Anglosphere

Anglosphere

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Encyclopedia
Anglosphere is a neologism which refers to those nations with English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as the most common language. The term can be used more specifically to refer to those nations which share certain characteristics within their cultures based on a linguistic heritage, through being former British colonies. In particular this includes the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 (except Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

), Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, and Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

.

Etymology


The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, often abbreviated to SOED, is a scaled-down version of the Oxford English Dictionary . It comprises two volumes rather than the twenty needed for the full second edition of the OED...

 defines the Anglosphere as "the group of countries where English is the main native language". The Merriam-Webster
Webster's Dictionary
Webster's Dictionary refers to the line of dictionaries first developed by Noah Webster in the early 19th century, and also to numerous unrelated dictionaries that added Webster's name just to share his prestige. The term is a genericized trademark in the U.S.A...

 dictionary uses the definition, "the countries of the world in which the English language and cultural values predominate".

Proponents


The U.S. businessman James C. Bennett
James C. Bennett
James Charles Bennett is an American businessman, with a background in technology companies and consultancy, and a writer on technology and international affairs from a conservative point of view....

, a proponent of the idea that there is something special about the cultural and legal traditions of English-speaking nations, writes in his 2004 book The Anglosphere Challenge:
Bennett argues that there are two challenges confronting his concept of the Anglosphere. The first is finding ways to cope with rapid technological advancement and the second is the geopolitical challenges created by what he assumes will be an increasing gap between anglophone prosperity and economic struggles elsewhere.

Andrew Roberts claims that the Anglosphere has been central in the First World War, Second World War and Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. He goes on to contend that anglophone unity is necessary for the defeat of Islamism
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

.

According to a 2003 profile in The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

, historian Robert Conquest
Robert Conquest
George Robert Ackworth Conquest CMG is a British historian who became a well-known writer and researcher on the Soviet Union with the publication in 1968 of The Great Terror, an account of Stalin's purges of the 1930s...

 favoured a British withdrawal from the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 in favour of creating "a much looser association of English-speaking nations, known as the 'Anglosphere'".

New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 historian James Belich
James Belich
James Belich may refer to:*James Belich , New Zealand historian*Sir James Belich , former Mayor of Wellington*T. James Belich , born 1976...

 connected patterns of growth in the industrialization of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 with former Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

s of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 (New Zealand, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

), and more loosely to growth in former UK constituent country Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, as well as British-allied Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, during the 19th and early to mid-20th century, in his book Replenishing the Earth. He used the term "Anglo-World" to refer to the US, UK, and former Dominions, arguing that the experience and present reality of former British colonies like India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, and Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 differ in substantial and important ways from this core group of countries.

Criticisms


Michael Ignatieff
Michael Ignatieff
Michael Grant Ignatieff is a Canadian author, academic and former politician. He was the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition from 2008 until 2011...

 wrote in an exchange with Robert Conquest
Robert Conquest
George Robert Ackworth Conquest CMG is a British historian who became a well-known writer and researcher on the Soviet Union with the publication in 1968 of The Great Terror, an account of Stalin's purges of the 1930s...

, published by the New York Review of Books, that the term neglects the evolution of fundamental legal and cultural differences between the US and the UK, and the ways in which UK and European norms have been drawn closer together during United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

's membership in the EU through regulatory harmonization. Of Conquest's view of the Anglosphere, Ignatieff writes: "He seems to believe that Britain should either withdraw from Europe or refuse all further measures of cooperation, which would jeopardize Europe's real achievements. He wants Britain to throw in its lot with a Union of English-speaking peoples, and I believe this to be a romantic illusion".

Map of English-speaking world



See also

  • English-speaking world
    English-speaking world
    The English-speaking world consists of those countries or regions that use the English language to one degree or another. For more information, please see:Lists:* List of countries by English-speaking population...

  • History of the English language
    History of the English language
    English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain by Germanic invaders from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands. Initially, Old English was a diverse group of dialects, reflecting the varied origins of the...

  • British Empire
    British Empire
    The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

  • Anglicisation
    Anglicisation
    Anglicisation, or anglicization , is the process of converting verbal or written elements of any other language into a form that is more comprehensible to an English speaker, or, more generally, of altering something such that it becomes English in form or character.The term most often refers to...

  • Anglo-African
    Anglo-African
    Anglo-Africans are primarily White African people of largely British descent who live or come from Sub-Saharan Africa and are Anglophone. A large majority live in South Africa...

  • Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

  • English in the Commonwealth of Nations
  • ABCA Armies
    ABCA Armies
    ABCA Armies is a program aimed at optimizing interoperability and standardization of training and equipment between the armies of the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, plus the United States Marine Corps and the Royal Marines...

  • UKUSA Agreement
  • Echelon
  • History of the English Speaking Peoples (Winston Churchill)
  • Sinosphere
    Sinosphere
    In areal linguistics, Sinosphere refers to a grouping of countries and regions that are currently inhabited with a majority of Chinese population or were historically under Chinese cultural influence...