B Mark the statements True or False according to the information in the text. Justify your

Answer by reference to the text.

1. All states are governed according to some fundamental rules.

2. Almost every country possesses a constitution.

3. The British Constitution is the oldest one.

4. The British Constitution is a written document which is

considered the highest law of the country.

5. All constitutions differ from each other.

6. The only definition of a constitution is that provided by the Oxford English Dictionary.

7. There are only a few countries which have no written constitution.


C Choose the most suitable word in each sentence.

1. Constitutions describe the fundamental rules according to which states are executed / managed / governed.

2. The constitution sets out how power is distributed / divided / organized among the institutions of power.

3. It also determines the methods of nomination / election / choice of those who are in power.

4. Today nearly all countries possess / provide / set out a constitution.

5. There is no single written document in Britain which can be discussed / appealed to / governed as the highest law of the country.



D Match the English and Russian equivalents.

fundamental rules to make decisions to define relationships to run the country to distribute powers single document upheaval internal dissention to refer to to appeal to
управлять страной распределять полномочия внутренняя междоусобица ссылаться на обращаться к переворот принимать решения определять взаимоотношения единый документ основные правила (положения)


E Find the sentences containing the words from Exercise D in the text, read and translate them.

F Learn the active vocabulary:amendments to exercise power; the listing of the rights to make decisions; boundaries of authority to refer to; to run the country to distribute power; to appeal to to be concerned with



GSpeak on the role of constitution in governing a state.


H Match the English and Russian equivalents.

a fundamental law state sovereignty to adopt a declaration a local government the basis of the constitution a domestic and foreign policy the supremacy of law an international law the principle of separation of powers equal conditions the rights and duties of the citizens
права и обязанности граждан внутренняя и внешняя политика принцип разделения власти равные условия международное право превосходство закона основа конституции местное правительство принимать декларацию государственный суверенитет основной закон




Origin of Democracy

1. In his Gettysburg Address of November 1863, President Abraham Lincoln defined the kind of society he wanted the United States to preserve: “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” He was defining democracy, but not as it existed anywhere in the world at that time. He was describing an ideal, which increasingly became realized in the next century. The ideal was based upon a basic concept of the Declaration of Independence- all human beings are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

2. The word democracy is derived from two Greek words: dēmos, meaning “the people”, and krātos, meaning ‘rule’. A democracy is a way of governing in which the whole body of citizens takes charge of its own affairs. As citizens of towns, cities, counties, states or provinces, and nations, the people are the

sovereigns, the source of power. Democracy means that they can freely make the decisions about what is best for them: what policies to adopt and what taxes to pay. A true democracy, as Lincoln was defining it, means a society in which all the people are citizens with the same rights to participate in its government.

3. As a term for a type of government, democracy came into use during the 5th century BC in Greece. Since then it has acquired a number of different meanings, most of which have common elements. The most basic and original sense is direct democracy- a government in which political decisions are made directly by all the citizens and policies are decided by majority rule.

4. Direct democracy was the government adopted by some ancient Greek city-states. Many centuries later, during the colonial era in North America, the New England townships chose direct democracy as their form of government. All the townspeople gathered at one time and place to decide public policies.

5. Neither ancient Greek nor colonial New England had a true democracy because some segments of the population did not have the rights of citizenship. Certain members of Greek society were considered either non- citizens or second-class citizens. Women and slaves, for example, were denied participation in government. In New England, only property-owning white males were active in government. Women, poor whites, and slaves were nonparticipants.

6. To the extent that any segment of the population is deliberately excluded from citizen participation, a government fails to be a true democracy. It is really an oligarchy, or government by the few. In the United States, for example, women were not granted suffrage until the 20th century, after World War I. Although the United States became a constitutional republic in the 1780s, about a century after Britain became a constitutional monarchy, neither was a genuine democracy until after 1900.


A Answer the questions to the text:

a) What events are the years of 1863, 1780s, 1900 connected with?

b) When and what country did the term democracy come into use?

B Read the text and complete the information below:

1. The word democracy has ......................................... origin.

2. A true democracy means a society in which ..................... .

3. A true democracy was defined by ..................................... .

4. The term democracy came into use in .............................. .

5. Direct democracy was the government adopted by .......... .

6. Ancient Greek had no true democracy because ................ .

7. Britain became genuine democracy only .......................... .


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