Great Britain: A Study of Civic Loyalty

Great Britain: A Study of Civic Loyalty

Great Britain: A Study of Civic Loyalty

Great Britain: A Study of Civic Loyalty

Excerpt

The most significant emotional factor in public life today is nationalism. . . . . Nationality rests upon cultural factors. . . . . A nationality is any group of persons who speak a common language, who cherish common historical traditions, and who constitute, or think they constitute, a distinct cultural society in which, among other factors, religion and politics may have played important though not necessarily continuous rôles.--CARLETON J. H. HAYES, Essays on Nationalism .

His astonishment grew as the full flood of "England" swept him on from thought to thought. He felt the triumphant helplessness of a lover. Grey, uneven little fields, and small, ancient hedges rushed before him, wild flowers, elms and beeches, gentleness, sedate houses of red brick, proudly unassuming, a countryside of rambling hills and friendly copses. He seemed to be raised high, looking down on a landscape compounded of the western view from the Cotswolds, and the Weald, and the highland in Wiltshire, and the Midlands seen from the hills above Prince's Risborough. And all this to the accompaniment of tunes heard long ago, an intolerable number of them being hymns.--RUPERT BROOKE, describing the emotions of a friend who had just been informed of the Declaration of War, August, 1914, Letters from America .

In the twentieth century, at least, men will fight better and harder for a community, endure more hardships on its behalf and more willingly accept its institutions, if they feel that they can, by concerting together, themselves direct its policy and themselves make the laws under which they have to work and live. And this consciousness of consent on the part of the inhabitants of a self-governing community, vital as it is for the successful fulfilment of the primitive functions of society, is even more necessary for success in the other and more complicated functions now entrusted to our political government.--SIDNEY AND BEATRICE WEBB , A Constitution for the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain .

If anything on this planet be great, great things have happened in Westminster Hall: which is open for anyone, turning aside from London's traffic, to wander in and admire. Some property in the oak of its roof forbids the spider to spin there, and now that architects have defeated the worms in roof and beam and rafter it stands gaunt and clean as when William Rufus built it: and I dare to say that no four walls and a roof have ever enclosed such a succession of historical memories as do these, as no pavement--not even that lost one of the Roman Forum--

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