The Society Annual Lecture 2008: The Sea and British National Identity

By Brian Lavery, published May 2009


The author reflects on the sea and the British national identity by considering the two most recent occasions when Britain was threatened with invasion, by Napoleon and Hitler, dispelling some of the myths and drawing certain conclusions, including his belief that survival has imbued the British with a lasting self-respect. The author seems less concerned by the supposed threat now to British identity posed by immigration than by Scottish and Welsh independence movements and wonders if Scotland still unreasonably harbours negative anti-British feelings. He concludes that the sea and maritime history will continue to play a large part in shaping the national identity.

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Filed under: Napoleonic War | Atlantic | English Channel | WW2 | North Sea | Post WW2
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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