A Spams Musings on where the UK and US began to diverge

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by warmonger82, Jun 13, 2011.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. After joining this forum and reading many of the threads and posts over these past few months I have been intrigued by what truly separates America from England in a way that the Aussies, Kiwis, or the Canuks aren't (my apologies to the Scots and Welchmen, but England DOES call the shots in the UK). So, after reading Glad its all over's post on Americans and America I was inspired to post this thread. I believe that the separating of Americans from Englishmen is truly the result of the English civil war. In many ways we Americans are inheritors of Cromwell's vision of England. Americans would eventually create a republic in the new world, while England promptly invited Charles II to return upon the Lord Protector's death. Granted, As I understand it the English Republic was a rather unpleasant place to be for you run of the mill Englishman (what with the closing of the theater, the major generals running rampant, and all...)

    But the fact remains that after the Civil war ended there was a net migration from Massachusetts BACK to a newly sanctified England, free of the evils of high churchmen, and a net migration of royalists to Virginia (which to this day is why the mascot of the University of Virgina is the cavalier.) The Restoration ended the hopes of the fire eating puritans, and migration once again resumed back to Massachusetts. As one of Bernard Cornell's interviews on a youtube video says "You (the Americans) didn't simply leave, you were thrown out."

    The differences in culture and society are also very interesting to compare between Massachusetts and Virgina. Massachusetts was founded as a refuge for nonconformists to live out their lives free of the evils of dancing, theater, prostitution, and pretty much all fun in general. Ironically, Rhode Island and Connecticut had to be formed as refuges from the intolerance of the radical Puritans in Massachusetts. Remember that it was in New England that the American War for Independence began, and it was in Boston that the furor arose when Parliament tried to assert its authority over the 13 colonies.

    On the other hand Virginia was formed as a commercial venture, as was the rest of the southern colonies. It was very much Anglican in its religious outlook and wealthy Virginians strove to create a stratified plantation society that aped at mimicking the class divisions in mother England. The southern colonies were extremely divided on the issue of revolution, and in many ways the war in the south resembled a civil war.

    In summary I feel that such a large migration of radical non conformists to the new world is probably the major cause for the wide societal differences between the UK and US. so here are my questions

    1. Does there seem to be a direct connection between the Puritans of New England and Cromwell's vision of England?

    2. One of the major points of contention the colonies had with England was that of Parliament's role in the colonies. Namely, the colonies saw themselves as subject to the crown, but with their own colonial legislatures, and they seemed to view themselves more like the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands in their relations with Parliament and the crown. Do you think the rebel colonists were correct?

    3. (this one is directed at Jumpin' Jarhead, Semper Fi, Sir) Did the Southern colonies seem to inherit more Cavalier's frame of mind with regards to their far more stratified societies?

    4. Was the US civil war an American revisiting of many of the same societal tensions that the Brits had to fight out in their own civil conflict?

    5. (maybe a bit of stretch, but bear with me...) The Republic of Ireland also seems to be similar to the US, in that it is an English speaking Euro-centric nation, but outside the fold of the commonwealth due to its violent means of achieving political independence. How is the Irish state viewed by the UK when compared to the more "loyal" Australia, Canada, and New Zealand? Why is Ireland not on-board with NATO and intelligence sharing like the US, UK, CAN, AUS, and NZ?

    As always, thanks for your comments and insights
  2. Iraq?.......
  3. Can only speak for myself but a story I heard long ago sums it up

    In a bar in Kitchener during WW1 an Irishman was in the middle of a brawl with several Canadians when a German (Kitchener was originally called Berlin I think) dived in to fight alongside the gallant Irishman who promptly laid him out and told him to **** off as this was a family matter....

    Now whether there is any truth in that I don't know, the idea's there, no matter how obstreperous the Irish are or how insensitive, haughty and just plain ignorant the Brits are we are kind of related and generally on the same side (see the number of Micks that have fought alongside us over the years)
    • Like Like x 2
  4. George W. Bush?
  5. The main difference between us is.....we are good at Geography.
  6. Re the NATO and int sharing thing. Ireland has declared itself neutral therefore no NATO and definitely no Int sharing. Now, I know there were many Irishmen who did join up in WW2 and many have subsequently joined the British Army. However, the Irish government also gave rather a lot of help to the Germans in WW2 so they have never been trusted with the Int sharing bit.
  7. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Don't know really where to start with this, but your reading of the English Civil War and Cromwell is somewhat misconstrued, the primary drivers behind the English Civil War was the tension between Crown and County over how power was wielded, the Crown under Charles increasing centralised power, tax raising and a top down approach to religion (see Arminianism and Archbishop Laud) which smacked of Papacy to the English Gentry. In a sense this was the forerunner of the issue of States Rights that was a major issue in the run up to the Third American Civil War (see below) and of course the Second American Civil War (The War of Independence - No taxation etc etc) English Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    With regards the the US Civil War (1861-65), it would be better envisoned as the 3rd American Civil War. 1st being, The Civil War (1642-51) - the American Colonies split along Royalist & Parliamentarian lines, in some ways a similar geographic division as the Third Civil War:

    English Civil War - New World Encyclopedia

    2nd, The American Revolutionary War
    3rd, 1861-65 or The War of Northern Aggression as JJH describes it as.

    The Republic aka the Commonwealth was not the intended outcome of the Parliamentarians, it was Charles' obstinacy that eventually drove them to throw off the monarchy.

    I would suggest that the tensions implicit in the Civil War: Crown v County are still resonant in the American Political Psyche, as the drivers for the War of Independence, in the issue of States Rights in the lead up to American Civil War and the continued issue of the role the Federal Govt (Crown) has over the ennaction of Legislation across the US and her individual States (County).

    In the UK this tension is not as palpable, or was not at least until recently with the rise in regional nationalism and the establishment of the Scottish parliament, Welsh and NI Assemblies.

    In answer to your last question: Ireland is outside the Commonwealth as that is what her political leaders chose, withdrawing in 1949 when she became a Republic. She was not expelled due to the violence of the struggle for Independence. From the ouset she has chosen to be a Neutral Country. Despite what some say, despite a few familial squabbles the Irish and British are extremely close, there has been almost continuous migration between Ireland and the UK since independence, and Irishmen have served in the British Forces of their own volition and without hinderance - bar a few extra security checks during the Troubles.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Suspenders. Ours are far more fun than yours.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Well at least I will be dead and burned by the time we fully lose the American Colonies to the Spanish.

    Every civilized Yank I know still secretly wish's he was British.
  10. Culture, history, tradition and education.

    Canada, Australia and New Zealand retained theirs, the US rebelled against them.
  11. Well, who could trust a nation built from traitorism ;)

    Oh, and its Britain, not England.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I had thought that the land owning gentry and the more rural parts of England supported Charles I and that cities and rising merchant class of the south east of England were Charles' opposition. More of a Crown v. City than Crown v. County
  13. So then what about Ireland? They also rebelled, are they also viewed as uncultured and uneducated?
  14. One could always say that we would have you back if you asked to join the Commonwealth and said sorry to her Maj. Mind you the back taxes would kill you and you would have to have the Queen back has head of state.
  15. One forgotten aspect is the 7 years war ("French and Indian War" in the US) Most of the colonies that formed the US were Protestant controlled. Upper Canada was British and Protestant, New France (Quebec, Acadia) were French and Catholic. The New England Colonists were overwhelmingly Protestant and were afraid that France could take over their area. After the French Defeat on the Plains of Abraham and with Lower Canada/Canada East in British control they had less to fear about the result of revolting against the crown. The French defeat was one thing that enabled the colonists to revolt.

    Note: Remember that New York, a commercial center had many with strong loyalist sentiments. Many fled to Canada during after the US revolution.

    Note re Caveliers/Roundheads in the US. Remember that Massachusetts was once two colonies, Plymouth Colony (S.E. Mass. and Cape Cod) and Massachusetts Bay Colony (ret of Massachusetts and what is now Maine). Plymouth was quite Puritan and Roundhead, Mass. Bay was a bit more tolerant of varying religious beliefs although also Protestant. Colonies were later unified as a Royal colony with stronger crown control.

    The maritime provinces of Canada, separated from Upper Canada by Quebec, always maintained very close ties with New England due to geography, religion, language and commercial ties.