Britons and Their National and Factual Identity Essay

Among unique cultural phenomena, the emergence of the Briton identity takes the first place. The culture that was created as a result of the fusion of several ethnicities and their philosophies and as a response to the aggression of the French, the Briton identity is truly miraculous. Though the concept of the Briton identity is often questioned, the evidence that can be observed nowadays in the British and especially Welsh culture does not leave any doubt that the Briton culture not only existed, but managed to survive and even evolve years after it fulfilled its key purpose of bringing the British (Welsh, Cornwell and Scottish) people together.

Though the Britons had to face a number of obstacles on their way to locating and defining their self, the process of their search was made impressively easier by a range of factors, the key one being the common goal of fighting the army of Napoleon. Indeed, the number of Britons volunteering for fighting against Napoleon was unbelievable – it seemed that the entire population of Scotts rose against the tyranny of the French imperator (Colley 290).

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One could argue, though, that the Scotts, who were referred to as Britons at the time, could not represent the latter ethnicity properly. A closer look at the definition and history of Britons will show that its ethnicity formed as a result of a fusion of the Celtic tribes and, therefore, included the Welsh people and the residents of Cornwall as well as the aforementioned Scotts. Therefore, with all due respect of the bravery of Scotts, for the Briton identity to be developed, several significant elements, which the culture of the Welsh people and the residents of Cornwell incorporated, were obviously missing from the specified environment (Colley 297).

It would be wrong to claim that the Scotts never contributed anything significant to the creation of the Briton identity – quite on the contrary, they made the bulk of it; most amazingly, the driving force behind the creation of the latter concerned defeating the common enemy that the Scottish people had to face at the time. As a result, the defining feature of the Briton identity, i.e., the unity of their society and the close connection between every single community member, emerged (Colley 298).

Unfortunately, the factors that defined the complexity of the national identity search were much more numerous than those that favored it. First and most obvious, the cultures of different communities, especially their values, goals and visions did not have many features in common. Indeed, a closer look at the mode of life in each of the cultures, the specifics of each culture’s philosophy and traditions, one will realize that the search of the Briton identity must have been long and quite painstaking for the residents of Britain of the XIX century.

The next and nonetheless significant detail concerned the religious issues. While the Britons did not exactly profess entirely different religions, they did belong to different confessions; particularly, there were Anglicans, Adventists, Catholics, Calvinists, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Methodists, and the representative of many other religions. As a result, theological disagreements led to Britons having even fewer chances for finding common points of contact (Colley 311).

One must admit that the process of the creation of Briton identity went well beyond marrying several cultural concepts and bringing several different nations together. The Briton identity was shaped in the economy constricting environment, which affected the search for the national and ethnic identity considerably.

Based on the necessity to rise against the enemy, the concept of the Briton identity was arguably supposed to vanish without a trace after the WWI was over. However, weirdly enough, the Briton identity persisted even after Napoleon’s reign was over; moreover, it never actually dissolved, and modern Welsh people can be considered the direct descendants of the Britons, as well as the carriers of the Briton culture.

In addition, it is important to stress that the Briton culture, unlike any other types of identity, emerged not spontaneously, but as a result of the outside factors, particularly, the aggression of Napoleon and his troops. Hence, the concept of unity, which is traditionally taken for granted by the representatives of other ethnicities, was interpreted as the highest priority among Britons. Consequently, the environment for developing a very strong bond between the representatives of the Briton culture emerged.

The phenomenon of the Briton identity is truly unique and, quite surprisingly, very successful. Though the concept of the Briton identity was only spurred by the advent of a nationwide threat of being conquered by Napoleon and was supported primarily by a single ethnic group (i.e., the Scots), it still led to impressive results and was founded on a unique concept of solidarity and mutual support. More to the point, because of the specific situation, in which the identity was shaped, the idea of support and trust worked very well, since people were pursuing not their egoistic goals of a financial gain, but the common goal of defeating the enemy.

Works Cited

Colley, Linda. Britons: Forging the Nation 1707–1837. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 2009. Print.

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