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Anglophobia (from Latin Anglus "English" + Greek φόβος -phobos, "fear") means hatred or fear of England or the English people.[1] The term is sometimes used more loosely for general Anti-British sentiment.[1]

Within the United Kingdom

In his essay "Notes on Nationalism", written in May 1945 and published in the first issue of the intellectual magazine Polemic (October 1945), George Orwell wrote, 'Welsh, Irish and Scottish nationalism have points of difference but are alike in their anti-English orientation.'.[2]


A 2005 study by Hussain and Millar of the Department of Politics at the University of Glasgow examined the prevalence of Anglophobia in relation to Islamophobia in Scotland. One finding of the report suggested that national ‘phobias’ have common roots independent of the nations they are directed toward. The study states that:

Scottish identity comes close to rivalling low levels of education as an influence towards Anglophobia. Beyond that, having an English friend reduces Anglophobia by about as much as having a Muslim friend reduces Islamophobia. And lack of knowledge about Islam probably indicates a broader rejection of the ‘other’, for it has as much impact on Anglophobia as on Islamophobia.[3]

The study goes on to say: "Few of the English (only 16 percent) see conflict between Scots and English as even 'fairly serious'". Hussain and Millar's study found that Anglophobia was slightly less prevalent than Islamophobia, but that unlike Islamophobia, Anglophobia was correlated with Scottish identity.

In 1999 an Inspector and race relations officer with Lothian and Borders Police said that a correlation had been noticed between the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and anti-English incidents.[4] However, Hussain and Millar's research suggested that Anglophobia had fallen slightly since the introduction of devolution.

One person was assaulted, allegedly for having an English accent while in Scotland.[5] Similar cases have been connected with major football matches and tournaments, particularly international tournaments where the English and Scottish football teams often compete with each other.[6][7][8][9]


The Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 also known as the "Acts of Union", passed by the Parliament of England, annexed Wales to the Kingdom of England, and replaced the Welsh language and Welsh law with the English language and English law.[10][11] In particular, Section 20 of the 1535 Act made English the only language of the law courts and stated that those who used Welsh would not be appointed to any public office in Wales.[10] The Welsh language was suppressed in almost every public sphere, with, for example, the use of the Welsh Not in schools being seen as a hated symbol of English oppression.[12]

Since the Glyndŵr Rising of the early 15th century, Welsh nationalism has been primarily nonviolent.[13] However, the Welsh militant group Meibion Glyndŵr (Template:Lang-en) were responsible for arson attacks on English-owned second homes in Wales from 1979-1994, motivated by cultural anti-English sentiment.[14] Meibion Glyndŵr also attempted arson against several estate agents in Wales and England, and against the offices of the Conservative Party in London.[15][15][16]

In 2000, the Chairman of Swansea Bay Race Equality Council said that "Devolution has brought a definite increase in anti-English behaviour" citing three women who believed that they were being discriminated against in their careers because they could not speak Welsh.[17] Author Simon Brooks recommended that English-owned homes in Wales be "peacefully occupied".[15] In 2001 Dafydd Elis-Thomas, a former leader of Plaid Cymru, said that there was an anti-English strand to Welsh nationalism.[18]

Northern Ireland

During the Troubles, the IRA exclusively attacked targets located in Northern Ireland and England, not Scotland or Wales,[19] despite the fact that the Protestant community in Northern Ireland was principally of Scottish origin.

In the Protestant community, the English are identified with British politicians, and are sometimes resented for their perceived abandonment of loyalist communities.[20]

Outside the United Kingdom

Republic of Ireland

There is a long tradition of Anglophobia within Irish nationalism. Much of this was grounded in the hostility felt by the largely Catholic poor for the Anglo-Irish gentry, which was mainly Anglican.

In recent years, films set during the Irish War of Independence, such as Michael Collins[21][22] and The Wind That Shakes the Barley[23][24] have led to accusations of Anglophobia in the British press. In addition, in August 2008 an English pipefitter based in Dublin was awarded €20,000 for the racial abuse and discrimination he received at his workplace.[25]


File:William Hogarth 063.jpg

"Roastbeef" (or "rosbif") is a long standing Anglophobe French slang term to designate the English or British people. Its origins lies in William Hogarth's francophobic painting The Gate of Calais or O! The Roast Beef of Old England, in which the roastbeef allegory is used as a mockery. Its popular use includes movies, TV shows and sketch comedies.

After the Norman conquest in 1066, French replaced English as the official language of England. However, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Plantagenet kings of England lost most of their possessions in France, began to consider England to be their primary domain, and turned to the English language. King Edward I, when issuing writs for summoning parliament in 1295, claimed that the King of France planned to invade England and extinguish the English language, "a truly detestable plan which may God avert".[26][27] In 1338, Philip VI of France authored the Ordinance of Normandy, which again called for the destruction and elimination of the English nation and language. The so-called Hundred Years War (1337–1453) between England and France changed societies on both sides of the Channel.

The English and French were engaged in numerous wars in the following centuries. England's ongoing conflict with Scotland provided France with an opportunity to destabilise England, and there was a firm friendship (known as the Auld Alliance) between France and Scotland from the late-thirteenth century to the mid-sixteenth century. The alliance eventually foundered because of growing Protestantism in Scotland. Opposition to Protestantism became a major feature of later French Anglophobia (and conversely, fear of Catholicism was a hallmark of Francophobia). Antipathy and intermittent hostilities between France and Britain, as distinct from England, continued during later centuries. It has become more and more political. Nowadays, this feeling seems however often to be exaggerated by newspapers or politicians and the real number of true anglophobes appears to be quite limited[citation needed]. It is replaced by a more widespread stance consisting in making fun of Britishness[28].

United States

Academic John Moser stated in 2002 that, although anglophobia is now "almost completely absent" from United States society, this was not always the case. He states that "there were strains of anglophobia present in virtually every populist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries", with the Populist Party, for example, "referring to England as a 'monster' that had 'seized upon the fresh energy of America and is steadily fixing its fangs into our social life.'" At that time, "expressions of anti-British sentiment were commonplace" and some politicians such as Senator Kenneth McKellar were known for their anti-British rhetoric. Political hostility to Britain continued after the First World War, with denunciations of the Treaty of Versailles as a surrender to Britain's interests, and groups such as the Knights of Columbus campaigning to rid schools of textbooks deemed to be "pro-British." Reasons suggested for the decline in anglophobia included the impact of the Second World War, and reduced political support for Irish nationalist movements compared with that in earlier periods. Moser also states:[29]

"In an age when the wealthiest and most influential Americans tended to be associated with things British—the vast majority were of Anglo-Saxon descent, wore English-tailored suits, drove British-made automobiles, and even spoke with affected British accents—it was quite natural for Great Britain to fall within the sights of disaffected populists. In more recent years, however, this has changed. When one thinks of wealth and influence in contemporary America, particularly when one considers those who have made their fortunes in the past thirty years, English culture does not immediately spring to mind."

The Irish-American community in the United States has historically shown antipathy towards the English in particular.[citation needed] The film industry is widely perceived to give an English nationality to a disproportionate number of villains.[30] Lyndon LaRouche, a perennial candidate for U.S. President and a movement leader known for theories of conspiracies, has been called the "most illustrious" Anglophobe in American politics.[31]


Anti-British sentiment, sometimes described as Anglophobia, has been described as "deeply entrenched in Iranian culture",[32] and reported to be increasingly prevalent in Iran. In July 2009, an adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Britain "worse than America" for its alleged interference in Iran's post-election affairs. In the first half of the 20th century, the British Empire exerted political influence over Iran (Persia) in order to control the profits from the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. As a result, British influence was widely known to have been behind the overthrow of the Qajar Dynasty in the 1920s, the subsequent rise of Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the successful coup d'etat overthrowing prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953.[33][34][35]

Australia and New Zealand

"Pommy" or "Pom" (probably derived from "pomegranate", rhyming slang for "immigrant")[36] is a common Australasian slang word for the English, often combined with 'whing[e]ing' (complaining) to make the expression 'whingeing Pom' - an English immigrant who stereotypically complains about everything. Although the term is sometimes applied to British immigrants generally, it is usually applied specifically to the English, by both Australians and New Zealanders.[37][38] From the 19th century onwards, there were feelings among established Australians that many immigrants from England were poorly skilled, unwanted by their home country, and unappreciative of the benefits of their new country.[39] In recent years, complaints about two newspaper articles blaming English tourists for littering a local beach, and headed "Filthy Poms" and "Poms fill the summer of our discontent", were accepted as complaints and settled through conciliation by the Australian Human Rights Commission when the newspapers published apologies. However, letters and articles which referred to English people as "Poms" or "Pommies" did not meet the threshold for racial hatred.[40] In 2007 a complaint to Australia's Advertising Standards Bureau about a television commercial using the term 'Pom' was upheld and the commercial was withdrawn.[41]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Oxford Dictionary of English, OUP, 2005
  2. "George Orwell - Notes on Nationalism - Essay (see: Positive Nationalism (ii) Celtic Nationalism)". George Orwell - the complete works website. 2003. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
  3. Hussain, Asifa; Miller, William (March 2005). "Towards a Multicultural Nationalism? Anglophobia and Islamophobia in Scotland" (PDF). Devolution Briefings: Briefing No. 24 (Economic & Social Research Council): p. 4. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  4. Goodwin, Stephen (1999-02-17). "Anti-English taunts drive family over the border - News". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  5. "Scotland | North East/N Isles | 'Anti-English' punch hurts woman". BBC News. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  6. Urquhart, Frank. "Aberdeen leaders condemn anti-English attacks in city - Sport". Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  7. Horne, Marc. "Moderator says anti-English bigotry is 'like sectarianism' - Scotland on Sunday". Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  8. "Scotland | North East/N Isles | England fan assaulted in Aberdeen". BBC News. 2006-07-03. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  9. "Boy, 7, attacked in Scotland for wearing England shirt | Mail Online". London: 2006-06-22. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The UK Statute Law Database: The Laws in Wales Act 1535 "Laws in Wales Act 1535(repealed 21.12.1993) (c.26)". The UK Statute Law Database website. Office of Public Sector Information. 2010. The UK Statute Law Database: The Laws in Wales Act 1535. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  11. "Laws in Wales Act 1542 (repealed) (c.26)". The UK Statute Law Database website. Office of Public Sector Information. 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  12. "The Welsh language in 19th century education". BBC Cymru Wales history website. BBC Cymru Wales. 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. "This period is associated with that most hated symbol of English cultural oppression, the Welsh Not, or Welsh Note, a means of forcing Welsh children to speak English at school."
  13. Kivisto, P. (2002). Multiculturalism in a global society. Oxford. p.129
  14. Kivisto, P. (2002). Multiculturalism in a global society. Oxford. p.129
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Ward, David (March 1, 2002). "Wales swamped by tide of English settlers". London: The Guardian.,4273,4365404,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  16. Kivisto, Peter (2002). Multiculturalism in a global society. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9780631221944. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  17. Milmo, Cahal (2000-08-04). "English the victims of racism in Wales - This Britain, UK". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  18. "Attack on '19th century' nationalism". BBC News. 2001-12-18. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
  19. "The IRA campaigns in England". BBC News. 2001-03-04.
  20. BRUCE, S. (1994). The edge of the union: the Ulster loyalist political vision. Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press.
  21. Michael Collins Films Stirs Controversy
  22. Hollywood's racist lies about Britain and the British
  23. "Why does Ken Loach loathe his country so much?" The Daily Mail, 30 May 2006
  24. "Director in a class of his own" The Times, 31 May 2006
  25. "Englishman wins Irish race case". BBC. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  26. Adrian Hastings, The Construction of Nationhood. Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 45.
  27. "[Rex Franciae] linguam anglicam, si conceptae iniquitatis proposito detestabili potestas correspondeat, quod Deus avertat, omnino de terra delere proponit." William Stubbs, Select Charters (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1946), p. 480.
  28. Fabrice Serodes, Anglophobie et politique, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2010, 280p.
  29. John Moser. "John Moser, The Decline of American Anglophobia". Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  30. Fenton, Ben (2001-06-19). "'Brenglish' in a snit over Hollywood's history lessons". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  31. Vankin, Jonathan; John Whalen (2004). Eighty greatest conspiracies of all time. Citadel Press. ISBN 0806525312.
  32. Jonathan Freedland, If this crisis can be overcome, think about the negotiations that matter, The Guardian, 4 April 2007. Accessed 24 November 2009
  33. Ali Ansari, Why Iran is obsessed with the British wily fox, The Times, 25 June 2009. Accessed 24 November 2009
  34. Tara Bahrampour, In Wake of Unrest, Britain Replacing U.S. as Iran's Great Satan, Washington Post, 17 July 2009. Accessed 24 November 2009
  35. Conference on "Iran and British colonialism", March 2008. Accessed 24 November 2009
  36. "Pom" at World Wide Words
  37. A dictionary of slang and unconventional English, Eric Partridge, 1984
  38. The Ping Pong Poms at
  39. James Jupp, The English in Australia, pp 195-196
  40. Australian Human Rights Commission, Guide to the Racial Hatred Act
  41. Lagan, Bernard (2007-01-26). "Poms Whinge so Hard that Beer Ad is Pulled". London: The Times. Retrieved 2008-07-20.


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