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英美概况

[日期:2016-10-20] 来源:  作者: [字体: ]

华中师范大学外国语学院
英美概况论文

On the Rise and Fall of Great Britain
                                            余纯 
                     
摘  要:1588年,英国击败西班牙无敌舰队,逐渐取代西班牙。海盗起步、战争开路和工业革命后的英国成为了“日不落帝国”,之后的国际秩序在相当长的一段时间内都处于“不列颠统治下的和平”之中。英国全称大不列颠及北爱尔兰联合王国,由英格兰、苏格兰、威尔士和北爱尔兰组成联合王国,统一于一个中央政府和国家元首。英国在欧洲西北面,位于大不列颠群岛。英国是世界第一个工业化国家,一个有多元文化和开放思想的社会。英国在18世纪至20世纪早期是世界上最强大的国家,经过两次世界大战后,到了20世纪下半叶,大英帝国崩溃,失去了昔日的荣光。不过,现在的英国仍是一个在世界范围内拥有巨大影响力的举足轻重的政治、经济、文化和军事的世界强国。英国为联合国安理会常任理事国,对安理会议案有否决权。伦敦是欧洲最大和全球最为领先的城市。


关 键 词:英国; 崛起;衰落; 经济体制;原因


Abstract: In 1588, the U.K. defeated Spanish armada and replaced it gradually. After its series of revolutions, the U.K. became a sun-never-set empire and the international order was in “the peace of England’s control” for quite a long time. The full name of the U.K. is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This united kingdom is consist of England、Scotland、Welsh and North Ireland, they are integrated into a central government and head of the state. The U.K. is located in the Great Britain Island, which is in the northwest of the Europe. The U.K. is the first industrialized country of the world, and it is a society of multicultural and open minded. The U.K. is the most powerful country in the eighteenth century to the earlier twentieth century, however, after the world war one and the world war two, the British Empire breakdown and lose its’ former glorious in the second half of the twentieth century. However, the U.K. is still a most powerful country in the world which has a huge influence on politics、economy、culture and military. The U.K. is permanent members of the United Nations Security Council Bill. At the same time, London is the biggest city in Europe and the most advanced city in the world.


Key words: the U.K.; rising; decline; economic system; reasons

1. The Introduction to British.

1.1 The History of the British Country.
The history of the British has been divided into several different periods. They are civilizations in early times, Rome times, limit of kingship period, maritime hegemony period, run for modern times, industrial revolution period, the world war period and period of postwar. In the following several paragraphs, there will be an introduction to these period in detail.

1.1.1 Civilizations in Early Times.
Long long ago, there are human activities in British Isles. Iberians from Europe come to settle down in the southeast of British Isles. About after 700BC, Celts who live in the Western Europe immigrate to British Isles constantly, and some of them are called Britons. That is the origin of the British. Britons know how to use iron and plough; they improve their technology continuously and started to put money into use. The development of productive forces makes Celt polarization become more and more serious.

1.1.2 Rome Times.
In 55 BC and 54 BC, Caesar lead Roma army group intrude the Britain twice, but it’s in vain. In 43 AD, the Roma emperor ClaudiusⅠ lead an army and conquered British to be a province of Roman empire. By the year of 407, Roma garrison are force to leave Britain, as a result, the control to Roma pronounced to be ended.

1.1.3 Limit of Kingship Period.
The powerful kingship which is build by William has a positive affect on consolidating the order of feudalism. John is force to accept 《the great charter》 in 1215.6 and compromise to feudal lord. Actually, the great charter is a file of feudal, it protects the profits of the feudatory mostly, at the same time, it also has the rules to protect normal citizens. But soon later, John denies the charter and there is a constant civil war between ruler and subject.
In 1380, Richard II add the poll tax in order to correct fees for hundred years wars between British and French, and this action has led insurrection happened in 1381.5. Although the insurrection failed at last, it shocked the serf system. Actually, the serf system has been dismissed in the 14th century. And in 15th, most of the serfs regain freedom.

      1.1.4 Maritime Hegemony Period.
The British Enclosure movement is one of the most important ways of primitive accumulation of capital. After 16th century, the British organize many commercial companies to rob on the sea. In 1588, the British defeat the Spanish Armada and take the first step to grab the maritime hegemony of the world.

      1.1.5 Run for Modern Times.
In The second half of sixteenth Century to the first half of the seventeenth Century, capitalistic economic developed quickly; the capitalist class and new noble can’t stand feudal monarchy autocracy. But James and Charlie I ignore these changes, this led to contradiction being sharper and sharper. In 1869.2, there is a glorious revolution. It announced that 《the bill of rights》limit the kingship, at the same time, it enlarge the parliament’s right and laid the foundation of the British monarchy. From then on, British monarchical parliamentary system comes into being quickly and develops.

      1.1.6 Industrial Revolution Period.
Industrial revolution, also known as the industrial revolution, refers to the early history of industrial capitalism, namely, capitalistic production complete the transitional section from handicraft workshops to modern industry. The industrial revolution originated in the central region of England. In the middle time of 18th century, the British Watt improved the steam engine, and it is a big leap from hand labor to produce by machine. Later, the industrial revolution spread to the whole world.

      1.1.7 The World War Period.
After 1870s, British lose monopoly position in industry gradually. That Germany and the USA passed British lead their relationship become worse and worse. In 1914.8, the world war one broke out. In 1917, the British defeat German at last.
At the end of nineteen twenties to early 30's, the worldwide economic crisis broke out, contradictions between imperialism countries become heavier and heavier. In 1939.9, Germany attack Poland, and British declared war to Germany. Germany capitulated on 1945.5.8. Then, world war two ended.

      1.1.8 The Postwar Period.
The British become more weakened and dropped to be a second class power. In 1947, the British worked in and accept the Marshall plan and get a lot of support from American, the economic come to life gradually. At the same time, the labor party and government put some measures into use to improve people’s condition. In the early times after war, the economy in British developed very slowly. But it catches up with other countries quickly. Nowadays, the British still has 13 manors at abroad.

1.2 The National Economy of Britain.
British is one of the major market economies in the world. It is a member state of the seven major industrialized countries, known as group seven (G7). Its gross domestic product is 1.5 trillion dollars, with its GDP per capita amounting to 25 000 dollars (2000). Britain had the world’s leading economy in the nineteenth century due to the Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, Britain remained a major producer of industrial goods and provider of services, as well as a center of world trade and finance. Science and technology played a very important role in Britain’s economic development and Britain led the world in these fields after it started the industrial revolution. The skills of Britain’s highly trained workers, managers, and entrepreneurs also made great contributions. Britain was the first country to introduce a new economic system, the capitalist system. The new system acknowledged that human nature was imperfect and it tried to make use of the imperfection. Instead of cruel suppressing of human desire for happiness, it advocated freedom, equality, competition and individualism. Opponents to the system argued that the new system caused many social problems, opening Pandora’s Box. Advocates argued the new system improved economic efficiency and help to protect human rights in their pursuit of happiness. The debate started in the 18th century and has been going on ever since.


      1.2.1 Economic System and Structure.
Britain’s economic system has been known as free enterprise, market economic, or capitalism, a term first used by Karl Marx. Britain’s basic production facilities---land and capital---are privately owned. Private individuals and business firms carry on the production and exchange of goods and services through the network of markets.
Britain is an old industrialized nation and its economic structure has changed a lot. In history it was known as “workshop of the world” and products made in Britain sold well all over the world. With the development of industries in other countries, Britain gradually replaced its traditional industries with service industries. Today Britain’s service sector contributes about 63% of the GDP and employs more than half of the labor force, about 17 million workers (1997).
The structure of the service sector is also changing. Independent retailing, for example, has declined sharply and large chain stores, called multiples, are developing rapidly. The leisure industry has also been growing rapidly because people now have more leisure time than before. In the past, most British people took vacations, or holidays, at the seashore. Today overseas holidays have become affordable and common for working-class people.
To make the discussion of Britain’s economic structure easy to understand, it is necessary to divide the economic into the public sector and the private sector.

The Public Sector
The public sector refers to state-owned enterprises and the role played by government in economic life. The conservative governments between 1979 and 1996 denationalized oil companies, telecommunications, gas, airlines, electricity, railways, and water supply. The British government is also an important player in the economic field. It spends more than 500 billion dollars, about one third of the gross domestic product a year (1998). The government is the largest purchaser of goods and services, particularly office and military equipment. The government is a major employer, empioying nearly a million people, including civil servants, military forces and people for various other purpose.

The Private Sector
The form of industrial organization and pattern of ownership are varied in Britain. What we call the private sector here is composed of businesses owned and managed by people as private individuals. Most of the businesses in the private sector are small (unincorporated) and only a small number of them are big (corporate) business. Together they account for more than three-quarters of Britain’s gross domestic product. The private sector includes the greater part of activity in the agricultural, mining, manufacturing, construction, distributive, financial, and miscellaneous service industries.

2. The background of British rising and falling

2.1 The rise of the Great Britain
Britain is an island of limited resources, but it is the first country that began the industrial revolution, and it established the capitalist at the earliest, And finished the transferred from agriculture country to industrial country, then established a sun-never-set empire country. How he can do this? All of these are based on the preceded of the technology and institution.
When it comes to the early times of British capitalism, it can be dated back to the fifteenth century. British began to compete for the international market and hegemony by the way of being a pirate, and from then on, the British gained the NO.1 position on the way of colonial imperialism. From seventeenth century to 1970s, the British finally established an almost worldwide “sun-never-set” colonial empire. In 1914, the overseas region of the British Empire has almost throughout Europe, Asia, America, Africa, Australia and so on, the total area has reached 3350 square kilometers, which equals to more than 130 times to the total area of its’ own country. And the population in the colony is nearly 400 million, equals to 9 times to the total population of its’ own country, it is about 1/4 of the world’s population.
The British capitalist completed its’ primitive accumulation through violence and carried on the enclosure movement and deprived farmer’s land in the country.
Later, British started an industrial revolution from the 1760s to 1830s (1840s). The Britain caught the opportunity of technical improvement, developed the productive forces to a large extent, and adjusted the old relations of production which has imprisonment the development of the productive forces. In 1850, the British took up about 2/5 in total industrial output value, about 1/2 in the output of iron and about 1/3 in the output of coal among the whole world. In the field of foreign trade, British took up more than 1/5 in the world trade share.

2.2 The fall of the Great Britain
The last 30 years of the nineteenth century is the transition duration from laissez-faire capitalism to imperialism. At the same time, it is the period that British lose monopoly position on industry. First of all, Britain started revolution earlier than other countries. Then, in some old industrial departments, the equipments are very old. Thus, new technology has not been fully utilized. In addition, a large number of capitals are turning foreign counties, and few has invested in improving domestic technology and equipment. Because of all of the reasons above, some younger capitalist countries like America and Germany put new technology to use to development industry of their own country, especially newly developed industry, and catch up with British quickly.
At the beginning of the 20th century, those strong countries compete for being the strongest country intense. The two world wars has bought huge loss to Britain, and weakened their position in the world economy to a large extent. By 1955, Britain’s GDP is passed by Former West Germany, France pass Britain in 1964, and Japan pass Britain in 1965. From then on, the British government has tried several times to recover, but there is always no effective, so, their ability rank became more and more backward. Nowadays, British is ranked in the place at two or three from behind among the seven western countries.

3. Conclusion
Looking back from Britain’s rise to fall, it is not difficult for us to find that Britain’s becoming the most powerful country in Europe and then the strongest country is a result of its new policy, technology and expansion. The rising bourgeoisie gave rise to the end of the feudal system and ushered a new stage to come. The Industrial Revolution turned Britain into the “workshop of the world” and England was the world’s economic center. And after the colonial expansion, wealth flooded in Britain and the great empire on which the sun–never-set was established. However, as we all are concerned, one’s previous glory doesn’t guarantee her a brilliant future. When the British were resting on their laurels, the world situation changed. When other countries were researching advanced technology and developing their economy, England was unwilling to adopt new technology and new equipment, she thus lost the monopolize position in the world’s industry and sea power. After two World Wars, the Great Britain’s power declined heavily. Though she won both of two wars, she is still a loser. Many problems were emerging, economic plunge, weakened sea power, loss of foreign colonies, large unemployment, and so on. It can no longer claim to be the most powerful country in the world. However, though it had lost its landlord position, the nation as a whole was not crushed by despair, it was still a powerful country in the world but not the strongest. Taking the rise and fall of Great Britain as an example, we may learn that a country want prosperous, it needs to go through a hard road. But after being glorious, resting on one’s laurels is a road to death. Technology is the development for all, so we must accept new things and ideas and let our mind emancipated from old stereotype.


Bibliography:
1、 黄润中,Journal of the University of International Relations,2000 No.2
2、 来安方,《英美概况》,河南人民教育出版社,2008,11.
3、 陈德,新编英美概况,西安:西安交通大学出版社,2008
4、 http://baike.baidu.com/view/3565.htm
5、 http://zhidao.baidu.com/question/417564886.html&__bd_tkn__=79ba115d3a2499274a6df973a9b771e2d5079defa07c658100bef04279b481c521349c35eee1da3675ec7e11a1fbf820ddf626bc2c
6、 http://wenku.baidu.com/view/92c2d47a5acfa1c7aa00cc97.html

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