Britishness/ Englishness September 12/17 2007 Britain as “state-nation” The state identified not by ethnicity but by state institutions such as Parliament and the monarchy British National Identity No nationalism in Britain as the ground for national identity—basically class society until the end of the nineteenth century. British national identity comes from its attachment to institutions such as the Parliament and the Crown, a nationalism of the state rather than of the people Britain as the Protestant nation Britain portrayed itself as the defender of the Protestant faith everywhere, ready to stand against the armed might of Catholic Europe such as Spain and France. John Bull as the typical English Character John Bull as a typical English character invented 1712: Bull was invented by the Scottish mathematician and physician John Arbuthnot as a character in an extended allegory that appeared in a series of five pamphlets in 1712 and later in the same year published collectively as The History of John Bull; he appeared as an honest clothier, bringing action with his linen-draper friend Nicholas Frog (Holland) against Lewis Baboon (Louis XIV) for interfering with trade. John Bull Caricature English disdain for nationalism England’s glory shone the brighter for being reflected in a cause far loftier than the advancement of national self-interest. Like Spain at the time of the CounterReformation, or Russia in its conception of itself as ‘the third Rome’, England’s national identity was willingly buried in the service of a missionary cause that was in the fullest sense global. The moment of ‘Englishness’ The end of nineteenth century Nationalism of a cultural kind, emphasizing common citizenship, cultural nationalism emphasized common ethnicity. The hallmarks of ethnicity are language, religion, history, and blood or ‘race’. England has a ‘soul’. Sketches of Nationalist Movement The cleaning up of the English Language, and the establishment of a ‘received’, authoritative manner of spelling and speaking English – Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles. The ‘canon’ of English literature: English culture, as its deepest level, is seen as created by a series of great ‘national’ poets, dramatists, and novelists. English literature as the expression of its distinctive national qualities Sincerity, individuality, concreteness, and a sense of richness and diversity of life. Romanticism as the hallmark of national qualities: the English preference for feeling over intellect, poetry over philosophy, literature and history over social and political thought, passion for the rural landscape. The southern English countryside as utopia. The Whig interpretation of English history: ‘single progressive drama’ A self-congratulatory myth that portrayed English national development in glowing tones: the idea of the antiquity and independence of the House of Commons; the ‘myth of Magna-Carta’, as the foundation of the liberties of all free-born Englishmen; the belief in a tradition of constitutional rule, limiting monarchy, stretching unbroken from the Middle Ages. The rise and fall of Englishness in the twentieth century The rise of the new Labour ‘Little Englander’ Englishness as an embattled concept and practice.