ardelean | Picts | Celts

Carmen Ardelean



Bucharest 2008

Carmen Ardelean

A course for first year students

Bucharest 2008

CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION – AN OVERVIEW Key words: culture, continuity, group specificity, intellectual development, language, cultural dominance, acculturation For students in a humanistic environment, it is always important to grasp a complex perspective of the world they live in, from a cultural point of view. Each of us, as individuals, and all of us, in various types of communities are the product of cultural accumulations which took place over a long period of time. Often enough, learners and teachers alike perceive development only as a matter of historical process, based on precise dates and events that can be learned logically. But, if there is a link between such dates and events, it can definitely be found in the unfolding story of culture. Generally speaking, when we talk about a community, about the people living in one country or on a continent, or even about groups belonging to the same human race, the accent usually falls on the historical overview. This is because it is much easier to quantify development, either on a micro- or a macro-scale, judging by the sequence of data and dates that seem easier to learn or remember. But things are never that simple. Historical dates are only moments in time which speak for themselves, and their deeper significance would be lost if one did not take into account the causes (whether historical, economical, sociological or otherwise) that were determinant for a certain type of development specific for a certain community. It is all about context, and especially about relationships between people, countries or continents. It is all about the selfasserted or accepted dominance of cultural centres, or about the shift that takes place – in different historical periods – between various cultural centres. Their rise and fall seems dialectic – as proven by the fact that, along the historical axis, no major power could hold its dominance forever and finally died out, thus giving way to other emerging powers. Empires rose, expanded and later disappeared, and individual cultures adopted or adapted a wide range of influences from them, willingly or unwillingly. And, just as the language of any community taken separately, cultures are lively structures in perpetual change. 3

The article is often quoted in various references. p. no. ceea ce este o adevărată contradictio in adjecto. Culture also means continuity: even if. This perpetual relationship has always been the core of cultural progress. in turn. various peoples held supremacy (either economic. even in the remotest corners of the world.L.. lifestyles and human relationships. in new forms. sau chiar se ajunge până la o identificare a termenilor: dicţionarul enciclopedic Quillet (1938) defineşte conceptul de civilizaţie ca ‚sinonim cultură’. mankind went through a series of cyclical developments. while the refusal to participate in this sharing means extinction. Kluckhorn şi A. in historical terms. in different geographical 1 In their study of 1952 “Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions”. thereby triggering fundamental changes in mentalities. this question opened the way for many definitions – over 160 for Kluckhohn and Kroeber1 but their number could be even larger . se folosesc adeseori expresiile ‚civilizaţie spirituală’ şi ‚cultură materială’. în timp ce francezii preferă să indice faptul de cultură prin civilisation. Here is a quote from this book: “Nenumăratele definiţii date conceptelor de cultură şi civilizaţie (numai C. military organisation. Kroeber înregistrează peste 160!) se pare că au reuşit să creeze până la urmă o reală confuzie. political. 47. Stiege [2002] or Ovidiu Drimba in Istoria Culturii si Civilizatiei (History of Culture and Civilization). whereby people determine the course of things through the force and validity of the culture they belong to. vol. certain things have changed completely. their cultural corpus was rarely lost. History is about events and facts (all of which must be understood diachronically). class system.Termenii au fost intervertiţi: pentru faptele de civilizaţie germanii întrebuinţează termenul Kultur. Even today. ended in adopting influences from the dominated communities.1.1. vol. military or cultural altogether) at one time or search of the ultimate truth. what is culture? Although seemingly simple. Keeping one’s cultural gates open means development and life.” [1985. So.The development of the world that took humanity to the stage where we see it today has always been based on a double-way influence between the dominating cultural centres and the smaller communities. published in Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. But.8] 4 . and much more on the extensive motivation of events as they happened in certain cultural areas on the globe. Culture relies less on precise data. The former diffused their cultural elements – language. discoveries related to the ancient world continue to surprise the modern man. along the history of mankind. administration.. being preserved. and so on – but. later to be “replaced” by different centres of influence. One of the biggest problems is the fact that. at least partially. while culture relies on connections (a synchronic perspective of events). Events and developments are seen in a relational manner. in one area of the world or another. In its history. including B.

just as preferences for certain types of food. p. As the initial verbal form was adopted in Romanian from French. military organisation. In some cases. 2 The origin of this word – which. of intellectual development. literature. The meaning of kamikaze as we know it refers to the “divine” force which enables Japanese fighters to destroy all enemies 3 It is common. or even the way in which they dress for certain occasions. which has developed into a mark of all New Zealand. arts. 5 . The way in which we communicate various ideas. It is a reference to intellectual and spiritual human achievements which. The New Edition of the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture (Fourth Impression. sciences. the term culture is often used synonymously with that of civilization. social norms but also attitudes. which was menacing to attack Japan. of belonging to a group. the houses people live in. was destroyed by a strong typhoon. myths. somewhat restrictively. along with applicative sciences or education in a specific period in history belong to what is commonly known as civilization)3. architecture – while all other elements marking the integration of the individual in a community (while all forms of social. 2000: 314) mentions it as “2. the tradition of floral arrangements – ikebana – is also part of the Japanese culture. as a model of calling the mythical forces for help before any sporting event. or the Islamic family law) are part of the culture of certain groups of people. economic. in the Romanian cultural space. include arts. Artistic and other activity of the mind. the concept of culture is closely linked to that of community. Mongol leader Kublai Khan’s fleet. Certain individual or group norms (the Japanese kamikaze2 – sacrificing one’s life for honour and the wellbeing of the community or the nation. political. religious specificity. the connection with “facts of civilization” was preserved as well. means “divine wind” in Japanese – lies in a naval battle which took place in 1281. and so do all clichés and verbal stereotypes that we are rarely conscious of. sports. in fact.areas. just as the Haka tribal dance. Dictionaries refer to culture as the complex of all material and spiritual values created by human society throughout its history. Encarta Concise English Dictionary (2001. which was later re-named kamikaze by the grateful Japanese. and the works produced by this”. But the term culture can also be understood from the point of view of human achievement. to its history. but individual opinions prefer to see it as an “achievement area” exclusively. everything that defines such a group – from its rituals and religious beliefs. politics. with all its elements of specificity. to define culture from this second point of view. or the way in which each dish should be eaten. attitudes or feelings also bears the cultural mark. preferences. 289) speaks about culture as referring to “people with shared beliefs and practices” – in other words. food. a ritual of the Maori culture.

but has its usefulness. a university professor at Berkeley. Each nation has its own culture. The Human Environment. Spanish. of the language which is representative for such a cultural community. we find ourselves at once involved with cultural factors. over larger geographical areas. not only in the geographical areas where Romance languages (French. Italian etc. Before becoming the lingua franca we know today. experienced by a large number of members of a certain community) of which some have only a temporary relevance (the so-called trends). beginning with the Middle Ages.”4 As the author points out. psychology and so on) tend to emphasize different – though complementary – elements of culture in defining its link to human development – individually or within communities. California spoke about the relationship between man and culture: “Is culture an aspect of man or of the environment? This is an academic question.3 6 . American culture. was used both for agricultural purposes and figuratively) and it was adopted by various European cultures due to the fact that Latin was the language of religion and of upper classes for many centuries. irrespective of the definition preferred for this complex of factors called culture. which defines any cultural group. and before acquiring global dimensions. and this means that it develops at the same time as those it represents. while others are preserved in the form of a global cultural inheritance. Marston Bates.From an etymological point of view. but also throughout Germanic and AngloSaxon areas as well. In any case. Today we speak about British culture. If we make any study of human societies and their different ways of dealing with the world around them. one must take into account the fact that this is an extremely flexible concept undergoing continuous changes: each historical period brings about new elements (therefore. granting its continuity. English was the unifying element that stood at the basis of a culture which. But such progress can also be understood through the development. now jointly 4 Marston Bates. the term culture comes from Latin (cultura and cultus being words derived from the verb colere. Berkeley. It is hard. biology. meaning “to cultivate” – a verb which. in fact. California 1962. When talking about the “human environment” in an article of 1962. and Australian culture or even about the culture of the former colonies. to find any aspect of the human animal that can be studied without taking culture into account. a specific type of culture. p. however. various sciences (anthropology. having originated on the British Isles has spread around the globe.) were spoken.

the rules that are governing both. Dedicated monks who wrote copies of the Bible – and whose names were never known to the readers. thus hopefully convincing everyone who will read it of the importance of not learning mechanically. I would like to invite you to “take your time” to discover the hidden links between people and events. Human life is also perceived with the passage of time. The shift from prehistoric to modern communities. for learning. the relationships which have gathered or drifted nations apart – all these and many others can be explained through a chain of connections. The modern person sees time as a determining element for everyday activities. Time was the ascending spiral which saw humans and natural elements alike repeat experiences. in a society in which “time is money” and every second counts. They all have in common what was to become the remarkable melting pot of a cultural core which originated in Britannia. This course is aimed at unveiling a number of said connections. from youth to old age. for the historical axis. What we call “evolution” could not be defined in the absence of the time scale. 5 The Romanian version of this TV contest is “Cine tie câ tigă” 7 . but rather searching for the ultimate truth which governs development at any level. Therefore. through most of the Middle Ages.referred to as the countries of the Commonwealth. Intellectual activities preserved this understanding of time for a long time. because only the finite result was important – still knew that. Time was only a helpful coordinate in understanding the movements of stars. for personal and group development. but to take advantage of “the right time” for it. in a journey through various stages of culture of the English-speaking communities. for ancient civilizations. as well as any changes taking place in nature. the succession of seasons. Have you ever wondered why Jeopardy5 is so famous all over the world? For a long while. The most important inventions were based on such knowledge. time was seen from a different perspective. someone else would carry on their task and take it to an end. the reasons lying beneath the greatest moments in the history of mankind. such contests have aroused people’s thirst for knowledge. One of the most impressive changes ever having taken place refers to the concept of TIME. if they were to pass away. But. What mattered was not “to be in time” for something. in a constant effort to prove that past experiences were helpful in gaining a certain amount of knowledge. But thorough learning is not possible unless we find the logic of things.

The main element linking together different people, different geographical spaces, historical events and mentalities is English – the language which was a result of several historical influences, in the melting pot of cultures that came into being on the British isles. The culture of the English-speaking communities has also acted, for a long while, as a source of inspiration for other cultures as well. Former colonies or, starting with the second half of the 20th century, various European and extra-European cultures have adopted English cultural elements including language structures, social and moral rules, festivals and celebrations. We now live in a world which aims at becoming a globalized structure – one which confirms the importance of complex, manifold connections at an international level. For several decades now, English has acted as a lingua franca, and all the cultural elements related to it have gained an increased importance. The present course is aimed at disclosing the major stages of development of this culture, in an effort to perceive various historical stages and events through a comparative point of view. Culture itself is a system, with its own rules, motivations and interrelationships. But, in our case, the course of Cultural Studies is the result of the subjective choice of an author who enjoyed searching for the ultimate seed that gave birth to this unity in diversity which seems to characterize the English culture in the world today. As a rule, any discussion about culture should also take into account a number of terms which are derived from it, and first of all one should consider concepts such as dominant culture, cultural expansion, acculturation or transculturation. World history marks many periods in which the development of a community or of a people was influenced by a different, more powerful culture, having an acknowledged prestige at the time. The ancient times witnessed the influence of the Greek culture, followed by the Roman culture; more recently, the French or the Anglo-Saxon culture have been determinant for the development of large geographical areas, mainly through their colonies. In historical terms, communities with a less known culture and a language that was spoken by fewer people eventually had to accept – either willingly or by force – strong foreign influences which seeped into the local culture and, in extreme cases, even ended in the denial of the local cultural specificity. But cultural conquerors ended in being themselves influenced by local cultures, and selectively adopting parts of that corpus – in a process which bears the name of acculturation; at the same time, they brought with them, through what is called transculturation (or transculturalism), their own cultural specificity, 8

which they tried to “adapt” to local conditions, so as to be easier understood and accepted by the local communities. Still, there is a major difference of perspective in the understanding of these terms. If the concepts of “dominant culture” and “cultural expansion” can only be seen at group level, acculturation takes place at an individual level as well. As sociologists and psychologists agree, each individual carries the mental marks of values which belong to the culture he or she belongs to. Parts of them are subconscious, parts of them acquired. But if exposed for longer periods of time to a different culture – for instance, in the case of company employees working for several years in a different country – people tend to go through various mental phases related to this constant exposure, starting from an enthusiastic reaction to all that is new, passing through a possible stage of cultural shock and ending with self-adaptation and learning of local cultural elements.6 Re-integration into one’s own culture after a period of time is also difficult, as the author himself says: “Expatriates and migrants who successfully complete their acculturation process and then return home will experience a ‘reverse culture shock’ in readjusting to their old cultural environment. Migrants who have returned home sometimes find they do not fit any more and emigrate again, this time for good. Expatriates who successively move to new foreign environments report that the culture shock process starts all over again. Obviously, culture shocks are environment specific. Fore every new cultural environment there is a new shock.” [Chapter 9, p.211] 20th century research in the field of culture added a new, more complex approach of this concept, by adding multiculturalism to this list. Coined in the US around mid-century, it was a response to the “uniformity” efforts reported from Europe for several centuries. Majority communities there had often imposed their cultural traditions and norms to minority/ ethnic groups and the denial of cultural awareness was common practice in many European countries. After a wave of immigration that took place around 1910, this call for “cultural uniformity” or “standardization”, though visible in the States as well, did not require total renouncement of the cultural inheritance of ethnic groups. Understanding of this dual harmony grew until the 1960s when it was finally clear that elements from the inherited culture could enrich the cultural background of the adoptive country. The seventh decade also marked the beginnings of a new culture-focused terminology meant to define the origin of each American (e.g. African-American, French-American, Asian American, etc.) in an attempt to emphasize the

For further details about these concepts see Geert Hofstede, Cultures and Organizations, HarperCollins Publishers,

UK 1991 (paperback edition 1994) chapters 9-10, pp 207-246


cultural identity of various communities. It can indeed be said that, in spite of the controversies that it has raised ever since, multiculturalism has proved to be an efficient way of replacing the old concept of cultural domination with an attitude of respect for each type of cultural background. A relevant example is given by Canada: in the 1990s a law was passed that includes provisions referring to equal cultural rights of all minority communities with those of the majority Anglo-Saxon population. All specific cultural elements are thereby protected (languages and native dialects included) and this is the best way to ensure the protection of invaluable elements belonging to the cultural inheritance of small communities, otherwise condemned to extinction. The second half of the 20th century was also important for the diversification of the concept of culture. New meanings appeared, determined by a generation-focused understanding of specificity. The term which opened the way for this renewed perspective was Pop Culture – the result of an art exhibition opened in London in 1956, but which quickly extended beyond the space of arts, because it referred to a less sophisticated, more modern and open way of perceiving life, culture, the human being and the human mind, specific for the new post-war generations. Pop referred to a type of culture that was enjoyable and accessible to all – not just to elites. The break with tradition and the conventionalism of older generations continued successively with the Rock culture of the 70s, the Disco culture of the 80s, the Punk / Trash / Hip-hop culture of the 90 or with the Cyber culture that has marked the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the new millennium. The purpose of any course in Cultural Studies is, in the author’s opinion, to awaken learners’ cultural self-awareness and to determine them to search for answers within the cultural ground. Any personal contact with culture should raise the level of expectations and lead to an increased level of individual performance and motivation. A course focused on the culture of English-speaking countries should rely mainly on topics connected to the development of various cultural elements according to specific local elements; to similarities and dissimilarities of people living in different places on earth, yet speaking the same language. Did English act as a unifying element, or did it represent only a common basis, the root wherefrom a variety of branches further developed, each growing thanks to the contribution of more complex, local elements which went far beyond the matters of


Cultures and Organizations. culture. social. History gives us a frame. enjoyed and spread away. What is inherent and belongs to universal human values is doubled by learned elements of culture and tradition. The main question to be answered is not “what happened” but rather “why”.language? If we are to follow Hofstede’s theory7. hopes or ideals. language is a major element belonging to what he calls “primary culture”. After all. The present course should not be taken as a simple set of data to be learned by heart. culture brings in the details. educational or even psychological development of communities sharing certain common interests. lived. like history. 1982 11 . The Author 7 Geert Hofstede. but it must be supported by specific features related to the historical. is a wonderful tale which just waits to be told. economic. political. The information herein is meant to awaken the students’ interest for the motivation hidden beneath pure cultural facts. for the logical chain of events leading to various stages of human civilization.

In those days.asp?Document=400. 8 12 . Another source is the article in Wikipedia at the following address: I HISTORY OF ANCIENT BRITAIN For most of the 20th century. while the rest of the territory now known as Britain was placed somewhere near the Antarctic Circle. near the Tropic of Capricorn. is the fact that both parts of the “British” territory could be found far below the Equator – and not in the Northern Hemisphere. See Toghill. Sometime later. This recalculation followed the discovery. the rising sea level separated the territory of today’s Britain from the rest of the European continent.000 years further back.C. for a long time. on the sub-continent of Gondwana8. The beginnings of human life on the British Isles are also a subject of controversy.100. archaeologysts were of the opinion that the first humans migrated here from other parts of the continent in the 5th millenium B. of flint tools in the Norfolk area9.norfolk. In any case. ISBN 1 85310 890 1. modern humans are said to have arrived here during the Paleolitic. for millions of years. as well as about the time when the first humans arrived on this territory.15 for an article on this in December 2005. Shrewsbury: Swan Hill Press. geologists and archaeologists alike presented their opinions about the beginnings of the British Isles. 9 See http://www. Although. what is more surprising. a period during which this territory was part of a compact land (today’s Europe).. Scotland seems to have been part of a sub-continent called Laurentia. Peter (2000). In fact. The Geology of Britain: An Introduction.wikipedia.museums. more recent archaeological finds seem to move that date approximately 200. thereby forming the Channel and turning this part of land into an island. what we now know as “Britain” seems to have been split between two ancient “sub-continents”. however. as we know them today.

Earlier Neanderthal sites which were found to be around 60. that is. Agriculture and farming began to 13 . are said to have arrived here around 3000 BC (coming from southern parts of Europe). and the growing number of inhabitants needed larger cultivated areas.000 years old were also discovered at Lynford (Thetford Forest) in 2002.000 years ago. is a period considered by many to be “the dawn of human civilization”. one of the solid territories above waters. while most of what we know today as Europe was still under ocean water. some 10. changing their previous nomad style of life. some 8.It should be noted that. • The Neolithic (New Stone Age) which followed the Ice Age. this territory was inhabited by Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons. Did you know that… … Britain has its own Jurassic Coast? It covers a length of 93 miles (153 km) along the southern coastline. from East Devon to East Dorset. As a result. new groups of people migrated from mainland Europe to the island.wikipedia. Jurassic and Cretaceous (over 180 million years in the history of the Earth). populated by dynosaurs since the earliest times was the so-called Ha eg Island (approximately similar to the Ha eg reservation today). The Iberians. Their origin remains a mystery11 – and researchers have different 10 For more details about the beginnings of life on the British territory read http://en. protected under international laws. for instance.000 years ago the first groups of Homo sapiens settled down and built their shelters. The following is a timeline following the ancient history of the territory now known as the British Isles10. The first complete fossil of an Ichthyosaurus was found here in 1811. • During the so-called Ice-Age (a period in the history of the Earth which ended around 8000 BC. This area is now a World Heritage Site. The cliffs in this area belong to the successive geological periods of the Triassic.

Stonehenge (built around 2000 BC).Armenian . bronze tools.britainexpress.htm 12 13 11 This word comes from Ancient Greek. The most famous of these monuments. Indo-Iranian or Slavic) and it is considered by specialists a language isolate that does not belong to the Indo-European group of languages.theories in connection with this topic. The Iberians were in fact a number of pre-Roman communities which did not have a unitary culture or social organization. their religion and other specific elements can be found at http://www. Examples of modern-day language isolates: . how they lived. in England . Read and learn! A language isolate is the name given to any natural language that does not have a common genealogy with other languages (or even if such a relationship exists.wikipedia.Albanian .Korean Some languages are called relatively isolated Indo-European languages: . pastoral Beaker people (a population which seems to have lived in these areas by 2500 BC) specialized in pottery (the name actually comes from the shape of the pottery vessels they used). as well as huge stone monuments (or henges)12.but it was not the only one. Archaeologists found many others. was discovered on Salisbury plain. More details about the culture of the Beaker Basque language . Such megaliths13 also gave the name of this period: the Megalithic Age. Their language (now extinct) cannot be subscribed to any of the known major groups (Romance. but in time it developed into various dialects which now are known as “the Japonic family” • The Bronze Age is connected to the mythical. from Portugal to Norway as well as in Northern Africa.Greek Japanese was once considered an isolate. The massive stones of such Read more in the Wikipedia article dedicated to this population at http://en. it cannot be scientifically proved). with megas meaning “great” and lithos – “stone” 14 . all along the Atlantic Ocean shore.

15 . equinoxes and eclipses.example of Bronze Age communities migrating to Neolithic Britain. thought that they crossed the whole planet. adepts of a “superior race theory”. Nabta Playa is an archaeological site where 7000 years ago lived a nomad community (making it the oldest such construction in the whole world).and draught .monuments are placed either in a vertical position. This circle must have been used to calculate the beginning of the rainy season . The “Long Skulls” are another – though less known . energy channels (called “fairies’ way”) would then orient this energy towards villages. This construction was dated back to 2000-1000 BC. that they called “the Long Skulls” because of the shape of their heads. An important Neolithic barrow was discovered near Cheltenham (at Belas Knap) in the 19th century (around 1860). upright stones (menhirs).refers to a fortified town. The most famous one in North America is the complex of North Salem (in New Hampshire). STONE HENGES Stonehenge is a name of Germanic origin (possibly meaning “suspended stone”). Megalithic stone circles were also found in North Africa. therefore no details are available about their initial purpose. The name of Carnac is Celtic (the root car. at Morbihan) is another example. The henge of Carnac (in the French region of Bretagne. as well as a circle of stones (possibly used as a sacrificial altar for Druidical rites) and artefacts made of metal. single. rebirth . Similar megalithic circles were found in other geographical areas.for harvesting). No writing was found in these complexes. but one variant would be a “calendar” of solstices. Excavations on this site revealed several stone chambers. for instance. Various signs (similar to linguistic models) were discovered here. Recent carbon dating places these inhabitants around 4000 to 3700 BC – meaning that they could have arrived on the island even earlier than the Beaker people. Historians and archaeologists of the time. These areas were used as Earth energy deposits. The fairies’ ways are part of the tradition of all ancient peoples: the Chinese.for sawing . Archaeologists are not sure what was their main purpose. with a capstone covering them like a lid (dolmens) or large. decided that the skeletons found there belonged to a superior race of the Bronze of the three main seasons (flood. suggesting that the oghamic alphabet (Ogham writing means groups of lines on the stone edge) was used.

often associated with religious sites.Monumental stones with carvings showing nobles. The Picts were another important ancient community. “Pit-“ and “Lhan-“ are of Pictish origin (e. * * * * 16 . legends and myths about them can still be heard today.their religion included several Gods . and their name as we know it today comes from Greek (the Romans called it as the Kingdom of Alba). Pittodrie. this province was submitted to the Gaelic influence. They also built a number of royal forts (e.g. referred to Pytheas’ report and described Britain as triangular (“much as Sicily”) – the three main points being “Cantium. Ptolemy of Alexandria drew a map of the British territory around 140 AD. metalwork and small bone objects . They used Ogham writing (groups of lines on stone edges) but also Latin. Diodorus Siculus.). warriors and hunters (men and women had equal rights) . Other evidence of Pictish times: .archaeological finds include paintings on stones.g. Pytheas of Massilia. This community was made of a number of tribes. Aberdeen. Burghead).Historical facts An early description of Britain belongs to a Greek sailor. as far back as the Roman times and until the 10th century AD. he wrote an account of his travels called Concerning the Ocean. and towards the beginning of the 11th century they became “Scots”. Still. Their main activities included cattle-breeding (the elite of each tribe was chosen according to the number and size of their cattle) and cereal crops. and is said to have sailed around Britain around 325 BC. Lhanbryde etc. Belerium and Orkas ”. a Roman having the prefixes “Aber-“.but they later embraced Christianity (the Pictish elite were the first to be converted) . More than two centuries later. whose influence was significant for the Northern part of the British main isle. Historians mention their presence in what is now Scotland (but they seem to have arrived from Scythia). Slowly. throwing the Picts into oblivion. and he also pointed out three main points of reference: Tarvedrum. Viruedrum and Veruvium.

The Celts arrived in the British Isles in the 8th century BC and their influence was dominant until the arrival of the Roman legions in 43 AD. 14 A tartan is a special pattern of fabrics.are still famous today. the Britons.MAJOR CULTURAL INFLUENCES IN ANCIENT BRITAIN Of all the peoples who crossed the isles in the ancient period. four centuries after. each clan (important family) had its own combination of colours and some – such as the Stewart tartan or the Night Watch . 17 . or even in the Chinese plains. They are the Celts. Their origin is unknown. Ancient Greek historians called them “Keltoi”. in 406 AD. The Celtic culture was restored after the withdrawal of the Romans. elements of Celtic origin were supposedly found even in Western China – and the language spoken there seems to resemble Gaelic. such as Brittany (the French Bretagne). In Scotland. Wales. Proofs of their existence go as far back as the Bronze Age. including the British Island. and it remained the main cultural element until the inhabitants’ conversion to Christianity. Scotland. 1. three must be mentioned for their major influences on the formation of the people and culture of this territory. Cruithni is the Irish form of the Latin Pritani. the Romans and the Anglo-Saxons. Nowadays tartan is associated with Scotland (and the famous Scottish kilts) but similar patterns were found in ancient graves in Western China. woven fabrics resemble the Scottish tartans14 and women are thought to have used similar jewels and make-up to those used by Celts in Western Europe. although certain historians place them at the crossroads of the Urals and Carpathians. Celtic languages are still spoken today in certain areas of Europe. Historians place the date of largest Celtic migration around 2000 BC – the largest Celtic migration (from Central Asia – Turkey – up to the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean). Ireland and the Isle of Man. while Romans later called them “Galli”. as far back as the second millennium BC. THE CELTS The Celts overran virtually all of Western Europe. in the form of horizontal and vertical bands dyed in many colours. In this same Chinese region. this word was later modified to Brittoni – that is.

historians thought that only men could become Druids. The Romans later imposed the square house shape. the King b. Here are some fundamental characteristics of the Celtic communities: • • Perfect equality between men and women (women could choose their own husband. the warriors (men and women) c. go to war and lead the community) Main social groups: a. Druids held a dominant position in society. Agriculture was an important occupation for the Celts. For a long time. The walls of these houses were made of clay and straw. Celtic priests (Druids). Warriors were an elite class in the Celtic social system.enemies’ heads were cut off and hung on their horses’ saddles. farmers (men and women) • • agriculture – they used iron ploughs iron weapons and two-wheeled horse-drawn chariots 18 . complex decorative objects were found in Celtic sites. The Celts were the first to built fortresses (massive structures with conical top) made of stone. Sheep farming was also important. Jewellery. The famous Shetland sheep (whose wool is highly priced today all over the world) are of Celtic origin. the wise ones – magicians. But they were also very cruel . d. engraved mirrors. Wheat grains (dating as far back as 5500 BC) were found in Britain. to frighten their enemies. They were exporting cereals and animal skins all over the European continent. The Carnyx (resembling the Romanian bugle = bucium) was an instrument used in battles. but in fact women could also hold this important rank. own properties. and organised rituals which sometimes included human sacrifice.Celtic round houses were built starting with the 3rd century BC (the thatched roofs of Celtic houses have remained until today characteristic for the traditional country houses). It was used in their battles with the Romans as well.

This understanding of life and human development was shattered and changed completely in the Renaissance. Apart from solstices and equinoxes there were four other major moments of the Celtic year (see their similarity to the Christian calendar). autumn represented old age and winter – death. Spring was the equivalent of childhood. because Druids thought that people’s souls had their origin in the Sun itself. but it also meant a breakaway from Man’s intrinsic relationship with Nature. equal to all others. This was a simpler perception of human life. the Sun was the centre and cause of all things. • • 19 . • For the Celts. the Celts considered that human life evolves cyclically. but life constantly passes through the same major points that have to be memorized and remembered through magic rituals). but its Master. in the shape of a spiral (human beings accumulate information leading to development.• traditional Celtic festivals and celebrations were later borrowed by Christianity Like most pre-Christian communities. Man was no longer perceived as one of the elements of Nature. Celts imagined the Universe in the shape of an immense wheel. The following table shows a comparison between Celtic celebrations and important moments in the Christian year. with the Sun in the centre and the Earth moving around it. and all major events intersected it. making the “wheel of life turn”. Human life was perceived as linear (one’s birth at one end. • • Solstices and equinoxes were extremely important for traditional rituals. This image was replicated by “the wheel of life”. whose centre was represented by the human soul. when Man (seen as an individual or a member of a community) was placed at the centre of all things. summer – of mature age. one’s death at the other). All human achievements were seen as points on this horizontal axis.

The dominance of the Romans ended at the beginning of the 5th century when. for the purpose of preserving the continuity of life on Earth.Celtic celebrations Oct. A circle of 8 candles is sent on water May 1st: Animal mating and purification through fire Christian festivals All Saints’ Day (Nov. 15 See for more details on this topic 20 . 31st. Political freedom was maintained for the Britons.2nd: Halloween (Cattle sacrifice – opening the gates between life and the other world – remembering the dead). the moment of chaos is still represented by Halloween (Oct. human beings could gain wisdom. 1st for Catholics. 31st) Feb 2nd: Presentation (young Jesus is brought to the Temple) May 1st: The first of May was for many centuries an equivalent for the beginning of spring. Romans decided to withdraw their troops from certain regions. He allegedly named the inhabitants “Britons” and England “the Albion”. THE ROMANS Julius Caesar’s Roman armies started the invasion of the British Isle by two expeditions which took place in 55 and 54 BC. st August 1 : Beginning of harvest. * * * 2. Easter is also close to this moment. August 6th: Transfiguration (Jesus returns Connection point between the animal cycle among the apostles but is not recognized) and the agricultural one • Celts also believed in reincarnation. with the help of some local rulers. In Anglo-Saxon tradition. but they had to pay tribute to Rome until 43 AD when Claudius I concluded the Roman conquest (Roman legions occupied the Southern part of the island). In successive lives. Caesar did not conquer the island but. due to the economic decline of the Roman Empire and constant attacks by the barbarian tribes. Today’s Wales and Yorkshire resisted until the bloody rebellion of 61 AD led by Queen Boudicca. Significance: Chaos as a renewal of order Feb 2nd: Celebration of Mother Goddess and lamb birth. Nov. 2nd for Orthodoxes).wikipedia.Nov. began to include the island under the Roman sphere of influence15. life experience and especially knowledge. including Britain. In Anglo-Saxon tradition celebrations include the Maypole dance.

initially for Roman chiefs but later for local rich people as well. New towns were built: London (Londinium). Manchester (Mamucium) York (Eburacum). These walls marked the northern Roman frontier for the following 200 years. St. Andrew is considered as the forefather of Christianity in Britain. Christianity. aqueducts and baths (still existing today). 122 AD – emperor Hadrianus began the construction of a protective rampart (“Hadrian’s Wall”) 117 km long in the North (near the city of Carlisle). Villas – vast estates worked by slaves – were built. while the Roman culture was forgotten. Roman influences: benefits in technology and culture Romans influenced the legal and political system of the Roman province of Britannia a new. Major effect: the Celtic culture again became predominant. roads. but the Christian religion became legal in the entire Roman Empire during Emperor Constantine's time. Local nobility accepted the Roman way of life (and partly their language. 21 . This native culture remained dominant (including the language of Germanic origin). along with others bearing the suffixes -chester and –caster. in 313 AD.Here are some important dates of this period: 61 AD – Britain becomes a Roman province (Britannia). These urban centres were linked by military roads. Latin). Many of these constructions are still used today. while Britons in rural areas preserved their native culture. 142 AD – “the Antonine Wall” was built in the North-East. The withdrawal of Roman armies began at the end of the 3rd century and ended in 410 (when the Visigoths invaded Rome). well organized administrative system was imposed Architecture and engineering.

Although dominated by the Roman culture for four centuries. three bishops from Britain were present. Britain did not adopt Latin as its official language. at the time of the War of the Roses. Legends place him in different regions. a knight who lived in the 15th century. maybe it was only the imagination of the Celts. but the original title was The Book of King Arthur and His Noble Knights of the Round Table.The earliest written document speaking about Christianity in Britain is Tertullian’s Adversus Judaeos (around 200 AD) in which he states that “the diverse nations of the Gauls and the haunts of the Britons. William Caxton. or the legendary Camelot ever existed. He became a member of the Parliament in 1445. romantic tale about him. This title was given by the publisher. published in 1485). * * * THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR Legends about the king who protected the locals against Anglo-Saxon attacks began to circulate towards the end of the Roman rule in Britain. while in prison. Maybe this magic leader really existed. based on medieval romances was written by Sir Thomas Malory. but this is due to the Norman influence which became extremely important starting with the 11th century. he could be Scottish. He was imprisoned several times and. who imagined a strong. 22 . Still. he wrote an epic poem dedicated to King Arthur (Le Morte Darthur. fearless hero who could protect them against all enemies. His name first appeared in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae but an extended. at the Council of Arles (France). A century later. or the Knights of the Round Table. He could even be a Roman who had settled down in one of these regions. There are no historical data to confirm that this king. inaccessible to Romans” are “subjugated to Christ”. English is considered the “most Latin” of all Germanic languages. Celtic or even Welsh.

indicating an intermediate stop (for instance. Le Morte Darthur mentions certain symbols related to the archetype of the medieval hero: .Arthur. the legendary Hero . Essex. Kennedy’s presidency was called “The Modern Camelot”? 3. • They settled down in the south-eastern part of the Island and called it Angle-land (a name which seems to be the origin of later “England”). you go to London via Brussels). New efforts to impose the Christian religion in this area began around the year 600. • They gave new names to Roman roads (which became “streets”). under Celtic influence. marks the beginning of the medieval period in England. Penda (ruling in Mercia) died in 665 AD. the magic kingdom – an ideal realm .The magic number 13: King Arthur had 12 Knights . the beautiful woman that could not be trusted . East Anglia. historians call it the "United Kingdom of Angle-land". This period is conventionally thought to end with the reign of Henry VIII and the beginnings of the “English Renaissance”. The old Latin term is “via” and it is still preserved in certain expressions related to travelling.Like any other epic story. • Anglo-Saxons chased Christianity into Wales (preserving the old Germanic tradition) and possibly this is one of the main reasons why this period is known as “the Dark Ages” of England. The last pagan Anglo-Saxon king. Kent.Camelot.F.The impossible love story between Queen Guinevere and Knight Lancelot Did you know that… The White House during J. The arrival of the Anglo-Saxon troops led by the two legendary brothers. only Arthur could pull it out of the stone where it lay. This was the unified territory of the seven earlier Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Northumbria. the magic sword. Sussex and Wessex. Hengest and Horsa (“stallion” and “horse” in old Germanic). Mercia.Excalibur. 23 . From this moment on. The first King of unified Angle-land was Egbert (from Wessex) in 829 AD. .Queen Guinevere. THE ANGLO-SAXONS The Anglo-Saxons (Germanic tribes) invaded Britain around 449 AD (after a number of Saxon raids in the 3rd and 4th centuries).

Irish. The first Chronicle mentions. A revised edition was issued in 1892-1899. One of the most important mediaeval historians of old Britain. the fact that five different languages were spoken "here on this island": English. Picts and Scots). Scotland and Wales. After the Germanic invasions. The Chronicles are the first documents written in Middle English. Welsh. the Island was not significant in the history of Western civilization. Geoffrey of Monmouth (in Latin form Galfridius Monemutensis) wrote Histories of the Kings of Britain (or Historia Regum Britanniae). each chapter refers to the events which took place in a year. Before the Roman conquest of Britain (in the 1st century AD). Brits. These are five separate manuscripts written in monasteries. 24 . historians began to refer to Britain using the names of the three main provinces: England. by monks. Pictish and Latin. The manuscripts were first published in printed form in 1865 (by John Earle). on its introductory page. Saxs. therefore they describe some of the earlier events based on earlier sources.The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles According to the concept of chronological time (the chronological presentation of historical events based on existing written documents) the first written information about historical Britain came from the so-called Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (covering the period between 60 BC and the 12th century – ending with the year 1153). a text of about 130 pages in which he spoke about the communities living on the island (Normans. Today no traces of the original inhabitants or of their language can be found.

the Viking King. Vikings attacked monasteries and other holy places. The result was an obviously hostile relationship of the Vikings with local communities in Britain and Ireland. Angles and especially Vikings all left their mark. 25 . These first attacks are characterized by certain specific features: no coordination. Shetland) Danes in England (in Northern and Eastern England) Guthrum agreed to be baptized England was divided into the Anglo-Saxon kingdom (South) and Danelaw (North of London to Chester) In 878 King Alfred agreed a truce with Guthrum. This state of things was to continue for the next 3 centuries. The area was called Danelaw – because the Vikings settled and ruled here in the 8th-9th centuries. Romans.CHAPTER II SCANDINAVIAN INFLUENCES THE VIKINGS The very roots of the English can be traced to Eastern England where Celts. and no long-time plan for settlement. First Scandinavian settlements: Norwegians in Scotland (on various islands – Orkney. until the final defeat of Anglo-Saxons in 1066. followed by others in the following years. First attacks (raids) from the sea: The first documented attacks are said to have taken place around 783 AD on the Wessex shore (mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 793). killed the monks and stole all treasures they found.

many of these continuing side by side with their English equivalent. Ph. by Peter N. this was also a major moment in English history." etc. Norman influence on literature was equally profound. more cosmopolitan.The second wave of Viking invasion took place under King Olaf Tryggvason in the 10th century. because it paved the way for a new way of life and medieval reforms. the leading literature of Europe. for the developments in French literature. A new wave of attacks began in the 11th century. At first. http://www.html) Court manners and dress were adapted according to the requirements of the French Royal Court. English became vastly enriched. Many French words replaced English ones. This is a major event in the history of England (and Britain). From a cultural point of view. “Norman Rule not only affected political and social institutions. Williams.britannia. Here are a few examples of reforms which changed the structure of the existing culture: The language spoken at the time adopted many Norman (French) elements and became what is now known as Old English – the basis for modern English as we know it today.” (Quoted from A Narrative History of England. this new language became official all over the country only in the 14th century. but by that time the Vikings had largely settled in Normandy and were called Normans. In 982 AD a new attack by the Vikings ended when London was burnt down. D. A huge body of French words were ultimately to become part of the English vocabulary. who continued to speak the Anglo-Saxon "legal" and "lawful. 1066 – The battle of Hastings. such as "sacred" and "holy". The immediate result was a larger number of settlers arriving in England." and so on. but the Court language was French and the local nobles adopted it easily. The army of Anglo-Saxon King Harold was defeated by William the Conqueror – and England surrendered to the Normans. Local nobility was subjected to a foreign aristocracy 26 . but the English language itself. so that before the end of the 14th century Chaucer was able to use a vast store of new words such as "courage" in place of "heartness. these changes were not perceived by the majority of the people." "stench" and "aroma. could now circulate in the English court as it did in France. sharing its Teutonic and Romance traditions. However.

as in Edinburgh. or “-thwaite” (= meadow. which had been recognized by Saxon clergy. He appointed a Norman Archbishop of Canterbury (Lanfranc) who was also approved by the Pope. castles. and land owned by all . Edinburgh) or “–by” (ex. in case of war).was commissioned by William. Grimsby. bishops and nobles. IMPACT OF OLD NORSE ON OLD ENGLISH – LINGUISTIC INFLUENCES Names of places: “burh” (fortified dwelling or village) – this ending can be traced in place names ending in “-burgh” (ex. was banned forever.The military service became compulsory (all knights who had received land from the king were bound to offer a proportional number of soldiers. Consequently. skin). The marriage of priests. Linguists also agree that the Old Norse spoken by the Vikings was very similar to the Old English spoken by the Anglo-Saxons (both were Germanic languages). Scunthorpe). This probably made it easier for the Vikings to impose themselves in the conquered regions. A detailed survey of all citizens. the Doomsday Book also included precise data about the land and goods owned by archbishops. Their villages were called “burh” (-burgh. Lothwaite) were also of Scandinavian origin. William promised the Pope that he would “reform” the “corrupt” Saxon church. The Romanesque architecture (of cathedrals. The word “law” also comes from Old Norse – and historians and linguists alike consider it a proof of the contribution of the Vikings in setting up a legal system in Danelaw. as in Grimsby. Most of the place names and common words beginning with “Sk-“show Old Norse influence (sky. Derby) Place names ending in “-thorpe” (=”new village”) (ex. because nobody could hide anything from the king’s emissaries.) 27 . Thurnby. piece of land) (ex. domestic animals. Thurnby. Derby etc. or – by. Country people called it the “Doomsday Book”. military fortresses and other buildings) slowly replaced the Anglo-Saxon constructions made mainly of wood. in Modern English.

The Runic “alphabet” was called “futhark” (from the first 6 runes).” (Gareth Williams) Most data regarding the period of Viking domination in England come from monastic sources: . Before that.The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles . ill). husband). these were signs carved mostly in stone. and had only 16 runes. Even in Western Europe. Part of the difficulty in decoding runes is the fact that at times they were written right-to-left or upside-down. the Viking Age is often seen as part of the 'Dark Ages'. while the names of the months are of Latin origin. the Viking writings used RUNES.- Words of relationships and trade (take. farming (skill. marriage (sister. THE VIKINGS “In Scandinavia the Viking Age is regarded as part of prehistory because there are practically no contemporary written sources. Read ANNEX 3 for a detailed presentation of this topic. and partly Anglo-Saxon. sometimes in wood. from which comparatively few historical records have survived. egg).Monks’ letters: the Vikings’ raids were seen as God’s punishment for human sins. Records are so few because Vikings learned the Roman alphabet only when they were converted to Christianity. 28 . Archaeologists found various short inscriptions using runes (especially on funerary stones). More were added when they learned the Roman alphabet. personal characteristics (happy. The names of the days of the week in English are partly derived from the name of Scandinavian Gods. get).

The style combines prose and verse and the plot usually has a heroic figure in its centre. Sagas were. thus determining a dramatic course of action.of the Universe by the action of the same Gods. the name of rune-carver was also mentioned.: the sea = “the whale’s road”. The language in which they are written is Old Norse and most of these sagas were written in Iceland. while “poetry” is Kvasir’s. They include the name of individuals. the constant relationship between humans and their Gods.Most runes discovered today come from large memorial stones. their achievements. in fact. as well as some historical events that may have taken place during the person’s life. The poem of the Niebelungs (Niebelungenlied) is the most famous of all Scandinavian sagas. fantastic motifs. These Sagas were stories about kings or even ordinary people. 29 . The name comes from the word “skald” which means poet. complicated structures). Kennings were an element of style using a poetic paraphrase instead of a simple word (Ex. the complex metaphors are all meant to produce a literary effect. literary works (epic poems). the use of mythical. alliteration.and destruction . a mythical hero’s “blood”) Interesting information Sagas are epic tales related to the history of Germanic and Scandinavian communities. The hero's life takes him to meet Gods of Giants and sometimes he interferes in the status-quo between them. Niebelungenlied was partly translated into English by Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1845-1846 but his work was lost. Another important theme in Scandinavian sagas is the creation . LARGER SCANDINAVIAN WRITINGS: THE ICELANDIC SAGAS The earliest discovered Sagas were written in the 12th century (2-3 centuries after the events they mentioned). Example: Eric the Bloodaxe is welcomed in Valhalla by the Gods A specific feature of the Icelandic sagas was the skaldic verse (internal rhyme. In most sagas. the action takes place in a period of confrontation between the old pagan beliefs and the emerging Christianity.

with a spear (or arrow) made of mistletoe. warrior-maidens whose duty was to take all heroes who had died in battle to the magic realm of Valhalla. Frey. The Scandinavian Pantheon also included the Valkiries. or jewellery and ornaments. The coinage was adopted by Viking rulers outside England around the year 990 AD. Did you know that… … the superstition about the number 13 being unlucky may come from the Icelandic saga Niebelungenlied? Legend says that there were 12 Gods at a banquet. Silver was the most common metal in their economy. the God of Light and Beauty. The Vikings believed that the world would end with the final battle of Ragnarok. was the Goddess of fertility. when Loki (the 13th one present) came and killed Baldr. the sister of Frey. MONEY Money came to Scandinavia through trade with Europe and the Islamic world (silver dirhams). It circulated in the form of ingots (bars). between the Gods and the Giants. Odin (a cunning. Precious metals were a symbol of wealth and power. The Scandinavian Pantheon: Thor (the strongest of all Gods). Scandinavians believed in the existence of a major female figure: Frigg was the Goddess of the home (her role being similar to that of Hera in Greek mythology). Coins were only important for their weight in silver or gold. Only a few would start to give birth to a new world. Like all pagan mythologies. Loki (the Fire-god. 30 . Odin would be killed and a fire would destroy the whole world and most Gods and Giants.RELIGION Sagas speak about two main races (Gods and Giants) and the conflicts between them. clever personality). Freya. the God of prosperity. who married a giantess – he embodied the principle of Evil). but some sources place this moment even later.

authority) élite activities (tournament [OE – “joust”]. Old and Middle English: An Anthology. along with the name of St. romance). when many people from the Midlands migrated to London – thereby giving birth to a mixture of dialects. Norman words: administration (prison. Martin (in Lincoln) or the cross. beef. coins of the Viking period bore the hammer – a symbol of the pagan God Thor. but gradually Norman words were used to express new ideas. challenge) government (chancellor. sheep Regal (Fr. patience. EMERGENCE OF A NEW LANGUAGE The conquerors imposed their own language at the top levels of society. Norway and Sweden. court. WHILE SAXON ENGLISH WAS USED IN EVERYDAY SPEECH. equivalent to today’s Denmark. festival. Standard English.At that time the smaller Scandinavian kingdoms had united into three larger kingdoms.) / friendly (E) UNTIL THE 14TH CENTURY FRENCH AND LATIN WERE USED ESPECIALLY IN WRITING. has its roots in the 13th – 14th century. in the early Christian tradition). The native Anglo-Saxons continued to speak their own language. Another type of coin issued in York (around 940 AD) shows a bird identified as Odin’s raven (but which could equally be St. psalter) learning (obedience. castle. In Danelaw. Peter (in York).) / fatherly (E) Courteous (Fr. cow. pork. courtesy. (more on this subject in Elaine Treharne. St. as we know today. mutton / pig.) / kingly (E) Paternal (Fr. The Danish coins were the strongest of all. John’s eagle. concepts and activities. royal) religion (grace. Compare: 31 . Oxford 2000).

Imperial Rome had been such a centre. The Norman Conquest “was crucial in determining the formation of another nation [after Italy. An important city during the Roman occupation. Gesichte im Überblick – Daten und Zusammenhänge der Weltgesichte. pag. one of which was London itself. London became an important European cultural centre after the Norman Conquest and William the Conqueror’s crowning on Christmas Day 1066. The fall of the Roman Empire (in 476 AD) left Europe divided into two parts – a Latin. at this time. Ed. 251 16 32 . a large number of migratory groups left their mark on the life and history of these communities. 2002. later adopted under various forms in Scotland and Ireland. translated into Romanian as Istoria Lumii – Din preistorie pana in anul 2000. the Germanic Empire. apart from the communities which. opposed to a Byzantine. the development of Western Europe followed the pattern of continuous revival and change. Another characteristic of Europe in the Middle Ages is the rise and fall of a number of cultural centres – cities or states which determined the trend of development for the entire continent. All Educational.which were to continue their growth separately. and it was followed by others. 2000. Orthodox Eastern Europe . whose effects could be noticed throughout Europe: the Normans brought rigour and a systematic feudal society. then a capital city for Anglo-Saxon kings.CHAPTER III THE MIDDLE AGES SPECIFIC FEATURES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENGLISH CULTURE Throughout its history. Europe became the most complex melting pot of cultures. military. began to crystallize as “states”. and influenced one another through various types of cultural exchanges. Portugal and Spain – our note] in Western Europe. for a period of time.”16 In Imanuel Geiss. constantly marked by the effects of political. economic and religious competition. social. whereas Eastern Europe preferred tradition and an unquestioned respect for authorities. Catholic Western Europe. Fundamentally.

the King appointed his immediate predecessors and they were the first to be part of the council. already existed in Spain (“the Social States”) but were of minor importance in comparison with the English Parliament. where important decisions were made by representatives. which put an end to the totalitarian type of monarchy and limited the powers of the Crown. defence or negotiations with other princes were concerned. not only on our continent.html 33 . although kingship was hereditary in the Anglo-Saxon provinces). Half a century later. Such official gatherings.The Mediaeval English state is remembered in European history and culture through a series of actions and documents which stood as the basis for all modern states. Members of the witenagemot were: higher churchmen earls other members of the nobility Usually. because it marks the signing of “the mother of all Constitutions” – Magna Charta Libertatum. only a year after what is known as “the Barons’ War” against the Crown. In Old English. this means “meeting of counsellors” (witan = counsellors of the Anglo-Saxon King – all of whom belonged to the A-S aristocracy).it/documentazione/magnacharta. it included. but also overseas. the Anglo-Saxons also had a council of people whose task was to take the right decisions for the community – the Witenagemot [witunúgimot]. the counsellors had to give their assent in what laws. In fact. The year 1215 is important in the history of England and of the mediaeval world. Documents are not explicit. long before this Parliament. 17 The complete text of Magna Charta can be found at http://www. in favour of the nobility17. taxes. but the witan may have had elective power (for the election of the local king. The number of council members varied according to local each king and his decisions. in 1265.studiperlapace. The meetings of the witan were not regular but they took place at any time as chosen by the king for taking decisions in important matters. a number of representatives of the boroughs (= towns). along with hereditary peers. London became the place where the first Parliament was convened by Simon de Montfort.

Everybody knew the Curia Regis under the name of Great Council and only had executive powers because the king took all the major decisions and promoted laws. This gathering laid the foundation for the later House of Lords. the representatives of the clergy withdrew from this Parliament almost completely (only 2 of them were left) but the remaining members gradually built the unitary body that took the name of “House of Commons”. Thirty years later (1295) Edward I convened the “Model Parliament” that included high ranked and lesser clergymen. two knights from each county. In 1265 (during the so-called “Barons’ War”) Simon de Montfort organized a Parliament which included representatives of Anglo-Saxon counties. when a number of representatives from some social classes (knights or merchants) were invited at the court (usually during a meeting of the Curia) to “give their acceptance” to taxes imposed by the king. Liebermann – The National Assembly in the Anglo-Saxon Period (first printed 1913. At first. However. 34 . especially due to the fact that the York kings and then the Tudor monarchs were very strong and turned the Parliament into an instrument of their will. and two representatives from each town in the effort to organize a body that would represent all major social classes. autocratic position in the state and the powers of this council were only representational. new edition 1961) Sir Frank Stenton – Anglo-Saxon England (Third edition 1971) The Medieval Parliament In the 13th century the kings of Britain gathered the aristocracy and clergy representatives around them under the name of Curia Regis (Royal Court). By the 15th century the Parliament had lost its administrative and legislative powers. little by little. Kings still held a dominant. merchants. towns and lesser clergy in an effort to gain the support of middle classes. but starting with the 14th century the nobles inherited the right to participate in the Curia. The origins of the House of Commons can be traced back to the 13th century. and this type of council remained unchanged for more than 50 years. the members of the council were chosen by each king according to his will.Sources: F.

and effigies of various English (and British) kings or queens throughout history are now displayed in museums all over the world. The Crown Jewels are the most precious and most important Royal insignia. Edward. in 1649.Symbols of the Medieval State For a monarchy. All the elements belonging to the so-called regalia were. so the name may be derived from the small flag flown by ships of the Royal Navy. 35 . Scotland has its own Crown Jewels (also called “Honours”) which are kept in the Castle of Edinburgh. in either its Latin or French form Jacobus or Jacques. Did you know that… … The term Union Jack possibly dates from Queen Anne's time (she reigned between 1702 and 1714)? In fact. but certain objects (such as the Royal Crown or the sceptre) can be found in any monarchy. the Sword of Mercy (which also allegedly belonged to Edward the Confessor). all the original jewels were destroyed.including the Coronation Crown (named after St. It may come from the 'jack-et' of the English or Scottish soldiers. its original Crown jewels were lost. being kept together with the English Crown Jewels. and only a small crown (Llewellyn’s coronet) remains. the sanctified King Edward the Confessor) . when monarchy was abolished and Oliver Cromwell set up the Commonwealth. either “a gift of God” or a display of wealth and glory. its origin is uncertain. at the beginning. various other swords. Unfortunately for historians and viewers. The English Crown Jewels . these are not the original pieces. As for Wales. Other English regalia include the golden sceptre (with a dove carved at the top). The regalia (a number of objects and privileges enjoyed by a monarch) differ from country to country. 'Jack' once meant small. After the Restoration and the re-establishment of monarchy. the symbols that mark the sacred character of the chosen sovereign were the most important. or from the name of James I who originated the first union in 1603. Another privilege enjoyed by all Sovereigns is the right to mint coins .are kept and carefully protected in the Tower of London. coins bearing the monarch’s effigy and signet rings. Charles II renewed the tradition and commissioned a new set of Royal symbols. to mark the destruction of monarchy itself.

The throne and the royal robe are very important for official ceremonies. The monarch is also the Head of the Commonwealth (a concept created during Cromwell’s Protectorate) The House of Lords (with its Chancellor) and the House of Commons (with its Speaker) appeared in their modern form in the 16th century. starting with William the Conqueror 2. 6. Westminster Abbey – the crowning place for all kings. The Act of Settlement in 1701. participation of nobility into the state decisions 4. Arthur’s “throne” – this is a stone which was taken from Scotland by James I and since then it has been kept under the Westminster Coronation throne (for its symbolic power). from then on. These include documents. in 1707. 3. Magna Charta Libertatum marks the end of discretionary power by monarchs. It shared most of the powers typical of representative institutions in medieval and early modern Europe. called the “Stone of Destiny” is still kept in Scotland. whose members are elected). See Annex 6 for more details about the national flag of Britain. By then. in a bicameral body. Another stone. which provided that only Protestants could hold the throne 7. due to the signing of 36 . and was organized. starting with the 14th century. we can speak of the British Parliament (the Parliament of Great Britain). with a House of Commons (lower House. Here are some of these specific British symbols: 1. But apart from all these. The right of the monarch to knight other people besides the nobles 5. and a House of Lords (upper House. The English Parliament first arose during the 13th century. between England and Scotland. or the Union Jack. and so are the national anthem and flag. there are other things which represent specific symbols for each country. The English Parliament was dissolved when an Act of Union was signed. buildings or even political structures which were to influence the rest of the world. no election for its members) for hereditary peers. at the Castle of Edinburgh. referred to variously as 'colloquium' and 'parliamentum'.

and was commonly used to differentiate the two main groups according to the side where they took seats. in the big hall. members of the country gentry and clergy (therefore. the Tories were against this exclusion. the Tories were considered more moderate 37 . The Whigs.the Magna Carta. The notion of “right wing” or “left wing” parties also has its origin in the English Parliament. apart from high-brow aristocrats. Towards the end of the 17th century the members of the House of Commons had separated into Whig and Tory “parties” (in 1680. when a new line of Catholic kings was about to be established (starting with James II – the Whigs supported the idea and the Tories rejected it). the nobles had had their rights written down and undersigned by the king and thus they limited the powers of the monarch. Historically speaking. In the 1600s. it regained its rights as supreme legislative power during the Restoration (under Charles II). merchants and non-Anglican clergy. They are considered the predecessors of the Liberal Party in Britain (leftists). Generally speaking. Interesting information “Whig” is a term which allegedly comes from “whiggamore” (a cattle driver in Scotland). these two names sprung up during a major crisis of the 17th century (1678-1681) when members of the Parliament took opposite stands in the matter concerning the exclusion of James II (or James VII of Scotland) from the thrones of the three historical provinces of England. Scotland and Ireland. the British parliament became powerful again. of lesser importance than the high aristocracy represented by the Tories) supported this exclusion and even wrote a petition for that purpose (that is why they were also called “Petitioners”). “Tory” meant “outlaw” in Irish (after some bands of Irish Catholics) Both terms were considered insults. The Tories included in their ranks. During the Stuart period. the Parliament members actually asked for complete sovereignty from the monarch but Cromwell silenced these voices and reduced again its powers.

therefore he appointed ministers from all existing political groups. It was a time of war with France. Did you know that… … Britain used to have a “Ministry of All the Talents”? William Grenville was appointed Prime Minister in 1806 (during the reign of George III). the reign of Queen Victoria. the powers of the House of Lords have become only representational. he decided that it was better to gather all political forces in order to make a strong government. for the first time. but rather on political stands. it took another century (until after the time when the British armies were defeated during the American Revolution). before the two-party system was officially confirmed. now being considered the third major British party. A third major party. and were therefore preferred for the selection of counsellors. the Liberals gradually decreased in importance and remained out of the Parliament for most of the 20th century. the term was used their attitudes. by several monarchs. but when the war was over. They regained their position only during the 1980s. 38 . in 1868. Moreover. Major decision by this Ministry: the law for the abolition of slave trade in Britain (passed in 1807) Since the 18th century the power of the House of Commons has been justified by its control of Government finances. during the 1990s a heated popular debate has started questioning the very idea of preserving a Parliamentary House whose members are not elected. While its powers have increased gradually. the Liberal Party. However. Westminster Palace (or the Houses of Parliament) was built by Sir Charles Barry to replace the old building that had been destroyed by fire in 1834 (and which had also been the residence of the monarchs since the 16th century). which ended in 1901). Finally. even negligible since 1911. It grouped dissatisfied members of both Whig and Tory parties. The Whigs returned to power in the Georgian period. In 1860 a new building was constructed to house the meetings of the Parliament. emerged in the second half of the 19th century. the idea of this Ministry was abandoned. parties were no longer based on religious sympathies. After the end of the Victorian age (that is.

cannot perform this duty. since then. The monarch’s speech is presented from the Royal Throne. The Imperial Crown and the Royal Sword are taken to the House of Parliament before the arrival of the monarch. missed the State Opening two times during her reign (in 1959 and 1963). a yearly appearance during which the monarch must speak about the major problems of government during the previous year. for some reason. The House of Lords groups the following categories: Hereditary peers (later called Whigs and Tories in the 17th century) 39 . and the expected developments for the following year. the British Parliament continues to be made of two Houses (as shown below). If the monarch. they are displayed in the Royal Gallery. The Royal flag must replace the Union Jack throughout the monarch’s presence in the building. A member of the House of Commons is taken “hostage” by the monarch – a guarantee of safety at the monarch’s entrance in the Parliament. before the doors of the House of Commons are opened for his (or her) entrance. Queen Elizabeth II. The reason for this interdiction is an attempt by King Charles I (in 1642) to arrest five members of the Parliament. A century-old ritual requires that the monarch asks for permission three times. for instance. the State Opening falls into the responsibility of Lords Commissioners. no monarch has been allowed to enter the premises except for this ceremony. Interesting information The State Opening cannot take place before a thorough search of the Parliament cellars (in order to avoid the danger remembered by the Gunpowder Plot of 1605). because she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. The Summoning of the Commons is the ritual of the three-time knocking on the Commons door. except for the presentation of the state of the nation (the State Opening of the Parliament).Today. Everybody must keep silent during this speech. The monarch cannot enter the House of Commons.

of 659 members): - life peers Scottish peers 26 Anglican prelates The House of Commons includes only democratically elected representatives (a number 529 from England 40 from Wales 72 from Scotland 18 from Northern Ireland A non-partisan Speaker is elected by the Party in power * * * 40 .

As for the Commonwealth. the astrologer of Elizabeth I (a very important scholar of the Middle Ages. it was a sign of the times. since he was also a member of a group that later set out to translate the Bible into English). fully aware of the potential positive effects of such a course of action. New territories meant new sources of wealth and power and. and other European monarchies. a century later (1282) it was the turn of Wales to fall under the dominance of the English monarchy. Starting with the late 16th century and the 17th century (the Elizabethan Age and Francis Drake’s travels on sea. The term “British Empire” seems to have been first used by Dr. such as France. Drake being only second after F. they also opened the way to injustice and deeper class differences. John Dee. unfortunately.CHAPTER IV THE BRITISH EMPIRE AND THE MODERN COMMONWEALTH The expansion politics of this great nation could not have succeeded if it had not benefited from the force. Magellan to accomplish this effort). the English continued to increase their dominance in various geographical areas. the term and concept go back to Oliver Cromwell’s 41 . The 14th and the 15th century exploits on sea and land opened the way to a fierce fight for the dominant place among European powers. England’s Empire began to take shape. The era of Great Geographical Discoveries emphasized the need to conquer and dominate new territories and new peoples. This attitude was not surprising. Spain or Portugal did the same. courage and political will of English monarchs. he was also an alchemist and mathematician. Starting with the 12th century (around 1169) the newly formed nation began its expansion with the territory of Ireland. around the globe.

The methods of expansion included the following: trade settlements (the most significant example being given by the New World) conquest (with the use of armed forces) finally. this was a logical effect. including admission in the most important British universities (Gandhi. the symbol of Indian independence. Local populations suffered the effects of colonization (killings. that is. of the British model for an administrative and legal framework. when the Lord Protector imagined an ideal English society in which wealth could be shared by all. until the reign of Queen Victoria. one other method involved the manipulation of local conflicts between ethnic and racial identities (thus avoiding local unification policies. In approximately four centuries.Protectorate. English gradually became a lingua franca for all these territories. when England is said to have extended its empire to its farthest limits. is an example). thus providing the background needed for today’s globalization process. Britain’s economic growth. European diseases reduced their numbers dramatically). because the English colonists saw it as a means of further dominating the respective regions. in some cases (as in India. adoption of a parliamentary democracy. which were finally lost in 1453 (only the strategic port of Calais was kept until 1563). language and government. this expansion went through a succession of phases. It even had territories in France. for instance). commerce. English acted as a unifying factor. according to the Roman principle of divide et impera – the “divide and rule” policy). because it covered all continents and seas. however. Community fights for religious dominance reached fierce extremes. 42 . Britain gave full support to ensure the education of native population. At its peak. due to the massive number of different dialects existing on the territory if the Indian sub-continent. the British Empire was also known as “The Empire on which the Sun never sets”. Consequences: the spread of British technology.

the main interests of colonists were in farming and agriculture (sugar. Iraq. tobacco. A growing interest in territories outside Europe began could be noted: settlements in Newfoundland (1583). In these islands. Both Newfoundland and Roanoke were later abandoned due to tough weather conditions and food shortages. Uganda. during the reign of Elizabeth I. 18th centuries) Africa in the 18th century) 43 . rice and furs). companies were opened in the Indian sub-continent and in Northern America (Massachusetts). Barbados) followed. For instance. cotton. Sudan. Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Guyana. The colonization of some Caribbean islands (Jamaica. also known as Nova Scotia. Kenya The Overseas Empire The development of the Empire is generally divided in two major periods: The First British Empire (marking the British expansion to the Americas in the 17th and The Second British Empire (marking the shift of interest towards Asia. most ex-colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations (an association based on bilateral relations and mutual help. thus confirming England’s dominance on sea. especially of economic nature – the most favoured country trade system). the first colony in Virginia (at Roanoke) was set up in 1587.g. this community of states was later followed by colonization of a larger territory. led to this area being declared an English colony. outside the British Isles and Europe. The first Eastern Colonies of North America (early 17th century) led to the formation of the original United States. Purposes of the conquest of new territories: trading interests raw materials suppliers (especially the African territories) – e. and later towards Settlements and exploration gradually covered larger territories. The Royal Navy (established by Henry VIII) finally defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588.- After gaining independence.

later became self-governing colonies (but still subjects of the British Crown). thus confirming the British domination over the whole Indian sub-continent. starting from 1788. The stability of political conditions in most of its overseas markets determined great prosperity all over the British Empire. Britain continued to dominate trade with its former colonies. The self-governing status did not exclude trading settlements and it also meant no expenses in administration. 44 . conquered in 1757.g. Britain was the major industrialized power in the world. These territories. thus marking the major difference between French-owned territories and British ones. … the free-trade system was adopted in the first half of the 19th century (around 1840)? In the 19th century. Decline of the colonial system Decline began in the 18th century. Both created a major area for British migration. Did you know that… … slavery in Britain came to an end in 1834? The law had been passed in 1807 but it took a few decades to actually enforce it. After placing the Indian territories under the administration of the Crown (1858). Ceylon was added in the 1770s and the rest of the Indian provinces followed in later years. Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1876. Although it lost the USA. along with Canada. The British Empire in Asia The first British possession on the Asian continent was the Indian province of Bengal.- Australia was at first used for penal colonies. the American War of Independence 1775-1783). some colonies began to rise against the British rule (e. New Zealand joined the Empire in 1840. in 1870 the Empire stood for over 30% of the global industrial output. Due to monopolies and excessive taxes.

Trade with Asian colonies: tea opium Trade with China: Interest in maintaining a free China to prevent the formation of colonies by other Western powers. The British Empire reached its peak during Queen Victoria’s reign. Tanganyika and Rhodesia (today the independent republic of Zimbabwe) followed. which could not renegotiate or break existing treatises The end of the British industrial domination: By 1870 other countries (Germany. 45 .) had become competitors in the industrialization race. also. In this context. Nigeria. as well as of export opportunities. Britain’s development of the 1920s confirmed its status as major imperial power. in spite of protests from local inhabitants and political leaders from Europe. following a successful series of wars (The Opium Wars) against China for domination in the trading of opium. France. Interest in a weaker China. It remained a British possession until 1997. Germany 9%). Britain controlled over 30% of Africa’s population (as compared to France 1%. By 1914. Britain occupied Egypt in 1882. a new concept emerged: it was the so-called “New Imperialism” (or “Empire for Empire’s sake” as modern commentators call it. the USA etc. Africa became an interesting territory for colonization. A rather long period of depression (1873-1896) and price deflation were natural consequences in the limitation of domestic markets. Mostly unoccupied by Western powers until the 1880s. when it was returned to China. Palestine. Britain became the major shareholder in the Suez Channel in 1875 (securing a strategic channel for navigation between Britain and India).Hong-Kong was annexed in 1841. Sudan. an aggressive rivalry between European power centres. for new areas of domination. adapting the 19th century trend of “art for art’s sake”). Finally. South Africa.

britishempire. Another term for certain British colonies was “Protectorate”. In time. and especially in the first decades of the 20th century. Britain’s stronghold against its dominions weakened. this term was an allusion to the fact that the respective territories were “protected” against any attacks from other “enemies”. www. as well as leaders from these dominions were holding periodic Conferences (the first one took place in London in 1887). Britain’s acceptance of the new situation led to the change of the British Empire into the modern Commonwealth (mainly based on free trade relations). and it also gave birth to the English verb "to dominate".Beginnings of the modern Commonwealth Britain decided to give the status of Dominion to all its former colonies that had acquired self-governing rights. The term is of Latin and full independence for these territories was in the natural course of 46 . it became formal after the Westminster Statute of 1931: each Dominion became equal in status to Britain and autonomous in international relations. The information in this chapter was selected and adapted from the following sources: Wikipedia on the British Empire History of Britain. British leaders.

daughter of Catherina of Aragon). partly because important members of the English nobility wanted to return to Catholicism. at a very young age. England’s constant enemy. to the throne. This was mainly due to the fact that formal medieval monarchy in England started with the reign of William the Conqueror. she had been declared Princess of 47 . Her right to the throne was valid because. upon her birth and largely due to her mother's insistence. who was of Norman origin. in England. after the death of his only son. the English medieval monarchy preferred the French Salic law. in a way. Edward VI. at that time. She is. according to which no women were allowed to ascend to the throne. Mary became the first Queen of England (later Britain or the United Kingdom) that actually reigned for a few years (1553-1558). the first queens can be traced back only after Henry VIII. Henry’s elder daughter (of Spanish origin. the first of only six queens in English / British history.CHAPTER V TWO GREAT MONARCHS: QUEEN ELIZABETH I AND QUEEN VICTORIA Unlike Northern monarchies that agreed with the possibility of the throne being handed to female successors earlier in their existence. a country which. Another reason was a potential alliance with Spain. who also accepted women as queens (an example is Queen Bodice – or Boudicca in the Latin variant). The Royal ministers and counsellors decided to accept the bid of Mary. and contrary to the tradition of Anglo-Saxon monarchs. Indeed. and who imposed the monarchic rules he was already familiar with. he himself was still a supported of male monarchs on the throne but. then being accused of treason. no other male successors were available and the throne of England was in danger of being subject to new wars. The supporters of Anglican Protestantism (the Church of England) tried to impose Lady Jane Grey (Henry’s niece) as queen upon the king’s death. but her “reign” lasted only nine days. That is why. was the dominant European power at sea and n important enemy of France. in 1553. confined to the Tower of London (the most feared medieval English prison) and finally executed in 1554.

her death in 1714 left the door open to the bid of a new family to the throne: the Hanoverians (of German origin). whose reigns and major reforms are presented in the table below. She even married a Spanish prince. and Anne. the last rulers from the House of Stuart. the last English ruler (from the House of Orange). Interesting information Queen Anne was Queen of England and Queen of Scotland until 1707. 48 . and she became the first ever monarch of Great Britain.the Royal title which marks the successor to the throne. in that year the Act of Union was signed. she invalidated all the laws imposed by her father concerning the replacement of Catholicism with the Church of England. the history of England mentions only two other queens: Mary (II) . Documents of the time confirm the fact that she refused to conform to the newly enforced Protestant religion and. this family being followed by members of the House of Saxe-Coburg. upon becoming the official monarch. this being the reason why historical documents mention them together. Wyatt's revolt was also suppresses with great cruelty. Being a weak ruler (though seemingly a kind person herself). Did you know that… … The name of a well-known cocktail – “Bloody Mary” – has its origin in the time of Mary I? Both nobles and common people called her "bloody" because she persecuted all supporters of the Protestant religion.Wales . She is the last monarch (from the time of James I on) who was both a sovereign of England and of Scotland.who reigned jointly with her husband William in the late 17th century (starting with 1689). During her time literature bloomed again. and this decision led to large protests which ended in an insurrection (whose leader was Sir Thomas Wyatt). Philip. she hardly could prevent the constant dispute between the existing parties. Since all her six children had dies at very young ages. Queen Victoria herself belong to the House of Hanover (the last one in the line). Apart from Elizabeth I and Victoria. as the reign of “William and Mary”.

read www. The following table covers various topics. structuring a general frame of life during the two sovereign's rule18.After the First World War. is also a member of the House of Windsor. Elizabeth II. social changes Development of art and architecture – Gothic revival Age of science The Arts and Crafts Movement (excellence in all fields of art and decoration) Legislation for political and social reform “Victorian” Age – only after the World Fair of 1851 England became the greatest colonial power (dominance on sea) England became the first urban industrial society in history Constant expansion of the British Empire (Victoria: declared Empress of India) Further details about the reign of these monarchs and others. the ruling queen. Any choice can only be subjective.britainexpress. Spenser. from the attitude to humanistic activities to the successive moments of war and peace. mainly as a proof of respect to the British people who had strong anti-German There are many important things which can be said about the reign of these two great queens: Elizabeth I and Victoria. King George V changed the family name to Windsor . ELIZABETH I (1558-1603) VICTORIA (1837-1901) The period of her reign is called Elizabethan Age or English Renaissance Development of literature and drama (Shakespeare. verse translations (from the Bible Psalms of David) 18 49 .com/history . reforms. Christopher Marlowe. Francis Bacon) Elizabeth herself wrote poems. The author only hopes that this selection is relevant for the students.and it has remained the same until today. The English monarchy is also presented in short at http://www. speeches. and she succeeded her father to the throne in 1952. from economic reforms to social changes.

before 1870 married women had no legal rights The first women’s college opened in London in 1848. Bartholomew’s Night massacre in France (1572) Tudor London: a prosperous city (increase of the population numbers) Money: no paper money .1859 Disagreements with the Scots (war for power with Mary Queen of Scots) A time of killings and treason Major wars: against Spain (the then dominant nation at sea) Destruction of the “Invincible Armada” – 1588 Armed help for the French Huguenots (Calvinists) – after St.pounds. followed by Cambridge (1869)and Oxford (1879) First woman M.D. . shillings and pence (12 The age of the “Irish Question” – should the Irish be allowed self-government or not? Major wars: Crimean war (1854) – a disaster for the English The Indian Mutiny (1857) The war with the Boers (1897-1900) One important consequence of the Boer war was that active professional women were widely accepted (nurses at war) Urbanization of Britain – large numbers of people moved from rural to urban areas due to industrialization (by 1900 80% of the population lived in 50 Religious collapse but Greater religious freedom .By 1890 one out of 4 people around the globe were British subjects The Church of England – very strong Elizabeth took the title of Governor of the Church of England The Act of Uniformity – the Prayer Book was to be used by all people (written in English. not Latin) Woman’s role in society – limited to court requirements No women were allowed to perform in plays (their parts were played by young boys) Demands for universal male suffrage Beginnings of the Suffragette Movement “The Woman Question”.

respect for moral values Victoria and Albert Hall – a concert and 51 . St.g. Puritanism. wool trade) Plays – originally performed in parks and inns Building of the first theatres (The Rose – 1587. Walter Raleigh – for expanding English influence in the New World) A rising merchant class (e. The Great Exhibition of 1851 (the first international exhibition of manufactured goods) – the building of Crystal Palace 1825 – the first steam locomotive (George Stephenson) – development of transport means (railways and railway stations – Paddington. by 1890 there were 1. The Hope – 1613) Houses began being built with more windows. oak staircases replaced stone (a significant interest in increasing the degree of comfort) Parliament: two parties (Whigs and Tories) cities) The aristocracy (based on land) saw the balance of power shift to the new business leaders The new bourgeoisie gained more power both in the House of Commons and in everyday life. most new nobles were Protestant) Elizabeth I knighted faithful servants (Francis Drake.5 M trade union members) – a foundation for the modern Labour Party Wood carvings and painted panels Openness to “light” entertainment (theatre) Victorian art and literature – traditionalism.Raising money – the nobles had to pay for the honour of the Queen’s visit Dominance of aristocracy (most old noble families were Catholic. The Globe – 1599. 20 shillings = 1 pound) . Pancras and York still exist) Beginnings of the Trade Unions (legalized in 1871.pence = 1 shilling.

bull & bear baiting. cockfighting Only the nobility and church priests and clerks were literate Education: universal compulsory education after 1870 Victorian literature: Dickens. Marlowe – successful writings in English Medieval jousts were replaced by masques (plays .exhibition hall Latin still was the language of literacy Shakespeare.allegories) Favourite games: jeu de paume. Tennyson. Disraeli (novelist and Prime Minister). John Ruskin (writer and philosopher) The most common form of entertainment was reading aloud * * * 52 .

CHAPTER VI THE FIRST AMERICAN PILGRIMS (THE PILGRIM FATHERS) 1620 is the year conventionally known as the starting year for massive immigrations to Northern America. REASONS FOR LEAVING ENGLAND: Puritan Christians were groups of believers who supported a “pure” religious and family life. after the crowning of James I. That same year (1587). of whom only 17 women). things changed dramatically. Marriage was a “contract”. far from the falsity of the Catholic and Anglican churches of their time. However. Icons and religious symbols were rejected Rejection of (Catholic) Church hierarchy 53 . not a religious sacrament (so it had to be handled by the state). mutually agreed by man and woman. This view hurt the religious feelings of many Puritans. Born in a devout Catholic family. who became king in 1604. Therefore. Puritans had been tolerated and had enjoyed a normal life in their communities. the son of Mary Stuart decided to reinstate strict observance of Catholic norms and rituals. for procreation and avoidance of adultery. the first American-English baby was born: her name was Virginia Dare. and she was actually named after the region where the settlement had taken place. far away from home: Puritan religious beliefs were considered intolerable under James I Marriage was considered a civil affair. Sir Walter Raleigh's Roanoke colony arrived in Virginia in 1587 (with 120 colonists. after the death of Elizabeth I. Previously. the religious reasons were the main cause for trying to leave England in search of a new life. and to ban all adverse groups. During the reign of Elizabeth I.

19 Read more about the Pilgrim Fathers at http://www. Virginia (named after King James I)19. Only five women survived the first winter. New York (for which location they had the permission of the King James I of Britain) but they finally left for Cape Cod. until then. More immigrants came on the ship Anne in 1623. three being pregnant). Mayflower – the famous ship whose pilgrims are said to have represented the basis for the American nation to come . the location was given the name of the city where they had set sail from – Plymouth (Massachusetts). The Mayflower Compact is an official document. They arrived on the 9th of November the same year. due to bad weather and some technical problems (fuel leaks). very few women had ever made the voyage across the ocean. stated that there should be no work performed on Sundays. The Pilgrims were planning to build their settlement around the mouth of the Hudson's River. a positive decision by the king. Interesting information: Prior to this pilgrimage.left Southampton on the 5th of August Unfortunately. near present-day Long Island. there were two ships that left on the same day towards the American continent: the other ship was Speedwell. which had set sail from Holland (because the largest communities immigrating to the New World had originated. in his opinion.historyonthenet. In fact. from Holland). the ships were forced to return to England. The first long-lasting English settlement in Northern America was Jamestown. the crew included around 30 other people. drawn up to allow the pilgrims to establish a government at Cape Cod (although this was only a temporary solution). This happened on the 16th of September 1620 with 102 passengers (but only 8 women.htm 54 . however.Other rules imposed by James VI (I): no celebration for Christmas and Easter (celebrations were. “invented by man to remember Jesus”). The first English-speaking communities were characterized by a strong religious fervour and they were formed as deeply patriarchal structures. and it was then decided that only Mayflower would start its journey to America again.

the scarcity of food. among other things. the danger of Native tribes (a totally new situation. etc. 55 . engineer. sometimes. very cold winters and. which were written down in the first community books kept in those days. and therefore the family had to be very strong and well organised. children and servants was never questioned “beating a wife for discipline was not appropriate or productive” (said pastor John Robinson) – but unfortunately it often happened the husband was expected to protect the household and family from any type of danger (wild animals. in a structure that could overcome.Life in the New World proved to be very difficult.) Families had many children – in general. native tribes etc. Each member of the family had his or her strict duties. they were also responsible for their children’s education women had to have the husband’s consent before disposing of jointly-owned property mothers were “teachers” for their young children. who were very useful in taking care of the household (the girls) and working in the field (the boys). and to speak “with meekness” (humbly) being in control of the household. one every other year. in fact women who could not find a husband were often called upon to become teachers (and thus find a purpose in life) young girls were not expected to receive higher education and embrace professions which were considered as being only for men (doctor. DUTIES OF THE HUSBAND: the husband (and father) was perceived as the head of the household his authority in front of the wife. compared to life in England). Therefore.) DUTIES OF THE WIFE: the wife had to be fully submissive to her husband (she “must obey her husband’s lawful commands”) women were expected to be obedient and courteous they had to dress and to behave modestly. most colonist families ended with 8-10 children.

THE CONCEPT OF REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS Starting with the second half of the 17th for the concept of “revolutionary movements” – whereby the monarchy was replaced by the Parliament as the main sovereign ruling body of the country. Thomas Hobbes. In fact.htm for more details about this topic 56 .historylearningsite. another element which should be mentioned is the fact that the first theorists of a radical political change began to publish their works. 1656. modern structure in which hierarchies were redefined. Little by little. They had many things in common: the language (English.A more significant role of the burgs (cities) and of the bourgeoisie. Finally. the East India Company. . following the English Civil War (16401660). Cromwell’s Republic opened the way. regular army began being understood as a major factor in the state (inspired. 1690. the first private chartered company whose overseas rights were granted by the British Crown. the British Monarchy tradition and the conscience of belonging to an important political and maritime force. set up a branch in Boston). Among the most important works published in the epoch the following are worth mentioning: James Harrington. in its organisation.The period which started with the symbolic year 1620 and ended with the fight for independence of the 1760s is commonly known as the “Colonial era”. Leviathan. various economic interests (e. Two Treatises on Government.the mediaeval. this evolution was also inspired by similar changes that had taken place in England.Movements for the liberty of the press began. as England was perceived in those days. the colonists’ settlements grouped into the 13 British colonies which later formed the United States. . 1651. John Locke. Oceana. for the first time in history. by Cromwell’s New Model Army in England)20 . the idea of breaking away from the British Crown rule started taking shape.g. Other important developments: .A well organized. A country to which the new colonies were still closely linked. although Dutch was common in certain parts of the British-held territory – for instance on the Island of Manhattan). 20 See feudal state became history when all feudal duties of the nobility and burg citizens towards the Crown were replaced by a new.

htm (for Daniel Boone) http://www. and God be praised. The major figures that are remembered for said characteristics are Buffalo Bill. During the next two centuries. whereby no colonists were allowed entrance on these territories." wrote Edward Winslow shortly following the Pilgrim's first Thanksgiving in Ceremonies included ritual dances and 57 . sometimes cruel but just hero. Daniel Boone and. and celebrations were performed for the time of sowing. and no American would dream of celebrating Thanksgiving without preparing a traditional recipe of stuffed (for Buffalo Bill) THANKSGIVING Turkey is nowadays a symbol of Thanksgiving. of course. Wyatt Earp. the official date chosen for the celebration of Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November each year.americanwest. victorious in the fight with any enemy.americanwest. David (Davy) brave. Having corn in the centre of various traditional celebrations is not finally. in 1763. Native American tribes considered it as a gift from the Gods. this symbol became an archetype of daring. a Royal Edict proclaimed the end of the colonization of the Middle West. The following sites give details on the life and deeds of each of these heroes: http://www.The European (mainly English) colonists continued to arrive on American soil for over a century.americanwest. the traditional meal was made of CORN (Maize = the Native American name for it). Remember ! In modern times. growing and harvesting this cereal. In the old days. "Our corn did prove well.htm (for Wyatt Earp) http://www. however. Another important symbol for the beginnings of the American colonization is that of the “Daring Adventurer” – the valiant conqueror of new territories. and ended in occupying a large area towards the middle part of the continent.htm (for Davy Crockett) http://www.

Thanksgiving was not as we know it today. is the only ancient ceremony that survived into the 20th century. this was the beginning of the New Year. From this moment on. thanked Gods for preserving the seeds of life. The Green Corn Dance (or Green Corn Ceremony or Busk). Captain Miles Standish. The Wampanoag Indians brought deer and turkeys for roasting. which they identified with the continuation of life for them and all people. and it could not be found in Europe in those days. later invited the leaders of the Wampanoag Indians. Apart from having. It was also called the 'Ingathering' or 'Inning'. IT WAS ONLY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY THAT THIS EVENT BECAME IDENTIFIED WITH THE MODERN THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY. It was traditionally believed that. has continuously been linked to the history of American colonists (later to become the United States as an independent nation). through which the natives (through their “priests”. the two major powers from both sides of the Atlantic shared similar concepts that shall be debated in the following chapters. 58 . that is how. to add to the corn meal. The harvest feast coincided with Algonkian tribes’ GREEN CORN FESTIVAL to give thanks for the fully grown corn. all who helped with the harvest celebrated the Harvest Home. certain native tribes decided to help the unfortunate pilgrims by teaching them how to sow corn. in general.incantations. after a long period of starvation and bad weather. its origins can be found in a traditional European harvest celebration often held around the end of the grain harvest. fundamentally. as legend goes. the same Anglo-Saxon origin. Turkey was specific for Northern America. It was a time when people gave thanks for the corn crop. American pilgrims started eating turkey meat themselves. Comparisons between the ways of life at various levels in the two countries will show interesting similarities. and their immediate families to join them for a celebration in their honour. For Native Americans. the leader of the Pilgrims in Plymouth area. the history of England (later Britain) and of Europe. observed on last day of bringing in the harvest. In rural England. and in Scotland 'Kern'. but also some significant differences.

when the Vikings. as we know it. the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution. The arrival of important numbers of colonists in the 17th century. in 1492) by Europeans. of course. This date is still under debate. in what everybody known as the United States of America. has long been an inspiration (and sometimes a negative example) for all Europeans and other nations throughout the world. slavery and the slaves’ fight for freedom (a development which covered several centuries and which represents a specific feature in American history). * * * 59 . economic. Important events marked the following centuries of American history. the spectacular development of the last century or so. defines the second period of American history – that of ample colonisation by Europeans. we should note that it can be divided into three major periods: firstly. the building of a new capital that would soon become a major political centre of the whole world. as some legends say.* * * If we were to draw a timeline of American history. industrialisation and a new type of economic development. The "American-way". the fight for civil rights. the period before the official discovery of this continent (by Christophor Columbus. The third and last period in this timeline – but the longest period of all – marks the Americans’ fight for independence from Britain and its later evolution as a nation in its own right. following minor settlements a century earlier. social and lifestyle development. in the 7th or 8th century AD. which placed America and the Americans at the centre of all industrial. political. and will probably continue to be so. until another nation manages to steal the limelight that has focused on this Northern American for more than two centuries. and. arguably landed on the American shores. the so-called “Gilded Age” (a name which reminds us of Ancient Greece and Pericle’s “Golden Age”) that ended with the dawn of the 20th century. Colonial America is also the time of Boone’s and Crockett’s America. Civil War. because some historians place its discovery much earlier.

around 2300 BC. But it is known that it relieved tax for widows and orphans. mainly from the pope. The term constitution comes from Latin. TO ESTABLISH (a legal practice) The term “Constitution” with the meaning of “an assembly of organic laws” was first used in the late 1600s. Later. 60 .CHAPTER VII WHAT IS A CONSTITUTION? A constitution is a system. the term “constitution” could be applied to any important law that governed the functioning of a government. before the evolution of modern-style. codified national constitutions. of a government. powers and duties. this term refers specifically to a national constitution defining the fundamental political principles. procedures. usually by the Roman emperor. Historical information The earliest a code of justice seems to have been issued by a Sumerian king. Historically. and not the codex itself. In the case of countries. Most national constitutions also guarantee certain rights to the people. and protected the poor from the usury of the rich. The earliest code that has been found so far belongs to King Hammurabi of Babylon (around 2050 BC). the term was widely used in canon law to indicate certain relevant decisions. (Wikipedia) STATUERE = TO STATE. often codified as a written document. archaeologists however found only evidence about it. and establishing the structure. referring to issuing any important law. that establishes the rules and principles that govern an organisation or political entity.

In his works Constitution of Athens. is an early example of a constitution in Asian political history. including monarchic. 350 BC) was one of the first in recorded history to make a formal distinction between ordinary law and constitutional law. but Roman law was never reorganised into a single code until the Codex Theodosianus (AD 438). In England. This idea was extended and refined by the English barony when they forced John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. aristocratic. establishing ideas of constitution and constitutionalism. the document focuses more on social morality than institutions of government per se and remains a notable early attempt at a government constitution. later. He classified both what he regarded as good and bad constitutions. and democratic elements. They operated under a series of laws that were added from time to time. The most important single article of the Magna Carta. One of the first Germanic law codes presented in a written form was the Visigoth Code of Euric (471). who had the exclusive opportunity to participate in the state. and the Salic Law of the Franks. reportedly by Prince Shōtoku. Influenced by Buddhist teachings. Japan's Seventeen-article constitution written in 604. and Nicomachean Ethics he explored different forms of constitutions. The punishment for any offense was death – and this is the origin of the word “draconic”. Aristotle (c. Politics. and non-citizens and slaves who did not. King Henry I's proclamation of the Charter of Liberties in 1100 bound the king for the first time in his treatment of the clergy and the nobility. in 622. all written soon after 500. and came to the conclusion that the best constitution was a mixed system. provided that the king 61 . This was followed by the Lex Burgundionum. and attempting to classify different forms of constitutional government. the Pactus Alamannorum. especially those of Athens and Sparta. Muhammad. related to "habeas corpus". The most basic definition he used to describe a constitution in general terms was "the arrangement of the offices in a state". Another is the Constitution of Medina. He also distinguished between citizens. drafted by the prophet of Islam. applying separate codes for Germans and for Romans. The Romans first codified their constitution in 449 BC as the Twelve Tables.The laws of the city of Athens were written down in 621 BC (by a scribe named Draco). in the Eastern Empire the Codex Justinianus (534) was highly influential throughout Europe.

the document was based upon the Statuti Comunali (Town Statute) of 1300. was influenced by the British constitutional system and the political system of the United Provinces.was not permitted to imprison. The document is one of the most important official documents of the USA as a republic. ratified in 1789. * * * 62 . Locke. outlaw. The earliest written constitution still governing a sovereign nation today is that of San Marino. and others. various executive officers and the powers assigned to them. it is commonly believed to be the oldest modern national constitution in the world. before the ratification of the Articles of Confederation and the official Constitution. Written in 1600. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts adopted its constitution in 1780. with 62 articles. The remaining books cover criminal and civil law.there must be due process of law first. It is probably the oldest still-functioning nominal constitution. Montesquieu. courts. plus the writings of Polybius. exile or kill anyone at a whim . Its first chapter. and it has remained in force until today. establishes councils. that is. The United States Constitution. judicial procedures and remedies. where the document specifically declares itself to be a constitution. itself influenced by the Codex Justinianus. The Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini was written in Latin and consists of six books.

whereby the life of citizens is defined through precise norms and regulations. However. However. the historical development made it clear that certain changes or addings should be made.S. but is drawn from several sources. that is. the Forefathers of the US knew that a Constitution was essential for the emerging state. Britain is one of two countries (the other one being Israel) which do not have a codified act with this name. the Constitution is not represented by a single written document. In both countries. Reason for being written: disagreements between King John (absolutist monarch. as in the case of Britain. Historians consider that it largely influenced the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights) and of Amendments.A: KEY DOCUMENTS AND LEGAL SYSTEM Generally speaking. 63 . the documents which are valid for all citizens are doubled by other documents. between provinces.g. Having the experience of British law. in the tradition of Norman kings) and the English aristocrats (who wanted the king to renounce certain rights and to abide by the law). all human rights of people living in a certain country are granted by the provisions of a Constitution. the historical development led to complex legal systems. Many of its initial clauses were renewed during the late Middle Ages and in the 18th and 19th centuries. between religious beliefs) of historical value. BRITAIN Magna Carta Libertatum (“The Great Charter of Freedoms”) was issued in 1215. in the form of new Acts (e. it is considered “one of the most important documents in the history of democracy” – Wikipedia). together with the Declaration of Independence. therefore the Constitution became the fundamental legal act of the US. Also.BRITAIN AND THE U. with local relevance. due to the need to settle various conflicts (between monarchy and aristocracy. and it is considered the basis for what constitutional British law is today. 1. In both countries.

Effects: The first 8 amendments to the US Constitution are based on the English Bill of Rights. in case of war). the forced loans and the fact that the “habeas corpus” law was not enforced. aristocrats aimed to stop arbitrary arrests and imprisonments (“contrary to Magna Carta”). the right to bear arms for defence) and to define certain obligations of the monarch (e. the right to petition the Monarch. and a similar document (called the Claim of Right) is applied in Scotland. this is only a list of rights referring to the people as represented in the Parliament (only Magna Carta sets out individual rights). he/she must always ask for the consent of the Parliament for certain actions of the Crown – for instance. is considered one of the basic documents of English constitutional law.Effects: It limited the power and prerogatives of the King or Queen (but some of these were reinstated during the following centuries). the king’s interference with property rights. 64 . although he had promised to “look into the abuses”. together with Magna Carta.g. New Zealand).g. The Petition of Rights is another key document of the British legal system.g. Reasons for being written: trying unsuccessfully to avoid a civil war. It was passed by the English Parliament during Charles I reign (1628). The Bill of Rights (1689) is an act which was passed by the Parliament of England (complete title: An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown) and which. Reason for being written: to assert the citizens’ fundamental rights (e. The Bill of Rights is also an important part of the legal system of some Commonwealth states (e. Unlike the Bill of Rights of the US. Effects: the fact that the King maintained his rights. determined the outburst of the Civil War. the Act of Settlement and various other Parliament Acts.

One of the reasons on the part of the English was to establish the Royal succession along Protestant lines. Also. In order to offer larger representational rights to all citizens. in 1829 a Catholic Emancipation Act was passed. being an important legal document for the future of the Royalty. 65 . Reason for being written: in order to settle the succession to the throne in favour of Protestant monarchs. Effects: through the Act of Union of 1707. based at Westminster. as an effect of political will. In the case of the Act of Union with the Irish (passed 1800/ made effective1801) nonAnglicans had no right to become members of the Parliament (around 90% of the Irish population was thus excluded). The main purpose was to allow the succession to continue in the Protestant line. Effects: no Catholic monarchs in England/Britain so far. a new state – The Kingdom of Great Britain – was created. The newly emerging state took the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. and according to the existing law the line of succession was limited. King William III was a widower and had no children. 1800/1801 with Ireland) Reason for being written: these acts confirmed the union of Scotland and Ireland respectively. The Parliament of England and that of Scotland were dissolved and a new Parliament emerged – the Parliament of Great Britain. to the Kingdom of England. and to exclude any Catholic claims to the throne. allowing Irish Catholics to become members of the Parliament. England worried that a Scottish king might make alliances against England.The Act of Settlement (1701) was passed by the English Parliament. The Acts of Union (1706/1707 with Scotland.

and it was granted legislative competence. Reasons for being passed: pressure from Scottish representatives who wanted to be granted local tax powers. Effects: all the acts of the Scottish Parliament still need the Royal assent (they cannot be enforced in the absence of an approval by the English monarch). The Government of Wales Act (1998) Reasons for being passed: following the emergence of the Scottish Parliament. The Northern Ireland Act (1998) Reasons for being passed: After being submitted to the direct rule of Westminster for almost a century. The Belfast Agreement (1998) was a step forward in the peace process between Britain and Northern Ireland. local (but limited) administrative autonomy. with the approval of the Parliament. A Scottish executive was created (a First Minister + several ministers) but they are all appointed by the Queen. In 2006 this Assembly was reformed. Effects: A National Assembly for Wales was created. 66 . equivalent rights were granted to Wales as well. The Westminster Parliament still has absolute sovereignty. Effects: election of the Northern Ireland Assembly New rules were established with reference to European Union requirements. Northern Ireland was granted the right to have its own Assembly. It confirmed the efforts to continue the peace process in this province of Great Britain.CONTEMPORARY LEGAL DOCUMENTS The Scotland Act (1998) established that the Parliament of Scotland could be re-created.

the free Encyclopaedia 67 . Effects: A ceasefire was enforced and serious political negotiations began.Reasons for its signing: the British and Irish governments. in Wikipedia. it the most important symbol of liberty for all Americans). U. All legislation must be compatible with EU legislation. the American legal system was originally derived from the system of English law. the ceasefire is respected. IRA representatives were not accepted in negotiations. As an important member of the EU. British judges must take into account all decisions made by the European Court of Strasbourg. see Law of the United States. were ready to start real negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland. 2. but Shinn Fein (its political counterpart) was one of the participants. as well as most Irish political parties. In fact. British troops are still present in Northern Ireland.A The fundamental Acts of the USA are the Declaration of Independence (although not a part of the legal system. and even opposed the Agreement. Britain was among the first European states to approve the Convention. The Human Rights Act (1998) was passed by the British Parliament and then received Royal Assent (was endorsed by the Queen).21 21 For more details about the US law. Effects: The death penalty was completely abolished. which was in force in the colonies at the time of the Revolution.S. The Democratic Unionist Party refused to participate. Purpose: to implement in Britain the rights included in the European Convention on Human Rights. the Constitution (the supreme law) and the Bill of Rights – all of whom are known as the Charters of Freedom. but apart from a few terrorist attacks from IRA.

The Declaration of Independence (4th July 1776) was voted “the most influential document in American history” (75. the final parchment–the one presently displayed in the National Archives case–was presented to Congress and the signing began. as seen fit by local authorities. in specially sealed encasements. 2 by British institutions and 3 by private owners). to unify these state laws. The 50 American states are considered “separate sovereigns”. the delegates only signed it in August the same year. apart from federal laws (inspired from the Constitution. which can be divided into two sections. In fact. and which are in force in all 50 states) there is also a system of local laws. written by Thomas Jefferson.C. and on August 2.. The Declaration was initially adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies. at the National Archives in Washington. and a conclusion. D. but with only few positive results. faded document (engrossed on parchment) is now exhibited in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. on July 19. Various attempts have been made.The specificity of US law is that. The original. applicable in each state only. There are also a number of 25 official copies on paper known today – of the 200 initially engraved from a stone plate (20 owned by American institutions. and which was the basis for the first variant of the Bill of Rights (written in its final form by George Mason and adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention in June 1776). The introduction 68 . The opening paragraphs of the Declaration are copied from the Virginia Declaration of Rights.9% during a Government survey which took place in 2002). 1776. Two examples of uniform laws are the Model Penal Code (a project of the American Law Institute) and the Uniform Commercial Code. On July 4. along the years. meant to protect them from decay. along with the originals of the Constitution and of the Bill of Rights. which have their own constitutions and have the right to pass their own laws. the preamble. The Declaration of Independence is made up of five distinct parts: the introduction. because New York did not vote on July 4th 1776. Congress ordered that a formal copy of the Declaration be prepared for members to sign. Congress completed its editing of the document that reduced the text by 25 percent ("mutilations" is what Jefferson called it) and formally adopted the Declaration. the body.

and ensure the blessings of liberty. establish justice. and it was intended as an entirely new plan of Government: a central Government made of 3 branches (legislative. and it was conceived by the delegates of 12 of the 13 original states. the new state was confronted with economic depression. It was ratified by all 13 states (including New York) until late 1788. and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain. and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States. ensure domestic tranquility. is and ought to be totally dissolved. do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. The ratification process was set for the time when 9 out of the 13 states would sign it. that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown. executive and judicial) which are thus organised as to balance each other. promote the general welfare. in order to form a more perfect union. the US Congress asked all 13 states to revise the Articles of Confederation. The Declaration concludes that "these United Colonies are." Reason for being written: after 11 years of independence. 69 . The second section of the body states that the colonists had appealed in vain to their "British brethren" for a redress of their grievances. and how these representatives should be elected . In early 1787. Following a number of secret meetings (regarding some essential issues. social unrest and rivalries between different states. The opening words: "We the people. It is the major legal document of the US. how many representatives in Congress to allow each state. such as: how much power to allow the central government.directly by the people or by the state legislators). to ourselves and our posterity. Purpose: to lay out the basic rights of the citizens of the US. but with promises of several amendments. The first section of the body of the Declaration gives evidence of the "long train of abuses and usurpations" heaped upon the colonists by King George III." The Constitution of the United States (1787) is the oldest Federal constitution in existence. provide for the common defense.states that this document will "declare" the "causes" that have made it necessary for the American colonies to leave the British Empire. the US Constitution was ready.

Constitution. Ten of these were approved.The final vote took place on September 15. the proposal to include a bill of rights was discussed.were not initially part of the U. The reason for further legal provisions was the fact that anti-federalists had constantly attacked the Constitution as being too vague. 17 more amendments have been adopted (the latest in May 1992). The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution as the first ten amendments on December 15. Until today. but it was rejected.archives. the right to a fair and speedy trial . they also protested against the fact that it did not make any specific mention regarding the ways in which the state would be protected against tyranny.S. the Constitution and the Bill of Rights can be accessed at: http://www. therefore. 1787 and two days after that the delegates signed the parchment (which is now displayed at the National Archives Rotonda). freedom of assembly.html * * * 70 . freedom of the press. More interesting information about the Declaration of Independence. At the Constitutional Convention. of the 17 initially proposed by the Congress. 1791. and they were made known to all under the name of Bill of so far 27 amendments have been passed. The Bill of Rights (presented by President George Washington in 1789 and ratified by 9 of the 13 states by the end of 1791) included a number of 12 amendments. Freedom of speech.

Historical context: In 1860. would spread into the States as well. Republicans feared that the tradition of slavery. along with the dissatisfaction of several American states with the fact that federal the central Government took all major decisions concerning the member states.(led by Abraham Lincoln. Until the 1840s the US had a three-party political system (the Whigs. elections had been won by the Republicans – a new party. New parties were formed in the North after 1848 (the Free Soil 71 . stated his opinion that slavery was a dangerous habit and that it should be placed “in the course of ultimate extinction. which had appeared on the political stage in 1854 . in a speech of 1858. he had. Although Lincoln had not proposed anti-slavery laws. In 1861 eleven American states decided that they had the right to break away from the US and form a new state – called the Confederate States of America. coming from South and Central America. Their representatives also appointed a leader for the new state – Jefferson Davis. The Southern states used slaves for household activities and farming. the newly elected 16th president – 1861-1865) who openly opposed the expansion of slavery.” At a time when the US were conquering new territories towards the East and South. from the South into the United States. and the Southern leaders were afraid that their lifestyle was in danger from the Republican rule. the Know-Nothing and the Democrats).CHAPTER VIII THE SLAVERY PROBLEM AND THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR Slavery was one of the main causes of the American Civil War (1861-1865).

opposed the “Fugitive Slave Act” passed in 1850. about the right of each state to decide its local politics and organization. mainly because other slaves were afraid to join the revolt Southern states feared modernization and the “urban values” which menaced the traditional rural values and the life of the plantation. at Harper’s Ferry in Virginia).” The difference between the economically blooming North and the stagnating South (mainly based on cotton and tobacco farming). The Republicans reminded everyone that. Discussions over the admission of new state members (Texas – acquired from Mexico. who was caught and hanged. Lion – which were usually nicknames). 72 . to annex Cuba and Nicaragua. no family name (with very few exceptions: Black. in the afterlife…). African slaves had no citizenship rights. at that time. mutilate or even kill the slaves who attempted to run away from their master – the Southern states considered that the refusal to enforce this Act violated their personal property rights A slaves’ rebellion started in 1859 (22 men seized weapons from the Armory. even if they were free. and the federal Government. whereby slave-owners had the right to whip. The Southern states stated that Thomas Jefferson’s ideas. southerners stated that “all people were equal in rights only in the eyes of God (therefore. the Republican Party in 1854 and the Constitutional Union Party. Brown. no individual personality. also in the North. where slavery accepted too) The US were also trying. in 1860. Other characteristics of the American social and political system in the 1850s and 1860s: Although the Republicans supported the abolition of slavery.and Missouri. in the Declaration. it was stated that “all men are created equal. Afro-Americans had no voting rights. where slavery was a legal system Northern states. as well as about the right of revolution (also mentioned in the Declaration of Independence). led by John Brown. the Democratic Party split into several factions in 1860). where slavery was legal . In fact.Party – in 1848.

Mississippi. it was seen by the majority of supporters as a gradual process of emancipation of the African slaves.Abolitionism had started as a social reform supported by religious groups in the 1820s and 1830s. and for the slaves themselves Biblical interpretations: a “curse on Noah’s son Ham and his African descendents” was a justification for slavery Northerners’ opinion: slavery was “the very antithesis of the good society. through decisions of the “majority” Before 1860 all presidents had been Southern or pro-South.” (1861) 73 . therefore the Southern secessionist states considered they had a right to decide in matters of local political and social matters. Georgia. Louisiana and Texas) in February 1861 came in response to Lincoln’s call to act against the Southern states. In fact. The Secession of the initial seven states (South Carolina. the appointed leader. The Southern states considered themselves as a “minority” and were worried by the increased federal power over them. The USA had been conceived as a voluntary federation of sovereign states. p. and slavery is his “natural and normal condition. Free men: The ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War. they only wanted to preserve their conservative way of life (a feudal type of life) and feared any “modern” changes coming from the North.9) Alexander Stephens. opposed the declaration that “all men are equal.” Congressman Laurence M. Keitt (of South Carolina): “We of the South contend that slavery is right.” Ideological defense of slavery: slavery was considered good both for the masters. and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States. Florida. Alabama. the negro is not equal to the white man. as well as a threat to their own fundamental values and interests” (Eric Foner – Free Soil. Free Labor. the Confederate vice-President: Jefferson’s idea that all races are equal was wrong. which was taken by these as a call to invasion. 1970. Lincoln was the first Northern president who acted against the rights of the southern states Even the Constitution included a clause by which the Atlantic slave trade was extended (initially by 20 years) Political statements of the Southern states: Jefferson Davis.

A sequence of events of the Civil War: Duration of the Civil War: April 12. 1861 – April 9. while the north-western part sprung out as a new state called West Virginia.000 from the Union forces).200. Lee (with a regular army of 1. North Carolina.Development of the Civil War The initial seven states which had formed the secessionist Confederation in February 1861 (South Carolina. which they did not manage to seize). and supported the Northern states.000 soldiers and volunteers) Confederate army General: Robert E. Louisiana and Texas) were later (April and May 1861) joined by four others (Arkansas.000 wounded (of whom over 275. The Confederate forces attacked the Unionists along the southern border and seized most of their forts (the main battle took place at Fort Sumter – in April 1861. A peace conference took place in 1861 in Washington. after the outbreak of the war. Alabama. Georgia.000 killed in action (of whom 110. Florida. Mississippi. Tennessee and Louisiana later returned to the Union as well.000 soldiers) War casualties: Over 200. but it failed to find a solution to this crisis. only the Eastern part of the state joined the Confederation. 1865 Pretext for the war: the Confederate troops’ attack on Fort Sumter (which was never conquered) Location: the southern states of the US (but also on the borderline and Eastern coast) President of the Unionists: Abraham Lincoln President of the Confederate States: Jefferson Davis US Army General: Ulysses S.000 from the Union forces) and almost 450.064. Grant (with an army of 2. Other 23 states remained loyal to the Union. 74 . and Virginia). In the case of Virginia. Tennessee.

000 Confederate soldiers were killed on that occasion. More offensive operations started in 1862. Ironically. The victory of the Unionists against the Confederate forces was the ultimate cause of Abraham Lincoln’s death in 14th April 1865. the army corps that defeated the Confederates in this battle was entirely made of African-Americans. 1863 and it is considered a turning point in the course of events. In May 1861 Lincoln declared a Union blockade of all Southern ports on the Mississippi River. 1865 in Appomattox. The Confederates also had a number of victories. This document acknowledges the slaves’ right to a free life and other civil rights. John Wilkes Booth (it was Good Friday in that year)22. when the Unionists attacked Virginia. the “American Civil War” article 75 . it took place on July 1st-3rd.constitutioncenter. dedicated to the day of June 19th. In 1864 Abraham Lincoln named General Ulysses Grant commander of all Union armies. for instance to work and be paid. fell after the battle of Five Forks (in April 1865). 1865 when the last slaves in Galveston (Texas) heard of their liberation project. or to move freely without being chased or emprisoned. The war ended when Richmond. Around 23.Northern forces relied on an army of 74. but the Northern armies managed to stop the invasion. The battle of Gettysburg is the most famous battle of the Civil War. called initially for 90 days.000 volunteers.html for a detailed presentation of Lincoln’s life These and other comments about the Civil War and its effects are detailed in Wikipedia. including the crossing of the Potomac River in September 1862. This victory determined President Lincoln to announce his Emancipation Proclamation. he was shot by an actor with pro-Southern sympathies. The Confederate Armies led by General Lee surrendered on April 9th. Until late November the same year. all the Confederate troops and battleships has surrendered. Long-term economic effects of the Civil War23: Weapon and ammunition production was enhanced in the North by the development of the Civil War 22 23 See http://www. the Confederate capital. State militias were also used as important Unionist The collapse of the Confederation is celebrated by the Afro-American population through a commemoration called Juneteenth.

gov/prod2/decennial/documents http://www.000 people. river boats. - Railroads helped because the links between Northern cities were fast.000. assisting the movement of http://www2.census.about the American National Biography (in 24 volumes) published in 1999 * * * 76 . am.000 as against 5.historycooperative. as well as the Navy – this helped them in organizing a blockade of the southern coastline. - At the start of the conflict.000 in the Southern States).500. XV abolished racial restrictions on voting).org/aboutanb. The number of slaves in the South amounted to about 3. the Union controlled over 80% of the shipyards. XIII abolished slavery.- Statistics show that the Northern states had a larger population of white people (22.html . am.lsu.anb. XIV extended federal legal protection to citizens regardless of race.cwc.htm http://www.wikipedia. Reconstruction of damaged cities ended in 1877 Useful sites and bibliography: National Civil War Museum site http://en. Other long-term results of the Civil War: Three amendments to the Constitution ( (for Lincoln's wartime leadership) American Civil War Bibliography http://www.

The first record of African people brought as slaves on the territory of the US speaks of a Dutch ship. because medieval serfs were considered to have rights. The census of 1860 mentions a number of around 4. as human beings.SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES Origin of the word “slave”: “The word slave in the English language originates from the Middle English sclave. from sklabenoi Slavs. These slaves received a sum of money at the end of the work period. which comes from the Old French esclave. which had brought 20 blacks and sold them to the English colony of Jamestown (in Virginia) in 1619. an East Slavic tribe. 77 . and Alaska. and they could be forced to perform hard labours. whereas slaves were considered “things” — property. which originates from the early Greek sklabos. These slaves were called “indentured slaves” (meaning that they worked under a contract for a limited number of years – usually 7-8 years with no payment).000. The main reason for bringing slaves into the country was that labour was very cheap (the slaves received no money. Africans were brought in and sold to white people. Slaves are people who are owned and controlled by others in a way that they have almost no rights or freedom of movement and are not paid for their labour.000 in the Southern States (other states also “tolerated” slavery. as many of these people had been captured and then sold slaves. for instance. The term sclavus originally referred to the Slavs of Eastern and Central Europe. which in turn comes from the Medieval Latin sclavus. of Slavic origin. of which 3. the free Encyclopedia) Slavery was common in the United States after 1640. used Indians as slaves). they used the money to start a trade or a farm.000 slaves all over the country. just food and lodging). clothing and shelter needed for basic subsistence.500. akin to Old Russian Slovene. aside from food. The current usage of the word serfdom is not usually synonymous with slavery. as well as to American Indians.” (Quoted from Wikipedia.

Author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. the treatment of slaves depended on their skin colour: dark-skinned slaves worked in the fields. In the 19th century. a novel in which she described the hard live of slaves. It took a long time before the slave trade finally came to an end. It was abolished in the 1770s. Treatment of slaves: Physical abuse: legally authorized violence slave owners had the right to whip or even kill slaves special Codes for slaves and free Afro-Americans punishments against those who attempted to escape their masters in certain cases.” The slavery issue was one of the main causes of the Civil War (1861-1865). who were later declared their “property for life”. 78 . Harriet Beecher Stowe . of all the American states. but to a lesser extent (amounting to about 51. Influential leaders of the abolition movement (1810-60): William Lloyd Garrison who published The Liberator newspaper. The first Act in which the status of slaves was defined was the Virginia Slave codes of 1705. The enslavement of Native Americans was also common in the 17th century. while lighter-skinned slaves were servants After the American Revolution. slavery started to be seen as an evil feature of the American society. a number of wealthy people put their money together in a society (the American Colonization Society) whose purpose was to free slaves and send African-Americans back to Africa (where they lay the basis of the state of Liberia). The Northern states passed emancipation acts (between 1780 and 1804). emphasizing the human qualities of these unfortunate people.000 individuals).Racial slavery began when families started taking black servants. The Constitution declared that all men were “born free and equal. Georgia was the last to ban it (in 1798).

slaves that were forced to work there tried to revolt. Very few of these (and almost none of the slaves) could read and write. Amistad ( = “friendship” in Spanish) was the name of a Spanish ship. he himself was a former slave.000 slaves (over 12% of the total population in the country). He is most famous for his book. in the hope that they could leave the country on that boat and move away towards the North.1859): The New York Revolt of 1712 The Stono Rebellion (1739) in South Carolina The New York Slave Insurrection of 1741 Gabriel's Rebellion (1800) in Virginia The Louisiana Territory Slave Rebellion. in order to regain their freedom.000 people. - Harriet Tubman – she helped 350 slaves escape from the South. In 1808 the Congress managed to officially ban new imports of slaves (although the demand for them had incresed in the southern states). Slave uprisings that used the armed force (1700 . the total population of the USA had amounted to over 38.000.000 were Afro-Americans (and only 11% free24).gov/population/documentation with more details on this topic 79 .census.000. Passed in 1863. The Civil War put an end to slavery in the USA. 24 See http://www. In the 1860s. and later became known as a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation helped to free almost 4.400.- Frederick Douglass – he was the most powerful anti-slavery supporter in America in those days. "Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglass”. by stating that only relatives to slaves already living in the US had the right to be brought into the country. of which more than 4. led by Charles Deslandes (1811) George Boxley Rebellion (1815) in Virginia Fort Blount Revolt (1816) in Florida The Amistad Seizure (1839).

Did you know that… … although slavery was abolished. because most of them could not read or write schools were opened only for the blacks – thus avoiding the mingling of the black population with the whites segregation (segregated universities were banned only in the 1960s) Rosa Parks is the first woman who refused to get on a segregated bus (in 1964) Martin Luther King. was killed in 1968 80 . an anti-segregation activist. The Supreme Court of the USA ruled that sharecropping was illegal as late as 1944 ! Problems arising after the liberation of the slaves: illiteracy – it was difficult for former slaves to be integrated. a form of bondage continued to be used in the Southern state of New Mexico? It was called sharecropping and it existed in these areas since the time when the Spaniards ruled that area.

even in modern times. observed (rather strictly.P.A. the Democratic Party had strong links with the Irish community – and. though. the Democratic Party has adopted. it should be added) 25 W. since in the first 13 states which formed the core of the U. This is the doctrine that. a political body whose members and voters belonged.P. For a long time.S. from a historical perspective.A liberalism is similar to an activist philosophy supporting the rights of the working-class.A the inhabitants having English as their mother tongue were a majority. Roosevelt’s New Deal in economics. in the near future. Interestingly enough.S. to the W. having been founded (in its initial form. This situation emphasized the differences separating it from the Republican Party. at least at first. mirrored the structures that already existed in England. but the Whigs were present and their party lasted for over a century. The underlying reasons for immigration excluded the possibility of setting out a Tory Party here.S. No surprise there. Among its main concerns.CHAPTER IX LIFE IN THE U.S. contrary to the traditional European doctrine.A. the Democratic Party.S. it continues to be some kind of “mark of aristocracy”. As already mentioned in the previous chapter. in the U. in a large majority.S. community25 . under the name of Democratic-Republican Party) as far back as the year 1792. to Catholic Christianity. is considered the oldest party ever in the whole world.A followed an evolution which. although. inspired by Franklin D.A: POLITICAL PARTIES The political framework of the U. welfare programs at federal level and the observance of all minorities’ rights could bring the first ever Afro-American elected President to the White House. more important. It is an acronym which stands for the “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” community. the main US political parties are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Their development and confirmation on the political stage is closely linked to the period of the American Civil War. 81 . is a racial concept going back to the time of the first English colonies.therefore. Its views on economic development are also placed at the left of the American political frame.

free labour. Republicans were the hard-liners who supported war (against slave owners. and the Confederate rebellion aimed at breaking the unity of the USA in the 1860s. In a replica of earlier European wars between Catholics and Protestants. The foundation of the Republican Party in 1854 is closely linked to the danger of slavery being extended into the Northern states. some of them had a limited existence. depending on certain historical developments (examples in this respect would be the National Union Party and the Federalist Party). trade with alcoholic drinks. the hard-line Republicans. in full observance of high moral values. Their ideology could be summed up by the words of historian Eric Foner: “Free soil. The prohibition law was finally passed in 1918 but failed to achieve its purpose. Did you know that… … in the 19th century. among other reforms.the Protestant faith. while others (especially 82 . the two parties led. As for the Democrats. But the American political framework includes a much larger number of parties. free men”. contemporaries called it “the party of Lincoln”. due to their strong religious beliefs. In their early days. consequently. powerful group of people that. and therefore had to be stopped. these links with the Irish groups determined their political enemies to associate them with “rum. in the Republicans’ opinion. Being a party of the upper-middle class. it was repealed in 1932. Republicanism therefore meant opposition to aristocracy (wealthy landowners who used slave labour on their estates) and to corruption (represented by slavery-supporting conspirators). Slave owners were a wealthy. and to fight against all sins – especially alcoholism? This attitude determined a heated debate over the prohibition of all alcoholic drinks. at first). while Democrats were the supporters of peaceful means at all levels. Romanism and rebellion” – in other words. considered that the main task of any federal government should be to restore traditional moral values. much like today. A characteristic of Republican Party followers is the strong belief in a religion-bound family life. fierce fights for political supremacy. conspired to control the federal government. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. starting with the second half of the 19th century. a national banking system and income-tax system. the Roman-Catholic faith. it was fundamental in imposing. but also the financial support of education.

When it was founded. extortion and conspiracy. read http://www. as well as a strict observance of all principles included in the Declaration of Independence – the fundamental acts which govern the United States. The capital of the US was named in his honour.modern ones) reflect stages of political development (the Reform Party. holding office between 1789 and 1797. the Libertarian Party militated for citizens’ freedom to travel to any foreign country they chose to visit.S. The only US Vice-president ever to resign was Spiro Agnew (also a Republican). Thomas Jefferson. For more information about the all US presidents. The Constitution Party. advocates a return to the traditional values mentioned in the American Constitution. but at the time of its foundation. The only president to resign was Richard Nixon. a Republican (in 1974). He was accused of tax fraud. the Socialist Workers’ Party) or civic awareness (the Green Party).A and on the observance of civil liberties. Interesting information George Washington was the first president of the USA. He was the first American President to hod office for two consecutive terms. because its voters come mainly from two American states. Roosevelt was the only American President to be elected four times in a row (1933-1945). dating from the 1990s. in 1992 (on a territorial basis.whitehouse. the so-called Libertarian Party. He died before the war was over. their biographies and actions. Franklin D. conceived the draft of the Declaration of the third US President. The emphasis on moral values and its efforts to restore a conservative way of life remind one of the 17th century Puritans and their strictly obeyed rules. America being involved in the Second World War. It may sound strange for the contemporaries living in the 21st century. However. corruption. he risked being impeached for involvement in the famous Watergate scandal. 83 . Truman. in 1973. California and Illinois) it was conceived as a “taxpayers’ party” (the name which it actually took back then) whose fundamental rights it intended to protect. Its core doctrine is based on the rejection of any intervention (military or otherwise) outside the U. The tense political and social context of the 1970s (a time of protests against the Vietnam War and Republicanism) set the stage for the emergence of another party. the political context was very complicated. his Vicepresident. the Socialist Party. and his term was completed by H.

Of all the major American political figures, one stands out due to his important contribution to the beginnings of the new state, and also to the world science and culture. His name is Benjamin Franklin. From a political point of view, B. Franklin remains in history as the only person who put his signature on all four documents which led to the birth of the United States of America – and, therefore, one of the Founding Fathers: first, the Declaration of Independence in 1776; two years later, as a special representative of the new state, he signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France (their first ally). In 1782, he also undersigned the Treaty of Peace with Britain and France, which put an end to the war which broke out between these two great powers for the independence of the States. The last document of the four was the American Constitution. But B. Franklin was not only a politician; he was also famous for his contributions in the fields of science, philosophy, economics and even music. He is the inventor of the lightning rod and of the bi-focal glasses. For a long while, politics, equally to all public activities, was the exclusive territory of men. Both in Europe and on the other side of the Atlantic, in America, women's duties were restricted to family problems, raising children and taking care of their education. The 19th century brought along the first movement for women’s rights to vote, to work and be paid. These movements started in Britain, with the suffragette movements of the 1830s, which, after a long and heated debate, led to an approval of British women’s right to vote in 1869. But it took more than 40 years until these movements for women’s civil rights bore fruit in the USA as well. The historic and political context which brought about this change of opinion was the acknowledgement of women’s contribution during the First World War. Since then, many women have proved their qualities in politics. The 20th century witnessed their full recognition both as active members of the community, and a strong political force. The following pages present a short summary of women's involvement in civil rights movements and politics, both in Britain and in the USA. In this context, it is in no way surprising that one of the 2008 candidates for the Presidency of the USA, John McCain, has chosen a woman, Governor Sarah Palin, to be his potential Vice-president.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – THE CAPITAL Washington History begins on the Potomac River - known to many Native Americans as the "Co-hon-ho-roo-ta", to the Spanish as the "Espiritu Santo"; to the first English explorers as the "Elizabeth"; and to Lord Calvert's pilgrims as the "St. Gregory"26. Pierre Charles L'Enfant, designer of the city, thought of it as the Capital City. Jefferson referred to it as Federal Town. Washington, however, considered this undignified, and instead used the name Federal City. During the Revolutionary period the Continental Congress was a somewhat nomadic body. At different times within a single year, 1777, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Lancaster, and York had the distinction of being the seat of Congress. On October 7, 1783, Congress called for surveys of land near Georgetown on the Potomac River, and land near Trenton on the Delaware River, the resolution being later modified to provide for the building of two "Federal towns", one on each river. On MARCH 4, 1789, the First Congress of the United States convened in New York City. The topic of building a new capital was on the agenda. The initial plot of land authorized by the Constitution in 1791 for the seat of the US government was a 100-square mile area. The first commissioners appointed to acquire the property for the new capital and construct the first government buildings made the obvious choice and named the city Washington. At the same time, they decided to call the entire 100 squaremile area the District of Columbia. Congress later went along with this decision through legislative references to the area. Washington history necessarily begins on the Potomac River - known to many Native Americans as the "Co-hon-ho-roo-ta", to the Spanish as the "Espiritu Santo"; to the first English explorers as the "Elizabeth"; and to Lord Calvert's pilgrims as the "St. Gregory."


Read more about this and other details on the capital of the USA at


The "10 mile square"; which in 1791 became the Federal area where the new capital was to be built was bordered by a number of wealthy manors. Long before towns began to flourish in that area, landowners dominated the social and economic life. Tobacco plantations covered vast areas of Virginia and Maryland. L'Enfant decided to build the President's House (i.e., the Capitol) on the nearing hill – Jenkins Hill; he planned a highway 160 feet wide, later designated the Avenue of Pennsylvania. The current address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. In the initial plan, two series of broad avenues named for the states were to converge into circular intersections. "Perhaps the dominant element in L'Enfant's designs is the complex revolving about the Capitol, the Mall, and the executive mansion, which came to be known as the White House," (Britannica). By the end of 1798, the exterior of the President's House was completed, the Senate wing of the Capitol was under roof, and a contract placed for the first departmental building--the Treasury. Philadelphia ceased to be the seat of National Government on June 11, 1800, and Washington took up the honour of becoming the US Capital City. It has remained so for more than two centuries.


Beginnings of the city of New York Native Americans (The Lenape Indians) inhabited the area long before Europeans arrived. In 1524, the first European who arrived in this area was Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian sailing for the French. The French never colonized the area. In 1609, Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, “rediscovered” it. Like other explorers, Hudson was actually looking for a shortcut to Asia.


Many other interesting things about New York can be found at the following address:


England's Charles II claimed all the Dutch land. 1776: New York approved the Declaration of Independence 1811: The city planning of Manhattan began according to new rules. Clashes between the Dutch and the English were inevitable. as there was no space provided for parks and playing grounds 87 . IMPORTANT DATES IN NEW YORK HISTORY 1524: Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed into the Bay and sailed up on the river which would later be called “Hudson River”. and in 1664 he gave it to his brother. for a few dollars worth of beads and ribbons. in 1664. the property registration system was specific only for Europe. New Amsterdam became New York. considered very valuable due to its position near the river mouth and the sea: they defeated the Dutch and changed the town name to New York. The English immediately named New York after the Duke of York. It was common in those days to "claim" a territory. the Duke of York. The Dutch were not prepared to fight the English so. the Dutch purchased the island of Manhattan from the Indians. it is the period when the first modernization efforts took place 1664: The English fought for this territory. in his honour. This became the colony of New Amsterdam (Niewe Amsterdam) founded in 1625. Colonial powers did the same for over four centuries.In 1624. since there were no property documents to prove that it belonged to anybody else. 1626: The Dutch bought Manhattan Island from the Indians 1647: Peter Stuyvesant was Mayor of Niewe Amsterdam. famously. New Amsterdam separated the English colonies of New England from the other English colonies in the south. 1609: Henry Hudson explored the same river and claimed it a land belonging to the Netherlands.

Richard Morris Hunt. the replica at a larger scale of the statue made by Auguste Bartholdi and placed on the right bank of Seine River. during the American Revolution. Auguste Bartholdi. Asia. The construction began in Paris in 1875 and it was completed in 1884. South America. North America. The poem. Another important American symbol is the poem written by Emma Lazarus (entitled “The New Colossus”) in 1883. transport. Since the statue was a large-scale replica of the original one on the Seine River. The poem. was added to the base of the statue in 1903. in Paris. Africa and Australia) or the seven seas (or oceans): the two parts of the Atlantic. presentation and many more interesting facts are available at http://www. The finite construction was ready for the 1886 anniversary of 100 years of liberty. Its complete title is “Liberty Enlightening the World”.endex. was brought to New York. written in pre-modern English. The seven spikes of the crown are said to represent either the seven continents of the world (Europe. a Frenchman of Alsatian origin. engraved on a bronze plaque. the Indian. The sculptor. Transport over the Atlantic was a difficult business. and President Grover Cleveland read the Acceptance Statement in a public ceremony. reads: “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame. corresponding to the two Americas. The pedestal holding the statue was made by an American architect. in the effort to raise the money needed to build the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The woman figure that embodies Liberty has a torch in her right hand and a crown on her head. in 1877. and he commissioned the famous Gustave Eiffel for this job. the North Pacific and the South 28 88 . the Arctic and the Antarctic oceans. as a gift from France. Bartholdi needed the help of a structural engineer. thought of it as a symbol of the alliance between the American states and France. Complete data about its building.1886: The Statue of Liberty. with conquering limbs astride from land to land. and the statue was brought to New York in 350 different pieces which were later assembled on Liberty Island. for the anniversary of the First Centennial (first 100 years that had passed since the American Revolution). The Statue of Liberty is one of the most important symbols of the American nation28.

In the years before the Stock Exchange was built. your storied pomp!" cries she with silent lips. and her name Mother of Exiles. whose flame is the imprisoned lightning. belong to another family hit by the Titanic disaster. it has 102 stories. their father was also killed in that tragedy. Peggy and Solomon Guggenheim. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. and its name comes from the nickname of the state of New York (Empire State). Apple referred to the prizes being awarded for the races . her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "apple" was used in reference to the many racing courses in and around New York City. "Keep. this was the favourite place for discussing trade and financial issues. sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch. New York is also known as the “Big Apple” Three main variants are known. its founders. 1914: The Guggenheim Foundation began its efforts in promoting modern art. this remained the tallest building in the world.Here at our sea-washed. the rewards were substantial. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. his son tore down the Astor Hotel and had the Empire State Building erected on the same site (for a long time. 89 . 2001 it regained the title of “the tallest building in New York”. Legend has it that 26 important businessmen gathered under an old chestnut tree on Wall Street and took that decision. In the early 1920s. "Give me your tired. the homeless. ancient lands. in support of this name: 1. your poor. tempest-tost to me. 1914: Following the death of billionaire John Astor in the Titanic tragedy. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide these were important races. after the fall of the World Trade Center twin buildings in the September 11. Send these. specific for the turn of the 20th century. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 1903: The New York Stock Exchange was founded. Built in the Art Deco style.

the phrase has been used long before the 1920s jazz fever. a regular network of streets. There was a jazz club in Harlem called "the Big Apple" which is where this phrase may have originated. The fame of Wall Street as one of the most important financial centres in the world was established in 1903.2. has an unusual shape compared to the rest of Manhattan.Longacre being the carriage center in London. which is generally conceived like a grid. Jazz musicians in the 1920s and 1930s used to refer to a gig (=show. In 1904 Longacre Square was officially renamed Times Square. Eventually the wall was taken down. It has nothing to do with a jazz club. Its origins go back to the time when the city was quite young. after the New York Times Building. appearance) in New York as "playing the Big Apple". and it was then known as Longacre Square . The History of Wall Street When the Dutch settled in New York and the settlement was originally built there was a dividing wall between the settlers and the native Injuns. 3. Times Square is another symbol of New York Around 1878 the section of Broadway and 7th Avenue in Manhattan was the carriagetrade centre of the city. 90 . The street which bordered this wall was named Wall Street. This is also the reason why the area around Wall St. others say. but pieces of it still remain. which became the central building of the new district. when the New York Stock Exchange was founded. and was connected to the fact that there was an upper class whore house which had this name.

on this occasion. when the capital was officially moved to the newly built town of Washington. A year later the second Continental Congress. including political Conventions. the arena (now covered) hosts major sports events and other public festivities. The first public school in America was opened here in 1689. PHILADEPHIA – THE FIRST CAPITAL Benefiting from a favourable geographical location. for the first Continental Congress. In 1879 William Vanderbilt regained control of the property and changed its name to Madison Square Garden. an American composer and bandleader. The Declaration of Independence was first read here. In preparation of this event. Many open-air events took place. the leaders who wanted to debate the issue of independence from the British Empire gathered in Philadelphia in 1774. Philadelphia had been associated with many important achievements. the first 91 . also convened in Philadelphia. and except for a short period of time between 1789 and 1790 it remained the seat of the federal Government until 1800. and held promenade concerts there. playing an important part in the historical events related to the American Revolution and after. and waterfalls. the participants denounced the British policy and voted for a boycott against trade with London.Madison Square Garden is not a garden The initial construction was an oval arena made of brick walls. Today. it developed into a major industrial and cultural centre. it had no roof. In 1875 Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore. here. including rodeo contests. He converted the space into a garden with flowers. marked the beginning of the Revolution. The New York Quiz in Annex 8 will help you check up your knowledge and learn more about this city. In time. Philadelphia soon became an important centre for the British immigrants. trees. But even long before these historical events. leased the place and opened Gilmore's Garden.

A major symbol of the future nation. This is an interesting symbol that possibly links the formation of the American States and the European Union. thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s efforts towards large scale education. it is called “The Star Spangled Banner” and became official in 1931.public library was also opened here. initially. The national anthem of the USA is also linked to this flag. and the first hospital was opened here in 1755. the national flag called Stars and Stripes was created here. in a circle. while the colony of Rhode Island and Providence joined them later). 92 . only 12 stars were added and not 13 (because only 12 states had signed the Declaration at that moment. The first ever novel published in America is also linked to the name of this city (in 1774). as the legend goes.

one day. It is perfectible – as is any writing at any time. 93 . is called CULTURE. Again.CHAPTER X BRITISH AND AMERICAN CULTURE A COMPARATIVE OVERVIEW In the spirit of Geert Hofstede’s understanding of culture as a complex network of facts. It can be taken as an open door towards future research and questions that may. in one simple word. based on a context and a certain type of relationships established between people belonging to the same community. This final chapter is an overview of comparative data grouped according to major cultural concepts. in the form of a horizontal never-ending axis is only a conventional measuring unit for evolution. History. rituals. CULTURE: Symbols. specific elements and influences. And this is what. actions. in Hofstede’s spirit. strong cultures stand out by the way in which they preserve their essential characteristics while remaining open to complex influences from other cultures. what was considered essential by the author was an emphasis on what we all understand as values. focus on the underlying motivation for any course of events. historical data. receive the appropriate answers. Each chapter in this book follows a historical line and. for the manifold network of cultural relationships that make nations stronger. at the same time. the present course has attempted to bring historical events that led to the formation of what we know as the AngloSaxon culture on both sides of the Atlantic in a new light. closed cultures fade and eventually die out. heroes and values. But the cultural development does not always follow a perfectly horizontal line: it has its ups and downs and numberless branches which may lead one towards a miraculous thirst for knowledge. as well as the connections between them. Weak.

Scandinavian.Parliaments of the Provinces (since 1998) . 1801. multi- LEGAL SYSTEM . Act of Settlement 1701. Anglo-Saxon. based on the modern ideas of freedom and democracy Federal system A Federal Republic – 50 states Multicultural.A.BRITAIN HISTORICAL FACTS: BRITAIN: The cradle of various influences (Celtic.S. HISTORICAL FACTS: A mix of peoples and cultures. Bill of Rights (1791 – the first 10 amendments to the Constitution) Federal and state legal systems Number of main parties: 2 POLITICAL STATUS: BRITAIN: Great colonial power ↓ Commonwealth (economic development purpose). racial society The President is also the Head of the Government (Departments) multi-ethnic.No Constitution – but a series of fundamental documents (Magna Carta Libertatum 1215.Number of main parties: 3 The LEGAL SYSTEM “Charters of Freedom”: Declaration of Independence (July 4th. Roman. Norman) from the ancient times on Origins of the Parliament (the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot – the 13th century Curia Regis – Edward I: the Model Parliament of 1295 – House of Lords 16th century) The Prime Minister and the Cabinet – Georgian Britain A Monarchy – 4 Provinces USA: - U.created during Cromwell’s Protectorate 94 POLITICAL STATUS: USA: Former British colony ↓ Globalization (modern economic concept of dominance / cooperation?) . Constitution (1787). Human Rights Act 1998) . Acts of Union 1707. 1776). Bill of Rights 1689.

or 11-18) Colleges – in Universities GOVERNING BODIES: Congress: House of Representatives (elected) Senate (elected) Popular vote Electors vote for the President HEAD OF STATE: President (elected every 4 years) – he is also the leader of the Government Elected through representative voting (270 Electors needed) RESTRICTIONS: ---- EDUCATION: No National Curriculum Each of the 50 states has its own laws regulating education -Elementary (k-g to 6/8 grade) -Mid-school / junior high (6-8 grade) -High school (9-12. plus uninominal vote) HEAD OF STATE: King or Queen and Prime Minister – leader of the Government (the leader of the winning Party) RESTRICTIONS: Members of the House of Lords are not allowed to vote EDUCATION: A National Curriculum for all pupils Mandatory between 5-16 years of age All primary schools are non-selective -Infant schools = Key Stage 1 (5-7) -Junior schools = Key Stage 2 (7-11) -Secondary schools (11-16 – compulsory. Spain) Laws forbidding Catholics from rule RELIGION: 60% Christians in 1990 but decreasing 95 HISTORICAL SPECIFICITY: War of Independence Slavery system Racial segregation Civil War WASP RELIGION: Mainly Protestant . 10-12 grade) Colleges Universities Racial segregation until the 1960s HISTORICAL SPECIFICITY: Internal wars for dominance (e. elected) House of Lords (hereditary peers) Direct vote ( list-voting.GOVERNING BODIES: Parliament: House of Commons (651 members. War of the Roses) Wars for supremacy in Europe (with France.g.

Lincoln. Th. Martin Luther King VALUES: Tradition. chewing gum. Morris dance. fish-and-chips Oxonian stuttering SYMBOLS: Coca Cola. blue jeans. A. Washington. conservatory spirit VALUES: Freedom and democracy Strong moral/family values 96 . fish-and-chips. Valentine Day Thanksgiving HEROES: William the Conqueror. Maypole RITUALS: Halloween. Elizabeth I. Patrick’s Day Parade. Jefferson. etiquette.(immigration) Two official Churches: The Church of England (Anglican – largest number) and The Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) STATE SYMBOLS: Flag: Union Jack Westminster Abbey – crowning place for all kings (William the Conqueror) Buckingham Palace Windsor Castle – Queen’s home ECONOMY AND FINANCES: The City – financial centre in London Various religious groups STATE SYMBOLS: Flag: Stars and Stripes Capitol building – Washington – Congress White House .1800 ECONOMY AND FINANCES: Wall Street (Manhattan) – in New York SYMBOLS: Royalty. JFK. Queen Victoria HEROES: Pilgrim Fathers. fast food Cowboy life RITUALS: 5 o’clock tea. G. Braveheart.

Aberdeen. Bartholdi) FAMOUS UNIVERSITIES: Oxford.FAMOUS BUILDINGS: Canterbury Cathedral. Nelson’s Monument. Manchester GREATEST PERSONALITY OF ALL TIMES (popular vote 2005): FAMOUS UNIVERSITIES: Harvard. Rhodes GREATEST PERSONALITY OF ALL TIMES (popular vote 2006): Winston Churchill Ronald Reagan FAMOUS FIRSTS IN BRITISH AND AMERICAN CULTURE 1494 1752 1755 1767 1769 1775 Whiskey was invented in Scotland Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod Samuel Johnson published the first English language Dictionary Joseph Priestley invented carbonated water – soda water James Watt invented the steam engine (which he later improved) Alexander Cummings invented the flush toilet (see Thomas Crapper below) 97 . Cambridge. Guggenheim Museum. Tower Bridge FAMOUS BUILDINGS: Empire State Building. Edinburgh. WTC (until 2001). Statue of Liberty (“Liberty Enlightening the World” – A. Yale.

with this invention in ancient times 1886 An American housewife. But the word “crap” seems to have been derived from Crapper’s name. though. Graham Bell patented the telephone Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph The British Perforated Paper Company (re-)invented a form of toilet paper. Richard Gatling (American) patented the machine gun Christopher Scholes (American) invented the first modern and practical typewriter J. 1857 1859 George Pullman invented the Pullman sleeping car for train travel Charles Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” In America – the famous “Ape Trial” (1910) 1862 1867 1868 1872 1872 1877 1880 Dr. Josephine Cochrane. Albert Giblin (the “silent valveless water waste preventer”). invented the dishwasher 98 .P. for a cotton spinning machine Bicycles were invented in Scotland Thomas Crapper (British) is said to be the inventor of the modern toilet.M. the Chinese are credited. Knight invented the traffic lights The first mail-order catalogue was issued in this year in the USA (A. Ward) American Alex.1790 1791 1819 The US issued its first patent to William Pollard. In fact the patent was attributed in 1819 to another Englishman.

1886 Physician John Pemberton of Atlanta. the patent went to Percy Spencer The first credit card (Diners) was invented by Ralph Schneider 99 . as legend goes. invented the escalator to help people in department stores American W. Jesse Reno. Georgia invented Coca Cola when. invented the car radio 1930 The first analogue computer (or “differential analyzer”) was invented by Vannevar Bush at MIT in Boston 1935 1946 1950 The first canned beer was made in America The first microwave oven was made.L. Paul Galvin. Judson invented the zipper. Until then. mixed a coughing syrup with soda water to quench his thirst 1887 Barbed wire was invented by an American farmer. trousers had buttons (see Levi’s from the 1770s) 1898 1928 The roller-coaster was patented (American Edwin Prescott) Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming is credited for inventing the penicillin Bubble gum was invented by American Walter Dierner 1929 Another American. to protect his farm borders from bison devastations 1888 1891 1893 The first paper drinking straws were invented by Marvin Stone (USA) An American.

S.S.UNO or UNESCO Ambassadors (e. No woman President First Lady . 1919 Congress members Hattie Wyatt Carraway. cabinet The first woman Speaker.S. first U.UNO or UNESCO Ambassadors (e.g.WOMEN IN POLITICS BRITAIN – U. COMPARISON BRITAIN Queens Elizabeth I Victoria Elizabeth II Parliament: 18 women today in the House of Commons Suffragette Movement (turn of the 20th century) First woman to take her seat: Nancy. first woman elected to U. first secretary of Dept.S.Ambassadors .S. first woman to serve in U. Audrey Hepburn) U.A. Shirley Temple) 100 .Ambassadors .g. Lady Astor. of Health. Betty Boothroyd (Labour) was chosen in 1992 The first female Prime Minister – Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) . first woman to serve in U. woman elected governor on her own merits Mayors First woman Minister: Margaret Bonfield 1924 (Labour) – Cabinet Minister in 1929 Oveta Culp Hobby.S. Senate Jeannette Rankin. Congress Governors or Vice-governors Ella Tambussi Grasso.A. Education. and Welfare Frances Perkins.

though he bitterly opposed it in principle. Also. like Dr. the same law stated that women were eligible for election as Members of Parliament at the younger age of 21. Famous British suffrage militants: Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Sylvia. In 1869. The term is of French origin. could even vote in select regional elections if they had enough property. The campaign to concede women the right to vote began during the second half of the 19th century. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. On January 10. John Stuart Mill initiated the first debate in Parliament on this issue in 1867. signed it into law to avoid further conflict. Prime Minister Asquith.BRITAIN The Suffragette Movement was initiated by Mary Smith. and could even become mayors. The term “Suffragette” was first used as an insult by the London Daily Mail. “Suffrage” means “vote” or “right to vote”. 101 . In 1832 she petitioned Parliament to include propertied women as privileged to vote. the Reform Bill was passed by a considerable majority of 63 in the British Parliament. most notably the Female Political Association. founded by a Quaker (American Puritan) named Anne Knight. At this time the first organizations for women's suffrage began. By the early twentieth century English feminists had accomplished many goals: women could serve on town councils and school boards. But they still could not vote for Parliament. an unmarried property owner. but with no results. British women were finally allowed to vote in municipal elections. 1918. could be factory inspectors. The bill allowed women above the age of 30 (women under that age were considered unreliable) to vote in national elections. but was quickly adopted by women that militated for equal voting rights.

U. The title of First Lady does not belong exclusively to a President’s wife. The title was used as early as 1849 when Dolley Madison was eulogized as "America's First Lady". especially from the Democratic Party. but did not gain wider recognition until 1877 when newspaper journalist Mary Clemmer Ames used it officially. and no salary. Edith Wilson. The First Lady has no official duties.000 women rallied in New York asking the authorities to grant them the right to vote.S. other women officially hold this position: . The First Lady is the unofficial title for the hostess of the White House. 102 . Jefferson’s friend. In 1966 the National Organization for women was founded in the USA. and similarly "FLOTUS" for the First Lady. became the first Honorary President of Girl Scouts in 1917.A. The First Lady has held that position ever since.The sitting President’s wife . It was granted after the end of the First World War. later James Madison’s wife) (Emily Tennessee Donelson niece of widower Andrew Jackson Sarah Yorke Jackson . Starting with the 1960s various women began serving as public officials in the USA. In certain cases. wife of President Woodrow Wilson.A President’s daughter (Martha Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson’s daughter) (Chelsea Clinton) There is a government jargon which uses acronyms for the President of the United States as "POTUS". In 1915 25.daughter-in-law of widower Andrew Jackson) . in recognition of women’s contribution during the war.A female friend or relative (when the President is a bachelor or a widower) (Dolley Payne Madison – Th.

Secretary of State for the Defense. or (metaphorically) for a woman who has acted as a leading symbol for some activity (as in "First Lady of Jazz" – Ella Fitzgerald) The wife of the Vice-President of the USA is commonly called the Second Lady of the United States. during George Bush Jr.The term is also used to describe the wife of other government officials. Administration Condoleezza Rice – National Security Advisor. Famous female politicians: Shirley Chisholm – first Afro-American to be elected in the US Congress (1968) Madeleine Albright – US Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration Janet Reno – US Attorney General – George Bush Jr. check out: GROLIERS ENCYCLOPEDIA--choose from 3 different encyclopedias at this site Whitehouse--First Ladies--Text Only Whitehouse--First Ladies--with Graphics First Ladies and Their Roles at Inaugurations National First Ladies' Library Presidents and First Ladies--some items on display at the Smithsonian Portraits of Presidents and First Ladies A Timeline of Presidents and First Ladies 103 . diplomat. Administration For additional information about each of the Presidents and First Ladies.

as well as many sonic generators. in order to achieve the "American dream". He invented the Diesel engine injection system. In 1916 he published the “Theory of Sonics” (republished in Romanian in 1918). Of all Romanians who immigrated to these two countries. The author of this book takes great pride in having met some of these personalities at different stages in her life. his grandfather. several were acknowledged for their contribution in all fields of human activity. engines. During the 19th century few Romanians went to Britain except for studies at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.ROMANIANS IN BRITAIN AND THE U. ION RATIU (1917-2000) He came from an important Transylvanian family (his father – a lawyer. The following list is by no means complete. The first decades of the 20th century brought along the Gold Rush craze which determined many poor Romanian citizens to look for a better. 104 . DUMITRU DAPONTE He was the inventor of the 3-D cinematography (brevetted in England and France in 1923). designer of concrete bridges. IN BRITAIN GEORGE CONSTANTINESCU (1881-1965) He was a Civil Engineer and inventor (author of a Theory of Reinforced Concrete. The main reason was that the Romanian culture was still strongly influenced by the French culture and Paris was still the major cultural centre for all Europe. A.S. continued all through the 20th century. wealthier life in the New World.A This course could not have been complete without a reminder of various contributions to sciences and humanistic studies. creator of the Sonics Science. but it can stand as a proof of the high professionalism of our co-nationals. thermo-sonic converters.a Greek-Catholic Archbishop). This trend of immigration to the USA. He moved to Britain during the First World War. He also is acknowledged for his contribution to colour cinema. made by Romanians who immigrated to Britain and the United States of America.

He was a major representative of the National Peasants’ Christian-Democratic Party (PNTCD). She is also a representative of the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce. IN THE U. ANDREI CODRESCU is a writer. business intelligence services. and brand management. The following list is based on information extracted from Internet sources (See List of Romanian-Americans in Wikipedia) but completed to the best of the author's knowledge. One of his ancestors (Andronic Cantacuzino) supported Mihai Viteazul to become a ruler in Walachia. Serban Cantacuzino lives in London.A. media relations. He is also known for his militant actions against the Vietnam War. a humorist and a Professor of English at Louisiana University in Baton Rouge. during the 1960s and 1970s. As expected. It is affiliated to the English Handball Federation and was included in all sports events. and also a Manager in a company which specializes in government liaison. conference and event management. he is an architect and a founder of the Pro Patrimonio Foundation for the preservation of historical buildings in Romania. B. Romanians that immigrated to the United States and contributed to the development of American culture come in much larger numbers than those who chose Britain as their residence. corporate strategic planning.S. Olympia Handball Club is a sports club opened by former athletes of Romania in London for Romanian athletes living in Britain. Prince SERBAN CANTACUZINO (born 1928) He comes from the Cantacuzino ruling family (Romanian princes of Greek origin). She is a journalist. 105 . He set up a Foundation (in London) which helps poor children pursue their studies in Britain. JOHN BALABAN is a poet and a Professor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Princess MARINA STURDZA (born 1929) She lives in London and comes from another ruling family of the Romanian Provinces (Moldavia).

He immigrated in 1850 and later fought in the American Civil War as a Union Brigadier General. though. 106 . is mainly known as the actor who played the role of Tarzan in the 1930s. The field of humanistic studies is well represented by Romanians in the cultural space of the United States. born in Timisoara. most of which were inspired by his travels to India and interest in Oriental philosophy and culture.NADIA COMANECI is one of the most famous symbols of contemporary Romania. What few people know. a member of the Republican Party. She is the symbol of perfection because she is the first gymnast ever to have received the highest mark of 10. He is the acknowledged discoverer of ribosomes. She won five gold medals in three Olympic Games (Montreal 1976. LIA ROBERTS. JOHNNY WEISSMULLER. Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984). Famous personalities lived and brought their contribution to world knowledge: MIRCEA ELIADE is celebrated worldwide as the greatest theorist and historian of religions. is the fact that he also won an Olympic gold medal for swimming. GEORGE POMUTZ is probably the first American of Romanian origin to be mentioned in official documents for his heroic behaviour. He is the author of a History of Religions that is still considered as the most complex and thorough scholarly work of its kind. He is also known as the founder of a colony (called New Buda) together with a group of Transylvanian immigrants. Her former coach BELA KAROLYI also lives in the United States and for several years he held the position of national coach for the US ladies’ gymnastics team. held the position of Honorary Consul for Romania in Las Vegas. GEORGE EMIL PALADE is a Nobel Prize winner (in 1974) and famous for his research in the field of cell-biology. she was a presidential candidate at the 1996 Romanian elections. He set up the Divinity research chair (later the Divinity School) at the University of Chicago. He is also the author of several novels and short-stories.

MATEI CALINESCU is a literary critic and Professor of comparative literature at Indiana University in Bloomington. his life ended tragically but heroically. He was a survivor of the Second World War Holocaust. Critics sometimes compare him to Franz Kafka. RADU FLORESCU is a Romanian encyclopaedic personality who became known mainly due to his contribution in the field of history. philosophy. teaching Engineering Science and Mechanics. He received the Guggenheim Award for his novels. he is a celebrated philosopher of culture and a specialist in comparative literature (a course he also taught at the University of Bucharest). He lives in Boston and is an Emeritus Professor of History at Boston College. ANDREW CALIMACH is a specialist in Greek mythology. He is also specialized in Romanian history. He is He also holds the Emeritus Professor at the same university. He is a writer in residence at several American Universities.Eliade’s destiny is closely linked to that of IOAN PETRU CULIANU. His contribution to universal culture – in the fields of culture. essay. VIRGIL NEMOIANU is an essayist and literary critic. his follower at the Divinity School of Chicago. history of religions. NORMAN MANEA is a writer and a Professor at Bard College in New York. * * * 107 .could well have surpassed that of his mentor. A scientist and academic specialized in aerodynamics. Another Romanian intellectual who became known worldwide due to a tragic event was LIVIU LIBRESCU. during a massacre at the university where he was teaching. He is a descendant of an old Moldavian family of Greek origin. had he not been killed in 1996. he was a Professor at Virginia Tech. when he saved his students' lives and lost his. He considers Goethe and Leibniz as his major source of intellectual inspiration. journalism and prose . He spends time both in the USA and in Romania.


What is the relationship between Albert Einstein and a cup of tea? Remember Archimedes and his bath tub? 6. and when? 29 See the answers on the next page 109 . What is the relationship between Edinburgh University and a monkey? 5. The cultivation of what cereal relates China to England. What is the relationship between cubic sugar and Tate Galleries in London? 7. Queen Elisabeth I is the meeting point in time between Wales and Scotland. How is that possible? 3. and India to Denmark? 2. the bi-focal glasses (1780) and the American Declaration of Independence? 8.ANNEX1 CULTURE QUIZ – 129 1. What is the relationship between the American Revolution and tea? 4. What is the relationship between the lightning rod (1752). Which American company came up with the idea of cell phones.

The Gallery was opened in 1897). 4. 8. and kings from the Scottish house of Stuart came after her – James VI of Scotland became James I of Britain. and back to the centre of the tea cup. Which American company came up with the idea of cell phones. born in 1809 and author of the theory of species (evolution). when stirred with a tea-spoon). a partner in a sugar refinery in Liverpool. He was followed. 110 .was a rich businessman.CULTURE QUIZ 1 – ANSWERS 1. The cultivation of what cereal relates China to England. 16031625. while seeing the tea particles move away from. He built the National Gallery of British Art on the site of an old prison. the bi-focal glasses (1780) and the American Declaration of Independence? (The first two were invented by Benjamin Franklin. He wrote the “Origin of Species” and published it in 1859. mobile phones were only put on the market in 1983). 5. A non-local universe means that action at a distance is possible and that there are hidden variables embedded in reality. What is the relationship between the lightning rod (1752). in the Neolithic. Action at a distance means that there really is a connection between all parts of the Universe. by Charles I. What is the relationship between cubic sugar and Tate Galleries in London? (Henry Tate – 1819-1899 . Queen Elisabeth I is the meeting point in time between Wales and Scotland. What is the relationship between the American Revolution and tea? (The so-called “Boston Tea-Party” – in 1775. then Charles II. 7. he was also a member of the group of American revolutionaries who conceived the Declaration). which was a Welsh family. was an Edinburgh scholar. until 1688. and India to Denmark? (Barley was the first cultivated cereal. which culminated with tons of tea being thrown into the sea at Boston). invented the cell phones is AT&T but the wireless. much later followed by wheat).being non local in nature). What is the relationship between Albert Einstein and a cup of tea? (Quantum physics and the expansion/retraction of the Universe matter). Remember Archimedes and his bath tub? 6. starting with his own collection of 65 paintings. beheaded by Cromwell in 1649. in 1940. 2. which control the outcome of the physical world. 1485 to Elisabeth’s death in 1688 -. there were fierce protests against high British export taxes for tea. a year before the revolution. 1660-1685. probably since the 7th millennium BC. What is the relationship between Edinburgh University and a monkey? (Charles Darwin. according to his own words. All these ideas were prompted to him. (The Universe . and when? (The company which. He died in London in 1882 and is buried at Westminster Abbey). and James II until 1688). He invented the dice-shaped cubes of cane sugar. 3. How is that possible? (She was the last English ruler of the Tudor house – from Henry VII.

and teaching (including distribution to classes) as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. including for-profit works. research.hti. Available online at the UM Humanities Text Initiative. ) 111 . It may be copied freely by individuals for personal use.” (This work is the property of the University of Michigan. It may be linked to freely in Internet editions of all kinds..umich.ANNEX 2 Excerpt from Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur in Middle English "So vpon newe yeresday whan the seruyce was done / the barons rode vnto the feld / some to Iuste / & som to torney / & so it happed that syre Ector that had grete lyuelode aboute london rode vnto the Iustes / & with hym rode syr kaynus his sone & yong Arthur that was hys nourisshed broder / & syr kay was made knyȝt at al halowmas afore So as they rode to ye Iustes ward / sir kay lost his swerd for he had lefte it at his faders lodgyng / & so he prayd yong Arthur for to ryde for his swerd / I wyll wel said Arthur / & rode fast after ye swerd / & whan he cam home / the lady & al were out to see the Ioustyng / thenne was Arthur wroth & saide to hym self / I will ryde to the chircheyard / & take the swerd with me that stycketh in the stone / for my broder sir kay shal not be without a swerd this day / so whan he cam to the chircheyard sir Arthur aliȝt & tayed his hors to the style / & so he wente to the tent / & found no knyȝtes there/ for they were atte Iustyng & so he handled the swerd by the handels / and liȝtly & fiersly pulled it out of the stone / & took his hors & rode his way vntyll he came to his broder sir kay / & delyuerd hym the swerd / & as sone as sir kay saw the swerd he wist wel it was the swerd of the stone / & so he rode to his fader syr Ector / & said / sire / loo here is the swerd of the stone / wherfor I must be kyng of thys land / when syre Ector beheld the swerd / he retorned ageyne & cam to the chirche / & there they aliȝte al thre / & wente in to the chirche / And anon he made sir kay swere vpon a book / how he came to that swerd / Syr said sir kay by my broder Arthur for he brought it to me / how gate ye this swerd said sir Ector to Arthur / sir I will telle you when I cam home for my broders swerd / I fond no body at home to delyuer me his swerd And so I thought my broder syr kay shold not be swerdles & so I cam hyder egerly & pulled it out of the stone withoute ony payn / found ye ony knyȝtes about this swerd seid sir ector….

So as they rode to the jousts-ward. I will well. for he had left it at his father's lodging. and so he rode to his father Sir Ector. and took his horse and rode his way until he came to his brother Sir Kay. when the service was done. And as soon as Sir Kay saw the sword. from the early medieval variant to modern English. the lady and all were out to see the jousting. that had great livelihood about London. Sir. and young Arthur that was his nourished brother. lo here is the sword of the stone.” (Malory. for they were at the jousting. I will tell you. and Sir Kay was made knight at All Hallowmass afore. and said: Sir. and with him rode Sir Kay his son. I will ride to the churchyard. some to joust and some to tourney. and so it happened that Sir Ector. the barons rode unto the field. So when he came to the churchyard. by my brother Arthur. 112 . for he brought it to me. How gat ye this sword? said Sir Ector to Arthur. rode unto the jousts. Available online at http://etext. Volume 1 Electronic Text Center. said Sir Kay. and lightly and fiercely pulled it out of the stone. for my brother Sir Kay shall not be without a sword this day. When I came home for my brother's sword. and take the sword with me that sticketh in the stone. and so I thought my brother Sir Kay should not be swordless. and rode fast after the sword. and there they alighted all three. and so I came hither eagerly and pulled it out of the stone without any pain. University of Virginia Library.lib. said Arthur. and found no knights there.virginia. Sir Kay lost his sword. Sir Thomas. Le Morte Darthur: Sir Thomas Malory's Book of King Arthur and of his Noble Knights of the Round ) These two texts show the development of the English language. he returned again and came to the church. wherefore I must be king of this land. and when he came home. And so he handled the sword by the handles. I found nobody at home to deliver me his sword. Found ye any knights about this sword? said Sir Ector….The following is the translation of the above text in Modern English: “So upon New Year's Day. And anon he made Sir Kay swear upon a book how he came to that sword. he wist well it was the sword of the stone. Sir Arthur alighted and tied his horse to the stile. and so he went to the tent. and delivered him the sword. Sir. and said to himself. and so he prayed young Arthur for to ride for his sword. When Sir Ector beheld the sword.. The second text also includes a number of archaisms in order to preserve the medieval atmosphere. and went into the church. Then was Arthur wroth.

along with the cultural reasons which led to differences in the sources behind them. In other cultures (Syrians. In modern times. the English. THE DAYS OF THE WEEK: In English. In fact. and we make the difference between different days of the week. the modern man’s perception of time is quite different from that of ancient communities. The ancient Greek. Old expressions related to “a week” (“se’en-night”. while the names of the months are derived from Latin (dating back to the Roman conquest). some things are taken for granted and never questioned. no longer used) and “two weeks” (“fort’night”) in the Anglo-Saxon culture (ancient Britons) speak of the “night”. the Mohammedans. and the names given for days and months were important only to recognize the same temporal element when it happened again. Portuguese and Americans also consider midnight as the beginning of the day. Dutch. cyclical structure. Persians. Whereas we perceive time as a straight axis. Modern Greek) the day begins at sunrise. the beginning of a new day was considered to be at sunset. Ancient Egyptians considered that each day began at noon (because they were worshippers of the Sun God Ra). But it took mankind a long time to establish all these and give them names that made a difference. from past to future. or different months. The day began at midnight for the Romans.archaic. Spaniards. 113 . French. The following is a presentation of the origin of these names. the Chinese also start the day at sunset. the old peoples thought of time as a repetitive. In our first years of life. we all learn to understand TIME through the change of seasons. all the names for the days of the week come from the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian tradition. The sacred Jewish year and the Christian eve of feast-days were equally important. THE BEGINNING OF A DAY: In some cultures. Modern astronomers have kept this tradition. with the present somewhere between them. Germans.ANNEX 3 ANGLO-SAXON TRADITIONS Quite often.

Lundi is the facetious (mocking) name given to it by others TUESDAY – comes from the name of Tiu (or Tiw.SUNDAY – was considered the first day of the week. In Old English it was called Sunnerdaeg. MONDAY – the second day of the week (“day of the Moon” or Monandaeg in AngloSaxon) Monday was observed as a non-working day by various guilds (shoemakers etc. things changed because Friday was the day when Christ was crucified. marriage and of the dead and she always wore a necklace called Brisingamen. FRIDAY – was the sixth day of the week. (= day of the Sun) and it was dedicated to the Sun god.). in Sanskrit = devas) WEDNESDAY – the fourth day of the week was originally “Woden’s Day” (or “Odin’s Day”). In the old times. just like Thor). they also died on a Friday). The form in Old English was “frige dag”. With Christian religion. When Odin left her she cried with golden tears. usually a festival took place – Christian priests adopted this writing for the calendar) because the Moon was created in the fourth day as written in the book of Genesis THURSDAY – was the day of the god Thor (called by the French “jeudi” after Jove = Jupiter. or Tyr) who. Thursday was also called “Thunderday”. Buddhists and Brahmins consider it unlucky. In Roman mythology he can be identified with Mars. For Mohammedans. Friday is the equivalent of Sabbath (because they say Adam was created on a Friday and. The nearest equivalent to Venus among the Northern goddesses was Frigg (or Freyja). the god of war (whereby the name of this day in French is “mardi”). goddess of love. Freyja was the wife of Odin. Monday or St. Etymologists consider that Tiu can be equated with the Greek major god Zeus (in Latin = Deus. In ancient Rome it was called dies Veneris (the day dedicated to Venus) and this was the etymology of “vendredi” in French. The Norsemen considered Friday as the luckiest day in the week and that is why it was the best day for weddings and other celebrations. The Persians regard this as a “red-letter day” (= a lucky day. in Scandinavian mythology. also on a Friday. who was also a god of the thunder. called by the French “mercredi” because they equal it to the day of god Mercury. was the son of Odin and brother of Thor. St. 114 . Adam and Eve ate the forbidden apple.

this is what Columbus did in 1492 … and he discovered America!) In mediaeval times. In Old Anglo-Saxon it was called Saeterdaeg.In England. (Learn more about this Roman celebration at http://en. Friday 13th – is particularly unlucky.wikipedia. schools were closed. Loki intruded. Paraskevi-dekatria-phobia = the irrational fear of Friday the 13th (a term derived from Greek) SATURDAY – was the seventh day of the week. law courts were suspended. He has had his day – meaning that his youth days are over Today a man. to be defeated (from the mediaeval times. but today it is still used metaphorically) To win / gain the day – it is its opposite. no business took place. starting with the 17th of December – a time of freedom from any restraint. there is a saying according to which “A Friday moon brings foul weather”. but it is not unlucky to be born on a Friday. he was the 13th guest and then Balder (son of Odin. There was also a festival (Saturnalia) that lasted for 7 days. meaning that you have been successful 115 . no criminals were punished. then the next day you can lose all you have To lose the day – to lose a battle. an indefinite period Week-work – this goes back to the feudalist SPECIFIC EXPRESSIONS – IDIOMS: A week of Sundays – meaning a long time. it is said to come from an old Scandinavian tradition – at a banquet in Walhalla. It is considered unlucky for ships to put to sea on a Friday (however. condemned criminals were executed on Fridays so it was also called “Hanging day”. tomorrow a mouse – meaning that one day you can have it all. when a lord’s land was worked by tenants (usually 3 days a week compulsory work) (serfdom). god of Light) was killed. adapted from the Latin Saturni dies (the day dedicated to the worship of Saturn). Originally. The character of the “fool” /“buffoon” seems to have inspired the Romans’ ill-treatment (“Passions”) of Jesus on Crucifixion day. because “Friday’s child is loving and giving”.

until the business is completed The-swing-it-till-Monday-basket – the nickname for things that can be postponed until Monday When three Thursdays come together – never Not in a Month of Sundays – never A Sunday Saint – someone who strictly observes all religious ordinances only on Sundays THE MONTHS OF THE YEAR: JANUARY – it was the month dedicated by Romans to the god Janus (the god who kept the gate of Heaven – the guardian of gates and doors) who presided the entrance into the year and. After the introduction of Christianity. The Saxons called it Wulf-monath. But the idea was finally adopted only in 1916 in Germany. The doors of temples dedicated to Janus were open during war and closed in times of peace. this month was given the name of Se aeftera geola (“The after-yule”.] 116 . [YULE (in Old English “gēol”) came from the Icelandish “jǒl” which was the name for a heathen festival at the winter solstice. In Britain it became permanent by an Act of 1925 when it received the name of Summer Time.Daylight Saving – the idea of changing the official time during summer seems to have been put forward by Benjamin Franklin after the American States won their independence. closely followed by England because of wartime restrictions. having two faces. It began the 3rd Saturday in April (unless that was the Easter Day) and ended on the day following the first Saturday in October. The Dutch called this month “Lauwmaand” (=frosty-month). the French called this first month Nivôse (= the snow-month) and it started on 21/22/23 December. Since 1961 it has been extended by 6 weeks (beginning in March and ending in October). To let daylight into someone – to pierce a person with a sword or bullet Dayspring (poetical) – the dawn De die in diem – from day to day continuously. because wolves were very dangerous at that time of the year due to the fact that food was generally very scarce. After the French Revolutions. lasting until 20/21/22 January. could look both forward and backward in time. meaning after Christmas) or Forma monath (=the first month).

Proserpina was taken by god Pluto into the underworld and her mother Ceres. rainy. The Saxons called it Hreth-monath / Hlyd-monath (=the rough month. the rest of the year will have good weather. is the day of Purification of the Blessed Virgin. goddess of cereals. as well as their ending point. windy). The French revolutionaries called it “Pluviôse” (rainy month). 117 . but her search was “a fool’s errand” – in vain). There is even a proverb that says “March borrows 3 days of April. The French Revolutionaries called it “Germinal” (time of budding) – 21 March – 19 April. heard her screams and tried to find her. The term possibly comes from Roman tradition (Cerealia. The Old Dutch called it “Lentmaand” (and this is where the term LENT comes from. MARCH – the name comes from the Roman god of war Mars. APRIL – was the “opening month” (from Latin “aprire”). The Anglo-Saxons called this month “Sprout-kale” from the sprouting of kale (=cabbage). The French Republicans called it Ventôse (=windy) and it lasted between 20 February – 20 March. and they are ill!” (=cold. tradition has it that February “borrowed” 3 days from January (12-1314). a celebration held at the beginning of April. Hence. Anglo-Saxon tradition has it that the last 3 days in March were “borrowed days” (from the month of April).FEBRUARY – was the month of purification for the ancient Romans (Februo = I purify by sacrifice = catharsis). Gowk in Scots. the 2nd of Feb. since March is always in Lent). the rest will be marked by bad weather. if they are fine. If these are stormy. all nature opens with new life. festivities usually lasted for 8 days so April 1st was the culminating point in the celebrations. April Fools ’ Day (Poisson d’avril in French. In Scotland. meaning cuckoo) has an interesting history: 25 March used to be the New Year’s Day. because trees unfold. because there were always cold winds in this month).

The French Revolutionaries called it Messidor (harvest month) – June 19 – July 18. ugly women are sometimes called “maypoles”. The Old Saxons called it Maedd-Monath (the cattle were brought into the meadows to feed) or Lida aeftevr (the second mild or genial month). It was formerly called Quintilis (the 5th). Marriages in June are said to be very lucky (old Roman superstition related to the June calends. JULY – is the 7th month. In Dutch it was called Bloumaand (the month of blossoms). The French Revolutionaries called it Prairial (prairie = plain. lighting bonfires (nature worship). meadow) – 20 May – 18 June. It took its name from the Roman “Junius” the term describing young people. The Old Dutch called it Zomer-maand (=summer-month). It was named “Iulius” by Marc Anthony in honour of Julius Caesar. 118 . as Juno was the protector of women from birth to death). Until the 18th century it was pronounced [dzúli]. The Anglo-Saxons called it Sere-monath (=dry-month) and Lida aerra (=joy-time). Mayday – the first of May – was. AUGUST – Initially called Sextilis (the 6th month from March when the year began) it was renamed by Octavius Augustus in honour of himself (he lived between 63 BC – 14 AD and renamed this month in 8 AD) when he became the first Roman emperor. for pagan peoples. The modern name seems to come from Latin (Maia being the goddess of growth and increase – from multus-maior-maximus). dancing around a Maypole. a time for celebration – electing a May Queen. The French Revolutionaries called it Floréal (the time of flowers) – 20 April – 20 May. It could also come from Juno. sister and wife of Jupiter. JUNE – is the sixth month of the year.MAY – The Anglo-Saxons called this month Thrimilce (because cows could be milked three times a day). Very tall. The Old Dutch called it Hooy-maand (=hay-month). queen of heaven. This was “his lucky month”.

The French revolutionaries called it Vendémiaire (also “time of vintage) – 22 September – 21 October. the Holy Cross day on the 14th and St. The old Saxons called it Weodmonath (“weed-month” but weed referred to vegetation in general). The Saxons also called it Blot-monath (=blood month). It also bore the name of Winter-fylleth (winter full moon). Michael’s day on the 29th). they changed the name into Halig-monath (=Holy month. It was the time of the Saturnalia – a festival dedicated to the Roman God Saturn. which lasted for about a week. because it included the Nativity of the Virgin Mary on the 8th. The Old Dutch called it Wynmaand and in Old English the equivalent was Winmonath (wine-month. The Old Dutch name was Slaght-maand (=slaughter-month) because cattle were slain and salted down for winter time. an equivalent of the Dutch name. 119 . DECEMBER – was the 10th month in the initial Roman calendar.Its Old Dutch name was Oostmaand (= harvest month). The French called it Thermidor (=hot month) – 19 July – 17 August. or the time of the vintage). NOVEMBER – was the 9th month in the Roman calendar. Some cultural historians think that this tradition inspired the legend of Christ’s “mock crowning” by the Roman soldiers. SEPTEMBER – was the 7th month of the Roman year that started in March. OCTOBER – was the 8th month of the ancient Roman calendar. The French republicans called it Fructidor (the fruit-month) – 18 August – 16 September. The French republicans called it Brumaire (fog-month) – 23 October – 21 November. The Old Saxon name was Wind-monath (windmonth) and it was the time when fishermen brought their boats ashore until the next spring. The Old Dutch called it Herst-maand (meaning the “autumn month) while the old Saxons called it Gerst-monath (barley month) or Haefest-monath. When Christianity became official religion on the main island.

Bibliography: Etymological dictionaries The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1994 edition, Wordsworth Reference books Wikipedia – the free encyclopaedia




1. What was the first construction of this town? 2. Who gave this settlement its first name, Londinium? 3. What is the origin of “the City of London”? 4. When was St. Paul’s Cathedral built? 5. What were the first encounters between the Londoners and the Vikings? 6. What is the relationship between Christmas Day and Medieval England? 7. What was the name of an English king, with six wives of which only the last one survived him? 8. What is the relationship between a “guy” and the English Parliament? 9. When was Shakespeare’s Globe Theater built? 10. What is the relationship between the Great Fire of 1666 and Sir Christopher Wren? 11. Who was the last prisoner to be held at the Tower of London?


1. What was the first construction of this town? (The first London Bridge, built by Romans after their conquest of Britannia of 43 AD – Aulus Plautius, a military commander, because his troops could not continue their march in the marshy ground near Thames River) 2. Who gave this settlement its first name, Londinium? (The Romans, when they built their first settlement here on the northern side of that bridge) 3. What is the origin of “the City of London”? (About the year 200 AD a defensive wall was built around the city. For well over a millennium the shape and size of London was defined by this Roman wall. The area within the wall is now "the City", London's famous financial district) 4. When was St. Paul’s cathedral built? (Early in the 7th century, perhaps in 604 AD, the first St. Paul's Cathedral was founded, on the site now occupied by the present St. Paul's) 5. What were the first encounters between the Londoners and the Vikings? (By the 9th century, London was a very prosperous trading centre, and its wealth attracted the attention of Danish Vikings. The Danes periodically sailed up the Thames and attacked London. In 851 some 350 longboats full of Danes attacked and burned London to the ground) 6. What is the relationship between Christmas Day and medieval England? (In some ways the medieval history of London can be said to have begun on Christmas Day, 1066, when William the Conqueror was crowned king of England in a ceremony at the newly finished Westminster Abbey, just three months after his victory at the Battle of Hastings) 7. What was the name of an English king, with six wives of which only the last one survived him? (Henry VIII, father of Elisabeth I, who divorced his first wife and had all the rest of his wives killed at various times during his life) 8. What is the relationship between a “guy” and the English Parliament? (Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament when they opened on November 5, 1605, hoping to kill the new king, James I. Fortunately, the plot was discovered, and a conspirator named Guy Fawkes was discovered in cellars beneath Parliament with kegs of explosives. This event, called the Gunpowder Plot, is commemorated each year with the celebration of Bonfire Night on November 5) 9. When was Shakespeare’s Globe Theater built? (The Globe Theatre, scene of many of Shakespeare's plays, was built on the South Bank in 1599, though it burned down in 1613. A modern replica, also called the Globe, has been built near the original site in the 1990s) 10. What is the relationship between the Great Fire of 1666 and Sir Christopher Wren? (He was a famous architect and after the fire had destroyed three quarters of London, he presented the plans for rebuilding the city with broad boulevards and open squares) 12. Who was the last prisoner to be held at the Tower of London? (The last state prisoner to stay in the Queen's House was Rudolf Hess, Deputy Führer of Nazi Germany. He was held here from 17-21 May 1941, before receiving the life penalty by the Nürnberg Tribunal)


that is. Their demands had been presented to the King months before for his consideration. the ancient meadow of council. 1998 Reed M. W. and of national liberty in general. and before the day passed he affixed his seal to the original but preliminary draft known as the "Articles of the Barons. The Barons had sworn an oath that they would compel the King to confirm their liberties or they would wage war against him to the death. Here are some of these “customs”: No taxation without representation Judgement by peers. poor and nobles alike] met his Barons on the field of Runnemede. and due process of law The King is not above the law. The knights and barons opposed King John to recover the liberties their forefathers had enjoyed and to restore the “good old customs” violated by an oppressive and mercenary ruler. His followers were few as he met more than two thousand Knights and Barons in arms encamped on the field. the law reigns supreme (Information selected from the web site of the National Society Magna Charta Dames & Barons. Wurts) http://magnacharta. become written law in Magna Charta for the first time. © Copyright 1997." The exact terms of the Great Charter itself were decided and put on paper during four days of negotiation. King John [also known as “Lackland” – meaning “the King without a country”. called Common Law. The liberties of half the civilized world are derived from the Magna Charta. In time. because he was a tyrant. the Great Charter of Liberties has become the “Mother of all Constitutions”. and it was on the 19th of June that the great seal was affixed to all copies and the king signed it.ANNEX 5 MAGNA CHARTA LIBERTATUM On the 15th of June. It is now recognized as the basis of British laws. Long standing customs. the date when talks between the king and the barons began. But the Charter is dated 15th of June. 123 . hated by his countrymen.

Windsor Castle and Sandringham when the Queen is not in residence. patron saint of Scotland. patron saint of Ireland. The cross saltire of St Andrew. Patrick. Andrew and St. but not elsewhere).the kingdoms of England and Wales. of Scotland and of Ireland (although since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United Kingdom). is a diagonal red cross on a white ground. The Welsh dragon does not appear on the Union Flag. is a diagonal white cross on a blue ground.ANNEX 6 THE UNION FLAG HISTORY The Union Flag. The Royal Standard is never flown at half mast. This is because when the first Union Flag was created in 1606. The cross saltire of St Patrick. The Union Flag was originally a royal flag (when the present design was made official in 1801. The Royal Arms of Scotland (“Lion Rampant”) is flown at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Balmoral when The Queen is not in residence. the Union Flag (or the Royal Arms of Scotland [Lion Rampant] where appropriate) will be flown at half-mast. it is today flown above Buckingham Palace. to create the Union Flag that has been flown ever since. it was ordered to be flown on all the King's forts and castles. It was the national flag of England until James I succeeded to the throne in 1603. patron saint of England since the 1270's. or Union Jack. is the national flag of the United Kingdom and it is so called because it embodies the emblems of the three countries united under one Sovereign . 124 . The British flag groups three heraldic crosses: The cross of St George. On news of a Royal death. This was combined with the previous Union Flag of St George and St Andrew. the Principality of Wales by that time was already united with England and was no longer a separate principality. after which it was combined in 1606 with the crosses of St. after the Act of Union of Ireland with England (and Wales) and Scotland on 1 January 1801. as the Sovereign never dies (the new Monarch immediately succeeds his or her predecessor). is a red cross on a white ground.

but in that year Queen Victoria ordered that the White Ensign . on Coronation Day. The Union Flag has particular significance to the Armed Forces. therefore it is flied during the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade on the Sovereign's official birthday. flags and ensigns assumed the same importance as standards and colours in the Army. when The Queen as Colonel-in-Chief of each of the five regiments of Foot Guards takes the salute.the red cross of St George with the Union Flag in the top left-hand corner .The flying of the Union Flag on public buildings is decided by the Department for Culture. 125 . fleets were organised into White. The Union Flag is flown on government buildings on days marking the birthdays of members of the Royal family. on Commonwealth Day. Until 1864. as well as on the Queen’s official birthday. St Andrew's Day (Scotland). Media and Sport at the Queen's command. St George's Day (England). and St Patrick's Day (Northern Ireland) In the Royal Navy. The flag is also flown on St David's Day (Wales).should be carried by all ships of the Royal Navy. Red and Blue squadrons.

How are the major universities in Britain organised? 16. What is a “public” school in Britain? 15. Why is Big Ben so called? 11. Does Britain have a national day? 6.fco. Foreign & Commonwealth Office. What are Britain’s national (folk) costumes? 8. London. Which are the three largest minority groups in Britain? 3. Does Britain have a Constitution? 17. When did the final version of the Union Flag appear? Which are its main emblems? 4. What are the Proms? 10. How many people speak English in the world? 13. What is GMT? Why is it important for the entire world? 5. Who is the Prince of Wales? 18. May 2000) Researched and written by Alex Praill Internet 126 . What is the difference between Britain and the United Kingdom? 2. What are Britain’s national flowers? 7.ANNEX 7 FINAL REVIEW QUIZ FACTS ABOUT BRITAIN 1. What is the motto of the sovereign? (Source: The United Kingdom – 100 Questions Answered. What are the most popular foods and drinks in Britain? What is cockney? 14. Which is the oldest Tower of London? 12.

Does Britain have a national day? Each province has its national Day (Scotland – 30th Nov. Australians. Patrick – a day marked by wearing shamrocks = the national plant. Patrick on a white ground). Chinese. said to have been used by St.000). since the time of the War of the Roses 1455-1485 / Lancaster – red rose. Queen’s birthday 21st of April but Royal Day = 2nd Saturday in June. Italians. the two roses were united into the Tudor rose – a red rose with a white centre by Henry VII when he married Elizabeth of York) (Scotland – the thistle – a symbol of defence against Vikings) (N. and leek because its colours are green and white). Ireland. Also. Ireland – the shamrock / similar to clover. Greek & Turkish Cypriots. What are Britain’s national flowers? (England – the rose. Wales is not represented because when the first version of Union Flag appeared it was already united with England. Its flag is a red dragon on a green field and white sky (dating from the 15th century). Which are the three largest minority groups in Britain? Caribbean / African descent (891. Wales – 1st March St. Patrick to illustrate the Holy Trinity) (Wales – the daffodil for St.ANSWERS 1.000). York – white rose. St Andrew. George on a white ground – St.000). Scotland. Poles. GB comprises only England. Wales and N. New Zealanders. 3. 4. Scotland (white diagonal cross = saltire of St. Ireland – 17th March St. Indians (840. 127 . and Ireland (the red diagonal cross of St. marked by the Trooping the Colours ceremony (soldiers must recognize the flag of their regiment in order to follow it in battle). 5. It includes the emblems of England (red cross of St. David’d Day. Pakistani / Bangladeshis (640. When did the final version of the Union Jack appear? Which are its main emblems? The final version appeared in 1801 following the union of GB with Ireland. What is the difference between Britain and the United Kingdom? (UK includes England.FACTS ABOUT BRITAIN . South East Asians. 6. What is GMT? Why is it important for the entire world? The Zero Meridian passes through Greenwich and standard local times are calculated with reference to it. England – 23rd April St. Scotland and Wales) 2. George became a symbol during the 100 Years War 1338-1453 when troops fought under his flag). George. David’s day – wearing daffodils or leeks – both national emblems of Wales). Andrew on a blue ground).

“phone” becomes “dog and bone” etc. over 350 million people have it as a second language). roast beef on Sundays. but it began to crack and was replaced in 1858. What are the Proms? (Proms = Promenade Concerts. 11. dating from the time of William the Conqueror – 11th century – mainly used as a prison). “stairs” become “apple and pears”. 12. Over 80% of the world’s electronically stored info is in English.) 14. women’s shawl folded diagonally to form a triangle. The Tower is also famous for housing the Crown Jewels and for its ravens. of which the White tower is the oldest. 13. large brim. long. who was the Chief Commissioner of Works at the time). completely separate from the state educational system. Stephen’s Tower near the Houses of Parliament is thus called after Sir Benjamin Hall. but they are called “public” because scholars can come there from any part of England. tea (the main drink since the 1700s). held at the Royal Albert Hall and other venues in London. Cheddar cheese (from a village in Somerset. Ireland – based on Gaelic and Norse costumes – chequered/plaid/tartan trews and fringed cloak or tunic) 8. W England). How many people speak English in the world? (Recent estimates – around 375 million people. since the mid-19th century they have a new dialect called “rhyming slang” – e. annual series of music concerts sponsored by the BBC. The original bell was cast in 1856 and weighed around 15 tons. What is a “public” school in Britain? (they all belong to the “independent” school sector – since the 15th century. 9. Why is Big Ben so called? (the famous clock on top of St. conical. What are Britain’s national (folk) costumes? (England – many.7. not 128 .g. haggis in Scotland. baked Ulster ham. but the most famous is the Morris dance costume – resembling the calusari) (Scotland – the kilt with a distinctive tartan pattern) (Wales – Welsh hat = “beaver hat”. Bath buns with spices and dried fruit etc. draped around the shoulders) (N. they originated in 1895 – originally the audiences “promenaded” or walked about during the concerts) 10. What is cockney? (it is the dialect originally belonging to those leaving in East End – London. Which is the oldest Tower of London? (The complex has 20 towers. What are the most popular foods and drinks in Britain? Fish and chips.

What is the motto of the sovereign? (Dieu et mon Droit – meaning God and my Right – a military password chosen by King Richard I before the battle of Gisors in 1198 against France. Who is the Prince of Wales? The first in line to the throne is thus called since the time of Edward I who conquered independent Wales in 1283. The major document: Magna Charta (1215). the Reform Act (1832) which reformed the act of parliamentary representation. Later his son was born in Caernafon Castle in Wales and was called so. the Bill of Rights (1689) which extended the powers of the Parliament. Does Britain have a Constitution? No. It is just a conventional title. How are the major universities in Britain organised? (they are federations of colleges which are governed by their own teaching staff known as “Fellows”) 16. only renewed if the sovereign pleases (Charles is the 21st Prince of Wales). 17. Britain and Israel are the only democratic countries in the world that do not have one single document to regulate the functioning of its main institutions. 129 . Eton. founded 1440. is said to have been the first grammar school to be called “public”) 15. meaning he was no vassal of France). 18.only from the immediate neighbourhood.

Why does New York also bear the name of “The Big Apple”? 5. What is the relationship between the Titanic and the Guggenheim Museum in New York? 10.ANNEX 8 NEW YORK QUIZ 1. a street in NY and money? 8. What is the relationship between a chestnut tree. What does it actually mean? 130 . Where does Madison Square Garden take its name from? 7. Who were the first inhabitants of New York? 2. What is the relationship between the Titanic and the Empire State Building? 9. Why is the financial centre of New York called Wall Street? 4. Soho is the name of a New York district. How did Times Square appear? 6. What is the relationship between a brand of cigarettes and New York? 3.

long before that. on the same spot there was a garden where promenade music was played for the public) 7. died on the Titanic. a street in NY and money? (In 1903. What is the relationship between the Titanic and the Empire State Building? (Following the death of billionaire John Astor in the 1914 Titanic tragedy. What does it actually mean? (“South of Houston Street” – it is famous district for entertainment spots. Peggy and Solomon. when the Dutch purchased Manhattan island from them and founded New Amsterdam. How did Times Square appear? (In 1904 the “New York Times” Building was erected here). Why is the financial centre in NY called Wall Street? (The Dutch surrounded their settlement with a wall. Who were the first inhabitants of New York? (Native Americans. when William Vanderbilt gave it its present name. until 1624 – or 1626. great arts lovers. from other sources. 26 businessmen gathered under the oldest chestnut tree on Wall Street and decided to set the foundation of the NY Stock Exchange) 8. bars and pleasure houses) 131 . Why does New York also bear the name of “The Big Apple”? (There was a jazz club in Harlem called "the Big Apple" in the 1920s. built the Guggenheim Museum for Modern Art in NY. then others in Europe). What is the relationship between the Titanic and the Guggenheim Museum in New York? (Benjamin Guggenheim. Soho is the name of a New York district. 6. 10.NEW YORK QUIZ – ANSWERS 1. this was the tallest building in the world). Part of the wall was still up in the 19th century when the Stock Exchange was founded) 4. and his wealth was split between his heirs – 2 sons and a daughter. What is the relationship between a brand of cigarettes and New York? (In 1647 Dutch businessman Peter Stuyvesant was the Governor of Niewe Amsterdam) 3. In 1664 the English claimed the city and named it after the Duke of York) 2. What is the relationship between a chestnut tree. A 1971 campaign to increase tourism to New York City adopted the Big Apple as an officially recognized reference to New York City) 5. Where does Madison Square Garden take its name from? (Before 1879. 9. for protection against Indians. a very rich businessman. his son tore down the Astor Hotel and had the Empire State Building built on the same site – for a long time. Others say that the name comes from a famous whore house.

Who invented basketball? 13. What was the relationship between Shakespeare’s plays and the pagan calendar? 3. The US and the Vatican re-established diplomatic relations in 1984 after how many years? 7. The first underground train line was opened in 1863 in London. When was the first museum opened in England? 5. Who was the last (so far) child born at the White House? 16. Who made the first sandwich? Who invented the chewing-gum? 10. Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson was famous for what battle. In 1772 the building of the first American school started in a place called Schoenbrunn (Ohio). Who was he fighting against? 12. crocket. The English invented football. The first museum in the US was opened in Charleston in 1773 (including objects dating from colonial times). Why do we all call it a “metro”? 8. In 1891 Utah was finally accepted as an American state. Who was the American scientist who stated this? 9. Who was the first English monarch to abdicate (in 1399)? 6. What was his decision? 15. punting. following a decision by Wilford Woodruff. How did people learn to read and write before that? 11. The first child born in the White House was James Madison Randolph. In 1865 the 13th amendment of the Constitution of the United States was issued. What does Nike stand for? But Reebok? 14. What was it about and what were its consequences? 4. and polo. nephew of expresident Thomas Jefferson. cricket. Who was the longest reigning (royal) leader in Britain? 132 . What was the first country to recognize the new States of America? 2.ANNEX 9 COMPARATIVE CULTURE QUIZ 1. In 1924 people found out that there were other galaxies in the Universe.

Who made the first sandwich? Who invented the chewing-gum? (Lord Sandwich’s butler . founded in 1753 . Who was the American scientist who stated this? (Edwin Hubble – he was also the first to publish a theory according to which matter could be created from nothing – what later became the Big Bang theory. The first underground train line was opened in 1863 in London. 6. What was the relationship between Shakespeare’s plays and the pagan calendar? (Twelfth Night) 3. 2. In 1924 people found out that there were other galaxies in the Universe. (117 – 1867) 7. determining the rage of Southern landlords and the Civil War) 4.with artifacts from international cultural history) (by comparison. The US and the Vatican re-established diplomatic relations in 1984 after … years. When was the first museum opened in England? (The British Museum is the world's oldest museum. 1763. which ended with the Treaty of Paris. the Louvre was opened in 1793) 5.COMPARATIVE CULTURE QUIZ . The largest telescope on Earth is called Hubble) 9. an English aristocrat. Why do we all call it a “metro”? (Metropolitan Company) 8. In 1865 the 13th amendment of the Constitution of the United States was issued.ANSWERS 1. Who was the first English monarch to abdicate (in 1399)? Richard II. 4th Earl of Sandwich. in Ohio) 133 . in the 18th century. What was it about and what were its consequences? (Following Lincoln’s Declaration of Emancipation of 1862. By this treaty France gave Britain Canada and the North American territories East of Mississippi River. although it is unlikely to have been invented by him.The dish was named after John Montagu. What was the first country to recognize the new States of America? (France 1777 -This happened long before Britain would officially put an end to military hostilities in 1783)(At first the French and the British colonies had been at war. this amendment meant that slavery was abolished. The first museum in the US was opened in Charleston in 1773 (including objects dating from colonial times). It is said that Lord Sandwich was fond of this form of food because it allowed him to continue gambling while eating) (William Semple in 1869.

The English invented football. with headquarters in Salt Lake City) 15. (Schoenbrunn was built by the Moravian church in 1772 as a mission to the Delaware Indians. Who was the last (so far) child born at the White House? (John F. Who was he fighting against? (Napoleon’s fleet) 12. Reebok – an African gazelle) 14. crocket. punting. James E. The first game was played in 1891) 13. who died in 1901 after a reign of 63 years. cricket.10. Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson was famous for what battle (1805 – Trafalgar where he won but then died). following a decision by Wilford Woodruff. In 1891 Utah was finally accepted as an American state. What does Nike stand for? But Reebok? (Nike – Greek goddess of victory. The first child born in the White House was James Madison Randolph. nephew of expresident Thomas Jefferson. In 1772 the building of the first American school started in a place called Schoenbrunn (also in Ohio). King Bhumibol of Thailand is the longest reigning modern king but pharaoh Pepi II is said to have reigned for 94 years) 134 . What was his decision? (He publicly renounced polygamy – he was the leader of the Mormons. a sports teacher at Springfield College in Massachusetts. Who was the longest reigning (royal) leader in Britain? (Queen Victoria. and polo. Kennedy’s son. Naismith. John junior) 16. Who invented basketball? (an American. They drew up Ohio’s first Civil code and built its first Christian Church and a schoolhouse) How did people learn to read and write before that? 11. She is the 4th longest reigning leader in the world.

CONTENTS Page Foreword CHAPTER I: HISTORY OF ANCIENT BRITAIN Major cultural influences in Ancient Britain The Celts The Romans The Legend of King Arthur The Anglo-Saxons CHAPTER II: SCANDINAVIAN INFLUENCES: THE VIKINGS Impact of Old Norse on Old English – linguistic influences The Vikings Larger Scandinavian writings: the Sagas Religion Money Emergence of a new language CHAPTER III: THE MIDDLE AGES: SPECIFIC FEATURES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENGLISH CULTURE The medieval Parliament Symbols of the medieval state CHAPTER IV: THE BRITISH EMPIRE AND THE MODERN COMMONWEALTH Purposes of the conquest of new territories The Overseas Empire Decline of the colonial system The British Empire in Asia The end of the British industrial domination Beginnings of the modern Commonwealth CHAPTER V: TWO GREAT MONARCHS: QUEEN ELIZABETH I AND QUEEN VICTORIA CHAPTER VI: THE FIRST AMERICAN PILGRIMS 135 47 53 46 41 43 43 44 44 45 32 34 35 3 12 17 17 20 22 23 25 27 28 29 30 30 31 .

: POLITICAL PARTIES General presentation Important historical centres in the U.: the capital New York – the financial capital of the U.S. Important dates in New York history 136 53 55 55 56 57 59 60 60 63 63 67 71 71 73 74 74 75 76 77 77 78 78 79 80 81 81 85 85 86 87 .S.A: key documents and legal system Britain U.S.S.C.Reasons for leaving England Duties of the husband Duties of the wife The concept of revolutionary movements Thanksgiving A timeline of American history CHAPTER VII: WHAT IS A CONSTITUTION? Historical information Britain and the U.A CHAPTER VIII: THE SLAVERY PROBLEM AND THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR Historical context Political statements of the Southern states Development of the Civil War A sequence of events of the Civil War Long-term economic effects of the Civil War Other long-term results of the Civil War Slavery in the United States Origin of the word “slave” Treatment of slaves Influential leaders of the abolition movement Slave uprisings that used the armed force Problems arising after the liberation of slaves CHAPTER IX: LIFE IN THE U.A Washington D.A.A.S.

Romanians in Britain and in the U.133 137 .A SUPPLEMENTARY READING ANNEXES 1 – 9 93 97 100 101 102 104 104 105 108 109 .S.S.S.S.A comparison Britain U.A In Britain In the U.A.Philadelphia – the first capital 91 CHAPTER X: BRITISH AND AMERICAN CULTURE – A COMPARATIVE OVERVIEW Famous “firsts” in British and American culture Women in politics: Britain – U.

. The Geology of Britain: An Introduction. Longman. London. HarperCollins Publishers. Oxford University Press. 1999 Prail. Spotlight on the USA. Shrewsbury: Swan Hill Press. second edition. 1993 Collie.. J. revised editions 1972. 1999 O’Driscoll. Faces of the USA. Randee. California 1962. 1976. Oxford University Press.. The Country and Its People. Britain. G. Cambridge University Press. 1994 Toghill. London 1988 Larvey. Longman. 1990 McDowall. J. Focus on Britain Today. et al. Wordsworth Reference books *** Wikipedia. May 2000 Sheerin. Berkeley. Oxford University Press. 2000 *** Etymological dictionaries *** The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. E. 2000. The Human Environment.BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bates. Alex. Longman.. A. Britain in Close-up. Oxford. An In-depth Study of Contemporary Britain. Gesichte im Überblick – Daten und Zusammenhänge der Weltgesichte. Oxford. Seath. Peter. Oxford 1993 Geiss. Geert. Oxford. Martin. B. London.. White. 1999 Laird. The United Kingdom – 100 Questions Answered. C. .. All Educational. Foreign & Commonwealth Office.. London. London. (editor). BBC English. UK 1991 (paperback edition 1994) Laird. 1993 Marsden. Aspects of Britain and the USA.. S. 1999 Falk. Spotlight on Britain.. Cultures and Organizations. 2002 Hofstede. translated into Romanian as Istoria Lumii – Din preistorie pana in anul 2000. C. Oxford University Press. Macmillan Publishers. 1994 edition.. J. Marston. 1984.. N. Imanuel.. D. McIver. J. Oxford University Press. People and Places. Oxford Guide to British and American Culture. Cambridge 2000 Crowther. Oxford 1993 Garwood. What’s it Like? Life and Culture in Britain Today. the free Encyclopaedia 138 . E. Welcome to Great Britain and the USA. Ed.

uk http://www.html http://dcpages.Internet sources: 139

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