‘John Bull and Uncle Sam’

The Library of Congress has an exhibition titled ‘John Bull and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British-American Relations. It seems an aberration for the LOC, which, like most such official institutions, is heavily weighted toward political correctness and ‘diversity.’  That fact notwithstanding, there are some things of interest there to see and read.

From the ‘Overview’ section:

“As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed in 1856, eighty years after independence, in the United States “the culture of the day, the thoughts and aims of men, are English. . . . those who resist it [English culture] do not feel it or obey it less.”

Even as Emerson wrote, however, the situation was changing. The United States was growing more confident and establishing its own identity. By the mid-1800s American ideas and products had begun to establish a beachhead in Britain. As the power of the United States increased, the cultural tides between it and the United Kingdom began to reverse, and American influence began appearing in some areas of British life. This process, which in the post-World War II period has been called, with considerable exaggeration, the “Americanization” of Britain, is the latest chapter in a complicated history that includes a broad range of shared institutions and experiences.”

Just follow the links at the top of the linked page to the various subjects.

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