“Mr Anglosphere” Jim Bennett has a fascinating post at Albion’s Seedlings where he discusses in what ways America differs from the rest of the Anglosphere. His conclusion:
[W]hat the USA did was to take the patterns and toolkit the British used to create their society, and to simplify, universalize, and generalize it until it became a versatile template that could quickly convert expanses of raw land into new, functioning self-governing communities without a thousand years of cultural evolution, and a concept of citizenship that could take European peasant communities who had been dumbly following orders fo a thousand years, and turn them within a generation into citizens, jurors, legislators, militiamen and volunteers, vestrymen and congregation-members, entrepreneurs, and self-actualized persons — the whole Anglosphere toolkit — all in a deliberate manner that the British never thought they would need, but now might do well to look at.
Americans have in many ways been congratulating themselves for the wrong things. The truths of the Declaration were hardly novel or shocking to the Englishmen who read them; rather, they saw them as a Whig five-finger exercise that had been boilerplate since 1688. What was shocking was that the Americans were throwing their own ideals back in their face.
Albion’s Seedlings has the most learned comments debate of any blog I’ve seen, so feel free to hang out there. And those who are looking to Europe to answer Britain’s problems would do well to consider Jim’s words.