[ExI] What Made England Special?

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 12 16:00:49 UTC 2008

Lee Corbin wrote:
The book "Farewell to Alms" does a fine job of describing
what made England different. And between them, England
and Holland led the way to the modern world. A lot of it
could have come about accidentally because of the way
that power in the 13th century between the king and the
nobles happened to have gotten shared.

> I take the opposite view. If the violence-loving
> people from a bunch of rainy islands on the Northwest
> of Europe could overcome much bigger and more populous
> nations like France and Spain,

I have read that the ability of the English gentry to get an education, work
hard, save, and marry later in life to younger women, was a major key to the
wealth and power that the English global empire eventually acquired.

Lee Corbin wrote:
Many times they were saved from conquest by inhabiting
an island. In a very parallel way, the Japanese were permitted
by geography to work out what turned out to be a very
powerful culture and country.

England was thought of as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" during WWII.  I
enjoy playing the computer game, "Civilization," and I find each random game
is so much different depending on the geography.  When I am in the role
of the continental "devouring empire," things are so much easier when I
don't have to build a navy and invade & hold island neighbors.

In terms of being saved from conquest, I think the English learned early on
to be scrappy and quick thinking/fast on their feet, in a desperate at times
effort to stay unconquered from the Spanish, French, Germans, etc.  It's
only my opinion but I think the Norman invasion drastically changed the
England that might have been (much less involved with continental Europe,
generally less mercantile and expansionist).  We can thank/blame the Roman
Catholic Church up to a point for this event (the pope at the time strongly
supported the Norman invasion effort and gave it his official blessing, some
say King Harold of England lost his throne in part because he was
demoralized by the pope turning his back on him, Harold was said to be a
simple man of fairly deep religious faith).

John Grigg
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20080412/d1b7e7ca/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list