O! What a Fall was There: Reflections on the Decline of Britain

Nearly one hundred years ago, Brooks Adams published a short essaycalled "The Decay of England.

Issue: Spring 1994

Nearly one hundred years ago, Brooks Adams published a short essay
called "The Decay of England." Basing his views on the poor
performance of the British army in the Boer War, the decline of
English agriculture, a lack of entrepreneurial spirit ("the slackness
of London tradesmen"), and the part played by beer in Dickens's
novels, Adams foretold the end of Britain's nineteenth-century
preponderance. He did not welcome this, since he regarded England as
a "fortified outpost of the Anglo-Saxon race," whose future inability
to guarantee the European balance of power would soon require America
"to fight her own battle whether she will or no."

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