The British have always been a violent race

Once upon a time, an Italian historian told me this…

The British are a restless, disorderly race. They are not the cold people their stereotype implies. You rarely get anything as social as British pubs anywhere else.  German beer cellars are not the same.

The British like to fight.

If two Italians have an argument, there is a long period in which they just stand and insult each other – “You bastard! – You asshole! – Are you an idiot? – You son of a bitch!” – They shout a long string of verbal abuse at each other, but there is no physical violence. The shouting usually draws a group of people round them and, slowly, the two men get closer to each other and the insults get louder. Only at a very late stage might one try to physically attack the other and – immediately – the onlookers will separate them and hold them back. Real fights are rare. There is a saying in Italy – The one who strikes the first blow wins – because there is rarely a second blow – The fight is stopped.

The British fight in a totally different way.

If someone is offended, he turns suddenly and the most he says is “Fuck you!” then he immediately hits the other guy in the face with his fist. No-one has time to separate the two because, by the time they get there, a full fight has started. I saw it happen in a pub the second day I was in England and I have seen it many times since. Very few Italians have broken noses, but lots of English and Scots do because, with their sudden fights, there is no time to protect your face from the first punch.

The other facet which confuses foreigners is that so many British look like losers. They dress casually and shabbily, they don’t repair the legs of their spectacles for years and they look like they are past caring but, at some point, this apparently laid-back loser will turn round and break your nose. It is not a country where you insult someone lightly.

I was in a pub standing next to a stranger and he muttered something to this other guy who looked like a real loser, a real meek man. There was the tiniest of pauses and the meek guy just hit the stranger full-force in the middle of his face. His nose exploded. The stranger went straight down onto the floor and never got up and the meek guy turned quietly back to his pint of beer.

The Romans had twelve legions to control their entire Empire, stretching from the Atlantic to Mesopotamia. They had to keep two of those legions – two whole legions! – garrisoned permanently in Britain, because it was such a very difficult country to rule. The Germans, the Persians and the Arabs were all difficult too – dangerous frontier people – but the real problem the Romans faced in their empire was the Britons. In the 16th century, Cellini called the English “wild beasts”. Hippolyte Taine’s Notes on England, based on his impressions in the 1860s, said: “Friends and enemies alike described them as the most bellicose and redoubtable race in Europe.”

The British have always had a violent culture. And they have always displayed enormous tendencies to individuality. The British will walk miles to prove their fitness. They want to go to the North and South Poles and it’s the only country in the world where explorers’ biographies are enormously popular. The British are obsessed by Enduring and Surviving. They are fascinated – obsessed – by individuals. The British see the family as a collection of single individuals. In Italy, the family unit is everything. You have to be with the family. That is not the case in Britain. Individuality is everything.


Filed under Crime, History, Politics, Travel

18 responses to “The British have always been a violent race

  1. Ronnie

    I think all Germanic countries are more violent than Southern European countries. It’s strange because they tend to be richer and more successful than the Southern European countries. There is a big drinking culture and that only makes things worse. England is worse than other Germanic countries like Germany and Holland when it comes to violent behaviour. There is a big difference here between working class an middle class people. The working classes are often undereducated and this leads to poverty, child pregnancy, unemployment which in turn leads to frustration and violence.

    • Dean Willet

      England Is not a germanic country in the very least… England is a pre-celtic origin country, germanic invaders had little impact there unlike the myth usually tell us…

      Germanics like dutch or german are cold with the outsider but gregarious with their family,and close friends.. they are direct , can appear rude as being too direct but are in reality very honest and civilized people, who rarely will fight, they have respect for human being and love to discuss like civilized humans.

      Britons like to cheat.. they are polite, which means they always will show you fake acceptance..but they do nothing else but backstab you… The brits are not direct people.. and that can grow a big bad enviroment… people dont really know how to communicate in every frustration comes in form of physical agression, brits love to fight and have no sense of human aesthetics or style.

      Dutch, Germans, Swedish, Danish, Norwegians, etc true germanic people are very civilized people, they can be colder but once you get to know them well they will accept you and they will be honest to you, they have sense of human aesthetics, they like to appreciate human life and love to look good.

      Britons are animals, they dont care about people but only about their own instincts..

      • James

        Total rubbish with what you write here. The achievements of Britain in culture, language, science and politics far outweigh what the Norwegians Dutch and Germans have brought to the world combined
        Just a couple of things the “animalistic” Brits introduced to the world
        1 the invention of parliment( therefore democracy)
        2 the abolishment of slavery(before any other advanced country)
        3 the discovery of penicillin, antibiotics and DNA
        4 the invention of the Television, Telephone, radio, the World Wide Web
        (To name just a few)

      • Olaf

        You are an ignoramus of the highest quality!

      • Jarred Sargent

        You are so right, but I personally wouldn’t put it so politely. The British as a nation are an infection, the scourge of the world. One only has to visit one of their new towns such as Basildon, Essex. It is a wake up call but do take an armored suit before you go. Dreadful low life people!

      • William D Hughes

        More stereotypes anyone????

  2. alan

    Britain is made up of 3 country’s England, Scotland and Wales. The Scottish and Welsh are Celtic and the English are Germanic. The Welsh are the native Britons, the Scottish are gaels and picts from Ireland and the English are Anglo-Saxons. Britain has allways been a violent place it’s culture is based on violence

    • Dean Willet

      English origins arent germanic.. English look the same as Irish or Scottish, the Anglo Saxon impact in England was tiny.. most english roots (as much as 80%) come from pre-germanic/pre-celtic inhabitants.. which were of neolithic origin.

      Thats why there are so few natural blonde, and nordic/germanic looking people in England or the UK compared to Scandinavia, holland or germany. Most brits have dark hair, pale skin and hazel eyes, and their stature is mediocre at best.

      • Matthew Fagg

        You have never been there Dean. Blonde hair is very common, and blue eyes are the most common in England. Anglo Saxon genetics make up about 40% of England’s genetics. And the English language is a Germanic language. So yes, it IS a Germanic country.

  3. marymvalentine

    The Britons “have always displayed enormous tendencies to individuality.”
    Americans display enormous tendencies to individuality. A large portion of Americans are of English descent. Like me. I am also of Norwegian descent and Native American Indian descent. I display an enormous tendency toward individuality and independence. I wonder if that English in me makes me think like that…

    • Johnny Drama

      Reminds me of this one comedians stand-up… “I’m Native American and German so sometimes the voices in my head get confused. Just the other night i awoke in a cold sweat shouting: CORN THE JEWS!!!”

      Personally I think all people are prone to individuality. It’s culture and access to resources that can cause people to embrace a more authoritarian mindset. Two great examples would be Sharia Law (cultural institution of theocracy), and Yemen where 5,000 people die every year PHYSICALLY fighting each other for water. The shortage itself is a major underlying cause of the civil war compounded by it’s capital city Sana’a being the 3rd fastest growing city in the world. Population increase+water shortage+sharia law= Hell on Earth. If North Korea opened itself up for immigration/citizenship into the country no one would go. Every race and gender wants individuality so bad the West has been moving right politically speaking to keep them all out. “Be an individual where you live!” is what we’ve started to say, but from the other side of the fence it’s kind of hard to do that when you have to carry a knife when you go to buy water.

  4. Charlie

    I would disagree that Britain is “all about individuality” in fact Italy is more about individuality and Britain is more about the big state collective (school uniforms and the monarchy, need I say more).

    • Jarred Sargent

      I would equally disagree about Britain is “all about individuality” they are soulless, evil people who lack compassion, morals or integrity.

  5. anthony riley

    Totally I live in Coventry West Midlands in England and we english and Scottish (don’t know bout welsh or are very violent people , I’ve had loads of fights that have started over someone looking at me for about 30 seconds so went over a uppercut him … and I wouldn’t have it any other way this is why the English are great boxers and why we built the worlds biggest empire starting from a little shit wet green island. What other nation has stood out except the Romans that has ruled shaped and bettered the world …. god save the queen and the next person to stare at me ..
    Adios amigos

    • Billy

      Well Ant! I am Irish, from the North. The last time I looked at an English chappie he pissed his pants. The English are a funny lot, the only thing the English are good at is making enemies. Take your Brexit and enjoy, not another nation on this planet cares that you exist and God doesn’t give a damn for your Queen. Harry knows the score!

  6. I wonder, why when all the enlightened people have an elected president, in their countries, how come the British still love their King/Queen so much , which is clearly an outdated model and so anachronistic.

    Can some one throw light on this. Thanks.

  7. Arvind Gopalaswamy Balasubramaniam

    True this. They are violent compared to most Asians, mostly because they’ve been civilized recently compared to most agricultural people. They haven’t had time to ponder about the importance of social cohesion, the deeper meaning of life and other higher pursuits, so their egos are still attached to some sort of tribalism which you can see in the behavior of the average FC supporter. I don’t think they’re entirely savage the way you portray though. Englishmen also have a certain poetic and artistic streak deep inside their frothing temperament. One only needs to listen to R. V Williams or read Blake and how even the most bellicose type of Briton can resonate with them. I find them to be an interesting people, almost like they have a split personality. In business and politics, they do tend to be machiavillian under their polite exterior and tend to backstab a lot while the germanics tend to be blunt and obtuse in their communication. However, you can trust a German more if you can suffer through their initial rudeness. Italians can also sometimes say rude stuff in private when they feel close to people compared to the British, but in general yes, they’re far more amicable and cultured than the Britons. They had a 2500 head start plus they get more sunshine 😉

  8. Charlie Futter

    Superbly written piece. I found myself late night googling “why are British people such a fighting/warrior nation & your short piece sums it up brilliantly.

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