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Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Reviews Editorial reviews. Publisher Synopsis "Oakland has produced an accessible and comprehensive introduction to British culture and society maintaining clarity and focus while looking at issues in sufficient depth and detail. User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers.
Be the first. Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Great Britain. But Ireland 1 remained Catholic and tried to distance itself from England, thus adding 2 religion to colonialism as a foundation for future problems. Nor did the political unions appreciably alter the relationships 5 between the four nations. The English often treated their Celtic neighbours 6 as colonial subjects rather than equal partners, and Englishness became a 7 dominant strand in concepts of Britishness, because of the role that the 8 English have played in the formation of Britain.
This mainly 1 involved movements of Irish, Welsh and Scottish people into England. Immigrants have had a significant impact on British society. But 9 immigrant activity and success have resulted in jealousy, discrimination and 20 violence from the native population.
Agriculture started with Neolithic settlers and 4 continued with the Saxons in England who cleared the forests, cultivated 5 crops and introduced inventions and equipment which remained in use for 6 centuries. Their open-field system of farming with strips of land being 7 worked by local people was later replaced by widespread sheep-herding 8 and wool production. Immigration was 1 often characterized by financial and agricultural skills. Jewish money- 2 lenders entered England with the Norman Conquest, to be followed later 3 by Lombard bankers from northern Italy.
This commercial expertise helped 4 to create greater wealth and was influenced by the merchants of the German 5 Hansa League, who set up their trading posts in London and on the east 6 coast of England.
Around , Dutch and Flemish weavers arrived, who 7 by the end of the fifteenth century had helped to transform England into 8 a major nation of sheep farmers, cloth producers and textile exporters.
Others remained and 2 adapted themselves to British society, while preserving their own cultural and ethnic identities. From Saxon times to around , Britain had 5 an agriculturally based economy and some 80 per cent of the people lived 6 in villages in the countryside. Settlement was mainly concentrated in the 7 south and east of England, where the rich agricultural regions of East 8 Anglia and Lincolnshire had the greatest population densities.
During the 9 fourteenth century, however, the steady increase of people was halted by a series of plagues, and numbers did not start to increase again for another 1 hundred years.
Others moved to 5 cloth-producing areas in the West Country south-western parts of 6 England and the Cotswolds and initiated the growth of market towns. The 7 south midland and eastern English counties had the greatest densities of 8 people, and the population at the end of the seventeenth century is esti- 9 mated at 5. In the sixteenth 3 and seventeenth centuries, the country attracted a large number of refugees, 4 such as Dutch Protestants and French Huguenots, who were driven from 5 Europe by warfare, political and religious persecution and employment 6 needs.
This talented and urbanized immigration contributed considerably 7 to the national economy and added a new dimension to a largely agricul- 8 tural population. But, from around , there was to be no more large 9 immigration into the country for the next two hundred years. Britain was exporting more people than it received, mainly to North America and the 1 expanding colonies worldwide. These 4 transformed Britain from an agricultural economy into an industrial and 5 manufacturing country.
Processes based on coal-generated steam power 6 were discovered and exploited. Factories and factory towns were needed to 7 mass-produce new manufactured goods. Villages in the coalfields and indus- 8 trial areas grew rapidly into manufacturing centres. A drift of population 9 away from the countryside began in the late eighteenth century, as people sought work in urban factories to escape rural poverty and unemployment.
The census the first modern 3 measurement of population gave figures of over 8 million for England, 4 Wales half a million, 1. The numbers in Scotland increased less rapidly, owing to 7 emigration, but in Ireland the population was reduced from 8 to 4 million 8 because of famine, deaths and emigration.
The greatest concentrations of 9 people were now in London and industrial areas of the Midlands, south Lancashire, Merseyside, Clydeside, Tyneside, Yorkshire and south Wales. It did not require foreign labour because there were enough 3 skilled British workers and a ready supply of unskilled labourers from 4 Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the English countryside.
Welshmen from 5 north Wales went to the Lancashire textile mills; Highland Scots travelled 6 to the Lowland Clydeside industries; and Irishmen flocked to England and 7 Scotland to work in the manual trades of the industrial infrastructure 8 constructing roads, railways and canals.
These migratory movements 9 promoted conflicts but also assimilation. Other settlers were involved in a wide range of occupations and trades.
Immigration to Britain might have been greater in the nine- 2 teenth century had it not been for the attraction of North America, which 3 was receiving large numbers of newcomers from all over the world, 4 including Britain. But it gradually lost its world lead 7 in manufacturing industry, most of which was in native British hands. But they could 5 be easily expelled; had no legal rights to protect them; and restrictions were 6 increasingly imposed upon them. But the census showed that the 7 number of people in Britain born outside the British Empire was only 8 , out of a population of some In the early years of the century, Jews and Poles escaped persecu- 2 tion in Eastern Europe and settled in the East End of London, which has 3 always been an area of immigrant concentration.
Demands for immigra- 4 tion control grew and an anti-foreigner feeling spread, fuelled by the 5 nationalism and spy mania caused by the First World War — But 6 laws such as the Aliens Act of , which were designed to curtail 7 foreign entry, proved ineffective.
By the number of people in Britain 8 born outside the empire was , or 1 per cent of the population. After the war, Poles, Latvians, Ukrainians and 2 other nationalities chose to stay in Britain. These groups today form sizeable ethnic 7 minorities and are found throughout the country. Such newcomers have 8 often suffered from discrimination, some more than others, since racism is 9 not a new phenomenon in Britain.
All Commonwealth citizens were allowed free access 4 and were not treated as aliens. West Indians 9 worked in public transport, catering, the Health Service and manual trades in London, Birmingham and other large cities.
Indians and Pakistanis later 1 arrived to work in the textile and iron industries of Leeds, Bradford 2 and Leicester which may be the first British city to have a non-white 3 majority population. By the s, non-white people became a familiar 4 sight in other British towns such as Glasgow, Sheffield, Bristol, 5 Huddersfield, Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry and Nottingham. There 6 was a considerable dispersal of such immigrants throughout Britain, 7 although many tended to settle in the central areas of industrial cities.
Some, particularly Indian Asians and black 20 Africans, have been successful in economic and professional terms. Others 1 have experienced considerable problems such as low-paid jobs, unemploy- 2 ment, educational disadvantage, decaying housing in the inner cities and 3 racial discrimination. It is argued that Britain possesses a deep-rooted or 4 institutional racism based on the legacy of empire and notions of racial 5 superiority, which continues to manifest itself and has hindered the inte- 6 gration of the non-white population into the larger society.
Many young 7 non-whites who have been born in Britain feel particularly bitter at their 8 experiences and at their relative lack of educational and employment possi- 9 bilities and advancement. This consisted, 3 first, of Immigration Acts to restrict the number of immigrants entering the 4 country and, second, of Race Relations Acts to protect the rights of those 5 immigrants already settled in Britain.
Those who suffer alleged 9 discrimination can appeal to Race Relations Tribunals, and anti-discrimi- nation bodies have also been established, culminating with the Commission 1 for Racial Equality in This body, which is not without its critics, 2 works for the elimination of discrimination and the promotion of equality of opportunity.
The people 47 There is still criticism of the immigration laws and race-relations orga- nizations. Some people argue that one cannot legislate satisfactorily against 2 discrimination, and others would like stricter controls. The concerns of 3 some white people are made worse by racialist speeches; the growth of 4 extreme nationalist parties such as the National Front and the British 5 National Party; and racially inspired violence.
Non-white citizens, on the 6 other hand, often feel that they too easily and unfairly became scapegoats 7 for any problems that arise. Some become alienated from British society 8 and reject institutions such as the police, legal system and political struc- 9 tures. Government policies since the s have not always helped to lessen either white or non-white anxieties.
They are complex matters; 2 are exploited for political purposes from both the right and the left; and 3 can be over-dramatized. Many non-white immigrants and their British-born 4 children have slowly adapted to the larger society, whilst retaining their 5 ethnic identities.
Britain does have a relatively stable diversity of cultures 6 and the highest rate of intermarriage and mixed-race relationships in 7 Europe, with one in eight children under five having parents from different 8 ethnic backgrounds. But outbreaks of racial tension, violence and harass- 9 ment do occur, and there are accusations that the police and the courts 20 ignore or underplay race crimes. A central concern for some people is that 1 race problems are not being openly and fairly debated.
Non-whites therefore constitute a relatively small proportion 5 of the total British population and 49 per cent of them live in London 6 as opposed to 10 per cent of the white population Table 2. But this structure has changed as more depen- 3 dants join settled immigrants, as British-born non-whites develop their own 4 family organizations and as more people intermarry. Generally speaking, such newcomers apart from short-term visitors need a work permit and a guar- 1 anteed job if they hope to stay in the country for longer periods of time.
Immigration from the Republic of 6 Ireland continues; the Irish have historically been a large immigrant group; 7 and there are some , people of primary Irish descent. Movement 8 from the Old Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada and 9 South Africa has increased slightly, while that of other Commonwealth 20 citizens has dropped following entry restrictions. There has been an 1 increase in immigrants from European Union countries such as Germany, 2 Spain, Italy and France , who have the right to seek work and reside in 3 Britain, with sizeable numbers from the USA and Middle East.
In , , immigrants were accepted for 7 permanent settlement more than in previous years. They came from 8 Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the rest of Asia and non-EU Europe, with 9 many being dependants of settled immigrants. This suggests that a signifi- cant immigration continues, despite restrictive legislation. However, it is esti- 7 mated that there may be one million illegal asylum seekers and immigrants 8 in Britain.
But a Guardian newspaper poll in said that 70 per cent 2 of its readers thought that race relations were not getting better in Britain. New conditions for naturalization and 9 redefinitions of British citizenship are contained in the Nationality Act of This Act has been criticized by some as providing further restrictions 1 on immigration procedures.
Historically, 4 there has usually been a balance of migration, with emigration cancelling 5 out immigration in real terms. But there have been periods of high emigra- 6 tion. Groups left England and Scotland in the sixteenth and seventeenth 7 centuries to become settlers and colonists in Ireland and North America. But 20 in , there was a net gain of , to the population as more people 1 entered the country than left.
More entrants were from the Old 2 Commonwealth and the EU than in previous years. But considerable population shifts occurred in the twentieth 9 century, which were mainly due to economic and employment changes. Since the 3 s there has been little increase in population in industrial areas of the 4 Central Lowlands of Scotland, Tyneside, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, 5 south Wales and Northern Ireland, which have seen a run-down in tradi- 6 tional industries and rises in unemployment.
Instead, people moved away 7 from these regions, first to the English Midlands with their diversified 8 industries and then to London and south-east England where employment 9 opportunities despite fluctuations and affluence were greater.
This was 2 due to bomb damage during the Second World War, slum clearance and 3 the need to use inner-city land for shops, offices, warehouses and transport 4 utilities. So-called New Towns in rural areas and council housing estates 5 outside the inner cities were specifically created to accommodate the 6 displanted population. Road systems were built with motorways and 7 bypasses to avoid congested areas, and rural locations around some cities 8 were designated as Green Belts, in which no building was permitted.
This has contributed to the decline of inner-city populations, and 2 one British person in five now lives in the countryside with the rest in towns 3 and cities. The latest figures suggest an increasing move- 6 ment of people to rural areas. This has been accompanied by population 7 losses in and company relocations from large cities, particularly London.
These 1 figures give a population density for the United Kingdom of some 2 persons per square mile per sq km , well above the European Union 3 average. England has an average density of some persons per sqare mile 4 per sq km and this average does not reveal the even higher densities 5 in some areas of the country, such as London, the West Midlands, West 6 Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne and Wear, Edinburgh 7 and Cardiff.
Within Europe, only the Netherlands has a higher population 8 density than England. A simi- 1 larly low growth rate is forecast in the twenty-first century, with the 2 population expected to be It is estimated that the counties of southern and central England will have the highest population 2 growth up to and that the heaviest population losses will occur on 3 Tyneside and Merseyside.
Yet the British-Irish Isles have always been 1 culturally and ethnically diverse. There are many differences between Eng- 2 land, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and distinctive ways of life 3 and identities within each nation at national, regional and local levels. It is about four 7 different nations and their peoples, who have often been hostile towards 8 one another.
The Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish are regarded largely as Celtic peoples with admixtures over centuries , 1 while the English are considered to be mainly Anglo-Saxon in origin. In this view, there needs to be a rethinking of what it means to be British 4 in the contexts of a multinational, multi-ethnic UK and a changing Europe.
Social, political and 8 institutional standardization and a British awareness were established. But some now seem to be unsure about their identity in a 4 devolved Britain. The Scots and Welsh are more aware of the difference 5 between their nationalism and Britishness; resent the English dominance; 6 see themselves as different from the English; and regard their cultural feel- 7 ings as crucial.
Their sense of identity is conditioned by the tension between 8 their distinctive histories and a history of centralized government from 9 London. But polit- 3 ical nationalism increased in the s and s in Scotland and Wales. It has been 7 suggested that Scottish and Welsh devolution may spark a resurgence in 8 English nationalism. A Sunday Times poll in found that schoolchildren clearly saw 2 themselves as English 66 per cent , Scottish 82 or Welsh Some 84 3 per cent of English children regarded England as their home rather than 4 Britain and 75 per cent felt that their nationality was important to them.
Some English regions such as the north-east 9 and north-west react against London influences and demand decentralized political autonomy. Since the English are a relatively mixed people, their 1 customs, accents and behaviour vary considerably and some regional iden- 2 tifications are still strong. The Cornish, for example, see themselves as a 3 distinctive cultural element in English society and have an affinity with 4 Celtic and similar ethnic groups in Britain and Europe. The northern 5 English have often regarded themselves as superior to the southern English, 6 and vice versa.
On a smaller level, English county and local loyalties often 7 centred on cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham 8 or London are still maintained and may be shown in sports, politics, food 9 habits, competitions, cultural activities or a specific way of life.
Their national and cultural identity is grounded in 6 their history; literature; the Welsh language actively spoken by 19 per cent 7 of the population ; sport such as rugby football ; and festivals such as 8 the National Eisteddfod with its Welsh poetry competitions, dancing 9 and music.
It is also echoed in close-knit industrial and agricultural communities and in a tradition of social, political and religious dissent from 1 English norms. Today, many Welsh people feel that they are struggling 2 for their national identity against political power in London and the 3 erosion of their culture and language by English institutions.
A limited 4 form of devolution has helped to alleviate these feelings and increase Welsh 5 identity. They are 8 conscious of their traditions, which are reflected in cultural festivals and 9 different legal, religious and educational systems. There has been resent- 20 ment against the centralization of political power in London and alleged 1 economic neglect of Scotland although the UK government provides 2 greater economic subsidies per head of population to Scotland, Wales and 3 Northern Ireland than to England.
Devolved government in Edinburgh has 4 removed some of these objections and focused on Scottish identity. Cultural 8 differences separate Lowlanders and Highlanders and deep rivalries exist 9 between the two major cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Groups in both communities feel 3 frustration with the English and hostility towards the British government in 4 London. But the Protestant Unionists are loyal to the Crown; regard them- 5 selves as British; and wish to continue the union with Britain.
Many Catholic 6 Nationalists feel Irish and would prefer to be united with the Republic of 7 Ireland. Devolution in Northern Ireland has not succeeded in eradicating 8 deep-seated differences between the two communities.
It is as difficult to find an English, Welsh, 1 Scottish or Irish person who conforms to all or even some of their assumed 2 national stereotypes as it is to find a typical Briton. Many call themselves British or more 2 specifically English, Welsh, Irish or Scottish, while still identifying with 3 their countries of origin or descent. But a Sunday Times survey in 7 November suggested that 68 per cent of Muslims considered that 8 being Muslim was more important than being British 14 per cent thought 9 the opposite.
The emphasis in this search should perhaps be more upon an 4 examination of ethnic diversity or pluralism in British life. It found that the countries that are least 8 willing to believe that UK society is racially tolerant are those that are least 9 aware of its multicultural composition. Some 1 critics favour the separate development of cultural groups and the preser- 2 vation of their ethnic identities. Others argue for assimilation. Surveys 5 such as the Springpoint I? UK — Voices of Our Times, suggest there 6 is a popular movement away from the allegedly negative, imperial and 7 English-dominated historical implications of Britishness to a more positive, 8 value-based, inclusive image with which the four nations and their popu- 9 lations can feel comfortable.
A Britishness which encompasses opportunity, respect, tolerance, supportiveness, progress and decency is supposed to be 1 attractive to the Celtic nations and ethnic minorities. But these values have 2 to be realized within defining institutional structures. The slow weakening of non-demo- 2 cratic monarchical and aristocratic power led to political and legislative 3 authority being transferred to UK parliamentary structures, a central UK 4 government and a powerful Prime Minister.
Changing social conditions 5 resulted in a growth of political parties, the extension of the vote to all 6 adults, the development of local government, and a twentieth-century devo- 7 lution transfer of some political power to Wales, Scotland and Northern 8 Ireland.
These historical processes have been accompanied by political, 9 social and religious conflicts and constitutional compromise. The UK government 1 in London is accused of being too secretive, too centralized and insuffi- 2 ciently responsive to the needs of the diverse peoples of the United 3 Kingdom.
It is argued that the UK Parliament has lost control over the UK 4 government; that political power has shifted to a presidential Prime 5 Minister and unelected bodies and advisers; that there are serious weak- 6 nesses at devolved and local levels; and that the British political system 7 must be reformed in order to make it more efficient, accountable and adapt- 8 able to modern requirements. But younger people had confused and uncer- 2 tain views. Respect for long traditions was mixed with more negative 3 images such as the monarchy, judges in wigs and lords in ermine, which 4 they felt were out of keeping with a modern democracy.
But an English political and military 2 expansionism over the centuries conditioned the development of the other three nations.
In 4 this process, English governmental systems were adopted in the modern 5 period for all of Britain. Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Wales and 6 Northern Ireland regained some of their former political identities only in 7 the twentieth century. This 6 document protected the aristocracy rather than the ordinary citizen. An English Council was formed in by disaffected nobles 2 under Simon de Montfort, who in summoned a broader Parliament.
An independent 7 Scottish Parliament was first created in and Ireland had a similarly 8 old Parliament, dating from medieval times. A small Privy Council royal government outside Parliament , 1 comprising the monarch and court advisers, developed. It continued as a 2 powerful influence until it lost authority to increasingly strong parliamen- 3 tary structures in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
The nobility had been weakened by wars and internal 7 conflicts such as the Wars of the Roses between Yorkists and Lancas- 8 trians. Monarchs controlled Parliament and summoned it only when they 9 needed to raise money. Tudor monarchs of Welsh ancestry united England and Wales administratively, politically and legally in the sixteenth 1 century.
They also intervened forcefully in Ireland, with frequent campaigns 2 against Irish insurgents. But the two countries were not closely joined polit- 4 ically or culturally. However, the English Parliament now showed more 5 resistance to royal rule by using its weapon of financial control. Charles ignored these political developments and then 9 failed in his attempt to arrest parliamentary leaders in the House of Commons. The monarch was in future banned from the Commons. Charles 5 was beheaded in ; the monarchy was abolished; Britain was ruled as 6 a Protectorate by Cromwell and his son Richard —60 ; and Parliament 7 comprised only the House of Commons.
Cromwell also asserted the Protes- 8 tant and parliamentary cause in Scotland and Ireland, which provoked 9 lasting hatred in these countries. Initially Charles co-operated with Parliament, but his financial 4 needs, belief in royal authority and support of Catholicism lost him popular 5 and parliamentary backing.
Parliament ended his expensive wars and 6 imposed further reforms. These derived partly from the religious and ideolog- 3 ical conflicts of the Civil War. Two groups Whigs and Tories became 4 dominant. This is a characteristic feature of British two-party politics, in 5 which political power generally shifts between two main parties. His manipulations 2 forced the Tories to join the Whigs in inviting the Dutch Protestant William of Orange to intervene. Since no force was involved, this event is called the Bloodless 2 or Glorious Revolution.
Royal powers were further restricted under the 3 Declaration of Rights , which strengthened Parliament. It 7 created a division of powers between an executive branch the monarch 8 and Privy Council ; a parliamentary legislative branch the House of 9 Commons, the House of Lords and the monarch ; and the judiciary judges independent of monarch and Parliament.
Walpole became Chief Minister in 7 and led the Whig majority in the House of Commons, which 8 comprised land and property owners. But it repre- 6 sented only the privileged Anglo-Irish minority and the Roman Catholic 7 majority was excluded. Political authority was in the hands of landowners, merchants and 4 aristocrats in Parliament, and most people did not possess the vote. Bribery 5 and corruption were common, with the buying of those votes which did 6 exist and the giving away or sale of public offices.