In a world where art, religion, and economics revolve around both the English monarchy and American democracy, they would be bound to have similar and differing views on each of said topics. The American democracy could have an immense appreciation for the economy and the English wouldn’t even bat an eyelash at it while they have a big place in their heart for the arts while the Americans spend all of their time in the Museum of Modern Art in New York purely for the aesthetic. It just all boils down to who loves Jesus more.
Turns out, the United Kingdom does care about their economy as they were the second largest economy in all of Europe—behind Germany—and number five in the world with their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that totaled 2.848 trillion USD (not really sure what that is in pounds) in 2015, although the economy was hit very hard by the global financial crisis the past decade. Today, the United Kingdom is overwhelmingly fueled by the service sector’s strength, which abut makes up 79% of its GDP total. Its most significant services are banking, insurance, and business services, being most of the household names worldwide. 1
The UK is one among the most globalized countries in the world, sitting in 20th place in the 2016 KOF Index of Globalization, the Greater London being of importance in this case as it is home to the European and worldwide headquarters, as well as a few branch offices, multiple multinationals, completely earning its place with Tokyo and New York as one of the main centers of the global economy and finance.2
All the while, the United States has the largest, most technologically-advanced, and most diverse economy in the world. While it sits for only about four percent of the world’s population, its GDP is twenty-six percent of the world’s total economic output (take that, China. I think). Although the country shows some impressive advantages, it faces numerous problems. Most of the goods and services of the nation are scarfed inside, however the economy cannot create enough products to keep up with the demand. As an end, the US has imported more products than it did exports.
The US economy is taken over by service-oriented companies in fields such as technology, financial services, healthcare and retail. With more than a fifth of companies on the Fortune Global 500 coming from the US, humongous companies play a large role on the global stage. 3 Comparing both the United States and the United Kingdom, the United States place first with $2.45 trillion dollars and the United Kingdom is ranked in sixth with $986.10 billion, which is two times more than the UK. The Royal family contributes 1.8 billion pounds to Britain’s economy all thanks to trade and tourism, having a Monarchy influence over a good majority of the English economy.
Religion has taken a toll on almost all of the countries and the entire world, and for the United Kingdom, the most practiced religion is Christianity. Islam and Hinduism follow, and the same can be said for the United States in the Christianity aspect. The varying Christian denominations in the UK have traced back to 16th century England and Henry VIII when he rejected the supremacy of the pope. More divisions divided the Church of England in the 17th century as an effect of the Puritan movement, which also gave light to Baptists and Congregationalists, reflecting Puritan desire for simpler worship and ecclesiastical government. 4 As for the United States, George Washington stated in his farewell address that “religion and morality” are the “firmest props of the duties of men and citizens” and therefore are “indispensable supports” of “the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity.” He goes on to say that “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Religion, he added, is absolutely necessary to the preservation of “free government.” 5
Americans lost the vision that was religion’s positive contribution to manifesting and maintaining our democracy. When seeking to refresh our understanding of religion’s role in freedom, no one better to look to than Alexis de Tocqueville, who had more than thoroughly explained why religion was nevertheless essential to the health of a modern democracy. “Modern democratic freedom,” he says, “developed as a result of Christianity’s influence on European civilizations, and more particularly as a result of Puritanism’s influence on American civilization.” 6
Furthermore, religion is not only necessary in a democracy’s emerging, but also in its preservation. Christianity today possesses nothing of the public moral authority than it did in the 1830s. America today is less religious than Tocqueville’s America and religious Americans today are more varying in their beliefs than the Americans in Tocqueville’s century. He reminds us that the freedom we have come from the religious foundations. Modern democracy couldn’t stand on its own two feet if it wasn’t for the Christian influence on the Western World. It is also responsible for the general rise of equality as a phenomenon in Europe. American democracy also owes its birth to the influence of a specific of Christianity: English Puritanism.7 Tocqueville explains that Puritanism “was not only a religious doctrine; it blended at multiple points with the democratic and republican theories.” It was Christianity that gave three premises to lay the modern democracy down on. The first being the inherit dignity of each person, the principle of universal equality of all people, and the center of human liberty to the purposes and principles in which God created the cosmos. 8
When comparing the two countries on the basis of religion, they are both pretty similar as Catholicism is the most practiced religions of the two. America can actually thank England for the migration of Catholicism and Christianity. Instead of having the democracy have an influence over Christianity, it was more of the other way around, meaning that democracy was pretty much built on religion and most religious beliefs. The Monarchy did have an influence on Christianity and Roman Catholicism when Mary, Queen of Scots fought to have Roman Catholicism as the primary religion in the 16th century. And when it comes to religion, art tends to be a pretty big part of it, depicting what everything and everyone looked like at the time. Like the Bible, art tells a story in many different forms.
Art in the both the United States and the United Kingdom is very popular, as found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery in London, for example. The Democracy and Monarchy both have an influence on the subject, as it told an abundance of stories from major historical events, like the signing of the Declaration of Independence which is called a “history painting.” A history painting can have subjects from the Bible, from mythology, many other forms of literature, and historical events. Most of the famous English paintings are of the Royal Family lineage, some including Queen Elizabeth I and her half-sister Mary, Queen of Scots.
The last few decades of the 18th century were when the English painters started to voice an alternative to the practical idea of “beautiful.” This idea is classified by a number of artworks in the Art Institute’s collection: portraits, conversation pieces, and so-called exquisite pieces by artists such as Arthur Devis and Sir Joshua Reynolds. The alternate idea was dubbed as “the sublime” and its observers discovered the dark and rash side of nature. This movement was called “Romanticism.”9 As English painters looked at their new literary tradition, subject painting, became more important to both the artist and the patron.10
Art in America is also well-admired and can be found in the Big Apple that is New York in the Museum of Modern Art and in the United States Capitol, as well, seeing the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, along with a number of paintings of the Presidents in the White House. It seems that the United States focuses more on the economy than the art, which kind of makes sense because money makes the world go round. However, it’s the art that makes the world prettier to look at. Ha, bet you didn’t expect such poetry in a Government paper. All jokes aside, the arts are well-respected and appreciated as well as not being paid more attention to in the United States. Chances are that there are more art museums in Europe than in the United States.
And on the note of comparing the United States to the Union across the pond, the amount of art being appreciated in the
1 “The Economy of the UK: An Overview.” The Economy of the UK: An Overview | InterNations. Accessed December 13, 2017. https://www.internations.org/great-britain-expats/guide/16152-economy-finance/the-economy-of-the-uk-an-overview-16160.
2 “The Economy of the UK: An Overview.” The Economy of the UK: An Overview | InterNations. Accessed December 13, 2017. https://www.internations.org/great-britain-expats/guide/16152-economy-finance/the-economy-of-the-uk-an-overview-16160.
3 “United States of America – Overview of economy.” Encyclopedia of the Nations. Accessed December 14, 2017. http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Americas/United-States-of-America-OVERVIEW-OF-ECONOMY.html.
4 Josephson, Paul R., and Ulric M. Spencer. “United Kingdom.” Encyclopædia Britannica. June 21, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/place/United-Kingdom/Religion.
5 Holloway, Carson. “Tocqueville on Christianity and American Democracy.” The Heritage Foundation. March 7, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2017. http://www.heritage.org/civil-society/report/tocqueville-christianity-and-american-democracy.
6 Holloway, Carson. “Tocqueville on Christianity and American Democracy.” The Heritage Foundation. March 7, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2017. http://www.heritage.org/civil-society/report/tocqueville-christianity-and-american-democracy.
7 Holloway, Carson. “Tocqueville on Christianity and American Democracy.” The Heritage Foundation. March 7, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2017. http://www.heritage.org/civil-society/report/tocqueville-christianity-and-american-democracy.
8 Novak, Michael. “Democracy and Religion in America.” Catholic Education Resource Center. Accessed December 13, 2017. https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/democracy-amp-religion-in-america.html.
9 Farmer, John David. “Henry Fuseli, Milton and English Romanticism.” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago (1973-1982)68, no. 4 (1974): 15-19. doi:10.2307/4108656.
10 Farmer, John David. “Henry Fuseli, Milton and English Romanticism.” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago (1973-1982)68, no. 4 (1974): 15-19. doi:10.2307/4108656.