In Depth Study: Poverty in the UK



Content:

1. Key Facts

2. Public's view

3. Food banks and breadlines

4. Organizations

5. Summary

6. Sources

 

 

1.   Key facts

Poverty in the UK is growing. Nearly 60% of people living in poverty are homeowners, which mean a lot of children are living in poverty. At Bristol University they found that the proportion of households lacking three activities or items seen as necessary for a normal life in the UK has increased from 14 percent in 1983 to 33 percent in 2012.[1]

There is no one definition of what poverty is. The most used one is the one described in the Child Poverty Act 2010. It says: ?household income below 60% of median income?. Also, there are three other definitions describing absolute poverty, relative poverty and social exclusion.

Absolute poverty is defined as not having enough resources to meet basic needs, such as food or clothes.[2] It is mostly used to describe third world countries, and does therefore not really apply to the people in the UK. What does concern the British people, is the definition of relative poverty. This defines resources in comparison to the average income. It is described as: ?the absence of the material needs to participate fully in accepted daily life.?[3]

Social exclusion is a term used by the Government of the UK. This is a relatively new term, and describes an individual or an area that suffer from unemployment, high crime rates, poor housing, family breakdowns and health problems.

[4]



 

This statistic shows the poverty rate by ethnicity in the UK, comparing studies performed in 2001-2004 with studies from 2009-2012. You can see the percentages of white households are much lower than in black British ones. However, the percentage of black households has decreased over the years. The same goes for the Asian and white ones. On the other hand, the column for ?other? and ?mixed? has increased. As seen, the ?other? column actually exceeds 40 percent, which is a huge number.

2.   Public?s view

The Joseph Raintree Foundation made a video about the public?s view on poverty in the UK, according to a study made by Ipsos Mori.[5] It showed that the increasing percentage of people in poverty is alarming to the public. With job insecurities, the cost of living, increased rents, childcare costs and pay cuts, the fear of ending up in poverty is real. Even though there is raised awareness about the subject, the breadlines are growing.

Furthermore, the public do not believe the relative poverty line reflects reality or captures what it means to be poor. This is because the term ?poverty? has different meanings to people. Some connects poverty with food banks and breadlines, debt, unemployment, famine or disability. Others think of poverty as homelessness, need or welfare cuts.

The general opinion, which most people agree on, is that people who live in poverty is not able to pay for food, housing, light or heat. It means not having choices and being trapped by your situation. Moreover, poverty is seen as not knowing there could be a better life, and having a small or non-existent social network. They also agree that the situation gets worse over time.

Policies created by the government of the UK, like welfare and child support, does not strike the general public as helpful. Even though without it, the percentage of people in poverty would probably increase. They believe it does not tackle the causes of poverty, and that the government should make policies that are only targeting those in need. Suggestions are: cuts in the cost of living, creating job opportunities and getting people into jobs with fair wage. Also, tax breaks are thought to increase wages, creating better paid jobs. In addition, the public believe it is worth fighting against poverty.

 

SHamsi388tc
 

3.   Breadlines and food banks

A food bank is a non-profit organization that hands out food to those in need. It is provided to avoid hunger and food deprivation.[6] From late 2010, a lot of food banks have opened due to the financial crisis. In January 2014 there were about 1,000 UK food banks. Before this financial crisis, the UK had not really heard much about food banks. After a couple of years, in a May 2013 report by Oxfam and Church action on poverty, they estimated that about half a million Britons had been in the breadlines. After cuts in welfare in April 2013, the demand for food banks increased. Churches host most of them, together with the public, schools, businesses and individuals.[7]

 

?Breadline Britain? has become an expression after a study book written by economist Stewart Lansley and academic Joanna Mack. They have carried out the largest survey of poverty ever in the UK. The results were shocking to many. It showed that that three and a half million adults go hungry, due to the fact that they have children to feed. One in five children does not live in safe houses. In addition, on in ten children do not have warm clothes.[8] Therefore, breadlines are growing today as well.

 

4.   Organizations

There are organizations that use a lot of resources on fighting poverty in the UK. One of them is Oxfam, who is an authority on fighting poverty and crisis worldwide.[9] In the UK, they focus on food poverty and extreme inequality. Since the five wealthiest families in the UK are richer than twenty percent of the population combined, this had become a major issue to the organization.[10] They work together with another organization called Glyncoch Regeneration Partnership helps parents who have children in primary school. Their work is about helping parents raise their own aspirations, boost their confidence and help them attain new skills that can reflect on their children. This is to tackle the causes of poverty.

As mentioned, they are also fighting hunger in the UK. Oxfam works with several organizations to be able to feed as many as possible, such as the Trussell Trust food bank network. The number of free meals delivered to the poor is two million. Together with FairShare, they redistribute excessive food from the food industry to communities and homeless shelters.

The Joseph Raintree Foundation is one of the largest social policy research charities in the UK. They focus a lot on poverty, and have over 100 reports on UK poverty and disadvantages. [11] According to their website, their goal is to research the causes of social problems and to develop solutions. In addition, they work with the Joseph Raintree Housing Trust to use their abilities for the greater good. They do this to influence policy, practice and public debate.[12]

Their current work includes researching on poverty and education and child poverty, as well as monitoring poverty and social exclusion. JRF are tracking the polls on child poverty, and the factors affecting the changes in the percentage of children living below the median in the UK. They believe the only way to fight child poverty is to make new policies that target the youngest, teaching them skills together with their parents, developing better childcare, and giving out benefits and tax credits.

5.   Summary

To summarize, poverty in the UK are, as mentioned, growing. The need for food banks are increasing rapidly and over half a million has seen the need to visit one. Luckily, there are organizations who work towards fighting the root of poverty, creating more food banks and teaching skills to parents and children. The general public in the UK do not believe government policies are helpful, and calls for policies that directly target the poor.

In closing, the focus tends to be on child poverty and food deprivation. Bad housing, debt and other issues are important as well, but it is the most urgent ones who are in the media. Therefore, causing the help given to target those two groups.

6.   Sources

Pictures:

http://d.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/coexist/article_feature/1280-sheltr-app-homeless-philadelphia.jpg

http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/breadline-britain.jpg

Videos:
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHamsi388tc

Other links:
 

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_Kingdom

[2] http://www.poverty.org.uk/summary/social%20exclusion.sht
[3]
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_Kingdom

[4] http://data.jrf.org.uk/data/poverty-rate-ethnicity/

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_bank

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_bank#United_Kingdom

[8] http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breadline-britain-20million-now-living-5123323

[9]http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/

[10]http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what-we-do/issues-we-work-on/poverty-in-the-uk

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_Kingdom#Pressure.2Finterest_groups

 

 

  [12]http://www.jrf.org.uk/about


The Ferguson Riots

A grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri decided to declare police officer Wilson not guilty in the killing of the 18-year-old, black teenager Michael Brown. There were many in the African-American community who called for Officer Wilson to be charged with murder after the incident.

Riots started the day after the shooting of Mr. Brown. People started protesting and there was social unrest in the community. This unrest sparked an intense discussion all over the US about law enforcement's attitude towards African American people. Furthermore, the discussion also included the use of force and weapons by the police in the US.

The nature of the unrest got out of hand. Some were still protesting peacefully, while others started looting and using violence against police officers. The police had established curfews, in addition to riot squads to keep the order. According to media reports, the police answered with militarized policemen. In response to the unrest and the shooting, the U.S. Department of Justice started an investigation about the practices of FDP (Ferguson Police Department). In March 2015, they declared that FDP had engaged in discrimination and misconduct against the citizens of Ferguson.

The grand jury in Ferguson decided that Officer Wilson, who retired from his job afterwards, should not be indicted on November 24th 2014. This decision sparked more protests, with more violence from the ones who protested. The Governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency after the grand jury's decision. The step-father of the victim Michael Brown shouted to the crowd outside the police department: "Burn this bitch down!" after it was clear Wilson would walk.

While there were still quiet protests, there was overwhelming use of violence from others that night, drowning the peaceful. People in the streets started looting, vandalizing and destroying both police and non-police cars. Moreover, a dozen buildings were burned down, ruining businesses. Firefighters had to evacuate the scene of a fire due to the sound of gunshots. They could not respond to other fires for the same reason. When the riots took this extreme turn for the worse, the police of Ferguson used tear gas and ordered people in the streets to disperse. Same night, 61 people in Ferguson were arrested on charges like burglary and trespassing.

On November 25th, the day after the riots, the body of 20-year-old DeAndre Joshua was found inside a parked car. The car was found a few blocks from where Michael Brown was killed. Mr. Joshua had been shot in the head and burned, thus the police ruled it a homicide. Same day, CNN reported that thousands of people had rallied in more than 170 U.S. cities from Boston to Los Angeles. They also declared that the National Guard forces were reinforced in Ferguson to prevent future riots.

In Oakland, California, at least 90 people were arrested for looting, arson and vandalism. The protests were not excluded to the U.S. They also took place internationally. Demonstrations occurred in major cities in Canada and in London, UK. Protesters called to boycott the Black Friday shopping day. Black Friday took place the Friday after the grand jury's decision, with hundreds of demonstrators outside the Saint Louis Galleria in Missouri and other shopping centers.

These riots and demonstrations are in my opinion an answer to injustice between the treatments of African Americans in the U.S. More specifically, the attitude and discrimination from the police are a major problem according to many people. That is why all the discussions occurred, and racism became a hot topic again. Martin Luther King Jr. was mentioned is the discussions, and his son commented the riots in Ferguson. He said his father would be disappointed with how they handled the situation, calling out for non-violent demonstrations. He reminded people of how his father fought for black people's civil rights; with protests and demonstrations without the use of violence.

I believe the fight against oppression is very important, because way too many people are discriminated on a daily basis. Every human is equal, and thus should be treated the same. A movie was just released, showing Martin Luther King Jr.'s demonstration walk from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Maybe this is the way people in Ferguson should have handled it too?

http://www.westernjournalism.com/martin-luther-king-iii-criticizes-ferguson-riots-violence-police/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Ferguson_unrest#November_2014

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30190224

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzbKaDPMoDU

 

 

The Ferguson Shooting

On August 9th 2014, a shooting occurred in Ferguson, Missouri. The victim, an 18-year-old black teenager named Michael Brown, died from the wounds. The shooter was 28-year-old Darren Wilson, who was the patrolling police officer at the time. When the incident got to the courtroom, Officer Wilson was declared not guilty, on the basis that it was self-defense.

How it started:
Brown and his friend were caught on camera stealing cigarillos from Ferguson Market and Liquor. A couple of minutes later, Officer Wilson was patrolling in the same streets as the theft occurred. He got a description of the thieves, and continued his route down Canfield Drive. He spotted Brown and his friend, who fit the description. Wilson called his dispatcher about the two suspects, and then he positioned his SUV in a way that blocked the two men and the traffic.

The shooting:
No one could agree on what actually happened afterwards. It is certain that there was an altercation between Brown and Officer Wilson. Brown was spotted next to the window of Wilson's vehicle. Next, two shots were fired by Wilson. One of the bullets missed Brown, while the other one grazed his thumb. Mr. Brown ran east, with Officer Wilson chasing him on foot. After running a couple of meters, Brown stopped and turned towards Wilson.  Again, the eye witnesses could not agree what caused the officer to shoot ten more times at Mr. Brown, but he did. Brown was fatally wounded, and died on the street.

Eye witnesses:
As mentioned, the eye witnesses could not agree what happened. This is specifically when Mr. Brown was outside Officer Wilson's vehicle and in the street when Wilson fired ten more shots. First of all, the witnesses who saw Mr. Brown outside Wilson's SUV cannot agree if he was partly inside the car or not. In his own testimony, Officer Wilson said Mr. Brown reached into the vehicle and fought for his gun. At least one witness claim that Mr. Wilson was not inside the SUV at any time. After that, in the streets, it is unclear whether or not Mr. Brown moved towards Wilson. There is also a discussion about how Mr. Brown's hands were positioned when he turned towards Officer Wilson. Some say they were in the air, while others claim he did not raise his hands at all or very briefly. Others again, said his hands were in a running position, like he was charging towards Wilson. Officer Wilson said Mr. Brown charged at him, making an aggravated sound.

Evidence:
Mr. Brown's blood or other DNA was found both inside and outside the driver's door, on Officer Wilson's pants and his weapon . In addition, they found some outside the left rear passenger door.

As seen on the pictures above, Officer Wilson had some swelling and redness on his face.
In the street, Mr. Brown's blood was found 25 feet east of his body. This supports statements claiming Mr. Brown continued to move towards Officer Wilson after he was shot several times.

The Grand Jury's decision:
Officer Wilson was not indicted in connection with the shooting. The jury was made up of nine whites and three blacks. They had met to consider the evidence since August 20th to determine whether or not Wilson should be charged with a crime. An indictment required nine of the twelve grand jurors to agree.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/08/13/us/ferguson-missouri-town-under-siege-after-police-shooting.html?_r=0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown

The Parliament of the UK

General voting in the UK

In the UK, there are 650 geographical areas called constituencies. Registered voters in each area vote for an MP (member of parliament) to represent them in the House of Commons. To be able to vote in a UK parliamentary general election you must be 18 years old or more. You also have to be a British citizen, a Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic. A person in prison can also vote if not legally excluded from voting. Hence, people under the age of 18 cannot vote. Neither can a member of the House of Lords, a European Union citizen or those in prison who are legally excluded.

 

How the Parliament works

 

The parliament is divided into two houses; House of Commons and House of Lords. They do all the lawmaking and economic questions, along with other political issues. The laws must be taken by the queen for approval. She has the right to veto the laws passing through. The queen asks the leader of the largest party to become prime minister.

House of Lords and the House of Commons

The work of the two houses is similar. Even though only one of them make laws, they both check the work of the government and debate current issues. These two houses together make up the House of Parliament. Since they are in a two-chamber system, generally, the decisions made by one House have to be approved by the other.

The House of Lords is a chamber of the UK Parliament, and is independent from the House of Commons. They complement the work of the Commons, but have less power. The House of Lords has a task of checking and challenging the work of the government. They do not have the power to stop laws, but they can postpone it. You do not get elected into this house, you are made a Lord either by heritage or the Queen.

Both the Chancellor and the President, in addition to other figures of political parties, work in the House of Commons. They are voted for by the public, and all the chosen people from the election (MPs), also work here. Their job is to meet with the opposition, discuss the most important issues for the day and proposals for new laws. The Commons is responsible for making decisions on financial Bills, like tax-changing.

Hung Parliament - Minority government

A term used in the two-party system, where none of the two big parties have the majority of MPs after an election. Results are, they cannot make a government alone. This situation has occurred two times in modern time. Once in 1974 and then in 2010, making the government  a minority or a coalition government. In 2010, the government was made a coalition government.

Magna Carta

This document was the first one to challenge the king's authority. By protecting his people from feudal abuse and subjecting him to the rule of the law his power faded greatly. In the year 1215 the barons pushed the king into signing the document, after generations of answering directly to him and the feudal system ruining their life. Magna Carta has been very influential when it comes to human rights.

 

Today's coalition government

The government now, with David Cameron as the prime minister, is the first coalition government since World War II.  At that time, the Churchill War ministry was the government. Today, the government is composed of members from both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party. Nick Klegg is today's deputy prime minister.Their Cabinet is made up of 16 Conservatives and 5 Liberal Democrats. A total of 9 people from both parties attend cabinet, but are not members. 

 

https://www.gov.uk/voting-in-the-uk/general-elections

http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/role/system/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/18005165

http://www.livescience.com/2458-magna-carta-changed-world.

http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/role/system/

http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hengt_parlament

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameron_ministry

http://assets3.parliament.uk/iv/main-large//ImageVault/Images/id_6217/scope_0/ImageVaultHandler.aspx.jpg

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/audio/video/2010/5/6/1273142166370/2010-General-Election-Pol-006.jpg

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/schools/primaryhistory/images/ukhistory/magna_carta/eng_magna_carta_signing.jpg


Page 410: Task 4 Vocab

Withering = arrogant
Joyous = Blissful
Insufficient = Inadequate 
Curvaceous = Shapely
Invigorating = Bracing
Majestic = Regal
Inextricably = Unavoidably
Tribulations  = Troubles
Nullifiction = Vetoing
Prodigious = Enormous 

Analysis: "The Soldier", "The Crucible", "Sure You Can Ask Me A Personal Question" and "Take Down the Union Jack"

In this presentation I will focus on analysis. I will analyze 4 texts: two poems, one song lyric and a play excerpt. I will also explain why they fit the time period they are written in. The texts are from the chapters I have been studying up to this point. 

Chapter 1: The Soldier

The poem was written in 1914 by Rupert Brooke in England. It is about a soldier fighting for his country, and patriotism shines through. There is a strong sense of giving back to the country that has given so much to the soldier. I believe the purpose of the text is to get young men to join the army, and fight their country's war. The tone of the poem is serious and persuasive. The style of the poem is formal, and is written in first person.

"The Soldier" is an appropriate title because of the content. The poem's setting is in the soldier's mind, in England. It creates a heavenly atmosphere by containing phrases like: "A body of England's, breathing English air" and of course "In hearts at peace, under an English heaven." Brooke has been criticized for the glorifying of war.

The poem is typical for the time period it is written. World War 1 lasted from 1914-1918, and a lot of writing at that time concentrated on the war. Some poems were sarcastic and judging of the war, while others were persuasive to young men, making them join the war. This poem was probably written to make the English men sign up for the army, by glorifying war as a heroic act that must be done.

 

Chapter 2: The Crucible

The play was written in 1953 by Arthur Miller. It was right in the middle of the anti-communist period of the 1950s. Miller set the play in the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, where witch-hunting was widespread across the nation. You can draw a line between the two periods, because they are similar in many ways. The puritan community, with their black and white view on good and evil, saw the girls dancing in the forest as worshippers of the Devil. Similar to the period Miller wrote the play, ie the 1950's when the American government accused thousands of people of "un-American activities". Those people's lives where frequently destroyed. You also see the lack of evidence of wrongdoings in both the play and in the 1950s.

Moreover, the narrator is in third person, but has the ability to jump into any of the character's minds at any time. John Proctor is the protagonist, and is an example of an innocent person being falsely accused. He and his wife are subjected to humiliation by the authorities, accused of being an accomplice of the devil by using witchcraft. Miller uses a critical tone in his writing. He is very harsh with the ones who are persecuting the Proctors, and is sympathetic to the victims.

"The Crucible" is based purely on dialogue to convey emotions, thoughts and tension, with a few directions for action. The dialogue is the simple language used by country folks. There is also old-fashioned grammar and vocabulary.

 

To answer if it fits the period it was written in, it certainly does. The line we drew between the story of persecution of people accused of witchcraft in the play, and the accusations of communistic acts in the 1950s is not random. Miller used his story to condemn the government in his time, by comparing it to the period more than 250 years before.

 

Chapter 6: Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question

The poem was written by Diane Burns in 1989. The first stanza in this poem illustrates clearly that the author introduces himself to the public. It can be proved from the "How do you do?" The poem is set to a conversation between two or more.

There is a great sense of sarcasm in this poem. Take for example the long answering of questions:
No, I am not Chinese.
No, not Spanish.
No, I am American Indian, Native American.
No, not from India.
No, not Apache
No, not Navajo.
No, not Sioux.
No, we are not extinct.

This could symbolize that the author was aggravated by the general ignorance of society. A huge element in this poem is stereotypes. It is not just a criticism of Indian stereotypes; it shows anyone who judges others how annoying it can be. The one who asks questions is being portrayed as curious, but a little dumb in a way. This sarcasm persists throughout the poem, where the author answers stereotypical questions about Indian heritage, religion and culture.

There is mostly one sentence per verse, with no specific stanza. The poem is built up as a monologue, even though it is a dialogue. The author writes as if s/he already knows what the other is going to ask. He or she seems bored, like it is a daily activity. As for the time period it is written in, it is common knowledge that the Native American population has had extremely difficult times through history. Nowadays, there are new problems arising, such as alcoholism and prejudgment from others. This is what the author wants to make a point of.  

Chapter 7: Take Down the Union Jack

This song was on the album English, Half-English, and was released in 2002. The songwriter is Billy Bragg, and is known to be a man with strong opinions. This song, for example, was written as a critical message to the monarchy in England. Bragg uses his influence to convey the message of patriotism, while still opposing the hand of the queen.

The song includes phrases like: "Britain isn't cool you know, it's really not that great" and "It's just an economic union that's passed its sell-by-date." You get the sense of rebellion and how displeased Bragg is about the union. It repeats the first line in every stanza: "Take down the Union Jack, it clashes with the sunset", which is both persuasive and romantic at the same time. Romantic because of the description of the sunset. Also, repeating the title of the song makes a strong impact on the listener.

 

There is always someone opposing the monarchy, and the United Kingdom as a union. Even though Bragg is proud of his country, he believes the monarchy is way past its date of resignation. As far as the union goes, Scotland had an election to vote for its independence and it was a very close call. Scotland decided to stay in the United Kingdom, but it proves there are many who believe the union is not as important as it used to be. 

To conclude, all these literary works fit the time period they are written in. I believe the authors were strongly influenced by their surroundings and culture. With knowlegde of the history around the times they were written, the hidden messages of the texts become clearer and more understandable.


Sources: Access: Social Studies, CappelenDamm, 2014, Oslo, pages 370,333-334,135-141,63 
                http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bragg
                http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/free-radical-why-itrsquos-showtime-for-billy-bragg-1932454.html
                http://www.shmoop.com/crucible/literary-devices.html 


Page 301: 6

6

a a)  Statistics show that there are 1,75 million homeless people in America. The statistics are from 2013 and show facts about conditions the homeless are living in. They also show the racial breakdown and demographic make-up of the homeless population. Children are also mentioned. In fact, the number of children living under the poverty level is 12 million. 20% of the ones who stand in a soup kitchen line are children. When 36% of the homeless population is families with children, it doesn?t look good at all.

 

The average monthly income for a homeless individual is 348 dollars. This is not nearly enough to live an OK life. It actually leads to the fact that 28% of those who are homeless do not get enough food daily. What is also a little scary to look at is the racial breakdown of the homeless population. A massive 50% of homeless people are African-Americans. It can make you wonder if it has something to do with racism and the slavery back in U.S. history. On the other hand, only 1% homeless are of Asian descent.

bb)  Given that the population in the U.S. is 317 million:

-          0,5 % of the population are homeless

-          3,8% is made up of children who live under the poverty level

-          Approximately 10% (9,77) of the American people live in hunger or on the edge of it

 

Sources:
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2013
 http://www.rocktrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/youth-homeless-banner.jpg

 

Page 61 Task 4: Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013

 

My name is Maria Miller. I was the one who said introduced this Bill, and reached out to the House of Commons to convince them to vote in favor. The Marriage Act is a Bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, and the marriage to be recognized as such by entering England and Wales. Northern Ireland and Scotland was not a part of this, and when entering either one of those, the marriage is recognized as a civil partnership.

This Bill was supported by the gay communities and gay rights movements, such as Stonewall. One of the British organizations, the Labour Humanists, also supported this Bill. Many opposed this Bill too. Some of the conservative representatives in the House of Commons expressed discomfort against the legislation. Some priests and Muslims also spoke out against the Marriage Act. The Church of England and The Church of Wales do not have permission to wed same-sex couples, only if they express clearly that they wish to do so.  

We took the Bill through the House of Commons and the House of Lords, before it got Royal Assent on the 17th of July 2013. The 13th of March 2014 the Bill was in to force, and the first same-sex marriages took place the 29th of March.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_%28Same_Sex_Couples%29_Act_2013#13_March_2014:_Same-Sex_Marriage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Equal_Marriage_Wedding_Cake.jpg

Page 122: 4

Neutrality Act:
Congress passed it in 1935, trying to avoid America from becoming involved in WW2.

Pearl Harbor:
Was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941, and America got into the war against the Axis powers.

Superpower:
During the war, America's economy grew, and by 1945 more than half of the goods produced came from the USA.

The USSR:
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a communist country, and America viewed this as dictatorship.

The Cold War:
The war between the USSR and America, with no military action in either of the countries.

Containment:
The aim was to stop further communist expansion anywhere in the world.

NATO:
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an alliance formed to oppose communism.

Consumer Economy:
Unequaled prosperity based on the flow of newer and more desirable goods to buy.

McCarthyism:
Innocent people lost their jobs, and people were questioned with the possibility of going to jail, because the crusade against communism led to fear at home.

Civil Rights Movement:
Movement fighting for the rights of dark people in America who were discriminated.

Counter-culture:
Group of people which rejected the materialistic lifestyle and easy self-congratulations of most Americans.

Silent Majority:
White Americans who became skeptical of the liberal reforms that JFK and Lyndon B. Johnson came with.

War on Terror:
In 2002, George W. Bush proclaimed a war against terror.

Privatization:
transferring ownership of a business, or public property from the public sector to the private sector.

U.S.:The Midterm Elections

On November 4th 2014, there was a midterm election in the United States. All of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 36 of the 100 seats in the Senate were up for election. Also, 38 governorships, 46 legislatures amongst numerous other positions were contested. This was the most expensive midterm election ever in the U.S.

The results were overwhelming for Democrat President Barack Obama. The Republicans won power over both Congress and the Senate. In addition, the Republicans gained a lot of governorships, legislatures and increased their majority in The House of Representatives . This means some of the states which the Democrats had a majority in, are now Republican. On the other hand, only 1/3 of the people in the U.S. voted, so the results could be different if everyone had voted.

 

The consequences can have an effect on everyone. Since Obama is a democrat, passing bills in the Congress will be very difficult. He would probably have to veto most of the suggestions coming from the Congress. Obama's political agenda will be completely ruined.

Here is a picture of the results concerning the Senate:

 Map of results

Questions For My Teacher

1. Why do the ones in the federal government pass bills on how much they should earn?

2. Can the President veto bills as many times he wants to?

3. What happens if most of the people in the United States start acting up against the government?

4. Are there other parties in the U.S. who are growing, and may be a competitor to the two major parties?

5. Is there a tendency to undermine women in the political system in the U.S., because you see men as Presidents with their so-called "First Lady"?

Summary: Countdown to WW1

It all started with the Archduke of Austria-Hungary being assassinated by 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip. Princip was back by a Serbian terrorist group called The Black Hand. The Achduke was heir to the throne in Austria-Hungary, and they started to seek revenge. Germany shows its support if Austria-Hungary choose to go to war against Serbia. All this while Britain tries to deter Germany. They did not listen. Austria-Hungary gives Serbia an ultimatum, but Serbia rejects it because it violates their constitution. Britian sends a plead for peace, and suggested a peace conference. It did not help, and Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Russia wanted to send help to Serbia, but called it off after getting a letter from his cousin, The Kaiser of Germany. Russia regrets its decision, and mobilizes its forces again.The tension between France and Germany arose. Germany then declared war on Russia and France, and asks for safe passage through Belgium. Belgium was Britian's ally, and they sent an ultimatum to Germany. Germany rejects this and it is declared war between the two countries.

Pre-World War Europe

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/zgy334j#zt2xxnb

A Letter To My Family

 02.10.1930  12.30 PM

My dear family

I am so sorry I had to leave you like this. This economic situation really took a toll on me. I was so confident when I bought all the stocks, even though I had to borrow a lot of money. When the stock prices went up to a point that could not be justified, I decided to sell them. Unfortunately, I was not the only one who had that idea. Everyone I know who invested in something, started to sell as well. Everyone panicked, and the stock prices went down. Since I bought stocks on margin, all my money were gone by the time I sold my stocks. In the end they were worthless. When the market finally crashed, I got laid off, and had lost everything.

I have left the country. It was necessary for me to try and find a solution. The little amount of savings I had left was not nearly enough to take care of you. At this time, I have arrived in Uruguay. The dollar still has a little value here, and it seems the stock market is a lot stronger than it is back in the US. My plans now are to find a place to live, however cheap it must be, and to find a job that can pay me enough money to build a life back home again. If that does not work out, I will try and find a way you can join me down here.

If you join me, we could have a farm with sheep and cows. We could build a better life for ourselves. I feel terrible for leaving you in this situation, but it is necessary for me to keep going and to try and make things right again. I miss you so much, and you are in my thoughts all day long. When I figure out what to do, I will send you a new letter. In the meantime, I will send you a little money so you can take of yourselves.

 

Love from
Your father and husband

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Does It Matter by Siegfried Sassoon was written in 1916, in the middle of World War 1. The author speaks right to the listener. With the questions he asks and the sarcasm he uses, a gloomy and morbidly funny poem is created. The rhyme he uses in the 1st and 5th and in the 2nd and 3rd line in each stanza, makes it easier to read. Sassoon wants to challenge patriotism and volunteering for war. He says through the sarcasm that it is not worth losing your sight, legs or dreams, to fight and maybe be killed. The reason this should be poem of the week is because it is rebellious and makes people think. In addition, it does not glorify war as a good thing.

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aa)     Brooke uses the words English and England a lot. He is suggesting by writing those words, that England and the English land is amazing, important and very close to his heart.

bb)     Sassoon starts each stanza with a question. He uses rhyme in the first and fifth line, and in the second and third line. The questions make the readers think while they read. The rhyme create fluency in the poem, and make it easier to read.

cc)    The Soldier and Does It Matter are very different poems. Even though they both are about struggle and hardship, the overall mood in The Soldier is a sense of patriotism. In Does It Matter, Sassoon makes the questions create a gloomy mood and uses sarcasm. In The Soldier, Brooke uses the love for England and patriotism to say that it is worth losing your life, to give back to your country.

dd)    I believe the most important theme in The Soldier is to fight for what you believe in and to give back what has been given to you. An example of this is: "If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field. That is forever England."
In Does It Matter, I think the most important theme is even though it is war you need not join. An example is: "Does it matter? -losing your sight?... There's such splendid work for the blind"

7a - Child Labour

"Child labour is still found in many parts of the world. What responsibility do we in developed countries have for child labor in poorer countries?"

We have a great responsibility to try and help them in every way we can. On the news and all over the internet there are pictures of children working as either a soldier, on the streets, in farms or in factories. These children live in a world we in more developed countries know very little about. It is difficult to find a way to help them, because that would mean we have to get rid of poverty all together. The children often work to help their poor families survive another day. The conditions are tough for a lot of families.

We cannot give all the poor families money to survive. What we in more developed countries could do is to help the governments of their countries establish more job opportunities. Larger corporations could move factories or build new ones in their countries, so the parents would have a better paid job. This would lead to the child not having to work. I also believe that the focus on education among the poorer families should become bigger.

Child labour is like a taboo. It happens, but not many people talk much about it. Most people do not want to be associated with it. In many instances, big corporations use children to work for them. What we could do as consumers is to try and expose those who use children as workers. To be assosiated with this is very bad publicity, and could lead to the children not having to work for them anymore. 

As already mentioned, child labour is difficult to prevent or fix. We cannot change everything in a day, week or year. It is going to take a very long time. But, we can do something. Organizations are working very hard to help them and to raise awareness about the topic. The organizations offer ways that people in developed countries can help and even if we cannot help everybody, we can make a change. 

Sources:
http://childlaborintheuk.weebly.com/uploads/1/7/0/5/17052880/236125756.jpg?379
http://daughtersrising.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/child-works-textile-factory-bangladesh.jpe 

3

b) The Enlightenment led to the Industrial Revolution. The Enlightenment was a new sprawling intellectual movement throughout Europe. It dedicated itself to reason and reacted against religion. Practical insights led to new and more efficient ways to produce goods. The age of mass production began.

c) Industrialization made landowners throw peasants off their land to grow crops for profit with help from machines. Ordinary people moved to the cities and worked in poorly paid factories with a bad working environment.

d) Britain maintained its Pax Britannica by avoiding revolutions and to promote the principles of individual freedom and natural rights. They followed a balance-of-power foreign policy where they supported the weaker power to maintain peace.

e+) Magna Carta limited the monarch's power, ending the age where the monarch could do as he/she pleased and no one could stop them. The Civil War sent a clear message that a monarch could not rule alone, but through the grace of his/her subjects. It led to the attempt of balance between the Parliament and the monarchy. The Glorious Revolution resulted in The House of Stuarts having enough Stuarts to pass the Act of Settlement. This decided that every monarch from that day on had to Protestant, and ended the religious and political conflicts. The age of constitutional monarchy began, where the monarch had very little power.

Elizabeth: Religious Conflict

In the movie Elizabeth there were tons of conflicts. Some not so gravely big or dangerous, but some were very intense. The one I choose to write about is the religious conflict, which has a lot of aspects to it. Elizabeth was a protestant, but strongly believed that it didn't matter which religion a person chose to have. She believed that there was one God no matter what. One of her problems was that her counselors mostly were Catholic, and they didn't like her way of thinking.

She passed the Act of Uniformity, to unify the Anglican Church. This was to a lot of protest from the bishops surrounding her. The Church of Rome reacted strongly to this act, calling for justice. Since she was legitimate neither in the Protestant or the Catholic Church, they soon plotted against her. The Romans allied themselves with the Duke of Norfolk, and the Spanish king.

The Pope wrote a declaration about Elizabeth, that she was the heretic heir to the throne and that she should be overthrown. The plan was to marry the Duke of Norfolk to the Mary of Scots, take over the throne and to reinstate the Catholic Church in England. Before Elizabeth, her half-sister Bloody Mary had ruled in the Catholic faith. Mary persecuted the Protestants and they were burned publicly.  Elizabeth figured out with help from her ally, Sir Francis Walsingham, that the Duke of Norfolk and the Romans planned to assassinate her. Elizabeth shortly took action and imprisoned Mary, beheaded the Duke, tortured John Ballard who was a Roman spy, and assassinated all her enemies who participated in the plot. 

Source: Movie, Elizabeth, 1998


Early British History

The early British history is full of action and changes. The first people who lived in Britain were hunters and they gathered everything they needed. At that time, nobody could write, so they didn't leave a record that they existed. What they did leave was artifacts and tools that they used. After a while, very old-fashioned agriculture was developed and the manpower to create Stonehenge. The Romans were the first literate people who came to Britain, and they introduced government, laws, good roads and Christianity to the Celtic people who lived there. The Roman-Celtic people were gradually replaced with Angles and Saxons. The Vikings came to the country and plundered Britain, which later resulted in the Battle of Stamford Bridge where the King of Norway was killed by King Harold II. Immediately after this, William, Duke of Normandy, killed King Harold at the Battle of Hastings and took over the power. In 1215, King John signed the Magna Carta and that made his power limited. In the period known as the Renaissance, Henry VIII came to the throne. He was a ruthless and violent man, but took interest in music and arts. He created the Church of England because he couldn't divorce his wife in the Roman Catholic Church. His daughter, Mary I, is remembered as Bloody Mary because of her violent attempts to re-establish the Roman Catholicism in Britain. Henry's other daughter, Elizabeth I, was very careful when she came to power with the question of religion. She also defeated the Spanish Armada.

I believe that especially the Romans had a great impact on Britain today, because they introduced a whole new way of government and rule. Until they arrived there weren't any specific laws. They created a new way of building better roads and brought Christianity into the country. I also believe the Magna Carta was very important to Britain, as it limited the Kings power. They created the Commons, granting taxes to the crown and offering advice on policy, and that is the origin of Parliament. A person I believe has shaped Britain is Elizabeth I, and her reign. Since she tread carefully between the religions in her realm, and maintained peace, the flowering of arts and literature led to the era of Christopher Marlow, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Philip Sidney and the great William Shakespeare. She also defeated the Spanish Armada, which marked Britain as a great power and the start of the British Empire.

 Queen Mary I and Elizabeth I
Source:
https://thecreationofanneboleyn.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/me.jpg
Access to English: Social Studies, Cappelen Damm, Oslo 2014            

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