English people

English people

The English people (from the adjective in _an. Englisc) are a nation and ethnic group native to England who predominantly speak English. The English identity as a people is of early origin, when they were known in Old English as the "Anglecynn". The largest single population of English people reside in England, a constituent country of the United Kingdom. They are believed to be a mixture of different groups that have settled in what became England, such as the Brythons (including Romano-Britons), Anglo-Saxons, Danish Vikings, BretonsBrittany and the Angevins: Province and Empire, 1158-1203 [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NmXW4heYJGAC&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=bretons+southern+england+normans&source=web&ots=56IbqcCQvT&sig=6lAlnfoKh3gAngFXMRhuUR3nU4g&hl=en] ] , and Normans. More recent migrations to England include peoples from a variety of different regions of Great Britain and Ireland and many other countries, mostly from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Commonwealth countries. Some of these more recent migrants have assumed a solely British or English identity, and others have developed dual or hyphenated identities. ["Ethnic minorities feel strong sense of identity with Britain, report reveals" Maxine Frith "The Independent" 8 January 2004. [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/ethnic-minorities-feel-strong-sense-of-identity-with-britain-report-reveals-578503.html] ] [Hussain, Asifa and Millar, William Lockley (2006) "Multicultural Nationalism" Oxford university Press p149-150 [http://books.google.com/books?id=d2Hv2QMMVrQC&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&dq=English+identity+Pakistani+British&source=web&ots=vK18u7nyNp&sig=mbDfLkCfSSRAXuOIyKbDnTcadJs&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result] ] [CONDOR Susan; GIBSON Stephen; ABELL Jackie. (2006) "English identity and ethnic diversity in the context of UK constitutional change" "Ethnicities" 6:123-158 [http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17946417 abstract] ] ["Asian recruits boost England fan army" by Dennis Campbell, "Te Guardian" 18 June 2006. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/jun/18/worldcup2006.sport] ] ["National Identity and Community in England" (2006) "Institute of Governance" Briefing No.7. [http://www.institute-of-governance.org/forum/Leverhulme/briefing_pdfs/IoG_Briefing_07.pdf] ]


Writing about the English people may be complicated because England has historically been settled by waves of invaders and immigrants at different periods in history, and has also spread its influence, and its populace, worldwide. Hence, the term can refer to the English ethnic group that shares a belief in their common descent from a mass migration of Germanic peoples (usually referred to as Anglo-Saxons) during the sub-Roman period. Historian Catherine Hills describes what she calls the "national origin myth" of the English::The arrival of the Anglo-Saxons ... is still perceived as an important and interesting event because it is believed to have been a key factor in the identity of the present inhabitants of the British Isles, involving migration on such a scale as to permanently change the population of south-east Britain, and making the English a distinct and different people from the Celtic Irish, Welsh and Scots.....this is an example of a national origin myth... and shows why there are seldom simple answers to questions about origins. [Hills, Catherine (2003) "The Origins of the English" p. 18. Duckworth Debates in Archaeology. Duckworth. London. ISBN 0 7156 3191 8]

English people can be viewed in a variety of different ways, but the broadest concept comprises anyone who considers themselves English and are considered English by most other people.

English nationality

Although there is no longer any official definition of English nationality, the term "the English people" can be used to discuss the English as a "nation", using the "OED"'s definition of "nation" as a group united by factors that include "language, culture, history, or occupation of the same territory", rather than ancestral ties alone. ["Nation", sense 1. "The Oxford English Dictionary", 2nd edtn., 1989'.]

The concept of an 'English nation' is older than that of the 'British nation' and the 1990s witnessed a revival in English self-consciousness.Krishan Kumar, "The Rise of English National Identity" (Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 262-290.] This is linked to the expressions of national self-awareness of the other British nations of Wales and Scotland — which take their most solid form in the new devolved political arrangements within the United Kingdom — and the waning of a shared British national identity as the British Empire fades into history. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/uk/596703.stm English nationalism 'threat to UK'] , BBC, Sunday, 9 January, 2000] [ [http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10064563 The English question Handle with care] , the Economist 1 November 2007] Krishan Kumar. [http://assets.cambridge.org/97805217/71887/sample/9780521771887ws.pdf The Making of English National Identity] , Cambridge University Press, 2003]

While expressions of English national identity can involve beliefs in common descent, most political English nationalists do not consider Englishness to be a form of kinship. For example, the English Democrats Party states that "We do not claim Englishness to be purely ethnic or purely cultural, but it is a complex mix of the two. We firmly believe Englishness is a state of mind", [ [http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk/faq.php English Democrats FAQ] ] while the Campaign for an English Parliament says, "The people of England includes everyone who considers this ancient land to be their home and future regardless of ethnicity, race, religion or culture". [ [http://www.thecep.org.uk/introduction.shtml 'Introduction', "The Campaign for an English Parliament"] ] In an article for "The Guardian", novelist Andrea Levy (born in London to Jamaican parents) calls England a separate country "without any doubt" and asserts that she is "English. Born and bred, as the saying goes. (As far as I can remember, it is born and bred and not born-and-bred-with-a-very-long-line-of-white-ancestors-directly-descended-from-Anglo-Saxons.)" Arguing that "England has never been an exclusive club, but rather a hybrid nation", she writes that "Englishness must never be allowed to attach itself to ethnicity. The majority of English people are white, but some are not ... Let England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland be nations that are plural and inclusive." [Andrea Levy, [http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/politicsphilosophyandsociety/story/0,6000,138282,00.html "This is my England"] , "The Guardian", February 19, 2000.]

However, this use of the word "English" is complicated by the fact that most non-white people in England identify as British rather than English. In their 2004 Annual Population Survey, the Office of National Statistics compared the "ethnic" identities of British people with their perceived "national" identity. They found that while 58% of white people described their nationality as "English", the vast majority of non-white people called themselves "British". For example, "78 per cent of Bangladeshis said they were British, while only 5 per cent said they were English, Scottish or Welsh", and the largest percentage of non-whites to identify as English were the people who described their ethnicity as "Mixed" (37%). [ [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=459 'Identity', "National Statistics", 21 Feb, 2006] ]

English origins

It is difficult to clearly define the origins of the English people, owing to the close interactions between the English and their neighbours in the British Isles, and the waves of immigration that have added to England's population at different periods. The conventional view of English origins is that the English are primarily descended from the Anglo-Saxons and other Germanic tribes that migrated to Great Britain following the end of the Roman occupation of Britain, with assimilation of later migrants such as the Vikings and Normans. This version of history is considered by some historians and geneticists as simplistic or even incorrect (see below). However, the notion of the Anglo-Saxon English has traditionally been important in defining English identity and distinguishing the English from their Celtic neighbours, such as the Scots, Welsh and Irish. Furthermore, the idea of an English Anglo-Saxon origin is important to those who see differences between people with long-standing English ancestry and people whose ancestors arrived much more recently, an attitude expressed succinctly by a character in Sarah Kane's play "Blasted" who boasts "I'm not an import", contrasting himself with the children of immigrants: "they have their kids, call them English, they're not English, born in England don't make you English". [Sarah Kane, "Complete Plays" (19**), p. 41.]

A popular interest in English identity is evident in the recent reporting of scientific and sociological investigations of the English, in which their complex results are heavily simplified. In 2002, the BBC used the headline "English and Welsh are races apart" to report a genetic survey of test subjects from market towns in England and Wales, [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/2076470.stm "English and Welsh are Races Apart"] , "BBC", 30 June, 2002] while in September 2006, "The Sunday Times" reported that a survey of first names and surnames in the UK had identified Ripley as "the 'most English' place in England with 88.58% of residents having an English ethnic background". [" [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article634244.ece Found: Migrants with the Mostest] ", Robert Winnett and Holly Watt, "The Sunday Times", 10 June, 2006] The "Daily Mail" printed an article with the headline "We're all Germans! (and we have been for 1,600 years)". [Julie Wheldon. [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=396406&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770&expand=true#StartComments We're all Germans! (and we have been for 1,600 years)] , The Daily Mail, 19 July 2006] In all these cases, the conclusions of these studies have been exaggerated or misinterpreted, with the language of race being employed by the journalists. [The BBC article claims a 50-100% "wipeout" of "indigenous British" by Anglo-Saxon "invaders", while the original article (" [http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/19/7/1008 Y Chromosome Evidence for Anglo-Saxon Mass Migration] " Michael E. Weale "et al.", in "Molecular Biology and Evolution" 19 [2002] ) claims only a 50-100% "contribution" of "Anglo-Saxons" to the current Central English "male" population, with samples deriving only from central England; the conclusions of this study have been questioned in Cristian Capelli, "et al", " [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VRT-48PV5SH-12&_coverDate=05%2F27%2F2003&_alid=339895807&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=6243&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000049116&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=949111&md5=9edf5ce1c39d4139af4c01733282fa82 A Y Chromosome Census of the British Isles] " "Current Biology", 13 (2003). The "Times" article reports Richard Webber's "OriginsInfo" database, which does not use the term 'ethnic' and acknowledges that its conclusions are unsafe for many groups; see [http://www.originsinfo.com/Features.aspx "Investigating Customers Origins"] , "OriginsInfo".] In addition, several recent books, including those of Stephen Oppenheimer and Brian Sykes, have argued that the recent genetic studies in fact do not show a clear dividing line between the English and their 'Celtic' neighbours, but that there is a gradual clinal change from west (primarily Iberian origin) to east (primarily Iberian and Balkan origin). They suggest that the majority of the ancestors of British peoples were the original paleolithic settlers of Great Britain, and that the differences that exist between the east and west coasts of Great Britain though not large, are deep in prehistory, mostly originating in the upper paleolithic and mesolithic (15,000-7,000 years ago).

It is unclear how many people in the UK consider themselves English. In the 2001 UK census, respondents were invited to state their ethnicity, but while there were tick boxes for 'Irish' and for 'Scottish', there were none for 'English' or 'Welsh', who were subsumed into the general heading 'White British'. [ [http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/grosweb/grosweb.nsf/pages/file5/$file/supporting_information.pdf Scotland's Census 2001: Supporting Information] (PDF; see p. 43); see also [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/04/23/ncen23.xml Philip Johnston, "Tory MP leads English protest over census", "Daily Telegraph" 15 June, 2006] .] Following complaints about this, the 2011 census will "allow respondents to record their English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, Irish or other identity." [ [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census/2011Census/CollectingtheInfo/questionnairedevelopment.asp 'Developing the Questionnaires', "National Statistics Office"] .]

A further complication is England's dominant position within the United Kingdom, which has resulted in the terms 'English' and 'British' often being used interchangeably. [In "The Isles", Norman Davies lists numerous examples in history books of 'British' being used to mean 'English' and vice versa. [page reference needed] ] Relatedly, studies of people with English ancestry have shown that they tend not to regard themselves as an 'ethnic group', even when they live in other countries. Patricia Greenhill studied people in Canada with English heritage, and found that they did not think of themselves as "ethnic", but rather as "normal" or "mainstream", an attitude Greenhill attributes to the cultural dominance of the English in Canada. [Pauline Greenhill, "Ethnicity in the Mainstream: Three Studies of English Canadian Culture in Ontario" (McGill-Queens, 1994) - page reference needed] Writer Paul Johnson has suggested that like most dominant groups, the English have only demonstrated interest in their ethnic self-definition when they were feeling oppressed. [Quoted by Kumar, "Making" [page reference needed] ]

History of English ethnicity


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "English" is not used to refer to the earliest inhabitants of England - Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers, Celtic Britons, and Roman colonists. This is because up to and during the Roman occupation of Britain, the region now called England was not a distinct country; all the native inhabitants of Britain spoke Brythonic languages and were regarded as Britons (or Brythons) divided into many tribes. The word "English" refers to a heritage that began with the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century, who settled lands already inhabited by Romano-British tribes. That heritage then comes to include later arrivals, including Scandinavians, Normans, as well as those Romano-Britons who still lived in England.cite book
coauthors=Weiner, Edmund
title=The Oxford English Dictionary: second edition
publisher=Clarendon Press

ub-Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England

The first people to be called 'English' were the Anglo-Saxons, a group of closely related Germanic tribes that migrated to England from southern Denmark and northern Germany in the 5th century AD after the Romans retreated from Britain. The Anglo-Saxons gave their name to England (Angle-land) and to the English people.

However, the Anglo-Saxons arrived in a land that was already populated by people commonly referred to as the 'Romano-British', the descendants of the native Brythonic-speaking population that lived in the area of Britain under Roman rule during the 1st-5th centuries AD. Furthermore, the multi-ethnic nature of the Roman Empire meant that small numbers of other peoples may have also been present in England before the Anglo-Saxons arrived: for example, archaeological discoveries suggest that North Africans may have had a limited presence. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/roots/2003/10/blackhistoryromans.shtml The Black Romans] : BBC culture website. Retrieved 21 July 2006.] [ [http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/B/blackhistorymap/arch.html The archaeology of black Britain] : Channel 4 history website. Retrieved 21 July 2006.]

The exact nature of the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons and their relationship with the Romano-British is a matter of debate. Traditionally, it was believed that a mass invasion by various Anglo-Saxon tribes largely displaced the indigenous British population in southern and eastern Great Britain (modern day England with the exception of Cornwall). This was supported by the writings of Gildas, the only contemporary historical account of the period, describing slaughter and starvation of native Britons by invading peoples ("aduentus Saxonum"). [ [http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gildas_02_ruin_of_britain.htm Gildas, The Ruin of Britain &c. (1899). pp. 4-252. The Ruin of Britain ] ] Added to this was the fact that the English language contains no more than a handful of words borrowed from Brythonic sources (although the names of some towns, cities, rivers etc do have Brythonic or pre-Brythonic origins, becoming more frequent towards the west of Britain). [ [http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/dialect/celtpn.htm celtpn ] ] However, this view has been re-evaluated by some archaeologists and historians in recent times, who claim to only be finding minimal evidence for mass displacement: archaeologist Francis Pryor has stated that he "can't see any evidence for "bona fide" mass migrations after the Neolithic." ["Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans" by Francis Pryor, p. 122. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-00-712693-X.] Historian Malcolm Todd writes:"It is much more likely that a large proportion of the British population remained in place and was progressively dominated by a Germanic aristocracy, in some cases marrying into it and leaving Celtic names in the, admittedly very dubious, early lists of Anglo-Saxon dynasties. But how we identify the surviving Britons in areas of predominantly Anglo-Saxon settlement, either archaeologically or linguistically, is still one of the deepest problems of early English history." [" [http://www.intellectbooks.com/nation/html/anglos.htm Anglo-Saxon Origins: The Reality of the Myth] " by Malcolm Todd. Retrieved 1 October 2006.]

Geneticists have explored the relationship between Anglo-Saxons and Britons by studying the Y-chromosomes of men in present day English towns. In 2002, a study by Weale "et al" found genetic differences between test subjects from market towns in central England and Wales, and that the English subjects were, on average closer genetically to the Frisians of the Netherlands than they were to their Welsh neighbours. This study hypothesised that an Anglo-Saxon invasion had replaced 50-100% of "indigenous" men. A 2006 study led by Mark Thomas used computer simulations to find a possible reason for the divergence between these finds and the archaeological record, which does not show evidence of mass immigration. They postulate that a small Anglo-Saxon elite could have operated an apartheid-like system, preventing intermarriage between male Britons and female Anglo-Saxons (therefore increasing the proportion of "Anglo-Saxon" Y chromosomes in certain regions), depriving indigenous Britons of essential resources (leading to higher population growth rates for the elite), and asserting political dominance. Eventually the dominant group would have grown too large to be an effective elite, and the "indigenous" group would have been assimilated. [Mark G. Thomas, "et al", [http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/media/proceedings_b/papers/RSPB20063627.pdf "Evidence for an Apartheid-like Social Structure in Anglo-Saxon England", "Proceedings of the Royal Society B", 2006.] . For a summary, see " [http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2006/07/19/anglo-saxons.html 'Apartheid' society gave edge to Anglo-Saxons, study suggests] " , "CBC", July 19, 2006.] Other geneticists tell a different story. A more comprehensive follow-up study to Weale "et al" in 2003 by Christian Capelli "et al", which analyzed Y chromosome samples across a wider range of the British Isles, complicated the picture and indicated that different parts of England may have received different levels of intrusion: they theorise that while central and eastern England experienced a high level of intrusion from continental Europe (the study could not significantly distinguish Germans of Schleswig-Holstein from Danes or Frisians although Frisians were slightly closer to the British samples), southern and western England did not, and the population there appears to be largely descended from the indigenous Britons (the scientists acknowledge that this conclusion is "startling"). The 2003 study also noted that the transition between England and Wales is more gradual than the earlier study suggested. " [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VRT-48PV5SH-12&_coverDate=05%2F27%2F2003&_alid=339895807&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=6243&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000049116&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=949111&md5=9edf5ce1c39d4139af4c01733282fa82 A Y Chromosome Census of the British Isles] "; Cristian Capelli, Nicola Redhead, Julia K. Abernethy, Fiona Gratrix, James F. Wilson, Torolf Moen, Tor Hervig, Martin Richards, Michael P. H. Stumpf, Peter A. Underhill, Paul Bradshaw, Alom Shaha, Mark G. Thomas, Neal Bradman, and David B. Goldstein "Current Biology", Volume 13, Issue 11, Pages 979-984 (2003). Retrieved 6 December 2005.]

In "The Origins of the British", Stephen Oppenheimer concludes, based on a meta-analysis of the data collected during both the 2002 and 2003 studies, and data from other sources, that the majority of English ancestry is from the original hunter-gatherer populations that settled Britain between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago, after the last Ice Age. [cite journal |last=Oppenheimer |first=Stephen |authorlink=Stephen Oppenheimer|coauthors= |year=2006 |month=October |title=Myths of British Ancestry |journal=Prospect Magazine |volume= |issue=127 |pages= |id= |url=http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=7817 |accessdate=2007-07-30 |quote=] He also suggests that the relatively high levels of northern European Y chromosomes (mainly I1a and R1a, "Anglo-Saxon" and "Viking" markers) detected in eastern and central Great Britain (both Scotland and England) may have a far older signature than they would have if they had been introduced during an "Anglo-Saxon" invasion - they appear to have been in Great Britain much longer. According to Oppenheimer, there may have been ongoing migrations between North Sea regions (eastern Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Northwestern Germany) as far back as the palaeolithic, and it is not conclusive that all Y chromosome types usually associated with Anglo-Saxon invasions actually derive from colonisation during this period, since many may have come to Great Britain during the initial colonisation of the land after the Last Glacial Maximum. Thus he theorises that there is no necessity to postulate either a mass "Anglo-Saxon" migration or an "apartheid-like" system to explain the differences between the far east and far west of Great Britain, the differences in Y chromosome frequencies vary gradually and are not clearly defined, and that they have always been there. Oppenheimer also postulates that the arrival of Germanic languages in England may be considerably earlier than previously thought, and that both mainland and English Belgae (from Gaul) may have been Germanic-speaking peoples and represented closely related ethnic groups (or a single cross channel ethnic group). [Oppenheimer 2006, pp268–307.] Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes, like Oppenheimer, has argued from DNA evidence that English genetic heritage is derived mainly from the Iberian Peninsula; according to him, the Anglo-Saxons played a rather insignificant role in English genetic composition. [cite book |title=Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland |author=Bryan Sykes |year=2006 |publisher=W.W. Norton & Co. |id=ISBN-13:978-0-393-06268-7]

Danish Viking raids and permanent settlement

From about AD 800 waves of Danish Viking assaults on the coastlines of the British Isles were gradually followed by a succession of Danish settlers in England. At first, the Vikings were very much considered a separate people from the English. This separation was enshrined when Alfred the Great signed the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum to establish the Danelaw, a division of England between English and Danish rule, with the Danes occupying northern and eastern England. ["The Age of Athelstan" by Paul Hill (2004), Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2566-8] However, Alfred's successors subsequently won military victories against the Danes, incorporating much of the Danelaw into the nascent kingdom of England. Danish invasions continued into the 11th century, and there were both English and Danish kings in the period following the unification of England (for example, Ethelred the Unready was English but Canute the Great was Danish).

Gradually, the Danes in England came to be seen as 'English'. They had a noticeable impact on the English language: many English words, such as "dream", "take", "they" and "them" are of Old Norse origin, [" [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=d&p=18 Online Etymology Dictionary] " by Douglas Harper (2001), [http://www.etymonline.com/sources.php List of sources used] . Retrieved 10 July 2006.] and place names that end in "-thwaite" and "-by" are Scandinavian in origin. ["The Adventure of English", Melvyn Bragg, 2003. Pg 22]

The unification of England

The English population was not politically unified until the 10th century. Before then, it consisted of a number of petty kingdoms which gradually coalesced into a Heptarchy of seven powerful states, the most powerful of which were Mercia and Wessex. The English nation state began to form when the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms united against Danish Viking invasions, which began around 800 AD. Over the following century and a half England was for the most part a politically unified entity, and remained permanently so after 959.Fact|date=August 2007

The nation of England was formed in 937 by Athelstan of Wessex after the Battle of Brunanburh, [" [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/athelstan.shtml Athelstan (c.895 - 939)] ": Historic Figures: [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ BBC - History] . Retrieved 30 October 2006.] [" [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3483029 The Battle of Brunanburh, 937AD] " by h2g2, BBC website. Retrieved 30 October 2006.] as Wessex grew from a relatively small kingdom in the South West to become the founder of the Kingdom of the English, incorporating all Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and the Danelaw. A. L. Rowse, "The Story of Britain", Artus 1979 ISBN 0-297-83311-1 ]

Norman England and Angevin succession

The Norman Conquest of 1066 brought Anglo-Saxon and Danish rule of England to an end, as the new Norman elite almost universally replaced the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy and church leaders. After the conquest, the term "English people" normally included all natives of England, whether they were of Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian or Celtic ancestry, to distinguish them from the Norman invaders, who were regarded as "Norman" even if born in England, for a generation or two after the Conquest. ["OED", 2nd edition, s.v. 'English'.] The Norman dynasty ruled England for 87 years until the death of King Stephen in 1154, when the succession passed to Henry II, House of Plantagenet (based in France), and England became part of the Angevin Empire until 1399.

Various contemporary sources suggest that within fifty years of the invasion most of the Normans outside the royal court had switched to English, with Anglo-Norman remaining the prestige language of government and law largely out of social inertia. For example, Orderic Vitalis, a historian born in 1075 and the son of a Norman knight, said that he learned French only as a second language. Anglo-Norman continued to be used by the Plantagenet kings until Edward I came to the throne. [ [http://www.heritage-history.com/www/heritage.php?Dir=eras&FileName=britain_3.php England—Plantagenet Kings] ] Over time the English language became more important even in the court, and the Normans were gradually assimilated into the English people, until, by the 14th Century, both rulers and subjects regarded themselves as English and spoke the English language. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/lang_gallery_04.shtml BBC - The Resurgence of English 1200 - 1400] ]

Despite the assimilation of the Normans, the distinction between 'English' and 'French' survived in official documents long after it had fallen out of common use, in particular in the legal phrase "Presentment of Englishry" (a rule by which a hundred had to prove an unidentified murdered body found on their soil to be that of an Englishman, rather than a Norman, if they wanted to avoid a fine). This law was abolished in 1340. [OED, s.v. 'Englishry'.]

The English and Britain

Since the 16th century, England has been one part of a wider political entity covering all or part of the British Isles, which is today called the United Kingdom. Wales was annexed by England by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, which incorporated Wales into the English state. [ [http://www.iol.ie/~dluby/history.htm Liberation of Ireland] : Ireland on the Net Website. Retrieved 23 June 2006.] A new British identity was subsequently developed when James VI of Scotland became James I of England as well and expressed the desire to be known as the monarch of Britain. ["A History of Britain: The British Wars 1603-1776" by Simon Schama, BBC Worldwide. ISBN 0-563-53747-7.] In 1707, England formed a union with Scotland by the passage of the Acts of Union 1707 in both the Scottish and English parliaments, creating the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801 another Act of Union formed a union between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. About two thirds of Irish population, (those who lived in 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland) left the United Kingdom in 1922 to form the Irish Free State, and the remainder became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Throughout the history of the UK, the English have been dominant in terms of population and political weight. As a consequence, notions of 'Englishness' and 'Britishness' are often very similar. At the same time, after the 1707 Union, the English, along with the other peoples of the British Isles, have been encouraged to think of themselves as British rather than identifying themselves by the smaller constituent nations. ["The English", Jeremy Paxman 1998 ]

Recent migration

:"See also: Historical immigration to Great Britain, Immigration to the United Kingdom (1922-present day), Demographics of England, British Asian, Black British.

Although England has not been successfully conquered since the Norman conquest or extensively settled since prior to that, it has been the destination of varied numbers of migrants at different periods from the seventeenth century. While some members of these groups maintain a separate ethnic identity, others have assimilated and intermarried with the English. Since Oliver Cromwell's resettlement of the Jews in 1656, there have been waves of Jewish immigration from Russia in the nineteenth century and from Germany in the twentieth. [ [http://www.ejpress.org/digest/in_depth/on_anglo_jewry/ EJP looks back on 350 years of history of Jews in the UK] : European Jewish Press. Retrieved 21 July 2006.] After the French king Louis XIV declared Protestantism illegal in 1685 with the Edict of Fontainebleau, an estimated 50,000 Protestant Huguenots fled to England. [ [http://www.walden.org/Institute/thoreau/life/Geneology/Guillet-Thoreau.htm Meredith on the Guillet-Thoreau Genealogy] ] Due to sustained and sometimes mass emigration from Ireland, current estimates indicate that around 6 million people in the UK have at least one grandparent born in the Republic of Ireland. [" [http://www.guardian.co.uk/britain/article/0,,1871753,00.html More Britons applying for Irish passports] " by Owen Bowcott The Guardian, 13 September 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2006.]

There has been a black presence in England since at least the 16th century due to the slave trade and an Indian presence since the mid 19th century because of the British Raj. [" [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/blackhistory/ Black Presence] ", Asian and Black History in Britain, 1500-1850: UK government website. Retrieved 21 July 2006.] Black and Asian proportions have grown in England as immigration from the British Empire and the subsequent Commonwealth of Nations was encouraged due to labour shortages during post-war rebuilding. [ [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/brave_new_world/immigration.htm Postwar immigration] The National Archives Accessed October 2006] While one result of this immigration has been incidents of racial tension and/or hatred, such as the Brixton and Bradford riots, there has also been considerable intermarriage; the 2001 census recorded that 1.31% of England's population call themselves "Mixed", [ [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/ssdataset.asp?vlnk=7666 Resident population: by ethnic group, 2001: Regional Trends 38] , "National Statistics".] and "The Sunday Times" reported in 2007 that mixed race people are likely to be the largest ethnic minority in the UK by 2020. [Jack Grimston, "Mixed-race Britons to become biggest minority", "The Sunday Times", 21 January, 2007.]

Resurgent English nationalism

The late 1990s saw a resurgence of English national identity, spurred by devolution in the 1990s of some powers to the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly. As England lacks its own devolved parliament, its laws are created only in the UK parliament, giving rise to the "West Lothian question", a hypothetical situation in which a law affecting only England could be voted for or against by a Scottish MP. [ [http://www.thecep.org.uk/introduction.shtml An English Parliament...] ] Consequently, groups such as the Campaign for an English Parliament are calling for the creation of a devolved English Parliament, claiming that there is now a discriminative democratic deficit against the English. A rise in English self-consciousness has resulted, with increased use of the English flag. [Krishan Kumar, "The Rise of English National Identity" (Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 262-290.]

The English nationalist movement has had mixed results. Opinion polls show support for a devolved English parliament from about two thirds of the residents of England as well as support from both Welsh and Scottish nationalists. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1991145,00.html Poll shows support for English parliament] The Guardian, 16 January 2007] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6081130.stm Fresh call for English Parliament] BBC 24 October 2006.] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6197143.stm Welsh nod for English Parliament] BBC 20 December 2006] Conversely, the English Democrats gained just 14,506 votes in the 2005 UK general election.

Geographic distribution

From the earliest times English people have left England to settle in other parts of the British Isles, but it is not possible to identify their numbers, as British censuses have historically not invited respondents to identify themselves as English. [ [http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/grosweb/grosweb.nsf/pages/file5/$file/supporting_information.pdf Scotland's Census 2001: Supporting Information] (PDF; see p. 43)] However, the census does record place of birth, revealing that 8.08% of Scotland's population, [ [http://www.scrol.gov.uk/scrol/browser/profile.jsp Scottish Census Results Online Browser] , accessed November 16, 2007.] 3.66% of the population of Northern Ireland [ [http://www.nisranew.nisra.gov.uk/census/pdf/Key%20Statistics%20ReportTables.pdf Key Statistics Report] , p. 10.] and 20% of the Welsh population were born in England. [ [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=445 Country of Birth: Proportion Born in Wales Falling] , "National Statistics", 8 January, 2004.] Similarly, the census of the Republic of Ireland does not collect information on ethnicity, but it does record that there are over 200,000 people living in Ireland who were born in England and Wales. [http://www.cso.ie/census/documents/PDR%202006%20Tables%2019-30.pdf]

thumb|150px|right|Map_showing_the_population_density_of_United States citizens who claim some English ancestry in the census. Dark red and brown colours indicate a higher density: highest in the northeast as well as Utah and surrounding areas. (see also Maps of American ancestries).]

English diaspora

English emigrant and ethnic descent communities are found across the world, and in some places, settled in significant numbers. Substantial populations descended from English colonists and immigrants exist in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In each of these countries, the English formed the bulk of the original settler populations.

In the 2000 United States Census, 24,509,692 Americans described their ancestry as wholly or partly English. In addition, the 1,035,133 who recorded British ancestry and the 20,188,305 who simply called themselves 'American' doubtless contain many people with English ancestry. Germans are currently form the largest self-reported ancestry group in the United States, accounting for 49 million people. [ [http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/tablist.html US Census 2000 data] , table PHC-T-43.]

In the 2006 Canadian Census, 'English' was the most common ethnic origin recorded by respondents; 6,570,015 people described themselves as wholly or partly English, 16% of the population. [Staff. [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/highlights/ethnic/pages/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo=PR&Code=01&Table=2&Data=Count&StartRec=1&Sort=7&Display=All Ethnic origins, 2006 counts, for Canada, provinces and territories - 20% sample data] , "Statistics Canada", 2006.] On the other hand people identifying as Canadian but not English may often have ancestors who did identify as English. [ According to [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/analysis/ethnicorigin/pdf/97-562-XIE2006001.pdf "Canada's Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census"] , (p.7) "...the presence of the Canadian example has led to an increase in Canadian being reported and has had an impact on the counts of other groups, especially for French, English, Irish and Scottish. People who previously reported these origins in the census had the tendency to now report Canadian." ] In Australia, the 2006 Australian Census recorded 6,298,945 people who described their ancestry as 'English'. 1,425,559 of these people recorded that both their parents were born overseas.

Other countries with significant numbers of people of English ancestry or ethnic origin include New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, and Argentina.

Since the 1980s there have been increasingly large numbers of English people, estimated at over 3 million, permanently or semi-permanently living in Spain and France, drawn there by the climate and cheaper house prices. cite web |url=http://www.iese.edu/en/files/6_18868.pdf |title=British People in Spain: An X-ray |accessdate=2007-04-25 |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |month=April | year=2007 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=University of Navarra |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= This source does not differentiate between British and English residents so the exact number of English people is unknown. ] [cite news |first=Richard|last=Ford |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Thousands more Britons join the exodus to live and work abroad|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1680430.ece |format= |work= |publisher=The Times |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007-04-20 |accessdate=2007-04-25 |language= |quote= Article talks about Britain rather than England so precise number of English involved is not clear.] cite news |first=Dominic |last=Casciani |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=5.5m Britons 'opt to live abroad' |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6210358.stm |format= |work= |publisher=BBC News |id= |pages= |page= |date=2006-12-11|accessdate=2007-05-25 |language= |quote= Although this talks of numbers of British a rule of thumb would put English numbers at 75% of these figures or higher.] cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=France faces a 'rosbif' invasion|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/main.jhtml?xml=/global/2005/01/20/wrosb20.xml|format= |work= |publisher=Daily Telegraph |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007-01-20|accessdate=2007-06-13 |language= |quote=]


The culture of England is sometimes difficult to separate clearly from the culture of the United Kingdom,Fact|date=April 2008 so influential has English culture been on the cultures of the British and Irish Isles and, on the other hand, given the extent to which other cultures have influenced life in England.

ee also

col1 =
* List of English people
* Anglo-Scot
* English American
* English Australian
* New Zealand European
* Anglosphere
* Anglo Argentines
* English Canadian
* List of Anglo-Indians
col2 =
* English language
* Old English language
* Cumbric language
* Culture of England
* Immigration to the United Kingdom (1922-present day)
* Population of England (historical estimates)
* German-Briton
* Anglo-Indian
* Anglo-African
* English folklore
col3 =
* "100% English" (Channel 4 TV programme, 2006)
* Manx people
* Genetic history of Europe
* European ethnic groups



* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/state/nations/ BBC Nations] Articles on England and the English
* [http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/britishisles/ The British Isles] Information on England
* [http://www.walkingtree.com/ Mercator's Atlas] Map of England ("Anglia") circa 1564.
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1689955.stm Viking blood still flowing] ; BBC; 3 December 2001.
* [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/profiles/64.asp UK 2001 Census] showing 49,138,831 people from all ethnic groups living in England.
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/04/23/ncen23.xml Tory MP leads English protest over census] ; The Telegraph; 23 April 2001.
* [http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=%5CForeignBureaus%5Carchive%5C200104%5CFor20010423f.html On St. George's Day, What's Become Of England?] ; CNSNews.com; 23 April 2001.
* [http://www.sirc.org/news/watching_the_english.shtml Watching the English] ndash an anthropologist's look at the hidden rules of English behaviour.
* [http://www.poemhunter.com/p/m/poem.asp?poet=37478&poem=457380 The True-Born Englishman] , by Daniel Defoe.
* [http://members.tripod.com/~GeoffBoxell/words.htm The Effect of 1066 on the English Language] Geoff Boxell
* BBC [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/2076470.stm "English and Welsh are races apart"]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/11/opinion/11davis-sub.html New York Times, When English Eyes Are Smiling] Article on the common English and Irish ethnicity
* [http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/19/7/1008 Y Chromosome Evidence for Anglo-Saxon Mass Migration]
* [http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1393742006 Origins of Britons - Brian Sykes]

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