Great Britain

The British, who are we?  Many around the world take great joy in knocking Great Britain, we have not committed genocide like some nations. So we want to put the record as straight as we can about our achievements and the good we have done around the world.

We do not want to start at the dawn of time, but felt that from the era of Empire would be good to explain the British attitude to the world.

 

The song lyrics of 'Rule Britannia' probably sums up best the feelings of the British people. Although we no longer rule the waves..we will never be slaves! This inherited attitude cannot be wiped away by those complaining about Great Britain leaving the EU.

Britons be very proud....Below are the words Queen Elizabeth 1 spoke when she visited her troops in the field as they prepared for battle, during the nine-day onslaught by the Spanish Armada, when there was every possibility that Britain would be invaded.

 

My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects.

 

And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood, even the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms;

 

I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and by your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

 

Queen Elizabeth I - 1588 Following the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Britain became the dominant world power and remained so for centuries.

The British Empire.

The Empire was not just an extension of England and the English, as many like to claim but was also the other nations of Great Britain...the Scots, the Welsh & Irish.

 

Native peoples in the British Empire had gained in many ways, from basic democracy to the very useful world language of English, unlike many other Empires of the era, such as the French, Dutch and German. 

 

But without dwelling on Empire which did in fact also have a long term effect on Great Britain as a country and nation.  It brought into our country many peoples from the British Empire countries, which later became the Commonwealth.  This changed the very nature of society in Great Britain, with inter marriage between the British national and Commonwealth citizens. This created a new generation of mixed race children.

 

Great Britain eventually became one of the most open and accepting nations in the world.

Not the racist backwater that many would promote!

 

The Commonwealth to this day is a force for good uniting over 2 billion people worldwide....so we can take a little credit I believe and sing our favourite national songs,with this link!

 

Our singing of Rule Britannia gives us a sense of nationhood.

Yes, the words may have been out of context after Empire, but with leaving the EU...we will once again be ruling the waves around our Island home!!

War and it's effects on Great Britain

It was probably the 2 world wars of the last century that best defined the British spirit, but changed our society forever.

 

WW1 was when we went to the aid of Europe in 1914 and unfortunately the ramifications of that war were extreme. One only has to look at the number of spinsters from that era, which shows that the cream of British manhood lay under French and Belgian soil.

 

The war also brought women out of the home and into the factories, causing a social upheaval. After the war men returning home had no jobs and possibly thought it was unfair that they went off to war, and on coming back all that they knew had changed and the women had their job.

 

But this had been a necessary change, as all the men were away fighting, the women were needed to make the shells and bullets!

 

Then again with WW2, we went to the aid of Europe once again....and suffered horrendously with a blitz of our Island home...and without the RAF and those young pilots fighting off the Nazi regime...and many giving their lives to keep our Island free of a murderous dictatorship...we would not be in a free country today, with all the trappings of free speech!

 

The forgiving nature of the British

At the end of WW2 500 German POW's in Middlesex were invited to a Christmas dinner in the homes of British families!! One German later recalled:

"We were happy for weeks afterwards, it was this hospitality and goodness of heart from rich and poor alike, that showed us what we relly could learn from being in Britain"...

 

The lesson was taken to heart by many prisoners and 26,000 POW's decided not to go back to Germany, but opted to stay in Great Britain and make a new life.

 

If you are of younger generations, spare a thought for your forefathers who endured so much being bombed or who gave their lives so that you could born into a free country and have this freedom. It means today... that you are able to say what you want or write what you want on social media, as long as it is not offensive of course.  Dictator regimes around the world do not allow this freedom...one just has to consider China!

 

Here is a very useful website for the younger generation...it explains WW2 in simple facts.

British inventions

We are one of the most inventive peoples in the world and if you are interested in our British inventions here are just 25 of the greatest, from the hundreds... have a look here on our webpage.  British inventions.