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Britain in Europe





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The end of Empire

At the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 the British Empire had expanded to almost one-fifth of the world land mass and one-quarter of the world population. However, from that time it decentralised. Self-governing dominions, such as Canada and Australia, were described in1926 as autonomous members of the 'British Commonwealth of Nations'. Most other colonies, beginning with India and Pakistan, were granted independence by Britain after 1945, and most of them joined the Commonwealth. Immigration from former territories in the Caribbean and the South Asian sub-continent was substantial in the 1950s and 1960s, forming the basis of the minority ethnic population in Britain today.

 

At the end of the Second World War in 1945 the economies of most European countries were in ruins. In addition, the then Soviet Union's Communist influence was expanding. In the face of these challenges, the countries of Western Europe sought to co-operate in their reconstruction and to organise themselves in such a way that wars between them would not recur.

Out of the consequent negotiations emerged what is now termed the European Union - an association of sovereign nations, initially comprising six member states in the 1950s but expanding progressively over the years to the current membership of 25. Britain joined in 1973 and its links with its European Union partners have since become ever more closely integrated, influencing the lives of all its citizens.

 

QUESTIONS:

1. How did the British people evolve?

2. What was the Magna Carta? What were the origins of Parliament?

3. What were the causes behind the English Reformation?

4. What was the historical significance of the Glorious Revolution and the Bill of Rights?

5. How did the Industrial Revolution change the face of contemporary Britain?

6. When was the Welfare state established in Britain?

7. What was the political aftermath of the breaking down of the British Empire?

8. What is Britain,s role in modern Europe?

IV. POPULATION OF BRITAIN TODAY: THE SOCIAL FRAMEWORK

- Ethnic Composition

- Language Variation

- Demographic Trends

- Age and Sex Structure

- Distribution of Population

- The Family. Marriage and Divorce

- The Status of Women

- Ethnic minorities

- Living Standards

- Housing

 





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