England, the country that gave America the inspiration to spread its own culture around the world whether the world wanted it or not Whereas the soldiers sent around the world to divide and rule came from all over Britain, it was England that was always firmly in charge, and Southern England at that. The sun never set on the British Empire – until it did and the reins of power were essentially handed over to the US after the second world war – the only county taking part that didn’t have its own territory blown to pieces. Pearl Harbour doesn’t count.
Thus a rather small island came to have a disproportionate influence on world history and culture. The first country to industrialise, England’s society has always been at the forefront of change; one of the first countries to abolish the slave trade (after having profited from it quite handsomely), there has always been a strong tradition of social liberty, satire and free thinking.
But who are the English today? A nation of overly-apologetic libertarians or a race of drunken hooligans? Read on to find out.. Or check out the travel guide to Britain.