The Crimes of England

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Chesterton's "The Crimes Of England" was written in 1916 and needs to be read , and perhaps forgiven, as a product of the Great War. The "crimes" in the title are essentially an ironic reference. Most of the "crimes" Chesterton relate to the preceding three hundred years to instances where English policy was too pro-German, or at least, too pro-Prussian by Chesterton's estimate. The list of crimes include too much support for Frederick the Great and too little support for the French Revolution. Even the crime of England's brutal response to the Irish rebellions of 1789 - something Chesterton lets loose against - was made worse by the Germanic element in the royal family and the Army's use of German mercenaries against the Irish. Chesterton ends his essays with a plea to his fellow Englishmen not to avoid criticising their nation but to embrace it.
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May 26, 2013
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