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 Who are 'We'...?

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normanhurst
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
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PostSubject: Who are 'We'...?   Thu 23 Feb 2012, 17:19

Please bear with me while I try to get to grips with who the devil we are… From my limited knowledge of our history I recall that thousands of years ago, Great Britain was joined to Europe and was covered with ice. Then about 15,000 years ago, the weather became warmer, the ice melted and the sea level rose: Great Britain then became an island about 8000 years ago.


Tribes of Celtic people called Britons settled in Britain. (Where did they come from?) They were a warrior people but farmed and became skilled metal workers. They built villages and hill forts, and used iron weapons and tools. Other Celtic tribes called Gaels went on to live in and colonise Ireland.


Many years later ‘we’ and I say this loosely as I’m unsure who ‘we’ are, were invaded by the Romans who stayed from 43AD to 410AD. A long time.
About the time the Romans were leaving ‘we’ (again loosely as we’ve had 400 years of Romanisation) were again invaded, this time by tribes called the Angles, Saxons and Jutes (the Anglo-Saxons) who divide the lands up into kingdoms. By 450AD the Saxons Hengist and Horsa claim and settle in Kent.


In 510AD, we have the Battle of Badon, a victory ‘we’ Britons had over the Saxons.
617AD see’s Northumbria becoming the Supreme Kingdom.
779AD Mercia becomes the Supreme Kingdom and King Offa builds a Dyke along the Welsh Border, (an early Minette barrier)
793AD and ‘we’ come under another invasion force, this time the Viking.
866-77AD and ‘we’ have the invasion of the Great Danish (Viking) Army.
1066AD after 273 years of Viking rule, The Battle of Stamford Bridge, and ‘we’ have a victory over the invading Vikings.
1066AD and ‘we’ are invaded once again by the Normans…


Were the Normans ancestors not Viking… a bit like invading and killing your own family and kinsmen then.


But more to my point… who the hell were ‘we’… from early Celtic settlers we fight the Romans, and lose. Do we not integrate with them, take partners and have families with them… after 400 years are ‘we’ them, or ‘us’… and again after all the years of the Anglo-Saxons… do ‘we’ still consider ourselves to be different… another ‘we’ ‘them’ or ‘us’ scenario… until we come under the Vikings… is ‘we’ is, or is ‘we’ aint… us. Do we consider ourselves at the time true blue Brits… do we acknowledge our past mix of ancestry, bury the hatchet forget about old scores and prepare to repel the next wave of invaders… the Normans.


As the Normans came over from France… why have they been our most frequent and long lasting enemy… from the conquest until the present day animosities still exist, it’s like a hobby, or a casual past time… a tradition that ‘we’ despise them, but are ‘we’ them, Roman, Anglo-Saxon or Viking.


As ‘we’ haven’t been invaded successfully since… surly ‘we’ must still be Normans, and therefore all the colonies we have settled since would be Normans as well… and French. (oh god how I hate to say that)
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Who are 'We'...?   Thu 23 Feb 2012, 17:42

Inhabitation of Britain long precedes any Celtic speaking people.

Your question refers to "we" but is obviously a British "we" which is meant. The simple answer is that "we" is not and never has been a specific enough term to answer the question you pose in any society, not alone British. "We" can have a tacit definition generally agreed at any one point in time but it rarely stands up to scrutiny even then and most definitely defies attempts to backdate it much. The best one can therefore hope to achieve in answering it is to analyse the genetic makeup of the group in question, in which the British "we" now is an amalgam of these earlier ethnicities. Whether or not it then chooses to establish a common identity on this basis, or whether it chooses to do so on the basis of its obvious progression in character from any one (or all) of these diverse genetic interjections in the past is a political rather than an anthropological question.

The same can be said for what constitutes "English" or "Scottish", or indeed any conceivable ethnic group so assembled historically.
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