Posts Tagged ‘England’

British Imperialism in Ireland: Harbinger of Things to Come

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Sir Henry Sidney, Lord-Deputy, accompanied by an armed force, sets out from Dublin Castle for a progress through Ireland. Detail from a plate in The Image of Irelande, by John Derrick (London, 1581).
From: John Derrick - http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/Gallery/researchcoll/ireland.html

Coercing the Native Speaker: English Language Consolidation in the British Isles

The intent of the Scots to become Englishmen was certainly not predetermined at the time of the attempted union by King James. This was voted down in Parliament and Shakespeare’s commentaries in Macbeth notwithstanding, there was a propaganda war occurring. This war was fought between those who advocated a Standard English and those who wanted a Scottish standard of English. The victims of this battle for control of the language were the common dialect speakers who were forced to choose between these narrowing poles as the contest for the hearts and minds of the Scots and English developed over the next two centuries. As Adam Beach notes by the time of Adam Smith there had emerged a semi anthropological view of civilized and savage language in which those who did not speak in the dominant paradigm were increasingly regulated to lower class status.
Lynda Mugglestone relates how class was determined by accent, emphasizing the opportunity offered by language standardization in the work of 18th century writers like Thomas Sheridan. Sheridan spoke disparagingly about the ‘disgrace’ of dialect, uniformity of language would provide opportunity for the Scots, Irish and Welshmen. The shifting emphasis on accent and speaking properly became a focus in English culture. Mugglestone describes language becoming a key determinant of class status by the late 18th century.

Britain is depicted in its feminine aspect as the Athena-like Britannia disciplining the naughty Irish child
From: http://english.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v4i1/hasla.htm

Taking another approach Amy Devitt sees the movement to uniformity as part of a natural process and not one of prescriptivism or institutional enforcement. Describing the gradual standardization of English in Scotland around the initial union through King James, the process is simply seen as a normal outcome of history. The emergence of a dominant language is not always benign as the example of the Irish would show during this same period. Patricia Palmer wrote about the dislocation felt by the Irish who as described in John Derrike’s The Image of Irelande, a not so rosy picture arises, “Dumb / bloodied, the severed / head now chokes to / speak another tongue”. Severed heads present a literal finality. Choking to speak the oppressors tongue, transition from one language to another in Elizabethan times displays the interrelationship between conquest and language. Perhaps the Irish model from the Elizabethan England’s bloody conquest of Ireland with the subsequent pushing aside of the Irish language could be seen as the mother of all English imperialism, in fact the model for subsequent rendering of savages unto civilization as was done so well with Native Americans by the colonists.

White and Black Slaves in the Sugar Plantations of Barbados. None of the Irish victims ever made it back to their homeland to describe their ordeal. These are the lost slaves; the ones that time and biased history books conveniently forgot.
From: http://radio2hot.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/the-irish-slaveswhat-they-will-never-ever-tell-you-in-history-class-or-anywhere-else-white-and-black-slave/

As the British embarked on the earliest phase of its dabbling in colonialism, Shakespeare weighed in against such foreign ventures. Leah Marcus describes Shakespeare’s anglicizing of names in his version of “Thomas Lodge’s prose romance Rosalynde (1590),” As You Like It, where the Ardennes forest is replaced with the British Arden forest. Marcus shows Shakespeare subtly anglicizing many original French terms and denigrating foreign adventures, Jacques for example becomes Jaques a potential victim of the French disease (as syphilis was known), with his sores, the representation of what would happen if the locals went abroad. Shakespeare was critical of British foreign adventurism by anglicizing Lodge’s story, according to Marcus. England was embroiled in its war of Irish conquest at the time As You Like It was first staged possibly at the opening of the Globe Theatre in 1599. Shakespeare in my modest view was constrained to follow the way the winds were blowing rather than staking is reputation on an anti-colonialist position.

Cromwellian army’s campaign in Ireland immediately after the English Civil War. Cromwell was short of cash to pay his troops at the end of the war, and confiscated 80% of the land (coloured orange above) for his troops in lieu of money. The dispossessed landowners were offered poor quality land in Connaught in exchange.
From: http://www.great-britain.co.uk/history/ireland.htm

Bloody Ireland was a test, which way would the English go, to empire or fraternal relations? Patricia Palmer wrote, “`Elizabethan’ Ireland is the last moment when a confident Irish-speaking world confronts its English nemesis” The wordsmiths of freeholder independence vs the consolidation of empire in the language is part of a process of defining legitimatization according to Jim Milroy. Milroy’s criticism of “internal linguistic analysis” presented by advocates such as Saussure, who believed studying internal linguistic structural forms, creates “objective, non-ideological, and reliable,” analysis. Linguistic standardization excluding variants contradicting the norm inherently involves bias. Miloy says the claim “the history of standard English is the legitimate history of English” exhibits bias limiting the discourse, setting standards ignoring geography, history, and culture. The standardizing tendency, determines much English origins discourse focusing on corruption of a supposed model, Miloy considers illusory. Miloy credits the influence of Victorian enthusiasts enamored the language of Shakespeare, exploring dialects as vulgarizations of the mother tongue, denying historicity to deviations.

The fact is the term “Black Irish” is an ambiguous term!Traditionalist maintain the term to be in accordance with a dark-haired phenotype of Irish descent.
From: sagebookwhisperer.blogspot.com

Writing of Ireland Palmer claims that the imperial and linguistic project went hand in hand as early as the sixteenth century. “The fact that so many of the leading translators of the age - Bryskett, Fenton, Googe, Harington - were also players in the conquest of Ireland confirms the uncanny congruity between pushing back the frontiers of English and expanding the geopolitical boundaries within which it operated.” The steps taken to establish empire were essential to the process creating English predominance, leading to the destruction of competing cultures by rooting out linguistic variance. Thus the creation of legitimate and illegitimate language is according to Wiley a projection of elite culture going back to the sixteenth century, defining social status by accent much earlier than the eighteenth century where Mugglestone places much of the written literature devoted to uplifting the linguistically deprived. While Mugglestone and Wiley are associating the distinction to class, Palmer focuses on the imperial project as dependent or co-equally requiring the destruction of the native tongue.


From the website: The Image of Irelande, by John Derrick (London, 1581) - Plates

The English solders return in triumph with ‘liberated’ livestock and Irish prisoners, carrying severed Irish heads and leading a captive by a halter. Note the adoption of Irish practice in the taking of enemy heads.

The Scottish then become subject to a different type of linguistic deconstruction. The new king of England in 1603, James, was the king of Scotland and England combined, already King of Scotland when he accepted the crown of England upon Elisabeth I’s death. For Devitt this was a natural process of integration. The power balance between England and Scotland was as that of Ireland prior to the conquest, still to be determined. Neil MacGregor points out that James attempted to solidify his union of Scotland and England in a political alliance, which neither the British nor the Scots would abide by. The Scots demanded equality and the English superiority. King James could only get out of Shakespeare a Macbeth, with the English coming to the aid of the legitimate rulers of Scotland, Edward, an ancestor of James. Yet Macbeth, as Greenblatt points out, would be reassuring in the sense that the usurper lost his head, just as the Gun Powder plotter, as Shakespeare obliquely refers to a Jesuit writer of equivocations, one whose head landed on a pike outside the Tower of London.
(To Be Continued).

Gunpowder Plotters heads on poles.
From: http://www.explore-parliament.net/nssMovies/11/1121/1121_.htm

Works Cited For end notes contact GaryRumor2@yahoo.com

Beach, Adam R. 2001. The Creation of a Classical Language in the Eighteenth Century: Standardizing English, Cultural Imperialism, and the Future of the Literary Canon. Texas Studies in Literature and Language. 43, no. 2: 117-141, (accessed October 21, 2014).

Devitt, Amy J. Standardizing Written English: Diffusion in the Case of Scotland, 1520-1659. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1989.

Greenblatt, Stephen. Will and the World. New York: Norton. 2004

MacGregor, Neil. Shakespeare’s Restless World A Portrait of An Era in Twenty Objects. New York: Viking 2012.

Maloy, Jim, “The legitimate language Giving a history to English.” Alternative Histories of English. Ed. Richard Watts and Peter Trudgill. London: Routledge, 2002. 7-26.

Marcus, Leah S., and Furness, Horace Howard Oliver. 2014. “Anti-Conquest and As You Like It.” Shakespeare Studies 42, 170. MAS Ultra - School Edition, EBSCOhost, (accessed October 21, 2014).

Mugglestone, Lynda. ‘Talking Proper’ The Rise of Accent as Social Symbol. Oxford: Clarendon Press.1995

Palmer, Patricia, Ann. Language and Conquest in Early Modern Ireland: English Renaissance Literature and Elizabethan Imperial Expansion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001.

English Origins Of Industrialism

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I recently read “Riot, Risings And Revolution - Governance And Violence In Eighteenth Century England” by Ian Gilmour. It documents the civil unrest in England during that transitional period from traditional agricultural mode to the industrial mode. In some ways it is similar to the transformation going on now as the first world moves from the industrial mode into the computerized mode.

English workers were not going gently into the industrial world. They fought for wage increases, they battled with the authorities and the bosses, destroyed machines and rioted for better working and living conditions.

At the beginning of the period the English laws protected workers from abuses based on the old laws of noblesse oblige and the guilds. As the implementation of laissez faire took place over the course of the eighteenth century, the protections of the workers were removed legally to allow for a more flexible work force. Enclosure was not the main means of forcing the peasantry off the land and into the cities. Part of it was the agricultural revolution of the 18th century when new techniques developed mostly in Holland became popular in England and required a smaller work force to produce agricultural surpluses. This was one of the major reasons for the move to the cities by the now surplus agricultural population. Enclosure was part of the process, just not the main part. The agricultural revolution and profits from the overseas empire, especially India, the slave trade and the sugar plantations in the west indies provided additional start up capital in some areas for investment in the new industrial process.

There was also the availability of resources, coal, some iron ore, water power and canals to transport coal especially, these factors plus the newly available cheap labor, the lack of labor laws to protect this new work force and investment capital from agricultural surpluses and the overseas trade, provided the means for the midlands of England to become the first major area to experience the industrial revolution.

What does this have to do with anything? Not much, but it is something I have spent quite a bit of time studying and I like writing about stuff I have been studying. Most of my research was over a year ago, but I decided to finish this, even if it is a year later.

More on England And Real Time Censorship

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Anarchist sites in England are being blocked at this time as far as I can tell. I can’t get into Solidarity or Libcom.

Democracy Now interview with activists in England, including Darcus Howe, but again these are older men, not the youths involved in the events but bloggers who are trying to explain the actions of the youth from the left.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/10/over_1_000_arrested_in_uk

This is a Facebook Page with comments supportive of the rioters.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-English-rioters-against-the-police/135321783225620?sk=wall

This is from an Alarm Group in London. Alarm seems to be a network of Anarchists and friends in the London region. They are supportive of the riots.

https://islingtonalarm.wordpress.com/tag/london-riots-tottenham-islington-brixton-walthamstow/

This is the Alarm Facebook site link.

https://www.facebook.com/Alarmists

Interview with English Hip Hop Artist Jaja.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s_JQsOECyc

Clash song “London Calling” with comments recommending action against state not looting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cstGXonEXoQ

Interesting I am trying to get into the Solidarity Federation web site to read their statement on the riots and it is blocked. I don’t know if it is because of too many people seeking information or government censors. It looks like censorship to me. I can’t get into libcom either.

Lenin’s Tomb blogspot is available with Democracy Now and Al Jazeera reports.

http://leninology.blogspot.com/

Immigrant groups are gathering to protect their stores and neighborhoods.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/london-riots-police-warn-vigilante-groups/story?id=14272037

There are anti-Muslim right wingers who are getting into the action. This is from their website. But this seemingly reasonable face has also a much darker racist side in some of their other postings. They are supporting the police but are against immigrants, so are they going to battle with immigrants defending their neighborhoods, or

http://englishdefenceleague.org/urgent-call-for-action-clean-up-operations/

For example this posting is extremely racist.

http://theenglishdefenceleagueextra.blogspot.com/

Protests in Chile, England, Syria and Israel

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Student protests against the privatization of the education system in Chile erupted again into violent confrontations between police and students.
In Syria the Turkish foreign minister is meeting with Assad to warn him to stop killing protesters. It seems like nobody wants to mess with Syria but enough is enough.
Rioting in the UK has spread north to Manchester and several other midlands cities as a massive police presence has resulted in less activity in London. Liverpool, and Birmingham have still got rioting. Birmingham seems to have mobile units of looters making hit and run moves on shops according the Al Jazeera reporter.
The conservative government is desperately trying to deflect any blame for the riots on their spending cuts and razing of school fees. But it is evident the youth of England feel that they have no place in the current British system.
In Israel a protest movement has grown from a single tent to 250,000 last Saturday as people demand more social spending by the government to improve transit, lower housing costs

Chile
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/05/chile-student-protests-violence

Syria

http://news.yahoo.com/turkey-raises-pressure-assad-tank-assaults-expand-002214971.html

England

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/08/201189141323759165.html
http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/insidestory/2011/08/20118981726279649.html

Israel

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-s-social-protest-leaders-form-own-expert-team-1.377873

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/06/israel-protests_n_920274.html

http://www.aon.com/risk-services/political-risk-map2/map/Interactive_Risk_Map/2011_Terrorism_Political_Violence_Map/index.html


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