Anthony Giddens (1990) describes globalisation as “the intensification of world-wide social relations, which link distant loyalties in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa.”

The US have been at the heart of globalisation for over half a century, with Britain, along with the rest of Western Europe, being amongst the main victims of its imperialistic influence. As a result of its reputation as the most dominant and authoritative actor in western world, the US have succeeded in enforcing their values and ideologies on Britain; both cultural and political.

America’s cultural homogenisation of Britain dates as far back as the Second World War, with its ‘friendly invasion’ of Norfolk in 1942 and subsequent contribution to the strategic bombings of Nazi-occupied Europe also resulting in many British people’s “first taste of peanut butter, chewing gum and Coca Cola.”

The US sought to further increase cross-border relations with Western Europe after the war had ended through the application the ‘Marshall Plan’, a funding initiative which offered loans and supplies to help rebuild the broken, war-torn economies.

With technology rapidly progressing, and more televisions being in homes across Europe, the US further implemented its culture upon the UK, making sure its programmes played a significant role in the digital revolution; American ideology dominated the airwaves, with new fashion trends and rock ‘n’ roll music adding to the cultural invasion.

Through this appropriation, and the development of media and communications, the US were able to establish new interactions and social relationships with European nations like the UK, transcending borders and removing trade, travel, and finance barriers in order to benefit its global representation.

Even today, the US continues to display a heavy influence on British culture, with the majority of our TV output being American shows, and high schools and colleges now having graduation ‘proms’; even things as simple as the pronunciation of 2016 as ‘twenty-sixteen’ rather than ‘two-thousand-and-sixteen’, and internet chat acronyms such as ‘OMG’ penetrating spoken conversations display the US’ cultural impact on our society.

Politically, the US agenda has had a considerable effect on the British government’s decision making process. The persistent appointment of wealthy leaders in British politics is evidence of this, with the majority of our politicians hailing from privileged backgrounds.

This correlation of money and power is a comparably recurring theme in US politics, with George Bush buying his way into the University of Harvard, and Mitt Romney funding his political campaigns through personal finance. David Cameron, the latest fatcat to occupy number 10 Downing Street, is further evidence of this wealth-obsessed US influence on the UK, proposing policies that benefit the affluent and present disadvantages to the underprivileged.

At this moment in time, Cameron and the Conservative party are campaigning to increase University tuition fees beyond the already ridiculous fee of £9,000 a year; displaying dumbfounding bias toward the wealthy. This blatant attempt to deprive underprivileged young people of the education they deserve is the British government aiming to eliminate students of working class backgrounds in order to prolong its reign of wealthy, privileged politicians; which further underlines the ‘money > people’ ideology that has been implemented on the UK by the US.

Plans to privatise the NHS display additional US influence on British policy making, again meaning only the wealthy will be able to afford medical bills and pay for lifesaving operations; a similar approach to that of the American healthcare system. Accompanying this are the exceedingly harsh plans to cut disability and housing benefits for those who make up the poorest and weakest section of our society; another outstandingly American course of action.

Overall, British politics is becoming increasingly Americanised, exhibiting similarities in its primary interests of maintaining stability for the wealthy, as opposed to working within the best interests of the public. On the other hand, the US’ cultural homogenisation has benefited the UK in many ways; socially, digitally, and financially; however, I think West Ham’s abomination of a half-time show last week shows that some aspects of US culture need to stay in the US.

Advertisements