America…Greatest Gift England Gave The World


What is the best thing England ever gave the world? Cricket? Boring.Parliamentary democracy? I think the Icelandics got there first.Capitalism? We just copied the Dutch.

How about the Declaration of Independence, ratified this day in 1776 by the Continental Congress, two days after the rebel colonies had declared independence from Great Britain. It has become so successful and universal that no one is even aware how English it was.

Today we live in a world where people assume that the ideals they hold dear are natural, universal human values; we think of human rights or religious tolerance or equality between the sexes as given.

But many of the ideas that were declared universal after the devastation of the Second World War stem from particular American ideals that were themselves a product of English political culture, and no other culture, except perhaps the Netherlands, could have produced it.

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