Andromède
Has any one studied the birth of the amricain and the australian sentiment ?
I wonder how some britishers who stelled in north America an in Australia strated one day to feel as being no longer british but rather australians and americans. It is quite hard for me to understand this situation as a european.
It is like imagining nowadays american people settling in the Guam island ans suddenly declaring themselves as being propperly guamese and no longer americains... Does it soud absud for you ? This is how the birth of the american and the australian sentiment souds to me.
Jun 14, 2020 12:12 PM
Comments · 4
Hi Andromede,
Speaking just as an American who has studied American history, the situation there happened first gradually and then suddenly.

The biggest thing to understand is what settler colonialism is, though. It’s not even like living in a smaller city in a European country and still thinking about yourself as a member of that culture.

It’s being far away from the source of your culture, separated by (in these cases) ocean, over a significant period of time. In the American case, as long as 169 years. Being a colonial settler is a particular experience. You are a legal/political part of a nation/culture you have never directly seen, in most cases. Depending on when your ancestors left the mother country, you could have grandparents or great-grandparents who never saw it. You are surrounded by different nature: animals and plants your mother language needed to adopt new words for. You are surrounded by the indigenous people of the continent you live on, and you have complicated relationships with them. The new little societies your direct settler ancestors built do not have the aristocracy or the religious institutions of the origin culture. Maybe your religious group is not common in the mother country.

This is all happening, in the American case, before even the telegraph was invented, so you really only learn about the home culture through books and products that you trade for. (One reason that the famous event during the American Revolution, the destruction of the tea in Boston, was so meaningful to the colonists was because tea-drinking was and is this marker of Britishness.)

But you fight in wars for that mother country, so it can build the empire you are part of. You help win those wars, and after the <em>fourth one </em>against your mother country’s great rival, that country loses its own empire on your continent. You are joyful! You feel so proud to be a part of your mother culture! But your mother country wants more control now...

June 14, 2020
I guess that countries aren´t eternal and that they don´t exist since ever. At some point, every single country became whatever is today, either through quiet evolutions or bloody confrontations. Often both of them.
Furthermore, I doubt that the very idea of belonging to any country was the same as nowadys.
That said, as a global point of view, I hope to read the opinion of somebody from the named countries.

Edit: we already know Irene's worthy opinion
June 14, 2020
Irene pretty much nailed it as far as the US goes. An additional point. The national origin of the American colonies at the time of the US revolution is estimated to be about 50% England, 20% other Britain, 10% other Europe, and 20% Africa. The English arrived first and by 1776 some had already lived for 5 generations in North America. The more recent immigrants were generally not English and 1/3 of them were not British.
June 15, 2020
Yes, it sounds totally absurd to me. Even though I've seen countless occasions of the British criticizing the Americans and the other way around, and still I feel like telling them "Get real, dudes! You may live in different parts of the world and be different countries' citizens, but you're still essentially the same nation." For some strange reason, though, they don't see it that way.
June 14, 2020
Andromède
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