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Why did England rule the world?

This little country on an island in the north Atlantic.

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by Anonymousreply 33November 23, 2022 8:21 PM

Because we're excellent in battle and because of the British industrial revolution.

by Anonymousreply 1November 22, 2022 9:30 PM

Because they're mean 😠

by Anonymousreply 2November 22, 2022 9:48 PM

Because crumpets.

by Anonymousreply 3November 22, 2022 10:30 PM

It was at heaven's command that Britain arose from out the azure main. This was the charter of the land, and guardian angels sang this strain: Rule Britannia, Britannia, rule the waves. Britons never, never, shall be slaves!

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by Anonymousreply 4November 22, 2022 10:39 PM

[quote] This little country on an island in the north Atlantic.

The United Kingdom in those days was worldwide. England was simply where the leaders were located.

by Anonymousreply 5November 22, 2022 10:43 PM

We knew they were troublesome little cavemen, so we left

by Anonymousreply 6November 22, 2022 11:22 PM

It is truly amazing what and how much this small, sceptered isle has contributed to the world in every facet of the human experience: art, literature, medicine, biology, engineering, government, philosophy, religion, etc. It still contributes in all of these areas despite being a kingdom of a mere 70 million people.

by Anonymousreply 7November 22, 2022 11:31 PM

^ Oppression, looting of everything of value, slavery, draining of all natural resources... Yep, the Brits really did a number on the rest of the world 😒

by Anonymousreply 8November 22, 2022 11:35 PM

Every empire in human history has done those things, R8, with a lot fewer, if any, of the other extraordinary things the British have and continue to contribute to humanity, take the Ottoman Empire for example. Learn some history, it is fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 9November 22, 2022 11:43 PM

^ Doesn't make conquering the world right. Romans probably had a more lasting influence on the cultures of the world

by Anonymousreply 10November 22, 2022 11:50 PM

It's been the story of humanity, R10. It's not a question of right or wrong.

by Anonymousreply 11November 22, 2022 11:53 PM

They were an island so developed a strong navy. They were able to protect themselves from foreign invasion and the need for expensive massive armies in this way. (Navies aren’t exactly cheap either.)

Having a powerful navy meant they could range about the world, setting up colonies at the expense of less advanced (non-European) people, or bullying less advanced nations into highly unfavorable trade relationships. (Google the opium wars.)

This wealth flowed back to the UK, making it extremely wealthy. The wealth enabled substantial investment in the arts and sciences. This in turn led to technological breakthroughs which in turn made them even wealthier.

They had, in fact, bitten off more than they could chew, but continued to rule this bloated empire based largely on their reputation for supremacy. The first dents came in the 20th century, with the boer wars (won only under extreme national effort and by employing ghastly cruelty) and World War I.

The coup de grace came with WWII, which right from the start they were entirely unable to pay for and needed massive financing from the USA. The myth of supremacy crashed to the ground with the surrender of Singapore, arguably the most craven, disgraceful capitulation for the Allies in the entire war. The peoples of Asia took heed.

Once the war was over the pathetic plight of the “empire” was plain for all to see. Even with near-total financing from the USA, the UK was a shambles and unable to afford to continue to rule its “empire” against a rising tide of nationalism in its colonies. So it all came crashing down.

by Anonymousreply 12November 22, 2022 11:54 PM

^ Fine, I still think Rome had a greater influence on art, culture, architecture and government

by Anonymousreply 13November 22, 2022 11:56 PM

The same way the Dutch, Portuguese, and Danes plus other small countries conquered lands. Now they are all just small countries. When Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland break away, England will be nothing but the size of Rhode Island.

by Anonymousreply 14November 23, 2022 12:05 AM

WW2 completely depleted the UK, most Americans fail to realize this or the implications. All empires come to an end. However, the UK continues to contribute to humanity to a degree and breadth that few countries can compare.

by Anonymousreply 15November 23, 2022 12:10 AM

Portugal was once a world power too

by Anonymousreply 16November 23, 2022 12:14 AM

The only world dominating power that is coming back around to dominate again is China

by Anonymousreply 17November 23, 2022 12:14 AM

Look up the Battle of Blenheim and the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht; that was the major game-changer for Britain. They picked up major territories, including Gibraltar that gave them control of Mediterranean access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Also, island security and plain dumb luck (e.g. weather helped to scuttle the Spanish Armada and Napoleon being overly-ambitious going after Russia).

by Anonymousreply 18November 23, 2022 12:26 AM

Portugal and Spain ruled the world for years because they ruled the sea.

by Anonymousreply 19November 23, 2022 12:33 AM

Also helped that by the end of the Napoleonic wars it was the only power left standing. America was focused on manifest destiny, Prussia and Russia were land powers, Spain and Portugal were experiencing imperial collapse and independence wars. Austria was a basket case, the Dutch were a second rate power, and France had just lost a major war, was politically unstable under successive monarchist and republican governments had no navy left. Britain meanwhile had managed to finance its war contributions, grow its empire and come out stronger than everyone else as the only real worldwide power left standing for the next 100 years.

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by Anonymousreply 20November 23, 2022 12:34 AM

Being an island, Britain was difficult to conquer from mainland Europe. Also, as an island, they developed an unmatched Navy, and industrialized first. They were able to have a trade advantage with industrialization. They also mastered navigation with crucial tools other countries didn't have. For about a hundred years their main rivals on the sea were Portugal and the Netherlands. If you look at a map of the world, Britain maintained colonies at crucial chokepoints , Egypt, Aden, India and Ceylon, Singapore, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Malta, the Caribbean, Bermuda, the Falklands, and countless remote islands like Ascension and St. Helena.

One reason that the British maintained a lot of control was they were also expert at moving people around.

by Anonymousreply 21November 23, 2022 12:35 AM

I never paid much attention in history class in high school and college. I found it boring and didn’t enjoy it. But as I get older, I enjoy history more and more. I enjoy DL history threads. Some of you are really into it and make it fun & interesting!

by Anonymousreply 22November 23, 2022 12:58 AM

The culture has structural aspects that allow efficiency and the focus is on quality outcomes. History is considered in all decisions to avoid repeating mistakes. True work ethic. Many forms of artistic and gender expression are accepted. Good looking people.

by Anonymousreply 23November 23, 2022 1:38 AM

The Protestant work ethic.

by Anonymousreply 24November 23, 2022 1:54 AM

England, and later the UK, has always been fertile ground for innovation and free trade because of its political culture - an unusually high level of individual freedom, stable institutions and a limited monarchy.

When combined with the discovery of huge coal resources, it meant an explosion of industrialisation that put the country far ahead of its peers, and empowered its imperial aspirations, eventually leading to the British Empire dominating the world and English culture becoming the dominant world culture. Remember that at the time, the rest of Europe were only just entering their enlightenment eras, a process which began for the English in the 13th century and was done and dusted by 1700 - French enlightenment figures openly admitted they were inspired by freedoms the English already enjoyed.

by Anonymousreply 25November 23, 2022 3:19 AM

[quote] They were troublesome little cavemen, so we left—Roman Empire

Aye, left in a hurry with the whites of your eyes showing and no time to pack up properly....

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by Anonymousreply 26November 23, 2022 1:02 PM

England didn’t. Britain did pretty well for itself though.

by Anonymousreply 27November 23, 2022 1:11 PM

[quote] The only world dominating power that is coming back around to dominate again is China

China is on the verge of financial ruin. They're not going to dominate anything for a very long time. China has been like Trump for many years, a big fat fraud.

by Anonymousreply 28November 23, 2022 7:41 PM

Because OP we're extremely peng.

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by Anonymousreply 29November 23, 2022 7:46 PM

It’s coming home.

by Anonymousreply 30November 23, 2022 8:03 PM

because they controlled global trade routes and had a captive market in India

by Anonymousreply 31November 23, 2022 8:11 PM

Because the Anglo-Saxon race is the superior race

by Anonymousreply 32November 23, 2022 8:15 PM

Portugal and Spain were far more destructive in their conquests. The Portuguese got rich off the slave trade.

by Anonymousreply 33November 23, 2022 8:21 PM
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