Text 1. The Commonwealth of Nations


Text 1. The Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary organisation of 54 independent nations with their dependencies, all of which recognize the British monarch as the Head of the Commonwealth. The origin of the Commonwealth lies in the British Empire. Starting from the 16th century, Britain invaded a lot of lands. This was very violent most of the times. Some colonies, such as India with large local population, were ruled by British overlords. Others, such as Australia, became colonies for settlement by the British. At the beginning of the 20th century, these lands of settlement, known as Dominions, had been largely internally governed. As these settlements became less profitable, there came the idea of the Commonwealth. In 1931 Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa were granted 'independence'.When World War II broke out, these Commonwealth nations and the colonies fought alongside the UK and its allies for the ideals of liberty. They helped the Allies to win in 1945. The independence for the remaining colonies followed soon after. Most joined the Commonwealth to remain close to the vast amount of resources that Britain had. From the start, the UK was the dominant force in what was known as 'the British Commonwealth'. It was run from the Commonwealth Office in London. By the 1950s, it had become 'the Commonwealth of Nations'. In 1965, an office called the Commonwealth Secretariat was set up to run the Commonwealth. The UK remained the dominant power giving directives through the various offices. Under the 'old Empire', the UK allowed some special rules for trade with the colonies. These rules made things from the colonies cheaper in the UK. They also encouraged the colonies to buy goods produced in the UK. The Commonwealth consists of most of the countries that were once parts of the British Empire. In 1926, Britain and its dominions agreed they were equal in status. They decided to be freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. There are fifty three members. Some are very large countries like Canada, India, and Australia. Some are just small islands like Barbados and Tonga. The issues of the countries with constitutional structures not based on a shared Crown but wishing to remain the members of the Commonwealth were resolved in April 1949 at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' meeting in London. Under the formula of the London Declaration, Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth. The land area of the Commonwealth nations is about 21% of the total world land area. Sixteen members of the Commonwealth known as Commonwealth realms recognize the Queen of Great Britain as their head of state. The majority of members are independent republics such as India and five members have monarchs of different royal houses. The flag of the Commonwealth consists of a gold globe surrounded by emanating rays on a dark blue field. Today the Commonwealth works to advance democracy, human rights, social and economic development. It organises educational programmes and exchanges between nations, promotes trade, science, health and many other specific issues in its member countries. Every four year they hold the Commonwealth Games.

Задание 1. Выделите основную идею текста и запишите ее на английском языке.

Задание 2. Переведите следующие предложения на английский язык.

1. Вам следует рассказывать подробно об экономике стран Содружества. 2. Она никак не могла поверить, что Британская королева глава Содружества наций. 3. Не могли бы вы рассказать нам о создании Содружества наций? 4. Может ли королева отстранить генерал-губернатора от власти? 5. Не может быть, чтобы Великобритания захватила столько стран в прошлом!

Задание 3. Допишите предложения.

1. Fifty three countries recognize the British Queen as the Head of the .... .

2. The origin of the Commonwealth lies in the British ...... .

3. In the 1930s several colonies got ……. .

4. All members of the Commonwealth are equal in ……. .

5. Each country of the British Commonwealth has its own……….. .

Задание 4. Составьте предложения.

1. When the settlements became less profitable

2. In 1965 the Commonwealth Secretariat was set up

3. The UK allowed some special rules for trade with the colonies

4. Most former colonies joined the Commonwealth

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