Historical Comparisons and the Uncertainty of Brexit

TLDR The hosts discuss historical parallels to Brexit, including the departure of the Romans from Britain, the Reformation, and Britain's focus on the seas as a world power. They also explore the influence of events like the Napoleonic Wars and the Second World War on shaping Britain's sense of isolationism and national identity.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The hosts discuss the upcoming uncertainty of Brexit and focus on historical comparisons that have been made.
04:28 The hosts discuss the theory that Brexit may have been a more gradual process than originally thought, drawing a comparison to the sinking of Doggerland, and also discuss the departure of the Romans from Britain as a potential historical parallel to Brexit.
08:37 The distinctiveness of Britain within the Roman Empire, including the absence of British senators and the use of a Germanic language instead of Latin, is seen as evidence of the seismic nature of Brexit.
12:53 The Reformation in the 1530s, particularly Henry VIII's declaration that England is an empire and has its own distinct identity, is seen as a parallel to Brexit and Britain's sense of its own distinctiveness vis-à-vis the EU.
17:01 Protestantism in England became bound up with patriotic loyalty to the state, leading to a sense of distinctiveness and ideological fervor in the 17th century, particularly under the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, who believed that England was chosen by God to lead the world.
21:23 Britain's focus on the seas and its role as a world power, particularly during the 18th century wars with France, played a significant role in shaping its sense of itself and its place in the world, despite the misconception that Brexit was driven by a desire to restore the British Empire.
25:25 The deep-rooted historical sense of isolationism and separateness from Europe, influenced by the Napoleonic Wars and the late Victorian era, played a significant role in shaping the Brexit vote.
29:24 The argument is made that Britain's economy may not be strong enough to escape the influence of the European Union, similar to how Ireland remained within the tractor beam of the British economy even after leaving the United Kingdom.
33:17 The mythology of Dunkirk as a Brexit has played a massive role in shaping Britain's sense of itself and has been important in the Brexit debate.
37:26 The Second World War, particularly the events at Dunkirk, has had a significant impact on shaping Britain's national identity and plays a crucial role in understanding the Brexit debate.
Categories: History

Browse more History