History

History of Power and How it Shapes the World

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So long as people have power, so long as people under no circumstances change their attitude, history will be the same and repeat itself over and over. War will always be seen as a venture for peace, be it started through the power of religion, power of kings, or by the powers of countries. In this essay, I would like to make a comment on aspects involved in three movies I have recently seen. These are King Henry VIII, set in the 16th century, Les Miserable, set around the time of the French Revolution, and Good Morning Vietnam which was set during the Vietnam War in 1965. They all depict forces attacking each other. We identify that everyone has a motive, but only in their eyes are they right but for what good? All three films show power can work in many ways. The will of governments, royalty, and religion can not be stopped and those who try to stop them can get hurt.

To begin with, King Henry VIII had the power of an empire trying to change his country. King Henry wanted to get re-married. The powers of religious Rome denied him. We see from the movie that the Roman Catholic Church was very powerful in England.  Henry VIII, powerful as he was, was not happy that he was told he could not do what he wanted. For a man in control of a country, this seemed like lighting the blue touch paper. Henry started to question why his country should allow someone else to have so much power when he had so much power himself.  We find out that he conceived a plan that would not only take care of the divorce but also help in creating England as a sovereign nation state. The power would then be wholly in England’s hands. Henry had the power to change the religion in his country and banish the Catholic Church from England. Rome thought they had the power to tell Henry what to do. Henry, being a religious man, believed he was one down from God. Whatever he did, it was a message from God. This belief in power stretched the imagination to its fullest. Henry started to question why his country should allow someone else to have so much power. If he broke with the Roman Catholic Church he would win many Protestant friends and have more power in England. These two powers clash and as such we end up with Henry VIII having his own church and Catholicism banished from England. Henry VII, in many respects, gave himself more power.

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English Business Etiquette

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(770 words)

In this essay, I am going to talk about how to understand English business etiquette better, so as not to be embarrassed when you visit England and have a business meeting. This is why it is wise to learn about and show an understanding of the rich business culture that England has. It could help you out of a problem.

England has a rich history and heritage that is world-renowned. English people are very proud of their heritage.

One of the first things you will notice is that English people say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ a lot. Even when they are not wrong they may still say ‘sorry’ just to make the situation calmer. English people are known to be kinder to you if you behave politely. One important factor to remember though is a visitor may upset an English person by the things they say and do in your own culture which is not frowned upon.

Westerners are known in Asia for being a bit extravagant and flamboyant. Here in Asia, they might seem to have looser morals but the United Kingdom has a strong culture of how to behave properly not just in a business setting but in life. This culture although still ingrained in many people has changed since World War II in England after seeing an influx of immigrants. England is actually very multi-cultural nowadays.

Any business person should understand where England is. This may be hard for some because it is actually an island away from central Europe. It is in Europe but English people still do not think of themselves as Europeans although they are part of Europe. If a visitor is doing business in any other part of the United Kingdom or meets a British person they do not refer to those people as English they will be rather offended. For example, if the business person is from Scotland, Ireland or Wales they are Scottish, Irish or Welsh not English.

Appearance at a business meeting, although English people are generally conservative, is generally relaxed although a person should be polished and well-groomed. English weather always prevails not to be bright and sunny so this is generally shown in business attire. Dark suits, black or grey are usually accepted. Men wearing shirts should not have pockets in them. If they have pockets they should be kept empty. Ties are worn but be careful what pattern and colour you choose. Ties are used to show many clubs or groups in England usually with stripes. These should be avoided as they might look like copies of well-known member’s club ties. A solid or patterned this is a better choice. Men should wear laced up shoes and not loafers. Women are not so limited to colours but should still keep to a conservative dress.

So, the business visitor is ready for the meeting, it is now the case of how to behave when meeting. First of all English people are very punctual. If a person says the meeting is at 9am the visitor should be there on time. The usual view is to plan to get to the place 15 minutes before but if for a major reason the person should call and say they will be late. A visitor must also remember that English people can be very reserved and not friendly but with more meetings can form deep and lasting friendships. Visitors often get the wrong idea because in their cultures people smile more and ask more questions than an English person would. A business visitor must be careful not to mix their culture with English.

Remember the English are rather formal. When the visitor first meets an English business person, a simple handshake is enough. Eye contact should be kept while initiating handshakes. This is the same for men and women. It is also better to use Mr, Miss, Mrs plus surname when meeting. Business cards can be given but there is no formal ceremony. There is also no need for a present to be given. English people do not stand on ceremony. Any gift should be small if any.

With first conversations, any visitor must remember that privacy is important in England so informal talk should not include talk about salaries or marriage. English people also value their personal space so try not to come too close while conversing. It is also not normal to touch people in public. If the visitor is invited out for lunch it will normally be in a pub with light food and a pint of lager. It is not wise to talk about work in the pub.

Remember in a business meeting if everyone is of the same level the meeting can flow while if there is someone of superior ranking they will do most of the talking. Usually, a meeting will have an agenda so the meeting will have been planned beforehand. English people like to be told information through facts and figures rather than through emotion. This makes it easier for them to make a decision. If straight questions are asked an English business person may give an indirect or evasive answer. A visitor must not be aggressive or too persuasive actually English people like a bit of humour but not lewd or unfitting language. The final decision will be taken by the senior executives and may take some time.

Poole – Regeneration of a Built Up Area

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I was asked to make a report detailing the architectural styles and features of different periods from Medieval to Present day (then 1996) in Poole old Town. The report had to include extensive graphical work on the old town in Poole, Dorset (UK) detailing different periods. This report also extends to the period when consultations were had and designs were being made around the bridge across Poole harbour.

I have attached a PDF copy of the report

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