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07年自考“英语国家概况”资料(13)

2007-05-22 15:23   【 】【我要纠错

  Chapter 5 The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

  1.What were the parliamentary politics like in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

  Whigs stood for 1) a reduction in Crown patronage(保护)2)shypathy towards Nonconformists(新教徒)3)care for the interests of merchants and bankers. Tories were traditionalits who wanted to preserve the powers of the monarchy and the Church of England.

  2.What is your comment on land enclosures in England?

  Agricultural enclosure became frequent in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It has good as well as bad results:1) Farms became bigger and bigger units as the great bought up the samll;2)more vegetables ,more milk and more dairy produce were consumed,and diet became varied.3)enclosure was a disaster for the tenants evicted from their lands by the enclosure.4)a new class hostility was introduced into rural relationships. Concentration of land in fewer hands increased the price of land and dashed the labourers‘ hopes of even owning his own land.

  3.What was the industrial revolution? Why was Britain the first country the start the industrial revolution?

  The Industrial Revolution refers to the mechanization of industry and the consequent changes in social and economic organization in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

  1)Britain was well placed geographically to participate in European and world trade;2)Britain has a peaceful society;3)The limited monarchy ensured that the powerful economic interests in the community could exert their influence over Government policy;4)It was a country in which the main towns were never too far from seaprts,or from rivers,which could distribute their products;5)Britain had many rivers and useful maneral resources; 6)British enginerrs had sound traning as craftsmen.7)The inventors were respected;8)Probaly laissez faire and “protestant work ethic” helped.9)The national market was not hindered by internal customs barrriers.10)The enclosures and other improvements in agriculture made their contributions by providing food for the rising population,labour for the factories,and some of the raw materials needed by industry.

  4.How id the English Industrial Revolution proceed?

  The Industrial Revolution began with the textile industry. It‘s characterized by a series of inventions and improvements of machines,such as John Ray’s flying shuttle,James Hargreaves‘ spinning Jenny, Richard Arkwright’s waterframe and Samuel Crompton‘s mule. The Scottish inventor James Watt produced a very efficient steam engine in 1765,which could be applied to textile and other machinery. The most important element in speeding industrialization was the breakthrough in smelting iron with coke instead of charcoal in 1709. Similar developments occurred in the forging side of the iron industry which enabled iron to replace wool and stone in many sectors of the economy. Improved transportation ran parallel with production.

  As a result of the industrial revolution,Britain was by 1830 the “workshop of the world”; no other country could compete with her in industrial production.

  5.What do you know about parliamentary reform?

  Political change in England did not come through revolution but through gradual reform. At the general election of 1830,the Whigs under Lord Grey returned to power and want to carry out parliamental reforms. There were several reasons.First,power was monopolized by the aristocrats.Second,representation of town and country,and North and South was unfair.Finally,there were also various rotten or pocket boroughs.

  So, between 1832 and 1884 three Reform Bills were passed.The Reform Act of 1832 Abolished “rotten Boroughs”,and redistributed parliamentary seats more fairly among the growing towns.It also gave the vote to many householders and tenants ,based on the value of their property.

  6.What do you know about the Chartist Movement and The people‘s Charter? What’s your comment on them?

  In 1836 a group of skilled workers and small shopkeepers formed the Londan Working Men‘s Association.they drew up a charter of political demands(a People’s Charter),The Chartist movement was the first nation wide working class movement and drew attention to serious problem.

  Chartism failed bacause of its weak and divided leadership,and its lack of coordination with trade-unionism.

  7.How did the Labour Party come into being?

  As the new working class became established in the industrial towns in the late 18th century,they became aware of the power which they could possess if they acted together instead of separately. So various working class organizations were formed which brough about the formation of a political party, the Labour Party.

  The Labour Party had its origins in the Independent Labour Party,which was formed in January,1893 and led by Keir Hardie, a Scottish miner. The foundation of an effective party for labour depended on the trade unions. In 1900,representatives of trade unions,the ILP,and a number of small societies set up the Labour Representation Committee(LRC)。 The IRC changed its name to the Labour Party in time for the general election which was called for in 1906.the Labour Party remains one of the two major parties in Britain until today.

  8.What was the colonial expansion like during the 19th century.

  1) In the late 18th century Britain acquired vast,underpopulated territories:Canada,Australia,and New Zealand.

  2) The conquest of India

  3) The scramble for Africa

  4) Aggression against China

  9.What did Winston Churchill play in the Second World War?

  Winston Churchill took over Chamberlain as Prime Minister in 1940 to lead Britain in such a crisis to be attacked by Germany.He received massive popular support as a war leader and led his country to final victory in 1945. He played an important role in the Second World War.

  10.What are the main contents of Thatcherism?

  Margaret Thatcher became the first woman Prime Minister in Britain in 1979.Her policies are popularly referred to as Thatcherism. It included the return to private ownership of state owned industries.the use of monetarist policies to control inflation,the weakening of trade unions,the strengthening of the role of market forces in the economy,and an emphasis on law and order.

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