Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New England

The effective creation of Britain about 200300 years* ago, has hidden the fact that the eastern US was mostly an English colony. ( The Union of the crowns was 300400 years ago, but in effect England and Scotland had separate governments and okay Spanish, French, Dutch and Swedish colonies existed for a while, but the English saw most of them off - with the exception of Florida and Louisiana I think. The Scots went for a bit of mosquitoes and malaria infested swamp in Panama - which bankrupted them and in effect lead to the Union. )

During that time New England received the adventures and political and religious refugee's from England. They were steeped in the English principles of fairness, common law, protestant Christianity and justice. It was the denial of these rights by an arrogant British government that lead to the war of independence. This is shown by the support the American revolutionaries enjoyed in some parts of Parliament even after their succession, with Scots, Dutch and Germans leading the new hybrid country.

In many ways New England is in part an alternative history for England. Instead the Americans won their freedom and England lost its freedom to a new British establishment.

For part of England's identity we should look west over the Atlantic to another land that loves freedom. The Scots and Welsh want to give up their freedom to socialism, and continually vote that way - one day they will get their wish. But the English need to regain our identity as a free people. As they say in New Hampshire "live free or die".

We need a New England again.

( This post was in part inspired by thinking about the presidential primaries and the vibrancy of US politics compared to the UK ).

*Correction - I had my dates out by 100 yrs ! As pointed out in the comments (thanks).


The Secret Person said...

While I agree with the message of your article, the numbers are slightly out. The union of the crowns was in 1603, 400 years ago, and the Act of Union in 1707, 300 years ago.

Man in a Shed said...

Thanks for the correction.

Whilst the US took an increasingly divergent path with mass immigration and developed its own identity, part of that identity and a key part of that history is English.

On another site a left wing contributor was asking what the moral case for English identity was - which seemed an odd question. The problem for the English is that we have been suppressed ( not repressed until recently ) for so long we have forgotten who we are.

Parts of the US show what England could have been.

William Gruff said...

The 'union of the crowns', is a bit of Scotch mist; a self-serving fiction that Jocks like to think of as 'the greatest reverse take-over in history'.

Wearing two hats, as James I (and VI) did, does not unite them. If one gives even the briefest thought to the idea, one realises immediately that crowns can only be united when the kingdoms they symbolise are united.

Man in a Shed said...

I guess at the time the crown governed for Scotland and England, but had to answer to two different parliaments. Neither parliament being able to over rule the other.

I may be wrong here, but the formation of a government separate from the monarch only really took off with George I as his non-command of English, as exploited by Walpole.

Hence a Union of the crowns now would have two governments and one sovereign, but 400 years ago you could perhaps argue that a single government was at least possible, though with the communication difficulties perhaps less possible.

It would be interesting to learn a little more about that time. In terms of trade and colonisation Scotland and England were rivals until the Union of the parliaments.