FA G E T
ACCE S S
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Textbook with tasks Teacher ’s CDs Website student: access.cdu.no (free) Website teacher: access.cdu.no (licensed)
to Eng l i s h : S o ci a l S tu d i e s
Antho ny • B ur g ess • Mik kelse n
K • P ROG LS R
ACCE S S to En g l i s h : S o c ial S t udi es
Beatlemania! Policemen struggle to retain young Beatles fans, 1965.
9 788202 423339 www.cdu.no
J ohn Anthony Ri chard B urgess Rober t Mi kkel sen
to En g l i s h : S o c i a l S tudie s
John Anthony Richard Burgess Robert Mikkelsen
to English: Social Studies
Programfaget Samfunnsfaglig Engelsk
Preface © CAPPELEN DAMM AS, Oslo 2014 Materialet i denne publikasjonen er omfattet av åndsverklovens bestemmelser. Uten særskilt avtale med CAPPELEN DAMM AS er enhver eksemplarfremstilling og tilgjengeliggjøring bare tillatt i den utstrekning det er hjemlet i lov eller tillatt gjennom avtale med Kopinor, interesseorgan for rettighetshavere til åndsverk. Utnyttelse i strid med lov eller avtale kan medføre erstatningsansvar og inndragning, og kan straffes med bøter eller fengsel. Grafisk formgiver: Mette Lund Damsleth Omslagsdesign: Inger Sandved Anfinsen, Kobolt Design Omslagsillustrasjon: Copyright: East Village Images (“Congress”) Thinkstock/Getty Images (“Boy jumping”) NTB scanpix: Hulton-Deutsch Collection / Corbis (“Beatlemania”) Forlagsredaktør: Birger Nicolaysen Bilderedaktør: Birger Nicolaysen / Kjersti Laake Repro: RenessanseMedia AS Trykk: Livonia Print, Latvia 2014 Utgave 2 Opplag 1 ISBN: 978-82-02-42333-9 access.cdu.no www.cdu.no
Access to English: Social Studies is a textbook for the five-hour course in English based on topics from social studies (Samfunnsfaglig engelsk – programfag i studiespesialiserende utdanningsprogram). Welcome to the revised edition of Access to English: Social Studies. The aim of this revision has been to bring the material in the book up to date, to introduce new elements we believe will improve the work and to take heed to the many useful suggestions from those who have used the book. As before, our textbook draws on multiple issues connected to history, economics, sociology, political science and other related fields. In all this, the overall goal of the work has remained the same, to teach you how to master the English language for use in your further education and working life. As in the first edition, the book has four distinct parts: Access to History, Access to Politics, Access to Society and The Long View. We have again chosen to integrate material around two English-speaking nations, the United States and the United Kingdom, because this is where we believe the greatest influence of the English language is to be found. For this reason the new texts and tasks we have introduced focus on the AngloAmerican world, particularly in the section entitled Access to Society, which has been thoroughly revised into the following chapters: “The UK: Today and Tomorrow” and “America: The Road Ahead”. In all, the content we have provided is designed to give you a deeper understanding of these two nations. What are their roots? How have they developed? How are they governed? What impact have they had on the rest of the world? What challenges do they face today? What is it like to live in these societies? These and related questions make up an important basis for understanding and perfecting your use of English. Though social and historical articles can provide context and analysis, it is stories – both real and fictional – that can best convey personal insight and experience. Such stories act as windows into the worlds we are describing. These stories and the longer social studies texts are then used as points of departure for your own further investigation into issues raised about social conditions in Britain and America and how these may be reflected in the rest of the world. We believe we have provided you with a rich range of materials, questions and challenges to pursue in your own work. How far you take them will be limited only by your own developing skill and curiosity. This is perhaps best exemplified by the final part of the book, entitled The Long View. Here we give you the opportunity to take an in-depth
look at two themes of great contemporary relevance – one British and one American. “Focus: A Disunited Kingdom?” deals with the challenges posed by growing nationalism in the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom and the process of devolution this has led to. “Focus: Black America” deals with African Americans – the challenges they have faced and are facing today and their unique role in the making of contemporary USA. An entirely new addition to this textbook is the inclusion of a Writing Course in four parts spread throughout the book. The first three sections are dedicated to perfecting writing skills. The final section helps you develop a critical perspective on the flood of information now available through modern information technology. We have created this writing course to help you express yourself in written form when dealing with the many and varied tasks you will be meeting in the course as a whole. To supplement the Writing Course, we also provide a comprehensive Text Analysis Course at access.cdu.no. Taken together, these courses and various other tasks throughout the book and the website have substantially increased the attention given to the Language learning and Communication aims in the subject curriculum. The Access to English: Social Studies website – access.cdu.no – has increased in importance and sophistication over the years. As always, it provides extra tasks, interactive exercises, additional material and useful links. These are accessible to all students, though there is an area with Teacher Resources which requires a password. All the literary texts and listening comprehension material in the book have been recorded. Literature is available on the Teacher’s CDs while listening comprehension and other selected texts are found on the website. It is also to this website that you will be directed for training in self-evaluation, and it is here we will regularly be publishing Updates – articles that will deal with contemporary political, social and economic issues in the English-speaking world. Access to our website remains free of charge for students. All language is communication. We believe this book will allow you to improve and perfect your English while gaining information and insight into social studies. We hope you will enjoy and profit from both.
Note on punctuation, spelling and capitalization: Chapters 1, 3, 5 and 7 follow British English conventions regarding punctuation and spelling. The other chapters follow American rules. With regard to capitalization, we use a capital for a title when it is written with a name, but not when it is on its own (e.g. Queen Elizabeth / the queen – Prime Minister Cameron – the prime minister). However, it is normal in American English to use capitals in the following: the President, the Vice President, the Constitution, Senator, Governor, Congressman, Supreme Court Justices, Electoral College, and so on.
John Anthony Richard Burgess Robert Mikkelsen
Contents New Beginnings (Roddy Doyle)
PART 1: ACCESS TO HISTORY CHAPTER 1: SMALL ISLANDS – BIG HORIZONS: MAIN DEVELOPMENTS IN BRITISH HISTORY
Tuning in: How Much Do You Know about British History? Main Events: First Settlement to Queen Elizabeth I The English Reformation Robin Hood and the Monk Main Events: 1600 to the First World War Parliament, Empire and Industry Sarah’s Story / The Trimdon Grange Explosion Art and Society Main Events: The First World War to the Present MCMXIV (Philip Larkin) Victorious Decline The Battle of Kinder Scout The Soldier (Rupert Brooke) / Does It Matter? (Siegfried Sassoon) Shooting an Elephant (George Orwell) Portraits of Two Elizabeths I Don’t Know How She Does It (Allison Pearson)
16 17 19 24 25 26 38 40 44 45 47 62 63 66 74 76
≤ ≤ ≤
quiz timeline factual text listening comprehension timeline factual text listening comprehension factual text / paintings timeline poem factual text listening comprehension poems essay factual text / paintings novel extract
CHAPTER 2: THE NEW WORLD: MAIN DEVELOPMENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
Tuning in: How Much Do You Know about American History? Main Events: Settlement to the Civil War Expansion and Conflict in Early America Aztlán Rising The Declaration of Independence (Thomas Jefferson) Main Events: The Civil War to the Second World War America Encounters the World Main Events: The Second World War to the Present Superpower Chicago (Carl Sandburg) Nightshade (Dashiell Hammett) Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? The Crucible (Arthur Miller) Ambush (Tim O’Brien) Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer) Digging Deeper: Part 1 Text Analysis Course: Introduction Writing Course 1: Writing Expository and Analytical Texts
82 83 84 92 93 96 97 106 107 125 128 134 135 144 149 153 155 156
quiz timeline factual text listening comprehension factual text / extract timeline factual text timeline factual text poem short story listening comprehension excerpt from play short story novel excerpt in-depth research
PART 2: ACCESS TO POLITICS CHAPTER 3: POWER AND POMP: POLITICS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Elections in Britain Centres of Power: Parliament and the Prime Minister A Question of Background (Tony Blair) Political Parties in the UK
162 169 177 182
factual text factual text excerpt from autobiography factual text
CHAPTER 4: WE, THE PEOPLE: POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES
Dividing Power: The American System of Government Political Parties in the United States The Tea Party Movement Interest Groups, PACs and Lobbyists Electing a President The Natural (Joe Klein) The Anglo-American World: Political Influence India and Zimbabwe Digging Deeper: Part 2 Writing Course 2: Writing Introductions
190 201 207 209 214 221 225 230 231 232
factual text factual text listening comprehension factual text factual text excerpt from biography factual text listening comprehension in-depth research
PART 3: ACCESS TO SOCIETY CHAPTER 5: THE UK: TODAY AND TOMORROW
Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be – Britain in the 21st Century Going, Going (Philip Larkin) How Bad Are British Youth? (Leah McLaren) Dying for Dreadlocks Last Call for British Pubs? (Naomi Westland) How to Be Good (Nick Hornby) Leaving the Beaten Track Ta-Ta, London. Hello, Awesome (Sarah Lyall) Gibraltar and the Falklands Deny the Logic of History (Simon Jenkins) I Am Malala: Prologue (Malala Yousafzai) Digging Deeper: Chapter 5
238 247 251 256 257 265 270 272 280 284 292
factual text poem article listening comprehension article novel excerpt listening comprehension personal text commentary excerpt from autobiography in-depth research
CHAPTER 6: AMERICA: THE ROAD AHEAD
The Great American Decline? Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) African Shocked by Homelessness in Canada Kill Zone (Christopher Dickey) Dead Man Walking (Helen Prejean) Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question (Diane Burns) Land of the Fat (Matthew Engel) The Hamburger “Creationist Disneyland” (Peter Slevin) Digging Deeper: Chapter 6 Writing Course 3: Writing Conclusions
294 303 310 314 323 325 333 336 340 341 345 346
factual text novel excerpt article feature article listening comprehension novel excerpt poem feature article listening comprehension article in-depth research
PART 4: THE LONG VIEW CHAPTER 7: FOCUS: A DISUNITED KINGDOM?
Nation or Nations? The Different Voices of Scotland Take Down the Union Jack (Billy Bragg) Cymraeg ar Groesffordd – Welsh at the Crossroads (Jude Rogers) National Anthems and National Stereotypes Walking the Dog (Bernard MacLaverty) The Queen in Ireland
350 363 370 372 375 376 384
factual text factual texts / poem song lyrics articles listening comprehension short story listening comprehension
CHAPTER 8: FOCUS: BLACK AMERICA
Let My People Go Elisabeth Eckford’s Story Strange Fruit (Abel Meeropol) The Help (Kathryn Stockett) No Name in the Street (James Baldwin) I Have a Dream (Martin Luther King, Jr.) Connecting the Dots: Rodney King and Trayvon Martin The Audacity of Hope (Barack Obama) Why We Thugs (Ice Cube) Digging Deeper: Part 4 Writing Course 4: Evaluating Sources Interactive tasks Self-evaluation Novel and Film Study Text Analysis Course
+ = challenging task
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Toolbox Access Updates Web Texts
386 395 396 398 404 405 412 415 420 423 424
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factual text listening comprehension song lyrics novel excerpt listening comprehension speech article excerpt from book rap lyrics in-depth research
Welcome to a new year of English! It is a time of new beginnings for you, not unlike the one meeting the main character in the following excerpt from the novel Oh, Play that Thing! by Roddy Doyle. Like the author himself, our major character Henry Smart is an Irishman – though that is not what he is about to tell the immigration authorities on Ellis Island in 1924. Oh, no! Like many Americans before him, he is inventing a new person to meet the endless possibilities he feels are waiting for him in the New World. If he can just be admitted, well then, he can be anyone he wants to be – or so he thinks ... Immigrants around the world bring their hopes with them to their new country. What do you think are the common hopes and dreams of immigrants today? Are they any different from those of immigrants of the past?
New Beginnings By Roddy Doyle
1 I could bury myself in New York. I could see that from the boat as it went under the Statue of Liberty on a cold dawn that grew quickly behind me and shoved the fog off the slate-coloured water. That was Manhattan, already towering over me. It made tiny things of the people around me, all gawking at the manmade cliffs, and the ranks of even higher cliffs behind them, stretching forever into America and stopping their entry. I could see the terror in their eyes. I could stare into the eyes without fear of recognition. They weren’t Irish faces and it wasn’t Irish muck on the hems of their greatcoats. Those coats had been dragged across Europe. They were families, three and four generations of them; the Irish travelled alone. There were ancient women, their faces collapsed and vicious, clutching bags they’d carried across the continent, full of string and eggshells and stones from the walls of lost houses. And their husbands behind them, hidden by beards, their eyes still young and fighting. They guarded the cases and boxes at their feet. And their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, under embroidered scarves and black caps, and younger children still, and pregnant girls with scrawny boys standing and sitting beside them, all cowed by the approaching city cliffs. Even the youngest sensed that their excitement was unwanted and stayed silent, as the Reliance sent small waves against Bedloe’s Island and the big stone American woman – send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me – as their parents and grandparents shivered at the new world and tried to know if they were looking at its
immigration authorities immigrasjonsmyndigheter/ immigrasjonsstyresmakter to invent å dikte opp, å skape to admit å slippe inn, å gi adgang / å sleppe inn, å gi tilgjenge slate-coloured skifergrå to gawk å måpe, å glo på hem fald, kant embroidered brodert, pyntet / brodert, pynta scrawny radmager, knoklete tempest-tost fortumlet, stormpisket / fortumla, stormpiska
vaulted velvet/kvelvd to disembark å gå i land ringlet korketrekkerkrøller / korketrekkarkrøller
Charles Fredric Ulrich: “In the Land of Promise”, 1884
front or back. I was the only man alone, the only man not afraid of what was growing up in front of us. This was where a man could disappear, could die if he wanted to, and come back to quick, big life. I had arrived. But we turned from Manhattan and sailed, almost back into the night, towards the New Jersey shore. And the silence around me fell deeper as the island crept up in front of us. The last few square feet of the old, cruel world, the same name in all the languages on board as we were pulled closer and closer, isola delle lacrime, Tränen Insel, the isle of tears. Ellis Island. Hundreds of shuffling feet trapped under the vaulted ceiling of the great hall, the air was full of the whispers of the millions who’d passed through, the cries of the thousands who’d been stopped and sent back. Old men tried to straighten long-crooked backs and mothers rubbed rough colour into the white cheeks of their children. Wild men ran fingers through long beards and regretted that they hadn’t shaved before they’d disembarked. Jewish women caressed sons’ ringlets and tried to push them under hats. Fragments of new language were tried, and passed from mouth to mouth.
– Yes, sir. – No, sir. – My cousin, he have a house. – I am a farmer. – Qu-eeens. The medical inspector stared into my eyes. I knew what he was looking for. I’d been told all about it, by a lame and wheezy anarchist who was making his seventh try at landing. – They see the limp but never the brain, he’d said. – The fools. When they confront the fact that I am too dangerous for their country, then I will happily turn my back on it. But, until then, I commute between Southampton and their Ellis Island. – If you could afford first or second class, I told him, – you wouldn’t have to set foot on the island. – You think I am not aware of this? he said. – I can afford it. But I won’t afford it. The inspector was looking for signs of trachoma in my eyes, and for madness behind them. He couldn’t stare for long – no one could; he saw nothing that was going to send me back. To my left, another inspector drew a large L on a shoulder with a brand new piece of chalk. L was for lung. I knew the signs; I’d been seeing them all my life. The man with the brand new L had already given up. He collapsed and coughed out most of his remaining life. He had to be carried away. An E on the shoulder meant bad eyes, another L meant lameness. And behind those letters, other hidden letters, never chalked onto shoulders: J for too Jewish, C for Chinese, SE, too far south and east of Budapest. H was for heart, SC was for scalp, X was for mental. And H was for handsome. The guards stood back and I walked the few steps to the next desk. I let my heels clip the Spanish tiles. Two beautiful sisters held each other as they were pushed back. Without parents or children they were too likely to fall into bad hands waiting for them on the Manhattan or New Jersey wharfs. If they were lucky they’d be kept on the island until relatives were found to take them; less lucky, they’d be pawed, then let through; less lucky still, they’d be deported, sent back before they’d arrived. I handed my passport and papers to the Immigration Bureau officer. He opened the passport and found the ten-dollar note I’d left in its centre. The note was gone before I saw it missing. I’d taken it from the wheezy anarchist; its loss didn’t sting. Then came the catechism, the questions I couldn’t get wrong. – What is your name? – Henry Drake. – Where are you from?
wheezy gispende, pesende / gispande, pesande trachoma trakom, smittsom øyensykdom / trakom, smittsam augesjukdom clip slag, smekk wharf kai(område), brygge to paw å tafse på catechism her: forhør/ forhøyr
Spot check a) What do the people on the boat first see? b) Where does the boat land? c) What is the medical inspector looking for? d) Why are letters chalked onto the shoulders of immigrants? e) What happens to unwanted immigrants?
to shrug å trekke på skuldrene fund økonomiske midler, kapital / økonomiske midlar, kapital to commence å sette i gang literacy lese- og skriveferdigheter / lese- og skriveferdigheiter posterity kommende slekter, etterkommere / kommande slekter, etterkommarar
(p. 11) Ellis Island Immigration Station, New York City: a health officer examines immigrant children during the 1911 typhus scare
– London. – Why have you come to the United States? – Opportunity. So far, so easy. But he stopped. He looked at me. – Where are you travelling from, sir? he asked me. It wasn’t one of the questions. – London, I said. He seemed to be staring at the word as I spoke it. – You are a born Englishman, sir? He read my latest name. – Mister Drake? – Yes. – Henry Drake. – Yes. – And where is Missis Drake, sir? – She’s in my dreams. – So you’re travelling alone, sir, is that right? You are an unmarried man. – That’s right. – And how do you intend supporting yourself, sir? – By working very hard. – Yes, and how, sir? – I’m a salesman. – And your speciality? I shrugged. – Everything, and anything. – Alright. And do you have sufficient funds to sustain you until you commence selling everything? – I do. He handed me a sheet of paper. – Could you read this for me, sir? – We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union – And as I strolled through the literacy test, I could feel Victor, my brother, beside me, his leg pressed against mine in the school desk, and Miss O’Shea at my shoulder, my teacher and wife, the mother of the daughter I suddenly missed, her wet fingers on my cheek. – and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of – He took the paper from my fingers. He picked up a rubber stamp and brought it down on top of a card. I read the stamp: ADMITTED. – Welcome to America, he said. It was America, not just the U.S.A. America was bigger than the states,
slán leat (irsk gælisk) farvel lapel jakkeslag portico søylegang
Spot check a) What does Henry leave in the centre of his passport? b) Where does he say he comes from? c) What is his profession? d) Does the Immigration Bureau officer believe him? e) What does he do with his passport after he gets out of the hall? Immigrant family on Ellis Island looking longingly at the New York City skyline
bigger than the world. America was everything possible. He handed me the passport and registration card, then held them back. – But you’d want to work on your accent, sir. Slán leat. That shook me, but only until I climbed the last few steps and walked out into my first American sunshine. And another accent hit me. – Speakee American, bub? – Fuck off. – That answers my question, I guess, said the shark. He was there to hijack the new Americans milling around and past me, train tickets pinned to their lapels, registration cards held in their teeth, their hands busy with cases and bags. He must have been good, this lad, to be allowed on the island, right under the portico. I studied him closely, the movie suit, the hat, the hidden accent. I handed him my cardboard suitcase. It was empty. I didn’t look back but I heard him weigh its hollowness and lob it into the water. I took out my passport, to send it the same way. Then I changed my mind. I turned back. – Hey, I said. – Want to buy a passport? He put his hands in his pockets and pulled out forty or fifty passports. – Your turn to fuck off, bub, he said. I waved, turned and skimmed the passport onto the river. I watched it gather water and sink. It was a clean sheet. It was the 16th of March, 1924, two years since I’d sailed out of Dublin.
Interactive tasks: www.access.cdu.no
TA S K S 1
a Judging from this excerpt, are most of the immigrants who are arriving ready for the new reality they are about to encounter? How do the preparations that they have made reflect their expectations for the future? b On the basis of this excerpt, how would you describe the personality of Henry Smart to someone who had never met him? Sketch out a description and share it with a fellow classmate, listening to theirs. c Why was Ellis Island referred to as the “isle of tears” by the immigrants, do you suppose? Why were they so frightened? Did they have reason to be? d What does the bribe of $10 Henry gives the Immigration Officer tell us about Henry? What does it tell us about the immigration authorities and the process of being admitted to the USA? (By the way, why doesn’t Henry mind losing the money?) e At what point in the dialogue between Henry and the Immigration Bureau officer does the officer begin to seem suspicious of Henry? What makes him suspicious, do you think? f Why do you suppose Henry refers to the fellow waiting outside the hall as a “shark”? What do you think would happen to people who the shark got a hold of? g Henry Smart hopes for a new beginning in America. What are your hopes for this new year of English studies? 2 ROLE PLAY
Choose a partner. One of you is Henry Smart. The other is the immigration officer. Play out the dialogue between the two of you on Ellis Island. When you finish, the scene shifts to a bar in New York that evening. You meet again by chance. What do you say to one another now? Take ten minutes to prepare and then play out the scene.
3 QUICK RESEARCH
a From where in Europe did most immigrants come to the USA in the 1920s? b When did Ellis Island open? How many immigrants passed through it before it closed? c What is a “literacy test” and what document does Henry read from to pass it? Why is this a particularly appropriate text to read from, given the occasion? d Where do the words “send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me” come from? How do they fit into the context of the story? 4+ TAKING ACTION – IMMIGRATION
Imagine you have the opportunity to immigrate to a large American city today. Pick a city and describe the challenges you believe you would have to face, and how you might meet them. You can include things like housing, work, language, transportation, neighbors etc. Present your description to another “greenhorn” in your class and listen to theirs. 5 VOCABULARY
Write a short definition of the following words from the text. Then use them to quiz a partner to find the right word for your definition. Take turns asking one another. posterity – wheezy – lameness – vicious – rough – shove – shiver – chalk – portico – embroider – hollowness – gawking – collapse 6 WRITING
a You are one Henry Smart’s fellow passengers who has been admitted to America. Write a letter back to your brother in the “Old Country” explaining the process and warning him about what to expect and prepare for when he makes the voyage next year. b You are a shark outside the Ellis Island centre. Prepare a flyer to hand out to the new immigrants aimed at getting their attention, offering them something they need and gaining their trust.
7 PICTURE STUDY
This is a picture from the great hall on Ellis Island. It sums up the situation of millions of immigrants who arrived in the United States. Write out some quick notes for the following questions and then discuss them in small groups: a What kinds of questions are the immigration officers standing behind the desks asking? b What are the white papers pinned to the immigrantsâ€™ coats and dresses, do you suppose? c What kinds of things are in the packages and bundles they are carrying?
d What do you think the man seated in the bottom right of the photograph is doing? e What do you think the man looking up at the camera is thinking? f Judging from what you can see here, do the people in the picture seem frightened or impatient? How would you describe them? g+ What does this photo tell us about the processing of immigrants on Ellis Island?
Small Islands – Big Horizons Main Developments in British History
Competence aims in focus:
Map of the British Empire, 1886
The aims of the studies are to enable students to: – elaborate on and discuss how key historical events and processes have affected the development of British society – elaborate on and discuss linguistically demanding texts – use suitable language appropriate to the situation in a variety of oral and written genres – produce texts in a variety of genres with clear content, appropriate style, good structure, and usage that is precise and accurate – interpret a selection of British literature from the 1900s up to the present (Translation: udir.no)
PART 1: ACCESS TO HISTORY
CHAP TER 1:
TUNING IN: HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BRITISH HISTORY?
Do the quiz below and compare your results with another student’s. Then check out the answers at access.cdu.no. Good luck! 1
Lord Protector (1653–58) when England had no monarch
19th century Irish republican leader
Henry VIII’s chief minister (1532–40)
Philip II (Spain)
How many wives did Henry VIII have during his life?
During which English monarch’s reign did Shakespeare write most of his plays?
Who was Oliver Cromwell?
When did Great Britain ﬁrst come into existence as a state?
Which enemy did Britain ﬁnally defeat in 1815?
In which century did the Industrial Revolution start in Britain?
When did Queen Victoria reign?
When did most of Ireland become independent of Britain?
Who was Britain’s prime minister during most of the Second World War?
David Lloyd George
The EEC (later the EU)
10 What organisation did Britain join in 1973? 11
Which island colony did Britain ﬁght a war over in 1982?
12 Which prime minister won three consecutive elections between 1997 and 2005?
M A I N E V E N T S : FIRST SETTLEMENT TO QUEEN ELIZABETH I
6000 BC c. 4500–3000 BC 3400–2200 BC 600–50 BC 55–53 BC
Britain becomes separated from the European mainland Small permanent settlements are developed Stonehenge is built Celtic cultures are established Julius Caesar invades Britain; the Romans leave after gaining victory
Emperor Claudius starts Roman occupation of southern Britain
Emperor Hadrian orders the construction of a wall across northern Britain to keep the northern “barbarians” out
Roman troops are withdrawn from Britain to defend Italy
Angles and Saxons arrive in south east Britain, displacing British (Celtic) population
Anglo-Saxon kingdoms established in most of present-day England
Augustine establishes Christian church at Canterbury
First recorded Viking attack in Britain – many others follow
Dublin founded as Viking settlement
Alfred, King of Wessex, signs a treaty with Vikings to divide England
25 September 1066
The English King Harold II defeats and kills Harald Hardrada of Norway at the Battle of Stamford Bridge
14 October 1066
William of Normandy defeats and kills Harold II at Hastings and becomes King William I
King John signs the Magna Carta – the ﬁrst time that deﬁned limitations to royal rights are established in written
William the Conqueror
The English King Edward I annexes Wales
Scottish forces defeat English invasion at Battle of Bannockburn
Bubonic plague (“Black Death”) comes to Britain
The Hundred Years’ War between England and France
Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn, following divorce from Catherine of Aragon; the Church of England is separated from the Roman Catholic Church
Act of Union between England and Wales
Queen Mary dies and Elizabeth I accedes to the throne
English fleet defeats the Spanish Armada
1: SMALL ISLANDS – BIG HORIZONS
SNAPSHOT Arthur – the Once and Future King We have all heard of King Arthur, the legendary hero who wielded the sword Excalibur and lived in Camelot with his beautiful Queen Guinevere and his Knights of the Round Table. The romantic legend, portrayed in countless novels and ﬁlms, is mostly a medieval invention. However, it is likely that there is a grain of truth in it. Ancient sources mention a warrior of that name who fought against the Germanic tribes that had poured into southern Britain after the withdrawal of Roman forces at the beginning of the 5th century and stopped their progress westwards and northwards. Arthur would have been a Celt, speaking a language rather like modern-day Welsh. Arthur had his victories. In fact, at one battle he was said to have killed 960 men single-handedly. But he was essentially ﬁghting for a hopeless cause – southern Britain was destined to become England, an AngloSaxon nation. Legend has it that Arthur now lies asleep under an unknown hill and will some day awake to ﬁght his country’s enemies again. Whether he will be ﬁghting for Britain or for Welsh independence is unclear!
Keira Knightley as Queen Guinevere in the ﬁlm “King Arthur”
Where does British history start? In the following, we have decided to start in the 1500s. Not that nothing important happened before – far from it! Some of these earlier events and periods are dealt with in chapter 7, while others are mentioned retrospectively in this text. Moreover, the 16th century is not a bad place to start in British history – it is here that the country first emerges in its role as a world power. Discuss: What do you know about the Reformation in Norway? When and how did it take place? What are some of the main differences between Catholicism and Protestantism?
For an overview of British history before 1500, go to access.cdu.no.
The English Reformation In June 1509, a young man called Henry Tudor entered the great doors of Westminster Abbey to be crowned King of England. He was the eighth king of England to bear that name and it was only by a twist of fate that he became king at all. His elder brother Arthur had been in line for the throne, but had died seven years earlier. So when the old king died, it was young Henry, just 18 years old, who inherited the crown and the realm. Not only that – he also inherited the lady now on his left arm: the Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon. She was 15 years his senior and had been the widow of his brother Arthur. He had married her just 13 days before the coronation. The realm that Henry VIII inherited was both similar to and different from the one today’s monarch rules over. For one thing, it did not include Scotland, which was an independent nation with its own monarch. Earlier English monarchs had done their best to conquer their northern neighbour, but had never succeeded. Wales, on the other hand, had been under English domination for two centuries, a situation soon to be made official by Henry through an Act of Union. On the other side of the Irish Sea, English influence was already well established and growing, but only a small portion of the island of Ireland was so far under direct English rule. And England still had a toehold on mainland Europe, namely the town of Calais on the other side of the Channel. This was a last remnant of a centuries-old interrelationship with France that had started when William of Normandy invaded and occupied England back in 1066. If the young king whispered to his new wife on the way down the aisle, he probably did so in Spanish, which he spoke fluently, along with Latin, French and Italian. But his mother tongue was English, which is not as
to emerge å vise seg, å tre fram twist of fate skjebnens ironi to inherit å arv realm kongerike coronation kroning to conquer å erobre remnant rest
1: SMALL ISLANDS – BIG HORIZONS
obvious as it might sound. English kings had only spoken English for about a century, and had used it as an official written language for less than that. Since 1066, French had been the language of administration in England, and in the meantime the old Anglo-Saxon tongue, still spoken by ordinary people, had undergone enormous changes, both in grammar and pronunciation, taking on board a wealth of French vocabulary. By Henry’s time, English had arrived at something very close to the language we speak today and had gradually established itself as an acceptable language at court, in literature and in the law courts. In church, however, Latin still held sway and most people heard the Gospels and received the sacraments in a language they did not understand. All this was to change in the coming century.
Politics and sex
The young Henry VIII was a Catholic as good as any. He had no time for the new-fangled and dangerous ideas of the renegade German priest Martin Luther. Indeed, he wrote a treatise defending the Church and earned the title Fidei Defensor (Defender of the Faith) from the Pope for his loyalty. So it is odd that Henry VIII should go down in history as the monarch that broke with Rome and established the Protestant Church of England (also called the Anglican Church), setting the country on a course that would put it in almost constant conflict with its Catholic neighbours for more than two centuries.
tongue språk pronunciation uttale to hold sway å herske new-fangled ideas nymotens påfunn renegade overløper, frafallen / overløpar, fråfallen treatise avhandling origin opprinnelse, opphav / opphav maid-in-waiting hoffdame alleged antatt, påstått adultery utroskap/utruskap to crave å lengte etter turmoil opprør
PART 1: ACCESS TO HISTORY
The origin for this turnaround has less to do with theology than with politics – and sex. Henry soon wearied of his wife Catherine when she failed to bear him a son. (A daughter, Mary, simply wasn’t good enough.) At the same time, he had fallen head over heels for one of Catherine’s maids-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn. In an age before paparazzi photographers, royal mistresses were no big sensation, but Anne resisted Henry’s advances unless he would make her his queen. Longing for Anne – and a son – Henry asked the Pope for a divorce. When this was refused, he defied the Pope, declaring himself head of the English church. The English Reformation had begun. Ironically, Anne Boleyn proved unable to give him a son either and was later executed for alleged adultery. It took a third wife (of a total of six) to provide Henry with the male heir he craved. Edward VI (more of a Protestant at heart than his father) did his best to consolidate the Reformation, but died after just two years on the throne. The realm was now thrown into a period of turmoil and bloodshed. Since there was no male heir, Henry’s first daughter Mary’s claim to the throne was irresistible.
She was, however, a staunch Catholic, keen to avenge the wrongs suffered by her mother. The pendulum began swinging the other way. The interrogators became the interrogated, the persecuted became the persecutors – and the executioners had their hands full. It was not for nothing that the queen gained the nickname “Bloody Mary”.
The Virgin Queen
To secure the Catholic Restoration, Mary had to have a son. But the curse of the Tudors struck again – Mary’s marriage to King Philip II of Spain was childless, and on her death in 1558, the crown passed to Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn. Seen by the Catholic Church as illegitimate, Elizabeth had no choice but to return to the process started by her father and her brother. She chose a middle path, tolerating neither open Catholicism nor the more radical forms of Protestantism.
staunch trofast/trufast to avenge å hevne / å hemne curse forbannelse/ forbanning illegitimate barn født utenfor ekteskap, «uekte» / barn fødd utanfor ekteskap, «uekte»
John James Chalon (1778– 1854): “Shakespeare Reading to Queen Elizabeth”
1: SMALL ISLANDS – BIG HORIZONS
SNAPSHOT Sir Walter Raleigh Raleigh (1552–1618) was the very epitome of a “Renaissance man”: a man of action – a soldier, an explorer and an entrepreneur – he was also a poet and a courtier renowned for his extravagant dress. He is probably best known today for founding the colony of Virginia and for introducing tobacco to Europe. Raleigh’s life is also an example of how precarious life as a courtier could be. He was for many years Elizabeth I’s favourite and received a knighthood from her. A famous anecdote tells of an occasion when he laid his cloak over a puddle so that the queen should not muddy her feet. However, when the queen discovered that he had secretly married, she had him locked in the Tower of London, along with his wife. It took many years before he returned to favour. When Queen Elizabeth died, her successor King James I found Raleigh’s long-standing hostility with Spain a liability. At the request of the Spanish ambassador, James ﬁnally had him executed.
Raleigh commemorated as an American brand of pipe tobacco
The traumas of the Reformation continued to reverberate down through the centuries. Indeed, a glance at recent conflicts in Northern Ireland shows that they continue to reverberate to this day. Fear of Catholicism, both from outside and from within, became a driving force in English and British history. Every church had a copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, a book listing the terrible sufferings of Protestant martyrs, not least during Mary’s reign (and ignoring, of course, those suffered by Catholic martyrs before and after). Protestantism became an essential part of English, and later British, identity, marking it out from its chief European rivals and becoming a badge of patriotism. to reverberate å gi gjenlyd reign regjeringstid naval sjøprivateer kaper, sjørøver / kaper, sjørøvar to depose å avsette to coin å skape upstart oppkomlings-, fersk
Spot check a) In what ways was the young Henry VIII’s kingdom different from the present monarch’s kingdom? b) Why was the Church of England established? c) Who was Bloody Mary? d) What is the Elizabethan Age famous for? e) Why did the Spanish Armada fail?
PART 1: ACCESS TO HISTORY
Elizabeth’s reign, since called the Elizabethan Age, was a period of remarkable stability and growth for England. It saw the beginnings of empire building as the English crown extended its control in Ireland and established its first colony in North America, in Virginia. Naval explorers and privateers like Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh became national heroes. In 1588 Mary’s husband King Philip II of Spain launched a huge fleet – the Spanish Armada – to depose Elizabeth and re-establish Catholicism. The defeat of the Armada by an alliance of English seamanship and awful weather secured England’s position as a major European power. The Elizabethan Age also saw a remarkable flowering of arts and literature. In what is called the English Renaissance (the term was coined much later), writers like Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Donne and, not least, William Shakespeare produced poetry and drama that continue to thrill readers and audiences today. They helped to give English, an upstart language by European standards, a newfound confidence and freedom of expression.
Interactive tasks: www.access.cdu.no
TA S K S 1
WORKING WITH THE TIMELINE
Find verbs in the timeline (p. 17) that have the same meaning as the following: – set up, lay the basis of – take possession of – push aside, move – come into office – divide – pull back 2 WORKING WITH THE TIMELINE – CHRONOLOGY
The following sentences might have been said at some of the important events in British history that are mentioned in the timeline (p. 17). Put them in the right order: – “Nice shooting, Jock! That should keep those pesky Englishmen away for another few centuries.” – “OK, lads. Just one more 25-tonne stone and we can have a tea-break.” – “If you’d just sign at the bottom, Your Highness, then we’ll take the gag off.” – “Hey, Fred. Is there a regatta on, or why are all those Spanish sailing ships on the horizon?” – “They tell me Anne’s got a new boyfriend. I hope she doesn’t go losing her head.” – “Bonjour, vous paysans anglais malodorants. Moi, je suis votre roi nouveau.” Translated from French: “Good morning, you smelly English peasants. I’m your new king.” – “The bad news is that Rome’s under attack. The good news is that we don’t have to stand the British weather any longer.”
b What do you know about Shakespeare? Can you name any of the plays he has written? Have you seen any of them, either at the theatre or on film or television? c+ The Reformation divided Europe. How can this division still be seen in the continent or the rest of the world? d+ Why was it natural that England became a great naval power? Why do you think Spain had such a large navy in the 1500s? e+ Monarchs like Henry VIII and Elizabeth I had the power to change the course of history. Do you think individuals can still do this? Explain why/why not. 5 WRITING
a Choose an event in the timeline or the main text and write a radio news bulletin, treating it as breaking news. Be prepared to read your bulletin aloud to the class or in groups.
b+ Choose an event in the timeline or the main text that you see as being especially important. Write a paragraph or two about what its importance consists of and how it changed the course of history. 6 ANALYSIS
3 AFTER READING
What are the chief differences in the way the Reformation occurred in England and Norway? 4 DISCUSSION
Form groups of 3–4 for the following activities: a Can you think of examples of English and Norwegian words which have common roots? What about French and English words?
The paragraph on the next page does not come alive because the sentences are too simple and boring. Make it more interesting by combining sentences and giving them more life. You should try to use linking words to help you. (See Toolbox at access.cdu.no for help on linking words.) Example: The first people of Britain, who lived among its forests and hills, hunted and fished and gathered wild plants.
1: SMALL ISLANDS – BIG HORIZONS
Before the Romans The first people of Britain lived among its forests and hills. They hunted, fished and gathered wild plants. Around 4000 BC, people with stone axes began clearing the forests to grow crops and graze cattle. By 2500 BC, they were using copper and bronze tools. They turned the forests into farms, fields and pasture. By 500 BC the Celts had moved from central Europe into Britain. Homes were mostly round. They had thatched roofs. They grew turnips. They also grew beans. Cabbage and parsnips were other foods they grew. They kept sheep, goats, pigs and cattle. From these animals they got meat, milk, wool and leather.
7 LISTENING – ROBIN HOOD AND THE MONK
The legend of Robin Hood has been told again and again over the centuries. He is the typical English folk hero, inherently good and fair but also an excellent warrior. He is famous for robbing the rich
and greedy Norman barons to feed the poor, and for fighting against injustice and tyranny at a time (the late 12th century) when the English still felt they were under Norman occupation. Listen to an early legend at access.cdu.no (the language is modernised), and do the listening comprehension tasks there. Then work with the following tasks: a Work in pairs. Practise telling the story to each other. First try telling a short version by limiting yourself to one and a half minutes. To do this you will first have to decide what the important parts of the story are. b+ Next, tell a modern-day Robin Hood story. What kind of hero will you make Robin into? Or is he a hero at all? What kind of oppression, injustice or crime does he face and struggle against? Is he an environmental warrior? Is he still a champion of the poor? Work on your ideas for a story. c+ Write a creative text about your “new” hero. This could be a descriptive text, a short story, a poem, song lyrics, a film script of a scene etc. 8 WORKING WITH A FILM – ELIZABETH
This fine historical drama tells the story of Queen Elizabeth I and how she became a great queen. The film shows palace intrigue, attempted assassinations, executions and an England divided by faith: Protestant against Catholic. We watch as the new queen grows into her role. There are tasks for the film at access.cdu.no. 9 QUICK RESEARCH
Russell Crowe as Robin in the ﬁlm “Robin Hood”
PART 1: ACCESS TO HISTORY
Divide into groups of four. Take one question each. Inform each other of what you find. a Where on the European continent did the Angles and Saxons come from? b What claim did William of Normandy have to the English throne? c Did Elizabeth I have any lovers? d How many ships of the Spanish Armada made it home? You will find resources at access.cdu.no.
M A I N E V E N T S : 1600 TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR
British East India Company receives its charter from Elizabeth I
Gunpowder Plot to assassinate James I is discovered
Protestants take over conﬁscated Irish land in Ulster (the north of Ireland)
“Pilgrim Fathers” sail for America on the Mayflower
Civil War begins as Charles I summons his loyal subjects to join him against his enemies in Parliament
Charles I is executed at Whitehall, London
Oliver Cromwell makes himself Lord Protector
Charles II is restored to the throne
Great Fire of London destroys two-thirds of the city
James II is deposed in a “Glorious Revolution”, replaced by William of Orange
Act of Union between England and Scotland is ratiﬁed, creating Great Britain
“Factory Age” begins with the opening of Britain’s ﬁrst cotton mill
American War of Independence begins (ends in American victory in 1783)
Act of Union creates the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Colliery in Newcastle
Britain abolishes the slave trade
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, defeats Napoleon at Waterloo
World’s ﬁrst coal transporting railway service begins in the north of England
Victoria comes to the throne (dies 1901)
Slavery is abolished in the British Empire
Queen Victoria is declared empress of India
Education becomes compulsory for children under ten
“Entente Cordiale” is signed between Britain and France
Titanic sinks with the loss of 1,503 lives
Britain declares war on Germany in response to the invasion of Belgium London c. 1750
1: SMALL ISLANDS – BIG HORIZONS
Write down what you can remember from the last presidential election in the USA. For example, who the candidates were, campaign slogans, policies, promises, news reports, the election night, etc. Form groups of three and compare notes.
Electing a President primaries
ƒ winner ƒ national convention ƒ nomination ƒ Vice President/ platform
ƒ ƒ election (people) ƒ
The American president and his running mate, the vice president, are elected every four years. They are the only federal officials who are elected by the whole nation. Let us take a look at how this is done. There are two major stages in the election process. In the first stage the parties decide whom they shall nominate as their candidates for President and Vice President, and in the second the people elect their President and Vice President.
election (Electoral College)
running mate parhest federal official føderal embetsmann primary primærvalg/ primærval nominee nominert kandidat national convention landsmøte to campaign å drive valgkamp / å drive valkamp momentum (driv)kraft
PART 2: ACCESS TO POLITICS
The nomination race
The nomination race is an exhausting process. From January to June of the election year a series of primaries are held in most states – these are special state-wide elections to choose a state party nominee for president. Primary elections are a peculiarly American institution. Earlier most nominees were chosen by state party conventions. Too often, however, these ended up being controlled by a party elite which some suspected of being more loyal to powerful special interests than to party members or the public. Therefore it was decided to choose state party nominees by a special state-wide election. In essence, this protects the public from the leadership of its own political parties, an odd thought, but consistent with Americans’ distrust of concentrations of power. Primaries are held at different times in different states and often with different rules. In the days before a state primary, everyone hoping to become president visits the state to campaign. Each party emerges with a man or woman as winner in each of the states holding a primary. That winner is then guaranteed the state’s votes at the party’s national convention. As the primaries proceed, the number of persons running for the nomination is gradually reduced to two or three per party. Failure is punished by losing support. Success provides momentum and fresh funding. The comparatively long primary season sometimes allows relative outsiders to pick up support and win the party nomination from better-known candidates. That was the way Barack
Obama defeated the better-known Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination in 2008. Recently more and more states have been holding their primary elections earlier and earlier. The reason is clear. What is the point of holding a state primary after other primary elections may have already determined which candidate has a majority of votes at the national party convention in the summer? The scramble to hold state primaries before it is too late has led to “front loading” – that is, many states holding their primaries as early as possible on the same day. This, of course, favors well-known candidates with lots of money who can campaign in many states at the same time. Ironically, much of that money comes from powerful special interests, the very forces primaries were created to avoid.
Tickets and platforms
In August of election year each party holds its national convention in a major city, and here the party formally chooses its final candidate for president. Many years ago, these were exciting affairs because often it was not clear which of the persons running for the nomination would have enough votes to win. These days the primary season has usually already decided the issue. The actual nomination is more of a ritual, with bal-
Super Tuesday, March 15, 2012 – This was the date when the largest number of Republican state primary elections were held during the US presidential election of 2012. It turned out to be decisive for the eventual victory of the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who was accused of using his large personal fortune to defeat his opponents.
Spot check a) What is a primary election? b) What does the winner of a primary get? c) Why hold primaries as early in the year as possible?
scramble kappløp to favor å favorisere
A presidential candidate without a loving spouse and family is unthinkable in America. Here Mitt Romney (L) is embracing his wife Ann and President Barack Obama (R) embracing First Lady Michelle Obama at the conclusion of the ﬁnal presidential debate in October 2012
4: WE, THE PEOPLE
National conventions weren’t always boring and predictable: National Guardsmen wearing gas masks and armed with rifles and automatic pistols drag off a felled protester at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, 1968. The Vietnam War caused all sorts of protests in the late 60s and early 70s
loons and speeches and cheering crowds when the winner gives an acceptance speech. However, a good deal of interest is still connected to the choosing of a party “ticket” and the creation of a party “platform.” The party ticket is the team of candidates running for President and Vice President in the fall election. The choice of Vice President or “running mate” is entirely up to the presidential nominee. It is usually a closely guarded secret announced only after the presidential nomination has been accepted. Both major parties want a “balanced” ticket; that is, a ticket that appeals to as broad a section of the electorate as possible. If one candidate is from the South, then the other might be from the North or West. If one is relatively conservative, the other might be more liberal. If one is relatively inexperienced, the other might be a seasoned politician or statesman. If one is a woman, the other might be a man. And so on. Of course, all interests cannot be balanced in two people, but an effort is made to be tactically intelligent.
electorate velgerne/veljarane seasoned garvet/garva to incorporate å innlemme fuzzy uklar
PART 2: ACCESS TO POLITICS
Once the ticket is clear, the two sit down with the party leadership and write a party platform on which the team will run for election. The party platform is the closest that Democrats and Republicans ever get to an ideological statement. Like a real platform, it consists of “planks” – separate political statements or promises – which taken together are the party’s political program for this specific election. Party platforms differ from year to year and election to election (as well as from state to state in local elections). They tend to address the pressing issues of the day and often incorporate new political trends that have developed since the last party convention. Within the general outlines of the party (see p. 202) they are designed to meet the expectations of as wide a group of voters as possible. For that reason, they are often somewhat fuzzy and
very broad. It is not uncommon that both parties will promise many of the same things – for example, to make the nation self-sufficient in energy – without actually explaining how that will be accomplished.
The election and the Electoral College
Spot check a) What is a party national convention? b) What is a party “ticket?” c) What is a party “platform?”
Finally, there is the actual election. Serious campaigning begins in September and continues until voting day, the first Tuesday in November. The candidates crisscross the country, speaking at hundreds of meetings, taking part in official debates, appearing on TV as often as possible, gaining the recommendations of important persons and organizations, sending out TV ads, press releases, books and pamphlets, and flooding the social media with their election messages. By voting day an astonishing amount of money will have been used by the two major candidates on the primaries, the conventions and the election campaign. In 2008 it amounted to about $500 million each. By 2012 it had doubled to more than a billion dollars per candidate. It is no wonder that a comedian once quipped that America has the best politicians money can buy.
to crisscross å reise på kryss og tvers to quip å spøke mud-slinging skittkasting to discredit å svekke tilliten til smear campaigns svertekampanjer/svertekampanjar to slander å spre rykter om / å spreie rykte om wiretap telefonavlytting forgery forfalskning/ forfalsking
SNAPSHOT Negative Campaigning Mud-slinging is part and parcel of modern American politics, especially during election campaigns. Many candidates are prepared to go to any length to discredit their opponents. If you can make the electorate believe that your rival is a womanizer (or a man-eater), a liar, a cheat or psychologically unstable, you may well score points. But watch it: he or she will probably do the same to you. Smear campaigns are as old as American politics itself. During the very ﬁrst campaign for President of the United States in the 1790s, Thomas Jefferson hired a journalist to slander his opponent, Alexander Hamilton. In 1964 Lyndon Johnson ran an ad implying that his Republican opponent, Barry Goldwater, would start a nuclear war if elected. His successor, Republican Richard Nixon, had a special squad of negative campaigners called CREEP – the Committee to Re-Elect the President – that used wiretaps, burglary and forgery against the Democrats in 1972. More recently, some Republicans attacked Barack Obama as not being born in the United States and thus not eligible to be president. As silly as this may sound, the “birther” issue eventually forced the White House to produce Obama’s birth certiﬁcate. Democrats, on their side, accused the Republican nominee, the very successful businessman Mitt Romney, of closing down companies and ﬁring employees. Mud can stick.
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial features Thomas Jefferson (second on the left) next to George Washington on the left and Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln on the right
4: WE, THE PEOPLE
Though the President and the Vice President are the only political figures elected nation-wide, they are not elected directly by popular vote, that is, by a majority of the votes cast nationally. Rather they are elected indirectly by a majority of the electoral votes cast by the nation’s fifty states in the Electoral College 41 days after Election Day. Why use an indirect system and why wait 41 days? Because it took weeks to travel from one state to another back in 1787 when the system was set up. Usually Americans did not know and would never see the presidential candidates. But they did know local men whom they trusted. So votes were cast for these men as electors from each state. 41 days gave them time to assemble, discuss the candidates, and send their decision to Washington, D.C. With the coming of political parties and better means of communication, it was decided that the candidate who had won a majority of the popular vote in a state got all the electoral votes in that state (winner-take-all). When people vote today, they vote for the presidential candidate and running mate by name, but it is still the state electors who assemble 41 days later and formally declare who has won. Then on January 20 the president-elect takes the oath of office and the whole process can begin again three years later.
to cast å gi (en stemme) / å gi (ei røyst) electoral votes valgmannsstemmer/ valmannsrøyster elector valgmann/valmann to assemble å samles / å samlast oath of office embetsed/ embetseid popular votes stemmer fra velgere / røyster frå veljarar Spot check a) When is the presidential election held? b) How much money did each presidential candidate use in 2012? c) Why is the president elected indirectly? d) Why are there exactly 538 Electoral votes?
PART 2: ACCESS TO POLITICS
The Electoral College
Each state is given a number of electors equal to its total representation in Congress (two Senators + Congressmen), and the District of Columbia (site of the capital Washington, which belongs to no state) is given three electors. That means that the total number of electoral votes is equal to: 435 Congressmen + 100 Senators + 3 from the District of Columbia = 538 electoral votes To win the presidential election a candidate must have a majority of these votes – that is 269 + 1 = 270. That is the magic number. Note that it is possible for a President to be elected with a majority of the votes in the Electoral College while having a minority of the popular vote nationwide. This can happen because small states are over-represented in the Electoral College.
Interactive tasks: www.access.cdu.no
TA S K S 1
EXPLAINING A PROCESS
Using the information given in the margin on p. 214 as key words, tell a partner about the stages in the American election process. Switch roles afterwards. 2 ANALYSIS
a The text below is written by someone who has a basic grasp of American politics but also a very limited vocabulary and knowledge of grammar. Your task is to improve the text so that it successfully informs 10th graders in Norway about how Americans elect a president. Here is a list of words used in the text. Make sure you know what they mean, as some of them will come in handy in your work. to nominate – nomination – primaries – nominee – campaign – national convention – political platform – Vice President – Electoral College – running mate – electors Now I wanna tell you how American’s get a new President. First there is a choosing process where the partys hold primitives in the states. All the candidates are very busy camping, you know, kissing babys and so on. The winner in each state get the votes of that state in the national conversation. There they votes again, and find out who the party nominy will be. That person then chooses a Vice, or jogging mate. These guys then find out what they should mean about special things, and this is their platform politics. And then they are off kissing baby’s again! At last, the people get to vote, but this is very strange. They ain’t voting for the candidates but for some dudes in a college! These then get together and figure out who the winner’s.
Discuss in pairs or small groups: a We are often told that Norwegian elections are becoming more and more “Americanized.” What is meant by this? Is it true, in your opinion? If it is true, is it a good or a bad thing? Give reasons for your answers. b “In the USA, the President is not elected by the people.” Comment on this statement. c In Britain and Norway, a party leader becomes chief executive (prime minister) by relying on support in Parliament. In the USA this is not the case. What is different? d+ Some believe that the process of electing a President goes on far too long. In fact, some contend that it begins directly after the last President is elected. Looking back over the process outlined in this section, what could be done to make it shorter? 4 TAKING ACTION – PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
Find out who the front runners for the next presidential nomination are for either the Democrats or the Republicans. Then choose one person and compile a short report for the class. What do they say about why they want to become President? Who supports them? Who opposes them for the nomination? What does the press think of this person’s chances of actually getting the nomination? What do you think of the candidate? You may choose to give your report as an oral presentation. See Toolbox at access.cdu.no for help.
b+ Write a brief comment on the changes you have made and why you think they make the text better.
4: WE, THE PEOPLE
5 WORKING WITH STATISTICS – VOTER PREFERENCE
6 QUICK RESEARCH
Study the table below and answer the questions that follow it. Voter preference in the 2012 presidential election (percentages) Barack Obama (Democrat)
Mitt Romney (Republican)
By Race White Black Latino Asian
39 93 71 73
59 7 27 26
By Gender Men Women
By Age 18–29 30–44 45–64 65 and older
60 52 47 44
37 45 51 56
a Which ethnic group gave the greatest preference to Barack Obama? By how much? b Which ethnic group gave the greatest preference to Mitt Romney? By how much? c Which gender gave the greatest preference to Barack Obama? By how much? d Which gender gave the greatest preference to Mitt Romney? By how much? e Which age group gave the greatest preference to Barack Obama? By how much? f Which age group gave the greatest preference to Mitt Romney. By how much? g In all, how many categories given above gave Barack Obama a majority of votes? h Judging by support according to age, which political party would seem to have the brighter future? i+ Using the table above, what would be the characteristics of the strongest supporters of Obama? The strongest supporters of Romney?
PART 2: ACCESS TO POLITICS
Make groups of four and divide the topics below between you. Then find information about your chosen topic. Report back to your group afterwards. You will find helpful links at access.cdu.no. a Which state first began holding a primary election? When? b Concerning the most recent presidential election: – How many states held primary elections? – When did primary elections begin? – When did they end? c How many votes did a candidate need to win the presidential nomination at the Democratic national convention? What about the Republican national convention? d How many Electoral votes did the winner of the last presidential election receive? How many more was this than what he or she needed to win?
Supporters of Sen. Barack Obama await his arrival at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver on Aug. 28, 2008. Fresh from his party’s unanimous nomination, Obama was poised to give Democrats a stadium-sized send-off into the fall campaign
Below you will get a glimpse of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton’s successful campaign for the presidency against Republican George H. Bush in 1992. It is written by Joe Klein, a political journalist who followed Clinton from the early primaries through the election itself. Presidential campaigns might seem rather mechanical and boring in this chapter. In fact, they are packed full of energy, drama and personality. The candidates have to work themselves to the bone to gain the public trust. In the end, it is the individual qualities of the candidates themselves that may determine the outcome. As one politician put it, “Without a candidate who excites people, you can have the greatest strategy and machinery in the world and it won’t matter.” Do you know anything about Bill Clinton, or about his wife, Hillary? Write a few words down representing your knowledge and impressions of these two public figures. Compare your results with those of a classmate.
The Natural By Joe Klein
It was one thing to hear Bill Clinton talk about policy; it was quite another to watch him actually campaign for the presidency. There was a physical, almost carnal, quality to his public appearances. He embraced audiences and was aroused by them in turn. His sonar was remarkable in retail political situations. He seemed able to sense what audiences needed and deliver it to them – trimming his pitch here, emphasizing different priorities there, always aiming to please. This was one of his most effective, and maddening, qualities in private meetings as well: He always grabbed on to some point of agreement, while steering the conversation away from larger points of disagreement – leaving his seducee with the distinct impression that they were in total harmony on just about everything […] There was a needy, high-cholesterol quality to it all; the public seemed enthralled by his vast, messy humanity. Try as he might to keep in shape, jogging for miles with his pale thighs jiggling, he still tended toward a raw pink fleshiness. He was famously addicted to junk food. He had a reputation as a womanizer […] Indeed, the news that he’d been fooling around with an Arkansas lounge singer named Gennifer Flowers, which appeared in a supermarket tabloid a few weeks before the New Hampshire primary, almost seemed redundant. It was only when that peccadillo was compounded by a second, more serious scandal – he was lying about his determined efforts to avoid the military
carnal sanselig, kjødelig / sanseleg, lekamleg sonar ekkolodd retail detaljseducee den som er blitt forført enthralled trollbundet/ trollbunden womanizer skjørtejeger redundant overflødig peccadillo lite feiltrinn
4: WE, THE PEOPLE
draft during the war in Vietnam – that his poll numbers began to drop. Even then, the damage was temporary. On the night before the New Hampshire primary, well after his last scheduled public appearance, I found Clinton going from table to table at a local restaurant, shaking hands, chatting with anyone willing to engage him. He went from restaurant to restaurant through the dinner hour, and then made a tour of the bowling alleys of Manchester – just until past midnight, when there were no more hands to shake, no more places to go except back to his hotel. He was exhausted and flu-ridden; his face was flushed, his eyes were red and bleary, but he wasn’t quite ready to pack it in. “You want to bowl a game?” he asked me. If I remember correctly, Clinton bowled in his stocking feet, his white shirttail hanging out. At times, as we stood there, waiting for our balls to return down the alley, he’d lean up against me – a strange feline sensation; he needed the physical contact.
draft innkalling (til militærtjeneste) / innkalling (til militærteneste) flu-ridden plaget av influensa / plaga av influensa feline katteaktig to rouse å vekke (til live) languishing slapp patrician fornem person foil bakgrunn transparency gjennomsiktighet, ærlighet / noko gjennomsiktig, ærlegdom mike mikrofon to ail å plage
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The Clinton campaign appeared to exist entirely, and very comfortably, within the grammar of popular culture – a cross between a disaster movie and a country music song. The governor roused his languishing campaign by playing the saxophone on Arsenio Hall’s television program […] His staff called him Elvis – and, more privately, “The Natural,” after the character played by Robert Redford in the film adaption of Bernard Malamud’s baseball novel. He was, they would say quoting the film, “the best there ever was.” It was all great fun, and the distant, patrician President George Bush provided a perfect foil. But there was also a touching, uncynical transparency to the campaign: The candidate actually seemed moved by the stories he heard along the way, and the stories, more often than not, fit his vision of the challenge ahead. People – factory workers, middle managers, the folks who populated the fast-food restaurants he visited – really were scared about the future: Would there be a place for them in the new, high-tech global economy? James Carville’s famous sign – “It’s the economy, stupid” – was posted to keep the campaign staff “on message.” The candidate himself needed no such reminders. The campaign reached its climax in the second presidential debate on October 15, 1992, in Richmond, Virginia – a town meeting that included spontaneous questions from the audience. The candidates sat on high stools, were given wireless mikes and were free to wander about the stage. Toward the end of the debate, an African-American woman asked a confusing question: “How has the national debt personally affected each of your lives? And if it hasn’t, how can you honestly find a cure for the economic problems of the common people if you have no experience in what’s ailing them?”
Bush: “I’m sure it has. I love my grandchildren. I’m not sure I get … help me with the question.” Q: “Well, I’ve had friends who’ve been laid off from their jobs.” Moderator: “I think she means the recession … rather than the deficit.” Bush: “Well, listen, you ought to be in the White House for a day and hear what I hear … I was in the Lomax AME Church. It’s a black church just outside Washington, D.C. And I read the bulletin about teenage pregnancies, about the difficulties people are having making ends meet …” After more such struggle, it was Clinton’s turn – and he did something quite extraordinary. He took three steps toward the woman and asked her, “Tell me how it’s affected you again?” The woman was speechless. Clinton helped her along, describing some of the terrible economic stories he’d heard as governor of Arkansas. But the words weren’t as important as the body language: The three steps he had taken toward the woman spoke volumes about his empathy, his concern, his desire to respond to the needs of the public. Bush, by contrast, was caught gazing at his wristwatch – hoping desperately that this awkward moment would soon be done. And, indeed, it was: The presidential campaign was, in effect, over. (Excerpt from The Natural. The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton)
recession økonomisk tilbakeslag to speak volumes å si en hel del / å seie ein heil del While Bill Clinton steps forward to speak with a woman in the audience, President Bush (left) talks with independent candidate Ross Perot during the second presidential debate in Richmond in October of 1992
Interactive tasks: www.access.cdu.no
TA S K S 1
Did you learn anything you found surprising in this account of Clinton’s campaign? Is there anything you would now add or change in your list of knowledge and impressions of the Clintons? 2 SUMMING UP
a Make a list of bullet points summing up the content of this article. Start with: • Clinton’s manner of campaigning • … (etc.) b Compare your list with another student’s and make a third, combining both lists. 3 CLOSE READING – DETAILS
a Characterize Clinton’s relationship to his audience. b Why did Clinton avoid points of disagreement? c How does Klein describe Clinton’s physical attributes? d Who was Gennifer Flowers? e Why did his staff call Clinton “The Natural”? f+ What did Clinton do that made him attractive in the presidential debate? g+ Why does Klein say “The presidential campaign was, in effect, over”?
d+ On the basis of the excerpt you have just read, what qualities do you think the ideal candidate for the American presidency should have? Make a list of the five most important qualities you can think of and compare it with a classmate’s. e+ “The Clinton campaign appeared to exist entirely, and very comfortably, within the grammar of popular culture – a cross between a disaster movie and a country music song.” What do you think Klein means by this? (Hint: What is typical of a disaster movie? Of a country music song? ) f+ Do you think people today have less reason to be frightened of their future in “the new hightech global economy” than they had in 1992? Why? 5 ROLE PLAY
You are going to be in the audience in a town hall presidential debate where you can ask questions. Write a set of five questions you believe any presidential candidate ought to be able to answer if you are going to vote for them. Now find a classmate to work with. Take turns being participant and presidential candidate. Ask one another your questions and answer them as well as you can. Would you vote for this person?
a Judging from what you have read here, how important is the “personal touch” in American politics? Is it equally important in Norwegian politics? Why/Why not? b Joe Klein refers to individuals with whom Clinton has spoken as “the seducee.” What do you think he means by this? Is he implying that Clinton is a liar? c Which politician in Norway today do you think is the best at communicating with Norwegians? What makes this person so good at it? Explain your answer to a classmate and listen to their explanation.
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a On the basis of task 4c above, write a short sketch of the politician you chose and then make an analysis of the qualities that make this person is so good at communicating with the public. How could this person become even better at it? b “People ought to pick their elected officials on the basis of their political beliefs, not their personalities.” Write a persuasive essay either supporting or opposing this statement.
Before your read the following text, close the book and think back over what you have already learned about the British and American forms of government over the last chapters. Then sit with a neighbour and discuss what they have in common and how are they different.
The Anglo-American World: Political Influence “Government of the people, by the people, for the people” – Abraham Lincoln
Parliamentary and presidential democracy
Let us begin with the British system of parliamentary democracy. This is a system in which the national assembly of a country has the final power to decide not only the laws of the land, but also who shall execute those laws. In Great Britain this system developed over many centuries through a power struggle between Parliament and the monarch (king or queen). Gradually a form of “constitutional monarchy” developed in which the monarch’s most important or “prime” minister became in reality responsible to the largest party or block of parties in Parliament when using executive power. In essence, the monarch was made a figurehead, a head of state who could “reign but not rule”. During the 1800s the right to vote in parliamentary elections was given to more and more people. Finally, in the early 1900s, it was given to all adult citizens, a necessary basis for democracy. In contrast, the American system of presidential democracy was created by the written Constitution adopted as a whole in 1787. In a presidential democracy the President is chosen by a general election and presides (thus the name) over the government as both the head of state, like a king, and chief executive, like a prime minister. The executive power of the President is separated from the power of the elected national assembly (Congress), which decides the laws of the land, but not who shall execute them. These two separate “branches” of government are joined by a third, the judiciary (Supreme Court), which decides whether laws passed by the national assembly and accepted by the President are consistent with the written constitution. The three branches set limits for one another’s power through a system of checks and balances. Not all Americans had the right to vote when the Constitution was adopted in
Democracy: a government in which the power is controlled by the people and exercised by them either directly or indirectly through a system of representation involving regularly held free elections in which all adult citizens can vote.
to exercise å utøve national assembly nasjonalforsamling to execute å utøve figurehead symbol, gallionsfigur to preside å lede / å leie to be consistent with å være i tråd med / å vere i tråd med
4: WE, THE PEOPLE
1787, but by the 1830s it had been extended to all free white men, by 1870 to all men white or black, and by 1920 to all women as well. The British parliamentary system and the American presidential system of democracy are closely related, as might be expected. Both have national assemblies with two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords for Britain and the House of Representatives and the Senate for America. Both share a belief in the rule of law, and both believe in free and fair elections in which all adult citizens must have the right to vote. The significant difference between them, however, is that the prime minister of the United Kingdom owes power to a majority in Parliament, which can take that power away, while the President of United States is elected by the people, holds power independently of Congress and can only be removed from power by impeachment. Many other differences flow from this central difference, but it is the single most important one.
Exerting influence Emulation: Imitating something or someone with the aim of equalling or surpassing it. Colonization: Establishing a settlement or gaining power over a subservient people in another country. Imposition: Forcing the adoption of something through use of power.
These two systems have exerted influence through the centuries in three basic ways: through emulation, through colonization and through imposition. Specific cases may have involved a mixture of all three, of course. In general, however, one can say that British influence was at first exerted through colonization and imposition, but gradually became more a matter of emulation as its Empire was replaced by the Commonwealth. American influence, on the other hand, was at first a matter of emulation. Only later did elements of colonization and imposition enter the picture. Let us look at a few concrete examples of this influence, starting with the United States.
America and emulation
to exert å utøve emulation etterligning/ etterlikning colonization kolonisering imposition påtvinging to surpass å overgå subservient underordnet/ underordna
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The system of government of the United States made its first impact on its fellow colonies in Central and South America. They threw off the rule of Spain and Portugal and established independent governments in the first half of the 1800s. Not surprisingly, the great majority used the American system of presidential democracy as their model of government – the most modern form of the day. Its basic elements included: – a written constitution – an elected president – an elected national assembly (usually with two chambers) – a supreme court Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru and Chile
are all examples of this today. However, emulation of the USA was not confined to the Americas. For example, in 1814 a small country on the edges of Europe declared its independence and adopted a written constitution which divided power into three “branches” – the executive, the legislative and the judicial powers. It was no coincidence that one of its authors, Christian Magnus Falsen, baptised his son George Benjamin Falsen during the Eidsvoll constitutional convention.
Great Britain and colonization
By the end of the 1800s there were basically two kinds of colonies in the British Empire; colonies in which settlers made up the majority – as in Canada, Australia or New Zealand – and colonies in which the indigenous population made up the majority – as in Malaysia, Nigeria and India. Colonies of settlers began to gain self-government as early as the middle of the 1800s. They pioneered the use of the “Westminster system”, a form of British parliamentary democracy taking its name from the Palace of Westminster where the British Parliament meets. Its basic elements included: – a head of state who is primarily a ceremonial figurehead – a prime minister with executive power who leads the largest party or block of parties in the national assembly
confined begrenset/avgrensa constitutional convention grunnlovsforsamling indigenous population innfødt befolkning / innfødd befolkning Old postcard depicting four corners of the British Empire
– an elected national assembly, consisting of two houses which can pass laws, call elections and remove the prime minister by majority vote – a loyal opposition, that is, a party or parties that wish to replace the ruling party, but not overthrow the system After the Second World War, colonies with indigenous populations were also granted self-government and independence. One of the first was India (see listening task on page 230). The great majority adopted one or another variant of parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster system. Today this includes nations such as the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Jamaica, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore, the Republic of Ireland, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago, to name but a few.
Influence in modern times
to grant å gi notable framtredende / iaugefallande
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Another development after the Second World War was the direct imposition of new, democratic forms of government on defeated nations, notably Germany and Japan. This reflected the Cold War. Seen from a Western perspective, imposing democracy on Germany and Japan both liberated them from the dictatorships they had suffered under and protected them from the new communist dictatorships that threatened them. In the decades that followed, both Anglo-American forms of democracy served as a source of inspiration and hope for peoples in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Indeed, some would say that the collapse of communism in that area of the world was due to precisely the attraction of these forms of democracy. In any case, since the end of the Cold War many former communist nations have emulated one or both, often mixing elements of the two. Today these include nations such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Slovakia. On the other hand, some attempts to establish democracy went badly wrong. During the Cold War the United States created or supported some anti-communist governments which were democratic in form, but dictatorships in practice. The most notable example was the government of South Vietnam, a democracy that gradually became a dictatorship, lost the support of the people and collapsed. A similar development occurred in Iran. Elsewhere in the world, not a few of the former British colonies that gained independence as democracies became dictatorships for a time, such as Uganda and Nigeria. Recently, the United States and Great Britain fought to establish functioning democracies in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Some applauded this effort, viewing it as the liberation of both nations from earlier dictator-
ships. Others condemned it as a doomed attempt to impose a political system from the outside. At the time of writing, the democratic governments of both nations remain unstable and under attack by elements which view them as representatives of foreign occupying powers, i.e. primarily the United States and Great Britain. It remains to be seen if these efforts at “democratization” will be as successful as they were in Japan and Germany, or end up failures as in South Vietnam. Either way, there can be little doubt that the democratic forms of government of both the United States and the United Kingdom will continue to exert a strong influence on the world in the 21st century.
Building democracy? Children in Samarra, Iraq watch as US soldiers carry out a house-tohouse search on November 13, 2004
doomed dømt til å mislykkes / dømd til å mislykkast Spot check a) What are the main similarities and differences between the British and American political systems? b) In what ways have the two political systems exerted influence on other countries? c) Are the two systems still influential in the world today? If so, how?
4: WE, THE PEOPLE
TA S K S 1
Make a Venn diagram comparing the political systems in the UK and the USA. If you need help constructing such a diagram, see Toolbox at access.cdu.no. 2 CLOSE READING – JEOPARDY
Make questions that fit these answers: a It gradually evolved. b Reigns but does not rule. c It was created through a written document. d A system of checks and balances. e It is the single most important difference. f These are emulation, colonization and imposition. g Argentina, Mexico and Brazil are examples. h Colonies with a majority of settlers and colonies with a majority of indigenous peoples. i The Bahamas, Malta and the Republic of Ireland are examples. j It protected them from communist dictatorships. k Estonia and Romania are examples. l Iran had a similar development. m Some view them as representatives of occupying powers. 3 DISCUSSION
Discuss the following in small groups: a “Kings and democracy don’t mix. Therefore a presidential system is the best.” Discuss this statement. b You are a newly independent island nation. You want to establish a democratic political system. What kind of system or mix of systems do you want? Compare your choice with another group’s. c “Democracy cannot be forced upon a population.” Do you agree? d+ Are the American and British systems of government still good models for the world or have they lost their appeal?
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Interactive tasks: www.access.cdu.no
4 QUICK RESEARCH – WHO WERE THEY?
Here is a list of people who have played a role in the political history of their country. Work in groups and divide the people in the list between you. Then go to access.cdu.no and find five interesting facts about “your” person(s). Join your group again and share your findings. Thomas Jefferson – Simon Bolivar – Jawaharlal Nehru – Eamon de Valera – Jomo Kenyatta – William Gladstone – Indira Gandhi – Norman Manley – Nelson Mandela – Konrad Adenauer – General Douglas MacArthur (Japan) – Mohammed Ali Jinnah – Boris Yeltsin – Benazir Bhutto – Aung San Suu Ky – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – Vaclav Havel – Lech Walesa 5 LISTENING – INDIA AND ZIMBABWE
India and Zimbabwe are two democracies that both bear the imprint of Anglo-American political influence, but have developed in quite different ways since their establishment. In part, this reflects the unique history of each, of course, but it also illustrates the different ways they have used the AngloAmerican heritage to construct their particular form of government. a Make a list of what you believe a society must have if it is going to be a successfully functioning democracy – for example, a free press. Compare your list with that of a fellow pupil. b Listen to the text “India and Zimbabwe” at access.cdu.no. Do the tasks at the website. c+ Go back to the list you made in task 5a. Now compare the items listed there with the societies you have just heard about. How many of the qualities that you mentioned do they fulfill?
DIGGING DEEPER: PART 2 See p. 153 for an introduction to in-depth research work.
Topics to investigate 1)
Find out what the most recent opinion polls can tell about current support for the major UK parties. See also if there are any recent by-election results. On the basis of this information, prepare a presentation on current popularity trends. Find out what role the monarch plays in British politics and what issues concerning the royal family are currently featured in the British media. Choose a recent or ongoing international conflict in which the UK has some degree of involvement. What role does the UK play in this conflict, and how is its involvement covered by the British media? Britain and the USA have had a love-hate relationship over the centuries. Explain what the state of this “special relationship” is today. Analyze the most recent presidential election in the USA. Find out who some of the candidates in the primaries were, who won the nomination at each party’s convention, and what the main issues of the election were. Present the main reasons for the success of the winning candidate. Find out about one of the following important cases ruled on by the Supreme Court. Explain what the case was about and what the outcome was. – Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) – Miranda v. Arizona (1966) – Roe v. Wade (1973) – Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
Since the 1990s the American federal government has been shut down twice because of disagreements among its branches. Find out for both instances when it happened, how it happened and why it happened. 8) The internet has become an important venue for political agitation. Find websites used to campaign for or against specific “hot button” issues in the USA. Choose two such sites and compare the methods they use to promote their views. Areas of interest might, for example, be use of language (quotes, characteristics etc.) and visual or auditory effects (pictures, videos, sound clips etc.). Explain which of the sites you think has the most effective way of presenting its message. 9) Charity and volunteer work has been extremely important in the USA, particularly during economic downturns like the one that began in 2008. See what you can find out about how many Americans give charitable contributions each year and how many are active in voluntary work. What is their motivation? 10) Explain the political system in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico or Russia. Focus specifically on influence from the British and/or American political system. Self-evaluation Go to the section called “Self-evaluation” at access.cdu.no to rate your performance in English according to the goals in the subject curriculum.
4: WE, THE PEOPLE
WRITING COURSE 2: WRITING INTRODUCTIONS An American newspaper editor once gave young journalists the following advice on how to write a newspaper article: “First you tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em. Then you tell ’em. Then you tell ’em what you just told ’em.” It is not the most exciting advice in the world and, if taken literally, it could result in some fairly boring and repetitive articles. Nevertheless, there is an element of common sense here too. An article – or an essay – can be divided into three parts: a beginning, a middle and an end. The middle is where the main content will be and where the writer will succeed or fail in tackling the task he or she has been given. Why worry about an introduction and a conclusion then? Well, for one thing, it is human nature. Whether we are giving a speech or just having a conversation, we have a need to build up to what we have to say and to round it off afterwards. Not doing so would make both the speech and the conversation seem rather abrupt and even confusing. So, while introductions and conclusions are not essential for the content of an article or essay, they can be an aid to communication and a way of focusing the reader’s attention on what is being said. It is important to emphasise that there are as many ways to introduce and conclude texts as there are texts, and that many successful introductions and conclusions do not stick to the guidelines described below. However, many of them do tend to follow particular patterns, depending on genre, and it is worth being aware of these to increase your own writing repertoire. An introduction usually aims to do at least one of the following: 1) to gain the reader’s attention for what is to come, 2) to whet the reader’s appetite or 3) to provide the reader
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with the necessary information to understand the main body of the text. A good introduction will often do all three of these things.
1) Reports A report is an objective and relatively formal genre, so introductions tend to be short and strictly functional. They express in a few lines what the report is about and what aspect of the topic you are going to be focusing on (perhaps even pointing out what will not be included), and give whatever information the reader needs to understand the main text of the report. Here is an example: The purpose of this report is to show the reasons behind the recent conflict between teaching staff in the English department and the school library concerning the borrowing of class sets of literature, and how this can be avoided in the future.
2) News article A news article follows a similar pattern to the report above. A news article invariably opens with a sentence that gets to the very heart of the events being reported on. Often it will repeat in “longhand” what is already stated in abbreviated form in the headline: Muslim convert planned to steal bodyguard’s gun and murder Prince Harry
A white Muslim convert planned to disarm a royal bodyguard and use the gun to kill Prince Harry in an attack he had named Operation Regal.
3) Essays There are different sorts of essays (see the Text Analysis Course at access.cdu.no), but whether you are writing an expository, an analytical, a persuasive or a personal essay, the conventions of essay writing require a less abrupt form of introduction than we use in a report. An essay is an individual and subjective response to a particular task or question, and this is reflected in the introduction. a) Zooming in One strategy for writing introductions to essays is to go from the general to the specific. “The specific” in this case is the main topic of the text, the argument you are putting forward or the analysis you are making. “The general” means the broader perspective in which this topic, argument or analysis belongs. In other words, the introduction “zooms in” on the main focus. For example, if you are writing a text on a particular historical event, your introduction might take as its point of departure the period of history in which this event belongs. If, on the other hand, it is a social issue, e.g. racism, that is the main focus of your text, you might open with a reference to the historical context in which racism arose. One tool that can be useful in this “zooming in” process is the anecdote or the quotation. The opening paragraph of this piece of writing is an example of that; the anecdote about the newspaper editor has obvious relevance to the topic of writing introductions and conclusions and places it in a wider context. Obviously, this tool will only be successful if the anecdote or quotation is apt (i.e. fits the topic well) and fairly short. Introductions should not be so long or complicated as to draw attention away from the main body of the text.
Let us imagine that you are writing a persuasive essay about gay marriage. You might choose to “zoom in” using the general perspective of changing attitudes to homosexuality: It is strange to reflect that no more than a generation ago heterosexuality was the only sexuality that was permissible in most European countries. Homosexual acts were outlawed and gays that dared to live out their sexuality did so in secret, for fear both of stigmatisation and prosecution. In schools and churches, homosexuality was barely mentioned and in psychiatry it was treated as an aberration to be cured. It is hardly surprising then that the idea of same-sex marriages still arouses strong feelings in some quarters. Now look at an introductory paragraph to the following essay task: Looking at the modern world, do you see the legacy of the British Empire as being mostly positive or negative? Here the writer has chosen an anecdote – i.e. a reference to a particular occurrence – to “zoom in” from: In 1997 the world witnessed a ceremony in which the Union Jack was lowered for the last time in Hong Kong as the colony was finally handed back to China. Since Hong Kong was the last British colony of any significance, it was a ceremony of symbolic significance, effectively drawing the curtains on Britain’s colonial past. But it also signalled the beginning of a debate about what Britain’s colonial experience really meant. Had Britain, as some argued, invented the modern world and paved the way for democracy and development? Or had the whole project really been about British self-interest and greed at whatever the cost to the colonised?
Introductions like these could fit an essay arguing in either direction. Which way the writer chooses to go would first be revealed in the next part of the introduction: the thesis statement. b) The thesis statement This is a statement that sets out clearly what you aim to achieve in the essay. Rather like the courtroom attorney telling the jury how you are going to prove that your client is innocent of any crime, you are informing the reader of your intentions. This strategy should be used with care. For one thing, the text you are writing is usually a response to a particular task that functions as a heading. If your introduction simply repeats this task, it is pointless and will seem very mechanical. Look at this introduction, for example: In this text I am going to look at the some of the positive aspects of the British Empire and then some of the negative aspects. Then I am going to weigh them against each other and finally conclude on whether the legacy of the British Empire is mostly positive or negative. This feels more like a travel itinerary than an introduction. It does not state a thesis at all. It simply describes what you should have thought through before you started writing! A thesis statement should be more specific than that; it should express the central point that your essay will be making. Often a thesis statement is used after a more general introduction of the “zooming in” variety. Our first paragraphs about gay marriage and the legacy of British Empire might be followed by the following thesis statements:
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In the following I am going to argue that an acceptance of same-sex marriage not only reflects a greater tolerance of human diversity, but can also be seen as strengthening rather than undermining public morality since it extends the “conservative” institution of marriage to a part of the population that until now has been excluded. In the following essay I am going to argue that, while British colonisation may have left structures and institutions that are beneficial to the countries subjected to it, its legacy must first and foremost be seen as one of social conflict and division. Notice that the thesis statement does not require you to be entirely for or entirely against an issue. The world is complicated and there is enough extremism as there is! The “while …” clause in the second thesis statement implies that the question is not black and white; i.e. there were also positive aspects to the British Empire. c) Setting out the facts A third introductory strategy is to set out the basic facts or information that the main body of your text will build on. You are often faced with a dilemma here; how much of the social or historical context should you suppose is familiar to your “imagined reader”? Or if, for example, you are writing about a short story, how much do you need to tell about the plot? How much of the background of the main character do you need to explain? The answer to these questions will depend on the task in hand, but as a general rule we can say that you can imagine your reader to be someone with the same level of knowledge and
insight as yourself. If you are writing about a literary text, you can assume that your reader has read it too. So a short presentation of a text is all that is required. Detailed plot summaries should certainly be avoided.
4) Feature articles A feature article (see the Text Analysis Course at access.cdu.no) differs from a news article in that it aims to not merely inform, but also to analyse and entertain. The main aim of the opening paragraph is therefore to catch the reader’s attention and draw the reader in. We call this a narrative hook, and what form it takes will be depend on what the general tone of the article as a whole is; humorous, dramatic, tragic, etc. The feature article on p. 314, which deals with gun culture in American cities, “zooms in” on one particular victim of this culture and the dramatic episodes that have shaped his childhood: Tyquran Horton, 17, lost one of his uncles before he was born – shot by somebody who wanted his coat in 1990. Another uncle died in 2010: he got into an argument on a street corner and somebody pulled a gun and shot him three times. Then, one afternoon in October 2011, Tyquran’s mother, Zurana, was picking up two of her younger kids at Public School 298 in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. Somebody (it’s always “somebody”) started shooting from a rooftop nearby. When the subject of a feature article is comedy actor and Monty Python member Michael Palin, it is hardly surprising that the writer chooses a lighter, more humorous narrative hook as an opening:
Legend has it that when Michael Palin answers his front door to a stranger, he will pretend, if necessary, to be his own brother, in order to escape. (Robert Chalmers: The Independent 29/7/12) The aims of these very different narrative hooks are the same – to give a flavour of the main text and to make sure that we read on.
5) Reviews A review has much in common with a feature article; it aims to analyse and entertain. However, it also has features in common with a report in that it has to provide basic information about the film, book, play etc. that is being reviewed. As in reports, this information is often included in the opening paragraph. Here is an example taken from a film review: Director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is like magic, a hypnotic reminder of why we go to cinemas. Based on Yann Martel’s fantasy/adventure novel, this is a magnificent-looking film, which features the best 3D effects on screen since James Cameron’s Avatar (2009). But unlike Avatar, which featured life on another planet, Life of Pi vividly paints the beauty of life on our own. The film is also a sublime achievement in terms of spirituality, and is likely to touch a deep chord with its moving narrative. (Noman Ansari: The Express Tribune, December 11, 2012) The first sentence functions as a narrative hook, whetting our appetite to read on. The paragraph as a whole gives an overview of the background of the film (the director, the book
it is based on), a brief characterisation of what sort of film it is (an adventure film with 3D effects) and also a brief evaluation of the film (in this case, positive).
TASKS 1 Look at the introductory paragraphs of the following articles: – Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be (p. 238) – The Great American Decline? (p. 294) Discuss the following questions: a What is the main function of the introduction in each text: to gain the reader’s attention for what is come, to whet the reader’s appetite or to provide the reader with the necessary information to understand the main part of the text? b Which strategies are used in the introductions? c Is anecdote or quotation used? If so, to what effect? 2 What type of text do you think the following three introductions are taken from? What features do they have that are typical? a A student was left in critical condition after an incident at Beverley Shopping Centre in Haverhill county on Friday in which a gunman opened fire on shoppers. b Don’t let the depressing title put you off – this latest offering from five-piece jazz ensemble Prism from Newcastle lives up to the high expectations created by their four previous albums. c Smiling shyly and politely as he shakes my hand at our first meeting, veteran journalist Rick Jones seems a million miles away from the rebel and troublemaker he is often depicted as by the media.
PART 2: ACCESS TO POLITICS
3+ Write the introduction only to the texts listed below, using some of the strategies we have mentioned. Afterwards, sit in small groups and compare your results. a A review of a film or a TV series you like/dislike. b A report on a piece of work (a project, presentation, experiment, etc.) you have done this year in some other subject (i.e. not an English lesson). c A news report on an (invented) incident involving a bicycle, a goat, a police officer and a Norwegian media celebrity. d The following essay task: According to a well-known axiom, “travel broadens the mind”. As international tourism tempts ever more of us to ever more distant destinations, do you think this axiom still holds true? e A feature article on one of the following topics: – The phenomenon called “russefeiring” in Norwegian high schools – The media celebrity mentioned in task c – A holiday destination
The UK: Today and Tomorrow
Competence aims in focus: The aims of the studies are to enable students to: – elaborate on and discuss questions related to social and economic conditions in the United Kingdom – analyse a regional or international conflict in which the United Kingdom is involved – elaborate on and discuss current debates in the United Kingdom – elaborate on and discuss linguistically demanding texts with a social perspective – summarize, comment on and discuss differing viewpoints on social issues – use information based on figures and statistics as a basis for communicating on social issues – present a major in-depth project with a topic from Social Studies English and assess the process (Translation: udir.no)
PART 3: ACCESS TO SOCIETY
CHAP TER 5:
We often hear people, particularly old people, complain about the pace of change and how things were better before. Nostalgia is that feeling of longing for times past. Make a list of five things you think Norwegians are nostalgic about.
Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be – Britain in the 21st Century In the little Kentish town of Tenterden they are getting ready for a party. The buntings are up at the station where the steam trains huff and puff in anticipation. The car park is nearly full of Austins, Hillmans, Humbers and Rovers, all gleaming in the sunshine, and the proud owners are using the wing mirrors to put the final touches to their pencil-thin moustaches or their pinned-back “victory roll” hairstyles. In the station yard the crowds are assembling, many of the men in uniform, the ladies in their best floral frocks. Over the loudspeakers the strains of Flanagan and Allen’s “Underneath the Arches” are interrupted by an announcement that the Spitfire fly-past can be expected at three o’clock. The year is 2013, but you would hardly think so. Only the tell-tale smart phones, smuggled out to immortalise the scene, give it away. This is Tenterden’s annual 1940s weekend, when the townspeople, young and old, dress up like their grandparents or great-grandparents and pretend that the last 70 years just didn’t happen. “Relive the Fabulous Forties” is the event’s catchphrase and it draws people from far and wide. The crowds get bigger every year. Of course, nostalgia is an essential part of the British psyche. You might say it is one of the country’s main growth industries. And it’s not only the 1940s that gets the treatment – there are nostalgia events for everything from the Iron Age to the pop music of the 1990s. But if you want to pull the crowds, there’s nothing like the magic of the 1940s.
bunting flagg frock kjole to immortalise å forevige psyche psyke, mentalitet austerity strenghet, sparsommelighet / innstramming, sparsemd consumerism forbrukersamfunn/forbrukarsamfunn decline nedgang, tilbakegang
PART 3: ACCESS TO SOCIETY
The Fabulous Forties
So why should a decade that was dominated by a world war that killed over 60 million people, including some 450,000 Britons, followed by a period of economic austerity, deserve the adjective “fabulous”? The answer to that question lies not so much in the decade itself as in the years that have passed since and the fundamental social changes that have taken place in them. Of course, many of these changes have taken place everywhere – the advent of consumerism, the gradual decline of indus-
trial society, the advance of computer technology. But such developments have played out differently in different countries, and for Britain the journey from humbled victor of the Second World War to digitalised modernity has been one in which advancement and decline seem to have gone hand in hand. For every gain – and there have been many, in such varying fields as working conditions, sexual equality and health care – there is a perception of loss. For many it’s an indefinable loss, often accompanied by a shake of the head and a muttered “I don’t know what the country’s coming to …”. For some it is a specific loss, the nature of which depends on their politics or interests: loss of Empire, loss of working-class solidarity, loss of ethnic homogeneity, loss of footballing supremacy.
The decline of country life
One loss that can be quantified is the loss of the British countryside, in England particularly. Although the English have been a predominantly urban people ever since the industrial revolution, it is the village rather than the city that is seen as expressing “the real England”. This is the England that takes centre stage in TV series like Heartbeat, Midsomer Murders and Miss Marple: the quaint thatched pub, the leisurely cricket match on the green, the village fête, the cosy village shop, the vicar on
gain framskritt, vinning loss tap, savn / tap, sakn supremacy overlegenhet / overlegenheit predominant overveiende / i det store og heile quaint pittoresk, særpreget / pittoresk, særprega fête festival, friluftsfest
5: THE UK – TODAY AND TOMORROW
his bicycle … This mythical England still casts a spell and prompts wealthy city folk to move to the country in search of village life. The irony is, of course, that the more that do so, the more it disappears and is transformed into suburbia. The Campaign to Protect Rural England calculates that 50% of the English countryside is now directly disturbed by roads, industrial developments, out-of-town retail and business parks and new housing estates. This “urban sprawl”, as it’s often called, has doubled since the fifties. Meanwhile, agriculture, historically the lifeblood of rural England, has now become a minor and declining industry, employing only 1.6% of Britain’s workforce and contributing a mere 0.5% to the nation’s GDP. Villages within commuting distance from the urban centres (which means much of the country) are increasingly becoming “dormitories” for the middle class, while the village pub and the cosy village shop have long since closed down through lack of customers.
The widening social gap suburbia forsteder/forstader housing estate boligkompleks/ bustadkompleks dormitory her: soveby to cultivate å dyrke
PART 3: ACCESS TO SOCIETY
One of the reasons why the 1940s are remembered so rosily is because the public perception of Britain in wartime, cultivated since by films and TV-dramas, is that it was a period in which social divisions were rubbed out, in which Britons “were all in it together”. In many ways it’s a myth
– the rich could often afford to leave the urban bombing targets and seek safety in the countryside or even in America. However, it is true that German bombers did not discriminate between social classes and that war threw people of different backgrounds together. It’s also true that it was in the 1940s, while the bombs were still falling, that the plans for the Welfare State were laid. The Beveridge Report, named after its author William Beveridge, singled out the five “giants” that must be slain – Want (i.e. poverty), Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. In doing so, he set out what was to be the social policy of consecutive governments for over three decades – to narrow the gap between rich and poor. Seventy years on there’s no doubt that Beveridge’s egalitarian vision did indeed change Britain, and most would say for the better. As for disease, the National Health Service ensured free health care for all. Measures like National Insurance and child benefits helped against some of the worst excesses of want. Squalor was alleviated by massive post-war building projects. But to call the Britain of the 50s, 60s and 70s egalitarian would be stretching it. And in the 80s and 90s the gap between rich and poor began to widen again, and although it stabilised in the first decade of the new century as the recession began to bite also on the better off, there was no narrowing of the gap. A report in 2011 by the OECD (the
to slay å ta livet av squalor elendighet/elende idleness lediggang, latskap egalitarian som ønsker sosial likhet / som ønsker sosial likskap child benefit barnetrygd to alleviate å lette, å mildne Pupils at Eton in their school uniforms
slayer her: bekjemper/ nedkjempar to maintain å opprettholde, å holde ved like / å halde ved like to siphon off å tappe (ut), å suge opp Spot check a) In what way is nostalgia “a growth industry”? b) What is “urban sprawl”? c) What was the vision of the Beveridge Report? d) How does education maintain social differences?
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) revealed Britain to be one of the most unequal countries in Europe, beaten only by Portugal and Italy, with the wealthiest 10th of society earning 12 times more than the poorest 10th. According to Britain’s own statistics, one in six children lives in “absolute poverty” (defined as the lack of sufficient resources to meet basic needs). Education, the intended slayer of Beveridge’s third giant – “Ignorance”, has always been a key factor in maintaining social differences in the UK. Alongside the state-run school system there is a fee-paying private sector that siphons off approximately seven per cent of British children from wealthy backgrounds, as well as many of the best teachers. These schools (some of the more established ones are confusingly called public schools) continue to be overrepresented at universities, particularly at Oxford and Cambridge, as well as in the positions of power in such differing fields as politics, the media and finance. It is worth noting that when this was written, the prime minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the future heir to the throne not only all went to public schools, they all went to the same public school – Eton.
SNAPSHOT The Empire Windrush It is not as famous as Nelson’s “Victory” or the “Queen Elizabeth II”, but the “Empire Windrush” played an important part in the history of Britain: it was the ship that signalled a new wave of immigration. It arrived in London from Kingston, Jamaica, in 1948, with 500 immigrants on board. As British citizens – due to the fact that Jamaica was a colony at the time – these people had the right to settle in the UK, and they did so in the hope of ﬁnding a better life. Would you leave the sun, the blue ocean, the golden beaches and the marvellous music of Jamaica in order to live in the rain and fog of London and listen to the boring old BBC? Well, if you can’t make a living in your own country, what choice do you have? There were jobs to be had in Britain at the time. Still, it could be hard to ﬁnd work and even more difficult to ﬁnd places to live. The white British at the time were not used to black people and there was a great deal of discrimination. Nonetheless, by 1955 about 30,000 people were emigrating from the West Indies to Britain every year, bringing their skills and their colourful culture to make the country a better place for everyone. The “Empire Windrush” arriving at Tilbury Docks, 1948
PART 3: ACCESS TO SOCIETY
The challenge of immigration
One of the most dramatic changes in Britain since the “fabulous forties” has been in the ethnic and cultural makeup of the nation. It varies greatly from place to place – in relatively rural Tenterden you might be forgiven for thinking that large-scale immigration never happened. In other more urban areas whole neighbourhoods have been transformed as the original population moves out and new ethnic groups move in. In cities like Leicester, Luton and Slough, inhabitants of non-white ethnicity now make up a majority of the population. The immigrants who arrived from south-east Asia, Africa and the Caribbean in the 1950s and 60s have long since become part of the scenery, leaving their mark both on local and national culture and redefining the term “British”. Recently the influx of Eastern European immigrants has posed a new challenge because of the sheer numbers – one million in the space of ten years. In the city of Peterborough in East Anglia, for example, one fifth of the population were born abroad and one tenth of households speak no English. Opinion polls show that three quarters of Britons believe the rate of immigration is too high, and the issue has become an increasingly divisive and potentially decisive one in the political debate.
Looking for a place in the world
Of course, immigration has not been the only source of cultural change in the UK, and perhaps not even the most important one. After the Second World War, Britain was bombed out and battle-weary – but it saw itself as a victor, a major player on the world stage and a colonial power. The process of dismantling the Empire and becoming European again (dealt with in chapter 1 of this book) changed that perception. So too did the new dominance of the USA. Playing second fiddle to the US on the world stage was one thing, but accepting the cultural dominance of their English-speaking cousins was a harder pill to swallow. American cultural influence had been felt before, not least through jazz and the early film industry, but in the post-war decades this influence increased from a trickle to a torrent. Dress, food, music, speech, television, films – American influences increasingly permeated Britain’s lifestyle and were embraced with classic British ambivalence (i.e. with much shaking of heads). Even in an area where Britain gave as good as it got, namely popular music, it took a punk revolution in the late 1970s to teach British rockers that you didn’t have to sing in an American accent. Continental influence on British culture has also grown, but its impact has been more gradual and is often taken for granted. On their way back from the Fabulous Forties celebration, the townspeople of Tenter-
makeup sammensetning/ samansetnad influx tilstrømming, innrykk / tilstrøyming, innrykk divisive splittende/splittande decisive avgjørende/ avgjerande to dismantle å avvikle trickle drypping/dryping torrent fossefall to permeate å gjennomsyre ambivalence motstridende følelser (ambivalens) / motstridande kjensler (ambivalens)
5: THE UK – TODAY AND TOMORROW
den may well drop in on the supermarket to buy some Italian salami, some fresh focaccia and a nice bottle of Chianti. Alternatively, they may drop off for a meal at what used to be the Eight Bells pub, but which is now rechristened Le Café Rouge and has a menu entirely in French. But here again, ambivalence is the keyword. A menu in French is one thing, understanding it is another. EU membership doesn’t seem to have made the British any keener to learn the languages of their neighbours. On the contrary – two in three Brits can’t put a sentence together in a foreign language and the number of school pupils learning how to do so is decreasing. A command of English is seen as being sufficient, ignoring the fact that, in a European job market, continental applicants increasingly have English, as well as a mother tongue and a second foreign language.
Looking on the bright side
applicant jobbsøker/ jobbsøkar to resonate å gjenlyde, å gi resonans / å gi atterklang, å gi resonans fleeting kortvarig, forbigående / kortvarig, forbigåande diversity mangfold/mangfald apt passende, treffende / høveleg, treffande (p. 245:) scantily clad lettkledd
PART 3: ACCESS TO SOCIETY
How much can a country change and still remain the same country? It’s a question the British have asked themselves more than most in the 21st century, having been through history’s version of an “absolute makeover” and now perhaps facing the prospect of the dismantlement of the UK (see chapter 7). However, there are some constants that continue to resonate, like the drone of a bagpipe, below all these new tunes. The weather is still bad. In fact, it’s even worse, so there’s more to talk about. There’s apparently lots to laugh about too, judging by the wellspring of British humour that continues to enrich the media and ordinary conversation. Also, if we ignore the extremists on both sides, there’s a basic tolerance in the face of difference and disagreement, a willingness to muddle on through, that hasn’t changed so much since the days when the “victory rolls” were first in fashion and the Spitfires flew in earnest. One of Britain’s proudest events of recent years was its hosting of the Olympic Games in 2012. It wasn’t just that British athletes performed better than usual. The smoothness of its organisation, the enormous contribution of volunteers and the sheer fun of the occasion helped to convince many Britons, at least fleetingly, that there was more to Britain than post-imperial decline. Not least the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies provided the country with an opportunity to celebrate change rather than just complain about it. Focusing on both Britain’s history and her cultural contribution to the world in such fields as literature and music, both ceremonies were a celebration of diversity, creativity and, not least, humour. There was something symbolically apt and strangely moving about the grand finale when a figure, apparently shot from a cannon, landed in a deep pit and clambered out to reveal his identity: Eric Idle of the
legendary comedy team Monty Python. When Idle, in his late sixties, launched into his classic, but in his own words, “idiotic” song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, joined gradually by a huge of cast of Morris dancers, scantily clad angels, nuns on roller-skates, Punjabi bhangra dancers, and a full Highland bagpipe band, there were more than a few proud Brits who dried a tear and thought “There’s life in the old dog yet!” Whether they were referring to Eric Idle or Britain is unclear.
Two iconic athletes of the 2012 Olympics: Great Britain’s Mo Farah (left) celebrating his victory in the men's 5000 metres with Jamaica's Usain Bolt Spot check a) Where do the most recent immigrants come from? b) What cultural impact has EU membership had? c) What was “symbolically apt” about the end of the Olympic closing ceremony?
5: THE UK – TODAY AND TOMORROW
Interactive tasks: www.access.cdu.no
TA S K S 1
How does your list on Norwegian nostalgia compare with the issues dealt with in the text? Discuss in class whether Britons and Norwegians feel nostalgia for the same things. 2 RECONSTRUCTING THE TEXT
Sit in pairs or groups of three and reconstruct the content of the text orally, from memory. You don’t need to include details, just the main points. The following prompts will help you: – The scene at Tenterden station … – Why the “the Fabulous Forties”? – The disappearing countryside … – The myth of “we’re all in it together” … – The Beveridge Report … – The gap between rich and poor … – Education and social differences … – Immigration, old and new … – Playing second fiddle to your cousin … – Continental Britain …? – What’s left after the “absolute makeover”? – The Olympic Games and an idiotic song … 3 DISCUSSION
Sit in pairs or groups of three and discuss the following questions: a What visual images do you associate with the word “Britain”? (Are they the same as with the word “England”?) b The countryside is an important element in the image both Britons and Norwegians have of their country. But do you think there are differences in the way they relate to the countryside? Explain. c+ In Norway, the gap between rich and poor, while also growing, is less than in Britain. Why do you think this is the case? d+ The text suggests that the role of humour in Britain has remained unchanged. What do you associate with British humour? How does it differ from other humour? (American and Norwegian humour, for example.)
PART 3: ACCESS TO SOCIETY
e+ Discuss the following quote from the bestselling British author Sebastian Faulks: “One thing I know for sure is that I think this generation in their 20s or possibly a bit older will be the first generation in Western Europe to have had a net loss of knowledge. They will know less than their parents. The fact that they can access knowledge by the press of a button means they don’t need to capture it. That’s an extraordinary reversal of the centuries in which we have taken for granted that the next generation would cumulatively or collectively know more than the generations before. That’s a kind of catastrophe in a way.” 4 VOCABULARY
a The words below are grouped according to word class. Move each of the words to another group, making whatever changes are necessary, e.g. ignorance (noun) ➛ ignorant (adjective) Nouns: ignorance anticipation austerity perception squalor
Verbs: resonate permeate enrich alleviate convince
Adjectives: egalitarian sufficient predominant decisive colonial
b Now write five meaningful sentences in which you use as many of these words as you can. (You may use them in whatever word class you wish.) 5 WRITING
An epithet is an adjective or phrase that expresses a particular quality. An epithet can be positive or negative. Epithets about Norway might be: “oil-producing Lilliput”, “moral superpower”, “Scandinavia’s odd man out”, “bastion of selfrighteousness”. Now write five epithets about Britain. Be prepared to explain to the class why you chose them.
The consumer society that we live in provides us with many things that we fill our days with, but it brings many concerns as well. Perhaps the biggest of these is that the modern way of life threatens the environment and traditional ways of living.
Glossary: see page 250
internet greed shopping
a Choose three words in the word cloud that give you positive associations, and three words that you give you negative associations. b Discuss your choices with a partner.
Going, Going By Philip Larkin I thought it would last my time – The sense that, beyond the town, There would always be fields and farms, Where the village louts could climb Such trees as were not cut down; I knew there’d be false alarms
In the papers about old streets And split level shopping, but some Have always been left so far; And when the old part retreats As the bleak high-risers come We can always escape in the car.
5: THE UK – TODAY AND TOMORROW
Published on May 6, 2014