for their king at Sutton Hoo: Impact of Christianisation 39 . Roman castra.4 The Anglo-Saxon invasion For the next important chapter of British history.

Saxons. Can you think of some suitable adjectives to characterise the AngloSaxons? Checks your answer against that given in the “Answers” section. Cooperation and exchange were not. shires and hundreds (subdivisions of shires. violence and some other features of the Anglo-Saxon world. The kindest to his people. at the end of the unit. as proved by: Offa’s Dyke (an earthwork nearly 150 miles long) built in the 8th century and forming a continuous barrier between Wales and England from sea to sea. each hundred having its own court for settling local business). however. Frisians etc). They said that he was of all the world’s kings The gentlest of men. there were great differences between their kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxons were themselves ethnically mixed. Bede also celebrates the harmonious relations of Ireland with Northumbria. The art of the period indicates the existence of close links between the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria and the Irish kingdoms. Military victory was accompanied by the persistent advance of agrarian settlements and by the development of the manorial system the creation of nuclear settlements. There was also continuous tension and hostility between these cultures. and the administrative division into counties. The sharpest 40 . the sole models of interaction. They raised his name. the keenest for fame. originating in several Germanic cultures (Angles.Who are the British? Then the warriors rode around the barrow They praised his manhood and the prowess of his hands. of villages and open fields. and of Scotland with N England. and the most gracious. they cannot be judged as a monolithic entity. Jutes. it is right a man Should be lavish in honouring his lord and friend. SAQ 4 You have read above about the instability.

out of the wintry storm and into it again. Despite the important changes that the British Isles saw from the 5th to 8th centuries. the storm and wintry tempest cannot touch it. and up to the 12th century.” (quoted in the Oxford History of Britain. Saxony or Frisia. on the one hand the older kingdoms of the east and south coasts . which valued loyalty to lord rather than loyalty to kin. in the next centuries Anglo-Saxon monks were going to become some of the most devout missionaries in the whole of Europe. expanding kingdoms of the north. appears to me in comparison with that time which is unknown to us. Despite the relative success of the conversion in its first stages. There was still polygamy.and. but from the 5th century on. Essex. Kent and Sussex . the latter being typical of more static. even the ancient tarbfeis* survived and an overall obsession with rituals. p. the fire is burning on the hearth in the middle of the hall and all inside is warm. There was a certain amount of localism in Scotland. Pre-Christian Ireland had indeed been tribal. You are sitting feasting with your aldermen* and thegns* in winter time. the late Roman Empire exercised a continuing influence upon all the cultures of the British Isles. while outside the wintry storms of rain and snow are raging. 73). Morgan.East Anglia. the Midlands and south-west Northumbria. the newer. which is why there are sufficient grounds for calling these centuries the ‘Post-Roman centuries. King. it flits from your sight. SAQ 5 Read the following passage from Bede’s History: “This is how the present life of man on earth. more powerful. Boniface). Ireland and Wales. For the few minutes it is inside. warriors and farmers to Christianity was initiated by Pope Gregory the Great in 597 and according to tradition he had seen English youths in Rome and pronounced them “not Angles but angels”. socially acceptable activity. but after the briefest moment of calm. So this life of man appears but for a moment. despite the survival for many centuries to come of old institutions and beliefs. ed. 41 . what follows or indeed what went before we know not at all. It enters in at one door and quickly flies out through the other. It was a more fluid social structure that encouraged trade as an honourable. but this trait should not be overemphasized. it underwent considerable change. Monarchical institutions stood a much better chance of developing in this type of society. preaching and setting up sees* (like St. hierarchical and based on a kin ethos. Kenneth O.Who are the British? difference was between. Their settlement and the diffusion of their cultural model led English society towards a more mobile structure. rural. on the other.’ The conversion of this traditional society of kings. Mercia and Wessex in particular. many of them returning to their lands of origin. and a sparrow flies swiftly through the hall. more traditional societies.

42 .5 The Viking invasion An important consequence of the Viking invasion is the weakening of the power of the Roman image. Thanks to their longships. Jarrow. (see picture below) a crucial invention. The raids in the north are far more serious and the old centres of learning in the monasteries of Lindisfarne.2. the new social order was broadly based upon farmers. the equilibrium of the old cultures is disturbed by the onset of a new sea-borne power. When it came to settlement patterns.Who are the British? What is the message of this famous text? What is the King urged upon to do? The fact that Bede was a devout man of the Church attempting the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons should lead you to a correct answer. 1. In 789 the first ships of the Danes land on the English coast. Mobility seems to be a crucial factor in conquest. the Vikings managed to dominate for a long period much of the Irish and North Seas. Iona were plundered. The Old Order falls.

Anglo-Saxon England ceased to exist in any meaningful sense. the reinforcement of centralisation of power. by mobilizing the resistance of the Anglo-Saxons. the promulgation of laws on the basis of royal authority rather than the expression of local customs. the Norse influence was deeply felt long after the Norman Conquest. paved the way or served as ferment for the renewal of the whole society. In the Danelaw. Their society was far more flexible and less authoritarian than the one it replaced. they added substantially to the proportion of freemen* in the areas that they controlled Lincolnshire. in Orkney and Shetland as well as in some Irish towns such as Waterford or Wexford. Norfolk. This new-style monarchy could exert its power from Wessex over Mercia. The kingdom of Norway remained strong in Scotland until the middle of the 13th century.Who are the British? Figure 1. oral culture. trade and shipwrighting were of such scope that ‘Anglo-Scandinavia’ might be an appropriate term for the resulting mix. The typical Viking was a farmer in arms. The changes in urban development. and there were profound changes. then a new monarchy was brought into existence by the Danish threat. But if feudalism is understood literally. The Viking invasion. which looked to Denmark and Norway. The old-style lordship of the AngloSaxons gave way to feudal kingship with its distinctive features that were to reach maturity with the Norman Conquest. Besides the market orientation (it is said of the Vikings that with them piracy and trade were so inextricably woven. Ireland as well as over the Danelaw*. However. meaning the holding of land in return for military service.15 A Viking longship Along the East Coast of Britain. 43 . the Viking influence was not evenly distributed and there were varying degrees of dominance in the different regions of Britain. especially in the Western Isles. The literate Christian culture linked to Rome and to the Carolingian Empire*. that trade was piracy and piracy their trade). Leicestershire. The establishment of the new political order consisted in the functioning of the royal house as a bureaucratic base for professional armies. not a warrior seeking to control unfree labour. In the second half of the eleventh century the society that emerged was quite different from that of previous ages. was replaced by a pagan.

This partly accounts for the huge menu of words we can choose from today. household: . in traditional terms. The Viking as well as the Norman Conquests focus our attention on those common or specific cultural traits that evolve from such ‘accidents’ of history. as in other instances of elite dominance.Who are the British? 1.6 The Norman Conquest and its consequences One could of course speculate on the consequences of a different course of history for the British Isles had the battle of Hastings (1066) turned out differently. the French language left its mark on the language of the conquered.2. The nature of the society that emerges and develops gradually after the Norman Conquest is. in itself indicative of the profound changes that marked British society and which surfaced at the level of expression. SAQ 6 Identify the words of French origin in the list below. Many of them will look and sound familiar to you. group them under the following headings: • • • 44 administration and law: manners and courtly life: home. It resulted in the doubling of the English vocabulary. of a colonial type. The Norman successes created a French-speaking ascendancy throughout the British Isles and. because French and Romanian belong to the same group of languages – Romance: crown peace sovereign house regal kingly pig farmer army abbey lesson ham chamber prayer pity prince servant brother wife priest navy wardrobe cupboard sheriff castle yard cow deer hunting horse stone beef book parliament reign city town hamlet clerk parson convent earl thane goal scullery tea tomato window gate portal mercy veal court curtain battle war mother prince sir church lady pardon lord prison chain collar feast breakfast supper bacon mutton royal duke borough cushion woman man child pork After you have identified each.

such as the Black Death*. settlers continued to arrive well into the 12th century. the British Isles remained divided into distinct political and cultural communities. the south-west of Ireland and south Wales. Normanisation used various instruments to reform English society and impose a colonial ideology. Breton* and Flemish* elements. 45 . the communities of the British Isles were brought together at the aristocratic level.Who are the British? • • • the military: religion: ranks: Now check your findings against the answer provided in the “Answers” section. The future of Norman rule was to be influenced both by military enterprise and by factors quite out of human control. within a single cultural and political ascendancy looking towards France. During the Viking centuries. Whilst these different Norman societies stuck to traditional structures of feudal lordship. manufacturing. The term ‘Norman’ must be used with caution because it was not a pure entity but rather a generic term extending over Picard*. the Norman Conquest completed the process. an increased degree of social mobility and market relations created a new reality that was already attracting important segments of the population to the Scottish Lowlands. all of them affected to a greater or lesser extent by Norse influences. London was established as a great trading metropolis. Progress. At the end of the 13th century the political future of the British Isles seemed to be directed towards a unified Norman ascendancy. displacing more and more English who had survived the first generation of conquest. and all this was made possible by the decision of England to seek an imperial future in France in the Hundred Years War*. in Church and state. in Ireland. If the Viking invasion brought about the fall of many aspects of the Old Order. They settled for real autonomy. As to the colonial nature of society during the Norman Conquest. With the coming of the Norman Conquest. The Norman Scots were in favour of a kingdom of Scotland. at the end of the unit.

but sometimes they preserved their own cultural traditions. who set up trading posts in London and on the East Coast of England.000 by the mid-18th century (a community which mostly disappeared in the 19th century through intermarriage). and their financial talents were passed on later to the Lombard bankers from northern Italy (a connection still celebrated today in Lombard Street in the City of London). an increasing number of Dutch and Flemish immigrants Gypsy and Black immigrants French and Dutch Protestant immigrants 46 . Although immigrants had formerly been allowed easy access to Britain.Who are the British? 1. Even before the formal abolition of slavery in 1833. immigration was mainly characterized by agricultural. Routledge.2. escaping from Louis XIV’s persecutions in the 1680s.000 Britons (John Oakland. For the next two centuries there was no more large-scale immigration into the country. In the centuries following the Norman Conquest. servants and other black people to live in Britain. 1995:50-55). Many of these became assimilated into the larger British society. which numbered some 15. There was a black community. It granted no rights to immigrants. mainly to North America and expanding colonies worldwide. By 1650 slavery had become an important trade. The growing attraction of North America towards the end of the 19th century caused some 79. when the African division of the Roman army was stationed on Hadrian’s Wall in the 3rd century). and especially with the Jews sacrificed in the interests of Christian piety by Edward I in 1290. there was tolerance. The latter were largely associated with the slave trade (the first blacks arrived in Britain with the Roman army. were the only significant wave of immigration in the 17th century. bringing wealth. contributing to the national wealth. The French Huguenots. particularly to the ports on the south-west coast. which enabled freed and escaped slaves. mainly in London. Dutch Protestants likewise found a safe haven from religious persecution at home. carried his first slave cargo in 1562. British Civilization. from which it benefited immensely. John Hawkins. The expanding trade was influenced by the merchants of the Hanseatic League*. one of those picturesque courtiers cum pirates in Elizabeth’s retinue. Although Britain was most encouraging towards immigration. financial. This happened with the German Hansa merchants. who could be summarily expelled from the country.000 European immigrants to leave Britain for America in addition to 210. Gypsies and blacks followed in the 16th century.7 A History of four nations? The major waves of immigration The question of race had permeated the whole history of imperialism and the contacts established over five centuries between Britain and the peoples of the entire world. trading and industrial skills. In fact Britain was exporting more and more people herself. Jewish money lenders had entered Britain with the Norman Conquest. In 1655 the Jews created their first permanent Jewish community as they flocked in after Cromwell* had removed the legal bars regarding their residence. Dutch and Flemish weavers arrived and contributed substantially to transforming England from a provider of wool into a European cloth manufacturer.

Latvians and Ukrainians streamed into the country after World War II. immigration became increasingly a matter of concern in the 1930s. Pakistan and the West Indies. New Zealand and South Africa. East African Asians. More and more people asked for immigration control.5 million.000 out of 31. In the late 40’s this pattern was to reverse in favour of the largely coloured Commonwealth nations of India.Who are the British? restrictions on newcomers imposed a gradual curb on immigration. Australia. at the end of the unit. Iranians and Vietnamese – continued to arrive in the 1950s. SAQ 7 What are the major causes of immigration in your opinion? Write your answer in the space below and then compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. A general xenophobic* feeling spread. traditionally a centre of immigrant concentration. manufacturing and the National Health Service. In the face of this coloured Commonwealth immigration. when a lot of Jews fled persecution in other parts of Europe to settle in Britain in the East End. The Caribbean blacks were welcomed to work in public transport. Czechs. But in spite of these low figures. Libyans. A large number of Poles. The first group of 492 Jamaicans arrived at Tilbury Docks in 1948. Chileans. An Alien Restriction Act in 1919 was supposed to curb immigration substantially.157. Before World War II. 47 . racist attitudes and severe forms of discrimination greeted the arrivals. while nationalism and the spymania (hysterical fear of spies) generated by the First World War increased. These people from the New Commonwealth in the 40s were specifically invited by government agencies to fill the vacant manual and lower paid jobs of an economy that had been shattered by the war. most of the immigrants to Britain came from largely White Old Commonwealth countries such as Canada. Political and economic refugees – Hungarian. At the 1871 census the number of people born outside the British Empire was quite low . However more refugees and immigrants arrived in the inter-war period during the world economic recession.

Empire Windrush Reception. it would be wrong to dwell on these: we are here to celebrate.16 Empire Windrush SAQ 8 The SS Empire Windrush carrying hundreds of young men and women from the Caribbean. 25 June. patience and dignity is called for during difficult times. The ship’s arrival signalled the beginning of a mass migration from the disintegrating empire which was to have profound effects on Britain for the years to come. Thank you for coming and for your contributions to this country during the war.S. the general cultural shock and the sheer cold…” What does the Prince of Wales think about interracial relations in contemporary Britain? Write your answer in the space below and then compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. There are many obstacles to overcome: ignorance and prejudice. docked in Tilbury. at the end of the unit. Here are some excerpts from a Speech by The Prince of Wales at the S. when many of you fought for it.Who are the British? Figure 1. the challenge of finding decent housing and work. 1998: “It is an immense pleasure to meet the Windrush veterans here today. 48 . it would be insulting to suggest that all the optimistic expectations you had when you stepped off the Windrush were met. However. Stoicism. and since. Equally.

Liverpool. The main waves of immigration are then surveyed. Comparisons are invited between the Romanization of Celtic Britain and that of the province of Dacia. social and cultural practices and traditions. many of whom were business or professional workers. Sheffield.000 from the Irish Republic and many thousands from Northern Ireland. its main institutions. Summary In this unit you have revised and enriched some of the previously acquired knowledge of Britain. Adopting a processual approach we can successfully illustrate such phenomena as cultural osmosis. with what we call ‘cultural icons’. It offered you the opportunity to engage with cultural stereotypes. highlighting the shaping of the post-war multicultural Britain. the new Irish immigration was estimated at 750.Who are the British? Tens of thousands followed in the 50s. Key Concepts • • • • • • • • • • nation-state cultural osmosis migration processual approach elite dominance ascendancy waves of immigration colonial ideology slave trade xenophobia (-ic) 49 . many of whom went into the catering business. Manchester. Whilst presenting the historical invasions and their contribution to the shaping of the British national identity. its national symbols. The East African colonies were granted independence from Britain in the 60s and during the colonial period Indians had settled there in large numbers with the encouragement of Britain. exchange or acculturation. reaching a peak in the early 60s. Bristol. In 1969. Leeds. the second chapter of this unit aims at fighting commonly held views about the catastrophic and downright destructive character of historical invasions. By the 1970s coloured people had become a familiar sight in such towns as Glasgow. In the 70s a wave of Asians expelled from East Africa arrived. a situation that renders problematic the definition of Britain as an entity made up of four nations. as well as reflections on a common Celtic cultural stock. to judge their essentialism as well as to challenge their relative. In the 70s and 80s came Hong Kong Chinese and refugees from Vietnam. limited value.

next in dignity to Mayor.Who are the British? Glossary alderman = member of English county or borough council. the most sacred tree for Celts. 50 . teacher of the Celts. influence and control. elite dominance = in conquests and invasions episodes of dominance due to the accepted superiority of a certain economic. a great leader. Danelaw = part of N and E England occupied by Danes in the 9th11th centuries. politician and Puritan. a poet of the Celts. military. which contains the beautiful Lake District national park. Black Death = the plague epidemic of the 14th century which reduced the population of England by one third and greatly influenced important social shifts such as the generalization of paid labour. soothsayer. filid = a bard. He was leader of the parliamentarian army against King Charles I in the Civil War and became Lord Protector of England after the King’s execution in 1649. a region of the Low Countries in what is now part of Belgium and Holland. hence a deep. Carolingian Empire = second Frankish dynasty. Oliver = an English general. Cumbria = a county of NW England made up mostly of the old counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. Druid = priest. mentality supporting the exploitation of allegedly backward and weak peoples under the pretext of ‘civilizing’ them and helping them out of savagery Counter-Reformation = a Catholic reformation of the church in the 16 and 17th centuries in response to the claims of the Reformation. Flemish = native of Flanders. great knowledge. one of the highest and most prestigious positions in Celtic societies. colonial ideology = policy of maintaining colonies. magician. social or cultural system. Cromwell. ascendancy = a position of power. promoter of Christianity who was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the year 800. founded by Charlemagne. Most probably the etymology of the word can be traced to ‘oak’. So a druid was one who had the knowledge of the oak. Breton = native of Brittany in NW France.

Hanseatic league = trade organization of German towns which existed from the 13th to the 17th centuries to protect each other against competition from abroad. It was a British lawyer of the 18th century. Hamburg and Lübeck are still known as Hanseatic cities. Industrial Revolution = rapid development of British industry by use of machines in the 18th and early 19th century. William Jones. Russian.according to most historians in the steppe land between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea. English. Sanskrit or Persian as he found striking similarities in the words used in all these languages to name family relations. ruin. plants. German. Kent. Hundred Years War (1337-1453) = war between England and France resulting from royal quarrels. the seven kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons in the 7th and 8th centuries: East Anglia. disfigure.Who are the British? fosterage = tradition of severing children’s bond with their natural parents by sending them at an early age to live and work for a different family. Essex. and ended with the defeat of the English as they were pushed back out of France. to another. Lothian = region in SE Scotland which contains the city of Edinburgh. Mercia and Wessex. Iran and India. Bremen. due mostly to their mobility (they had domesticated the horse by 3000 BC). Sussex. freeman = one who is not a slave or a serf. Latin. Indo-European = a large group of people who are said to have emerged from their homeland . who first used the term to refer to languages such as Greek. It also refers to a group of languages that includes most of those spoken in Europe. French. etc. displacement of large numbers of people. heptarchy = government by seven rulers. social and cultural spheres. mar = to spoil. migration = movement from one place (country. numerals. it triggered a whole range of radical changes in the economic. immigration (waves of) = the process of entering another country to make one’s life and home there. town etc). Northumbria. in the early second millennium BC to dominate most of the rest of Europe and regions even farther afield in the Near and central East. 51 . particularly over land.

tarbfeis = a rite also known as ‘bull’s dream’. in Scotland it could mean chief of clan. Holy See. especially of African blacks. that goes beyond a catastrophe-ridden view of them and lays emphasis on peer polity interaction. Neolithic age = the later stone age when ground or polished stone weapons and implements prevailed. an extended region in N France. transporting and selling as slaves. processual approach = a complex and unbiased perspective on invasions and conquests. the papacy or papal court: e. a shamanic divination practice for electing the king: the Druid gorged on the flesh of the sacred bull and in the trance that followed he found out the name of the future king of legendary Tara. see = episcopal unit: e. urban planning. Strathclyde = region in central Scotland whose centre is the city of Glasgow. dissemination and interaction. acculturation etc. thane (thegn) = one holding land from a king by military service. 52 . the see of Canterbury. The aspirants to high social standing first amassed great wealth. slave trade = procuring. pottery. ranking between ordinary freemen and hereditary nobles. writing. religion etc.g. plant or object adopted as emblem of clan or individual on grounds of kinship. of human beings. usually inhabiting a territory bounded by defined limits and forming a society under one government. potlatch = a word of Polynesian origin designating a specific giftgiving practice still in existence in traditional societies.g. Stone-using agricultural communities were established in Eastern Europe by the 6th millennium BC. the seat of kings. totem = animal. history. cooperation.Who are the British? nation-state = a large number of people of mainly common descent. language. osmosis (cultural) = intense process of cultural diffusion. Picard = a native of Picardie. an age characterized by revolutionary breakthroughs in the material and spiritual realms: farming. Reformation = the religious movement in Europe in the 16th century leading to the establishment of the Protestant Church (Martin Luther. See of Rome. and this was followed by huge tribal feasts. Jean Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli are the greatest representatives of this movement).

SAQ 2 The Celtic presence in the Pre-Roman Dacia is amply illustrated: • Contracts sealed by typical gestures such as shaking hands. on the contrary uttering curses are all typical of the Celtic world (Roman legislation is typically based on written agreements). Romanian fairy tales can attest to the magic status of pigs and boars. or swearing on various objects. for example. • The magic cauldron (or vat) is a favoured medium of miraculous transformation and regeneration. tombstones or domestic objects such as dowry chests found in Banat. tare. The suffixes –esc and –eşte are of the same origin as well as dava. followed by toasts. stags and horses. lamentations and merry making in connection with it. gard. Maris (Mureş). bucuros. on the houses. strugure. Ovid. such as hot iron. mazăre. • For the Celts the head was the seat of the soul and a severed head (like that of the famous Celtic hero Bran) continued to prophesy and inspire Celtic warriors even after beheading. In one of the over 900 variants of our national ballad Miorita. Alutus (Olt). pigs. geese. mare. copac. a speria. Oltenia or Dobrogea attest to the Celtic influence: scrolls. viezure. the Dacian word for fortified settlement. is believed to have written a number of poems in Dacian during his exile. brad. buză. or conjuring gods. solar symbols (such as the wheel). 53 . Boars and stags were often adopted as totems* in Celtic societies. Answers to SAQs SAQ 1 Some of the 161 words of Dacian origin are: prunc.Who are the British? wake = vigil. grumaz. the shepherd asks to be killed by having his head severed. horsemen. often worn in battles. moş. in Northern France are also a Celtic practice. watch beside corpse before burial. but they had never been found. the Roman poet. etc. customs etc. xenophobia (-ic) = unreasonable fear and dislike of strange or foreign people. • Marriage fairs typical of Brittany. • Birds and various animals had a sacred status in the Celtic pantheon and they were often subject to miraculous transformations or they helped the heroes and heroines in difficult situations: ravens. or. • The iconographic motifs still found on the monumental gates of Maramures. Several names of rivers are of Dacian origin as well: Donaris (Dunăre). Samus (Someş). Dierna (Cerna). a răbda. swans or boars. • Torcs (close-fitting neck-rings) were sacred jewels believed to ward off evil forces. spirals. Argessos (Argeş). sows. balaur.

4 of the unit. pardon. Their poetry and their songs also reveal a reflective. a cult of roses and temples. We can amply document such practices in Romania. then they moved into the hottest room (caldarium) for scraping. mercy. priest. prison. SAQ 5 These famous words are ascribed by Bede to a Northumbrian nobleman who is urging King Edwin to accept Christianity. royal. a meeting place where people could have a drink and socialize). in which a nobleman asks to be killed since his life has no meaning after the death of his lord on the battlefield). cleaning and hair and hard skin removal. reign. convent. • religion: abbey. prayer. city. oiling. • 54 . so they used to send messages to the dead and on their most important festivals there were special festivities honouring the dead.2. pity. courage. then moved to the tepidarium to cool gently before an invigorating cold plunge in the frigidarium. SAQ 3 A bath was a complex concept for the Romans addressing the human mind as well as the body: men sana in corpore sano (it was usually made up of a gym. melancholy mood. a library. SAQ 6 administration and law: clerk. lesson. since life without faith can be compared to the miserable life of the bird which can only for a brief moment enjoy ‘the good’ and righteous life.Who are the British? • For the Celts there was uninhibited circulation between the world of the living and that of the dead. In the Great Bath we can see the changing room (apodyterium) where the bathers stripped. The Great Bath in the city of Bath was accidentally discovered in the 19th century when a leak from the King’s Bath (built in the 12th century over the original Roman reservoir) had to be investigated and mended. SAQ 4 Should your answer not be comparable to the one given below. devotion to one’s lord (lordship based on kinship is far more important at this stage than kingship which is characteristic of a later date. regal. please revise section 1. Thus the three items which are not Celtic are: written contracts. heroism. crown. The Anglo-Saxon ethos can be described as one of loyalty. goal. sovereign. parliament. A good example would be the poem The Battle of Maldon. The fleeting passage of time is a primary source of such melancholy reflections. parson.

The major causes of immigration are: political and religious persecution. navy. • military: army. wardrobe. servant.2.2. duke. feast. You could consider the bibliography below for further reading. scullery.7 of the unit. supper. 1 Why is the enlarged definition of Britain as ‘four nations in one’ still too narrow for defining Britishness? Send the answer to this question to your tutor. cushion. illiberal.2. SAQ 8 The Prince of Wales’s attitude is twofold: on the one hand he acknowledges the black Brits’ contribution to a culturally diverse country. SAA No. beef. peace. chamber. In order to successfully complete the assigned task you should particularly review subchapter 1. • ranks: prince. sir. totalitarian regimes. please revise section 1.Who are the British? • manners and courtly life: chain. pork.7 about the major waves of immigration and also subchapters 1. An adequate coverage of the content required accounts for 70% of your grade while your linguistic accuracy accounts for the remainder of 30%.6 with regard to the ethogenesis of the Brits. SAQ 7 Should your answer not be comparable to the one given below. portal. 55 . poverty. mutton. • home/household. farmer.2. veal. baron. to British life in general but at the same time thinks that prejudice and discrimination remain everyday facts of life for many of them. castle. collar. the need to join members of one’s family.-1. Your test paper should not exceed two pages (1000 words).2. battle. curtain. bacon.

Bucureşti: Humanitas 4. pp. 1991. Iaşi: Institutul European. Dascăl. An A to Z of British Life. Dicţionarul universului britanic. Irimia Anghelescu. 155-174 2. Harlow: Longman. Bucureşti: Editura Univers. 1972. R. A. Oxford: Oxford University Press 56 .Who are the British? Selected Bibliography 1.22-35. Timişoara: Eurostampa. M.V. 1999. Urme celtice în spiritualitatea şi cultura românească. pp. Istoria Civilizaţiei Britanice. A.19-32 6. 1996. pp. 5. 62-64 3. An Illustrated History of Britain.45-46. Nicolescu. British Topics. McDowall. 2000. Cartianu. D. Room. Volumul I.

2 2. national identities The resilience* of a term: Britain / British The history of an idea: devolution The legacy of the English revolution The Glorious Revolution Dissent and the industrial revolution Home Rule Devolution Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs 2.1.1 2.2.1. plural identities vs.2 2.Britain – a multicultural society Unit 2 BRITAIN – A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY? Unit Outline Unit objectives 2.4 2.2 2. 2 Selected bibliography 58 59 59 63 63 66 69 73 76 79 79 84 87 87 88 94 96 99 101 103 104 104 105 107 107 57 .1 CHAPTER I Britishness / Englishness / Europeanness – hybrid.4 2.5 2.3 2.2.6 CHAPTER II Inter-racial relations in contemporary Britain From immigration to multiculturalism A short historical survey of immigration in Britain Racism Racial relations in contemporary Britain and the fight against racial discrimination Factfile: The Lawrence case Ethnic / racial / national / cultural identities in a globalised world Summary Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs SAA No.5 2.1.6 2.3 2.

Beyond mind-sets. you should be able to: Unit objectives • • • • • • challenge an anglocentric* view of Britishness. develop a critical reading of nationalist attitudes and cultural productions. identify and challenge most manifest forms of discrimination. of cooperation and amalgamation but also the more tense and critical moments of the union’s history. that of devolution that has already led to a debate of unprecedented breadth about the future of Britishness. ideas and attitudes a multicultural framework assumes the establishment of institutional structures. recognize and use new specific concepts and cultural studies terminology. the episodes of cultural exchange. After you have completed the study of this unit. identify and empathize with attempts at saving tradition and culture from the levelling effect of globalisation. legislation and public policies meant to translate ideas into social practice. identify the stages in the development of the idea of devolution.Britain – a multicultural society This unit traces in its first part the development of an idea. British society is viewed in this unit through the lenses of racial discrimination and multiculturalism. highlighting great achievements but also setbacks in its pursuit of inter-racial justice and fairness. The first chapter examines the troubled past of the provinces. 58 . It raises a question that no one can answer yet: are we faced with a steady process of dissolution of Britishness or with a new concept of Britishness? The second chapter of this unit discusses inter-racial relations from a multicultural perspective furthering respect and understanding for cultural diversity and inter-cultural communication.

Britain – a multicultural society

2.1 Britishness, Englishness, Europeanness – hybrid, plural identities vs. national identities 2.1.1 The resilience of a term: ‘British’
Think First! Before you start reading, try to consider the following problems: Are the terms ‘English’ and ‘British’ interchangeable? Can you perceive any differences of meaning between ‘British’ on the one hand and Scottish, Irish and Welsh on the other? Please remember to include your answer in your portfolio for further discussions during the tutorials.

I would like to consider first the cultural clashes, convergences and divergences that led to a definite type of relationship shaping certain identity formulas in the units that make up Britain. ‘Britishness’ is not an isolated discrete phenomenon to be sharply differentiated from ‘Irishness’ or ‘Scottishness’; neither is it so inclusive of those identities as the present-day situation suggests. There is much more talk about Europeanness in Scotland today than there is of Britishness. That is why quite a few historians hold the view that Britishness is undergoing a slow but definite process of dissolution. 59

Britain – a multicultural society

The term Britishness has had as troubled a history as the countries that make up the British Isles. The Britons were one of the migratory waves of Celtic tribes that settled mostly in Wales and England. A tentative etymology ascribes to both varieties briton or pryton the meaning of a ‘tattooed person’. The first reference to the British Isles, i.e. to the toponym, we owe to Herodotus who, adding to them the determinant kassiteride (‘rich in tin’) refers to the resources of tin in the isles of Albion and Ierne (ca 445 BC). The ethnonym prydain (‘painted, tattooed body’) in Welsh was transcribed by the Romans as britani. The term might have outlived the withdrawal of the Romans and the defeat of the Britons at the hands of the pagan Anglo-Saxons, because the regal style rex Britanniae (‘king of Britain’) had an appeal to certain Saxon kings. William the Conqueror also liked to be regarded as monarch totius Britanniae (‘of the whole of Britain’). Sometimes Britannia was taken to be synonymous with England, the first entity to be united. But some Scottish writers took exception to the fact that many English and foreigners used Britain as both the name of the Roman province and of the whole island. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Scottish writer John Major declared: “At the present there are, and for a long time have been, to speak accurately, two kingdoms in the island: the Scottish kingdom, namely, and the English…Yet all the inhabitants are Britons… All men born in Britain are Britons, seeing that on any other reasoning Britons could not be distinguished from other races”. It was James VI of Scotland and I of England who in 1604 proclaimed himself ‘King of Great Britain, France and Ireland’. The new title gained wide acceptance after the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707.


Britain – a multicultural society

SAQ 1 In the image below you can see the cover of a very important book debating the future of Britishness: Andrew Marr’s The Day Britain Died published in 2000. Can you guess what the object wrapped up in the Union Jack is? What does the title of the book suggest? If Britain was born in 1707, could a date be ascribed to its death?

Figure 2.1 The front cover of A. Marr’s book

So the term ‘British’ is marked by inconsistency and has a lengthy but at the same time rather awkward pedigree. On both sides of the border people had been accustomed to think of themselves as English or Scots. They continued to do so even when referred to as ‘Britons’. The term North Britain gained status in Scotland but it was no longer deemed acceptable by the end of the 19th century, when ‘Scotland’ returned with a vengeance. On the other hand there is no record of any English tendency to adopt ‘South Britain’ or to describe themselves as ‘South Britons’. 61

libraries.a time when the British Empire was becoming solidly established. What does the author mean? “Look at video footage of the England vs. a period of high enthusiasm in the whole nation in the mid-18th century -. There are national museums. / Britons never will be slaves. Scottish and Welsh families. and England supporters have reclaimed the cross of St George as a visible assertion of their group identity”. Please write your answer in the space below (in no more than 150 words) and then compare it to that provided in the “Answers” section. at the end of the unit. but there is nothing that is English national there. 62 . a time when everybody was proud to be British and when people felt obliged to ask every morning what victory there was for fear of missing one. the English hardly considered themselves Britons. however. and galleries in Scotland and Wales. Britannia. And what about England? British institutions developed and continue to exist in England. Germany final in the 1966 World Cup. rule the waves. SAQ 2 The following paragraph is taken from an article by Professor Alan Pulverness. By the end of the 19th century. England has absorbed hundreds of thousands of Irish. fast forward 30 years to England vs. When history along national lines was the order of the day. There was.” It was probably the only occasion on which the English prided themselves on being British. from Norwich Institute for Language Education. Welsh identity no longer permitted talk of only two kingdoms. British pride was expressed in a nationalist song written by the Scotsman James Thomson in 1742: “Rule. English historians shifted quite freely between ‘British’ and ‘English’. Scotland in the Euro 96 championship.Britain – a multicultural society In fact. and you’ll see England supporters waving the Union Jack.

cultural. a new amalgam of Norman. tolerate beliefs. the Cotswolds and the West Riding of Yorkshire was another important development that secured Britain’s transition from a colonial-style economy.1. legislative. Differences between England and Wales became minimal and. Welsh and English elements facilitated the incorporation of Wales into the English political. encourage.3 The legacy of the English revolution The 16th century is characterized by the emergence of the English Empire. a stark contrast is created between the Lowlands and Highlands. Wales and England. public and domestic aspects.1. A proto-industrial revolution in East Anglia.wealth. defensive.Britain – a multicultural society 2. resources and population of southern England over the rest of the British Isles and later on over North America and the West Indies. the history of the British Isles was predominantly the history of individual communities. with the multiple waves of immigration that started in the late 40s. whilst in the west. The range of cultural mutations challenges Britishness in ways that would have been inconceivable at the beginning of the 20th century. on a scale that does not enable us yet to foresee the future configuration of the United Kingdom. English was dominant even among the nobility in the Lowlands. It became gradually a society stratified by a different factor . to market towns and individual farmers. although the Welsh language survived and the differences of mentality between north and south Wales were preserved. dominated by the castle with its strategic. An important factor 63 .2 The history of an idea: devolution Britain is today in the midst of radical changes: constitutional. gave way to the squire’s manor house. values and practices which may have their own logic? After the Norman Conquest and for much of the 15th and 16th centuries. 2. It is a period marked by such developments as large scale emigration. which can be seen as a form of steady internal colonization. legal and administrative system (Acts of Union 1536-1543). feudal relations and services in kind* lingered on. Imperial dominance manifested itself vigorously: Scotland was conquered by Cromwell’s armies and parliamentary union was achieved in 1707 through the Act of Union. with Ireland the prime attraction for many from Scotland. At the beginning of the 16th century the military society. Has Britishness become a structure able to accommodate and encourage the conversation of various cultures and multiple traditions? Can it permit. The issue of Britishness is far more problematic now. In Scotland. exporting mostly raw materials for manufacture. an empire based mainly on the predominance of the wealth. The development of a cash economy* and the strengthening of the boroughs* were concentrated in the Lowlands.

However. son of Mary Stuart. when the Privy Council* became strongly Protestant. The Reformation polarised the communities of the British Isles between those conforming to the idea of an Established Church and those who demanded more than conformity in ritual and external 64 . the translation of the Bible into English (the Bible in English proved to be a formidable instrument of Anglicization). to the English Crown in 1603. we cannot speak about a single.2 John Wycliffe The unprecedented rise in importance of London was based on the development of the cloth trade from the 15th century. Henry IV condemned his work and Wycliffe was exiled. The extension of the new imperial power and the modernisation of society were symbolised by the royal supremacy. SAQ 3 In 1396 the first translation of the Bible – was the work of John Wycliffe a scholar from Oxford. at the end of the unit. a process very much encouraged by the Tudors and by the succession of James VI of Scotland. national English culture at this point. Figure 2.Britain – a multicultural society leading to the Union was John Knox’s* Kirk – the reformed church of Scotland. The ideas of Luther*. Write your answer in no more than 100 words and compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. Zwingli* and Calvin* could not have had such an impact on the British Isles without the support of the government: Henry VIII’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell with his Lutheran sympathies and the reign of Edward VI. Scotland and Ireland was the impact of the Reformation. What could have been so subversive about the translation of the Bible into English? Think about the spread of literacy in those times and common people’s knowledge of the classical languages (Greek. in the latter half of the 16th century. clerical marriage and the dissolution of the monasteries. The cultural dominance by the south over the rest of England and Wales. Latin).

the early years of the 17th century brought about the re-emergence of the Counter-Reformation in Germany and a revival of ritualism in England. between 1642 and 1648 several battles fought (Naseby. 65 . those of Parliament Roundheads (because of their specific haircut). occupied N England. In 1660 Charles II is restored to the throne. King’s followers called Cavaliers. when he tries to impose Anglicanism in Presbyterian Scotland. a Protectorate is constituted with Cromwell Lord Protector and a one-house parliament. It began as a protest against an oppressive and uncompromising government. which lasted until the beginning of the 20th century. the Presbyterian Scots rioted. The split was in other words between the Anglicans and the Puritans. A penal code passed after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 -. extending the English tradition that the government’s power should be limited. Arrange the following scrambled events of the English Revolution in chronological order: A Parliament reduced to one third.and not seriously modified until 1828 -.made dissenters second-class citizens. Marston Moor. Preston) and several attempts made at negotiations with the king fail. King feels compelled to summon Parliament and ask for their financial and military support. The Puritan Revolution or The English Revolution was the first of the so-called great revolutions. The Civil War was to leave an imprint on English life. Parliament imposes its conditions in return for its support (mostly limiting the king’s prerogatives). 1642 Charles gathered his army. although a decisive split did not occur until the crisis of 1640-1642. SAQ 4 The Civil War. raised an army. Charles I dissolves parliament desiring to become an absolute monarch.Britain – a multicultural society assent. and it generated new political and religious ideas. Monarchy and the House of Lords abolished by Cromwell. made up mostly of Puritans tries the king for high treason and in January 1649 Charles I is executed. Whilst this polarisation was held at bay during Elizabeth’s** reign through her diplomacy and spirit of moderation and tolerance.

Britain – a multicultural society

Figure 2.3 King Charles I

Figure 2.4 Oliver Cromwell

By the end of the 17th century, an English empire had come into existence affecting most of the British communities, although rural Ireland, the Scottish Highlands and north Wales remained more or less unaffected. In these regions, local institutions like the ‘wise men of the village’, the fair, the wake and kinship ties retained their hold in the face of attempts at Anglicization by the English-oriented gentry and clergy. The shift of Scotland from pro-French Auld Alliance* to Reformation is very important. John Knox, who had taken a crucial part in the Edwardian reformation, was backed financially by the English. Likewise in Ireland, the mid-17th century marked the peak of reformation and the myth of the Irish massacre of 1640 led to a string of punitive actions, which followed in the next decade under Cromwell. The Protestant interest was placed on the defensive after the Restoration and even forced into full retreat during the crisis of 16881689. After the victory of William III at the Boyne in 1690, the future of Ireland was decided for the next two centuries on the basis of Protestant landowning ascendancy. Most historians agree that for many in those two centuries, the sense of belonging to a church replaced an earlier culturally-based identity formula. The divisiveness of the feudal period gave way to a new form of divisiveness based on religion.

2.1.4 The Glorious Revolution
The year 1688, the year of the Glorious Revolution, is undoubtedly a landmark in the history of English liberties. The victory of Protestantism and the underlying principles of modernity were consolidated and assured by the flight of James II* and the subsequent accession of William and Mary*. Absolutist monarchies based on the divine right that placed the person of the king beyond human judgement had come to an end and had given way to parliamentary sovereignty. The Bill of Rights* overrode the hereditary rights of the monarchy, which had formed the basis of the restored constitution of 66

Britain – a multicultural society

A clash of cultures in Wales

1660, and replaced it with the will of the nation expressed through parliament. The Toleration Act of 1689 was seen as a revolutionary step towards democracy and freedom. It granted freedom of worship to Protestant nonconformists provided they shared the basic doctrines laid down in the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church*, and it allowed dissenters to build their own places of worship. In the context of the British Isles, the Revolution gained many more meanings. In Scotland it was only after the battle of Culloden of 1746 that the regime set up in 1689 became relatively secure. The same can be said about Ireland. James II was decisively defeated and Ulster Protestantism triumphant only after the fate of the Stuart cause was decided by the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 (the ‘blood bath’ that took place still holds a prominent place in the Irish collective memory). The result of William III’s* victories can hardly be regarded as a ‘victory of liberal principles’, as sometimes suggested. It meant the establishment of Episcopalian ascendancy in Ireland and of Presbyterianism in Scotland. The legacy of the civil wars led to the perpetuation of distrust and hostility between the cultures of the Church and of Dissent. An Anglican ascendancy, as Jonathan Clark remarks in his book English Society 1688-1832 prevails as a unifying factor controlling the institutions of power long after 1688. Episcopalian culture was dominant in the universities, public schools, army, navy and the Church itself. Dissenting culture had to create its own structures in response to such challenges. The English Empire thrived after 1688, with the growth of the American colonies; trade with the colonies became an important feature of the English economy. The prosperity of London in the 18th century, but also the rise of such ports as Liverpool and Bristol, was bound up with colonial trade including slave trade. The triumphal mood of the first half of the century gave way to a deep crisis from 1763 (when the government attempted to raise money from the colonies by means of the Stamp Act of 1765) up to the recognition of American independence in 1783. A series of British defeats followed, which ended with the decisive defeat of France in America and India, a high point of imperial achievement. Imperialism was traditionally underpinned by efforts at Anglicization. It is interesting to follow the course that such anglicising influences took in Wales, Scotland and Ireland and how these were fed into the subcultures there. South Wales was anglicised, i.e. cosmopolitanised and commercialised, whilst the north, heavily Welsh-speaking and rural, embraced Methodism*. For Scotland the dominant culture was Lowland Presbyterianism reinforced by the Act of Union, reflected in the power of the Kirk, universities and schools. In Ireland we see three cultures clashing: Episcopalian in the east, Presbyterian in Ulster (Northern Ireland) and the Catholic majority to be found in all provinces. Episcopalians held power, though a minority numerically, as they were mostly landowners who belonged to the Established Church. 67

Britain – a multicultural society

A cultural mapping of Scotland

The development of the market economy brought with it the rise of an urban middle class that was mostly Catholic. Continuous pressure against the penal laws that discriminated the Catholics was mounting and with it the threat of sectarian violence. The rebellion convinced the leaders of the time of the necessity of union between Ireland and Britain: cultural colonization was no longer enough. The Act of Union of 1800 provided for Irish representation in the House of Commons (100 members) as well as for the election of 25 peers to the House of Lords. It is said that the shadow of 1798 lay heavily over 19th century Irish history. Nevertheless, George III* invoked constitutional grounds for not granting Catholics the right of entry to parliament, so the Act of Union only gave the Anglo-Irish Episcopalian segment the representation at Westminster. In Scotland there were three cultures as well: the Presbyterian in the Lowlands, Episcopalianism on the East Coast and Catholicism. The real struggle was between the Episcopalians, on the one hand and, on the other, the Presbyterians. The Glorious Revolution replaced an Episcopalian tendency with a Presbyterian one. The Kirk Session made up of ministers and elders became the chosen instrument for the enforcement of Presbyterian views on private and public morality. SAQ 5 Among the sentences below there are four which are false. They can prevent you from understanding the reasons underlying the union of Scotland with England. Can you find them? • In 1603, James VI of Scotland - legitimate heir to the English throne after the death of Elizabeth (who left no heir herself); becomes James I of England. • Many Scots were favourable to the Act of Union. • The English Parliament threatened to ban Scottish exports entering England -- thus potentially bankrupting the Scots as England was their largest and most lucrative market. • The large Scottish landowners, who dominated the Scottish Parliament, relied heavily on exporting cattle to England and they faced economic ruin if the English carried out their threat. Amid riots and unrest in many Scottish towns, the Act of Union was passed. • The Act of Union was saluted with enthusiasm by the Scottish Parliament. • The Scots were forced to convert to Anglicanism. • The terms of the Act of Union allowed Scotland to keep its own educational and legal systems and its own church. • Scotland had a Secretary of State in 1885 and up to 1997 the Secretary of State had been a member of the Cabinet. • Scotland was allowed to keep its own parliament.


in the turmoil of changes created by the Industrial Revolution.5 Dissent and the industrial revolution In the early modern period (1500 – 1700) there was a heavy exodus into Ireland and the American colonies from Britain. The modern period was characterized by a large-scale movement of population into the industrial areas of Britain from Ireland and elsewhere. The situation was further complicated by the Evangelical Movement of Methodism within the Church of England. it was the dissenting sects that took more advantage of the developments than the Established Church. The structure of English society changed a lot with industrialism and urbanisation. Baptists. SAQ 6 By choosing the true sentences from the ones given below you will be able to account for the huge success of Methodism in Britain in the 19th century. From this point of view. the army and the learned professions.1. Leicester and Sheffield. became a noteworthy factor rising numerically from a minority to a position of near equality with the Established Church. acceptance of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church was necessary for matriculation and at Cambridge for admission to a degree. Liverpool. Within Dissent. Dissent. By the early 20th century. In cities such as Birmingham. Unitarians and Presbyterians. • Many new industrial towns had no churches and priest or any kind of religious organization. 4. a missionary movement but very much inspired by Dissent. 2. The Established Church was essential for the preservation of social order: membership of the Established Church was obligatory for full participation in politics. Dissent was not a homogeneous phenomenon. 2. there were marked divisions between Independents. However. over four-fifths of a vastly increasing population lived in towns. At Oxford. the city councils were dominated by dissenters after the electoral reforms of the 1830’s.Britain – a multicultural society 1. The Anglican Church exerted control over the universities and important public schools. compared with one-third in the mid-18th century. the multi-ethnic character of modern Britain is a continuation of 19th century trends. 69 . 3.

• John Wesley*. giving them a sense of purpose and dignity. • The Evangelical Revival aimed to return to a simple faith based on the Bible. appealing to the spiritual needs of simple people. They expressed a growing demand against the paying of taxes for the upkeep of the parish church. greatly influencing trade unionism and labour movement in Britain. and the continued exclusion of dissenters from Oxford and Cambridge. 2. sometimes preaching in three different villages in one day). • He preached in the open air. 3. • It advanced a highly theoretical and rational approach to the Bible. • Puritans. against the legal requirement that dissenters be married within a Church of the Establishment. In 1834 a dissenting conference demanded the Disestablishment of the Church*. The Reform Act of 1832* and the establishment of University College London testify to the new strength of Dissenters. 5. 4. • They combined preaching with lively singing and dancing. 70 . Quakers and other Nonconformist sects became wellknown for their social concern. a most charismatic Anglican pries. travelled around the country preaching (224.Britain – a multicultural society • John Wesley never left his home town but his spreading fame made his church very popular. 6. • He preached a personal and emotional form of religion.000 miles on horseback. 1. and visiting prisons.

Liverpool. drinking. easy-going. 71 . The 19th century is one of those ages that can best exemplify the shifts of power and authority within the British Isles and also the extent to which the centre could control but could at the same time be undermined by the periphery. The fame of London subsided in the new age. hard work. This led to the creation of a new urban culture in the North . What set of traits is characteristic of each of the two cultures? • one was immoral. hunting. demographic and economic changes was the Industrial Revolution. He was a devout follower of 17th century Puritanism and an opponent of the southern aristocracy. but his views found a home in the Liberal Party . idleness. • the other was a culture underscored by restraint. a radical thinker (a trait not typical of dissent). cockfighting. social. bent on debauchery and frivolity. since shipbuilding and silk weaving were unable to compete with the industries of the powerful North. The human prototypes of the age were the engineer and inventor. perseverance and a commitment to temperance*. John Bright* began his political career with a speech advocating temperance and fought the imposition of Church rates upon dissenters. Socio-economic changes were accompanied by major cultural changes.a term that should be made more flexible to include the industrial areas of Birmingham. In 1870 historian Charles Trevelyan described the metropolis as a “gigantic engine for depraving and degrading our population… a common sink of everything that was worst in the United Kingdom”. the Establishment and Dissent boil down to the sets below. respectability.very much the party of the North against the South. the factory towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire and the mining villages of the counties north of Nottinghamshire. Manchester. gambling. The Establishment: The Dissent: In mid-19th century the balance of these cultures shifted radically once more. The great ferment of all cultural. Sheffield. The ideology of Northern Dissent put forward the self-made man as a praiseworthy social ideal.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 7 The main doctrinal and attitudinal differences between the two cultures. Leeds and Newcastle. sobriety.

Memory of the famine is to this day part and parcel of the mentality of Catholic culture. was spared from famine when successive potato crops failed. The small farming and labouring classes in the south and west bore the full brunt of the famine. declined. In Ireland the counterpart of the northern economic boom was the industrial expansion of Belfast and the Lagan Valley. By 1847 the labouring class. The new subcultures add tension to the clashing cultures within the various regions of the British Isles.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 8 What is the name of the famous engineer who completed the Great Western Railway from London to Bristol. A major cause of the continued division between Catholic and Protestant cultures in Ireland must be sought in their contrasting experiences during the atrocious years of famine (1845-1849). The memory of this social tragedy was taken with them by many Irish emigrants. was decimated by disease and starvation. where oats rather than potatoes constituted the normal diet.5 An engineer of genius A new factor that was added now to the general scene is internal migration. English and Irish immigrants. on top of Welsh internal migrants from rural areas. The Protestant north. Those who managed to survive were forced to emigrate in large numbers (well over a million and a half) so that by 1851 Ireland had lost a quarter of its population through emigration or death (nearly one million). 72 . Cardiff became a melting pot* attracting. Because of the influx of Catholic and Protestant immigrants from Ulster in search of employment in Wales. Dublin became a backwater like London. its infant industries. As Belfast prospered. differentiating it from that of Protestant Ireland. who designed the first propeller-driven ship to cross the Atlantic and the Clifton suspension bridge to span the Avon Gorge? Wilkinson Wedgwood Brindley Stephenson Brunel Telford Figure 2. overwhelmingly Catholic.

He was a defender of the aristocracy. stability and of the preservation of past greatness. So. were accompanied by inter-ethnic hostility. The rise of the Home Rule movement in Ireland in the 1800s led to a further intensification of ethnic rivalries throughout the British Isles. the periphery (restricted to a mostly passive role in the first half of the century) embarked upon a much changed status towards the middle of the 19th century. at the end of the unit. betrayers of Britain’s world and imperial interests. This was the backdrop against which the Liberal Party was formed. 73 . whilst it may seem that the individual histories of the four national constituents can only be understood in such a larger context with England at the hub of all changes. It was at that time that Irish Catholicism. the centre being now exposed to political pressures from the periphery.6 Home Rule The ample economic changes of industrialisation and modernisation as well as urbanisation were a major effect of English investment and a response to the demands of the English market. a threat to the institutions of the nation. middle class origin and Jewish extraction. one of the defenders of the establishment was someone who should have been destined by his birth and temperament for dissent: Benjamin Disraeli**. He portrayed the liberals as unpatriotic. On the other hand. for free trade and for the introduction of competitive examinations into the Civil Service. 2. He was a man of Bohemian temperament. Gladstone** pressed for Home Rule. a danger to property. The intermingling of cultures and the mobility of populations. Where is that? Write your answer below and then compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. in his opinion the only security for self-government. Paradoxically.1. Welsh Non-Conformism and the Free Churches of Scotland formed an alliance with English dissent to bring pressure to bear upon the English establishment.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 9 The Irish emigrated in huge numbers to a part of the world where they still form the largest Irish community outside Ireland. particularly towards Irish Catholics and Jews.

British troops sent in to restore order. The cultural differences between north and south were accentuated by religion. Attacked by Protestant extremists. and the 26 counties of the Free Irish State. the parliament of N Ireland unable to accept British interference. The role of the army changed from protecting the Catholics to fighting the IRA who previously did not have much support in N Ireland. The distinguishing features of Irish identity in the south were Catholicism and nationalism. 7. 8. which were given a measure of Home Rule. Clashes with the police .Britain – a multicultural society Figure 2. 5. 1969 IRA* moved in to protect Catholics from the gangs of protestant extremists. 3. British government decided to take over responsibility for law and order. August 1969 severe rioting broke out in Londonderry and Belfast. 9. SAQ 10 By arranging chronologically the following events you will end up with the story of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland: 1. Gladstone At the end of World War I Ireland was not divided by class but by culture. E. nourished by a revival of an interest in Gaelic culture and the Irish language. 6. In 1916 Sinn Fein* came into being to oppose the Protestant north-east.6 Benjamin Disraeli Figure 2. Ireland split into the six counties of Northern Ireland (Ulster). 74 . If in 1914 a civil war had been prevented as the Protestants of Ulster wanted at all costs to preserve the union. and after three years of military struggle.serious tensions between the communities. 2. In the late 60’s many Catholics (who made up more than a third of Ireland’s population) first organised peaceful demonstrations for civil rights. 30 January 1972 Blood Sunday when the customary water cannons were replaced by real guns and 13 demonstrators were shot dead by soldiers. 4.7 W. resigned. the Rule Bill was put into effect after the war. Stormont.

signed in 1998. There were at least three Scotlands during this period. 13. as estates were turned over to the more profitable sheep farming.St Andrews. south Wales became an important melting pot where the Irish. Quite paradoxically. A referendum* organized in Ireland and N Ireland. Highland clearances* took place on a massive scale. a movement for Welsh Home Rule made its appearance in the 1880s. Welsh and English intermingled. Early 70s IRA’s control of some urban areas was so great that they were called ‘no-go areas’ (e. The Good Friday Agreement. Industry being much stronger there than in Ireland. Emigration to Canada (Nova Scotia.Britain – a multicultural society 10. Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Home Rule was not specific to Ireland only. when four-fifths of the ministers. Londonderry). 11. with one major difference. While the west Lowlands with Glasgow as the centre. 12. Due to the Ossian forgeries of 75 Home Rule in Wales Home Rule in Scotland . Three of the famous Scottish universities were there -. Gaelic oral culture flourished and gave rise to a biblically oriented literacy. left the Established Church. especially the refusal of the IRA to decommission (give up weapons). The Province under direct rule from London. There are many parallels that can be established between Ireland and Wales in the 18th and 19th centuries. with the balance shifting in favour of the urbanised and industrialised Lowlands. at the end of the unit. a romanticised version of Highland culture was making headway in the Lowlands too. Stormont was once again suspended over mounting disagreements. Edinburgh was the centre of the Scottish Enlightenment. legal and cultural dominance. There were the Highlands which during the century saw their population drop substantially. This was an extraordinary event. Yet the great majority were Welsh and no massive emigration occurred from Wales. was heavily industrialised. and its provisions successfully passed. 15. It was also a success for the middle-class’s ability to draw upon local resources of wealth and expertise. an expression of Scottish nationalism against the control of Westminster. Now check your findings against the answer given in the “Answers” section.g. The agreement led to the reopening of Stormont and replacement of British rule by a power-sharing government where all political parties were represented. They used all the methods of terrorism to try to achieve their aim to get the British army out and secure a united Ireland. There was a disruption within the Scottish church in 1843. The Highlands underwent great changes because of the influence of the missionary activities of the Methodists. Cape Breton or Prince Edward) became a pattern. It was mainly the rural areas of west Wales that supported Home Rule. 14. with a long tradition of political. to the east. In 2002. the Lowlands were mainly a rural area.

however. Ireland had toughened its anti-British attitude with the decision of neutrality during World War II. SAQ 11 What movie of the 90s is based on this cult of the Highlander as a great hero fighting for Scotland’s independence from under the English rule? Did you see the film? What was it that you liked about it? Please use the space below to write down your answer and do not forget to include it in your portfolio for further discussions with your peers and with your tutor during tutorials. the cult of the Highlander achieved extraordinary success. but against which they measure their own identity. a decision in favour of economic stagnation and cultural isolation.1. Here Church and State fought to keep Ireland ‘uncontaminated’ by the pressures of modernity. Aneurin Bevan* and Harold Wilson**.7 Devolution After World War II the victory of Labour* restored the influence of the periphery in the persons of such cabinet ministers as Emmanuel Shinwell*. Despite the fact that four-fifths of the Scots are urban dwellers and hold jobs characteristic of modern times. 2. In the meanwhile.Britain – a multicultural society James Macpherson* and of the novels of Walter Scott*. divorce and contraception were prohibited and a system of literary censorship was enforced. This was. For 50 years the politics of Northern Ireland has remained frozen in an ethno-religious mould with two-thirds of its Protestant 76 . pastoral and anti-national discourse imposed upon them. A product of the Ossian poems and Scott’s novels. their imaginative lives continue to be shaped by this ruralist. By 1972 this attitude seemed to have changed decisively when the Irish voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the EEC*. Scotland is stereotyped as a timeless pre-industrial Highland world.

8 per cent came out in favour of it and 46. Welsh nationalism received one of its cruellest blows when only a slim 11. ethnic hostilities were high. and in 1979 it was put to referendum. Nationalism was on the rise again when the discovery of important fields of oil off the east coast of Scotland provided an issue on which the Scottish National Party could capitalise. politics became based more and more on class divisions. In Scotland.Britain – a multicultural society majority maintaining its unity against the supposed threat of the Catholic minority. In England. The politics of class proved again to be stronger than the factors of ethnicity and religion. class came to the forefront. ethnic issues remained important. Although in such delicate areas as Glasgow and Liverpool. SAQ 12 What you have found out about Wales and Scotland should enable you to answer the following question: Why was the referendum of 1979 unsuccessful in both Wales and Scotland? Write your answer in the space below and compare it to that provided in the “Answers” section. despite the fact that especially in the west. to the consternation of Plaid Cymru*.5 per cent against. In Scotland it attracted 52 per cent of the votes cast but this amounted to only 33 per cent of the total electorate. a workingclass authoritarian Toryism* could still thrive. 77 . at the end of the unit. Devolution became an issue that the Labour government could no longer ignore. where the rich south-east provided a secure basis for Conservative political power. They demanded that Scottish oil should be used for the benefit of the Scottish people.

leading the way to opening the Parliament of Scotland and the Assembly (Senned) in Wales after 300 years and almost 500 years. bringing about a complete overhaul of the British context. The 1997 referenda were a historic step that the Welsh and the Scots took. but facing a different opposition in each: Labour versus nationalism in its Scottish. politically and economically. one that puts first the distinct political cultures of the constituents. whilst at the same time strengthening the union. the Irish and the Welsh remain citizens of the same country and their future within the union will depend on the skill and intelligence and the capacity of Labour to accommodate diversity while sustaining in the most enlightened of fashions the feeling of belonging to a common core.355. the biggest political shake-up of British politics since the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 has been devolution that followed the 1997 referenda. Joyce. building a modern constitution for the whole of the United Kingdom. others. However.000 people. Although Tony Blair thinks that this devolving of power will strengthen the union. This new landscape is seen by Tony Blair as a big victory of Labour over ‘old-style nationalism’. Synge. Although many of the leading figures in English literature -. Scotland is seen as a very sectarian. 78 . The Scots.were Irishmen. the affairs of Scotland and Wales remain intertwined with England’s. What devolution has unleashed is a new dynamic in British life. making it more flexible and more open. AntiCatholic and anti-Irish society. The rise of nationalism has led to an escalation of sectarianism in the devolved countries. The Conservatives have become a vanishing force in UK politics. a highly secularised society. During the 1950s there was an immense wave of Irish immigration to the UK -.Britain – a multicultural society Although long-standing historical patterns continue to manifest themselves culturally. where few people observe any religion at all. more nationalist in their views. take it as the way to true independence. respectively. The Elections of May 1999 (parliamentary elections in the devolved Wales and Scotland) will be remembered as a big reshuffle of political power in British society. in sports (such as golf and rugby) the differences are virtually ignored.Yeats. Despite all speculation one thing remains clear: the nationalist parties did not win. Scotland is unlike Northern Ireland. O’Casey and Seamus Heaney -. The main force opposing Labour is now reduced to the status of a fringe group west and north of the border. like Alexander Salmond (leader of the SNP*). Welsh and English forms. The elections saw the coronation of Labour by a narrow margin in all three nations of Great Britain.

Britain – a multicultural society Key Concepts • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The English (Puritan) Revolution Dissent Disestablishment of the Anglican Church internal migration melting-pot effect Industrial Revolution Highland Clearances Bill of Rights Temperance Movement Plaid Cymru Scottish National Party IRA/Sinn Fein Fenian Irish Movement referendum Home Rule Devolution Glossary anglocentric = centred on England Auld Alliance = alliance that came into being after the attempt of Edward I* to conquer Scotland in 1295. and British aircraft tried to fight them off. The bombing stopped late in 1940 and this was seen by British people as a great victory for them. when the German aircraft repeatedly bombed British cities. Aneurin = British Labour politician from Wales. which in 1689 consecrated a more democratic and progressive arrangement that overrode the power of the king to favour popular will represented in parliament. Winston Churchill said about the British pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owned by so many to so few. 79 . Battle of Britain = name given to the fighting between British and German aircraft during the summer and autumn of 1940. Bill of Rights = written statement of the most important rights of the citizens. known for his excellent speeches. According to the Auld Alliance whenever England attacked any of the two countries. The Scots turned to the king of France for support. It lasted well into the 16th century. As Minister of Health (1945-1951) he helped establish the NHS National Health Service.” Bevan. the other would immediately make trouble behind England’s back.

Benjamin = Conservative English politician and writer of Jewish origin. was against the imposition of church taxes on dissenters and was a supporter of the Temperance Movement Calvin. It worked for the free movement of labour and capital and the development of joint and reciprocal policies on labour. a radical thinker. and Germany which was known informally as the Common Market. clearances (Highland clearances) = system of forcing people to leave their homes and land in Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries to make the land clear for sheep farming. agriculture. transport. for sale. Disestablishment = depriving church of State connection. respectively. The EEC had as its aim the eventual economic union of its member nations. were born out of Calvinist Presbyterianism. organization established (1958) by treaty between Belgium. Dissent = movement in the 19th century Britain that led to the rise of Nonconformists. such as Puritanism. and foreign trade. Italy. France. He was Prime Minister in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880. social welfare. 80 . feudal lord) but for the market. who advocated free trade. The second referendum for devolution organized in Wales and Scotland in September 1997 was successful and on 6 May 1999 elections were held in the two countries and their parliaments were reopened after 500 and 300 years. John = British liberal politician of the 19th century. Many people left Scotland and emigrated to Canada and the US. devolution = the transfer (or devolving) of governmental or personal power to a person or group at a lower or more local level. Jean = French Protestant theologian involved in the Reformation in France and Switzerland and known for the severity of his system (the theory of predestination). The EEC was the most significant of the three treaty organizations that were consolidated in 1967 to form the European Community (EC) known since the ratification in 1993 of the Maastricht treaty as the European Union. town sending member(s) to parliament. Disraeli. ultimately leading to political union. so that it ceases to be the official religion for a nation. Luxembourg. Bright.Britain – a multicultural society borough = town with corporation and privileges conferred by royal charter. who organized for the Disestablishment of the Church and for recognition of their rights. the Netherlands. Several dissenting churches. cash economy = modern type of economy where the producer no longer produces for a limited use (family. EEC = European Economic Community.

Britain – a multicultural society English (Puritan) Revolution = the Civil War that brought about important constitutional changes. The Provisional IRA is known for its use of terrorist methods. IRA = the Irish Republican Army: an illegal organization whose aim is to unite Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as one republic. 81 . It is also used with reference to the nationalist movement in Ireland between 1870 and 1921 when the Free Irish State was established. William Ewart = British liberal politician who was prime minister from 1868 to 1874. He established national education. practices. James II = King of England from 1685 and Scotland (as James VII). Canada as well as Ireland.‘Gloriana’. Gladstone. Part of the IRA.daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (the second of his six wives). He became a Catholic and was forced to run away to France and was later defeated at the battle of the Boyne in 1690. 1880 to 1885 and 1892-1894. supported free trade and Home Rule for Ireland. Industrial Revolution = period of time (1750-1850) when new ground-breaking technologies and machines were invented and factories were set up and when traditional institutions. ‘The Phoenix of the World’ . She is known for saying: “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman. In her time under her moderate but authoritative rule England became a great power (they defended the Spanish Armada in 1588) and the foundation of the Empire was laid. It eroded the claims to monarchic absolutism in England and attested to the rising importance of Puritan ideas in English society. but I have the heart and stomach of a King”. about experimenting with new ideas and institutions. Home Rule = self-government by an area that was once politically dependent. Fenian Irish Movement (name derived from the Irish hero Finn of the Fenian cycle of legends) = independence movement that started in the 1860’s and which attempted risings in the USA. In 1867 it astonished England by a series of bomb explosions. Elizabeth I = one of the most glorious of all British monarchs (15331603) . relations in the public and private spheres underwent radical changes internal migration = important movements of people from one region to another (within the same country) leading to melting pot effects. introduced the secret ballot.

Starting with Harold Wilson there have been attempts at modernizing the party but none of such scope as those initiated under Tony Blair’s New Labour. in which it was suggested that epic poetry relating to the legendary Fingal and his son Ossian might still remain to be discovered intact in the Highland oral tradition. founded in 1925.the Kirk . It first assumed the name in 1906. For many years it represented the interest of the working class against the interests of the employers. although it was also supported by many middle class people. After the devolution of 1997 it became the second most important political force after labour in the newly opened Senned. left-of-centre Welsh nationalist party. Labour = one of the two main political parties in Britain. He attacked the powers of the Pope and he translated the Bible into German Macpherson. In 1760 he published "Fragments of Ancient Poetry Collected in the Highlands of Scotland and Translated from the Gallic or Erse Language" (1760). Knox. Martin = religious leader of Reformation in Germany which led to the creation of the Protestant church and its break-away from the Catholic Church. In 1517 he wrote hiss famous 95 points that he nailed to the door of his church in Wittenberg. melting pot (effect) = place where there is a mixing of people of different races and nations.and Presbyterianism (a religious system inspired by Jean Calvin. Methodism = Christian Protestant religion that places importance on social and personal morality Plaid Cymru = literally meaning “Party of Wales”. John = Scottish religious reformer of the 16th century who established the Church of Scotland . the only significant heretical movement in mediaeval England. especially intellectuals. Luther. 82 . The book was a great success and aroused interest in the possibility that Scotland might possess a body of classical literature analogous to the Homeric poetry of Greece. corruption and wealth of clergy. in which the government of the church is shared by a mixed body of priests and lay people). Lollardy (Lollards) = (probable etymology lollaer ‘a mumbler of prayers’). their belief in a Bible in English prefigured Reformation and was to be one of the central convictions of Protestantism. hostile to ecclesiastical authority.Britain – a multicultural society kind (in) = using goods or natural products rather than money as a method of payment (opposed to ‘in cash’). James (1736 -1796) = remembered for one of the most spectacular literary hoaxes (forgeries) of all time: the epic of Ossian.

Reform Bill of 1832 = initiated by the Whig (liberal) government that followed in 1830 the death of George IV opened the road to modern democracy in Britain. Sinn Fein = Irish Political organization. ability to return quickly to a state of normalcy after going through difficulty. the political wing of the IRA that embraces the same political ideas as IRA and also supports the use of force against British rule in Northern Ireland. With the establishment of devolution for Scotland in 1999 the SNP has styled itself as the main opposition party to the Scottish Executive.Britain – a multicultural society Privy Council = body of approximately 500 people of high rank in politics and public life who can be asked to advise the monarch on certain state affairs. 83 . Scott. including several based on historical characters such as Ivanhoe or The Heart of the Midlothian. rather than their representatives in parliament or the government. Shinwell. Temperance Movement = 19th century movement in the in Britain. We still use Tory as an alternative name for Conservative. USA and N Europe due to the increase in alcoholism which had devastating individual and social consequences. SNP = The Scottish National Party was formed in 1934 from the union of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party. It organized huge rallies to persuade people not to drink alcohol. are asked to vote on a certain issue. change. Toryism = typical of Tory. who served as Secretary of State for Defence after WWII. Thirty nine Articles = a set of basic teachings and beliefs in the Church of England. referendum = the best known instrument of direct democracy where all people. Walter = Scottish writer and poet (1771-1832) especially famous for his stories of Scottish life. Wesley. to the gradual enfranchisement (the right to vote) of all sectors of the population and to many other political and civil freedoms in Britain. John = Anglican priest of the 18th century who established Methodism and whose writings and teachings became the principles of the Methodist Church. resilience = endurance. a right-wing party established in the 17th century and which in the 1830s became the Conservative party. which the Church still asks its priests to agree to in principle before appointment. Emanuel = prominent Labour politician of Jewish origin. written in 1571. shock etc. tenacity.

Had Henry IV supported Wycliffe and the Lollards* to go on with their project the English Church might have become independent in the early 15th century. SAQ 3 The whole movement of the Reformation. On the contrary.1. SAQ 2 Britishness was still considered to be a common good for all provinces in the 60’s.7.1. just like the national parliaments reopened in Scotland and Wales. 84 . His wife. thus allowing people to have a direct knowledge of the Bible.Britain – a multicultural society William (III) and Mary = William III (of Orange). Wilson. for the dissolution of Britishness as national identity. This type of heroism associated with Britishness and heroism in World War II gave way gradually to new patterns of expressing national identities in the 70’s when Britishness started to feel oppressive.6 and 2. Harold = English Labour politician (born in Yorkshire) who was prime minister from 1964 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1976. In the 70’s Scottish and Welsh nationalism were on the rise and the troubles in Northern Ireland took a dramatic turn. In the book – and the film screened after the book – the date ascribed to the death of Britain (born in 1707) is 1997 (devolution in Scotland and Wales). Mary II. the daughter of King James II. His radicalism was apparent in his concept of church and state overlapping. king of England Scotland and Ireland from 1689 to 1702. Ulrich = Swiss humanist and reformer of the Church. thus also encouraging interpretation and different readings of the Bible and more critical attitudes to clerical corruption and abuse. In the 90’s English nationalism became very prominent and more and more voices are heard today calling for an English Parliament. The battle of Britain* fuelled like never before British pride. Henry IV was a devout Catholic. Answers to SAQs SAQ 1 Should your answer not be comparable to that given below please read sections 2. had equal power and that is why people usually talk about the reign of William and Mary. Zwingli. which sparked off such important cultural developments all over Europe hinged on the translation of the Bible into English. On the front cover of A. Marr’s book you can see a coffin wrapped up in the Union Jack being lowered into the grave – a powerful symbolic image for the death of a nation.

SAQ 8 His name is Isamabard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859). sobriety. • It advanced a highly theoretical and rational approach to the Bible. King’s followers called Cavaliers. In 1642 Charles gathered his army. respectability. the Presbyterian Scots rioted. made up mostly of Puritans tries the king for high treason and in January 1649 Charles I is executed. hunting. • They combined preaching with lively singing and dancing. raised an army. A Parliament reduced to one third. Between 1642 and 1648 several battles were fought (Naseby. Parliament imposes its conditions in return for its support (mostly limiting the king’s prerogatives). was a culture underscored by restraint. on the other hand. cockfighting. SAQ 7 • • Establishment (land-owning aristocracy): immoral. In 1660 Charles II is restored to the throne. idleness. Preston) and several attempts made at negotiations with the king fail. perseverance and a commitment to temperance and social reform. a Protectorate is constituted with Cromwell Lord Protector and a one-house parliament. King feels compelled to summon Parliament and ask for their financial and military support. Monarchy and the House of Lords abolished by Cromwell. easy-going. bent on debauchery and frivolity. gambling. 85 . those of Parliament Roundheads (because of their specific haircut). drinking. SAQ 5 The false sentences are: • Many Scots were favourable to the Act of Union.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 4 Charles I dissolves parliament desiring to become an absolute monarch. • The Act of Union was saluted with enthusiasm by the Scottish Parliament. Marston Moor. SAQ 6 The following sentences are false: • John Wesley* never left his home but his spreading fame made his church very popular. occupied Northern England. • Scotland was allowed to keep its own parliament. The Culture of Dissent. when he tries to impose Anglicanism in Presbyterian Scotland. • The Scots were forced to convert to Anglicanism. hard work.

SAQ 11 Braveheart (a film directed by Mel Gibson) won most Oscar awards in 1996. Concern was expressed repeatedly with the film’s anglophobia.7. The nationalist movement in all three provinces capitalized on Celtic tradition (something they claimed made the big difference between them and the English). 9. 3. 5. 12.g. Wales.6.2. 1. Thus they managed to antagonize important sections of the population who were English and who did not identify as closely with this Celtic heritage. 11. In the 19th century. amongst them the Best Picture Award. SAQ 10 The right order of the sentences: 7. 6. SAQ 12 Should your answer not be comparable to that given below please revise section 2. The latter feared that devolution would make them second-class citizens in these provinces. 10.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 9 Should your answer not be comparable to that given below please revise section 1. 13. 4. 14. 86 . This Gibson-styled Wallace (a Scottish hero in the 13th century who fought against the English led by Edward I) was compared with the notorious Bosnian Serb military commander General Radko Mladic (one of the most wanted war criminals in Europe). Irish emigrated in huge numbers to America that has tried quite often recently to support the peace plans for Northern Ireland (e. 8. Bill Clinton). Teenage Scottish audiences cheered every time Wallace killed an Englishman. 2.1. religiously. Northern Ireland and Scotland have become ethnically. racially mixed over history.

87 . Bhabha redefines culture as “the activity of negotiating. We have considered mainly the phenomenon of internal hybridization and the process of internal migration and amalgamation. In his Location of Culture. a dominant culture and on the other hand ‘the others’ – colonial. In Reinventing Britain.2 Inter-racial relations in contemporary Britain 2. to the emergence of the plurality of identities that we call ‘the British’. Bhabha insists on the necessity of getting away from a view of culture as an evaluative activity concerned primarily with the attribution of identity and authenticity (custom. folklorised and ‘orientalised’.2. of acculturations* and of crosscultural conversations.Britain – a multicultural society 2. constructed nature of ‘Englishness’. It would lead us to a conception of majoritarian versus minoritarian perspective. The history of the British people has been a never-ending series of exchanges. ritual). a monolithic entity standing in ‘splendid isolation’ from the continent. I am going to proceed to a discussion of the consequences of the main waves of immigration and of the configuration of a multicultural society . class and gender or by demonstrating the historical and artificial. Much of today’s multiculturalist thinking is seeking to revise the homogeneous notion of ‘national culture’ by emphasizing multiple identities of race. The coexistence of different cultures replaces the dominance of a mainstream nationalist culture. ethno-essentialist point of view would distort the picture completely.a cultural. while also briefly discussing the waves of immigration. A nationalist. regulating and authorising competing often conflicting demands for collective self-representation” (1997: 9-10). The hybrid cosmopolitanism of contemporary metropolitan life cannot be denied in the context of globalisation and the unprecedented development of communication technologies. This perspective necessarily would take us to a confrontational view of culture: on the one hand a ‘core’ culture. ‘Scottishness’. social and political model that is meant to create what Homi Bhabha* calls ‘a third space of understanding’ that transcends the dualism of ‘us’ and ‘them’. A Manifesto. An anglocentrist view of English history would impoverish immensely the interplay of shaping forces that contributed to the emergence of a plurivocal identity. etc. tradition.1 From immigration to multiculturalism Our main purpose so far was to reject a view of Britain as one nation.

London in 2001. with many coming to “the mother country” to work. The expansion of the British Empire across the globe by the 19th century also meant a two-way flow of people. often bringing new trades or coming to work in new industries.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 1 Before reading the next section. What does it mean. 88 . study or help defend the nation. in your opinion? Write your answer in the space below and then compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. or to seek refuge from political or religious persecution. try to think of the meaning of multiculturalism. Black and Asian troops from the Empire fought for Britain in both the First and Second World Wars. at the end of the unit. Other groups were also attracted to Britain by the chance of economic security.2 A short historical survey of immigration in Britain Many people have come to Britain over the centuries – through invasion. Immigration expanded in the post-war period when immigrants were encouraged to come from the Caribbean to work in public transport. 2.2. memorial gates honouring their contribution were opened in Constitution Hill. as a result of Britain’s expansion into the world. manufacturing and the National Health Service.

f. o. l. n. at the end of the unit.000 Romans Jewish community expelled First Jewish community Caribbeans First black people (the African Division of the Roman army) Anglo-Saxons Irish workers fled starvation Resettlement of Jews Asians expelled from East Africa Jews fled pogroms in Russia and Poland and later the rise of Nazism in Germany. e. 22 June 1948 18 r. throughout the 1950s and early 60s 16th century the 1970's Mid 19th century 19 20 21 s. c. d. t. b. 17th century 3rd century 8th century 5th century 1066 1656 1st millennium BC 43 AD 16th century after 1066 19th and 20th century 1290 1960’s and 1980's mid 18th century 19th century the 1970s and 1980s 17 q. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Norman Conquest Beginnings of slave trade Gypsies Celts Huguenots and other persecuted protestants Black community of London of about 15. 89 .Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 2 Match the following groups of people who settled in Britain with the right date of their settlement and also rank them chronologically. k. Immigrants from India. Check your answer against that provided in the “Answers” section. i. m. g. Seafarers from India and China settling in such ports as London. j. Liverpool and Cardiff. Pakistan and Bangladesh Hong Kong Chinese and refugees from Vietnam Vikings The first group of 492 Jamaicans arrived on the MV Empire Windrush a. p. h. u.

are not known but add further to the ethnic diversity of the British population.the median age of whites is 37.3% 20.Britain – a multicultural society This history of immigration to Britain has produced today’s uniquely diverse nation. An estimated two million Britons are of Irish descent. Inner London is the only part of the country where black Britons outnumber British Asians. What can be said of the ethnic minority groups as a whole is that they tend to be considerably younger than the population at large -. youth subcultures. because of its higher birth rate. Much debate focuses on the over 200 languages spoken in the capital's schools. Cypriot. Almost half of all ethnic minority Britons live in London. Indians 31 and Bangladeshis 18. SAQ 3 What percentage of the overall population of England and Wales identified themselves as being from an ethnic minority population at the last census in 2001? 6. It is difficult to talk about a single 'ethnic minority experience' of life in Britain today as there are as many differences within and between different ethnic groups as can be found by comparing the 'ethnic minorities' to the general population. Britpop* and literature all owe a debt to the creative and talented people who have come here to settle over the years. at the end of the unit.1% 16. Turkish or other descents. Asian and other ethnic minority individuals and communities are making their mark on the new face of Britain as a centre of style. and the unique mixture of cultural assets and social problems this creates for the 'global city'. while British Indians predominate in outer London suburbs such as Harrow. fashion and pioneering ideas in popular culture and the arts. which is contemporary to British life and culture. television.more than the population of the Republic of Ireland. The Office for National Statistics anticipates that the minority ethnic population will almost double by 2020. The overall number of non-white Britons. The numbers in other groups.9% 13.5% Check your answer against that given in the “Answers” section. British cinema. by almost two to one. according to the latest census of 2001 stands at well over four million -. The quality and breadth of the arts and popular culture have been enriched through the contribution of individuals from many backgrounds and traditions.7% 9. that of Afro-Caribbeans 33. British-born black. Ethnic diversity has shaped Britain’s cultural life. such as those of Jewish. fashion. Their diversity creates a unique identity as different traditions and approaches fuse to create a distinct hybrid. 90 .

” The inner city in question is in Bradford/ derelict houses/ poverty/ unemployment/ most of the area an Asian district/ pubs stayed open late/ heavily policed/ “diverse. but in north-west towns .” (London Kills Me. his father Pakistani). beliefs and an established form of life. pp.which contain very high levels of internal ethnic segregation. Racial tensions have been greatest over the last years not in the areas with the largest ethnic populations. among the most deprived areas in the North-West.Britain – a multicultural society Think First! The following fragment comes from an essay by a well-known British novelist and playwright of Pakistani origin (his mother was English. 96 per cent of the Pakistani community and 89 per cent of Bangladeshis live in the five inner wards.000 Chinese Britons may further add to their near invisibility in discussion about race in Britain. 1991. There was guide-book England. Rochdale and Blackburn . whilst Southall's Sikhs. ethnically mixed”/ “no shared outlook. Now half a century later. 19th century industrial England of factories and suburbs. and contemporary England of by-passes and suburbs. of palaces and forests. 91 . In Rochdale. as well as in most of the predominantly white regions of England. Moreover. Hanif Kureishi. disparate population.Oldham. while British Indians are the largest ethnic group in both the West and East Midlands. How would you describe an inner city using the props below: “…he found three Englands. Leicester's Hindus and Brixton's black populations live in areas with white majorities. Pakistanis form the largest ethnic group in the North-West. The relatively even dispersal of the 149. Faber & Faber. there are parts of London where the non-whites form the majority of residents (Newham and Brent). Burnley. 128-130) Write your answer in the space below (in no more than 100 words) and do not forget to add it to your portfolio. there is another England as well: the inner city. Yorkshire and Scotland.

They enjoy rising prosperity through hard work while retaining a strong belief in the family. or better. The political. living mostly in council houses*. They start their own business. But with greater levels of unemployment and one in three Afro-Caribbean children in a single-parent family. while Afro-Caribbean women are doing relatively well in terms of employment and income. Higher graduate unemployment and lower wages than for similarly qualified whites suggests continued racial disadvantage. and join the ranks of professionally qualified white collar workers. levels of education and skills for almost all ethnic groups have not translated into equality in the world of work. Richard Ford says in an article published in the Guardian* of 12 June 1996. 92 . Yet over the last decade another tendency has gained ground: Indians and Pakistanis are gradually becoming ‘the new Jews of Britain’. with the highest levels of inter-racial marriages (eight times higher than those for blacks in the United States). Worst-off are people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin who are the most likely to be unemployed. move into their own homes. If education is the key to opportunity and mobility. The problem is that similar. especially among women. Most ethnic groups are over-represented among Britain's undergraduates. On the other hand. legal and business establishment remains largely white. British Indians are. SAQ 4 How many Pakistani and Bangladeshi are living in poverty? The correct answer is one of the five below: 7% 22% 37% 52% 67% Now go to the “Answers” section and check your answer. slightly better off than white Britons. and with lower levels of fluency in English than other ethnic groups. the Bangladeshis and the Afro-Caribbeans face an ‘Irish’ future. even though these are largely concentrated at the new universities.Britain – a multicultural society The Afro-Caribbean community is the most 'integrated'. living in poverty or overcrowded housing. there is a high level of child poverty. on average. being working class wage-earners. then many positive developments might be expected. but there is a relatively high inequality within the group. particularly among women.

At school one teacher always spoke to me in a ‘Peter Sellers’ Indian accent. jumped into a bath of boiling water. 1991. 93 . Faber & Faber. They were despised and out of place. Another refused to call me by name. when he noticed that burnt skin turned white.Britain – a multicultural society Think First! Read the following fragments from Hanif Kureishi’s essay England “In the mid-1960s Pakistanis were a risible subject in England. 73-75. or on a visit abroad? Have you ever witnessed manifestations of racial attitudes? If yes. calling me Pakistani Pete instead…” (London Kills Me. they were uncomfortable in England. at school. derided on television and exploited by politicians. I read with understanding a story in a newspaper about a black boy. From the start I tried to deny my Pakistani self. how did you react? Please add these answers to your portfolio for further discussions during the tutorials. some of them had difficulties with the language. who. They had the worst jobs. I wanted to be like everyone else. It was a curse and I wanted to be rid of it. 100) Now try to answer the following questions and write your answers in the space below: Have you ever experienced the feeling of being ridiculed for being different in a certain environment. in the street.

However. 1968). Enoch Powell. they prefer to settle unhappily into civilizational senility…”. They’ve seen the whole character of their neighbourhood change… 94 . perhaps in an attempt to challenge Edward Heath*’s* leadership of the Conservative Party. integrating and providing equal opportunities in all fields for people belonging to ethnic minorities.2. Every nation can take some minorities and in many ways they add to the richness and variety of this country. Instead. Some people have felt swamped by immigrants. In April 1968. which had become a place of noise and confusion due to coloured neighbours. 2004) “Christianity’s ancient stronghold of Europe is rapidly giving way to Islam. “We are a British nation with British characteristics. "Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam. Like the Romans I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood…” (Enoch Powell. many think that a kind of deep-rooted institutionalised racism inherent in the British continues to manifest itself. Current trends suggest Islamization will happen. for Europeans seem to find it too strenuous to have children. to be permitting the annual flow of some 50. (Daniel Pipes director of The Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures). a right-wing nationalist. stop illegal immigration.. What ideas do they share? In what ways do they differ from one another? “The breeding of millions of half-caste children would merely produce a generation of misfits and create national tensions” (Duncan Sandys.. The Force of Reason. 1967) “This country will not be worth living in for our children…As I look ahead I am filled with foreboding. But the moment a minority threatens to become a big one. We must be mad. institutions and structures that have developed in Britain with a view to accommodating.” He spoke very emotionally of a formerly quiet street. A former Professor of Classics. people get frightened. a colony of Islam. Powell declared that. literally mad as a nation.000 dependents… It is like watching a nation busily engaging in heaping up its own funeral pyres. moments of intensification of racial hatred are quite frequent. or even diversify their sources of immigrants. forecast with inflammatory rhetoric ‘rivers of blood’ in British cities on the lines of race riots in the US. I think credit should be given to the British for a whole range of attitudes.Britain – a multicultural society 2. SAQ 5 Read the following fragments of different racist discourses. “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad." (Oriana Fallaci.3 Racism As to the integration of ethnic minorities.

1993) Write your answer in the space below (in no more than 150 words) and then compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. J.Britain – a multicultural society Of course people can feel that they are swamped. 95 .” (Margaret Thatcher’s* speeches in Solomos. at the end of the unit. Race and Racism in Britain. London: Macmillan. Small minorities can be absorbed but once a minority in a neighbourhood gets very large people do feel swamped.

The Football (Offences) Act of 1991 makes racist chanting at football matches an offence. which makes incitement to racial hatred an offence. on racial grounds. It also imposes a statutory duty on listed public authorities in carrying out their functions to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act of 2000 extends coverage of the 1976 Act to all public authority functions. brought in new restrictions to discourage immigration. except those born in Britain or who had a parent or grandparent born in Britain (patriality). In 1971 the Heath government introduced an Immigration Act which had the effect of treating Commonwealth citizens as aliens.applying a requirement or condition which puts people from a particular racial group at a disadvantage compared to others. there has been a growing number of refugees and asylum seekers. In order to protect immigrant rights the Labour government passed the first Race Relations Act in 1965. less favourably than others and indirect discrimination . The Race Relations Act of 1976 marked an important step forward in combating racial discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity in employment. ethnic or national origin. treating a person. The Act also distinguishes between two main types of racial discrimination: direct discrimination. The act outlaws threatening abusive or insulting behaviour. More recently. and the 1981 Nationality Act. It seeks to ensure that public sector services are provided fairly to everyone and that the public sector better reflects the society that it serves. Immigrant rights 96 . alarm or distress. provision of goods and facilities.4 Racial relations in contemporary Britain and the fight against racial discrimination Immigration legislation introduced in 1962.e. New offences of racially aggravated violence. causing harassment. Immigration legislation in 1962 and 1968 aimed to enforce a two-strand policy: on the one hand to restrict the number of immigrants entering the country and on the other hand to pass laws to protect the rights of those immigrants who were already settled in Britain.Britain – a multicultural society 2. education.2. During the 1990s the scale of immigration declined. i. Other Racial Acts include the Public Order Act of 1986. These acts make it unlawful to discriminate against another person on grounds of racial. criminal damage and racial harassment were introduced under the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998. with only a few limited exceptions. consisting mainly of spouses and dependents of those already in Britain. 1968 and 1971. which was followed by further acts in 1968 and 1976. This covers the production and circulation of printed material. New conditions for naturalisation and a redefinition of British citizenship are contained in the Nationality Act of 1981.

It advises on issues affecting ethnic minority communities and acts as a voice for ethnic minority interests in the heart of the government. launched in 1997.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 6 Who was the first British Asian who played for England? She was picked to keep goal for the England women’s under 16s side in a Dublin tournament against USA. housing and the health service provide guidance on the operation of the law. Its main duties are: to work towards the elimination of racial discrimination. Scotland. to carry out formal investigations and to issue non-discriminatory notices after findings of unlawful racial discrimination. 97 . She has played for Southampton Saints FC and Arsenal Ladies FC and her name is among the following: Michael Chopra Permi Jahooti Anwar Uddin Aman Dosanj Harpal Singh A very important structure created for combating racial discrimination was the Commission for Racial Equality – CRE. There are Race in Media awards for the promotion of excellence in the handling of race issues in the media and Visible Women awards seeking to raise the profile of ethnic minority women. There are 87 such councils funded jointly by the CRE and local authorities. The UK agreed to the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997). In May 1998. A Race Relations Forum was set up by the Home Secretary Jack Straw in June 1998. They have conducted over 100 such investigations that resulted in significant changes in employment practices and housing allocation policy. to promote equality of opportunity and good race relations between persons of different racial groups and to keep the working of the Act under review. Ireland and Wales. This is an important follow-on from the EU Joint Action on Racism and Xenophobia. education. inviting British leaders to declare their commitment to the principles of diversity and racial equality and to take practical measures to promote racial equality in their organisations. set up under the 1976 Act. which provides a legal base for community action to combat discrimination based on race. Recent initiatives include The Leadership Challenge. Prime Minister Tony Blair accepted this challenge in the name of the government. The CRE is empowered to issue codes of practice. to which the UK is also a signatory. The codes of practice covering employment. It enables member states to take action to combat criminal acts of racism and xenophobia and to promote the security of citizens. Racial equality Councils assist in cases of discrimination and promote race equality.

fair and diversity-respecting society. not a sprint”. There is a growing understanding and practice of difference and multiculturalism in the British society of today.6% of all council employees are from ethnic minorities). with all the underlying institutions. Although people from minority ethnic groups are now beginning to play a more active part in representative democracy they are still very much under-represented in national and local decision-making bodies. 98 . they are still confronted with a wide range of racial incidents. Here are some of the targets of multicultural policies that need the establishment of a just. As someone said in a recently published report on racism in British institutions: “They are en route but there is still another two miles to go… This is a marathon. legal framework and structures created. such as the two houses of Parliament or local councils (just 2. Can you match them with the concise definitions in the right column? 1 2 Ageism Heterosexism Racism Sexism 3 4 5 Institutional racism 6 Transphobia a a false assumption of intrinsic superiority and value in able bodies and minds b a false assumption of intrinsic superiority and value in the white race c a false assumption of intrinsic superiority and value in men d a false assumption of intrinsic superiority and value in heterosexuality e a false assumption of intrinsic superiority and value in youth f a variety of practices and systems operating within an organization subordinating groups or individuals because of their culture g prejudice against transsexuals 7 Ableism Yet despite the very vibrant and significant presence of the ethnic minorities in British life and culture and despite the fruitful attempts at shaping harmonious race relations in Britain today.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 7 Discrimination manifests itself in many ways. but there is still a long way to go to reach racial equality and racial harmony.

just a boy. south-east London. uncomfortable look into the mirror to examine “not just the people we pay to protect us but ourselves”. the late Stephen Lawrence’s mother) The first judicial inquiry into a racist murder was announced by the Home Secretary in July 1997 following public concern about the investigations of the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence.” The Macpherson report points a finger at a police culture full of prejudice and ignorance and at a chance to make amends in the relations between Britain’s races. published in 1999. As the Home Secretary said in an admirable statement to the House of Commons: “Sir William Macpherson’s report opens our eyes to what it is like to be black or Asian in Britain today. 99 . The terms of reference of the inquiry were “to inquire into the matters arising from the death of Stephen Lawrence on 22 April 1993 in Eltham. The Macpherson Report into his death marked a rare moment in Britain’s national life. Who was Stephen Lawrence? Not a famous man. a very promising student who was stabbed to death one night in April 1993 while waiting for a bus in Eltham by a white gang shouting racist abuse.” (Doreen Lawrence.2. to date in order particularly to identify the lessons to be learned from the investigation and prosecution of racially motivated crimes”. which made 70 recommendations to be followed by the main institutions and decision-making authorities in Britain. It forced everyone to take a long. He was well-loved and had he been given the chance to survive maybe he would have been the one to bridge the gap between black and white.5 Factfile: the Lawrence case “I would like Stephen to be remembered as a young man who had a future. at the end of this unit. The inquiry resulted in the William Macpherson Report.Britain – a multicultural society 2. SAQ 8 Guess how many times more are Blacks and Asians stopped and searched by police than white people? Six/ three Four/ two Eight/ three Five both Check your answer against that given in the “Answers” section.

Acting through a lawyer.9 Poster created by CRE 100 . to protect the interests of the victims and their families.3 per cent of the Metropolitan police (the Met) were drawn from ethnic minorities while 20 per cent of the wider London community came from a minority background. Under French criminal procedure. Figure 2.8 Stephen Lawrence Figure 2. the victim has no right to justice. prosecution and courts had no formal.Britain – a multicultural society Several initiatives were announced which reformers were invited to embrace. including Sir Paul Condon. 3. were to be made answerable under the 1976 Race Relations Act. In the meantime it became possible for Lawrence’s parents to sue 42 officers involved in the failed investigation of their son’s murder. retention and promotion of minority officers for all police services. duty in law to take on board the right of the Lawrences to justice for their dead son. along with several other institutions. The Home Secretary insisted on a rise to 7 per cent nationally. In Britain police. victims or their families have a right to be joined as civil parties to criminal proceedings. the former Met commissioner. The setting up of the Racial and Violent Crimes task force was a major step forward. The police. and even higher in areas of high concentration of ethnic minorities. In 2000 just 2 per cent of the police officers in England and Wales were from ethnic minorities. There are proposals that the Court of Appeal should be given power to permit prosecution after acquittal where fresh and viable evidence is presented. In the English system there was no one formally entitled. Another fundamental flaw in the system of criminal justice highlighted by the Stephen Lawrence case was the fact that in Britain. the victim or family has the right to be kept informed of major steps in the criminal investigation. The recommendations made in the Macpherson Report suggest changes of an unprecedented breadth and depth. Jack Straw* (the Home Secretary at the time) signalled his intention of setting much higher targets for the recruitment.

centre of the black community.Britain – a multicultural society Sir William Macpherson’s Report asserted that racist language should be a crime and that the CRE should be given statutory rights and powers to investigate the police. A nation does not have one identity but many: an individual is a bearer of multiple. East London. It defined institutional racism as “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate professional service to people because of their colour. The notable absence during the V-Day* celebrations in 1995 of the recognition of the major contribution made by Indian and Caribbean soldiers in Britain’s armed forces during World War II was one example among many.6 Ethnic / national / cultural identity in a globalized world Analysing racism today in its complex structure and dynamics. gender and regional differences is totally different.2. In April 1999 two nail-bomb attacks were targeted at the centre of the capital’s Bangladeshi community in Brick Lane. ignorance. the true minorities. homogeneous common culture marked by common values. thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping” (Guardian Weekly. To attribute identity to a community of millions spread over vast expanses of space and time makes even less sense. there has also been clear resistance to updating Britain’s self-image to accommodate the multicultural reality of British society and its history. culture or ethnic origin. Another nail bomb went off in Brixton. It also suggested amendments to the National Curriculum to promote cultural diversity and tolerance in schools. Writers on globalisation have often pointed to a paradox: the increasing transnational flows of culture seem to be producing not global homogenisation but growing assertions of heterogeneity and local distinctiveness. Identity implies a distinct. It can be seen or detected in processes. 1999). Although we might have abandoned assumptions of objectively bounded societies and cultures. and it can make societies profoundly and deeply antihumane in their capacity to live with difference. one issue emerges -. The Prime Minister said at the time: “The true outcasts today. those truly excluded. There is also clear evidence of a counter-reaction in the field. 9 May 1999). The reality in a society with class. March 7. many authors argue that communities may often mobilize themselves by 101 . 2. This fear arises in consequence of the coupling of difference and power. are not the different races and religions of Britain but the racists. evolving and dialectically related identities. the violent criminals who hate that vision of Britain and try to destroy it.” (Guardian is the fear of living with difference. shared understandings and loyalties. the bombers. attitudes and behaviour which amounts to discrimination through unwitting prejudice. Apart from a clearly manifested multicultural attitude and behaviour.

has the largest street festival in Europe. it has become internationally renowned for its carnival. the novels of Dickens and scenes from Victorian England. where whistles blare. A site of bloody interracial conflicts in the 50’s. 102 .Britain – a multicultural society representing themselves as having clear boundaries which are endangered. Turkish-Cypriot and Czechoslovak bands) the overall symbolism of the carnival was predominantly British or English. as having essential qualities or distinctive ways of life that are under threat from the outside. Although several ethnic communities were involved (Irish. a major tourist attraction held on August Bank Holiday. What is your opinion of such a phenomenon? Do you perceive it as a real threat? Please don’t forget to include this answer in your portfolio for further discussions during tutorials. Notting Hill in west London. An interesting case in point in this direction would be the West Indian Culture in Britain. steel bands play and revellers clad in sequins and feathers dance the bank holiday weekend away. For the first five years of its existence (1966-1970) the carnival was a relatively small working class event attended by a few thousand people. Think first! There has been a lot of talk in Romanian society about the detrimental influence of Americanization (Macdonaldization) on Romanian culture. the themes of the masquerade including English monarchs. The streets of west London turn into a riot of noise and colour.

legislation and public policies meant to translate generous social and cultural ideals into everyday realities. you could follow the main stages in the maturation of a national consciousness in Scotland. arising out of shared experiences of unemployment. meanings and values which we can properly call dominant and effective… not merely abstract but… organized and lived… a set of meanings and values which as they are experienced. Wales and Northern Ireland that led to claims for Home Rule and in recent years led to Wales and Scotland becoming devolved from the central authority in London. quite a few voices claiming that Britishness is undergoing a slow but irreversible process of dissolution and that devolution can only lead . These recent developments stirred an unprecedented debate over the future of Britishness and of Britain. Culture and Society 1780-1950.Britain – a multicultural society Politically the carnival expressed opposition to landlords and local authorities over issues such as housing shortages and extortionate rents. The second chapter of this unit aims at highlighting the great achievements of Britain in its laudable attempt at establishing a multicultural society. 103 . “there is a central system of practices. You are challenged to judge for yourselves the achievements and also the setbacks in this pursuit for inter-racial justice and fairness by reading about Stephen Lawrence and the strong impact his murder had on contemporary British society. are reciprocally confirming. Beyond the troubled history of the provinces. This emergent community adopted the carnival as its focal symbol. common history and tradition – a sense of Britishness in the British Isles. furthering respect. The implications of all these is not that cultural ghettoisation is recommendable in any way. police harassment and poor housing conditions. Emphasis is laid on institutional structures. acceptance and understanding for cultural diversity and inter-cultural communication. into the provision of equal opportunities in all sectors of public and private the more or less distant future . It constitutes a sense of reality for most people in society. a process accomplished through the deliberate removal of all artistic and cultural content not deemed to be West Indian. in most areas of their lives” (Raymond Williams*. but that a group must safeguard its cultural identity by controlling the flow of cultural forms into and out of its repertoire of symbolic practices. in any particular period. Within a few years the carnival became exclusively West Indian in its leadership and in musical and cultural form. Penguin. During the first half of the 1970’s a collective West Indian ethnic identity developed in London. as practices appear. the episodes of cultural dialogue and exchange. because in any society. a sense of absolute because of experienced reality beyond which it is very difficult for most of the members of society to independence. 1961) Summary In the first chapter of this unit you could follow a red thread in the development of a sense of common origins.

author of Nation and Narration (1990) and The Location of Culture (1994). schools. a leading name in postcolonial studies born to a small Parsi community in Bombay. distances and borders. employment offices. Homi = famous cultural studies scholar. characterised by the appearance of bands who borrowed many influences from 60s and 70s while creating big and catchy hooks. council house = house or flat owned by the local town or county council for which the family living in it pays rent. internal regulations. institutional racism = racial discrimination entrenched in the policies. etc. such as the police. 104 . The Guardian = serious. generating transcontinental or inter-regional flows and networks of activity.Britain – a multicultural society Key Concepts • • • • • • • acculturation multiculturalism Britpop racism institutional racism globalisation macdonaldization Glossary acculturation = process through which one adapts to or adopts a different culture. Also. practices of the main institutions in a state. Bhabha. targeting mainly well educated people with liberal or left-wing political opinions. quality (as opposed to tabloids). globalization = set of processes triggered by the development of information technology and mass communication that entail a 'reconfiguration’ of geography. national daily newspaper in Britain. the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa. as well as the glamour of earlier pop stardom and the sense that they were creating the soundtrack to the lives of a new generation of British youth. Britpop = British musical movement from the middle 90s. so that social space is no longer mapped in terms of territorial places.

irrespective of race. His preoccupations for the interrelations between culture and ideology produced works like The Long Revolution or Problems in Materialism and Culture. Often seen as a negative side of the process of globalization. culture. who was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in 2001 and again in 2005. fashions. 18/m. 20/c. 1/e. 1945 the day on which victory in Europe in the Second World War was celebrated. irrespective of their ethnicity. Thatcher.Britain – a multicultural society Heath. 17/o. equal distribution of power among all members of society. SAQ 2 4/g. 6/n. It is based on respect for cultural diversity. equal opportunities. racism = belief that racial differences between people are the main influence on their characters and abilities and especially that one’s race is the best. dislike and unfair treatment of people based on such a belief. multiculturalism = equal respect for the dignity of every human being. to the detriment of local values and practices. but a basic definition might be: respect for the equal dignity of any human being. 5/a. 11/b. Williams. Margaret (Baroness of Kesteven) = the United Kingdom’s first woman prime minister (1979–1990): the longest continually serving prime minister in 150 years). 9/j. social justice. the superior one. He was Home Secretary from 1997-2001. gender. 13/u. traditions. Raymond = one of Britain's greatest post-war cultural historians. 2/s. 14/f. popular culture.1 of the unit. There are many definitions for multiculturalism. Sir Edward = British Conservative politician who was Prime Minister of Britain from 1970 to 1974 and led Britain into the European Community. 12/d. Jack = outstanding Labour politician. 15/t 19/p 105 . religion. Answers to SAQs SAQ 1 Should your answer not be comparable to that given below please revise section 2. 8/l. macdonaldization = uncritical and unconditional surrender to the American way of life. V-Day = May 9. sexual orientation. ethnicity. theorists and polemicists. Straw. gender.2. 3/i. 21/q. sexual orientation etc. race. 7/h. 10/r. 16/k. respect for alternative life choices of people.

In the 2001 census.1. the danger of having Europe islamized. The Irish category was included for the first time in the 2001 census following research published in 1997. [source: www.9% of the population of England and Wales identified themselves as being from an ethnic minority.2%). the prophetic notes in Powell’s speech) Margaret Thatcher’s interventions are somewhat tempered by political correctness: immigration is beneficial. institutions etc. Scotland. above all. societal model. by highlighting such sensitive issues as the future of the country’s young white population – in the first discourse there is a barely dissimulated suggestion that the genetic wellbeing of Britain will be jeopardized. Ireland and Wales. it also found that a third of Indians and Caribbeans and half of Black Africans are living in poverty.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 3 Should your answer not be comparable to that given below please revise section] SAQ 5 The common denominator of these fragments is their attempt to demonstrate how dangerous and destabilizing the ethnics are to the dominant culture. a report published by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) defines poverty as living in families with incomes below 60% of the average. This compares with less than a quarter of the British population overall. Whilst some of the fragments are more radical (the Sandys discourse or the Falacci and Pipes fragments and. Poverty among Ethnic Minority Groups in Britain. SAQ 6 In April 1999. even. SAQ 4 Two-thirds (67%) of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are living in poverty according to latest statistics.2. Aman Dosanj became the first British Asian to play for England as goal-keeper in a Dublin tournament against USA. of course. traditions. This figure includes those who identified as Irish (1. 106 . The means of achieving their aims differ somewhat: by underscoring the threat posed to the future of European societies. which showed that Britain’s Irish population experience racial discrimination and disadvantage. but limits should be imposed and the phenomenon should be curbed (mark the repetition of swamped). more recently.cpag. deeply-ingrained practices. Wales.

pp. Send the answers to these questions to your tutor. to be stopped and searched than white people in 2001/2. H. 36-88 4. 5/f. six per cent were of Asian people and one per cent were of other minority ethnic groups. 2000. Bucureşti: Humanitas 5.2. Brînzeu. Bhabha. pp. Irimia Anghelescu.1. Selected Bibliography 1.4 and 2. 714. The Spirit of Europe in Contemporary British and Romanian Fiction. 1999. R. 37-62 3. 7/a SAQ 8 Black people were eight times. Dicţionarul universului britanic. Corridors of Mirrors. 1997. of which 12 per cent were of black people. M. H. P. pp. pp. Dascăl. 2 What was the contribution of the culture of Dissent to the configuration of contemporary Britain? Is Britain a multicultural society? Support your opinions with data and facts. 1997. Kureishi. A Manifesto” in British Studies Now. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 3/b.5 about the culture of Dissent and 2. An adequate coverage of the content required accounts for 70% of your grade while your linguistic accuracy accounts for the remainder. “Re-Inventing Britain. and Asians were three times more likely.000 stops and searches were recorded in England and Wales in 2001/2. Ethnic Diversity in Britain. 1991. In order to successfully complete the assigned tasks you should particularly review subchapter 2.9 .5 on race relations in Britain and on the Lawrence case. 9/ April 1997.2. British Topics. 4/c. 27-37 6. London Kills Me. You could consider the bibliography below for further reading. Timişoara: Eurostampa. London 107 . London: Faber & Faber. SAA No. K. Timişoara: Amarcord. 6/g. Your test paper should not exceed two pages (1000 words). 2/d.Britain – a multicultural society SAQ 7 1/e.10 2.

British monarchy in the third millenium Unit 3 BRITISH MONARCHY IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM Unit Outline Unit objectives 3. 3 Selected bibliography 132 132 132 133 134 134 Royal prerogatives 115 121 Key concepts 122 Glossary 124 Answers to SAQs 127 CHAPTER II For or against the monarchy? The tragic death of a princess and calls for the reform of the 131 monarchy Summary Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs SAA No.2 3.1.2 3.3 109 110 CHAPTER I British monarchy – how valid an institution in the third millennium? Monarchy – “an oasis of aristocracy in a modern world” 110 Is the monarch a figurehead? 111 Functions of monarchy.1 3.1 108 .1 3.

Its fundamental strength and prestige lie in its identification with British history. well-informed manner regarding the merits and demerits of the monarchy. re-interpret tradition as reflected in the institution of the monarchy and the attempts at modernizing it.British monarchy in the third millenium This unit tries to analyse the complex aspects of the British monarchy and of its viability in the contemporary world. you should be able to: Unit objectives • • compare the monarchy to other forms of government. After you have completed the study of this unit. • critically appraise both the strengths and the drawbacks of the institution of the monarchy. • recognize and use new specific concepts and cultural studies terminology. 109 . • construct argumentation in a rational. Monarchy stands for a cluster of values that can certainly not be called democratic. wellestablished values in the existence of the British nation. tradition and greatness.

colonised half the world just to find themselves the subjects of the most ample cross-fertilisation in modern history. Their traffic keeps to the left.British monarchy in the third millenium 3. at the end of the unit.1. Despre monarhie la britanici” in 22. cook abominably and.” (Andrei Cornea. of course. they still go fox-hunting.1 British monarchy – how valid an institution in the third millennium? 3. 23-29 March 1999: 16).1 Monarchy – “an oasis of aristocracy in a modern world” A Romanian philosopher and political scientist sees British political institutions at the turn of the millennium in a far from flattering light: “Against the backdrop of innovations such as the spleen. the game of golf and the English park. they preserved an oasis of aristocracy in a democratic sea that they themselves had sown the seeds of. the English beheaded a king only to feverishly set about the restoration of the monarchy after a short respite. 110 . they fought for centuries with their traditional enemies across the Channel whilst voraciously absorbing at least three quarters of the polished French vocabulary. “Ultima familie. SAQ 1 What are the historical facts alluded to in Cornea’s article? Write your answer in the space below and compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. they have a monarchy.

” (Shakespeare. The British have always been ruled by a monarch except for a very brief period. Think First! The lines below are from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act I. artificial insemination. The monarchy provides a last link with a past of austere and clear-cut values but fails to inspire contemporaries. alternative families What follows attempts several answers to Andrei Cornea’s questions concerning the monarchy and the constitutional order of Britain. scene III): “His will is not his own. The Romanian scholar chooses to make the British monarchy in a way ‘anti-representative’ because its strong ties with the past set it apart from the touch of real life.British monarchy in the third millenium Britain is a myth-saver in a world that keeps debunking all myths. extremely unpopular: Cromwell’s Protectorate. For he himself is subject to his birth He may not. The present-day sovereign can claim unbroken descent dating back to the Anglo Saxon king (rather bretwaldas) Cerdic in the 5th century. For on his choice depend The safety and the health of this whole state. as unvalu’d persons do. 111 .2 The monarch as figurehead* Let us see whether the monarch in Britain is that ceremonial hollow space that Cornea referred to in his article. 3. Malcolm II* of Scotland and even the emperor Barbarossa*. The ‘last family’ like the last Chinese Emperor is a bizarre fossil in a world of sophisticated technology: cloning. Carve for himself. In this sense the British Royal Family is ‘the last family’. Other ancestors include Charlemagne*.1. transsexuality. III) Does the playwright consider the responsibilities of the monarch in a favourable light or not? Write your answer in the space below and add your answer to your portfolio for further discussions with your tutor and colleagues during tutorials.

thirst for domination is also undermined by Dorothy Emmet*. Although said to be a figurehead. etc. who argues that power should be distinguished from domination since. domination. Power is significantly.. She cites the example of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II as a ritual that gathered up a number of aspects of the non-coercive kinds of power. the monarch is omnipresent. For Hannah Arendt*. distinguishable from authority. 112 .British monarchy in the third millenium Since the Bill of Rights in 1689. Coins. An understanding of power as sheer force. conflict. Emmet believes that power is not a thing but a capacity or relation between people. she thinks. every monarch reigns with the consent of Parliament in addition to their hereditary right. a detainer of symbolic and not real power. strength. Also all major institutions bear the queen’s imprint: the post is carried by the Royal Mail. 1969: 52). after the Glorious Revolution that secured the succession of William of Orange as William III of England. ‘coactive’ power. Power is the ‘glue’ that holds the community together. in fact primordially. the ships in the Royal Navy are Her Majesty’s Ships. Like Arendt. is what keeps the public realm in existence. stamps. and the prefixes actually stand for ‘State’ or ‘British’. the production of intended effects need not be the achievement of intended effects through coercing other people (“The Concept of Power”. official letters are sent On Her Majesty’s Service (OHMS). In this definition she is concerned to discuss the way in which the exercise of ritual power can make for the cohesion of a community. symbols. a famous philosopher of politics. 1954:4). most visual images of Britain bear a picture of the Queen’s head – a primordial national emblem. So we encounter here a problem that recalls the famous quarrel of medieval philosophers: name or substance? Are names real in themselves or are they conventions. fictions? I suggest that the answer to this problem could also come from the interpretation of the concept of power. On the other hand. connected to public life: “Power springs up whenever people get together and act in concert. This type of power. power is associated with community and its ethos. all these institutions that append the prefix ‘Royal’ or ‘Her Majesty’s’ cannot possibly benefit from the supervision of the monarch. but it derives its legitimacy from the initial getting together rather than from any action that then may follow” (On Violence. Her Majesty’s Government is made up of Her Majesty’s Ministers. or ‘coercive’ vs. She distinguishes between ‘power over’ and ‘power with’.

about the fact that communities are fragmented and no longer united in the name of commonly shared values.British monarchy in the third millenium Think First! Before you go on reading. The ceremony of the Coronation fulfils the same social functions as more strictly religious rituals. We often speak about the lack of cohesion in contemporary society. affirming and celebrating the values of community. Is this power of holding people together and imparting a feeling of community and belonging to them real or symbolic? Use the space below to write your answer and please don’t forget to add it to your portfolio so that you can further discuss the matter during tutorials. 113 . stop a minute and reflect on this ‘gelling’ of the community. ideals etc. The coronation of Elizabeth in 1953 was an occasion when the whole nation came together filled with a sense of common values and a desire to affirm their commitment to the nation.

SAQ 2 In what ways could the monarch be seen as a guarantor of the social and environmental prosperity of the nation in the past? You could try to remember from your own experience things that you read or heard about the sacred.1 HM Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation day . at the end of the unit.2 June 1953 114 . Write your answer below and then compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. In this respect the king’s person in several cultures and in different historical periods.British monarchy in the third millenium Anthropologists have long been aware of the functional importance of monarchies. Figure 3. has been regarded as the guarantor and mirror of the social and environmental prosperity of the nation. miraculous nature of monarchs.

rather she confirms as Prime Minister the elected leader of the largest single party in the Commons. and the Queen took advice from Macmillan in hospital and invited Lord Home* to form a new government. In January 1957 Anthony Eden* fell ill. ordered the arrest of five members of whom he disapproved in an attempt to stamp out opposition to his discretionary rule. Then in October 1963. 1929 and 1974). as all monarchs have been since 1641. In 1940 George VI had some influence on the choice of Winston Churchill to succeed Neville Chamberlain** as Prime Minister. The Queen was confronted once with a ‘hung parliament’ produced by the General Election of 1974.British monarchy in the third millenium 3. in breach of parliamentary autonomy from the kings’ power. 115 . but he was the last monarch able to do that. Of the twentyfive general elections in the 20th century Britain between 1900 and 1997. The monarch exercised more freedom in the choice of Prime Minister in the first half of the 20th century. so the Queen took advice from Winston Churchill and invited Harold Macmillan** to form a new government.1. That happens in the case of a ‘hung parliament’* when no single party has an overall majority in the Commons and it is up to the monarch to designate a leading political figure with a better chance of forming a government which could command the support of a majority in the lower House.3 Functions of monarchy. She takes no part in the Parliament deliberations and in fact is forbidden to enter the chamber of the House of Commons. Macmillan was taken ill. This is a residual prerogative. This has occurred more frequently than it is thought. 1923. Elizabeth II does not actually choose. ■The dissolution of Parliament is again formal since the Queen can only do that at the request of her Prime Minister within the fiveyear maximum life-span of a Parliament. The Royal prerogatives* ■The Queen appoints the Prime Minister. George III chose and dismissed Prime Ministers almost at will. The last monarch that exercised this prerogative in an independent way was Queen Anne (1701-1714). ■The Queen prorogues* and then in a short while opens the new parliamentary session (this will be discussed in more detail in Unit Four) during a splendid ceremony called the State Opening of Parliament which has taken place on a Wednesday in November ever since 1536. with the exception of some special cases when she can have more real power. In that year Charles I. five have failed to yield a clear result (January and December 1910.

Figure 3. including the Star of Africa (Cullinan I) diamond . 6. her crown and. the Sovereign's Sceptre. in general. Made from marked gold and set with over 600 precious stones and pearls. the Regalia*. Try to match the symbolic objects with their definitions at the bottom of the box. 1.British monarchy in the third millenium SAQ 3 The State Opening of Parliament is a rare occasion in the year to admire the glamour and decorum of the monarch’s glittering ceremonial dress. Object made of gold which contains the oil with which the Sovereign is anointed*. the Black Prince's Ruby. Check your answer against that given in the “Answers” section. 2. A) B) C) D) the Imperial State Crown. 4. the Ampulla. and St Edward's Sapphire.2 The British Regalia 116 . It signifies the Sovereign's temporal power. It is decorated with 393 precious stones. It has among numerous other precious stones the Stuart Sapphire. Provided with a Cross. There is a small hole in the beak through which the oil is poured. and. the Orb. Worn by the sovereign on great state occasions. it represents Christian Sovereignty.5 inches in diameter made for Charles II's coronation in 1661. 3.the largest top quality cut diamond in the world. above all the extraordinary and ancient Kohinoor diamond.

which he disapproved of by pretending that he had mislaid them! The same happened in the 19th century with controversial laws related to Catholic emancipation. as in the case of the creation of peerages. as in 1982 when honours were awarded to those who took part in the Falklands campaign. There was a time when this Royal prerogative was very important.British monarchy in the third millenium ■The Royal Assent to legislation is another royal prerogative. What is its meaning? Can you remember where this motto appears? Write your answer in the space below and then compare it to that given in the “Answers” section. civilian and military. they become Acts of Parliament. the Order of the Thistle. Charles II managed to postpone or replace bills. Although most nominations are made on the advice of the Prime Minister. certain occasions might arise when special investitures can be made. ■Creation of peers* is mainly on the advice of the Prime Minister. a distinguished Speaker of the Commons. Queen Anne again was the last monarch to veto legislation. Since 1964 life peerages have been the order of the day. but this was reversed under Margaret Thatcher’s rule after 1983. and George Thomas. Appointments are usually made twice a year. Both George III and George IV managed to delay it. happens twice a year when the Honours Lists are published. This. ■The monarch is also involved in granting a range of honours. In 1831 the threat of William IV to create new peers helped to ensure the passage of the first Reform Bill and in 1911 the willingness of George V to create as many as 400 new Liberal peers caused the hereditary majority of Conservatives in the Upper House (The House of Lords) to give way to the Liberal majority in the Lower House (The House of Commons). were given hereditary peerages. Through applying the royal rubber stamp to Bills. some of these honours remain in the personal gift of the Monarch: the Order of the Garter. 117 . The Order of the Garter is the highest degree of British knighthood together with the Order of the Thistle. SAQ 4 What English monarch founded the Order of the Garter? Its motto is Honi soit qui mal y pense. when William Whitelaw. Nevertheless. a loyal supporter of Thatcher’s. the Order of Merit and the Royal Victorian Order. when the names of the newly created peers appear in the Honours Lists*.

However. in fact in such a very 118 . when she opened the 1983 Commonwealth Conference. just recognising and rewarding some outstanding personalities. Since the House of Commons voted in 1965 to abolish the death penalty on a provisional basis. Pardons are granted only in very rare situations when there is some special reason why a sentence should not be carried out. the discovery that the evidence on which this was based was false. these are done again on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or of various Secretaries ■The prerogative of mercy and pardon is again devoid of meaning. who was awarded the Royal Victorian Order for his personal loyalty to the Crown in continuing to act as Her Majesty’s Governor of Rhodesia after that country had declared its unilateral independence from the Commonwealth in 1965 under the apartheid regime of Ian Smith. the introduction or amendment of colonial constitutions (meaning actually the states that have won their independence after World War II and are now part of the Commonwealth) and the establishment of public corporations.British monarchy in the third millenium More often than not these honours have no political significance. the police. occasionally they do have political significance as in the case of Sir Humphrey Gibbs. the judiciary. Although the sovereign is the head of the executive. ■Other formal functions. However. In the conduct of foreign policy the Royal prerogative was used in the past in less formal situations. and since that decision has subsequently been confirmed in successive free votes.g. Mother Theresa was awarded the Order of Merit by the Queen on her visit to India. it now seems that this particular aspect of the royal prerogatives has also fallen into disuse. as well as all ministerial appointments. e. of which most are redundant or meaningless. ■Public appointments refer again to a formal function. the BBC and the Church of England are filled in the name of the monarch. include the conclusion of international treaties. All important positions in the civil service. declaration of war. the vast bulk of the prerogative powers of the Crown – over 95 per cent of them – are exercised not by the sovereign personally but either on the advice of ministers or by ministers themselves.

the Queen acts as a focus and a binding influence for this loose association of states: “Queen Elizabeth is the bit of glue that somehow manages to hold the whole thing together… and I suppose it is to some extent a matter of worry that clearly her 119 . she is very popular and able to attract a lot of interest wherever her visits take her. Late Princess Diana’s most laudable initiatives in the campaigns against anti personnel land-mines and against poverty and disease should also be mentioned. The members of the Royal Family are actively engaged in many charitable organisations. She is a superb ambassador. again a predominantly ceremonial role strictly matching the ceremonial power of the Commonwealth itself. The Queen has great representational functions that derive from her ritual power. The 1972 Treaty of Accession which took Britain into the EC was signed by Edward Heath as Prime Minister in Brussels without having to secure prior approval of that move by Parliament. Duke of Edinburgh Princess Anne Charles. Prince of Wales The monarch is the personification of the British state and this is an extension of her symbolic function. They promote excellence and equal opportunities in the many trusts and funds that they have initiated and support. She is immensely popular and her many state visits serve the purpose of promoting British values worldwide. initiative and achievement) Prince’s Trust (recreation and leisure facilities for deprived young people) president and patron of 700 organizations Save the Children Fund Philip. SAQ 5 Match the members of the Royal family in the left column with the charity organizations they preside in the right column: Queen Elizabeth II Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme (awards made to young people between the ages of 14 and 21 for enterprise. The Queen is Patron or President of many charity organizations like most members of the Royal Family.British monarchy in the third millenium momentous and controversial matter as entry to the EC. In her quality of Head of the Commonwealth.

British monarchy in the third millenium

personality is a major factor to all of us in the Commonwealth. She does the unifying.” said David Lange, former Prime Minister of New Zealand (quoted in Bogdanor, 1997: 275). She is undoubtedly, Bogdanor* thinks, the world’s only international monarch. In 1999, the Australians organised a referendum on whether to retain the Queen as the Head of State or form a republic headed by a president. For many Australians who voted against the republic and for maintaining the Queen as Head of State the most commonsensical comment was: “If it ain’t broke why fix it?” SAQ 6 What is the Commonwealth? When was it set up and what was it meant to replace? Write your answer below and then compare it to that given in the “Answers” section.

The Queen’s annual Christmas broadcast to the people of her country and of the whole Commonwealth is a major highlight of Christmas festivities in the British Isles. These messages are unique since they are not made in her capacity as Queen of the UK, nor as queen of her other realms. They are delivered on the Queen's own responsibility and not on advice. Her Majesty also gives regular receptions and lunches for people who have made a contribution in different areas of national and international life. She also appears on many public occasions such as the services of the Orders of the Garter and the Thistle and Trooping the Colour. The Queen leads her people on important occasions, imparting a sense of unity and common purpose to them and raising their morale on such important national occasions as the Remembrance Day ceremony and national services at St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. 120

British monarchy in the third millenium

SAQ 7 What does Remembrance day commemorate, and when is it held? Compare your answer to that provided in the “Answers” section.

The Queen has regular and confidential contacts with the Prime Minister, enjoying what Walter Bagehot* called “the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn” (The English Constitution, 1978:11). They usually meet every week on Tuesday evening and then for several days in the late summer when she is on holiday at Balmoral* in Scotland. She sees all Cabinet papers and the records of Cabinet and Cabinet Committee meetings. She receives important Foreign Office telegrams and a daily summary of events in Parliament. Her experience of the affairs of state is unrivalled in modern times, since in almost 50 years on the throne she has had 10 Prime Ministers and 15 different governments. As a permanent fixture in the British political system, unlike temporary politicians, she has a greater knowledge than they do regarding domestic and international politics.

Key Concepts

• • • • • • • • •

figurehead non-coercive power Royal prerogative Act of Settlement Civil List Honours List Regalia State Opening of Parliament hung parliament


British monarchy in the third millenium

anoint = to apply ointment or oil within a religious ceremony during which a king/queen is consecrated. Arendt, Hanah = German-American philosopher and political theorist, author of The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, On Revolution, and Between Past and Future. She spent much of her life attempting to understand the political and moral causes of the Nazi rise in Germany and of other totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. Bagehot, Walter = English journalist and economist, closely associated with the English institutionalist-historicist tradition. One of the early editors of the famous and influential "Manchester School" newspaper The Economist. His major work The English Constitution, of 1867 is still a landmark in the field. Balmoral = a castle in NE Scotland that has been a private home of the royal family since 1852, when it was bought by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband. Barbarossa, (Emperor) = Friedrich I. Barbarossa, German King, who became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1155. He led many expeditions to conquer Italy and lay siege to Milan. He died on a crusade to the Holy Land, on the way back in Turkey with a fever. But as his corpse was not brought back to Germany, there was no evidence, that he really was dead and this was the source of many legends linked to his name. It was rumoured, that he was still alive and would return in the right moment! Bogdanor, Vernon = Professor of government at Oxford University. His most important publications are: Devolution in the United Kingdom (1999), Politics and the Constitution: Essays on British Government (1996), The Monarchy and the Constitution (1995). Chamberlain, Neville = conservative politician who as prime minister continued the policy of non-intervention. He also thought that by agreeing to some of the demands being made by Hitler and Mussolini he could avoid a European war. The policy of appeasement was not met with approval by his foreign secretary Anthony Eden, who resigned in February, 1938. On 29th September, 1938, Chamberlain, Hitler, Daladier and Mussolini signed the Munich Agreement which spoke of “peace in our time”. Some politicians, including Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden, attacked the agreement. In March, 1939, after the occupation of Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain realized that Hitler could not be trusted, and his appeasement policy now came to an end. After the invasion of Poland, Chamberlain was forced to declare war on Germany. 122

3 Figurehead Hall. Roles and Relations (1966) and The Moral Prism (1979) figurehead = representation in wood. as foreign secretary from 1935 until 1938 when he resigned in protest over Neville Chamberlain's decision to "open conversations" with Italy's dictator. Dorothy = British philosopher. He currently sits on the Runnymede Trust's commission on the future of multi-ethnic Britain. with vivid interests in the fields of social and political affairs. Benito Mussolini. a challenger of intellectual fashion and explorer of uncharted territories. Anthony = Conservative prime-minister 1955-1957. that in former times was placed at the front of a ship.British monarchy in the third millenium Charlemagne = the first European Emperor (742-814) since Roman times. Purpose and Powers (1958) Rules. It refers also to someone who is the head or chief in name only. 123 . author of Function. EC = The European Community. Figure 3. pioneer in the field of cultural studies in the 1970s. whose court was in what we now know as France. Author of The Hard Road to Renewal (1988). Stuart = British cultural theorist. Emmet. Resistance through Rituals (1989). 1955. Eden. a West European political and economic organization established in 1967 to encourage trade and friendly relations between its member countries. born Jamaica in 1932. holding the post until he became prime minister in April. a fascist. He was once again foreign secretary (1940-45) as part of a wartime coalition government under Churchill and again in the Conservative government that won election in 1951. usually of the top half of a woman. Questions of Cultural Identity (1996) and Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (1997). The Formation of Modernity (1992).

whom he succeeded on the former’s resignation in 1957. Thus it is possible to win most seats in the Commons but not an overall majority. It is produced each year by the Prime Minister but the titles are actually given by the Queen in a special ceremony. Every four (maximum five) years in the wake of general elections the Parliament has a short-lived span. his "wind of change" speech (February 1960) indicating this policy. the Norman conquest and the huge impact of French on the vocabulary of English. hung parliament = parliament in which no political party has more elected representatives than the others. Hundred Years War. vetoed by Charles de Gaulle. Regalia = ceremonial clothes and decorations. especially those used on ceremonial occasions. 124 . the waves of immigration in the 20th century. For Macmillan. since it is dissolved before elections and re-opened shortly after (e.g. Macmillan also saw the value of strengthening ties with Europe and sought belated entry to the European Economic Community (EEC). the economy was his prime concern and to seek high employment which provoked a lot of resistance from the Treasury. 2005). Malcolm II of Scotland = King of Scotland from 1005 to 1034. who battled to expand his kingdom. the consolidation of the British Empire. the century-long rivalry with France: The Battle of Hastings. Royal prerogative = any of the special rights of a king or queen. gaining land down to the River Tweed and in Strathclyde. Harold = Minister of defence (1954) under Winston Churchill and foreign secretary (April-December 1955) and Chancellor of the Exchequer (1955-1957) under Anthony Eden.British monarchy in the third millenium Honours List = a list of important people to whom titles are to be given as a sign of respect. Macmillan continued the divestment of the colonies. State Opening of Parliament = the occasion each year when the Queen officially opens the British Parliament after its summer break and makes a speech saying what the government plans to do. Macmillan. The Seven Years War (1756-1763). Answers to SAQs SAQ 1 The events alluded to are: the execution of Charles I in 1649. the restoration of monarchy under Charles II in 1660.

Prince of Wales president and patron of 700 organizations Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme Save the Children Fund Prince’s Trust the Imperial State Crown the Sovereign's Sceptre the Ampulla the Orb 2 3 1 4 125 . B. For a long time monarchs were also believed to have magic healing powers. C. People afflicted with such terrible diseases such as scrofula longed to be touched by the king in the hopes of miraculous recovery. but Edward at once stepped forward and tied the blue ribbon around his own knee. In the Middle Ages their status was that of intercessors between humans and God and the fact that they were anointed with holy oil conferred upon them nearly priestly status and also set the king above human judgement (Edgar was the first English king to be anointed in 973).1.12 and the glossary entry “Royal Coat of Arms” on page 26. however.British monarchy in the third millenium SAQ 2 Ancient kings enjoyed a godly status. We have ample evidence about the royal gifts of healing from Edward the Confessor in the 11th century to Charles II in the 17th century. The motto Honi soit qui mal y pense may well have been directed at critics of the King’s claims to the French throne. The Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III* during the Hundred Years War with France. SAQ 4 Should your answer not be comparable to that given below please revise subchapter 1. it originated at a feast celebrating the capture of Calais in 1347. The King’s mistress. SAQ 5 Queen Elizabeth Philip. they were endowed with supernatural capacities such as giving sun or rain in due season. Duke of Edinburgh Princess Anne Charles. uttering the motto as a rebuke and stating that the Garter would soon be held in the highest esteem. according to a tradition first recorded by Tudor chroniclers. the Countess of Salisbury was mocked by courtiers for losing her garter during a dance. D. SAQ 3 A.

although the belief that the British Commonwealth could still project Britain in the world had to be abandoned. Ghana. she is also head of State. Guyana. in private. A two-minute silence is observed at 11 o’clock in the whole country as a tribute to the nation’s heroes. Pakistan. 1996:210). Members range from vast countries like Canada to small island states like Malta. 126 . There are 53 states within the Commonwealth. On Remembrance Sunday. In 16 countries. Bangladesh. including Canada and Australia.8. races. the dead of both World Wars are remembered in special church services and civic ceremonies. Malaysia. About 30 percent of the world's population are drawn from the broadest range of faiths. Lesotho and Tonga have their own royal families. remain dependencies of Britain.1.. As Blair stated in 1996: “We no longer have an empire and although the Commonwealth gives us valuable links around the world it is not an alternative to Europe.” (Blair. a Liberal minister.8 billion. etc. Cyprus. The term as such was for the first time used by Lord Roseberry. like Zimbabwe. cultures and traditions. among which only a few. if not in public. such as Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. Thirty countries. The organization founded in the post-war period was meant to replace the British Empire.British monarchy in the third millenium SAQ 6 Should your answer not be comparable to the one given below please go back to the glossary entry “The Commonwealth” on page 23. India. nearly one-third of the world’s independent states with a combined population of over 1. like Brunei. The Sunday nearest to the 11 November is when the Armistice was signed (concluding World War I). The Queen is recognised as Head of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is a loose association of states with no formal constitution or rules. SAQ 7 Should your answer not be comparable to the one given below please go back to section 1. London by members of the Royal Family (the whole procession is led by the Queen) in the presence of the leading statesmen and politicians. the chief of which is the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. who in 1884 considered Australia’s position in a commonwealth of nations to be the right thing. are republics and six of them.

as many as 80 per cent of respondents thought that the Royal Family was a marvellous example to everyone of good family life. broadcast across the nation with 3.000 telephone lines. 30 per cent thought it should continue unchanged. In an opinion poll of 1981.000 live guests. Gladstone. It was rumoured that the Queen Elisabeth II was not at all inclined towards the policies and personal disposition of Baroness Thatcher. A 1969 opinion poll demonstrated that only 13 per cent of the Brits thought it was a dated institution. The Queen is to be distinguished from other Heads of State. 127 .6 million phone calls. she can perform hundreds of engagements and overseas visits each year. non-partisan symbol of national unity (Jones and Kavanagh. debating the British understanding of democracy in what could be called a virtual networking interactive global studio. the referendum was a showcase of British culture.E. She is a full-time Head of State and very experienced and skilled at her job. The Queen is a permanent. not being engaged in chief executive functions. Broadcast by satellite all around the world. like the US president. because. Queen Victoria* detested the liberal leader and four times Prime Minister W. Also 90 per cent of those questioned preferred the British monarchy to a republic of the French or of the American type. The Queen is scrupulously neutral but occasionally she hints at personal views. 9 million viewers and 2. Only 30 per cent of them thought that the monarchy cost the country more than it was worth. In 1986 rumours had it that the Queen disapproved of Margaret Thatcher’s oppositions to economic sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Nevertheless she was compelled to accept him as Prime Minister. 14. British Politics Today 1998:120). The programme showed that the monarchy and its crisis are issues larger than national proportions. Pro-monarchists think that one argument definitely in favour of the monarchy is its unifying influence that goes beyond the ideological claims of any political party.2 For or against the monarchy? Public attitudes to the monarchy have swayed from considerable support in the 70s and 80s to the very critical attitudes of recent years. and about 50 per cent thought it was good value as long as it was willing to adapt to changing times. and she also distrusted his party. In January 1997 “Do you want a monarchy?” was the question put to the nation in an interactive media show which was without precedent in history.British monarchy in the third millenium 3. Sixty per cent of the voters agreed on the preservation of the monarchy.

may I remind you. at the end of this unit. one of the very few men in this world who never gets a holiday at all and who.000 37. SAQ 1 Does Vernon Bogdanor’s statement sound a bit exaggerated? How many engagements do you think the Queen undertakes. but it is good value for money.1997: 193-194). The Monarchy and the Constitution. The Monarchy generates lots of money. as George VI’s private secretary Sir Alan Lascelles puts it very memorably: “We serve. and the sovereign can never be completely ‘off duty’ or ‘on holiday’ in the traditional sense.” George V called his work ‘a life sentence’ (quoted in Vernon Bogdanor. unlike the rest of us. In modern times there can never be a holiday from the work of government.000 Now compare your answer against that given in the “Answers” section. it is almost impossible to mark off a portion of the sovereign’s life which is truly private. It may cost more than the royal houses of Holland or the Nordic countries. as Head of State and of the Commonwealth? Choose the correct answer from the variants below: over 200 about 100 over 450 about 1000 How many people does the Queen entertain annually on various more or less formal occasions? The right answer is among the following: 14.000 10. 128 .British monarchy in the third millenium As Cornea well remarks in his article.000 48. can look forward to no period of retirement at the end of his service. official papers will arrive on a regular basis for scrutiny. People think that the monarchy is good value. for his service never ends. Even when on holiday.

The opponents of the monarchy put forth several arguments against it. Liberal or Labour. The Queen used to receive an annual grant of nearly 6 million GBP to meet the expenses of the nearly 400-strong royal household. They also think it is very costly. and reinforce the conservative values of wealth. since the values that the monarch stands for cannot be depoliticised.9 million GBP in 1991-92). meritocratic* age. hereditary rights should be invalidated and heads of state should be popularly elected. when it is actually used to meet official expenditure necessarily incurred through the sovereign’s duty as head of state or head of the Commonwealth. The first Civil List Act was passed in 1697. the Establishment*. 129 .British monarchy in the third millenium SAQ 2 You have so far read about several arguments in favour of the monarchy. They think that the monarch’s neutrality is only apparent. Around 70 % of it is spent on the salaries of those working directly for the monarch and it is audited annually by the Treasury. have proved to be royalists? Write your answer in the space below and then compare it to the one given in the “Answers” section. How could you account for the fact that most prime ministers of the Left. The most important claims are that in a democratic. tradition. of the institutional validity of the monarchy in the modern world. It is sometimes believed that the Civil List* is remuneration for the sovereign. deference to social status. class. In July 1990 a new arrangement was introduced whereby the Queen receives an agreed sum over a tenyear period with more money being made available in the early years (7.

The Queen. though this was dismissed by the palace. those of the royal dependants. when she is actually one of the richest women in the world. creates for the Prime Minister. in fact. on whose advice she elevates people to such titles. Some of her other functions. thus strengthening the Prime Minister’s manipulative powers. Although those estates officially belong to the Crown.are meaningless. Princess of Wales.British monarchy in the third millenium The Queen is granted the Civil List in return for handing over the Crown estates to the Exchequer*. appointment of the Prime Minister. no monarch could keep them if they considered. There was a general feeling of dismay and profound dissatisfaction with a monarchy that had become more and more aloof from the problems of the common people. calculated her personal fortune at 7 billion GBP. A MORI poll (a special survey of opinion in a country done by the company Market and Opinion Research International) in 1990 showed three-quarters of the population favoured taxing the Queen’s income. a rich system of patronage. Her critics also think that the functions that the Queen holds are mostly meaningless and absurd. that the Civil List was not to their liking. Nevertheless. Then there was vivid discussion of the future role of the royal family. for example. they say. Lords of Appeal and heads of corporations . The Queen described the year 1992 as annus horribilis. there were marital scandals surrounding her son Andrew and the heir to the throne. Critics argue that the tax-payers should not have to cover the Queen’s personal expenses. they argue – declaration of war. the prestige of the monarchy was dealt further blows that came to a head in 1997 with the death of Diana. Prime Minister John Major announced that the Queen would pay income tax from April that year. The Sunday Times in 1990. bishops. though with a huge allowance and exemption from inheritance tax for the Prince of Wales. Her stamp collection alone is said to be worth over one million GBP. It was the year the media burrowed into the private lives of the younger members of the royal family. ossified in rituals and artificial conventionalism. her annual opening of Parliament. as has happened since George III. knighthoods and medals. by dispensing honours such as peerages. Cabinet. granting pardons. the Queen has a considerable personal fortune in addition to jewellery and paintings. 130 . Charles. signing of treaties. into the intimacy of their love affairs and marriage problems. In the following years.

August 1997. only 38 per cent thought that Charles should be the next in line. some say beyond repair. but hardly El Niño. She was a force of nature. so that’s what we’re like. a disruption to everyday rituals which allowed for communal self-recognition: “The moment when we stared at the crowds and bouquets. With her emotional fragility and self-revelation. The ratings plunged from 71 in 1981 to 10 for the Queen and from 58 to 5 per cent for Charles. Still 74 per cent of the interviewees thought that the institution should be maintained.2. bloody hell. 30 August 1998:13). but they added that an overhaul of the institution was mandatory and only 12 per cent thought that the status quo should be maintained. it is evident how the Queen and Prince Charles plummeted in popular support.1 The tragic death of a princess and calls for the reform of the monarchy The death of Diana in August 1997 damaged. her baseball caps. the princess precipitated an unprecedented crisis in the Royal Family. friends. 131 . words and gestures. a moment of national reflection. political and social features of a society which has been struck by far-reaching economic and social problems and which is still marked by the powerful impact of the politics of Tory leader Margaret Thatcher’ (1983:19-39). we stared at ourselves and thought. “Let me repeat. she was representative of the new. natural look of deference. To a last question concerning the succession to the Crown. yes. It offered. stability and continuity as Stuart Hall* asserts in “The Great Moving Right Show”: ‘The major significance of the monarchy is its capacity to continue to forge links among constitutional. the support for the monarchy in Britain. 81 per cent thought that the Royal family should become more informal and less concerned with preserving their traditional ways. The author of the article thinks that this was the major effect of Diana’s death. She was only a symbol of social changes happening already. 79 per cent thought that the monarchy was out of touch with ordinary people in Britain. has Britain changed?” in Guardian Weekly. hedonistic enjoyment of material things and her complicated sex life. in the proper sense. a political symbol because of her royal fate and her choice of charities. emerging Britain just as surely as Charles and his mother represent an old nation” said Andrew Marr (“One year on.British monarchy in the third millenium 3.:13). When Diana died in a car crash in Paris in the early hours of Saturday 30. Diana didn’t cause this. In a poll published by Observer in 1997. it is safe to say that Diana’s death changed the country” (ibid. It provided a much needed shock. And because to know oneself is to change. whilst 53 per cent thought that the Crown should go to Charles’s son William. The monarchy as an institution has to dovetail* with modern times whilst preserving the nearly sacred status that many of its supporters hold dear: tradition. then a year on. high moral standards.

Author of The Hard Road to Renewal (1988). apparently.British monarchy in the third millenium Summary In this unit you were given fairly ample opportunities to engage with the structure. functions and overall significance of a defining British institution – monarchy – whose fate is viewed with increasingly sceptical eyes in the modern world. born Jamaica in 1932. Many believe that the very principles that underpin monarchy . to develop awareness of the monarch’s relatively symbolic power and to account for the support that monarchy has managed to secure over time from the.such as hereditary rights or class privilege. least likely political force to offer such support – the Labour Party. It is part of the Treasury whose chief minister is called Chancellor of the Exchequer. Stuart = British cultural theorist. 132 . Questions of Cultural Identity (1996) and Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (1997). dovetail = to fit together compactly or neatly. look absurd and out of synch with modern times. Establishment = the powerful organizations and people who control public life and support the established order of society. He currently sits on the Runnymede Trust's commission on the future of multi-ethnic Britain. Exchequer = the government department that is responsible for the collection of taxes and the paying out of public money. Resistance through Rituals (1989). Hall. The unprecedented crisis monarchy faced in the wake of princess Diana’s death in 1997 is also highlighted as well as calls ever since for the modernization of the institution. pioneer in the field of cultural studies in the 1970s. with the very spirit of democracy. Key Concepts • • • • Civil List Establishment Exchequer meritocracy/meritocratic Glossary Civil List = the sum of money voted yearly by Parliament to the King or Queen as head of state and to certain other related people. At the same time you are invited to weigh the strengths of the institution against its weaknesses. The Formation of Modernity (1992).

Victoria = queen of Great Britain and Ireland. At least three garden parties take place at Buckingham Palace and a fourth at the Palace of Holyrood House*. built in the early 16th century and dedicated to the Holy Rood. Additional 'special' parties are occasionally arranged. Empress of India and grand-daughter of George III. to social and constitutional reforms. That is why the overwhelming majority of the prime ministers of the Left – from Gladstone. the monarchy is needed even more with its offer of legitimacy to a reforming administration. SAQ 2 133 . Victoria was the monarch who ruled for the longest period in English history (1837-1901). an expansion of the British Empire and an increase in the popularity of the monarchy. Asquith and Attlee to Harold Wilson and today Tony Blair have proved to be such staunch royalists. with a New Labour government so committed to sweeping changes. Answers to SAQs SAQ 1 Each year. in Edinburgh. meritocracy (-atic) = a social system which gives the highest positions to those with the most ability. Monarchy offers fixed constitutional landmarks and a degree of institutional continuity in a changing world.British monarchy in the third millenium Holyrood House = a large mansion (properly The Palace of Holyrood House) in Edinburgh. HM Queen Elizabeth II undertakes a large number of engagements: some 478 in the UK and overseas (in 2003). Her Majesty entertains some 48. Its name is derived from the abbey whose ruins still stand in the park. for example to mark a significant anniversary for a charity.000 people from all sections of the community (including visitors from overseas) at Royal Garden Parties and other occasions. Pro-monarchists think that especially nowadays. Every year. or cross of Christ). during which there was great industrial advancement. Scotland used as residence by members of the Royal family when visiting Scotland.

3 on the distinction coercive/non-coercive power and on the prerogatives of the monarch. Manchester: MUP. spring 1954. pp. McDowall. Emmet. 3 Can you give any examples of non-coercive power that is nevertheless real power? Many people believe that we might see elections for a president of the UK by 2050. D. 120-130 5. 1997. British Politics Today. Selected Bibliography 1. D.2. Dascăl. pp. British Topics. Bogdanor. B. 185-194 2. pp. An adequate coverage of the content required accounts for 70% of your total grade while your linguistic accuracy accounts for 30% of it.1.1. and D. “The Concept of Power” in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.1-26 4. as well as chapter 3. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 101128 3. Kavanagh. 2000. An Illustrated History of Britain.2 and 3. Timişoara: Eurostampa.V. The Monarchy and the Constitution. 1991. 1953-54. In order to successfully complete the assigned tasks you should particularly review subchapters 3. Send the answers to these questions to your tutor. You could consider the bibliography below for further reading. Jones. Do you agree or do you disagree? Bring arguments in favour of your views. Your answer should not exceed two pages (1000 words).British monarchy in the third millenium SAA No. 1998. R. Harlow: Longman 134 . Sixth edition. pp.

4 Selected bibliography 140 143 145 147 148 153 153 156 157 157 160 163 166 171 173 174 174 177 179 180 135 .1 4.5 CHAPTER II British democracy in action: the House of Commons. 4.1 4. the thrust towards decentralization Elections Political parties The House of Commons Functions of the House of Commons The decline of commons power and the movement for reform Summary Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs SAA No.2 4.2 4.6 136 137 CHAPTER I A brief historical outline of the British Parliament.2 4.4 4.1 4.British democracy in action Unit 4 BRITISH DEMOCRACY IN ACTION Unit Outline Unit objectives 4.2.3 4. The House of Lords and its radical reform under New Labour A brief historical outline of the British Parliament 137 Life of Parliament The House of Lords in history Functions of the House of Lords Calls for the reform of the House of Lords New Labour and the Reform of the Lords: 800 years of history ends in 7 minutes Key concepts Glossary Answers to SAQs 4.4 4.1.3 4.2.

Whilst acknowledging the need for an Upper House. recognize and use new specific concepts and cultural studies terminology. identify the specific structure of the Upper House. account for the necessity of restructuring the House of Lords. well-informed manner. its evolution over time and particularly how democratic bodies function in contemporary Britain. particularly the hereditary component of the House. New Labour has constantly attacked the anachronistic aspects of the Upper House. re-interpret tradition as embodied in the institution of the House of Lords and the attempts at modernizing it. It also assesses critically the shortcomings of such bodies and mechanisms: how powerful are people after they put a government in power? The House of Commons is presented as one of the central stages upon which popular representation and democracy unfold and where legislation is made. The House of Lords (the Upper House) is critically approached as the traditional institution which makes great efforts to dovetail with modern times. draw parallels between various manifestations of democracy in Europe. you should be able to: • • • • • • • • • • critically appraise the merits and demerits of the House of Lords. construct argumentation concerning the strengths and weaknesses of the institution and its functions in a rational.British democracy in action This unit attempts to trace the institution of parliament back to its origins and to highlight the important stages in the configuration of the constitutional monarchy. 136 . It also aims at tracing the shift of powers from the Lords to the Commons. critically assess the great merits of democracy but also its shortcomings. content and mechanisms of democracy. starting with the late 19th century. define democracy and identify its content and mechanisms. The second chapter of this unit is meant to analyse the definitions. Unit objectives After you have completed the study of this unit. challenge and demystify* contemporary democracy and its institutions.

In 1275 he commanded each shire and each borough to send two representatives to his Parliament mainly to get their assent to extraordinary taxation. not only private revenues but also baronial grants of support were no longer sufficient to meet the expenses of government. and it contained a mixture of gentry (knights and other wealthy freemen from the shires and merchants from the towns). The House of Lords and its radical reform under New Labour 4. 137 . could ask the barons in the Great Council . two knights represented each county for the first time and there were also two representatives of each borough* (burgesses)*. The commoners would have gladly avoided this ‘honour’. such as war. but they were afraid to anger the king. The very first parliament in Britain was held in 1241.1. a gathering of leading men who met several times a year to grant aid in an emergency. with a history dating back to the elder’s councils* of traditional societies and to the Witan* of the Anglo-Saxon kings or their successor in early Norman times . In the 13th century however.British democracy in action 4. In Simon de Montfort’s ‘Parlement’* of 1265.1 A brief historical outline of the British Parliament It is often said that Britain has the “mother of parliaments”. who were expected to meet all royal expenses private and public from their own revenue. Until then. This rather than the Magna Carta was the beginning of the idea that there should be “no taxation without representation”. the medieval kings.the Commune Concilium. an episode of the Independence War. A brief historical outline of the British Parliament. Edward I* was the first to create a representative institution which could provide the money he needed. as later claimed by the American colonists of the 18th century in the Boston Tea Party*.the true source of the two chambers. This was the germ of the House of Commons.1.

A Speaker was for the first time elected in 1376 and voiced the objections of the commoners or their agreement. 1. or deny. Anyway.1 King Edward I 138 . the English parliament has almost from its very beginning been bicameral. or delay. later on. represented in the councils. the Commons were hosted in St Stephen’s Chapel. at the end of the unit: • “No freeman shall be seized or imprisoned. right or justice”. While in most other European countries there were three important social categories. But the increasing might and authority of the Commons can also be accountable to its homogeneous social structure underlying the socio-political stability and the economic prosperity of England. by an impartial jury”. • “Anyone criticizing the monarch in any way is to be prosecuted under the Treason Felony Act”. as they held very little prestige at the time.British democracy in action SAQ 1 Magna Carta or the Great Charter signed by King John in 1215 is unanimously considered to be the earliest monument of English freedom. Edward III decided to allot a special chamber to commoners . 2. ‘estates’ or classes. The Upper House too proved stable: even in Figure 4. Despite the etymology of ‘parliament’ (‘to meet for parley or discussion’) the commoners had no right to speak in parliamentary sessions. or dispossessed or outlawed or in any way brought to ruin”. The explanation lies in the fact that the former strife between the secular and ecclesiastical authorities led to their inclusion in one chamber. Single out among the sentences below three which express the main thrust of this precious document and then check your answer against that provided in the “Answers” section. also founded by Edward III. the basis of English liberty.the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey. as the debates leading to the Speaker’s address were extremely noisy and boisterous. • “The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial. • “None of the royals can ever get married without the monarch’s consent”. 3. • “To no man will sell. from 1547 to 1834. They were only supposed to listen to the great feudal magnates. It marks the transition from the age of traditional rights to the age of written legislation.

The subsequent development of the power of the House of Commons was built upon these foundations. The British Cabinet. Conflicting interests were manifested in a series of clashes between the liberal-controlled House of Commons and the Conservative-dominated Lords. Originally the king’s legislation needed only the assent of his councillors. the Lords threw it out.e. in two elections in 1910. George V had to threaten the Lords with the creation of sufficient non-Conservative peers to make them give in. the question of eradicating the nobility never arose. A similar advance was made in the legislative field. The Commons now ensured a very solid base in society. By the mid-19th century “the House could sack Cabinets. British Politics Today. 139 . they came to represent wider interests. by 350 votes to 75 (Jones and Kavanagh. remove individual ministers. In 1832 the relative harmony between the two houses was shattered. it could force the government to disclose secret information. over the course of time they began to realize the strength of their position. Although the main function of the Commons was juridical. during Cromwell’s Protectorate and the civil wars preceding it. 1998: 124-125). When in 1909 the Liberal Chancellor declared war on poverty and squalor via a package of tax increases. but starting with the right of individual commoners to present petitions. The Great Reform Act ended the Lords’ control over the Commons by extending the franchise* to the lower middle classes and removing the Lords’ ability to nominate members. In 1407 Henry IV pledged that henceforth all money grants should be approved by the House of Commons before being considered by the Lords. There were further proofs in the first part of this century of the contempt in which the Lords held the Commons. Although there was a Liberal majority in the Commons. and the growth of the Liberal Party reflected this change.British democracy in action the most critical moments of its history. the Commons as a body gained the right to participate in giving their requests (i. their bills) the form of law. namely “by the Commons with the advice of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal”. The constitutional developments of the 17th century led to Parliament securing its position as supreme legislative authority. it set up select committees to carry out investigations and it rewrote government bills on the floor of the house” (Mackintosh. By the middle of the 14th century the formula had appeared which in substance was the same as that used nowadays in voting resources to the Crown. 1977:613).

As the ceremony is held in the House of Lords. the ceremony has been made available to everyone. to summon MP’s (Members of Parliament) to the Lords. The opening ceremony is a mixture of pageantry* and serious political business. Instead she uses a messenger. There is room for only very few spectators inside the Palace of Westminster. The Queen’s Speech always takes place on a Wednesday in November. at 11 am. but through television.2 The Palace of Westminster – home of the British Parliament 4.British democracy in action Figure 4. the Commons are summoned to hear 'The Queen's Speech from the Throne'. formally opening the next session of the Parliament and setting out the policies of the Government. but her government’s. The title ‘Queen’s Speech’ is misleading as it is not really the Queen’s Speech at all. It is a long-standing tradition that the monarch never enters the House of Commons. It is prepared by the Prime Minister and his or her colleagues and it is only read by the queen. The whole glamorous ceremony has been kept unchanged since 1536. The beginning of a new session is called the State Opening of Parliament beginning with the royal opening procession from Buckingham Palace (the residence of the Queen) to the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament). The Gentleman Usher or the Black Rod.1. Once the Queen has taken her seat on the throne in the House of Lords she reads a speech outlining the new laws the government is planning to make in the forthcoming parliamentary year. each lasting about one year from October or November to the next October/November. As the Black Rod approaches the Commons chamber across the Central Lobby of the Houses of 140 .2 Life of Parliament The time between two general elections (not exceeding 5 years) also called a Parliament is divided into sessions.

he asked Parliament for their support but they refused to accept without the King’s promise to grant more rights for Parliament. and he was forced to withdraw empty-handed.3 The Royal procession Figure 4. Figure 4.4 Queen’s Speech 141 . They had however escaped. Then Black Rod raps three times on the door with his ebony stick.British democracy in action Parliament. intending to arrest the five members most closely involved in what he regarded as treason. the door of the Commons is traditionally slammed in his face. with troops. Threatened by the Scottish army. The King entered the House of Commons in January 1642. By November 1641 Charles I had been ruling without any Parliament for 11 years. This tradition dates back to 1642. and the door is opened.

who present arms as the Royal Procession passes. The Sovereign is received by the Earl Marshal and also by the Lord Great Chamberlain. Several events occur before the actual State Opening and The Queen is the last person to drive down the Royal Route. This is the moment when a traditional ritual is carried out to remind all concerned of the rights of the House of Commons and of the abuse of these rights by King Charles I. at the end of the unit. The Sovereign sits on the throne. She has her usual Escort of the Household Cavalry and street liners. Various members of the Royal Family arrive by car and. As the Queen arrives at the Sovereign's Entrance to the House of Lords. 6. The Lord Chancellor now advances and. with the Duke of Edinburgh on her left. the Cap of Maintenance. the Royal Standard* is unfurled on the Victoria Tower. The street liners pay compliments to the Regalia as they pass by. when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. the 'faithful Commons' must be summoned to attend and hear the speech.British democracy in action SAQ 2 By putting the following events in order you will be able to obtain the script of The State Opening of Parliament ceremony: 1. removing the Queen's Speech from a special silk bag. guard the whole route. 8. replacing the Union Flag. hands it to the Sovereign but before it is read. The Regalia: the Imperial State Crown. and it remains there while The Queen is within the palace. 142 . As The Queen moves up the Royal Staircase to the Robing Chamber she passes between two lines of dismounted troopers of the Household Cavalry in full dress with drawn swords exercising the privilege of being the only troops allowed to bear arms within the Royal Palaces. the Sword of State are driven by coach from the Tower of London to Westminster Palace for the ceremony. This custom dates back to 5th November 1605. 3. 2. Check your answer against that given in the “Answers” section. showing the symbolic respect due to them. The Queen travels from Buckingham Palace to Westminster along the Royal Route using the Irish State Coach drawn by four horses. before the Royal Procession sets out. the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of the Houses of Parliament. 7. Other members of the Royal Family sit on the front benches nearest the throne. 4. 5.

3 The House of Lords in history The House of Lords is officially known under the name “the Lords of Parliament”. The House of Lords is also the final court of 143 . It is the continuation into modern times of the original Norman King’s Court (Curia Regis) to which the king summoned the great men of the land. Others survived through many generations. Figure 4.or endOctober. the Bishops of London. and the summer recess lasting about 11 weeks from early August to mid. Scotland. until the next day and dissolution indicating that new elections will be called.5 The Royal Standard 4. public (government) Bills which have not passed by the end of the session are lost. e. Prorogation brings to an end nearly all parliamentary business: in particular. Great Britain and the United Kingdom. Later. Some soon became extinct through the lack of an heir. Each was summoned individually by name. The Upper House consists of the Lords Spiritual and the Lords Temporal. the right was associated with the grant of a special hereditary title (Lord). of life peers created to assist the House in its judicial duties and the Lords of Appeal or ‘law lords’ .1. The average number of sitting days (debates) in a session is about 168 days in the House of Commons and about 150 days in the House of Lords. and the right to be summoned was passed to the eldest son.g. The Lords Temporal consist of all hereditary peers and peeresses of England. in the 18th and 19th centuries it was still called the First House or Upper House. Parliament then stands prorogued (suspended) for a week or so until the new session opens. The Lords Spiritual are the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.22 of them. A session of Parliament is ended by means of prorogation (suspension) as opposed to adjourning which means a short interruption. each lasting one month. including the Lord Chancellor*. Durham and Winchester and the following 21 next most senior diocesan bishops of the Church of England (26 in all).British democracy in action Each Parliament session is interrupted by three recesses: Christmas and Easter.

Some of them however date back to the Middle Ages: the Barony of Mowbray. Hereditary peers however do not always keep a low profile and they are not always ‘backwoodsmen’*. 144 . They are either retired senior ministers or very senior backbenchers* whom the Prime Minister wishes to reward with a seat in the Lords. A significant number of hereditary peerages were created during this century. although not all the peers with a right to sit in the House of Lords attend the sittings. the dynamics of the Lords sittings have changed substantially for the better. The number of Lords used to exceed 1.200. and an important number of them under the premiership of Lloyd George (1916-1922). soldiers who rose to the highest military rank.British democracy in action appeal for civil cases in Britain and for criminal cases in England. Although until very recently the House has still been disproportionately hereditary. They may be former civil servants or diplomats who retired at the top of their profession. since 1963 it has been possible to disclaim hereditary peerages within 12 months of succession. Lord Carrington was Defence Secretary in the Heath Government and Foreign Secretary in Thatcher’s government. the life peers tended to play a fuller and more regular part in the proceedings. and disclaimants lose their right to sit in the House but gain the right to vote and stand as candidates at parliamentary elections. However. the Dukedom of Norfolk and the Earldom of Shrewsbury (1483 and 1442 respectively). (1283). Moreover. successful industrialists or prominent trade union leaders. Lord Home was Foreign Secretary under Macmillan and Heath. the vast majority of them being distinguished men and women from a wide variety of walks of life who have been so honoured in recognition of their political or public services. Before 1999 there used to be 750 hereditary peers (61% of the total number of peers). Wales and Northern Ireland. the largest category of life peers is formed of former politicians from the House of Commons or local government. Since the introduction of life peerages. Lord Shackleton was a senior member of Harold Wilson’s government. Life peers have been created since 1958. distinguished scientists or academics.

British democracy in action Think first! The prestige of the House of Lords has eroded steadily over time. the bill can go for the Royal Assent if passed by the Commons again in the next session of Parliament (read about law-making in Unit 7). and in successive stages during the 20th century (1909. What could be the reasons for this decline in importance of the Upper House. but they cannot amend or reject Money Bills. Do not forget to include your answer in your portfolio for further clarification during tutorials. but the Lords’ power has been restricted by the Parliamentary Acts of 1911 and 1949. If the Lords reject a bill which the Commons have passed. Every bill must pass both houses. 145 . 1949) its prerogatives have been reduced.4 The functions of the House of Lords The Lords have the power to examine and revise all government bills*. in your opinion? Use the space below to write your answer. Thus it was abolished in 1649 being declared ‘useless and dangerous’ by Oliver Cromwell. 4. 1911.1.

British democracy in action The functions of the House of Lords are mainly: legislative delay . amendments can be suggested and new opinions expressed. They also represent a rare mix of experience and wisdom so their thoughts and ideas can often be illuminating and even provocative. This is indeed a vital function and their judgements tend to have great authority and have influenced the development of English law over the years. 146 . However. They do not pass judgement. The Lords do not interfere with bills concerned primarily with finance (about one-quarter of all legislation) but have a key role in other respects.they can delay for about one year the passage of Bills approved by the Commons. Thus by introducing non-controversial legislation. the power of legislative revision . the Lords relieve the burden on the overworked Commons. so they can discuss a bill in far greater detail. without a new general election beyond five years from the previous general election. Both of these committees are constantly involved in the scrutiny of the European Commission proposals received by Parliament. and the government often uses this stage to introduce its own amendments and improvements. They could have used this power in 1915 and 1940 but they did not do so because all parties agreed that a general election in wartime could be most inconvenient. The Lords revise and improve bills on their way to the Royal Assent. Its judicial function is important as it is the highest court in the land. particularly in connection with local government. The House of Lords Select Committee on the European Community matches that of the House of Commons. They also set up a number of ad-hoc committees on specific topics and are very scrupulous in consulting expert opinion.the ability to amend and improve Bills inadequately considered by the Commons. a function which is performed by the law lords including the Lord Chancellor. Sixty to seventy peers are involved in its subcommittees and its reports are widely read and are very influential. There is only one special power of absolute veto.the ability to debate issues of the day in a more knowledgeable and less partisan way than this is done in the Commons. The discussion can be freer than in the Commons because the Lords do not have to worry about their constituencies or about offending their electors. and the power of well-informed deliberation . They have more time than the Commons. if the House of Commons should pass a bill to extend its own life. rather they clarify the law and give opinions on appeals. over the years. there has been a lot of disagreement over keeping the Upper Chamber unchanged. ex-Lord Chancellors and Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (including those retired). The supporters of the Upper House often claim that the Lords provide a useful second opinion on legislation.

The Life Peerage Act made possible the creation of life peers. including women life peers in their own right.5 Calls for the reform of the House of Lords The House of Lords has had a long history marked by considerable institutional resilience.1.British democracy in action SAQ 3 What should be changed in the composition of the House of Lords and why? Do not write more than 200 words and please check your answer against that given in the “Answers” section. the 1949 Parliament Act further reduced the delaying power of the Lords to one year. 147 . and the maximum span of a Parliament should be reduced from seven to five years. at the end of the unit. Other attempts at reforming the Upper House were made in 1957 and in 1958. Subsequently. The 1911 Parliament Act provided the statutory basis for the present limitation of the Lords’ power. but failed to deal with other important matters such as its composition and functions. 4. that the legislation delaying prerogative was reduced to two years. The main provisions of this act were that Money Bills were meant to become law within one month of being sent to the Lords. In 1963 the Peerage Act allowed hereditary peers to disclaim their titles and make themselves eligible for election or re-election to the Lower House.

4. 148 . together with a large number of peers who would be entitled to speak but would be barred from voting. It involved both a reduction in the total number of peers and an attack upon the hereditary principle. dates. Margaret Thatcher never gave much thought to Lords reform. which was introduced by the Labour government in 1968. The 92 hereditary peers who have kept their seats will be removed in the final stage of the reform. the Conservative leader in the House of Lords. 659 of the 751 hereditary peers have lost their 800-year-old rights to sit and vote. In 1977. Also the delaying prerogative was to be halved to six months. His main argument was that such a chamber would reflect public opinion differently from the Commons.6 New Labour and the reform of the Lords: 800 years of history ends in 7 minutes Labour set up a committee in 1998 to examine the New Labour manifesto commitment to reform the Lords. which was to exclude almost all hereditary peers and be composed largely of his nominees and dependents.1. proposed the creation of a reformed Chamber whose members would be elected by proportional representation from large regional constituencies*. Lord Carrington. Tony Blair’s ideas for a reformed Upper Chamber are strangely similar to Cromwell’s Other House. since the type of constituencies.British democracy in action The one further attempt at major reform was the ill-fated Parliament Number 2 Bill. method of election would be different from those in elections for the Commons. It was meant to become a kind of ‘echo chamber for the government’. The proposals were abandoned by the government in 1969 because of a sustained and effective filibuster (filibustering is a means of delaying and preventing action by making very slow and long speeches typical of the Lords) by backbenchers on both sides of the Commons led by Enoch Powell for the Conservatives and Michael Foot for Labour. Stage 2 being concerned with the shape of the chamber. The proposal was that the composition of the appointed chamber be checked from time to time and altered in consequence so as to ensure that the government had a voting majority over the principal opposition party. A bill to abolish the powers of hereditary peers makes provisions for a two-stage reform. so neither of these proposals was ever implemented. It will be however very hard for the New Labour to create the necessary legislative time. of whom one-third had to be nominated by the political parties and twothirds elected through proportional representation from about 250 large territorial constituencies. Under Stage One. The proposal was for the House to be made up of 250 peers with voting rights who would be appointed by the government of the day. In 1978 a different set of proposals was put forward by Lord Home according to which the membership of the Lords was to be reduced to 400.

Number of books published. 149 . the Labour Party continued with the process of reform to the Lords. These were seen as a way of making the Lords more democratic. This was not accepted without anger however. Check your choice against the answer given in the “Answers” section. In 2001. Figure 4. After its victory in the 2001 elections.6 Lord Irvine As the reform bill passed in 1999 when the Queen opened a new parliamentary session she spoke to a severely reduced second chamber made up of life peers.British democracy in action SAQ 4 Guess which of the four items listed below was the criterion of selection for the 92 Hereditary Lords to be allowed to sit until stage two of the Reform? • • • • At least ten successive generations in the House of Lords. the proposed reforms for a new House of Lords were released. A 75-word election address in which they had to convincingly put their names forward. University degrees and doctorates. An indignant alliance of peers accused the government of undemocratic plans to abolish hereditary voting rights. the 26 Anglican bishops and the 92 hereditary peers after their unique election was completed.

the rest would be appointed by political parties in proportion to votes received by a party at the most recent general election. a minimum of those in the second chamber will be female. an end to 92 hereditary peers still in the Lords . bishops to be reduced from 25 to 16.British democracy in action Think First! In your opinion which of the following recommendations made in the 2001 bill will enable the House of Lords to become more democratic? • • • • • • • • • a second chamber of 600 members. the second chamber would have no veto over government legislation . 150 . in a two-day debate in the House of Lords and in a poll the British public overwhelmingly said an independent commission rather than the prime minister should make appointments to the upper chamber.merely the right to delay its introduction. The government white paper* came under fierce attack in January 2002. 120 members elected by the public. minority groups will be represented. Another survey showed that Labour backbenchers were in favour of an upper chamber with more than half of the members elected. the final number of 600 will be met over a 10 year period. 120 appointed by an independent commission . Please add your answer to your portfolio for further discussions during the tutorials.

" he said. the government said that there was no consensus in parliament for introducing any elected element into the second chamber." 151 . As soon as it became clear that Tony Blair would call general elections in May 2005. the Lord Chancellor. Arguing that a hybrid chamber would fail. As well as promising early legislation on Lords’ reform. Lord Irvine. but over whom we have no say. in May 2002. That's wrong." The MPs failed to agree a final stage of Lords’ reform and despite a Labour manifesto commitment to introduce a more democratic second chamber. The Lords should have the power to delay. After a two-day debate on Lords’ reform. With the government’s published plan for the Lords to be 20 per cent directly elected. Labour stated that if they were returned to office. with more peers elected than appointed. with members of both houses allowed a free vote on its proposals (see the next chapter on free votes). He said: "An appointed House of Lords. In the Lords. the government announced a major retreat from its original white paper. and a joint committee of the two chambers was called upon to decide on the entire powers and structure of the second chamber. reform would take place "once and for all. can add real value to the high value of the House of Commons. Instead it said it was only interested in removing the remaining 92 hereditary peers and establishing a new independent appointments commission. Two weeks before voting on the future of the House of Lords. statements were made about changing the procedures of the House so that it worked more "fairly". the reform was abandoned because the party could not agree. backed a wholly appointed upper chamber. the majority still opposed the election of members. MPs and peers began to discuss the seven options for reform. During the debate there were calls for the Government to consider direct election to the second chamber.British democracy in action In response to the deadlock created over the percentage of elected peers. Mr Blair told MPs they would have to choose between a wholly elected or wholly appointed second chamber: "The key question on election is do we want a revising chamber or a rival chamber? My view is that we want a revising chamber. The majority of MPs who spoke showed support for a mixed house. early in a third term". As one delegate said: "We are ruled by a group of people in the House of Lords who have influence over our laws. chosen in accordance with criteria that will make it more representative of the nation as a whole. but with most Labour MPs wanting it to be largely elected. "but not finally to frustrate the programme of a legitimatelyelected government". Responding to the report by the joint committee on Lords’ reform. and ministers like Tony Blair and John Prescott worried that a democratic Lords would challenge the authority of the Commons. the prime minister backed a wholly appointed House of Lords.

stop a minute and imagine yourself taking part in this heated debate on how to proceed to the next stage of the reform of the Lords. in proportion to votes cast for MPs at the general election (but then.80% of the House – to be selected from party lists. why double the House of Commons? Shouldn’t the House of Lords have a status and prerogatives of its own? How effective would it be?) Fully appointed by parties and several independent commissions (but then.British democracy in action Think First! Before you go on reading. • • • Please add your answers to the portfolio for further debates during the tutorials. Choose one of the main positions in the debate and state your opinion bringing arguments in support: • Fully and directly elected so as to make it at least as democratic as the House of Commons. 152 . what percentage would be fair enough: more peers elected or more appointed and who will decide what commissions would be chosen?) Indirectly elected majority . what would the criteria of selection be?). (But then. wouldn’t most of these be the cabinet’s and the Prime Minister’s yes-men Wouldn’t this create a system of patronage of the lords by the executive?) A mixed house with certain agreed upon percentage of elected peers and peers appointed both by the political parties but also by independent commissions and democratic bodies (but then.

From 1979 to 1990 they voted down Thatcher’s legislation over 150 times. It is important to remember. and Labour 355 between 1975 and 1979. 18 November 1980). thought that it was at worst a useful device. backwoodsman = a member of the House of Lords who lives in the country and hardly ever attends its meetings. Enoch Powell more than 10 years later. free as they are of constituency and re-election pressures. 1958:16). This suggests that as they do not work under the pressure of seizing and keeping power. But then even one of its members. however. therefore. Key Concepts • • • • • • • • • • • Elder’s council Prorogation Oueen’s Speech Lords temporal/lords spiritual Hereditary/life peers Law lords franchise Government bills filibustering Legislative delay backbencher Glossary backbencher = an MP who does not hold any special office and who.British democracy in action In the 1950s Peter Bromhead* was still confident of the importance of the House of Lords for British society: “So long as the House of Lords continues by the exercise of voluntary restraint to perform a restricted function in the exercise of political power. they take their role seriously as guardians of the constitution (Jones and Kavanagh. It performs a minor useful function of looking at matters in detail which the Commons has not got the time to do. in the House of Commons sits on the back benches (as distinct from the front benches. there is little reason for altering either its powers or its composition” (The House of Lords and Contemporary Politics. but that is no satisfactory bicameral system” (Hansard. Governments were defeated in the Lords: Heath suffered 26 defeats between 1970 and 1974. It is almost paradoxical that some of the most severe blows were dealt by a preponderantly Conservative house at Conservatives. on which ministers and members of the Shadow cabinet sit). Lord Foot says: “It really can do very little. that the Lords were rather more ‘effective’ at times than ‘dignified’. British Politics Today. 153 . 1998: 131).

borough = town with corporation and privileges conferred by royal charter. when Edward succeeded his father. law lords = peers in the House of Lords who sit as the highest court of appeal in England. franchise = the right of voting at public elections hereditary peer = a titled member of the aristocracy who has (rather used to have ) the right to speak and vote in the House of Lords provided he is 21 or older. A program of legislation strengthened royal control over the court system and reformed the tangled feudal land law. Edward retained Gascony. politician. Bromhead. The slogan of the American colonists: “No taxation without representation” meant that the colonies should either have fair representation in the British parliament or should be independent. 154 . wars in Scotland and France dominated Edward's reign. In contrast to his father (Henry III). member of parliament for borough. After 1294. and Scotland remained only half-conquered at his death. striking achievements occurred: Edward conquered Wales in devastating campaigns and built massive castles to keep it secure. when tea was thrown from British ships into the water. filibuster(ing) = to try to delay or prevent action in a lawmaking body by making very slow and long speeches. cartoonist and designer. burgess = inhabitant of borough with full municipal rights. During the years from 1272. Boston Tea Party = protest in Boston in 1773 against the British tax on tea. Peter = well-known writer. Elder’s council = in traditional societies senior members formed a body that held important responsibilities and privileges. citizen. Currently only 92 hereditary peers still preserve this right. Three years later. Edward I = English king who completed the conquest of Wales and temporarily subdued Scotland. They include the Lord Chancellor and any peers who have held high judicial office or have themselves been Lord Chancellor. however. By a treaty (1303) with Philip IV of France. the Declaration of Independence was signed. to 1290. Edward showed masterfulness in the disputes with the English barons. to quell the risings of William Wallace (‘Braveheart’) and Robert the Bruce (later Robert I).British democracy in action bill = a written plan for or a draft of a new law (Act of Parliament) which is brought to parliament for it to consider. In 1271-72 he went on a crusade at Acre. town sending member(s) to parliament. He failed. In England he held regular parliaments.

Lords Spiritual = a collective term for those bishops in the Church of England who are members of the House of Lords. prorogation = a period of time during which a set of meetings of a parliament is brought to an end. life peer = a person who is given a title during his or her lifetime. great land owners. Royal Standard = a flag bearing the arms of the sovereign and flown to show that she or he is present in a particular place. Witan = Council of the Anglo-Saxon kings. soldier and controversial politician who married Henry III's sister. although later he became the king’s fiercest enemy and after capturing him (and the king’s heir -. but including only royal household officials.the future Edward I) in battle became the de facto ruler of the country. Life peers have the right to speak and vote in the House of Lords. and top churchmen. explaining the government’s ideas and plans concerning a particular subject before it suggests a new law in parliament. suspended. white paper = an official report from the British government. 155 . By summoning both knights and burgesses to a Parliament in January 1265. he founded the House of Commons. the forerunner of parliament. usually as a reward for public service. Lords Temporal = a collective name for all those peers in the House of Lords who are not Lords Spirituals. Queen’s Speech = the speech made by the Queen at the opening of the British parliament each year. It is prepared by the government and gives details of the government’s programme for the next year and of their political ideas. Montfort (Simon de) = a statesman. the Speaker of the House of Lords and also a member of the Cabinet. Lord Chancellor = a political official who is the head of the legal system in England and Wales.British democracy in action legislative delay = the Lords’ prerogative of delaying legislation that they find too divisive or controversial for one year only (since 1949). until a stated day.

Critics often air the view that a reformed chamber with younger and more dynamic members might perform these tasks more effectively.1.4. 1. wealth. please revise sections 4.3 and 4. exclusive private education. by an impartial jury”. Lord Strathclyde. • “To no man will sell. 156 . The hereditary.British democracy in action Answers to SAQs SAQ 1 The three sentences from magna Carta are: • “No freeman shall be seized or imprisoned. by a separate institution completely unconnected with a second legislative chamber (like the Supreme Court in the USA). is totally out of tune with democracy. or deny.1. • “The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial. the Tory leader in the Lords gave one of the shortest addresses: a twoline election address outlining his parliamentary career. SAQ 3 Should your answer not be comparable to the one given below. 5. 7. the Lords have a poor attendance record and represent an outdated cluster of values no longer defensible in the contemporary world: inequality. the right to rule. in the case of the judicial function. The hereditary principle. 8. Many think that several functions could much more effectively be performed by the Commons or. right or justice”. class privileges. SAQ 2 The right order of the paragraphs: 2. 3. it was thought. Very hard for people who are accustomed to making very long speeches. or delay. SAQ 4 They had to endure the humiliating process of putting their names forward for election in 75 words only. As Conservatives tend to have a majority over Labour in the Lords and as they can increase their number in time of need by summoning the less regular attenders (the backwoodsmen). non-elected peers should not be allowed to frustrate the will of the elected chamber. or dispossessed or outlawed or in any way brought to ruin”. they are able to delay and amend radical policies for party political reasons. 6. 4.

What are the features that differentiate democracy from tyranny. for example.? Don’t forget to add your answer to your portfolio for discussions and further analysis of the concepts during your tutorials. a well-known writer on politics. Before you start reading the first paragraph. try to define ‘democracy’ and ‘democratic’ in your own words. Many people in the West cheered on these dramatic events as they viewed them on their television sets. It is very often used as a standard for judging a country's level of political as well as social and economic development. Yet there is sometimes an incomplete understanding of the full rights and responsibilities that democracy may involve. Joseph Schumpeter.British democracy in action 4. 157 . It allows each of us to influence how our societies are governed and have our say about the kind of society we want. an idea worth cheering for.2. Democracy is the process which gives people a voice in society. That is why it is important for everyone to understand how it works so that we can all play a full and positive role.2 British democracy in action 4.1 Elections in Britain Think First! In the late eighties. of what this ideal may actually mean in reality or how it is best fulfilled in political practices and processes. the demands for democracy in Eastern and Central Europe led to the overthrow of communism. dictatorship etc. once described the way in which democracy had become a 'hoorah' word.

and it is the one who gains the largest number of votes who is the winner: this is what is called 'first-past-the-post' (FPTP).British democracy in action Three essential freedoms sustain the British democratic way of life – free elections. there is a recount of all the ballot papers. then what about all those who didn't vote for the successful person? Don’t these people feel ‘disenfranchised’. not a source of political power. It is the system the British have always had. Percentages of votes are not transformed into percentages of seats in Parliament. a candidate may take a high percentage of votes but if he or she is not the winner. freedom of speech and open and equal treatment before the law. • • 158 . they represent a divided majority.' SAQ 1 Which of the reasons stated below express most decisively the shortcomings of FPTP in your opinion? • • • • • • Votes that did not go to the 'winner'. These rights are balanced by responsibilities since a democratic society can only function properly when its citizens play an active part in the institutions. During a general election in Britain. that is. especially if you are the winner. If the losers gain nothing. General elections to choose MPs must be held at least every five years. such voters may constitute a majority but with votes spread amongst different candidates. Only those who put themselves up for election can win. The FPTP system seems both to work and to be fair. known as a constituency. In cases where the result is very close. the total number of votes for all of the other candidates who lost often resulted in a figure far greater than that that the winner gained. at a time when he/she believes his/her party is most popular.e. not gaining through their vote any representation in the House of Commons? Together. the electorate vote for one candidate of a particular political party in their designated electoral region. Within one constituency. However. It worked well in the past because of the traditional two-party system in the country. the Prime Minister can 'call an election' before the end of his five year term of office. within the margin of a few hundred votes. The winner needs only one more vote than his or her closest rival to be first-past-the-post although in reality there is usually a larger gap between the ones who come first and second. i. A new party like the Liberal-Democrat Party is disadvantaged by the system. But there are problems with the FPTP system that have led increasingly over the past decade to calls for reforms to make the system fairer and more 'democratic. and British people often appear quite traditional and unwilling to change something they are familiar with. their votes mean very little at all and become statistics to be analysed.

when the Conservatives dominated the political scene. although it is on the political agenda. they could expect to be in government almost as often as the Conservatives. Before the 1980s. During the 1980s and 90s. "We drop our ballot papers like feathers into the void and somewhere. and if Liberal Democrat voters switched to vote for Labour they could help to oust the Conservative MP. a well known political commentator. coalition governments which offer limited stability in an ever-changing international political climate. many members of the Labour Party were also attracted to PR because they were losing out in a system which seemed to make them unelectable. During the general election in May 2005. result in voter apathy and could actually lead to domination of a few powerful groups. That means they may not actually vote for the party of their choice (especially if it is one with very little support in their area) and their vote will then be 'wasted'. 159 . Tony Blair's party had expressed interest in looking at ways to bring in elements of PR into the system but very little has been achieved so far. The arguments for and against PR have not only persisted but have grown stronger since the Labour victory in 1997. the main opposition to the Conservatives was the Labour Party. But for our feathers to make a difference is rare”. as another aspect of British electoral system. they accumulate to tip a giant scale and eject or elect an Honourable Member. They wish to see more proportional representation where votes are more easily translated into parliamentary seats and not lost because of the FPTP system. Some PR critics claim that frequent general elections would. Tactical voting is where a voter assesses the situation in their constituency at the time of a general election and votes for the party which is most likely to defeat the party they like the least. with it being almost impossible for them to gain any seats in Parliament at all. Those more sceptical of PR claim that it would lead to a series of weak. for example. especially by voters favouring the Liberal Democrats. The same could be the case with those wishing to vote for the Green Party or an independent candidate but realising that a vote for a more mainstream party might be more likely to bring about some change. Conservative voters in many areas considered tactical voting for another party merely to help oust the Labour party. This question was frequently asked in previous years. sometimes. In many constituencies during the 1980s and 90s. Some of the smaller political parties could also see the disadvantages of the existing system.British democracy in action Many think that proportional representation (PR) would be the fair solution to the problem. According to Andrew Marr. One possible solution suggested by some politicians to voters was to vote tactically (VT).

2. held power since 1678. the Tories were associated with larger land holders (or "land magnates") and the Church of England. Generally. and a "tory" was an Irish term for an outlaw. though the term 'Whig' has become obsolete).2 Political parties There are three main political parties in the United Kingdom. Both were still committed to the political system in place at that time. the three main British political parties have. Between them. at the end of the unit. himself an industrialist rather than a landowner. still commonly referred to as 'the Tories') and the Whigs (now the Liberal Democrats. expansion and tolerance. Britain’s political parties originated in 1662 in the aftermath of the English Civil War as the Tories (now the Conservative Party. The two remained the main political parties until the 21st century. in one form or another. Neither group could be considered a true political party in the modern sense. Both names were originally insults: a "whiggamor" was a cattle driver. The Tories underwent a fundamental transformation under the influence of Robert Peel. 160 .British democracy in action SAQ 2 Is tactical voting democratic enough in your opinion? Do you remember any instance in your voting experience when you voted tactically or when you cast a ‘negative’ vote (as we often call the practice in Romania)? Compare your answer to that provided in the “Answers” section. 4. while Whigs were more associated with trade. money. who in his 1835 "Tamworth Manifesto" outlined a new "Conservative" philosophy of reforming bills while conserving the good.

1923 and 1924. The Labour Party had its first true victory after World War II in the 1945 election. After the First World War. called the Social Democratic Party (SDP). and the Liberal Democrats (often referred to as Lib Dems) in 1997 and 2001 gained an increased number of seats in the House of Commons. the Liberal Party was superseded by the Labour Party as the party of the left. who adopted his label of Conservative as the official name of their party. and it changed its name to The Labour Party in 1906. In 1900. the SDP did not prosper. The Liberal Party formed a government in 1870 and then alternated with the Conservative Party as the party of government throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. this led to the demise of the Liberal Party as the main liberal force in British politics. ultimately joining the Whigs and the Radicals to form the Liberal Party. though it had been in use colloquially for decades beforehand. ending with it taking third place in national politics. After some initial success.8 The logos of the three parties: Labour. Peel's version of the party's underlying outlook was retained by the remaining Tories. After performing poorly in the elections of 1922. the Labour Representation Committee was established. The SDP formed an alliance with the Liberal Party which contested the 1983 and 1987 general elections as a centrist alternative to Labour and the Conservatives. and was accused by some of splitting the anti-Conservative vote. Support for the new party has increased since then. some moderate members formed a breakaway group in 1981. Figure 4. The term 'Liberal Party' was first used officially in 1868. The existence of the Labour Party on the left of British politics led to a slow waning of energy from the Liberal Party. Conservative and Lib Dems 161 . Throughout the rest of the twentieth century. With the Conservatives in power for most of the time.British democracy in action Figure 4. The SDP eventually merged with the Liberal Party to form the Liberal Democrats in 1988. Labour governments alternated with Conservative governments.7 Robert Peel Peel's supporters split from their colleagues over the issue of free trade in 1846. In response to Labour's leftward shift.

Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party in 1994 and continued to move the party towards the centre (according to his critics to centre-right. 162 . a situation which earned him the title of ‘Thatcher’s son’).British democracy in action SAQ 3 Margaret Thatcher who became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975 and the first woman prime minister of Britain. Match the achievements listed below with one of the two Prime Ministers mentioned above. having been re-elected twice in successive general elections (a brilliant performance only equalled by Tony Blair in May 2005). • • • • • • • • • • • New Labour New Britain Radical policies of privatisation Anti-trade union legislation Monetary reform The democratization of democracy Devolution The Neo-Conservative Revolution The Third Way Allegiance to free market and a Single European Market A European future for Britain: strengthening Britain’s ties with the European Union No rights without responsibilities Margaret Thatcher: Tony Blair: Compare your answer to that provided in the “Answers” section. left an indelible mark on British politics. at the end of the unit.

163 . The modern House of Commons is neither the government of the country nor even the principal place where most of the legislation is conceived. However.British democracy in action The Labour Party consolidated its position in 2001. yet with a much slimmer majority in the House of Commons (from 167 in 2001 to 67 in 2005). the proving ground for ministers and shadow ministers and the principal forum within which legislation and other actions of government are criticised and asserted between general elections (Forman.000 and 102. winning a full second term . Mastering British Politics:153). and its ageing membership (average age 65) and vote (third party among the under 45s) mean that avoiding extinction became a higher priority than winning an election. 4. although this power is by no means absolute.3 The House of Commons Unlike the ‘dignified’ elements of the constitution. each of which returns one member to the House of Commons.a first-time achievement for the Labour Party at the time. it is the sounding-board for popular representation and redress. Each MP normally represents between 76. with Labour's drop in popularity in 2003-2004 coinciding with Michael Howard's becoming leader. If an MP dies or retires during the time between elections.000 voters (who make up a constituency). The House of Commons is elected during the general election held at least every five years. the House of Commons has real power in the British political system. Britain is divided into over 650 constituencies. The party's drift to the right lost it nearly all its working-class voters. At the same time. This led to a crisis of confidence in the Conservative Party. The May 2005 elections returned Labour to power. the Conservatives appeared to have begun to recover their position as serious challengers to the Labour government. which had become complacent with its position as the 'natural party of government' after its 18 years in power. it is essentially the stage upon which the party political battle is fought. a by-election is held to elect their successor.2.

(11) The one who deals with financial matters and prepares the annual ---------. each member of which specializes in a particular area of government.(10) The one responsible for law and security is called ---------.(1) is the chief officer of the House of Commons.(15).(7). elected by MPs to preside over the House. Paid office-holders in the government who are entitled to sit on the first bench. hence ---------.(4).(17) (the name is derived from the whipper-in in fox-hunting whose job is to ensure that the hounds are kept under control) They are Ministers of the ---------.British democracy in action SAQ 4 By filling in the gaps with the right words or phrases you will find out about the main actors and the part that they play in the House of Commons: The ---------. The leader of the government.(19). next to his/her ---------.(9) The minister responsible for relations with other countries is called ---------. The figure includes the government ---------. the ---------. In front of the Speaker on the right sit the MPs of the biggest party.and the ---------.(12) is called --------.(5).(6) sits on the government ---------. the ---------.(13) Opposite this group sits the ---------.(16) make up about 100 of the total number of MPs.(8) the most important of these form the ---------. MPs without special positions in their party sit behind their leaders at the back and are called ---------. Opposition Prime Minister front bench Foreign Secretary ministers casting ballot Deputies tied front benchers Crown Speaker Cabinet Home Secretary Chancellor of the Exchequer backbenchers Leader of the Opposition budget Shadow Cabinet Whips 164 .the main person in the largest party opposing the government . of course.(18) and constitute important channels between backbenchers and frontbenchers.(14) . or ---------. His/Her three ---------(2) are the next most important officers of the House. which forms the government and facing them sit the MPs of the parties who oppose them. They take no partisan part in debates or votes unless a vote is ---------.(3) which is a rare occasion and in that case they have the decisive vote.

SAQ 5 The ‘whip’ also refers to a document sent out weekly to MPs detailing the forthcoming business of the House.British democracy in action Figure 4. two. twice or three times to indicate their importance to the party leadership. They 165 . Items are underlined once. The Whips also indicate the importance their party attaches to a vote on a particular issue by underlining items of business (once. A three line whip means that party leadership expects MPS to turn up and vote on the matter under discussion. three times) on the notice sent to MPs.9 Voting in the House of Commons Whips are chosen within the party and their duties include keeping members informed on forthcoming parliamentary business. Rank the following messages so as to indicate ‘one-. Failure to comply with a three-line whip (the most important) is usually seen as rebellion against the party (as has happened quite often lately with bills proposed by the New Labour government). maintaining the party’s voting strength. twice. The remainder formed of over 450 members are all backbenchers. ensuring members’ attendance during important debates and also passing on to the party leadership the opinions of backbench members.or a three-line whip’ and then compare your answer to that given in the “Answers” section: YOUR ATTENDANCE IS ESSENTIAL YOUR ATTENDANCE IS REQUESTED YOUR ATTENDANCE IS NECESSARY On the Opposition side the so-called Shadow Cabinet is made up of twenty senior members of the Conservative party.

This is the Standing Committee formed of parliament members that considers possible changes to a Bill after its Second Reading (see below) in the House of Commons. should it lose its argument on a regular basis. etc). who are called upon to control the activities of the executive and set limits to government actions. with the steady extension of government activity over the last 50 years.2. When their party is in government the main function of backbenchers is to support it with their votes and to a lesser extent with their voices in Question Time and debate.4 Functions of the House of Commons The main functions of the Lower House are: ■It sustains government. select committees. 4. The government has to explain and defend its policies convincingly in the Commons. prior to Blair’s victory in the elections of 1997. its credibility would be under threat and it would lower the morale of its supporters. 166 . The House’s power is significant. pressure groups. Some of them have been in the House a long time and they exert a good deal of influence within their own parties. Over the years the backbenches have been a nursery for important ministers. it became clear that the traditional approach to ensuring ministerial accountability to the Commons at Question Time* was not sufficient and it had to be supplemented by other institutional devices (select committees. most of them are relatively junior and have been in the House less than 10 years. It was mainly a heated engagement between the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister. etc. An important means of scrutinising the Prime Minister is Question Time which. However. ■Parliamentary control and scrutiny of the executive is a vital function of MPs. used to take place for two fifteen-minute sessions every Tuesday and Thursday and attracted disproportionate attention. After serving for some years in the House and making their mark in debates. trying to make their way as well as they can. since elections to the House decide the political complexion of the government and the majority party in the House provides the support needed. It is the most difficult of functions as. for example. They seek.British democracy in action have no direct involvement with the government or the tasks of front bench Opposition. to attract the attention and approval of the party Whips by playing an active part in the proceedings both in the Chamber and ‘upstairs’ in Committee. Blair decided to have a one half-hour session Question Time on Wednesday afternoons. they are usually rewarded with junior ministerial office.

167 . concerns and needs. the troubles in Northern Ireland or the Prince of Wales’s marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles? Use the space below to write your answers. An important role of the MPs is to publicise their constituents’ views and to seek the redress of their grievances. Please include your answer in your portfolio for discussions during tutorials. through written and oral questions. They can represent these views in a wide variety of ways: in major debates. on Ten-Minute Rule Bills* and emergency debates. ■The Commons as “sounding board of the nation”. etc. The representative character of the House with the MPs standing for their constituencies secures a fair geographical representation of the country’s interests.British democracy in action Think First! Do you think the Prime Minister’s Question Time is an example of democracy? Do you think that half an hour is enough for such pressing and divisive issues as banning fox-hunting.

where the Report Stage and the Third Reading follow. a thorough debate on general principles is held (about six hours). If this happens. The whole process can take up to a year. after MPs have read the Bill. At the end a vote is taken to show whether or not the House approves the Bill. no debate on the Bill takes place. the latter simply sends a message notifying its agreement. the Commons has to consider them later. and they may add their own amendments or new clauses. Printed copies of the Bill are laid on the table of the House and made available for all MPs and other interested parties to read and comment upon. bills that deal with civil become an Act of Parliament. Comments are invited from anyone who wants to write in.the Royal Assent . It is then given detailed consideration. a new Bill is announced in Parliament by the minister in charge of it. terrorism. whether an individual or an organisation and all comments are looked at. which means that MPs are expected to vote as their party has decided they should (which is not always what really happens). The Third Reading is usually no more than a brief and fairly repetitive debate on the general strengths and merits or demerits of the bill. About two weeks later. it is then referred to a Standing Committee where it is debated by a committee of between 16 and 50 MPs chosen to reflect the party balance in the House as a whole. If the amendments are approved by the Commons. as the bill has to go through the same stages in the House of Lords as well. The legislative process begins with a Green Paper. clause by clause. Then the Bill is returned to the floor of the House.g. known as the Second Reading. Although this process is called the First Reading. The scrutiny is complete. unless the House of Lords insists upon any substantial amendments. The scrutiny and approval of legislation is another fundamental and well recognised function of the Commons. 168 .British democracy in action ■The legislative process. taken together. such amendments usually cause no problems in the Commons. These may last for six hours or more. sometimes the process has to be completed within 24 hours. The voting may or may not be whipped*. which contains firm proposals for a Bill. The next stage is a White Paper. by a Commons committee. After these consultation stages. If the bill is approved at the Second Reading. but in special cases. which makes suggestions for legislation which may be debated in Parliament before a Bill is introduced. Some more controversial bills might take as long as 100 hours or more during the Committee Stage. Once it is through the Lords. a Bill is virtually in its final form awaiting the royal rubber stamp . During these stages the House as a whole debates the amendments passed by the Committee. and again comments are invited. It is debated clause by clause and line by line. Since the vast majority of amendments by the Lords are inspired by the need for technical improvements. etc). They merely underline the usefulness of a bicameral legislative procedure. Another whipped vote is taken. and lots of amendments may be introduced during this stage. pressure is put on the Commons and Lords to pass a bill very quickly (e.

Second Reading h. then discussed in the Commons and accepted. 5. 2. 169 . 4. the only amendments allowed are verbal or drafting amendments. debate. White Paper. The act of parliament is entered into the Statute Book. the bill to go through in the Lords First Reading b. detailed analysis and examination of the bill House considers the amendments made in the committee. Debate is restricted. Queen signs it. Third Reading Twelfth Stage Report Stage Royal Assent d. Green paper. 6. at the end of the unit: 1. g. 3. Becomes Act of Parliament. amendments made. rejected or themselves changed. 8. Five stages for a. Close scrutiny. bill ordered to be printed and circulated. 7. The Bill scrutinised. Whipped vote taken. no debate Minister in charge of the bill explains its policy and major features. New amendments and clauses may be introduced. e. f. Committee Stage c. deciding whether to accept or reject them.British democracy in action SAQ 6 Match items in column one with items in column two to have a clear summary of the legislative process in British politics and then compare your findings to the answer given in the “Answers” section.

Two attendants count aloud while the Chief Whips see to it that all MPs leave by the ‘right’ door. the Speaker puts the matter to the vote. Since 1997 under Tony Blair. Compare your answer to that given in the “Answers” section. the one to the right hand of the Speaker and one to her/his left are opened. the Lords as well as backbenchers have rebelled on several occasions. corporal punishment and euthanasia. but on a significant number of occasions the Commons have emphatically thrown it out. All MPs give their names and leave. the voting procedure usually applied is called Division. Those in favour go out through the right-hand door and those against by the left-hand door. They tend to deal with moral issues such as fox hunting. The name of each MP who wishes to introduce a bill is put in a hat. 170 . which are introduced by individual MPs. The Speaker calls: “Clear the lobby”. Throughout the houses of Parliament bells start to ring signalling MPs to go to the division lobbies. Put the following sentences in chronological order so that you might find out what Division means. SAQ 7 In the case of important matters. After two minutes. After you have done it. try and answer the question: Is this procedure cheat-proof? Can you understand now why the vote is called ‘whipped’? • • • • • • • The exit doors. at the end of the unit.British democracy in action Besides Government bills there are also Private Members Bills. and the names of a few lucky members are drawn at the beginning of each session. Most legislation passes through the Commons as the government wishes.

while only 10 per cent of government backbench and 5 per cent of opposition amendments were approved (quoted in Jones and Kavanagh. Parliament as a forum for national policy debate does not really exist: “What exists is government and opposition locked in an unending election campaign on the floor and in the committee rooms of the House of Commons.15 am on BBC. It was reported that during three sessions in the early 1970s. so now the Commons bows to an executive controlled by its own representatives. Summarised highlights of House proceedings are shown at 8. They started to by-pass Parliament in reaching out to their electors. but there is also extensive coverage in the major news bulletins. has sapped the energy of the House. British Politics Today: 136). 4.5 The decline of Commons power and the movement for reform By the mid 70s it was believed that the Commons had reached its ‘nadir of impotence’ and had been relegated to a subsidiary role. Many people watch the proceedings on TV. almost matching the ritual status of the Lords. there is the growing importance of parties in the political life of the country. (The records of the Lords date back to 1497 and those of the Commons to 1547). Some of the factors that have contributed to this decline of influence and power are given in the following paragraphs: Firstly.9 per cent of government amendments to bills were passed.2. It was alleged that most of its functions were of diminished importance and that the amendments introduced to bills proposed by the government were not substantial. an important Labour MP and political scientist.British democracy in action ■Political education. argues. although Thatcher fiercely opposed throughout her successive premierships the idea of televising the proceedings in the House. printed verbatim reports of everything said and done during the proceedings of both parliamentary Houses. The Hansard reports. Ministers have to justify their actions on the floor of the House or in the Standing Committee rooms. governments have become ‘elective dictatorships’. The various stages in the journey of a bill are as many occasions for citizens at large to tune in to national debates on vital issues that are going to influence the lives of common people. are published daily. As Lord Hailsham memorably described the situation.” He surveys the main functions of Parliament and concludes that none are performed really well. as Tony Wright. The twice-weekly clash between Thatcher and Kinnock at Prime Minister’s Question Time used to be the “biggest hit” of the televised proceedings. Secondly. The house plays an important role in the democratic education of the nation. realising that support to their parties was instrumental in their chances for re-election. He concludes: “There is no institution more in need of 171 . 99. It is generally felt that the persistent fight for independent powers from an executive dominated by the monarch and the nobility.

One of the most important reforms initiated was the setting up of select committees after the publication of the 1978 report. MPs are reluctant to challenge the prime ministerial endorsement by acting independently. pressure groups have been on the rise over the last decade or so. Once in power. and 14 new ones were established for Agriculture. as he or she has exerted sometimes a very tight control (as in the case of Thatcher and Blair) over the hundred members of the Cabinet. Wales. improving the monitoring of delegated legislation. Employment. the Commons’ prerogatives have been superseded by many other governmental agencies. most of the old committees that counted very little were abolished. Furthermore. The movement for reform has gained ground since the 60s and some of the recent reforms stemmed from a report of 1978 to the effect that the “relationship between the House and the government is now weighed in favour of the government to a degree which arouses widespread anxiety and is inimical to the proper working of our parliamentary democracy”. Thirdly. new legislation is often formulated by ministers and civil servants in conjunction with pressure group representatives.but the task is to make it exist”. like the civil service* (about half a million are employed in the civil service now compared to about 50. information and lobbying. As with many European Parliaments. the power of the Prime Minister has tended to become greater and greater. with Parliament agreeing only the framework while often the important details are entrusted to civil servants. etc. and they have so far produced over 400 reports on a whole range of topics. Education. 172 . They are made up of 156 MPs in all. These interest groups are an important source of advice. were soon followed by others in an attempt to balance out the pressure groups. In 1979. What is more. Special standing committees and ad hoc groupings that scrutinise bills in detail during the committee stage.British democracy in action reform… the reform agenda has been sitting there for years… Parliament does not exist . Devolution and proportional representation might also have important effects on the activities of the House of Commons in the future. holding ministers to account through the hourly afternoon sessions for questioning the Prime Minister and other ministers. Defence. British membership of the EU leads to important decisions concerning the UK economy being taken by Community institutions rather than the House of Commons. The leader of the House set out the government’s four priorities in 1997: more effective legislation through the publication of more draft bills and more extensive consultation.000 at the beginning of the 20th century). Labour established the Select Committee on the Modernisation of the House of Commons. Moreover. The means of direct democracy such as referenda have also had an important effect on eroding the power of the Commons. The growth of bureaucracy has also led to the delegation of a growing volume of legislation. A House of Commons Commission was set up in 1978 which gave the House a greater measure of political and financial control over its own administration and personnel appointments.

173 . and the reducing of the ceremonial procedures often criticised as timeconsuming and unnecessary. to gradually become aware of the great merits of a political arrangement that laid the foundation of modern democracies. duties and freedoms in the Magna Carta of 1215 and developing and enhancing them ever since. at the end of the unit. in practice it is usually controlled by the government in most normal Parliamentary circumstances.British democracy in action much of which currently passes relatively unscrutinised. Summary In this unit you were invited to sample the British democracy in action. In conclusion. SAQ 8 In what ways could devolution and reforms of election procedures. expressing the basic tenets of citizens’ rights. The position is however open to new challenges to the balance of power coming from radical reforms that are under way. You were permanently referred to as actors in the political game (you are mature Romanian citizens and you have voted at least once) and asked to analyse and compare the main democratic institutions and practices of British society to those in your own country. influence Commons power? Can you think of further factors that might contribute to its strengthened role in British democracy? Write your answer in the space below and then check it against the answer given in the “Answers” section. especially Proportional representation. The history of the two Houses of Parliament further supports the idea of democratic development in British society and a particular emphasis is laid on the radical changes that the House of Lords underwent under the last eight years of New Labour rule. while the House of Commons is in theory at least supreme in the constitutional arrangements of Britain.

or because s/he has been transferred to the House of Lords. usually about 20 in number. who are chosen by the Prime Minister to determine government policies. composed of several ministries or departments. 174 .British democracy in action Key Concepts • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • constituency enfranchise/disenfranchise first-past-the-post (TPTP) proportional representation (PR) tactical voting casting ballot whipped/free vote Tory/Whig Lib-Dems Whip by-election Cabinet/Shadow Cabinet Question Time Division Hansard Civil Service Glossary by-election = an election held in a single constituency between one general election and the next. The team of ministers in the Opposition (the major political party not currently in power) who would probably form the cabinet if their party won the next general election is called Shadow Cabinet. Their position thus is not affected by a change of government. It may be held because an MP has retired or died. Civil servants have no right to be actively involved in politics or to become an MP. that is responsible for carrying out the work of the government at all levels. consituency = a political administrative district whose voters elect a single MP to represent them in the House of Commons. Cabinet = the government. casting ballot = a deciding vote used when both sides have an equal number of votes Civil Service = the state organization. the executive group of ministers.

merged with it in 1988 and in 1989 adopted its present name. and it was during this time that he is credited with far-ranging criminal reform and the creation of the Metropolitan Police (the terms 'bobbies' and 'peelers' come from his name). Michael Howard was appointed Secretary of State for the Environment and In May 1993. a shift which highlighted his adoption of a more enlightened Conservatism. becoming ‘universal’ in 1928. In November 2003. ceremonial dress. In the past. Lib-Dems = a short. 175 . (revoking this right is called disenfrachisement) first-past-the-post = a colloquial phrase (from horse-racing) that describes how the British electoral system works. Peel was appointed Prime Minister in 1834 and in his Tamworth Manifesto he outlined his support for the Reform Act. but has been gradually extended over the past hundred and fifty years. franchise was limited to male citizens only.British democracy in action Division = a formal vote in the House of Commons when MPs divide into two groups. a position he held for four years. Hansard = the short title of the daily publication that gives a wordfor-word report of proceedings in the Houses of Parliament (named after Luke Hansard. Peel. In 1841 during his second term as Prime Minister he began his battle to open up free trade. he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party and of Her Majesty's Opposition. An adult in Britain legally refers to a person 18 and over. enfranchise = to grant adult citizens the right to vote. he became Home Secretary. or the party gaining the largest number of seats subsequently. pageantry = splendid show of ceremonial grandness with people in beautiful. The candidate given the largest number of individual votes. It has its origins in the SDP (Social Democratic Party) founded in 1981 by four right-wing members of the labour Party. colloquial name for the Liberal Democrats. who first printed the journals of the House of Commons in 1774) Howard. Michael = outstanding British politician who in 1990 entered the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Employment. at the age of 21. Following the 1992 election. for the motion (“aye”) or against it (“no”) and go to one of two special corridors (division lobbies) to cast their vote. the third major political party in Britain and the youngest of them. The SDP immediately formed an alliance with the Liberal Party. wins an election. In 1822 Peel became Home Secretary. Robert = a famous politician and prime Minister who entered Parliament as a Tory in 1809.

Tory = an alternative name for the Conservative Party. so MPs tend to use this procedure simply as a way of gaining publicity for a particular issue.British democracy in action proportional representation = the system whereby a political party secures seats in an election in proportion to the actual numbers of people that voted for it. 176 . whipped vote = a practice whereby an MP is determined to vote as his/her party decides. MPs desperate for this opportunity have been known to sleep overnight in the ante-chamber next to the Public Bill Office in order to be first through the door when it opens the next morning. MPs must give fifteen days' notice to the Public Bill Office of their intention to present such a bill. Time is given for a backbench MP to introduce a bill of their own. MPs must be first in the queue at the Public Bill Office on the Tuesday or Wednesday morning three weeks prior to the date on which they wish to present their bill. Ten-Minute Rule Bills = the start of public business on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Proportional representation despite electoral promises of commitment both from Conservative and Labour politicians is not used in British political elections Question Time = the period of time in a Parliament when ministers answer members’ questions. To secure this much sought after slot. whilst in the case of a free vote this does not apply. and only one Ten Minute Rule Bill may be introduced on any one day. sometimes angry discussions which take place. If the bill is approved by the House at this first reading stage. Question Time is shown on television and can be interesting to watch because of the loud. Whig = a British political party of the 17th century which supported the power of Parliament and wanted to limit royal power and which in the 19th century became the Liberal Party and arose as a left-wing party representing the interests of commerce and industry. it joins the queue of Private Members' Bills waiting to receive a second reading. the name being inherited from the former English right-wing political party in existence from the 17th century to the 1830’s when the Conservative Party was formed. The government will only rarely allow a Ten Minute Rule Bill to progress far enough to become law. They may give a speech lasting ten minutes in support of their proposal.

changing residence is a simple but perhaps drastic measure. and this can contribute to the feeling of disenfranchisement and to the electorate’s apathy and absenteeism. SAQ 2 Should your answer not be comparable to the one below please revise section 4. Anti-trade union legislation.1 The most undemocratic reason is the non-representation of a substantial number of people in Britain in the House of Commons where policy and legislation are made. casting ballot. No rights without responsibilities. monetary reform.1. if they are unhappy that their party never succeeds in their constituency because it is in a minority.2.2. The Third Way. Prime Minister. ministers. • SAQ 4 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) Speaker. Allegiance to free market and a Single European Market. Devolution. front bench. A European future for Britain: strengthening Britain’s ties with the European Union. The Neo-Conservative Revolution. If it is too frustrating to cast your vote every five years and yet never help to elect an MP. Tony Blair: New Labour New Britain. circumstantial value as a democratic practice. Deputies. then you go for the lesser evil or you give your vote to those who can contribute to the defeat of those whom you consider dangerous for society (extremists. Tactical voting has relative. SAQ 3 • Margaret Thatcher: Radical policies of privatisation.British democracy in action Answers to SAQs SAQ 1 Should your answer not be comparable to the one below please revise section 4. is to move somewhere where they are in the majority. The democratization of Democracy. nationalists etc). Of course. It is not entirely democratic because it is not representative of one’s real choice and one’s political convictions. one simple way to solve the problem for an individual voter in Britain. These people do feel frustrated. Sometimes when none of the political contestants represent what you stand for. 177 . Opposition. tied.

Report Stage The House considers the amendments made in the committee. New amendments and clauses may be introduced. Foreign Secretary. Twelfth Stage The act of parliament is entered into the Statute Book.2. bill ordered to be printed and circulated. Second Reading Minister in charge of the bill explains its policy and major features. 178 . Home Secretary. White Paper. detailed analysis and examination of the bill. Leader of the Opposition. Shadow Cabinet.4. Crown. First Reading Green paper. amendments made. backbenchers Your attendance is requested Your attendance is necessary Your attendance is essential SAQ 6 - one line whip two-line whip three-line whip Should your answer differ from the one given below please revise section 4. Royal Assent Becomes Act of Parliament. budget. Queen signs it. Third Reading Debate is restricted. front benchers. no debate. bill to go through then discussed in the Commons and the Lords accepted. debate. the only amendments allowed are verbal or drafting amendments. deciding whether to accept or reject them. Five stages for the The Bill scrutinised.British democracy in action (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) SAQ 5 Cabinet. Committee Stage Close scrutiny. Whipped vote taken. rejected or themselves changed. Whips. Chancellor of the Exchequer.

British democracy in action SAQ 7 The Speaker calls: “Clear the lobby”.2.1.2. Your answer should not exceed three pages (1500 words).2.1 and 4. You could consider the bibliography below for further reading. SAA No. After two minutes.5 and also the glossary entry ‘proportional representation’ on page 171. one to the right hand of the Speaker and one to her/his left are opened. 179 . also better contacts between Westminster and the European Parliament. An adequate coverage of the content required accounts for 70% of your total grade and your linguistic accuracy for 30% of it.1. The exit door. practice or institution that you would like to see in Romanian society? Why? Send the answers to these questions to your tutor. but the consequences of devolution (reduction in size).5 and 4. Those in favour go out through the righthand door and those against by the left-hand door. 4 In your opinion. Nothing can be anticipated with any certainty. is Labour’s proposal fair in resolving the point that legislative power should not be conferred by birth? What do you think about the law-making process in Britain? Is there any British procedure. Two attendants count aloud while the Chief Whip sees to it that all MPs leave by the ‘right’ door. In order to successfully complete the assigned tasks you should particularly review subchapters 4.6 referring to the reform of the House of Lords and subchapter 4. and the strengthened role of select committees and of the Nolan committee. might add important dimensions to this issue in the not so distant future. Throughout the houses of Parliament bells start to ring signalling MPs to go to the division lobbies. SAQ 8 Should your answer be different from the one given below please revise sections 4. All MPs give their names and leave. increased demands for final accountability of the executive to Parliament.4 on the legislative function of the House of Commons. the Speaker puts the matter to the vote. proportional representation (new parties being represented in the House).

Sixth edition.. “Britain and Europe: Devolution and Foreign Policy” in International Affairs. Timişoara: Eurostampa. London: Routledge. pp. pp. pp. Bromhead. Manchester: MUP. 1998. Robbins. 1998. R.British democracy in action Selected Bibliography 1. 1958. The House of Lords and Contemporary Politics. Dascăl. pp. and R. Kavanagh.A. ch. B. Garner. P. 74/1.130155 3. 180 . R.105-118. Manchester: MUP. 10-25 2.I 4. British Political Parties Today. 2000. K. and D. British Topics. Jones. 126-148 5. Kelly. 1998. British Politics Today.

GALLERY OF FAMOUS BRITS Edward I (1272 .1649) George III (1760 .1901) Elizabeth II (Coronation 1953) 181 .1603) James I (1603 .11625) Charles I (1625 .1377) Elizabeth I (1558 .1820) Queen Victoria (1837 .1307) Edward III (1327 .

1940) Winston Churchill (1874 .1881) William E.John Wycliffe (1329 . Gladstone (1809 .1745) (generally regarded as Britain’s first Prime Minister) Robert Peel (1788 .1850) Benjamin Disraeli (1804 .1791) Robert Walpole (1676 .1898) Neville Chamberlain (1869 .1384) Oliver Cromwell (1599 .1658) John Wesley (1703 .1965) 182 .

Harold Macmillan (1894 .1995) Betty Boothroyd (up to 2001 Speaker of the House of Commons) Margaret Thatcher (born in 1925.2005) Harold Wilson (1916 .1986) Edward Heath (1916 . Prime Minister 1979-1990) Tony Blair (born 1953. Prime Minister since 1997) 183 .

1998. Harlow: Longman 10. and D. 1997. 1992. 1998. Dascăl. The British Isles. L. British Topics. J. Colley. British Civilization. The Spirit of Europe in Contemporary British and Romanian Fiction. 1999. 1993. 184 . Jones. H. Dicţionarul universului britanic. 1966. D. Sixth edition. Kavanagh. M. Nicolescu. Irimia Anghelescu. London and New York: Routledge 12. London: Collins 4. R. Volumul I. McDowall. Istoria Civilizaţiei Britanice. Iaşi: Institutul European 11. P. Kearney. Oakland. 1997. A Book of England. 1991. An introduction. Manchester: MUP 8. K. Cambridge: CUP 9. 2000. I. H. London:Verso 5.General Bibliography 1. Brînzeu. Brown. B. Solomos. Race and Racism in Britain. Bucureşti: Humanitas 7. An Illustrated History of Britain. London and New York: Routledge 2. London: Macmillan. 1989. A. Location of Culture. Bhabha. 2nd edition. Corridors of Mirrors. British Politics Today. Britons. J. Timişoara: Eurostampa 6. A History of Four Nations. Timişoara: Amarcord 3.

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