PUZZLES IN GEOGRAPHY课文原文
PUZZLES IN GEOGRAPHY People may wonder why different words are used to describe these four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You can clarify this question if you study British history. First there was England. Wales was linked to it in the thirteenth century. Now when people refer to England you find Wales included as well. Next England and Wales were joined to Scotland in the seventeenth century and the name was changed to "Great Britain". Happily this was accomplished without conflict when King James of Scotland became King of England and Wales as well. Finally the English government tried in the early twentieth century to form the United Kingdom by getting Ireland connected in the same peaceful way. However, the southern part of Ireland was unwilling and broke away to form its own government. So only Northern Ireland joined with England, Wales and Scotland to become the United Kingdom and this was shown to the world in a new flag called the Union Jack.
To their credit the four countries do work together in some areas (eg, the currency and international relations), but they still have very different institutions. For example, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland have different educational and legal systems as well as different football teams for competitions like the World Cup!
England is the largest of the four countries, and for convenience it is divided roughly into three zones. The zone nearest France is called the South of England, the middle zone is called the Midlands and the one nearest to Scotland is known as the North. You find most of the population settled in the south, but most of the industrial cities in the Midlands and the North of England. Although, nationwide, these cities are not as large as those in China, they have world-famous football teams and some of them even have two! It is a pity that the industrial cities built in the nineteenth century do not attract visitors. For historical architecture you have to go to older but smaller towns built by the Romans. There you will find out more about British history and culture. The greatest historical treasure of all is London with its museums, art collections, theatres, parks and buildings. It is the centre of national government and its administration. It has the oldest port built by the Romans in the first century AD, the oldest building begun by the Anglo-Saxons in the 1060s and the
oldest castle constructed by later Norman rulers in 1066. There has been four sets of invaders of England. The first invaders, the Romans, left their towns and roads. The second, the Anglo-Saxons, left their language and their government. The third, the Vikings, influenced the vocabulary and place-names of the North of England, and the fourth, the Normans, left castles and introduced new words for food. If you look around the British countryside you will find evidence of all these invaders. You must keep your eyes open if you are going to make your trip to the United Kingdom enjoyable and worthwhile.