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English as an international language

People of different countries and nations have to get along well with the progress in world trade and technology as well as with each other. That is why knowledge of foreign languages, particularly English, is very useful as it helps to promote friendship and understanding among people.

English has become a world language because of its establishment as a mother tongue outside England, in all continents of the world. This exporting of English began in the 17th century, with the first settlements in North America. Above all, it is the great growth of population in the United States, assisted by massive immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, that has given the English language its present standing in the world.

Nowadays English is the language of computers, science, business, sport and politics. Approximately 350 million people speak English as their first language. About the same number use it as a second language. It is the language of aviation and pop music.75 percent of the world’s mail is in English, 60 percent of the world’s radio stations broadcast in English and more than half of the periodicals are printed in English. It is an official language in 44 countries.

Geographically, English is the most widespread language on Earth, second only to Mandarin Chinese in the number of people who speak it. It is the language of business, technology, sport and aviation. This will no doubt continue, although the proposition that all other languages will die out is absurd.

The English Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights (1689) is one of the basic instruments of the British constitution. It is also the result of the long 17th-century struggle between the Stuart kings and the English people and Parliament. The Bill of Rights provided the foundation on which the government rested after the Revolution of 1688. The Revolution settlement made monarchy clearly conditional on the will of Parliament and provided freedom from arbitrary government of which most Englishmen were notably proud during the 18th century.

The main purpose of the act was to declare illegal various practices of James II. Among such practices were the royal prerogatives of dispensing with the law in certain cases, the complete suspension of laws without the consent of Parliament, the levying of taxes and the maintenance of a standing army in peacetime without specific parliamentary authorization. A number of clauses sought to eliminate royal interference in parliamentary matters, stressing that elections must be free and that members of Parliament must have complete freedom of speech. Certain forms of interference in the course of justice were also proscribed. The act also dealt with the proximate succession to the throne, provided the heirs wee Protestants. It is the constitutional paper of great importance, which prevented the sovereign from abusing his authority.

The Legal Heritage of Greece and Rome

The ancient Greeks were among the first to develop a concept of law that separated everyday law from religious beliefs. Before the Greeks most civilizations attributed their laws to their gods or goddesses. Instead, the Greeks believed that laws were made by the people for the people.

In the 7th century B.C. Draco drew up Greece’s first comprehensive written code of laws. Under Draco’s code death was the punishment for most offences. Thus, the term draconian usually applies to extremely harsh measures.

Several decades passed before Solon devised a new code of laws. Trial by jury, an ancient Greek tradition was retained, but enslaving debtors was prohibited as were most of the harsh punishments of Draco’s code. Under Solon’s law citizens of Athens were eligible to serve in the assembly and courts were established in which they could appeal government decisions.

What the Greeks may have contributed to the Romans was the concept of “natural law”. In essence, natural law was based on the belief that certain basic principles arise from the nature of people. The concept of natural law and the development of the first true legal system had a profound effect on the modern world.

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