Great Britain, also known as Britain, is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, off the north-western coast of mainland Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world and the largest island in Europe. With a population of about 61 million people in 2011, it is the third most populous island in the world, after Indonesia's Java and Japan's Honshū. It is surrounded by over 1,000 smaller islands and islets. Politically, Great Britain refers to the island itself, along with a number of surrounding islands, which constitute the British territory of England, Scotland, and Wales. The island of Ireland lies to Great Britain's west.
- Great Britain has been moving earth and hell to obtain allies against us, yet it is improper in us to propose an alliance! Great Britain has borrowed all the superfluous wealth of Europe, in Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and some in France, to murder us, yet it is dishonorable in us to propose to borrow money! By heaven, I would make a bargain with all Europe, if it lay with me. Let all Europe stand still, neither lend men nor money nor ships to England nor America, and let them fight it out alone. I would give my share of millions for such a bargain. America is treated unfairly and ungenerously by Europe. But thus it is, mankind will be servile to tyrannical masters, and basely devoted to vile idols.
- The U.K. Here there are plenty of people who want to leave the country, mostly going to Australia or New Zealand, because they believe 'it has gone to the dogs' or they will simply have more opportunity for advancement in another country, but that doesn't mean they reject their British identity. They will still cheer on England, if they're English, in the World Cup and so forth.
- Thomas Anderson, as quoted in "The Official Unpatriotic Americans/Future Citizens of Other Countries Thread" (6 June 2012), by T. Anderson, Alternate History Discussion Board.
- If you ask a Briton, 'do you love Britain?', he'll think you're a weirdo. People in this country don't love or hate Britain; it's a meaningless question. You are British, you are born British, you will always be British on some level even if you emigrate and take another country's citizenship. It's like asking 'do you love breathing oxygen?' Your opinion on it is irrelevant, it's something you have no choice about.
- Thomas Anderson, as quoted in "The Official Unpatriotic Americans/Future Citizens of Other Countries Thread" (7 June 2012), by T. Anderson, Alternate History Discussion Board.
- The U.K., especially the South of England, has different social standards about what is acceptable to do on a train. The old joke, which bears more than a sliver of truth, is that you can always spot the northern visitors on the London Underground because they're the people who actually make eye contact and speak to people.
- Thomas Anderson, as quoted in "The Official Unpatriotic Americans/Future Citizens of Other Countries Thread" (7 June 2012), by T. Anderson, Alternate History Discussion Board.
- Do the British see the lion and the unicorn on the land or in the sea?
- Dear land of hope, thy hope is crowned! God make thee mightier yet!
- By truth maintained, thine empire shall be strong!
- Land of hope and glory, mother of the free! How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee? God, who made thee mighty? Make thee mightier yet.
- These are some of the first principles of natural law & Justice, and the great Barriers of all free states, and of the British Constitution in particular. It is utterly irreconcilable to these principles, and to many other fundamental maxims of the common law, common sense and reason, that a British house of commons, should have a right, at pleasure, to give and grant the property of the Colonists. That these Colonists are well entitled to all the essential rights, liberties and privileges of men and freemen, born in Britain, is manifest, not only from the Colony charter, in general, but acts of the British Parliament…. Had the Colonists a right to return members to the British parliament, it would only be hurtful; as from their local situation and circumstances it is impossible they should be ever truly and properly represented there. The inhabitants of this country in all probability in a few years will be more numerous, than those of Great Britain and Ireland together; yet it is absurdly expected by the promoters of the present measures [that is, the British attempt to tax and rule the colonies without their consent], that these, with their posterity to all generations, should be easy while their property shall be disposed of by a house of commons at three thousand miles distant from them...
- Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules. Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these. But of all the world's great heroes, there's none that can compare with the tow-row-row-row-row-row of the British grenadiers!
- "The British Grenadiers" (1750).
- Britain is blessed with a functioning political culture. It is dominated by people who live in London and who have often known each other since prep school. This makes it gossipy and often incestuous.
- I am constantly filled with admiration at this – at the way you can wander through a town like Oxford and in the space of a few hundred yards pass the home of Christopher Wren, the buildings where Halley found his comet and Boyle his first law, the track where Roger Banister ran the first sub-four minute mile, the meadow where Lewis Carroll strolled; or how you can stand on Snow's Hill at Windsor and see, in a single sweep, Windsor Castle, the playing fields of Eton, the churchyard where Gray wrote his 'Elegy,' the site The Merry Wives of Windsor was first performed. Can there anywhere on earth be, in such a modest span, a landscape more packed with centuries of busy, productive attainment?
- On behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring of support. America will never forget the sounds of our National Anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris, and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo. We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa...
- America has no truer friend than Great Britain. Once again, we are joined together in a great cause — so honored the British Prime Minister has crossed an ocean to show his unity of purpose with America. Thank you for coming, friend.
- Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.
- Winston Churchill, The River War (1899), first edition, Vol. II, p. 248.
- I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations. I am sorry, however, that he has not been mellowed by the great success that has attended him. The whole world would rejoice to see the Hitler of peace and tolerance, and nothing would adorn his name in world history so much as acts of magnanimity and of mercy and of pity to the forlorn and friendless, to the weak and poor. … Let this great man search his own heart and conscience before he accuses anyone of being a warmonger.
- Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.
- We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.
- Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons (4 June 1940).
- When I warned them that Britain would fight on alone whatever they did, their generals told their Prime Minister and his divided Cabinet, 'In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken'. Some chicken! Some neck!
- British democracy approves the principles of movable party heads and unwaggable national tails.
- Winston Churchill, address to a joint session of Congress, Washington, D.C. (17 January 1952); reported in Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James (1974), vol. 8, p. 8326.
- As to the doctrine of slavery and the right of Christians to hold Africans in perpetual servitude, and sell and treat them as we do our horses and cattle, that, it is true, has been heretofore countenanced by the Province Laws formerly, but nowhere is it expressly enacted or established. It has been a usage–a usage which took its origin from the practice of some of the European nations, and the regulations of British government.
- Look at England, whose mighty power is now felt, and for centuries has been felt, all around the world. It is worthy of special remark, that precisely those parts of that proud island which have received the largest and most diversified populations, are to day the parts most distinguished for industry, enterprise, invention and general enlightenment. In Wales, and in the Highlands of Scotland the boast is made of their pure blood, and that they were never conquered, but no man can contemplate them without wishing they had been conquered. They are far in the rear of every other part of the English realm in all the comforts and conveniences of life, as well as in mental and physical development. Neither law nor learning descends to us from the mountains of Wales or from the Highlands of Scotland. The ancient Briton, whom Julius Caesar would not have as a slave, is not to be compared with the round, burly, amplitudinous Englishman in many of his qualities of desirable manhood.
- Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.
- Mahatma Gandhi, "An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth", Chapter 27, Recruiting Campaign, from a leaflet urging Indians to serve with the British Army in World War II.
- Northern Ireland remains a deeply divided society. The number of 'peace walls', physical barriers separating Catholic and Protestant communities, has increased sharply since the first cease-fires in 1994. Most people in the region cannot envisage the barriers being removed, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Ulster. In housing and education, Northern Ireland remains one of the most segregated tracts of land anywhere on the planet. Less than one in ten children attends a school that is integrated between Catholics and Protestant. This figure has remained stubbornly low despite the cessation of violence.
- Peter Geoghegan, as quoted in "Return of the Troubles: Is Northern Ireland falling apart all over again?" (20 December 2012), by P. Geoghegan, Foreign Policy.
- In today's Britain, the idea that there could be a Constitution more powerful - and even sacrosanct - than any crowned head or elected politician (thus abolishing the false antithesis between hereditary monarchs and capricious presidents) is thought of as a breathtakingly new and daring idea.
- Too many crucial things about this country turn out to be highly recommended because they are 'invisible'. There is the 'hidden hand' of the free market, the 'unwritten' Constitution, the 'invisible earnings' of the financial service sector, the 'magic' of monarchy and the 'mystery' of the Church and its claim to the interpretation of revealed truth. When we do get as far as the visible or the palpable, too much of it is deemed secret. How right it is that senior ministers, having kissed hands with the monarch, are sworn to the cult of secrecy by 'The Privy Council Oath'. How right it is that our major foreign alliance - the 'special relationship' with the United States - is codified by no known treaty and regulated by no known Parliamentary instrument.
- Deep is the primitive belief that it is the Anglo-Saxons, more than the CIA, more even than the Jews, who are the puppet masters of everything that happens in Iran.
- I know about your [British] system of democracy, but in that system the workers 'hold keys of straw', as an expression of ours puts it. It is democracy for the capitalists, for the lords, but not for the workers. When we win we shall establish democracy, but not like that democracy of yours.
- No! No! Gentlemen, no emotion for me. But, those of congratulation. I am happy. To die is the irreversible decree of him who made us. Then what joy to be able to meet death without dismay. This, thank God, is my case. The happiness of man is my wish, that happiness I deem inconsistent with slavery, and to avert so great an evil from an innocent people, I will gladly meet the British tomorrow, at any odds whatever.
- A British vessel, stopping on the way back from India at the Comoro Islands in the Mozambique Channel, finds the native inhabitants in revolt against their Arab masters; and when they ask why they have taken arms, are told, 'America is free, could not we be?'
- Gijsbert Karel, Count van Hogendorp, in 1784, quoted in "The age of the democratic revolution: a political history of Europe and America, 1760-1860" by Robert Roswell Palmer (1969).
- For the most triﬂing reasons, and sometimes for no conceivable reason at all, his majesty has rejected laws of the most salutary tendency. The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state. But previous to the infranchisement of the slaves we have, it is necessary to exclude all further importations from Africa. Yet our repeated attempts to effect this by prohibitions, and by imposing duties which might amount to a prohibition, have been hitherto defeated by his majesty's negative: thus preferring the immediate advantages of a few British corsairs to the lasting interests of the American states, and to the rights of human nature deeply wounded by this infamous practice.
- He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in an other hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of an other.
- We must, therefore,…hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
- Great Britain is a republic with a hereditary president, while the United States is a monarchy with an elective king.
- There is no doubt that the treacherous attack has confirmed that Britain and America are acting on behalf of Israel and the Jews, paving the way for the Jews to divide the Muslim world once again, enslave it and loot the rest of its wealth.
- I was stopped by a soldier, he said 'You are a swine'. He hit me with his rifle and he kicked me in the groin, I begged and I pleaded, sure me manners were polite. But all the time I'm thinking of my little Armalite.
- A brave RUC man came marching up into our street, six hundred British soldiers he had lined up at his feet. 'Come out, ye cowardly Fenians, come out and fight'. But he cried, 'I'm only joking', when he heard the Armalite.
- The British tourist is always happy abroad as long as the natives are waiters.
- We were wrong to believe that the British are our friends. You are obsessed solely with your own selfish interests and treat us as a people beyond the pale. But your attitude is a matter of profound disinterest. Your democratic system has already erupted into chaos. We shall soon overtake you and in a decade you will be struggling in our wake. Perhaps then you will remember how you treated us.
- Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, as quoted in Alam, Asadollah (1991), The Shah and I, I. B. Tauris, p. 237.
- But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve as monarchy, that in America the law is king.
- The glorious and ever memorable Revolution can be justified on no other principles but what doth plead with greater force for the emancipation of our slaves, in proportion as the oppression exercised over them exceeds the oppression formerly exercised by Great Britain over these states.
- Petition from Frederick County (1784), Virginia.
- The position of the United Kingdom is as usual so nuanced that it's difficult to see where they are on the spectrum, but look, that's what Britain's like and we all love being British.
- His expedition against the Britanni was celebrated for its daring. For he was the first to launch a fleet upon the western ocean and to sail through the Atlantic sea carrying an army to wage war. The island was of incredible magnitude, and furnished much matter of dispute to multitudes of writers, some of whom averred that its name and story had been fabricated, since it never had existed and did not then exist and in his attempt to occupy it he carried the Roman supremacy beyond the confines of the inhabited world
- We share a deep concern for peace and justice in Northern Ireland and condemn all violence and terrorism in that strife-torn land. We support the process of peace and reconciliation established by the Anglo-Irish Agreement, and we encourage new investment and economic reconstruction in Northern Ireland on the basis of strict equality of opportunity and non-discrimination in employment.
- Republican Party Platform of 1988 (16 August 1988), Republican National Convention.
- We urge peace and justice for Northern Ireland. We welcome the newly begun process of constitutional dialogue that holds so much promise. We encourage investment and reconstruction to create opportunity for all.
- Republican Party Platform of 1992 (17 August 1992), Republican National Convention.
- An often cited counterexample against free trade is the experience of Great Britain, which became the first country to formally adopt free trade policies. It is often said that free trade 'ruined' Britain. This requires some specification of when Britain got 'ruined', since the British experience up to World War I was of great prosperity and growth, albeit falling behind the United States and Germany in the size of its economy in the latter part of the period. Considering the differences in size and population, one should be forgiven for wondering if it was possible for Britain, as the first great industrial power, to maintain that status against larger countries with potentially much larger economies, any more than the Netherlands was able to maintain its position against Britain in the 17th century.
- The best that Democrats could do with an example like Seung-Hui Cho is to try and use it to rebuild their case for 'gun control', meaning the disarming of the citizens, as in Britain. After devastating Supreme Court decisions against them, the 'gun control' movement pretty much fell into a shambles, until 2013. Nor was the Virginia Tech shooting hopeful material for rebuilding it. Incoherent laws had made it easier for Cho to buy guns, when he was not eligible to do so for psychiatric reasons. On the other hand, Virginia is a state where most citizens can get concealed carry permits. But Virginia Tech did not allow guns on campus, even for those licensed to carry them. Not even the ROTC. So Cho did not need to worry that any of his victims might shoot back. When it was proposed that a state law override the university prohibition, the university president sputtered that there might might a tragedy if guns were allowed on campus! Well, sir, the tragedy happened already. Mister Cho didn't care whether you had a prohibition or not.
- What two ideas are more inseparable than Beer and Britannia?
- Sydney Smith, as quoted in The Smith of Smiths.
- When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out of the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain:
“Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.”
- James Thomson, Alfred: a Masque, II, V.
- British Muslims are losing the war against ISIS. So says Sunny Hundal in a new essay in Quartz magazine. 'For the vast majority of Muslims who disdain its ideology', he writes, 'the challenge that presents to them is deadlier and far more difficult because they are caught in a pincer movement: with public and government suspicion on one side, and a seductive and supposedly empowering ideology on the other'. According to the FBI, around 200 American Muslims have left the United States to join ISIS. And according to the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, 600-700 British Muslims have left the United Kingdom just this year alone. The grand total of British Muslims running off to join ISIS is well over 1,000. Compared to just 200 Americans. The number of Muslims in each country is almost identical at roughly 2.7 million apiece. So British Muslims at least five times more likely to join ISIS than American Muslims. Why? For at least three reasons. As Hundal notes, two ideas have been bouncing around in the British Muslim community for years, that Muslims should travel abroad to defend their fellow Muslims when necessary and to strive for a caliphate, an Islamic government—if and whenever possible. American Muslims don't find these ideas quite so compelling, and I suspect that's for reason number three. The United States is a nation of immigrants. A foreign-born person can become American in a way that he or she simply can't become English or Scottish or Welsh or French or German or anything else.
- Both British and American Muslims are more likely to join ISIS than al-Qaeda. Which isn't the least bit surprising. Al Qaeda does nothing but kill people. Its record is naught but destruction. But ISIS has actually built something. It’s appalling, of course. The Islamic state is a blood-soaked totalitarian prison. But so was the Soviet Union, and it, too, inspired huge numbers of people all over the world to take up arms and violently create knock-offs, from Cuba and Vietnam to South Yemen and even Somalia and Ethiopia. We should never underestimate the appeal of a utopian fantasy in the human psyche even if it is drenched in blood. Some people who find these utopias stirring deny that they’re drenched in blood. Others make excuses. 'You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs'. Still others are attracted to these ideas and places because they’re drenched in blood. Jihadi John, the Kuwait-British man who beheaded a string of jumpsuit-clad journalists and aid workers on camera, is clearly some kind of psychopath. So are the ISIS fighters who serially rape their captured “war brides.” So is Lisa Borch, the 15-year old Danish girl who fell in love with an Islamist extremist and stabbed her mother to death with a kitchen knife. There’s an upside to the exodus, I suppose. Britain and the United States are better off without these people. If they didn’t run off to Syria, they’d be living down the street. We’d have fewer Jihadi Johns and more Lisa Borchs. Syria sure as hell isn’t better off with these people as “immigrants,” but they’ll eventually die there when the Islamic State, like every other monstrous utopian entity, either destroys itself from within or is destroyed from without by fed-up outsiders. When it finally happens, whether it’s next year or two decades from now, the British and American Muslim communities will be, on average, a little more politically moderate and sane than they are now.