Is the U.S. the Next Britain?

America should take a history lesson from the English

The Royal Wedding was watched in awe by over two billion people—one of every three people on Earth—for good reason. Prince William and Kate Middleton seem like genuine people truly in love. This is in stark contrast to the last royal marriage where it became quickly apparent that Diana’s love for Charles was a one-way street.

Hopes are high that this royal couple will be more successful, since they are destined to be the future King and Queen of England.

As the world watches the pomp and circumstance, they will be reminded of great English traditions that have survived over the years, and the rich history of a people who changed the world in incalculable ways.

But for America’s leaders, it would be wise to take a history lesson from Britain’s more recent past, using it as a guide to avoid becoming what England is—a nation in decline. It is a shadow of its former self, a country known more for its pageantry and traditions than meaningful substance and a place on the world stage.

The sun never set on the British Empire, and, while it showcased the English pioneering spirit and willingness to take risks, England became vastly overextended, both politically and militarily. Stretching itself too thin, it alienated indigenous peoples in many of the foreign territories it occupied. The blood and treasure expended to maintain the Empire became too great a cost, and the Crown’s holdings crumbled.

Faced with keeping its status as a world power by looking inward, it proceeded to do all the wrong things. England’s leaders bought into the quasi-socialism concept to give them a sense of security, but that “security” came at a high cost. Their national prestige evaporated after massive taxation and runaway spending on social programs. This in turn starved the military, killed entrepreneurship, and fostered a lazy, entitlement mentality in much of their population.

Legendary Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher adeptly noted that the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. In Britain’s case, uncontrolled culture-killing immigration became rampant because the government needed new bodies to prop up its socialist Ponzi scheme.

It flung its doors wide open, with no regard to whom it was admitting, resulting in many immigrants whose loyalties were decidedly non-British. This became a two-fold problem. Some simply lived off the dole, with no incentive to become productive citizens and make their new country better; in fact, such entitlement largess, courtesy of Brits who actually put in a hard day’s work, became expected.

Others took advantage of the system to (sometimes overtly) recruit terrorists hell-bent on destroying the West, resulting in deadly terrorist attacks on English soil. Rather than fight the real threat, though, Britain’s responses were rooted in meaningless, politically-correct measures that succeeded in wiping away citizens’ privacy and dignity.

British leaders not only allowed political correctness to take hold of society; they actively encouraged it. The forced multiculturalism, hand-in-hand with its open-borders policy, enabled immigrants to eschew assimilation— a welcome situation for those who didn’t believe their chosen society was better than any other. The erosion of the remaining indigenous culture created massive social unrest when the disparate cultures ultimately clashed.

On top of it all, and perhaps most significantly, Britain lost its place as holder on the world’s reserve currency, the all-important pricing unit for products and commodities traded on the global market. The country with reserve currency status enjoys immense economic benefits, so when lost, the repercussions are severe. And it becomes lost when the world’s faith in that nation’s economy is shaken, and its stability questioned.

Every decade since World War I has seen Britain’s culture and world standing whittle away. Could the same happen to America, and is it already occurring?
The United States has not seen that same steady decline, but the seeds of dependency sown during the New Deal and Great Society have grown deep roots that threaten to crumble the American foundation in a very rapid fashion.


  • The millions of baby boomers set to retire have placed Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements on the path to bankruptcy in mere years. The annual deficit is now greater than the entire budget of just a few years ago, and interest payments on our national debt account for a huge percentage of tax revenue. And America abandoned its manufacturing background, betting on an unsustainable service economy instead, thus outsourcing much of its future.
  • The coddling of illegal immigrants, numbering over 12 million, continues to erode faith in America’s rule of law, while breaking the backs of taxpayers who are forced to pay billions to accommodate them.
  • Prospects for energy independence grow dimmer by the day, while the nation’s biggest competitors—some say adversaries—forge ahead with bustling economies and strategic energy plans.
  • Political correctness has become so ingrained that national security is threatened and lives are jeopardized, all in the name of not “offending” potential enemies.
  • America continues to engage in foreign entanglements with no clear objectives, while maintaining military detachments in over 130 countries.
  • And the value of the once almighty dollar continues to plummet, having lost 95 percent of its value since 1900. Not surprisingly, talk of the United States’ losing its reserve currency status has increasingly become a front page story.
  • The United States of today seems a lot like the Britain of yesteryear. But will America’s leaders recognize the mistakes of our ally across the pond, or will we be doomed to repeat them?


The 17th century belonged to the Spanish, the 18th to the French, and the 19th to the English—all once-great empires that experienced huge declines. America has owned the last 100 years, and, while on shaky ground, continues to lead the world. Given its superpower status, some say America can never meet Britain’s fate. But no doubt the same was said during the height of the Roman Empire. If history is any indication, America is not too big to fall.

And here’s the most sobering thought: Britain’s socialism and military decline was underwritten by an America ready and able to protect the peace at all costs. If and when America declines, who will remain to defend freedom and prosperity?

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau,

Readers of his column, “Freindly Fire,” hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller “Catastrophe.”

Freind, whose column appears regularly in Philadelphia Magazine and nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a frequent guest commentator on talk radio and state/national television, most notably on FOX Philadelphia. He can be reached at