On the public use of history in Great Britain

Author/s Andrea Mammone
Publishing Year 2024 Issue 2024/121
Language Italian Pages 18 P. 73-90 File size 143 KB
DOI 10.3280/PASS2024-121004
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June 2016 marked the end of the British membership of the European Union. Rather than focusing on popular explanations for this «exit», such as immigration, economy, globalization and sovereignty, this article focuses on the role played by history in informing public and political debates. In particular, it shows how pre- existing patriotic myths were popularized, notably that of the empire and the belief that Britain had followed a unique historical path that was different from other European nations. Both were used to legitimize the vote to leave the European bloc. The article highlights how this situation influenced the rhetoric of a Global Britain and how some Eurosceptic historians legitimized this narrow historical exceptionalism.

Keywords: Brexit, Empire, memory, historians Parole chiave: Brexit, impero, memoria, storici

Andrea Mammone, Sull’uso pubblico della storia in Gran Bretagna in "PASSATO E PRESENTE" 121/2024, pp 73-90, DOI: 10.3280/PASS2024-121004