Culture of the United Kingdom

British culture is influenced by the nation's history. Although British culture is a distinct entity, the individual cultures of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are diverse and have varying degrees of overlap and distinctiveness. British literature is esteemed; the novel was invented in Britain, playwrights and authors are among its most prominent cultural figures. Britain has made notable contributions to music, art and television; the UK is the home of the Church of England, the state church and mother church of the Anglican Communion, the third-largest Christian denomination. Britain contains some of the world's oldest universities, has made many contributions to philosophy and technology, is the birthplace of many prominent scientists and inventions; the Industrial Revolution began in the UK and had a profound effect on the family socio-economic and cultural conditions of the world. As a result of the British Empire significant British influence can be observed in the language, law and institutions of its former colonies, most of which are members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

A subset of these states form the Anglosphere, are among Britain's closest allies. British colonies and dominions influenced British culture in turn British cuisine. Sport is an important part of British culture, numerous sports originated in the country including football; the UK has been described as a "cultural superpower", London has been described as a world cultural capital. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw the UK ranked the third most positively viewed nation in the world in 2013 and 2014. First spoken in early medieval England, the English language is the de facto official language of the UK, is spoken monolingually by an estimated 95% of the British population. Seven other languages are recognised by the UK Government under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages – Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, Ulster Scots, British Sign Language. In Wales, all pupils at state schools must either be taught through the medium of Welsh or study it as an additional language until age 16, the Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 provide that the Welsh and English languages should be treated in the public sector, so far as is reasonable and practicable.

Irish and Ulster Scots enjoy limited use alongside English in Northern Ireland in publicly commissioned translations. The Gaelic Language Act, passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2005, recognised Gaelic as an official language of Scotland and required the creation of a national plan for Gaelic to provide strategic direction for the development of the Gaelic language; the Cornish language is a revived language that became extinct as a first language in Cornwall in the late 18th century. Dialects and regional accents vary amongst the four countries of the United Kingdom, as well as within the countries themselves; this is the result of the long history of immigration to the UK, for example Northern English dialects contain many words with Old Norse roots. Scottish English, Welsh English, Hiberno-Irish are varieties of English distinct from both English English and the native languages of those countries. Received Pronunciation is the Standard English accent in England and Wales, while in Scotland Scottish Standard English is a distinct dialect.

Although these accents have a high social prestige, since the 1960s a greater permissiveness toward regional English varieties has taken hold in education. The great variety of British accents is noted, with nearby regions having distinct dialects and accents, for example there are large differences between Scouse and Mancunian despite Liverpool and Manchester being only 35 miles apart. Dialectal English is found in literature, for example Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights contains Yorkshire dialect; the United Kingdom inherited the literary traditions of England and Wales. These include Arthurian literature and its Welsh origins, Norse-influenced Old English literature, the works of English authors Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare, Scots works such as John Barbour's The Brus; the early 18th century period of British literature is known as the Augustan Age and included the development of the novel. Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders are seen as the first English novels, however the development of the novel took place in a wider literary context that included the rise of prose satires – which reached a high point with Gulliver's Travels – and earlier foreign works like the Spanish Don Quixote.

Linked to the Augustan period is Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language. Published in 1755, it was viewed as the pre-eminent British dictionary until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later; the subsequent Romantic period showed a flowering of poetry comparable with the Renaissance 200 years earlier, a revival of interest in vernacular literature. In Scotland the poetry of Robert Burns revived interest in Scots literature, the Weaver Poets of Ulster were influenced by literature from Scotland. In Wales the late 18th century saw the revival of the eisteddfod tradition, inspired by Iolo Morganwg; the period saw the publication of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by Mary Wollstonecraft, is one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy. The late Georgian and Victorian era saw a renewed focus on the novel. A key theme of these nove

Three Flags Day

Three Flags Day commemorates March 9 and 10, 1804, when Spain completed turning over the Louisiana colonial territory to France, who officially turned over the same lands to the United States, in order to finalize the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. The ceremony in St. Louis cleared the way for Clark to begin their exploration. France had ruled Louisiana from its founding until the Treaty of Paris which ended the Seven Years' War, in which treaty Spain received the French land west of the Mississippi River plus New Orleans, Great Britain received the French lands east of the River -- which included what had been called the Illinois Country or Upper Louisiana. Spain took control of its territory in 1769, when it suppressed the Rebellion of 1768 by area residents who had resisted Spain's assumption of colonial authority in the French domain; the United States extended its western boundaries to the Mississippi River during the American Revolutionary War, when General George Rogers Clark took possession of the lands east of the Mississippi River which had for some years belonged to Great Britain.

American control of the territory which became today's Midwestern states was not secure until both the Treaty of Paris and the Jay Treaty had been formalized. On October 1, 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte concluded France's re-acquisition of La Louisiane from Spain, in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. However, the treaty was kept secret and Spain continued to administer the territory; the U. S. and France agreed on April 1803, to the American purchase of Louisiana. However, the U. S. did not take possession of these lands on the west side of the Mississippi, Spain continued to administer the territory because it had not yet formally turned it over to France. After the United States' purchase, Thomas Jefferson announced plans for an exploration of the new territory. Spain, prohibited any foreign exploration of its territory. Lewis and Clark were to spend the winter of 1803-04 at Camp Dubois in what was the Indiana Territory, opposite the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. until the lands had been formally turned over to the United States.

On November 30, 1803, Spain formally transferred the territory in a ceremony at the Cabildo and Plaza de Armas in New Orleans attended by Spanish Governors Juan Manuel de Salcedo and Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill and new French Governor Pierre Clement de Laussat. On December 20, 1803, New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana were transferred to the United States in a ceremony with Laussat and incoming United States governor William C. C. Claiborne, with Gen. James Wilkinson in attendance. However, with navigation on the Mississippi halted because of winter, the news was not conveyed to St. Louis. On March 9, 1804, Amos Stoddard, the new U. S. lieutenant governor for District of Louisiana, Meriwether Lewis arrived in St. Louis by boat and were met by the Spanish lieutenant for Upper Louisiana, Carlos de Hault de Lassus. Hault de Lassus said: People of Upper Louisiana, by order of the king I am now about to surrender this post and its dependencies; the flag which has protected you during nearly 36 years will no longer be seen.

The oath you took now ceases to bind. Your faithfulness and courage in upholding it will be remembered forever. From the bottom of my heart I wish you all prosperity; the Spanish flag was lowered on March 9, the French flag was hoisted to fly over the city of St. Louis for 24 hours; the French flag supposed to have been lowered at sunset, remained under guard all night. The next morning, March 10, 1804, the American flag was hoisted; this event is sometimes referred to as the "Three Flag Ceremony" or the "Ceremony of Three Flags." Three Flags Over St. Louis - <--Broken link, Dec. 2015. History of Louisiana by Grace King and John R. Fricklin - 1893

Vladimir Vinogradov (diplomat)

Vladimir Mikhailovich Vinogradov was a prominent Soviet diplomat in the second half of the 20th century. Vinogradov was born in 1921 in Ukraine. In 1945, he earned a degree in technology in Moscow. After finishing his studies, he was appointed assistant to the commercial representative of the USSR in London. Vinogradov returned to Moscow four years to work in the central apparatus of the Ministry of Trade, he served as the Deputy Chief of the Department of Commerce for the next ten years, dealing with western countries. From 1962 to 1966, Vinogradov was the ambassador of the USSR in Japan. At the beginning of 1975, Vinogradov acted as the initiator of a rapprochement between the USSR and Jordan. From February 1977 to April 1982, Vinogradov was the ambassador of the USSR in Iran. After this assignment, Vinogradov was appointed to the post of Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, he held this post for eight years, continuing to participate in the implementation of Soviet policy in the Middle East.

Vinogradov retired from his diplomatic career in 1990. After retiring, Vinogradov maintained a high level of interest in the Middle East. In 1992, he headed the Russian Committee of Public Organizations on Assistance to the Arab-Israeli settlement. Through this structure, many informal contacts of Moscow with political figures of the countries of the Middle East were carried out in the 1990s. Vinogradov participated in them actively, from time to time advising diplomats of the official position of post-Soviet Russia on various regional questions; the Kremlin's Envoy, Who Rejected the Iranian Revolution The article about diplomatic career of Vladimir Michaylovich Vinogradov