Nationalism, racism and xenophobia
in Immigrant England, 1300–1550
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The conclusion to the book briefly draws together the strands of discussion of previous chapters and addresses the wider question of English attitudes to foreigners in general, and immigrants in particular, between 1300 and 1550. While there is good evidence to suggest that England became more nationalistic across this period, and more isolationalist in its expression of that nationalism, it is notable that the English continued to regard themselves as the descendants of many different ethnicities and did not develop a notion of their own ‘racial purity’. This also means that racism (towards religious and racial minorities) and xenophobia (towards foreign ethnicities at large), although often openly discussed in England, were very rarely institutionalised in the policies of parliament and monarchy. Immigrants became English; but English people, too, were changed by the presence of immigrants.


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