My ancestors were from England. They came to America in March of 1683 from Wolverhampton, England. They set sail for America, landed in South Carolina and made their way to Georgia to claim land, where they would then become rice farmers. According to the Met Office, Wolverhampton's climate is very mild going from 70 F in July to somewhere around 43.7 F in January. (Met Office) My Great-great-great-great Grandfather Benjamin Waring resided in a Castle in Wolverhampton that has since been destroyed and only a pile of bricks remain.
I have chosen to write about modern day England. The subsistence strategies most commonly used in the UK are pastoralism, agriculture, industrialism and IT. When it comes to pastoralism a few of the things England is known for is their cattle, sheep and poultry. When raising sheep the tools they might use are fences, barns, pastures, possibly sheep dogs and llamas are also sometimes used for protection. The people that contribute to this process are the owners who may or may not also be the shepherds, the other workers there to support and help the shepherd and the ones who shear the sheep. "Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force." (World Guide) For their agriculture they produce oilseed, potatoes and vegetables. The tools that are needed when growing potatoes for example are machines to do the harrowing, plowing, and the seed tubing. For the harvest of the potatoes they would need the machines to dig up the potatoes, trucks to transport, storage house, and a machine to remove the leaves. The people that are involved is the farm owner, tractor drivers, truck drivers, possible assembly line people and the owner of the storage house along with other support staff and extra temporarily hired help. Industrialism has become a huge part of England's economy. They are the leaders in chemical and pharmaceuticals and in specific technical industries, particularly aerospace and the arms industry. England works hand-in-hand with the United State in their aerospace production. They are specifically involved in supplying components, pre assemblies and sub-systems to other manufacturers. The tools needed for such a large job are computures, hightech assemply machines, and many other machines that are beyond my comprehantion. A few of the people involved in this process would be designers, people purchasing the material either for or from the program, people with the ability to run the machines, people on the assibly lines and that is just naming a FEW.
In the UK their political organization is un-centralized, because of this their people are very personally invested and do not willingly yield their power over sovernty. The types of governments they practice are both constitutional monarchy and democracy. The authority is held by the countries monarch in name only; the decisions of the country are made by the Prime Minister and the parliament. The monarch is legitimized by birth and blood relation. The Prime Minister and the parliament are elected by the people and parliament members serve terms up to 5 years. The other divisions of authority belong to The House of Commons and The House of Lords. In 1999, the government decided to no longer allow the given right for the hereditary peers to hold seats in the House of Lords. (Simons) The most powerful allies that the UK holds are its evolvement in the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU). With their evolvement with the UN England secures their aliment with most of the worlds countries.
The economic system most commonly used in the United Kingdom is socialism. Meaning their businesses are most likely collectively owned and the government controls their economics, they have the "freedom from want". Here are the numbers and percents for the economic sectors "Number in labor force: 30.71 million (2007 est.), Sectors: agriculture: 1.4%, industry: 18.2%, services: 80.4% (2006 est.), Unemployment: 5.4% (2007 est.)." (World Guide) One example of redistribution in England is their heavy tax laws that they enforce to provide services for all areas of the society, no matter how rich or poor. The GDP for the UK reached $US 1.782 trillion in the year 2004. (Simons) The GDP for the UK is lower than some countries but for its size the UK does well as a country.
The religious beliefs followed in England are polytheism (many gods) and monotheism (one God). The different religions include mainly Christian (Anglican and Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist), Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Jewish. (Simons) The religious practices of the Anglican and Roman Catholics would include going to church and praying the rosary. The religious behaviors of the Presbyterians and the Methodists also include going to church and praying. The Sikhs include daily recitation from memory of specific passages from the Guru Granth Sahib and worship in a gurdwara. The Hindus practice their religion through creating shrines in their homes and they are constantly searching for a new connection with God. Judaism practices through prayers three times daily, with a fourth prayer added on Shabbat and holidays and attending synagogues. I have named only two of each of the behaviors of the religions above. Each of the religions practice unending rituals, beliefs and traditions that are very extensive and even unique, showing religions relationship with the social institution of culture. Religion is a HUGE part of the secondary institutions of culture. Religion is a persons belief and therefore creates social control and guides sacred and moral aspects of culture. One way religions relationship with politics is seen is through the monarchy. The monarch's legitimacy is "given" to them by God. Economics connection with religion can be seen through the giving and placing of money according to a persons belief of what is important or the countries support of the church. Because of the diversity in religions in England there was an attempt to pass a bill of equality in 2006 called the "Racial and Religious Hatred Bill". "This bill makes it an offence to stir up hatred on religious grounds and amends the law on encouraging racial hatred. Its main provisions are to: Extends the racial hatred offences in the Public Order Act 1986. It applies to words or behavior and the display, publication, broadcast or distribution of words or behavior that is likely to stir up religious or racial hatred. It also applies to believers in any or no religion, both ethnically diverse and mono-ethnic, or where the hatred is against a person or group that does not share the beliefs of the perpetrator" (BBC)
The most common form of marriage practiced in the UK is monogamy. The matches are chosen by the couple through what we call a love match. The post-marital residence is neolocal meaning the couple will live in their own home away from their parents. Their families are most often nuclear, where you have husband, wife and the kids are dependant. Their descents are referred to as double, meaning the membership can be traced through both the mother's and/or father's lines through bilateral kinship with both sides of the families. Marriage in the royal families is handled a little differently. According to the Royal Marriage Act of 1772, the members of the British royal family are not allowed to marry if under the age of 25 without the permission of the ruling monarch. (Statute Law Database) The ethnic groups in the UK are broken down into "English 81.5%, Scottish 9.6% and the minorities being Irish 2.4%, Welsh 1.9%, Ulster 1.8%, West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and other 2.8%" in 2005. (Simons)
Other interesting facts: One of England's prides is that the Olympics have been held in London two times now, once in 1908 and again in 1948. London has again been chosen to hold the Olympics in 2012. (Blashfield) A majority of the events will be held in East London in what is known as the Stratford section. While the Olympic Stadium is being developed, housing is being built in the Stratford section for the athletes. Once the games have concluded, the housing will become homes for a new community of five thousand families. (Blashfield) England has nine national parks. What is so unique about that? Well, their national parks are generally privately owned, unlike ours that is owned by the state or government. The oldest national park in England is called Dartmoor. It officially became a national park in 1951. Food is another interesting part of England's culture. "Traditionally, the English upper class ate five meals a day: breakfast, tea or coffee at eleven, lunch, afternoon tea, and finally dinner late in the evenings. Middle- and working-class people were likely to have fewer meals. For many people, afternoon tea gradually turned into a full supper, and the late formal dinner became a thing of the past." (Blashfield) My guess is when the monarchy and the Lords and Ladies became less of a governmental position and more of "just" a title that all of a sudden more attention was put on the middle- and working-classes. Thus that would explain why the traditions of the wealthy faded and the country started to adjust more for the "everyday" people. I was in fact surprised to find out the actual lack of power over government that the ruling monarch has. In my mind I was stuck on the fairytales of Kings and Queens ruling over the people deciding what should happen and controlling the kingdom when in actuality their authority is in name only. Queen Elizabeth was crowned in February of 1952 and is still reigning to this day, making that 58 years from 1952-2010. She is the Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth realms. She rules so many different countries and cultures. England gave life to groups such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Queen, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones who are now among some of the highest selling recording artists in the world. (Gold & Platinum) Music is a cultural universal and is constantly changing with cultures. Sympolism is big in England because of all the monarchy the have had. In the past every family that lived in England what is called a Coat of Arms. This Coat of arms was not only on their flags and tapestries it was also the families seal. Today the Coat of arms of England has the Three Lions on it.
Interview: I chose to interview my Dad who has been to Manchester, England several times on business. When asked the question "What forms of transportation did you use?" he answered, "I flew in on a plane, took the train to Manchester and was picked up in a car. Which was, by the way, driven on the "wrong" side of the rode." "What types of people did you encounter?" "I worked with British citizens, cab drivers, plant workers and manufactures. The cab driver specifically liked to talk about football, or what we know as soccer. They all seemed to have favorite team and they wanted to know how we played soccer in America. The other thing they talked about was all the foreign workers that were coming in and taking jobs, such as dishwashing and taking out the trash, British citizens did not want these jobs but then the foreign workers also receiving the free health care and the cab drivers did not appreciate this." "What languages and food did you come in contact with?" "The only languages that I really heard were proper British and Hindi. And the food, well, you could get pretty much any kind of food you wanted. They had one strip called the Curry Mile that was a whole strip of Indian cuisine on top of that they also had a Chinatown and of course traditional English food such at veil and beef stews." "What about religions? Did you see any mosques, temples, churches, etc.?" "There were lots of very old churches that were more of museums than actual churches. I would say that for the most part, from what I saw, religion was more of a practiced tradition for the people than an actual belief." (Interview with Dale Dolence)