The comparative characteristic of the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Gre

Тема « The comparative characteristic of the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: political system, geographical position and education».

«Сравнительная характеристика Российской Федерации и Соединенного Королевства Великобритании и Северной Ирландии: политическая система, географическое положение, образование».

Автор Резникова Ирина Сергеевна 10 «А» класс, 13.09.1995, г.Москва,

Руководитель работы Гаджимурадова Наиля Алиджановна,

учитель английского языка




“The comparative characteristic of the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: political system, geographical position and education.”

Reznikova Irina 10th grade student of gymnasium № 1538, and started their research under supervision of their English teacher, Nailya Gadzhimuradova.

Every individual follows a specific purpose or interests when making a choice in a certain direction. My interest in selecting the project topic was dictated by the desire to become familiarized and study the notion of political system relatively to a specific nation. She sets the following goals:

deepen the knowledge of studied topic in the course of training and research work, project and research stages and organization of process at every stage.

development of creative abilities in the course of project preparation.

The following tasks were also put forward in the work:

Give a comparative characteristic of political systems of Russia and the United Kingdom in the form of conclusion;

Study and compare geographic location and education in Russia and in the United Kingdom.

Prepare a comparative table with basic formats of two nations.



2.The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland……………………4

2.1. GOVERNMENT. Parliament and the Monarch………………………………5

2.1.1. The British Parliament and the Electoral System…………………………..6

2.1.2.The House of Commons. The House of Lords………………………………7

2.1.3. Political Parties……………………………………………………………..8


2.2.1.The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland……………….9 Island of Great Britain……………………………………………….10……………………………………………………………………10……………………………………………………………………11…………………………………………………………………….12 Ireland………………………………………………………….13 in Britain………………………………………………………..15

2.3.The Russian Federation…………………………………………………….18

2.3.1.Political system……………………………………………………………19

2.3.2.Political parties………………………………………………………………20

2.3.3. The federal device of Russian………………………………………………21

2.3.4.The government……………………………………………………………22

2.3.5. Executive power……………………………………………………………23

2.3.6.Geographical position……………………………………………………….25

2.3.7.Education in Russia ………………………………..…………………….26






Every individual follows a specific purpose or interests when making a choice in a certain direction. My interest in selecting the project topic was dictated by the desire to become familiarized and study the notion of political system relatively to a specific nation.

Every individual currently needs political knowledge and culture irrespective of his professional association, since he must interact with other people and the government while living in the society.

Mass political competence is also required for the society as a whole, because it prevents the same from antihuman and economically ineffective forms of state and public organization. Therefore conscious forming of political culture as an art of joint living of individuals in the state is the matter of care for the whole modern society and an important condition of its welfare.

Politics represents one of the most important functions of human activity. Every individual in any case is contacting with the political world: coming to a governmental establishment or addressing a public organization, working, studying in school or university, entering a party or voting during elections.

Studies of policy, political entities and processes and comprehension of the sense of political events represents a difficult but exciting task. This issue is especially actual at present, when Russia and countries of Eastern and Western Europe are going through the period of major changes in all sphere of public life and changes in sociopolitical system as well. Political systems of Russia and the United Kingdom are presented as the main topic in my work. This theme is the most widely discussed in columns of newspapers and magazines and on TV, since policy exists together with the state and the state is the main element of the political system. Political systems in the majority of countries have already been


formed but there are also countries where forming process is continuing. This is a topic that will be always opened because there will always be differences in matters concerning political system organization.

Project and research method was used during preparation of my work. Its goals were:

Studying theoretical material on this topic, including issues of geographic location and education;

Analyzing each country separately and summarizing studied materials in the form of conclusion;

Application of interdisciplinary ties for the project, because the issue raised in the study is associated with several subjects: English, geography, social science, history and informatics.

Project preparation in presentation form.

Educational: deepen the knowledge of studied topic in the course of training and research work, project and research stages and organization of process at every stage.

Developing: development of creative abilities in the course of project preparation.

The following tasks were also put forward in the work:

Give a comparative characteristic of political systems of Russia and the United Kingdom in the form of conclusion;

Study and compare geographic location and education in Russia and in the United Kingdom.

Prepare a comparative table with basic formats of two nations.


The United Kingdom of

Great Britain


Northern Ireland


Parliament and the Monarch

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. This means that it has a monarch (a king or a queen) as its Head of State, The monarch reigns with the support of Parliament. The powers of the monarch are not defined precisely. Everything today is done in the Queen’s name. It is her government, her armed forces, her law courts and so on. She appoints all the Ministers, including the Prime Minister. Everything is done however on the advice of the elected Government, and the monarch takes no part in the decision-making process.

Once the British Empire included a large number of countries all over the world ruled by Britain, The process of decolonization began in 1947 with the independence of India, Pakistan and Ceylon. Now, apart from Hong Kong and a few small islands, there is no longer an empire. But the British ruling classes tried not to lose influence over the former colonies of the British Empire. An association of former members of the British Empire and Britain was founded in 1949. It is called the Commonwealth. It includes many countries such as Ireland, Burma, the Sudan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others. The Queen of Great Britain is also the Head of the Commonwealth, and so the Queen of Canada, Australia, New Zealand.

The Queen is very rich as are other members of the royal family. In addition, the government pays for her expenses as Head of State, for a royal yacht, train and aircraft as well as for the upkeep of several palaces. The Queen’s image appears on stamps, notes and coins.

Parliament consists of two chambers known as the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Parliament and the monarch have different roles in the government of the country, and they only meet together on symbolic occasions


such as coronation of a new monarch or the opening of Parliament. In reality the House of Commons is the only one of the three which is true power. It is here that new bills are introduced and debated. If the majority of the members are not in favour of a bill it goes to the House of Lords to be debated and finally to the monarch to be signed. Only then it becomes law. Although a bill must be supported by all three bodies, the House of Lords only has limited powers, and the monarch has not refused to sign one since the modern political system began over 200 years ago.

The British Parliament and the Electoral System

The British Parliament consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons and the Queen as its head.

The House of Commons plays the major role in law-making. It consists of Members of Parliament (called MPs for short), each of whom represents an area in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. MPs are elected either at a general election, or it a by-election following the death or retirement of an MP.

Parliamentary elections must be held every five years, but the Prime Minister can decide on the exact date within those five years. The minimum voting age is 18, and the voting is taken by secret ballot.

The election campaign lasts about three weeks. The election is decided on a simple majority — the candidate with the most votes wins. An MP who wins by a small number of votes may have more votes against him than for him. Many people think that it is unfair because the wishes of those who voted for the unsuccessful candidates are not represented at all. The British parliamentary system depends on political parties. The political parties choose candidates in elections. The party which wins the majority of seats forms the Government and its


leader usually becomes Prime Minister. The Prime Minister chooses about 20 MPs from his or her party to become the Cabinet of Ministers. Each minister is responsible for a particular area of the government. The second largest party becomes the official opposition with its own leader and «Shadow cabinet». Leader of the opposition is a recognized post in the House of Commons.

The House of Commons

The House of Commons is made up of 650 elected members, known as Members of Parliament (MPs). The House of Commons is presided over by the Speaker, a member acceptable to the whole House. MPs sit on two sides of the hall, one side for the governing party and the other for the opposition.

Although there is some space given to other than government proposals, the lion share of parliamentary time is taken by the party in power. A proposed law, a bill has to go through three stages in order to become an Act of Parliament. These are called readings.

When the Lords agree, the bill is taken to the Queen for Royal assent. All bills must pass through both houses before being sent for signature by the Queen, when they become Acts of Parliament and the Law of the Land.

The House of Lords

The other House of the Parliament is the House of Lords. The House of Lords has more than 1,000 members, although only about 250 take an active part in the work of the House. This House consists of those lords who sit by right of inheritance and those men and women who have been given life peerages which end with the life of their possessors. Members of this Upper House are not elected.


The chairman of the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor and he sits on a special called the Woolsack. The members of the House of Lords debate a bill after it has been passed by the House of Commons. Changes may be recommended, and agreement between the two Houses is reached by negotiations. The Lords main power consists of being able to delay non-financial bills for a period of a year, but they can also introduce certain types of bill. The House of Lords is the only non-elected second chamber in the parliaments in the world, and some people in Britain would like to abolish it.

Political Parties.

Political parties first emerged in Britain at the end of the 17th century. The Conservative and Liberal Parties are the oldest and until the end of the 19th century they were the only parties elected to the House of Commons. The main British political groupings are the Conservative and Labour Parties and the Party of Liberal Democrats. The Conservative Party is the ruling party, the Labour Party — the opposition to the Conservative — and the party of Liberal Democrats is called «conservatively oriented». Social Democratic Party was formed in 1981 and made an alliance with the Liberal Party in 1988.



The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) occupies the territory of the British Isles. It consists of four main countries which are: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Their capital are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

The UK is an island state: it is composed of some 5.500 islands, large and small. The two main islands are: Great Britain (in which are England, Wales and Scotland) to the east and Ireland (in which are Northern Ireland and the independent Irish Republic) to the west. They are separated by the Irish Sea.

The UK is one of the world’s smaller countries (it is twice smaller than France or Spain), with an area of some 244,100 square kilometers. The UK is situated off the northwest coast of Europe between the Atlantic Ocean on the north and northwest and the North Sea on the east and is separated from the European continent by the English Channel (or La Manche) and the Strait of Dover (or Pas de Calais).

The population of the United Kingdom is over 57 million people.

English is not the only language which people use in the UK. English is the official language. But some people speak Scottish in western Scotland, Welsh — in parts of northern and central Wales, and Irish in Northern Ireland. The flag of the United Kingdom, known as the Union Jack, is made up of three crosses. The upright red cross is the cross of St. George, the patron saint of England. The white diagonal cross is the cross of SL Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The red diagonal cross is the cross of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.


The Island of Great Britain

Great Britain is the name of the largest island of the British Isles and it is made up of England, Scotland and Wales, it does not include Northern Ireland. Geographically, the island of Great Britain is subdivided into two main regions — Lowland Britain and Highland Britain. Lowland Britain comprises southern and eastern England. Highland Britain consists of Scotland, most of Wales, the Pennines, and the Lake District. The Pennine Chain extends southward from the Cheviot Hills into the Midlands, a plains region with low hills and valleys.

England is separated from Scotland by the Cheviot Hills, running from east to west.

The chief rivers of Great Britain are: the Severn, flowing along the border between England and Wales, tributaries of which include the Avon. The swiftest flowing river in the British Isles is the Spey.

There are many lakes in Great Britain. On the northwest side of the Pennine system lays the Lake District, containing the beautiful lakes which give it its name.

The largest cities of Great Britain are: London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh. The most important ports are: London, Liverpool, Southampton, Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff.


Of the four parts which make up Great Britain England is the largest, the most industrial and most densely populated part of the United Kingdom. Over 46 million people out of the population of the UK live in England.

The greatest concentrations of population are in London, Birmingham and northwest industrial cities. The coasts of England are washed by the North Sea, the


Irish Sea, the English Channel and the Strait of Dover.

It is interesting to note that the sea has been important in the history of England. It was a good protection against the attacks of outside peoples. Fishing has always been an important industry; especially in the east The sea also has a great effect on England’s climate.

There are many rivers in England. The longest is the Severn (388 km): the most important is the Thames (354 km). The rivers are of great importance for communication and especially for carrying goods.

England is mostly a lowland country. There are upland regions in the north and the southwest, but the rest of England is almost flat.

Northern England, Midlands and South England — each part of England is different Lake District-in Northern England with its lakes, mountains and valleys is a favourite holiday resort. On either side of the Pennines the plains of Yorkshire and Lancashire stretch to the sea. Swift rivers that flow down from the hills into valleys are called «dales».

In South England between Highlands lie Lowlands. In this part of England are found some of the oldest British settlements and traces of ancient monuments such as Stonehenge. London is the chief city of South England.


Although Scotland takes up one third of the territory of the British Isles, its population is not very big. It is the most northern part of the island of Great Britain and is not far away from the Arctic Circle.

That is why it is not densely populated: its population is a little over 5 million people. The Cheviot Hills mark the boundary between England and Scotland.


Apart from this land link with England, Scotland is surrounded by sea.

Scotland includes the Hebrides off the west coast, and the Orkney and Shetland Islands off the north coast. It is bounded by the North Sea on the east.

Scotland is divided into three regions: the Highlands, which is the most northern and the most under populated area with a harsh climate, the Lowlands, which is the most industrial region, with about three quarters of the population, and the Southern Uplands, with hills, which border on England.

The Highlands of Scotland are among the oldest mountains in the world. They reach their highest point in Ben Nevis (1343 m). Many valleys between the hills are filled with lakes, called lochs. The best-known is Loch Ness where as some people think a large monster lives. The most important city here is Aberdeen which is the oil centre of Scotland, Ships and helicopters travel from Aberdeen to the North Sea oil rigs. Work on an oil rig is difficult and dangerous.

Scotland had been an independent state and was forcefully joined into the UK after a long struggle for its independence in 1707.

One of the things that people associate with Scotland is the kilt.


Another constituent country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is Wales. The Welsh call their country Cymru, and themselves they call Cymry, a word which has the same root as «comrader». The population of Wales is over 3 million people. About 75 per cent of the people of Wales live in towns and urban districts.

Wales is a highland country of old, hard rocks. North Wales is a country of


mountains and deep valleys. South Wales is a land of high hills and wide valleys. The pride of Wales in scenery is Snowdonia, the region of high mountains. Snowdon is the highest mountain in England and Wales.

Except for coal, mineral resources are limited, and include gold, silver, lead, and copper. South Wales is more developed: coal-mining, steel production, electronics, electrical engineering and chemicals can be found here.

The capital of Wales is Cardiff, the largest city of Wales. Cardiff is situated near the mouth of the Taff River. It is an important industrial city and a port it is also an administrative and educational centre.

The second largest city in Wales is Swansea where mainly steel production can be found. Since World War II there has been intensive development in the metals industries especially in the south and southeast.

The Welsh people, especially in rural areas, are fond of folk music, singing, poetry and drama. Welsh literature is one of the oldest in Europe. There are many choirs in Wales, the standard of singing is high and the love of good music is widespread.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is the smallest part of the United Kingdom. It occupies northeast of the island of Ireland, only one-sixth of its territory. Northern Ireland contains six of the nine counties of the historic province of Ulster and that is why the name «Ulster» is sometimes used as equivalent to Northern Ireland. Its capital city is Belfast.

For seven centuries Ireland was a colony of Britain. Due to the colonial policy of British imperialists the Irish nation was forcefully partitioned. As a result of


hard struggle of the Irish peoples for independence the larger part of Ireland (26 counties) gained the status of a British dominion in 1921. Much later, in 1949 it was officially proclaimed an independent state, the Irish Free State or Eire. The industrial northeast was retained by Great Britain us its smallest component. But the progressive forces of both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland are for the reunification of the country, against social deprivation which is at its worst among catholics.

If one asks an Irishman away from home what he misses most about Ireland, he will probably tell you the greenness. Irish poets put it in a different way when they call Ireland the Emerald Isle. Is the grass really greener in Ireland? The winds usually blow in from the Atlantic Ocean and make the air and soil warm and damp. Grass grows well in such a climate and it makes the island look so beautiful.

There are low hills and peaks of rocks in the northeast, while the northeast sector of the island is a plateau. The Mourne Mountains in the southeast slope down to Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the British Isles. The rivers of Ireland are short, but deep. The largest river is the Shannon.

The population of Northern Ireland is about 1.5 million people. 53 per cent of the total population live in urban areas. The whole economy of Northern Ireland is closely integrated with that of Great Britain. It has its roots in three basic industries — agriculture, textiles and shipbuilding. The largest industry is agriculture conducted for the most part on small family farms. It occupies about 72 per cent of the land area.

Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland is the leading industrial centre and a large port. Its chief industries are the production of linen and other textiles, clothing, shipbuilding, engineering.


Education in Britain

Great Britain does not have a written constitution, so there are no constitutional provisions for education. The system of education is determined by the National Education Acts.

Schools in England are supported from public funds paid to the local education authorities. These local education authorities are responsible for organizing the schools in their areas and they themselves choose how to do it.

Let’s outline the basic features of public education in Britain. Firstly, there are wide variations between one part of the country and another. For most educational purposes England and Wales arc treated as one unit, though the system in Wales is a little different from that of England. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own education systems.

Secondly, education in Britain mirrors the country’s social system:

It is class-divided and selective. The first division is between those who pay and those who do not pay. The majority of schools in Britain are supported by public funds and the education provided is free. They are maintained schools, but there is also a considerable number of public schools. Parents have to pay fees to send their children to these schools. The fees are high. As a matter of fact, only very rich families can send their children to public schools as well as to the best universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge.

Another important feature of schooling in Britain is a variety of , opportunities offered to schoolchildren. The English school syllabus is divided into Arts and Sciences, which determine the division of the secondary school pupils into study groups: a Science pupil will study Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Economics. Technical Drawing, Biology, Geography: an Art pupil will do the English Language and Literature, History, foreign languages. Music, Art, Drama. Besides these


subjects they must do some general education subjects like Physical Education, Home Economics for girls, and Technical subjects for boys, General Science. Computers play an important part in education.

The National Education Act of 1944 provided three stages of education: primary, secondary and further education. Compulsory schooling in England and Wales lasts 11 years, from the age of 5 to 16. After the age of 16 a growing number of school students are staying on at school, some until 18 or 19, the age of entry into higher education in universities and Polytechnics. British university courses are rather short, generally lasting for 3 years. The cost of education depends on the college and speciality which one chooses.

The British system of education has a very long history, but in the recent years there have been many changes in it. British education was traditionally decentralized, but now the Education Reform Art has led to a compulsory National Curriculum for pupils aged 5 to 16 in state schools. The Act aims to give parents a wider choice of schools for their children. Thus they have the right to express a preference for a school.

Boys and girls are taught together in most schools. Non-selective comprehensive education is available for children of all abilities. Most children receive free education financed from public funds, though 7% of children attend private fee-paying schools. Some of those private schools, called, confusingly, public schools, are very well-known, like Eton or Harrow.

Around half of 3 and 4-years-olds in Britain receive nursery education and many children attend preschool play groups, mostly organised by parents. Compulsory primary education begins at the age of 5 and has several stages. Children usually start their school career in an infant school and move to a junior school or department at 7. In some schools they move to middle school at the age


of 8, 9 or 10. These three stages form the primary school, covering the following subjects: English, Maths and Science, History, Geography, Music, Art and Physical Education. At 7 and 11 old children’s progress is measured against attainment targets for each subject.

The secondary level includes the children from 11 to 18. Here they build on the knowledge they have acquired at primary school and also start to learn a modern foreign language. At the age of 16 they can get General Certificate of Secondary Education qualifications on the basis of examinations and course work. After that they can leave school and go to one of the Further Education colleges, most of which are work-related and vocational.

If pupils succeed they can continue studying for two more years, concentrating on three subjects, and then at 18 they take the General Certificate of Education Advanced level exams. These exams are the main standard for entry to university education and to many forms of professional training. There is also a Certificate of Pre-Vocational Education for those who stay at school till 17. Those who plan to take it have vocational courses to prepare them for getting a job.

The next stage is higher education. All British universities enjoy complete academic freedom. There are 79 universe oldest of which are Oxford and Cambridge. These two universities, existing since medieval times, are actually composed of many colleges, each of those having their own staff and offering their own course programmes. Over 90% of students receive awards covering tuition fees and maintenance.






Political system

Russia is federal presidential-parliamentary republic with large powers of the President.

The political system of Russia is defined by the Constitution agreed by referendum on the 12th of December.

The head of the state is the President of Russia elected by nation for 6 years (till 2008 — for 4 years). According to the Constitution, he is granted with numbers of major powers: supervises over foreign policy, is the Supreme Commander of Armed forces, appoints the Chairman of the Government with the consent of the State Duma, makes decision on Government resignation. Under the offer of the Chairman of the Government appoints to post of Vice-Premiers of the Government and federal ministers, and also dismisses them. The President heads Security Council, appoints and dismisses General Headquarters of Armed forces. He has the right to offer nominee on a post of the Chairman of the Central Bank (not a part of the Government) to consideration of the State Duma. In case of aggression or direct threat of aggression the President has the right to declare the martial law on all territory of the country or in separate territories, but he must tell about his decision to Parliament immediately. The President is granted the right to issue Decrees; obligatory for execution in all territory of Russia (Decrees should not contradict federal Laws). Possesses also variety of other powers.

The President can be released from a post with decision of Parliament after the State Duma promotes any charge in high treason or fulfillment of other grave crime and give their positive conclusions of the Supreme and Constitutional courts. The legislation is carried out by the Parliament — consisting of two chambers: the Federation Council (upper chamber) and the State Duma (lower chamber).


The Federation Council consists of two representatives from each subject of the Federation. Till year 2000 they were directly governors and speakers of regional parliaments. Then (up to the present) – representatives are appointed by them. The State Duma consists of 450 deputies elected by voting from Party lists for a period of 5 years (till 2008 — for 4 years).

Executive power is carried out by the Government. The system of federal authorities includes the federal ministries, federal services and federal agencies.

Judicial authority is carried out by courts: the Constitutional Court, Federal courts led by the Supreme Court and arbitration courts led by the Supreme Arbitration Court. In some subjects of the Russian Federation the constitutional courts are founded, the judicial system of subjects of the federation includes also Justices of the Peace.

Political parties

According to the Federal law «About political parties», 7 political parties are officially registered in Russia and only 4 of them are presented in the State Duma: the Edinaya Rossia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the LDPR and the Spravedlivaya Rossia.

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