Greatest British contribution to the world ?

What is/are Britain's greatest contribution(s) to the world?

  • The English language

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Universities (Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College...)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Scientists & philosophers (Bacon, Locke, Newton, Darwin, Russell...)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Mechanical inventions (railway, gas turbine, jet engine, automobile, etc.)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • The agricultural & industrial revolutions

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Economics (mercantilism, free trade, capitalism, liberalism)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Parliamentary monarchy

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Games (snooker, croquet, bridge, whist...)

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Sports (tennis, badminton, cricket, golf, rugby, boxing...)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Children stories (Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, Harry Potter...)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Crime fictions (Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes...)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Literature & Poetry (Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte's, Kipling, Dickens, Elliot...)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Politicians (Walpole, Disraeli, Gladstone, Churchill, Thatcher, Blair...)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Teas, jams and biscuits

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Negative & colour photography

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Architectural styles (Norman, Tudor, Georgian, Regency, Victorian...)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fashion (Burberry, Dunhill, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, FCUK)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Luxury cars (Roll Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Lotus, Aston Martin)

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Pop music (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Robbie Williams, All Saints...)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • The Commonwealth of Nations

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5
IMHO, industrial revolution and mechanical inventions. And probably lots of scientists too, except I can't think of any (that haven't been already posted) right now! :p And the negative/colour photography is pretty important too, I think.

On a lighter note, Harry Potter and Hobnobs (they are British, right? :? )
 
I'm thinking it is the steam engine and the mini cooper.
I also love the old brit theologians.
Isn't the Pinzgauer made in GB now?
 
Mycernius said:
I love Hobnobs, especailly the ones with dark chocolate. mmmm.... :homer: Shouldn't forget Jaffa Cakes though

HOBNOBS I agree!!! YUMMY!! One can get addicted to them.....

Speaking of cookies and chocolate, I also adore Maltesers!!!
 
i had always thought tetra pak had been british which is definitely one of the worlds greatest inventions but a quick check revelas its origins to be sweden

well, in that case i have to vote for the sinclair c5
unappreciated in its time and almost forgotten in this day and age
the time has come for its revival (or not)
P0000744.jpg
 
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:hey: You forgot sitcoms!!! Like Red Dwarf, Monty Python, To the Manor Born, Fawlty Towers, Mr. Bean, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Blackadder, and many more I'm sure. British humor & comedy. And my world would be a different place without Jarvis Cocker, LOL. He's funny too.
Now you've discovered my secret - I'm also a Anglophile. But you still don't know that I'm a Canada-o-phile, heh.
 
What about the great sports?

Football, Tennis, Rugby, Cricket!
 
Tin, Greeks, Vikings, Oak Trees, Navy, Imperialism

An excellent topic, with many good answers....

But I think there is a progression of elements which made Britain great...

One, it is an island, and difficult to defeat and change, although it has been invaded and defeated and assimilated many times, just much less than areas with land borders with warring neighboring tribes.

It had tin, which attracted foreigners, probably Egyptians and Greeks over the millenia, who used it for bronze production, which was a major military advantage.

It had large oak trees, one primary ingredient for having a Navy. Even Egypt did not have large trees, or any trees, they had to conscript the Phoenicians who had Cedars of Lebanon, and then they had a large world trade Navy. Like the British became, with their oak trees and Navy.

With a Navy, it developed world trade.

With world trade, it developed an imperialism apparatus which spread its language use.

With world language use, it gave to the world a unified language of sorts, but please don't tell that to the French, a very proud and wonderful people, who with their Viking Normans invaded England and Ireland, etc. etc. But note how the defeated English STILL retained the language element over the invading Norman French?!

But the simple answer is ...most definitly "English language" to the world.
 
I would answer (if it was proposed) ...The USA. That is the greatest contribution the british made to the world, as their former colony finnaly overperformed great-britain to replace it as the super-power.
 
I would answer (if it was proposed) ...The USA. That is the greatest contribution the british made to the world, as their former colony finnaly overperformed great-britain to replace it as the super-power.

Possibly. But I have my reserves about this, because the USA was founded as much by German and Irish settlers than British ones. There were also some Scandinavian and Dutch settlers (in the colonies of the New Netherlands and New Sweden, which became respectively the states of New York and Delaware). In fact, when asked about their ancestry, much more Americans claim to have German ancestry than British ones (check this thread).
 
Language would stand out for me. Sorry IMO the food brands aren't quite international, excepting Liptons and Whittards maybe. As to inventions, yes, Viagra appears to be a milestone!
 
Sorry IMO the food brands aren't quite international, excepting Liptons and Whittards maybe.

Whittard isn't common at all here. The British teas that I have seen the most in continental Europe and Japan are Lipton, Twinings and Fortnum & Mason. Tiptree jam (Wilkin & Sons) is found just about everywhere nowadays. As for biscuits and sweets, Walkers, Quality Street, Cadburry, etc. are all very widespread in Europe and beyond. Except for Fortnum & Mason, you can find all these brands even in a small supermarket in Belgium.
 
O come on what country wants to be remembered for helping people get it up?

Well, it is a famous medicine, known around the world. However we could argue that it is not really a British contribution since it was developed by Pfizer, an American company. The labs were in England, that's true... But I don't know the nationality of the researchers. It was probably an international team.
 
From what I understand, one of the leading chemists was British. I met a colleague of his when traveling in Japan, and he told me at the time it was released the said chemist was a minor celebrity in the UK.
O come on what country wants to be remembered for helping people get it up?
I didn't say they wanted to be remembered for it, I just said that they are.
Tiptree jam (Wilkin & Sons) is found just about everywhere nowadays. As for biscuits and sweets, Walkers, Quality Street, Cadburry, etc. are all very widespread in Europe and beyond. Except for Fortnum & Mason, you can find all these brands even in a small supermarket in Belgium.
Tiptree jam, have never seen it when I've traveled in Europe, and certainly not in Japan or the US. Walkers and Cadburry they sell regularly here and elsewhere. But Quality Street? Never even heard of it.

Just a side note, Walkers is Scottish. I don't know if you'd want to call a Scotsman British. One has told me it was okay (I think on this forum), but most I've met said it was not likely to be a message delivered in good health.
 
I didn't say they wanted to be remembered for it, I just said that they are.

health.[/quote]


Tongue firmly in cheek.

Its actually manufactured in Ireland, its really inflated our GDP.
 
Tiptree jam, have never seen it when I've traveled in Europe, and certainly not in Japan or the US.

They sell Tiptree jam in Carrefour hypermarkets, as well as some smaller subsidiaries (like GB in Belgium). In Japan, just go to any Meiji-ya, or some other supermarkets with imported products. I could even find Belgian jam in local, regular (not import specialist) supermarket in Tokyo !

Walkers and Cadburry they sell regularly here and elsewhere. But Quality Street? Never even heard of it.

Quality Street is an old British brand, It now belongs to the Nestle Group. When I was a child, there were always some at my grandmother's house. So it's been a while since it has gone international (much longer than Tiptree, which was hard to find in Belgium 10 years ago).

Just a side note, Walkers is Scottish. I don't know if you'd want to call a Scotsman British.

Of course ! What is more British than a Scotsman ? Great Britain is an island composed of Scotland, England and Wales (and Cornwall if you insisit that it is not really English). So I would understand that the status of people in Northern Ireland isn't clear, as they are not geographically British, but are politically. But Scotland is not even a matter for discussion. Never English, but unmistakably British.
 
Quality Street is an old British brand, It now belongs to the Nestle Group. When I was a child, there were always some at my grandmother's house. So it's been a while since it has gone international (much longer than Tiptree, which was hard to find in Belgium 10 years ago).

I didn't know it was under the Nestle brand now, still haven't seen it unless they changed the name too.

But Scotland is not even a matter for discussion. Never English, but unmistakably British.

You best explain it to a pub full of Scotsman then, but make sure an exit is handy if you wish to avoid flying bottles.
 
I didn't know it was under the Nestle brand now, still haven't seen it unless they changed the name too.

Here it is. If you see the boxes, maybe you'll remember seeing it. The boxes used to be different though; less purple, with a big picture of an early 19th-century British soldier and a woman in the middle.

You best explain it to a pub full of Scotsman then, but make sure an exit is handy if you wish to avoid flying bottles.
I don't think you understand. They don't have the choice. Britishness is not just a political thing but a geographic one too. I am rather in favour of the independence of Scotland, but they would still be British (and European) after that, because they live on an island called Britain. Now if they want to dig a (Panama-like) canal along the border to make it a separate island, then we could discuss... But what's the point ?
 

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