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England from the other shore

In the ancient times England, Ireland and Scotland united to hold in leash their colonies. However, that was not the last union. England and Scotland united to hold in leash Ireland, and England itself united to hold in leash Scotland. The English upper class united to hold in leash the lower class.

Ph. Linn
17 January, 2017

Британия, Англия, Великобритания, Great Britain, England

The foreigners see the English people and England in a little different way as the British Isles population sees this country and its citizens. The foreigners consider the words "England", "Great Britain" and "the United Kingdom" differ only according to the discourse style where they are used. The first word for them is the most widespread, the last word – the most official one. Outside Foggy Albion all the UK residents are called the English, the same as all the USA residents are called the Americans. Although, for the residents of this country each of these words has certain geographical, economical and even statistical restrictions.

The indigenous inhabitants of the British Isles are considered to be the Celts. In the old times one Celtic group settled in Ireland and Scotland, the other – in Wales and Cornwall. The inherent Celtic dreaminess and their interest in mysticism come out in the character of the Irish, poetic imagination – in the character of Cornwall residents, musical talent – in the character of the Welsh. The most prominent Celtic traits appear in the Irish nature through its vivid fantasy, artistic talent, slight logic disregard, fanatic obsession and, according to some people’s opinion, inability to find a compromise. In the English character the Celtic origin comes out as inclination to rely more on the intuition than the ratio, as well as deliberate concealing of the distinct border between conscious and unconscious mind. The Celtic origin contradicts to the general opinion that the English are prosaic, cold and rational people.

After the Celts the Romans came to the British Isles. They stand aside the locals and demanded their absolute obedience. Upon the Roman leave, the Danish and Germanic tribes (Saxons, Angles and Jutes) came to this land and gradually hustled the Celts away to the highlands. The Saxons, who were farmers and whose practical and rational mind differentiated from the Celtic one, quickly inhabited the conquered territory. The English character inherited from the Saxon character its inclination to natural, simple and uncomplicated things. Later, new conquerors – the Scandinavian Vikings arrived to the Eastern coast. They were excellent sailors and added some adventurism to the English character. The Normans became the last wave of conquerors. Under their rule the elite got their equestrian code of honour and became the land owners. That is the way in which the different traits, familiar to us up to now, interlace in the English character.


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