In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt wrote a letter to his great friend and admirer Sir Cecil Spring-Rice. (As well as being Roosevelt’s best man at his wedding, and British ambassador to Washington during the Great War, it was Spring-Rice who wrote that most sublime of hymns, “I Vow to Thee My Country,” which is now being banned by the Church of England for being too patriotic.) “If new nations come to power,” he wrote, “the attitude of we who speak English should be one of ready recognition of the rights of the newcomers, of desire to avoid giving them just offense, and at the same time of preparedness in body and mind to hold our own if our interests are menaced.”[1]

Of course, the most recent newcomer nation that was arriving at Great...

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