A Focus On The English Coming To America

1348 words - 6 pages

Out of all the ethnic groups in the world, the English were the ones who played the most pivotal role in immigrating to the United States. Not only were they the ones who established colonies in which the United States cultivated from, their "offspring formed the largest component of the Republic and the foundations they laid influenced all subsequent newcomers" (Chao, Spencer). The first settlement of the English to the United States arrived in 1607, where they came looking for better opportunities for work. They settled in Jamestown, Virginia. Since there were not many means of medication and health supplies at the time, many of the new settlers died from sickness and famine during the ...view middle of the document...

Nowadays, people can come to the United States from Great Britain with no difficulty. While England is very similar to the United States in the sense that they have a vast amount of ethnic groups and diversity, people coming to live in America from the UK notice a great difference between the social groups from each country. America, according to Gabrielle Donnelly, a London magazine journalist, is a place where people can be themselves and be accepted for the things that many people in England would otherwise look down upon. While there are many ethnic groups in England, ancestry is looked at in a much different manner there than it is in America. "Americans believe in celebrating their ancestors, wherever they came from, romanticizing them with a gleeful abandon that simply would not be countenanced in understated England" (Donnelly, 49). The English would never see the point in sharing each country in their lineage, whereas Americans take great pride in that. Although she lived all of her life in England, she did not meet many English people until she went away to university. This was because her family wedged closely to their Catholic convent while she was growing up, which consisted mostly of people of Irish descent. This caused an identity problem for her since she did not know which nationality to attach to. She writes, "We didn't know quite which nationality we were, and were split among ourselves, between those who regarded us still as Irish, the race of our forebears, and those who insisted as firmly that a century of English living had rendered us Brits" (Donnelly, 47).As mentioned before, in England it is very important to identify with one nationality. She experienced her biggest culture shock, even more so than the one she experienced when moving to America, when she went away to college. Many of her peers there acted unreceptive to her background and creed. She wrote, "I find too many of them [Brits] to be repressed emotionally, rigid socially, and actively-and often most offensively-hostile toward both my race and my religion" (Donnelly, 48). This was an issue that troubled her greatly.While Donnelly was raised and did particularly well professionally in England, she never felt at home there. This was not realized until she moved to Los Angeles for two years. The idea of being a strong, independent woman, for example, is not looked too highly upon in England. "Americans-unlike the English-both admire and respect strong women" (Donnelly, 49). Being a strong opinionated woman with a clever retort, often made many of the men and women in England feel distinctly nervous around her These are many of the reasons why Gabrielle Donnelly claimed America as her new home. She was able to be more herself there and at the same time found a bit of happiness within her that she never felt while growing up. She did not have the happiest of family lives, and until she met her husband...

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