Little Englander


Little Englander

Little Englander is a term dating from the time of the Second Boer War (1899–1901). The term then designated people who were against the British Empire and for "England" to extend no further than the borders of the United Kingdom. For example Arthur Ponsonby wrote of the Liberal Party leader Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's reputation for his opposition to the Boer War: "The impression one got of him from the Press in those days was...that he was an unpatriotic Little Englander". [F. W. Hirst, "In The Golden Days" (London: Frederick Muller, 1947), p. 253.]

Now, a "Little Englander" is usually applied by the centre and centre-left to those who are regarded as xenophobic and/or overly patriotic and are often accused of being ignorant and boorish. It is also sometimes applied to those who are against membership of the European Union. English people who mistakenly refer to the whole of the UK or Britain as "England" may also be called "Little Englanders".

The political implications of the term have, therefore, changed. "Little Englanders" anti-imperialist and or at the least pro-Boer. They were drawn from both the left and the right. In modern times, however, "Little Englanders" are drawn almost exclusively from the right.

Notes

ee also

The expression "this little England" was used in the Gunpowder Day sermon of the English Puritan preacher Thomas Hooker (5th November 1626). Reference - p.62 of The Puritans in America: A Narrative Anthology, edited by Alan Heimert and Andrew Delbanco. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985. 438 pages.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Little Englander — Little Lit tle (l[i^]t t l), a. [The regular comparative and superlative of this word, littler and littlest, are often used as comparatives of the sense small; but in the sense few, less, or, rarely, lesser is the proper comparative and least is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Little Englander — ► NOUN informal ▪ a person opposed to an international role or policy for Britain …   English terms dictionary

  • Little Englander — UK [ˌlɪt(ə)l ˈɪŋɡləndə(r)] / US [ˌlɪt(ə)l ˈɪŋɡləndər] noun [countable] Word forms Little Englander : singular Little Englander plural Little Englanders showing disapproval someone who thinks that people in England should concentrate on English… …   English dictionary

  • little englander — noun Usage: usually capitalized L&E : an Englishman opposed to territorial expansion of the British Empire and usually anticipating the gradual voluntary secession of existing possessions therefrom * * * ˌLittle ˈEnglander 7 [Little Englander… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Little Englander — Little Englandism. an English person who believes the best interests of Britain are served by attention to Britain itself, rather than to the concerns of the empire. [1890 95] * * * …   Universalium

  • Little Englander — noun a) someone who advocated an end to the British Empire b) someone unaware of the world outside England …   Wiktionary

  • Little Englander — noun informal a person opposed to an international role or policy for Britain …   English new terms dictionary

  • Little — Lit tle (l[i^]t t l), a. [The regular comparative and superlative of this word, littler and littlest, are often used as comparatives of the sense small; but in the sense few, less, or, rarely, lesser is the proper comparative and least is the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Little chief — Little Lit tle (l[i^]t t l), a. [The regular comparative and superlative of this word, littler and littlest, are often used as comparatives of the sense small; but in the sense few, less, or, rarely, lesser is the proper comparative and least is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Little Englandism — Little Lit tle (l[i^]t t l), a. [The regular comparative and superlative of this word, littler and littlest, are often used as comparatives of the sense small; but in the sense few, less, or, rarely, lesser is the proper comparative and least is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English