Publié le 10 févr. 2015

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Le  mardi 10 février 2015

AP forme Etat (v.eleve)

Anglais. I. Roux




    Document 1: United Kingdom, a multinational state


    United Kingdom is a unitary state

    The United Kingdom as a state in international law consists of four constituent parts (not states, provinces, or republics) -- England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland -- all under the authority of the Queen in Parliament in London. The four parts are very unbalanced in various ways, with England dominating demographically, economically, and politically. England has 55 percent of the land area, Scotland 32 percent, Wales 9 percent, and Northern Ireland 4 percent. In population, England has 81 percent, Scotland 9, Wales 6, and Northern Ireland 3. London, England, is not only the political capital of the country but also the financial and entertainment center as well, combining the major elements of Washington, New York, and Hollywood.

    Officially the United Kingdom (Britain) remains a unitary state, with all constitutional authority belonging to the central (Westminster) government, rather than a federal state with a formal division of powers between the center and lower levels of government.


    Devolution[1] in United Kingdom

    Some commentators argue that Britain should be considered a "union-state," since the relationship of the four parts to the central government has never been uniform. Each of the smaller three entered into union with England under different circumstances and legislative acts. Under the terms of union, Scotland retained its own church, educational system, and legal system. While most central legislation covered England and Wales, separate bills were often necessary for Scotland and Northern Ireland, depending on the subject.
    Historically Northern Ireland has had the greatest amount of self-rule. The union of England with overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Ireland was dissolved in 1921. As part of that agreement, six counties in the northern part of the island of Ireland, composed of a mixed population of two-thirds Protestants and one-third Roman Catholics, remained within the United Kingdom. The UK granted Northern Ireland devolution (or self-rule) on most domestic matters, which meant that these issues could not be discussed on the central parliamentary agenda. Many Irish Catholics, north and south, continued to argue for a united Ireland, viewing the Northern Ireland government as discriminating against Catholics.

    The fundamental division between Protestants and Catholics over sovereignty led to organized violence between (Protestant) Unionists and (Catholic) Nationalists in the late 1960s. Accordingly, in 1972 the Westminster parliament, acting on a proposal from the British Cabinet, removed devolution from Northern Ireland. Its right to do so stems from the doctrine of "parliamentary sovereignty," in which Parliament decides what is lawful, including constitutional issues, through ordinary legislation. The central government thus assumed authority over domestic affairs in Northern Ireland.

    by Donley T. Studlar, West Virginia University.


    1)      Why is United Kingdom considered to be a unitary state?
    2)      Why is devolution however necessary?
    3)      Why can we talk of a “multinational state”?


    Document 2: Federalism in Germany


    A federal system needs a strong bond to hold individual elements together. Postwar Germany had that (…).The German federal states, the so-called Bundesländer, enjoy far-reaching autonomy (…).

    They have their own constitutions, parliaments and governments, and exert considerable influence on federal legislation through the German upper house, the Bundesrat. Taxes are mostly shared equally between the states and the federal government. Länder (states) even have the right, with the consent of the federal government, to conclude international treaties with foreign states.

    While this arrangement might sound attractive to Scottish yes voters, it is doubtful that it could be easily introduced in the UK. Germany’s brand of “cooperative federalism” only works because it rests on a long, arduous and often violent history.



    When Germany was first unified in 1871, its structure was, in many ways, similar to the UK’s: a union headed by a constitutional monarch, dominated by one country, Prussia, which had more or less foisted[2] it on the other kingdoms, principalities and duchies that formed part of it. However, even under this “hegemonial federalism”, the states still had sovereignty over finances, education, electoral law and cultural policy, with the Kingdom of Bavaria keeping a particularly strong national identity. (…)

    This legacy was strong enough to enlarge the union to encompass the reinstated East German states in 1990 without major problems. This included a “solidarity pact”, under which the richer West German states funded the reconstruction of the eastern infrastructure. By 2019, close to €200bn will have been transferred from west to east. While the old Länder have started to grumble over this massive loss of income, federalism is stronger than ever. This is reflected at the polls: the only active separatist party in Germany, the Bavaria Party, which demands a referendum over Bavarian independence, won only 2.1% of the votes in the state elections last year.

    Jochen Hung,, Monday 22 September 2014


    1)      Why is Germany considered as a federal state?
    2)      Why does federalism work in Germany, according to the journalist?


    Document 3: Federalism in the USA





    1)      Why is the USA a federal republic?
    2)      How is power shared between federal government and the states?


     Document 4: The referendum in Scotland


    1)      What was the question?
    2)      What was the process?
    3)      Why did it happen?
    4)      How was the result decided?
    5)      What would have been the implications of the victory for “Yes”?
    6)      Would independence be positive for Scotland?
    7)      Scottish independence referendum and the civil service


    Document 5: The Scottish Flag

      ecosse flag

    Document 6: The Scottish Anthem


    LYRICS (extract)

     O flower of Scotland
     When will we see your like again
     That fought and died for
     Your wee bit hill and glen
     And stood against him
     Proud Edward's army
     And sent him homeward
     Tae think again

    Although modern, this anthem commerates the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 when the Scottish Army under Robert I (the Bruce) King of Scots defeated Edward II King of England. This ended the English rule of Scotland. Ironically in 1603 Elizabeth I, Queen of England, Wales and Ireland died childless and her second cousin James VI King of Scots ascended to the English throne. Thus marriage achieved what the force of arms could not.


    Question: Could you explain why Scotland is a nation? Is it however a state? (Documents 5 and 6)



    [1] Devolution=décentralisation (c’est le fait de transférer des compétences du gouvernement central vers les collectivités territoriales.)
    [2] To foist (sth) on (sb) : imposer qqch à qqun