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Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет


Факультет Международных отношений

Пособие по английскому языку

для студентов 2 курса

( 3 семестр)

(Уровень: Advanced, Upper-Intermediate, Intermediate)

The Political Systems of the UK and the USA

Санкт –Петербург

2009

UNIT I. UK AND US POLITICAL SYSTEMS

VOCABULARY LIST 1. Political System


The UK
1)Coronation, abdication, to abdicate

To succeed to the throne

Knight, knighthood


2) legislative, executive, judicial branch

the Houses of Parliament, a Member of Parliament (MP)

the House of Lords, the Lords, the Lords Chamber, the Upper House

the House of Commons, the Commons, the Commons Chamber, the Lower House
3)hereditary peers, to inherit a title, peers by heredity; life peers, to make someone a life peer, to grant peerage

Lords Spiritual, bishops of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Law Lords (judges); Lords Temporal

The Lord Chancellor, the Woolsack, the Mace, the Sergeant at Arms

4)The Speaker; to call to order

The State Opening of Parliament; session, sitting, question time
5)A legislative draft/bill; to introduce/bring in a bill, to debate a bill, to pass a bill, to defeat/reject a bill, to amend a bill; to submit a bill to

First, second, third reading

Unanimous consent

To give/receive Royal Assent; to enter into the Statute book

Aye lobby, No lobby, division, to call for a division
6) The Government, the Opposition, Shadow cabinet, Shadow minister

A front-bencher, a back-bencher

Maiden speech


The USA
7) President, acting president, lame duck

the Congress: the Senate, the House of Representatives

Commander-in-Chief

The Vice President, Senator, Congressman

8) To set and collect taxes, to regulate commerce, to coin and issue money, to declare war

System of Checks and Balances

9) Constitution: articles and amendments
Bill of Rights

Bicameral legislature

Two-party system, political rivalry

Party caucus

Majority/minority leader
10) President’s Cabinet

To resign, to choose/appoint the successor

Term in office

Assassination
^

LESSON 1. A CONSTITUTION OR A CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY



It's vital that the monarchy keeps in touch with the people. It's what I try and do.

Princess Diana
^

Reading for vocabulary 1.1.

Constitution



Before you read. Think over the following questions:

  • What are the basics of a state? Why do most countries have

Constitutions?

  • What do you know about the history of US Constitution?


Read the following text.

After peace came, the Congress, established during the war, asked each state to send delegates to a convention in Philadelphia, the city where the Declaration of Independence had been signed, to discuss the changes which would be necessary to strengthen the previous agreements.

The smallest state, Rhode Island, refused, but delegates from the other 12 states participated. The meeting, later known as the Constitutional Convention, began in May of 1787. George Washington, the military hero of the War of Independence, was the presiding officer. Fifty four other men were present. Some wanted a strong new government. Some did not.

In the course of the Convention, the delegates designed a new form of government for the United States. The Constitution set up a federal system with strong central government. A federal system is one in which power is shared between a central authority and its constituent parts, with some rights reserved to each. The Constitution also called for the election of a national leader, or president. It provided that federal laws would be made only by a Congress made up of representatives elected by the people. It also provided for a national court system headed by a Supreme Court.

In writing the Constitution, the delegates had to deal with two main fears shared by most Americans. One fear was that one person or group, including the majority, might become too powerful or be able to seize control of the country and create a tyranny. To guard against this possibility, the delegates set up a government consisting of three parts, or branches, the executive, the legislative and the judicial. Each branch has powers that the others do not have and each branch has a way of counteracting and limiting any wrongful action by another branch.

Another fear was that the new central government might weaken or take away the power of the state governments to run their own affairs. To deal with this the Constitution specified exactly what power the central government had and which power was reserved for the states. The states were allowed to run their own governments as they wished, provided that their governments were democratic.

Though the Convention delegates did not think it necessary to include such explicit guarantees, many people felt that they needed further written protection against tyrannny. So, a “Bill of Rights” was added to the Constitution. In the Bill of Rights, Americans are guaranteed freedom of religion, of speech and of the press. They have the right to assemble in public places, to protest government actions and to demand change. They have the right to own weapons if they wish. Because of the Bill of Rights, neither police nor soldiers can stop and search a person without good reason. Neither can they search a person’s home without legal permission from a court to do so.

Exercises:
1. Give equivalents of the following:

свобода печати, не допустить, защититься от..; неправомерные действия; закрепить достигнутые соглашения; председатель, составная часть, сформированный из..; собираться в общественных местах; захватить власть; без достаточных оснований исполнительная, законодательная и судебная ветви власти; точно определять, детально описывать; управлять своими делами; при условии что; определенные гарантии, свобода вероисповедания, свобода слова; право ношение оружия;
^ 2. Find as many synonyms as you can:

made up of, to assemble in public places, without good reason, wrongful action, explicit, specify, run their own affairs, to seize control, to guard against.
3. Translate into English:

1. Представители различных групп населения заявили о том, что хотели бы закрепить достигнутые соглашения в форме закона. 2. Председатель собрания заявил, что хотел бы, чтобы законодательный орган страны состоял бы из представителей всех территорий, являющихся составными частями нового государства. 3. Отцы - основатели США, понимая, что одна из ветвей власти может захватить контроль над государством, приняли меры предосторожности, чтобы предотвратить эту возможность. 4. Разделение властей на законодательную, исполнительную и судебную ветви существует практически во всех государствах. 5. Закон четко определяет, что такое неправомерное действие. 6. Каждый штат имеет правительство для управления собственными делами. 7. Граждане США имеют целый ряд демократических свобод главными из которых являются свобода слова, свобода печати и свобода вероисповедания. 8. Ни полицейские и военнослужащие США не могут задержать гражданина США без достаточных оснований. 9. Он был слишком труслив, чтобы не воспользоваться правом на ношение оружия. 10. Демонстранты воспользовались правом собирать в общественных местах, чтобы высказать свой протест против войны США в Ираке.
^ 4. Translate the underlined passage into Russian.

Listening 1.


Listen to the text and answer the following questions.

  1. What do the words octogenarian, septuagenarian mean?

  2. Who and where will gather together on the mentioned Friday?

  3. How is the Queen of England supposed to celebrate her birthday?

  4. What is the underlying reason for the celebration?

  5. What are the reasons to reflect on the institution of the British monarchy?

  6. Is there any evidence that the British would abandon this form of Government?
^

Reading for vocabulary 1.2.

Monarchy


Before you read. Think over the following questions:
-What British monarchs do you remember? What are they famous for?

- Does monarchy in Britain have any future or is it a fading institution?
^ Read the following text.
Monarchy is the oldest form of government in the United Kingdom.

In a monarchy a king or queen is Head of State. The British monarchy is known as a constitutional monarchy. This means that, while The Queen is Head of State, the ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament.

As a system of government, constitutional monarchy has many strengths. One is that it separates out the ceremonial and official duties of the Head of State from party politics. Another is that it provides stability and continuity, since the Head of State remains the same even as governments come and go.

The Sovereign governs according to the constitution - that is, according to rules, rather than according to his or her own free will. Although the United Kingdom does not have a written constitution which sets out the rights and duties of the Sovereign, they are established by conventions. These are non-statutory rules which can bind just as much as formal constitutional rules. However, the Sovereign retains an important political role as Head of State, formally appointing prime ministers, approving certain legislation and bestowing honours. The Queen also has official roles to play in other organisations, such as the Armed Forces and the Church of England.

The origins of constitutional monarchy in Britain go back a long way. Until the end of the seventeenth century, British monarchs were executive monarchs, which means that they had the right to make and pass legislation. But even in early times there were occasions when the Sovereign had to act in accordance with the law and take into account the will of his people.

With the signing of the ^ Magna Carta in 1215, for example, the leading noblemen of England succeeded in forcing King John (John Lackland) to accept that they and other freemen had rights against the Crown.

In the seventeenth century, the Stuart kings propagated the theory of the divine right of kings, claiming that the Sovereign was subject only to God and not to the law. Widespread unrest against their rule led to civil war in the second half of the seventeenth century. In 1688-9 Parliamentarians drew up a Bill of Rights, which established basic tenets such as the supremacy of Parliament. The constitutional monarchy we know today really developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Although the British Sovereign no longer has a political or executive role, he or she continues to play an important part in the life of the nation. As Head of State, The Queen undertakes constitutional and representational duties which have developed over one thousand years of history. There are inward duties, with The Queen playing a part in State functions in Britain. Parliament must be opened, Orders in Council have to be approved, Acts of Parliament must be signed, and meetings with the Prime Minister must be held.

There are also outward duties of State, when The Queen represents Britain to the rest of the world. For example, The Queen receives foreign ambassadors and high commissioners, entertains visiting Heads of State, and makes State visits overseas to other countries, in support of diplomatic and economic relations.

In addition to these State duties, The Queen has a less formal role as 'Head of Nation'. She acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of public and voluntary service. Through her engagements and walkabouts, The Queen is able to meet people from every walk of life. Occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament, Trooping the Colour and Garter Day are some of the most colourful and exciting events of the year.

Members of the Royal Family support The Queen in her many State and national duties, as well as carrying out important work in the areas of public and charitable service, and helping to strengthen national unity and stability. Those who undertake official duties are members of The Queen's close family: her children and their spouses, and The Queen's cousins (the children of King George VI's brothers) and their spouses. Younger members of the Royal Family who are presently in education or military training - such as Prince William and Prince Harry - do not undertake official duties full-time, but often play a role in important national events and commemorations. Members of the Royal Family also often represent The Queen and the nation in Commonwealth or countries, at events such as State funerals or national festivities, or through longer visits to strengthen Britain's diplomatic and economic relations.

^ Flags, stamps and coins all represent the Crown in different ways, while symbols such as the Crown Jewels exert a powerful fascination.

The Sovereign's coat of arms has evolved over many years and reflects the history of the Monarchy and of the country. The function of the Royal coat of arms is to identify the person who is Head of State. In the design the shield shows the various Royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion of Scotland in the second and the harp of Ireland in the third. It is surrounded by a garter bearing the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense ('Evil to him who evil thinks'), which symbolises the Order of the Garter, an ancient order of knighthood of which the Queen is Sovereign. The shield is supported by the English lion and Scottish unicorn and is surmounted by the Royal crown. Below it appears the motto of the Sovereign, Dieu et mon droit ('God and my right').
^ The Union Flag, or Union Jack, is the national flag of the United

Kingdom. It is so called because it combines the crosses of the three countries united under one Sovereign - the kingdoms of England and Wales, of Scotland and of Ireland. The flag consists of three heraldic crosses. The cross of St George, patron saint of England since the 1270's, is a red cross on a white ground. After James I succeeded to the throne, it was combined with the cross of St. Andrew in 1606.
The cross of St Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, is a diagonal white cross on a blue ground. The cross of St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, is a diagonal red cross on a white ground. The Welsh dragon does not appear on the Union Flag. This is because when the first Union Flag was created in 1606, the Principality of Wales by that time was already united with England and was no longer a separate principality.

The Union ^ Flag is flown on Government buildings on days marking the birthdays of members of the Royal Family, Commonwealth Day, Coronation Day, The Queen's official birthday, Remembrance Day and on the days of the State Opening and prorogation of Parliament.


Exercises:
^ 1. Give equivalents of the following:

Княжество; святой покровитель; унаследовать престол; глава государства; конституционная монархия; государственный флаг Соединенного Королевства; Билль о Правах; герб; содружество; коронация; перерыв в работе Парламента; рыцарство; празднование; дипломатические отношения; День памяти погибших; щит; Великая Хартия Вольностей; рыцарский орден; марка; монарх; представительские функции; монета; благотворительная организация; создавать и принимать законы; беспорядки; член парламента; дворянин; писаная конституция; принц; воздавать почести; устанавливать права и обязанности; принадлежать, возлагаться (о правах); избранный Парламент; Англиканская Церковь; гражданская война; Вооруженные Силы; королевская семья; Акт Парламента; подданный; посол; Премьер Министр
^ 2. Find as many synonyms as you can:

to succeed to the throne; prorogation; Union Flag; festivity; monarch; to make legislation; to set out; colours; Parliamentarian; bill; Head of State; unrest; to reside with; convention; origins; voluntary service; nobleman; to draw up a bill; to bestow honours
^ 3. Translate into English:

1. В Великобритании право давать санкцию на принятие законопроектов находится в руках королевы. 2. Вместе с архиепископом Кентерберийским королева возглавляет англиканскую церковь. 3. Дипломатические обязанности правящего монарха заключаются в приеме послов и глав государств, а также в нанесении официальных визитов в зарубежные страны. 4. Драгоценности короны, выставленные в лондонском Тауэре, привлекают внимание множества туристов. 5. Государственный флаг Великобритании не отражает символику

княжества Уэльского, так как к моменту создания флага, оно уже объединилось с Англией. 6. Государственные символы, которые включают в себя флаг, щит, герб и прочие, имеют длительную историю. 7. Принцесса Диана пользовалась любовью народа во многом потому, что много времени и сил отдавала благотворительной деятельности. 8. Великая Хартия Вольностей, которую был вынужден подписать король Иоанн Безземельный, явилась первым шагом в ограничении власти абсолютной монархии. 9. Билль о правах, наряду с Конституцией, устанавливает основные принципы управления государством. 10. Участившиеся беспорядки, в конце концов вылились в гражданскую войну. 11. Такие события, как вынос знамени и открытие сессии парламента, как правило, являются красочными и яркими событиями, которые народ воспринимает как настоящий праздник 12. Существует мнение, что смерть Елизаветы II станет концом конституционной монархии в Великобритании, так как ее наследники не пользуются популярностью у народа. 13. В такие даты, как День Содружества, День памяти погибших, день рождения королевы и членов королевской семьи, на правительственных зданиях вывешивают государственные флаги. 14. Покровителем Англии является Святой Георгий. 15. Монарх играет большую роль для национальной идентичности граждан Британии.
^ 4. Translate the underlined passages into Russian.
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