Why are the British seen as "cultured"?

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Stoneheart

Well hung, and snow white tan
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It's like when people say that the Germans are militant or the French are romantics
WE are not MILITANT! take that back or my Prussian boot will hit your ass realy hard...

Its just fake news. Germans are the cultured europeans, and French are just dirty. the centre of romantics is Verona, in northern germany-
 

Agarathium1066

My sense of balance is busted.
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It's basically an old cliché from the 19th century. When Britain ruled the waves and had it's empire her colonies were starting up and basically looked up at Britain as the model to follow.

It's like when people say that the Germans are militant or the French are romantics. Maybe those would have been true at one time but that doesn't seem to be the case.
This is an excellent point. Old perceptions of what these places once were still paint expectations of those who have not actually looked at the modern state of these countries.

They're all a terrible mess, their old legacies are trodden upon, and their citizens are increasingly divided. Yet on the internet many of them of them will fall back onto old glories just like Americans and Russians reference WWII and their part in it. Except in their case their old fame is even more faded by the passage of time and recent events.
 

Judge Holden

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But they did more invasions and destruction of indigenous people and their cultures in various continents.
Yes but we are talking about the negatives of british culture/history here.
Heck ask the freaking Chinese.

Pretty sure britain's worst crime was not completely wiping out chinks/chink culture given recent events...
If anything Britain has historically been somewhat artistically backwards for having so much power and influence. What's the point of all that colonizing if they can't even brainwash people into liking British composers?
IMO its a consequence of the UK power structure during/after the enlightenment.

In france/germany/italy/whatever it was entirely feasible for someone like Mozart or Michelangelo or Wagner to get sponsored by an ultra-rich and powerful monarch or nobleman, who due to the whole "divine right of kings and aristocrats" thing would be able to actively or passively exert a lot more influence on the lesser aristocrats and the masses beneath them to also patronise the artist and thus give them the funds and resources to fully explore their vision without any inhibition.

In bongland however, due to the somewhat more egalitarian power structure caused by the magna carta/enforced by Cromwell and friends and the rapid growth of a monied middle class, this deal was far less common far less generous with a few exceptions like Shakespeare, which led to these areas stagnating in comparison to the continent, although on the flip side this same societal structure had the eventual effect of causing a golden age of british literature due to how novels, either in whole or serialised in a magazine, were extremely accessible and potentially extremely profitable which gave an incentive for decent works to be produced.

The role of religion is also relevent here since the continent was still largely dominated by the catholic church, of whom wealthy members were famous for bankrolling many of the greatest works of art produced in this era and giving them societal legitimacy with such patronage, while britain had the famously anti-glitz church of england and then the hilariously killjoy puritans holding sway and going out of their way to discourage anything they saw as frivilous, leading to the uk lagging even further behind
 
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Save the Loli

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Yes but we are talking about the negatives of british culture/history here.
The Eternal Anglo still impoverished the world as a result. Like the Potlatch Ban in Canada, those poor Indians just wanted to make totem poles and give shit away.
In bongland however, due to the somewhat more egalitarian power structure caused by the magna carta/enforced by Cromwell and friends and the rapid growth of a monied middle class, this deal was far less common far less generous with a few exceptions like Shakespeare, which led to these areas stagnating in comparison to the continent, although on the flip side this same societal structure had the eventual effect of causing a golden age of british literature due to how novels, either in whole or serialised in a magazine, were extremely accessible and potentially extremely profitable which gave an incentive for decent works to be produced.
19th century France and Russia produced plenty of classic literature. Even the US, Moby-Dick is as American as it gets in that era.
 

Chive Turkey

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This video describes "Original Pronunciation" of Shakespeare. It's pretty rough, like a lot of regional English accents instead of posh British nonsense. Or American for that matter. People would laugh at Shakespeare performed in standard American English yet Shakespeare in Received Pronunciation is just as nonsensical.
It's a West Country accent, i.e. the pirate accent. It's one of the most conservative dialects of English because the region has remained predominantly agrarian, sparsely populated and relatively isolated. Meaning that the pronunciation of English there hasn't deviated that much from how it was spoken in the Early Modern period, and therefore also the way of speaking that spawned American English.

I can't shill the HBO John Adams series enough, not just for its top notch acting and authenticity, but also because it captured the language of the time and place so brilliantly. Not just for integrating the vocabulary of the time in a way that seems natural, but also in replicating the accents in a manner that is believable.

 

Hellbound Hellhound

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But they did more invasions and destruction of indigenous people and their cultures in various continents. Ask the Iranians, the Indians, the Africans, heck ask the freaking Chinese.

True, but I wouldn't say it's totally black and white. Britain caused an immense amount of damage in different parts of the world, certainly, but it also brought the world a lot of good, like infrastructure, education, civil rights, and functional public administration.

India today would have been a lot poorer without the railways, land irrigation, and ports that the British built for them, as would present day Africa without modern agriculture and access to education. Life in Hong Kong is considerably better than life in mainland China, largely thanks to the British political influence, and the current situation in Iran is mostly the fault of the United States, not Britain (though the British certainly didn't help).

In addition, just about all of the prosperous nations in the New World wouldn't exist if it weren't for the British, and while the indiginous people definitely got a raw deal out of colonialism, they still ended up being materially much better off than what they would have been without it. This is not a defense of colonialism, but I don't think it's something that should be blithely dismissed either.
 
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Homeland prestige. Britain is the older civilization. People are easily taken in by that sort of thing. Also a lot of media bias. It's a thing that the Brits are portrayed as cultured, and once a stereotype gets going it propagates itself further, even if the original cause ceases to be accurate.

Personally, I like Britain and love British accents, but I HATE the Queen's English/posh England that people seem to be so enamored with. It grates on my ears worse than anything else. What I like is the folksy provincial and lower class accents. Northern English especially has a warm sound in my ear and is very familiar to Southern US speech. West Country and Cockeny are appealing for obvious reasons.
 

Rafal Gan Ganowicz

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Mostly due to their accents and the way some dress in public. In reality they have people like the Welsh. You also have Birmingham. If people really look into Britain they'll see that it was better off remaining part of Rome.
Indeed. Fuck the Welsh. The only people who have to munch raw leeks to freshen their breath. The faggiest of Brit nations., as well.

But they did more invasions and destruction of indigenous people and their cultures in various continents. Ask the Iranians, the Indians, the Africans, heck ask the freaking Chinese.
TBF , it was Brit colonisation that made India a nation. Without railways and the English language to bridge their 30-some mutually unitelligble languages, it would still be nearly stone-aged everywhere, rather than just barbarous in parts.