lundi 4 juin 2012

Is the UK going to become a Republic?

Before the holiday we learned a way of saying the future in English ‘going to + verb’ and we are asking the question: ‘is the UK going to become a Republic?’   

Queen Elizabeth II

This week the UK celebrates the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II.  The Queen is currently very popular.   She does not make decisions  and has no political power but is the ceremonial Head of State.  Parliament is the ruling force who has the power to make laws.  This was not always so.  In history, the king or queen was very powerful and ruled the country, deciding how to spend taxes and who to go to war with.  However, over many years Parliament, an elected group of people, gained more and more power until the 1640s when there was conflict over who was really in charge.  Charles I the King at that time was not a popular monarch and tried to govern alone without Parliament. 

This was when England came the closest to becoming a Republic.  There was civil war in England between the King's army and Parliament's army.  The Parliamentary army won and Charles was captured and beheaded as a traitor.  The new leader of the country was a farmer turned soldier, Oliver Cromwell, who led the Parliamentarians, known as the Roundheads to victory in battle over the Royalists, known as the Cavaliers.   

Charles I of England (son of the Scottish King James VI and Anne of Denmark)

Cromwell was an effective but ruthless leader.  However, when he died in 1660 there was no one with his qualities to lead in his place.  His son was not a good leader and people feared unrest and disorder.  Therefore, Charles I’s son was invited back to rule England from exile abroad.  Unlike his Father, Charles II was extremely popular.  He led the country during the Black Death or plague which killed many people in 1665 and he survived the Great Fire of London in 1666.  He turned against the extreme Protestant and puritanical religion of Cromwell and his followers which was welcomed by the people.  Christmas was not celebrated under Cromwell but Charles II, leading what is called the Restoration Monarchy, reintroduced these festivities.  Charles II was it seems, quite a colourful leader.

Charles II (son of Charles I and his French wife, Queen Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis XIII)

Charles reigned for 25 years and re-established the role of the monarchy.  Since then, England has always had a monarch, not necessarily an English monarch, but nevertheless a monarch. 

Today in class we asked more questions using ‘going to + verb’:

Is Greece going to win a gold medal in the Olympics? (L)

Is an astronaut going to discover a new planet? (Flower)

Is the CZE going to become a united land again?
Is any flag ever going to change colour?
Is Denmark going to rule the whole world? (By Catstein Junior)

Is M going to become famous? (By M!)

Are the dinosaurs going to come back to life? (By Leila)

Is the Euro going to collapse? (By Y)

Is Pluto going to exist as a planet again?
Are we going to discover a new universe? (By Dark Spyro)

Is the universe going to end in 2042? (By Nancy)
Editor’s comment: I very much doubt it.  It’s been around for a few million years already. 

Are they going to invent a new colour?
Is a flower going to grow to be gigantic? (By Dragon) 
Editor’s comment: colour is culture and language specific – some languages don’t have words to describe certain colours.

Is the chicken going to have teeth? (By Percy)

Are the Netherlands going to win the EURO 2012?
Are they going to put more letters in the alphabet? (By M)

Is the world going to be destroyed in a day? (By Coco)

Is Denmark going to win the football? (By A)

Is Austria going to become a Republic? (By B)

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