>>***Paris : 2.500.000
New-York : 1.250.000
Tokyo : 500.000
Pevensey : 200.000
Los Angeles : 50.000
Tijuana : 20.000
Londres : 5.000 ***
Absolutely no idea what PIB stands for <<
PIITB abbrev. PIB - Put it in the butt.
What I'd be very interested in is whether Spanish people often tend to feel a stronger link with places like Mexico and Argentina etc. than with the rest of Europe. Can anyone here from Spain give a view regarding that?
>When push comes to shove the majority of Brits will have to admit that they feel the relationship with America is somehow stronger than that with the rest of Europe. [Damian in Scotland, UK]
I believe that's the prevailing view here too, though our cultural connection with some other European countries is strong too, and not to be set aside except as a result of outright hostility.
>a seemingly (from a European standpoint) increasing lack of tolerance in much of American society
Don't confuse biased news and editorial accounts (both American and European) with reality. The United States is very tolerant and has been increasing in tolerance for many decades. As for American fundamentalists (whose fundamentalism is quite different from the more radical fundamentalism of foreign extremists), only a relatively small minority of Americans can be described as fundamentalists. Is American "culture" fundamentalist? Of course not. Watch prime-time TV. Watch popular movies (not to mention the hard-core pornography that's accessible in local stores and on cable tv -- including in the "Bible Belt" -- and easily downloadable from the internet). Read popular books. American popular culture is FUNDAMENTALLY inconsistent with fundamentalist convictions.
>>Brits do tend to share the same social attitudes as other European countries rather than those of the Americans when it comes to certain matters.<<
Their love for a Monarch and miserable weather?
>>Generally speaking we on this side of the Pond are not influenced by religious fundamentalism <<
There's a lot of Islamic fundamentalism in Britain.
>>increasing lack of tolerance in much of American society when it comes to things that do not stricly conform to a set pattern.<<
Lack of tolerance for unpunctuality, boredom, ideologues?
<<Their love for a Monarch and miserable weather? >>
Same in the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
<<There's a lot of Islamic fundamentalism in Britain. >>
'A lot'? That's meaningless.
>I tend to think that the belief amongst some British people that Britain is some how more like America than the rest of Europe (or that British people are more like Americans than other Europeans) comes from ignorance, rather than reality. [Benjamin]
The argument can be made that the opposite view comes from ignorance (and from an overvaluing of relatively superficial associations). The links between the United States and the UK are very strong, and they go back a long way. In high school I had two historical survey courses in literature, one year for American literature and one year for English literature. Americans watch thousands of British movies, going back to the early days of the film industry (in some cases I have trouble remembering which actors are British and which American, because I lump them all together). Cable TV is full of British TV shows. I imagine that the British have also watched many American movies and read many American books (unless as individuals they have a special interest in another country, far more than they have movies and books from any European country). Years of identifying with protagonists of a particular nationality have an effect on how people regard each other. This doesn't mean that it would be impossible for our two countries to become enemies, but it makes it much more unlikely.
In World War I and World War II, the United States was reluctant to get involved, but when it did, there was no doubt which side it would help. Even before the Pearl Harbor attack brought the US into WWII, though, the United States had been sending massive amounts of material aid to the UK. The idea of fighting against the UK would have been inconceivable.
Once the American Revolution and the War of 1812 were past, links of language and culture gradually drew the countries together. Though Emerson, for instance, wrote "The American Scholar" (this country's intellectual declaration of independence, so to speak), he also wrote a book about the UK that showed how close he felt with that country -- independent but closely allied. Of course, different individuals will feel a different degree of closeness or alienation. I suspect, though, that to a great degree these feelings are ideologically driven.
>>Same in the Netherlands and Scandinavia.<<
That's why they're "other" European countries.
>>'A lot'? That's meaningless.<<
As is "generally speaking".
Note that I wrote what I did about US-UK links even though in a long series of posts I've been among the persons who have downplayed the significance of the so-called Anglo-Saxon/Latin division (and explained my own close links with the culture of some Latin countries). It's the Latins (or at least a good many of those who identify themselves that way on this forum) who have been stressing the link between France, Quebec, Spain, and Latin America. The British should bear that in mind when considering who -- "when push comes to shove" -- will stand by them. My own view is that peoples of all kinds should establish trade agreements if those agreements are in their mutual benefit, but not assume that trade translates into a sense of identity. It doesn't, not in the short run (in the long run maybe). In the long run I hope that people in the entire world will both trade with each other freely and feel a sense of identity -- as human beings.
<>>Same in the Netherlands and Scandinavia.<<
That's why they're "other" European countries.>
You realise you can't simply assume all European countries have a monarch as head of state. Actually there are more republics in Europe then monarch nations. France been one of the first European nations to become a republic.
AND NO the Monarch doesn't have absolute power like in the good old days they are actually only constitutional monarchy in other words just figure heads without any real power.
So the only difference between a republic and a constitutional monarchy is that we can't vote for our head of state. This wouldn't apply to all countries as countries such as the United States head of state ie. the President is head of state and also head of Government.
Such examples that would apply would be Germany with their head of state as president and the Prime Minister as head of government. The president of Germany is merely a figurehead who signs approved bills (by parliament) into law. In the United Kingdom it's currently the Queen who signs approved bills into law.
In other constitutional monarchies countries under the Queen such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand,etc. the Queen is represented when not present at their parliament by the 'Governor General' who will sign the approval bills into law. As mentioned about the powers of the Queen the Governor generals have no real power to influence parliament/s. In theory the Queen and the Governor generals can refuse to sign these bills into law but this indeed hasn't been attempted before.
It was quite funny when a fellow student back in high school asked 'If our parliament passes a bill ie. becoming a republic, bascially the governor general would be signing his/her resignation agreement. ;)
<In World War I and World War II, the United States was reluctant to get involved, but when it did, there was no doubt which side it would help. Even before the Pearl Harbor attack brought the US into WWII, though, the United States had been sending massive amounts of material aid to the UK. The idea of fighting against the UK would have been inconceivable.>
There were reports many German buyers were in the USA before USA entered WWII buying raw material for the German war machine. This was also appearing in Sweden and others though neutral did extensive trading with both sides.
>>You realise you can't simply assume all European countries have a monarch as head of state.<<
My gosh! What a new flash.
>> Americans watch thousands of British movies, going back to the early days of the film industry (in some cases I have trouble remembering which actors are British and which American, because I lump them all together). Cable TV is full of British TV shows. I imagine that the British have also watched many American movies and read many American books (unless as individuals they have a special interest in another country, far more than they have movies and books from any European country). Years of identifying with protagonists of a particular nationality have an effect on how people regard each other. <<
I don't see how this renders Britain more like America than most of the rest of Western Europe. I do not understand how some shared literature, television programmes and films can be seen as an indication that the lifestyle, values and social attitudes of the British are more in line with those of the Americans than those of say the French or the Germans. If one goes to a cinema in France or Germany, one will find that the majority of films are American, dubbed into either French or German.
Benjamin: >>Personally, I find it difficult to fathom why some people feel that Britain is more like America than the rest of Europe, but that may come from the fact that I've had considerably more to do with other Europeans (and Americans, for that matter) than what is probably the average for most British people. From my experience, people from other Western European countries tend to be virtually the same as us on average (with the exception of the language differences) in terms of their lifestyle, attitudes and values. I have not seen the same to be true of Americans.<<
I actually have the feeling that generally the British and the Americans are widely different as far as behaviour and general attitude are concerned (not better or worse, just diffrent, although I cannot precisely explain why). When I talk to somebody from Britain (especially after having talked to an American), it always leaves me feeling more "at home". But for that matter, Americans are widely different among themselves as well. People from the East Coast (especially New England) or the Midwest seem to be more similar to the British than, for example, Texans or Californians. This is usually also reflected in their being more knowledgeable about Europe or world issues in general than, say, an average Texan or Californian (no offence to Uriel, Kirk and other Californians on this forum - this is just a personal observation, and certainly not all-inclusive).
What I have said about East Coasters or Midwesterners also seems to hold for most Canadians.
Damian in Scotland: >>Brits do tend to share the same social attitudes as other European countries rather than those of the Americans when it comes to certain matters. Generally speaking we on this side of the Pond are not influenced by religious fundamentalism and a seemingly (from a European standpoint) increasing lack of tolerance in much of American society when it comes to things that do not stricly conform to a set pattern. That really is one of the fundamental differences between us which I mentioned in my earlier post. This has been illustrated here in this Forum from certain quarters when discussing certain topics.<<
I have spoken to several American people recently who are rather unhappy with the climate of (relative) intolerance there, and would actually be happier if they lived in Europe. By "intolerance" I mean the tendency to stigmatise those who think differently form the supposedly "correct" pattern, especially "cultivated" in politics. Of course this is not of the same intensity everywhere, but it does seem to affect all the society as a whole.
Another trait I would single out as different for the British and Americans is that the latter seem to be generally less prone to self-irony, both with regard to personal issues or wider issues like society, history, etc. In short, when it comes to humour, you are more likely to find Americans making fun of or laughing at others, while most Europeans, including the British, are rather good at making fun of themselves. American literature, largely speaking, has somehow produced less satyrists than has Europe, with the exception of Mark Twain and some other, less well-known authors.