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The British Context

Is The Great Britain the same thing with The

United Kindgom?
• In earlier centuries, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland experienced
very varied events and conflicts in their historical grow
• But, since 1707 England and Wales were united with Scotland as
Great Britain.
• In 1801,Northern Ireland, decided to join Great Britain and together
to become The United Kingdom. In other words Northern Ireland
represents the difference between Great Britain and United Kingdom
The map of the UK (the grey one is Ireland )
The diversity in United Kingdom
• Even if they did not have any successful external military invasion
since the Norman Conquest of AD 1066, England,Wales,Scotland and
Northern Ireland are very different one from each other , basically just
taking a short view on them cultural , intellectual and even political
structure . Today the UK is a complex society in which diversity has
created problems as well as advantages.
Sometimes there are misconceptions people are telling about their
neighbours from other region of the United Kingdom.
An example of diversity
• England is well known for : The Big Ben Tower, their buses,tea and for
the Royal Guard.
• When somebody hear about Scotland they often think about
Whisky-Scotch(not Whiskey),Kilts and Bagpipes.
• Wales means beautiful countryside, an special accent rugby and
that awesome dragon flag.
Norther Ireland
• I am pretty sure that they drink a lot of beer,love green, and know
something about the elves treasure.
• They have St Patrick’s Day.
Politics and people
• Diversity leads to different opinions which lead to political conflicts.
• For example some regions are still fighting for their autonomy.
• The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British
monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy. Elizabeth II is at this moment
the Queen of the United Kingdom.

• British feel that they have become more aggressive, more selfish, less
tolerant, less kind, less moral, less honest and less polite. Their society is
sometimes portrayed as one riddled with mistrust, coarseness and
cynicism in which materialism, relativistic values, celebrity worship and a
sensationalist tabloid media constitute the new standards.
• This antisocial behavior often lead to violence between neighbours or
other citizens. Two of the biggest problems in the UK is the abuse of
alcohol and the fact that they are not very hospitable with the
Questions are asked as to
whether the existing
structures can cope with the
needs and demands of
contemporary life, and
whether (and how) they
might be reformed in order to
operate more efficiently and
responsively. Such
questioning is also linked to
debates about how the
country should be organized
socially, politically and
• While maintaining many of its traditional worldwide commercial and
cultural links, it has moved from empire and the Commonwealth
towards an economic and political commitment to Europe, mainly
through membership of the European Union (EU).
• In recent centuries, Britain rarely saw itself as part of mainland
Europe. It sheltered behind the barrier of the English Channel and its
outlook was westwards and worldwide. Today, after Brexit,UK is not a
part of the European Union anymore.
People living there are often complaining about healthcare,
education,law and order and taxation.
Fundamental change does not come easily to old cultures such as
Britain, and social structures (or the human beings who operate them)
are often resistant to major alteration.
It is argued that Britain since the 1950s has been unwilling to face
large-scale reassessment in its social, political, economic and
institutional structures.
Britain does have its problems. There is continuing social instability,
such as the tension between tradition and modernization; a gap
between rich and poor; industrial and technological change;
inadequacies in social institutions (such as education and health);
alleged lack of governmental competence and vision; social
fragmentation; and an apparent decline in cohesion and identity.
In this picture we can
see what are the main
problems in the UK
when coming to
services. To be more
specific what are
people complaining
A solution for the economic crisis?

• Competitiveness is one of the most efficient way to improve and

innovate industries, this is one thing British politicians counted on in
the fight with economic crisis.
• The focus was upon economic growth; competition; privatization
(state concerns transferred to the private sector); the creation of
choice and standards in public services such as education and health;
and the reform of bodies such as the trade unions, some professions
and local government. People were encouraged to be more
responsible for their own affairs without reliance on the state for
support (the ‘dependency culture’) and to adopt more individual
competitiveness and efficiency (the ‘enterprise culture’).
Successful but..partially
• Such policies were partially successful on the economic level, but
there was resistance to the alleged accompanying selfishness and
social divisiveness. While some people applauded the freedoms of an
enterprise culture, others strongly wished for more intervention and
funding in public social services. This suggests that it is difficult to
change Britons’ attitudes and that many people still look to the state
for support in areas such as health, education and Social Security.
Nevertheless, market programmes continued under the Conservative
Prime Minister John Major (1990–1997)
Youth represents the power
• It has also attempted (not without opposition) to modernize Britain
by creating a ‘new, young and inclusive’ society. It is addressing social
and economic realities, emphasizes personal initiative and
responsibility and stresses that hard choices must be made.
Government has the power
• The British allow their governments a great deal of power in the
running of the country. But there is a limit to their tolerance and their
disquiet may be shown in public opinion polls, demonstrations and
general election results. Most politicians are sensitive to the views of
the people, since their hold upon political power is dependent upon
the electorate. Governments usually govern with at least one eye on
public opinion and generally attempt to gain acceptance for their
policies. They have to move cautiously (even with big majorities in the
House of Commons like the Labour government
• Well.. We talked a lot about United Kingdoms problems and politics
but what is the reason we are not looking on the full half of the glass?
• But a British Council/MORI poll in November 1999 showed that many
overseas countries see Britain as tradition-ridden, backward-looking
and conventional, with images of monarchy, kilts, castles and
aristocracy predominating.
• It is argued that Britain must change this image and reduce the gap
between such foreign perceptions and the country’s contemporary
reality, while preserving its traditional strengths
Here we can see Buckingham Palace,Windsor Castle and Tower Bridge
It’s all about people
A survey by Encyclopaedia Britannica in November 2001 found that
most recent school-leavers in Britain were ignorant of some of the key
events in British history and a quarter had no interest in bygone days.
Historical knowledge was also sorely lacking among adults.
• British Civilization-An Introduction by John Oakland
• Wikipedia
Project by Oniga Gabriel Vasile