This is the first item in our British area. (Updated October 6, 2009) The second, "Whither Britain: An American Suggestion" is an article from 1985, a year after the first issuance of this presentation. The third of our British pieces is "One Plan for the Boundaries of Six British States" (and a companion piece of reactions from readers).
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Britain is in the wrong Union. Rather than the European Union, a group hostile to Britain and the English language, Britain belongs in the American Union, on the road to worldwide English-Speaking Union.
Illustrations are intended to remind Americans
of what Britain means to us and offers in the way of sights and culture,
as well as to make this presentation more appealing visually. There may,
however, be no particular reason a given illustration adjoins a given passage
What We Propose. The Expansionist Party ("XP") advocates merger of Britain into the U.S. as up to six states of the Union: Scotland; Wales; and up to four states to be created out of England. Northern Ireland would be merged with the present Republic of Ireland as another state, under a religiously neutral government, since the Constitution of the United States requires total separation of church and state. The Isle of Man and Channel Islands would be allowed to choose the state they wish to be part of. All British colonies around the world would be transferred to the U.S. Federal Government.
A Briton, George J. Carty, has suggested boundaries and names for the six states that might be created from Great Britain. We present his proposal at Britbounds.html.
The British armed forces would be merged into their U.S. counterparts. Other functions of the U.K. government would be split between Federal and state governments, depending upon their function and scope of operation. Crown corporations would be converted to U.S. public corporations, or privatized, before statehood or after, in the sole discretion of the British people.
Each state could retain a parliamentary system, whereby a government can be dismissed by vote of no-confidence, or could opt for a U.S.-style government with fixed terms.
Houses of Parliament, Westminster (London, England)
The monarchy and all titles of nobility would be abolished so that no one would think himself limited by birth. The Royal Family would be permitted to retain legal title to their present, enormous holdings but would receive no further public moneys whatsoever, from Federal or state sources.
In place of the monarch, each state would have a Governor as head of state. That Governor could be elected popularly or by the state parliament/legislature. Or the functions of head of state ("Crown", at present) and head of government (P.M.) could be merged as they are in the U.S., called "Governor", "Prime Minister", "Premier", or some other title of local choosing.
Scottish bagpiper and drummer
While Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are natural units comparable in size to the average U.S. state, England is rather too populous. Doubtless some of the English would prefer unity, which would make England by far the largest state of the Nation. (In time, California, which is more than three times as large geographically, might surpass England in population, but as of 2009, England has 40% more people than the largest present state of the Union.) While 'largest state' confers prestige and national attention, very large states are, arguably, underrepresented in Congress in that each state, no matter how large or small, has only two votes in the U.S. Senate. Counterbalancing that, however, is the fact that since the House of Representatives is apportioned by population, the larger the state, the more power it has in the House, and thus in Presidential elections, because of the way the Electoral College works.
The Electoral College is in effect a single-purpose parliament which votes once, on one matter only: the choice of President. It is an institution modeled on the parliamentary system, in which the party, not the general population, votes for the national leader. It was tasked by the Founding Fathers of the United States with protecting the Nation against demagoguery by interposing a deliberative body between electorate and President, as a last chance to protect against the rise of a dictator on a tide of momentary public passion. While it has never yet happened that the Electoral College has substituted its own choice for the candidates they were pledged to, the Electoral College is theoretically free to vote for anybody it wants to change its mind and prevent the people from making a dreadful mistake, such as electing an Adolf Hitler.
In the Electoral College, each state has the same number of votes as it has Senators and Representatives combined, and in 48 of the present 50, all the electoral votes of a given state go to just one candidate, so that the winner of the popular vote in that state, even if by only one citizen's vote, gets all of that state's electoral votes. (A USA Today story says that "Nebraska and Maine give two votes to the winner of each state, and remaining votes are cast to show who won each congressional district." So it is a compromise between the winner-take-all and proportional-representation systems.)
At present each district in the House of Representatives comprises about 706,000 people. If England remained united, it would have about 74 electoral votes, as against 55 for California. One could argue that the leverage that such a huge block of votes confers more than outweighs the loss of six additional votes in the Senate that might split on various issues. On the other hand, 6 extra votes in a chamber of 112 can be very useful.
How many states England should become would rest largely with the people of England. In making that decision, however, they should realize that there is no "party discipline" in Congress. Each member votes his conscience at all times. That means, as a practical matter, that the Congressional delegation of any state almost never votes as a united bloc but splits according to the principles of the individual member, issue by issue. As a practical matter, then, if a divided England gets more votes in the Senate, those votes might divide along party lines or according to the personal conscience of the individual Senators, lessening the power of England as an entity. But to the extent that different parts of England have different political interess and prevailing points of view, more states would mean representation of more points of view.
The advantage for England of maintaining geographical unity, clout in the Electoral College, might be seen by other states as a danger to their own influence, so proposals might be made in Congress to permit accession of England only if it pledges, irrevocably (as in a treaty of annexation) to apportion its Electoral College vote proportionally. There is no certitude that any such proposal would be adopted, inasmuch as 48 of the 50 states operate by winner-take-all, so they might feel it would be hypocritical to object to England's Electoral College vote being determined by the same rule.
British Isles as seen from space
Why Unite? (This section is directed primarily to people not certain that British-U.S. union is a good idea. If you need no persuading, skip to "What You Can Do", below, and return to this section only to bolster your own arguments for various audiences.)
A great many people have independently come to the vision of English-Speaking Union, an enormous community of people united by shared language and tradition. Further millions dream of One World united in peace and social justice with no need of armies but filled with free people going about their daily business knowing that the whole planet is theirs to see, experience, work in, and travel thru without interference. British-U.S. Union would be a big step toward both those goals, though it would be well worth instituting even if no greater union were to result.
Windsor Castle, ancient home of the British royal family
We appeal to Britons to recapture the ambition of the past that built two enormous Empires, first in North America and then, when most of that was lost, around the world. Alas, Britain's imperial adventure brought precious little benefit to the bulk of Britain's own people. The colonial 'underlings' of several of England's colonies became substantially richer than their 'overlords'. To this day, the people of Australia, Canada, and the United States are richer than Brits in some cases, much richer. Absurdly, the high-handedness of the British ruling class during the Imperial era closed off the halls of power from "colonials" and thus drove all of the Empire's rich colonies to demand independence! So much for Empire.
Let's try something else. If we can create an enormous, federal union of the English-speaking peoples and share power fairly, asking nothing more than equality across the board and across the planet, we will see our Union hold and our language gradually draw all the world together.
It's painful to admit that arrangements that have sufficed in the past are inadequate to the future. It's unsettling to look to a future that may be very different from the past. It is also too easy to regard the past with more fondness than it warrants, to look at the past thru rose-colored glasses but face the future with more anxiety than anticipation. The most we can do about the future is take sensible measures to secure ourselves from harm, and encourage favorable developments. That means more than making military alliances that can bring the ultimate horror upon us. It means finding ways for people of different geographic areas and histories to make peace with one another and help each other cooperatively rather than undercut each other competitively.
It's too easy to see the world in Them-against-Us terms. The drawing of such lines too often leads to the drawing of battle lines, for trade wars and worse. While it's easy to be distrustful of even your neighbors and cousins, trust has to start somewhere, and an interesting thing about trust is that it tends to ennoble those in whom it is placed. When two people extend trust to each other, each tries hard not to let the other down. In this, nations are little different from individuals. Jealous defense of one's own prerogatives leads not to greater security but to greater danger.
St. Paul's Cathedral, surrounded and mostly obscured by undistinguished modern buildings, London.
Britons have enough experience of the United States to know that they can let down their defenses and relax. They can trust because they have in the past trusted and found that trust rewarded. In World War II, for instance, Britain allowed a huge U.S. army onto its soil, fully expecting that afterward, that army would go home and leave Britain's independence intact. How many other armies would Britain have invited onto its soil? The Soviet army? A French or German army of comparable size? Dubious. And how many great powers of comparable advantage have actually left countries they have occupied? The Soviet army stayed where it went, incorporating all of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and parts of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania into the Soviet Union proper, then creating all the remainder of Eastern Europe into colonies. Indeed, the British Army intervened in areas, and especially Third World areas, all over the world and, wherever it had the chance, stayed for centuries.
The U.S. armed forces, by contrast, left, taking not one square inch of territory in all of Europe, Africa, or Asia, and only a few scattered islands in the Pacific, some of which were returned to Japan years ago and most of the remainder of which were given independence in the 1980s and early 90s. (The Northern Marianas chose permanent association with the U.S. as a "Commonwealth". XP would like to see that "Commonwealth" become part of an expanded State of Hawaii, because "Commonwealth" is another name for "colony", and the United States must not have colonies.)
From time to time the U.S. has wanted to withdraw all its troops from Europe but been prevented from doing so not by imperialist sentiment at home but by appeals from governments in Europe to stay. So Britons know from experience that it's safe to trust the United States.
It's time to build upon that trust and expand opportunity for us all, especially since British accession to the United States would likely inspire accession of other English-speaking countries, the old settlement colonies turned "dominions" that had wanted perpetual union with Britain in a transformed Empire, and left the Empire only because Parliament foolishly refused to admit their representatives just as Britain drove the Thirteen Colonies to revolt by refusing admission to their representatives! Canada, Australia, and New Zealand don't talk much about English-Speaking Union nowadays, but the feeling is there.
Canada, seen from space
In the case of Canada, a British intermediary would allow it more easily to give up its sovereignty (increasingly illusory in any case) to the U.S., something Canadians have long wanted to do but felt obliged to reject out of loyalty to the Empire's centuries of struggle to preserve a British presence in North America. (Never mind that Canada is no longer British; to the descendants in Canada's ruling class of the "United Empire Loyalists" (thus called in Canada; called "Tories" in the U.S. the people who sided with Britain in the Revolution and left for Canada when they lost), Canada is still a 'loyal son of Empire' and as such owes a duty of unending separation from the 'disloyal son', the United States.) Once Britain joins the U.S., English Canada might leap to join too, with or without Quebec. Australia and New Zealand are likely to be close behind, as are the various ministates of the West Indies (which could be merged, along with the United States' present Caribbean colonies, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, into a single Caribbean state). Thus could emerge, in a matter of only five or ten years from now, a huge federal union reconstituting the largest part of the former British Empire, speaking English which would make knowledge of English even far outside that Union not just useful but necessary.
As English spreads, so too does the sense of community that speaking the same language brings. British-U.S. Union, in itself a great step toward World Union, would inspire further such steps.
Shakespeare's cottage, Stratford-upon-Avon
It is a sad reality that when the English ruling class saw that the days of Empire were numbered, they nonetheless willfully created Canada and the ministates of the Caribbean and Oceania against the United States, to prevent the U.S. from supplanting Britain and making a go of what the British ruling class could not make work: a permanent, political union of English-speaking peoples. Spite, pure and simple, motivated that dog-in-the-manger behavior, and all the areas separated from the U.S. and one another by British ruling-class malice are suffering in greater or lesser measure from it to this day.
The genius of the English ruling class has been to promote disunity and take advantage of local dissension to move in, take over, and run things for decades. The genius of the United States is to bring people together and help them see a future together. Whereas the byword of the British Empire was "Divide and rule", the motto of the United States is "E Pluribus Unum": Out of Many, One.
Sometimes you do have to break some eggs to make an omelet, but all too often Britain didn't make any omelets. All it did was litter the world with broken eggs.
Sadly, it is far easier to break Humpty Dumpty up than to put him back together again, and Britain left a string of shattered countries and mutually antagonistic ministates behind when it finally pulled out of its colonies. Sometimes the division took the form of an actual partition, hard and bitter: India, Palestine, Ireland. Other times, the hostilities seethed beneath the surface only to break out years later: Pakistan-Bangladesh, Turkish-vs.-Greek Cyprus, French-vs.-English Canada, India-Kashmir, multiply fractured South Africa. And sometimes it just left microstates incapable of prosperous self-sufficiency, like Jamaica and Grenada.
During the U.S. Civil War, the British ruling class even tried to break up the United States which one British newspaper at the time gleefully headlined as the "Untied States" goading the Confederacy on and providing arms and warships to the South.
Even when Britain tried, in the last years of its misrule, to construct federations to make up for decades of division, it usually failed, as in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and the Federation of the West Indies.
In hundreds of wars and interventions, the British upper classes killed millions of people all across the world, throwing Britain's lower classes, and every colonial it could con into seeing himself as a son of Empire, into battle as cannon fodder for imperial avarice. Only when its vicious stupidity in two World Wars killed millions of England's own people did the British ruling class even begin to back away from its old games of manipulation and balance of power. But by then it was too late. The United States, which patiently built trust between disparate peoples in distant states, had supplanted Britain as the world's great power, and it would no longer let the British ruling class ruin the world.
Still, Britain's upper classes try to manipulate Americans into doing Britain's will to this day, as though the corridors of power in Washington are sidestreets in London. But cooperation and consensus-building are the United States' methods in the world, and the British ruling class has only limited success here.
The people of Britain, who never profited from imperialism, must assert themselves now and demand a new approach to the world: a new Britain, as outward-looking as ever but helpful, devoted to the greater good; a socially as well as politically democratic Britain, in which class distinctions disappear and everybody works together for shared prosperity. It's time to make omelets.
Disrupting the EU to Create a North Atlantic Community. It is no secret that many Britons are very unhappy with "Europe". They didn't want to have to use metric measures. They don't want to be told that their beef, their sausage, their this, their that aren't good enough, but have to change to conform to the diktats of bureaucrats in Brussels. They are tired of a blatant prejudice against the English language in the inner sanctums of the European Union. They don't want to give up the pound sterling for the "Euro", whose name sounds like a medical disorder. And they sure as hell don't want to be shunted aside by a Franco-German "axis" (where have we heard the word "Axis" before?) that will decide Britain's fate without significant input from Britain's own polity.
But the numbers are against you. The U.K. is 61 million people; the EU, 492 million.
Tower of London, established by William the Conqueror
The United States is 307 million people (actually several million more, mainly illegal aliens from Latin America). Take away Britain's 61 million from the EU and add them to the U.S., and voila! Britain becomes part of a Nation of 368 million vs. an EU of 431 million. If Ireland also joins the United States, another 4 million out of the EU and into the U.S., leaving nearly 427 million over 371 million. Now everything's changed. Instead of a small minority (12% of the EU at its current size) being dictated to by a large majority that does not speak its language and does not value its input, Britain's speakers of English become a crucial part (17%) of the most powerful country in the history of the world, a country whose language it shares and into whose innermost councils its representatives are welcomed with open arms. Real power in the United States is held by institutions in which Britain's votes would be indispensable to the success of any major initiative. Consider the closeness of votes in Congress for instance, regarding universal healthcare, which we are struggling to pass without British votes but could pass in a week with British votes. Where now Britain needs to shout to be heard in Brussels, it need only whisper in Washington to influence U.S. national policy and deafen Brussels.
As part of Europe geographically but not culturally, Britain would serve as a bridge between the U.S. and EU, the two richest markets in the world, and would be valued in that role by both sides. Much of U.S. commerce with Europe would pass through British agents, advertising and marketing organizations, etc., bringing an enormous boon to the British economy.
Tower Bridge, London
Economically, Britons stand to gain enormously from accession to the Union, in terms of both increased income and decreased taxation. The U.S. is vastly richer than Britain, per capita and as a nation. Within the U.S., programs of regional development gradually reduce discrepancies in income, so that over time British per capita income would rise to approximate that of present states an increase of 28 percent.
Jacket to the 1998 British book Bring Home the Revolution: How Britain Can Live the American Dream, by Jonathan Freedland. The author's premise is that many of the ideas underlying the American Revolution originated in Britain, and adopting those principles at home would make Britain a better and more contented society without having to join the U.S..
Cultural Dynamics. Social tensions that have no outlet in Britain would find release in the geographic and social mobility that have made the U.S., a society of enormous diversity and thus enormous potential strain, instead a society of surprisingly little actual strain. In the United States, if someone finds his town or region confining, he moves to where he feels himself free. Once out of the suffocating embrace of small-mindedness, he can rise as high as his abilities might take him. In Britain, by contrast, people often feel themselves restricted to what their parents were, knowing that no matter how brilliant or dynamic they might be, they will likely never occupy the highest positions in society unless they were born to them. What results is class resentment and class conflict.
In the U.S., there are no hard-and-fast classes. A person born to one class can stay there if he's comfortable, or rise (or fall) on his own. Examples of people's getting out of the slums and into rich suburbs or posh penthouses are so numerous that only the lowest members of the underclass are lost to hopelessness. People don't attack the upper classes, because they hope someday to be part of them. This is an enormous difference from Britain's long-held mindset, and it is why aristocracy and royalty must be abolished. In the U.S., any child can aspire to be President of the United States. In Britain, no one outside the Royal Family can aspire to be King.
Jacket to 1998 British novel 51st State by Peter Preston about statehood for Britain
So let us be plain up front about what British-U.S. Union would constitute: it would be very-late British accession to the American Revolution, that grand revolt against monarchy and exclusion which Britons in North America made when the ruling class of England would not listen to their grievances nor grant them representation in Parliament. It would not mean royal reconquest of "The Colonies". It would require the abolition of the monarchy and aristocracy. All those lords and knights would now be plain old "Mr." Those Ladies and Dames would be "Miss", "Mrs.", or "Ms." Nobody would bow and scrape nor curtsy to anybody save performers on stage bowing to the audience. Every British state would be a republic, forbidden by the Constitution from granting knighthoods or peerages, either hereditary or for life. And English "Received Pronunciation" the snobbish, artificial speech of the "public [private] schools" and Oxbridge would be just one more dialect among many in a Nation of many voices, not the standard by which one's level of education or refinement is to be judged.
In exchange for letting go their pretensions to grandeur, Britain's "best and brightest" would have the chance to enter the real halls of power in the world's only superpower. Surely that is more than a fair exchange, especially since most of the truly best and brightest are not members of the aristocracy and assuredly are not members of the Royal Family.
Further, tho new British states would be perfectly welcome to retain the parliamentary form of government for themselves ("responsible government" and all that), the treaty of annexation by which such states would be admitted would forbid them from voting for any constitutional amendment to convert the United States overall to a parliamentary form of government for at least 50 years, by which time the enormous benefits of the U.S. form of government's fixed terms, free votes, and separation of legislative and executive branches will have made themselves manifest to British Americans.
What You Can Do. An idea nobody hears is an idea nobody will implement. So the first thing to do is talk up the idea of British-U.S. Union. Speak with friends, neighbors, and relatives, and encourage them to speak to others. Even if initial reaction is negative, the more an idea is discussed, the more it enters the realm of possibility rather than fantasy, gaining reality by mere utterance and losing reality thru silence. "Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come" is the English version of Victor Hugo's observation that "one resists [or "one can resist"] the invasion of armies but not the invasion of ideas." Ideas can originate anywhere and take hold everywhere because an idea belongs to anybody who accepts it. The more people around one who hold an idea, the greater its power over him. The better one likes the person who holds an idea, the less alien it seems and the more easily he can accept it. So you can influence people around you, especially people who like and respect you. By bringing an idea to someone's attention in a friendly way, you make the idea seem friendly.
Even in this day of mass media, big government, big labor, and big management, there's quite a lot an individual can do, by himself or with other, like-minded individuals. Here are some suggestions. If you know people who might help, you can send them a copy of this presentation, maybe even form a group such as the Committees suggested below. But even one person acting alone can make a contribution, as even the greatest flood begins with but a single drop of rain.
In the 1770s the North American colonies of Great Britain instituted local Committees of Correspondence, organizations appointed first by towns and then by the central government of each colony, whose purpose was to write letters to share information and ideas with people elsewhere in their own, and then other, colonies. When those thirteen colonies became outraged by the high-handedness of the London authorities of the day, the Committees of Correspondence helped colonists to understand that they were not alone in their feelings of indignation. These Committees developed into centers of political action. Recognizing that only so much could be accomplished by letter-writing, the Committees of Correspondence used their letters to call a meeting of concerned citizens from all colonies, which meeting became the Continental Congress. Out of that Congress came demands for equality of Britons abroad and Britons at home, and, when those demands were refused the American Revolution.
That Revolution destroyed the first Empire, something the ruling class in Britain has neither forgotten nor forgiven, especially since the "rebels" eventually passed the home islands in population and power. Britain rebounded from that early defeat and created a second Empire around the world, but lost that Empire too thru the same refusal to share power that cost it the first. Having learned nothing from history, the English ruling class repeated it.
By contrast, the United States in 1787 provided for admission of new states on a basis of equality with old, so grew from 13 to 50 states joined in indissoluble Union. As recently as 1959, when the British Empire had already lost Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Imperial India and was on the verge of extinction in Africa, the U.S. added the most recent two states, and, in so doing, 20% to the area of the Nation. Every year the U.S. becomes more tightly unified, and the power of its British-derived culture grows greater, assimilating millions of people thousands of miles from its borders and moving them closer to one another in growing closer to the United States. Adding the weight of British culture and influence to this gravitational mass would unquestionably hasten the day when English becomes Universal Auxiliary Language and, thus, the day when people can speak directly to other people everywhere as to resolve conflicts peacefully. (You will note that with the exception of the Irish "troubles" there has been no war among English-speaking peoples in over 130 years.)
The United States today is the greatest power on Earth, its strength founded not on arms and economics alone but on the power of its English-speaking culture and the appeal of its principles. While our idealistic reach has sometimes exceeded our grasp, we try to live up to the noble aims of our Revolution. And it is worth recalling that that Revolution started with small groups of people writing letters.
Letters Round the World. What we propose, then, is creation of formal or informal Committees of Correspondence in Britain to promote the idea of merger of Britain into the United States on the path to English-speaking union. Such Committees would write letters to the editor of British, U.S., Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and West Indian publications of all types, targeting their arguments to the particular audience addressed by each publication and tying such remarks to an article it published or an issue it could reasonably be expected to take interest in. (The Internet provides a quick and inexpensive way to do this for hosts of publications that have online editions and accept e-mailed letters to the editor.) These Committees would also write letters (postal or e-mailed) to organizations, politicians and political parties in all these areas, tailoring each appeal to the particular person or organization addressed and using arguments specially thought through to appeal to the recipient of each letter.
For instance, one letter might go to the mayor of a British town that has a large factory built by a U.S. corporation, pointing out how much economic benefit his area derives from U.S. investment and how much more private and public investment would flow in if Britain were part of the U.S. Another letter might go to British manufacturers of aircraft and other military and aerospace hardware pointing out that U.S. Government policies that now discriminate against British manufactures would in union favor British industry, which could mean an enormous expansion of their business. Another letter might go to a trade association of the British tourist industry comparing Hawaii's pre- and post-statehood tourist business and showing how much Hawaii's per capita income has risen since statehood.
Like Britain, Hawaii was once an independent kingdom that felt itself remote from the U.S. As an island group, it obeyed the "politico-geographical law of gravity": "Islands are detached areas physically and are detachable areas politically. They tend to fall to the nearest political domain.... But the attraction of a larger and stronger country may prove more potent than that of a nearer but smaller land." (Semple and Jones, American History and Its Geographic Conditions) Stripped of Empire, Britain reverts to being but a group of islands, subject to this tendency of islands to fall to mainlands. Fatalists in Britain accept Europe as the mainland with which Britain must affiliate. But there is "a larger and stronger country" farther away, the United States, that it would be more sensible by far to affiliate with.
The tone of the letters should be at once practical and idealistic, to appeal to people's best instincts and foresight, not to narrow self-interest alone. Nationalism, the scourge of our age, can probably best be overcome by subsuming a smaller nationalism into a larger nationalism. In union with the U.S., Britain would be not less but more. Many, many Britons would qualify for and rise to top positions in all areas of national life; Britons would be free to travel, work, and relocate anywhere in the expanded U.S. without immigration or customs barrier, and everywhere they go they will hear their own language, if in varied accents.
Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's hometown
Sentiment for English-Speaking Union or what we prefer to call English-Speaking Reunion for regaining the grandeur of the lost Empire and feeling part of a huge and important entity again, may be latent, but it is still powerful. People need to feel part of something larger than themselves, something that ennobles the human spirit and contributes to the advancement of the human race. "The Empire" gave that to the people of Britain and to millions of colonials as well. A reduced British appendage to Europe, hollow Commonwealth, and faltering European Community do not.
There are myriad audiences to be cultivated, each with its own point of view and political influence. Within Britain, Committees of Correspondence would seek to bring out into the open, pro-statehood sentiment that may now be hidden for fear of social disapproval, then channel such sentiments into useful activities. In writing to the U.S., these Committees would be telling people who have never even thought about it, that there are many Britons who believe it would be in the best interest of both the U.S. and U.K. for Britain to be admitted to the Union. In writing to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, and other former colonies, the Committees would rekindle dreams of English-Speaking Union to carry us into a new age of English-language influence, giving impetus to international communication, development, and peaceful cooperation.
Flag of the President of the United States
No Domination Without Representation. Every four years, the United States votes for President, and that President, whoever he may be, will affect the lives of all Britons for the following four years, despite geographic distance, political sovereignty, and the common tariff wall, economic policy, and foreign policy coordination of the European Union. Without a vote for President, Britons lack, in a very real sense, the power to control their own future. For instance, in times of economic difficulty, Parliament can protest, say, high U.S. interest rates until it's blue in the face, but that won't change a thing.
The Government of the United States, in setting policy on "strictly domestic matters", often affects people outside present U.S. borders powerfully and negatively. But the U.S. Government exists to serve the interests of the people of the United States, and if in doing so it must harm people outside the U.S., that's too bad. Because if it comes down to a choice between the interests of Americans and the interests of outsiders, the U.S. Government must choose the people of the United States every time. The way around this is not empty protest nor attempts to form international combinations against the U.S. (combinations that would in any event fail), but simply to pull the border of the United States around Britain so that Britons become part of that people which the Government of the United States is designed to serve.
Westminster Abbey, London
As an "independent" country bereft of Empire, Britain is increasingly powerless to defend the interests of its own people. To find strength, Britons are told, they must join with their neighbors in Europe not just in a common market but also in close political integration. Britain sends representatives to a European Parliament that is powerless against the real power centers of the European Union, centers hostile to the English language and to Britain. European integrationists see the United States as rival bordering on "enemy" and Britain as the Trojan Horse that, thru its language, renders Europe vulnerable to "invasion" and ultimate domination by U.S. culture. In waging cultural war against the U.S., European integrationists are equally waging cultural war against Britain. And yet Britain consents to remain in a European Union that despises it!
If Britons are content to send representatives to the European Parliament, why not to the Congress of the United States? Already allies and trading partners bound together by language, migration, and intermarriage, Britain and the U.S. are comfortable together and should be able to move to full integration almost completely without pain.
If Britain alone is too small to serve the interests of its people and must seek integration with others, why not with the United States rather than with Continental Europe? Or with both the U.S. and Continental Europe in a larger, North Atlantic Common Market? Or an English-speaking common market integrating the U.S. and Commonwealth? Or all three (U.S., EU, and Commonwealth) combined?
Flag of the [British] Commonwealth of Nations
North Meets South. Britain's ties to the Commonwealth can serve a most useful world-development purpose if Britain joins the U.S. The Commonwealth today is a sentimental entity devoid of real usefulness. It need not remain so. A larger U.S. could become the engine to drive Commonwealth-wide development, especially if Britain can also serve as bridge between the U.S. and the non-Commonwealth Lomé Convention countries. (The Lomé Convention is a neo-colonialist pact between the EU and former colonies of EU member countries designed to perpetuate colonial dependence in the guise of mutual trade and aid.)
Houses of Parliament, London, looking toward Big Ben clocktower
What are called "North-South issues" would receive much more attention of much more useful sorts if Britain brought its Commonwealth and Lomé Convention ties into the consciousness of the people of the United States. Unlike Britain, the U.S. has no vast former colonial domain to spur its conscience on matters of international development. Nor have we any "in" with other countries' former colonies. Britain has the entree we lack; but we have the resources Britain lacks to make best use of invitations to assist development.
Britain's history is far more outward-looking than that of the U.S., which is basically isolationistic. U.S. policy toward the Third World can best be characterized as profound apathy. By far most U.S. trade is with rich countries, and foreign aid is one of the most popular targets for budget-cutting. Hating unpleasant things, the people of the U.S. avert their eyes from the misery that passes for living in most of the Third World, and pretend that "letting people manage their own affairs" when most countries are overwhelmed by problems rather than capable of managing them is responsible behavior when in fact it is grossly immoral escapism.
Britain's involvement with the world has been quite different. While at worst highly exploitative, at best Britain did assume what was unpleasantly called "the white man's burden" but which stripped of that epithet can be seen as a truly civilized concern for lifting backward peoples to modernity. The world is not better off for having those efforts cease in the post-colonial age, but needs a rebirth of action for world progress, albeit in cooperative rather than colonialist form. British ambition with U.S. egalitarianism is the perfect combination to energize worldwide development.
Two views of Cambridge University
Toward a Wider Union. British Committees of Correspondence could promote the idea of an Intercontinental Congress, modeled on the Continental Congress that led to the establishment of the United States, to involve all areas XP would like to see join the U.S. in the next twenty years or so, among them Britain, Canada, Mexico, Greenland, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the Philippines, Western Samoa and other areas of Oceania, Western Europe, and the West Indies. Committees of Correspondence in Britain could give rise to similar committees in each of those other territories and all such Committees could grow in sophistication and power by sharing ideas.
Speaking from the heart, small groups of sincere private citizens can reach other people's hearts, from those of simple farmers in remote villages in the Pacific to the Prime Minister of Britain and President of the United States. Letters can be sent almost anywhere in the world, and by far most of them are read, unlike many other forms of publicity. Those that are carefully written and make good points can move people to action, and ultimately change the world.
Other Activities. Beyond letters, there are petitions. Once the idea of British-U.S. Union gains some currency, petitions, be they formal or informal, can be sent to members of both Parliament and Congress to move politicians to action.
There are other things private citizens can do. When candidates for public office speak in your area, you can ask if they've ever thought about statehood for Britain, encourage them to think about it seriously, then follow up with a persuasive letter.
You can write directly to the U.S. national political leadership, to tell them that many Britons favor English-Speaking Union (the phrase resounds in the consciousness of all speakers of English), and suggest they incorporate such a drive in legislation or their election platforms. (If any such officeholder expresses interest in this proposal, please report that fact to us (XPUS[the "at" sign]aol.com) so we can cultivate that opinion leader.) The Internet addresses, for the most important U.S. political leaders, given below take you to a feedback form by means of which you can send your thoughts instantly, no matter how far away you might be geographically.
President Obama (The Hon. Barack Obama, President of the United States, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20500; http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/),
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (http://speaker.house.gov/contact/);
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (http://democraticleader.house.gov/email_and_rss/email_the_leader/);
House Minority Leader John Boehner (http://republicanleader.house.gov/Contact/);
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (http://reid.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm);
Senate Minority Leader Mitch MicConnell (http://mcconnell.senate.gov/contact_form.cfm).
If you are a student, you can raise the idea in political science classes, ask for permission to use some aspect of the proposal as topic for a research paper, even form a campus organization to promote such union, or press existing student groups to incorporate British-U.S. Union into their program. You can ring up radio talk shows and propose it as a topic for a phone-in show, or suggest to producers of television and radio discussion programs that they schedule a program on this topic by distinguished experts in international law, history, etc.
There are, in short, hosts of things private citizens can do to advance the idea of union of Britain and the United States. Some people may find that the simplest way to promote this cause is to contribute financially to the Expansionist Party, even form chapters of XP in their own area.
As an alternative to forming chapters of a U.S.-based organization, pro-union Britons could form an independent parallel organization under the name "Expansionist Party of Britain" or something similar. After all, there are Christian Democratic Social Democratic, and Green parties in several Western European countries, so too can there be cooperating Expansionist Parties in various countries. If two countries merge, the citizens of both do get a bigger country. If Britain and the U.S. merge, for instance, Britons' country will expand by over 500% in population and 3,900% in area!
People who, for whatever reason, find themselves unable to do the other things suggested above may find joining or contributing to XP the simplest way of helping. Most efforts for British-U.S. union have to originate in Britain rather than XP/New York, however, because though many people in the U.S. would welcome such a proposal, they would hesitate to make it for fear of offending British nationalists and seeming "imperialistic". Political organizations need dues-paying members and contributors, of course, but XP needs, even more, allies who are willing to exert themselves in voluntary activity, who will make our program their own and invest themselves their prestige, their energy, their intelligence in making this all happen. We appreciate the encouragement we receive and are happy to count as members everyone who expresses support for our purposes, whether they join formally and pay dues or not, on the assumption that if we had candidates to run in their area, many such sympathetic people would vote for those candidates. (Few people actually "belong", as dues-paying members, to the Democratic or Republican Party, the major parties of the United States. Still, those parties manage to function.)
Britons interested in forming a group, within the Expansionist Party or outside it, to promote statehood for Britain should contact:
9 Church Close
Market Weighton, York
England YO43 3BD
Tel.: +44 (0) 14 3087 9791 or +44 (0) 79 3267 9052
The suggestions above are by no means exhaustive, and you may have ideas of your own to offer. Please do. I'd like to hear your comments and learn how you have decided to promote British-U.S. union.
Cordially, L. Craig Schoonmaker, Chairman
P.S. In all communications with media and opinion leaders, be sure to mention the Expansionist Party by name and tell them they can get more information from me at the address and phone number on our main homepage. If this proposal receives media attention in your area, send us a copy of anything and everything that appears.
[First published June 1984; substantially revised March 1998; then October 6, 2009]
Take a poll (for Britons or Americans only) on whether Britain should draw closer to the United States at the Britain and the British Diaspora page of an allied site, United States International.
[Expansionist Party home page] ["Whither Britain?"] ["One Plan for Boundaries of Six British States"] [Go to related item, extending U.S. citizenship to nationals of highly similar countries, starting with Canada and maybe Britain?]