Coral reefs are common at the extremities of the islands, particularly Tutuila; some of the reefs form barriers that enclose lagoons. Pago Pago receives about inches 5, mm annually. Most streams carry greater volumes of water in the highlands than near the sea and do not reach the ocean; rather, they filter into the porous basalt rocks. Hence, coastal wells provide much of the water supply. Average humidity is 80 percent. The moderate southeast trade winds prevail, but severe storms can occur during the wet season, from November to March. Rainforests with tall ferns and trees cover the mountainous interiors of the islands.
Plantations of taro, coconut, and other food crops are located on the coasts. Although the islands are not rich in animal life, some of their bird species—such as the rare tooth-billed pigeon—are unique. Wildlife includes flying foxes a type of bat , lizards, rats, snakes, and pigs.
The islands also have myriad and ubiquitous flying and crawling insects. The great majority of the population more than nine-tenths is ethnically Samoan ; there are tiny minorities of Tongan and Filipino origin and of people of mixed ethnicity. The basic unit of social organization is the extended family aiga. Even after decades of foreign influence, most Samoans are fluent in the Samoan language.
Most American Samoans nonetheless also speak English. About half of the population belongs to one of several Protestant denominations, among which the Congregational Christian Church has the largest following. More than one-sixth of the population is Roman Catholic, and slightly less than one-sixth is Mormon.
Pago Pago is the main port and administrative and commercial centre. There is a large proportion of foreign-born residents in American Samoa: more than two-fifths of the people were born outside the territory, largely in Samoa, with smaller proportions from the United States, Tonga, various Asian countries, and other Pacific islands.
Additionally, since the midth century many American Samoans have migrated to the United States, with the result that there are more American Samoans abroad than on the islands. The population that remains in American Samoa is concentrated in urban areas; only about one-eighth is rural. The rate of population growth has increased rapidly since the late 20th century, mainly because of high birth rates and low death rates. The population is young, nearly one-third being under the age of 15, and the life expectancy is 74 years of age.
The economy is based on services and manufacturing. The government is the main employer. A large part of the national income comes in the form of grants from the U. Tuna canning by American-owned canneries and tourism are major industries. Britain gained League of Nations mandates over Palestine, which had been partly promised as a homeland for Jewish settlers, and Iraq.
Iraq became fully independent in Egypt, which had been a British protectorate since , became independent in , although the British remained there until In the House of Commons passed a new Home Rule bill. Under the Parliament Act the House of Lords retained the power to delay legislation by up to two years, so it was eventually enacted as the Government of Ireland Act , but suspended for the duration of the war. Civil war threatened when the Protestant-Unionists of Northern Ireland refused to be placed under Catholic-Nationalist control. Semi-military units were formed ready to fight—the Unionist Ulster Volunteers opposed to the Act and their Nationalist counterparts, the Irish Volunteers supporting the Act.
The outbreak of the World War in put the crisis on political hold. A disorganized Easter Rising in was brutally suppressed by the British, which had the effect of galvanizing Nationalist demands for independence. Historian Arthur Marwick sees a radical transformation of British society resulting from the Great War, a deluge that swept away many old attitudes and brought in a more equalitarian society.
He sees the famous literary pessimism of the s as misplaced, arguing there were major positive long-term consequences of the war to British society.
He points to an energized self-consciousness among workers that quickly built up the Labour Party, the coming of partial woman suffrage, and an acceleration of social reform and state control of the economy. He sees a decline of deference toward the aristocracy and established authority in general, and the weakening among youth of traditional restraints on individual moral behavior.
The chaperone faded away; village druggists sold contraceptives. Marwick says that class distinctions softened, national cohesion increased, and British society became more equal.
Read the full-text online edition of The United Kingdom: A Political History - Vol. 1 (). Read the full-text online edition of The United Kingdom: A Political History - Vol. 2 (). Publication year: Volume: 2. Contributors: Goldwin Smith Chapter I - Charles II Born ; Restored ; Died 1 · Chapter II - James Ii.
As a leisure, literacy, wealth, ease of travel, and a broadened sense of community grew in Britain from the late 19th century onward, there was more time and interest in leisure activities of all sorts, on the part of all classes. Tourists flocked to seaside resorts; Blackpool hosted 7 million visitors a year in the s. There were class differences with upper-class clubs, and working-class and middle-class pubs. Participation in sports and all sorts of leisure activities increased for the average Englishman, and his interest in spectator sports increased dramatically. By the s the cinema and radio attracted all classes, ages and genders in very large numbers, with young women taking the lead.
They sang along at the music hall, fancied their pigeons, gambled on horse racing, and took the family to Blackpool in summer. The cartoon realization of this life style Andy Capp began in Political activists complained that working-class leisure diverted men away from revolutionary agitation. The British film industry emerged in the s when cinemas in general broke through in the western world, and built heavily on the strong reputation of the London legitimate theatre for actors, directors and producers.
It bought up the top talent, especially when Hollywood came to the fore in the s and produced over 80 percent of the total world output. Efforts to fight back were futile—the government set a quota for British made films, but it failed. Hollywood furthermore dominated the lucrative Canadian and Australian markets. Bollywood based in Bombay dominated the huge Indian market. There was a revival of creativity in the —45 era, especially with the arrival of Jewish filmmakers and actors fleeing the Nazis. In Liverpool 40 percent of the population attended one of the 69 cinemas once a week; 25 percent went twice.
Traditionalists grumbled about the American cultural invasion, but the permanent impact was minor. In radio, British audiences had no choice apart from the upscale programming of the BBC, a government agency which had a monopoly on broadcasting. John Reith — , an intensely moralistic engineer, was in full charge.
His goal was to broadcast, "All that is best in every department of human knowledge, endeavour and achievement The preservation of a high moral tone is obviously of paramount importance. The British showed a more profound interest in sports, and in greater variety, than any rival. They gave pride of place to such moral issues as sportsmanship and fair play. New games became popular almost overnight, including golf, lawn tennis, cycling and hockey.
Women were much more likely to enter these sports than the old established ones. The aristocracy and landed gentry, with their ironclad control over land rights, dominated hunting, shooting, fishing and horse racing. Test matches began by the s; the most famous are those between Australia and England for The Ashes.
As literacy and leisure time expanded after , reading became a popular pastime. New additions to adult fiction doubled during the s, reaching new books a year by Libraries tripled their stock, and saw heavy demand for new fiction. The first titles included novels by Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie.
They were sold cheap usually sixpence in a wide variety of inexpensive stores such as Woolworth's. Penguin aimed at an educated middle class "middlebrow" audience. It avoided the downmarket image of American paperbacks. The line signalled cultural self-improvement and political education. Romantic fiction was especially popular, with Mills and Boon the leading publisher. The story line in magazines and cinema that most appealed to boys was the glamorous heroism of British soldiers fighting wars that were exciting and just.
Two major programmes that permanently expanded the welfare state passed in and with surprisingly little debate, even as the Conservatives dominated parliament. Act set up a system of government housing that followed the campaign promises of "homes fit for heroes. The Treasury subsidized the low rents. In England and Wales , houses were built, and the Ministry of Health became largely a ministry of housing. The Unemployment Insurance Act passed at a time of very little unemployment. It set up the dole system that provided 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to practically the entire civilian working population except domestic service, farm workers, and civil servants.