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What type of British identity was created during the wars with France, 1793-1815 - Essay Example

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The entire history of a country must be taken into consideration when discussing that nation’s identity. Of course, there are also outside influences upon a country that must be taken into consideration as well. For…
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Extract of sample "What type of British identity was created during the wars with France, 1793-1815"

Download file to see previous pages A nation’s identity is also every bit as dependent upon particular aspects which the citizens of that country might not be especially proud of; for instance, there is no denying that Germany’s national identity includes the horrors of the Nazis and the Holocaust.
As these examples have been drawn from instances of wars, it is not a difficult stretch to say that times of war and how a country reacts to being at war is very important in the creation of a national identity. In the case of England, the Napoleonic Wars with France were extremely important in the creation of the British national identity not only because of a threat of invasion but because of the ideologically opposing views held by the citizens of both countries. In considering these differences, we can come to understand the various aspects of British society that took root during these conflicts that still inform the idea of being British to this day.
After the failed invasion of England by France, there was great concern of possible future invasions. The preparations made by Napoleon were extensive in their planning, and it was mostly because of conflicts in Egypt and Austria that the full-scale invasion did not take place. Furthermore, this attempted invasion also informed the British navy of future tactics and preparations in case of another invasion. Beyond the actual invading army aspect of this event, the British also used the event to publish anti-French propaganda, and Napoleon became the figurehead for everything that represented the French, and thus he became the object the British scorn to a certain extent: “In the British imagination, Napoleon became a tool put to uses he himself never contemplated” (Semmel 250).
The first thing that must be mentioned about the British national identity is that not every person in England during the time of the Napoleonic Wars subscribed to the same views. There were many French sympathizers among the British. In fact, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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