In wake of the immigration crisis and backlash from that, I’ve been thinking about what causes people to want to leave their homeland. In particular, what prompted the original immigrants (European Colonists) to “explore” (immigrate).
There was a point in time that the British Empire controlled almost 25 percent of the world’s population, after hundreds of years of colonization attempts.
This was quite the feat, but why did they do it?
What prompted the British, among other European nations, to leave their continent in search of new land? The common answer would be because they were in search of new riches and land. And this may have very well been true, but for reasons other than expansion.
I believe that the reason that the Europeans went South was simple and much like the reason many of us vacation in places like Florida and the Caribbean: they wanted to escape the gloomy, depressing weather.
The weather in Europe, particularly Great Britain, really sucks during the winter. Nothing creates a more bitter person than being trapped in an inescapably cold and rainy environment. Such dreary conditions would surely be the cause for a longing to escape. Much like we do now, people probably volunteered to “go on an expedition” and explored south in search of happier weather.
Imagine how ridiculous someone from the Carribean Islands or the Ashanti Empire (modern day Ghana) would sound if they said they wanted to leave their warm paradise and head North to the cold and unknown? I honestly believe that the weather was more of a factor in colonization and the advancement of European society, in particular the British Empire, than given credit.
I believe that this escape from the cold, and the ensuing age of “discovery”, undoubtedly created a superiority complex amongst Europeans, who may have believed that since they lived and survived in much harsher, colder conditions, they were undoubtedly the superiors to those that they encountered in warmer climates.
Northern Europeans share the same physical evolutionary traits that come from cold environments: long thin hair, pale skin, and thin lips.
Are climate related evolutionary traits just limited to physical evolutions? Or do these traits extend to the physiological and psychological makeup as well?
No one likes a cold, rainy day. The constant dreariness of the weather in Great Britain may have caused the people to develop a short sightedness of future prospects and soured the overall mood of the population. I think evidence of this general sourness can be found in the harsh, ridged tones of early English Literature. When I think of am English person speaking from an earlier time period, I imagine the harshness of a dialect that could only come from a bitter person or a person living in a bitter environment.
Maybe the makeup of the climate in our environments of origin, had and continue to have an affect on our general demeanors?
People living in sunny states such as California and Florida, are often viewed as being happy and outgoing, and people always question why would they leave to live somewhere else. In contrast, people from cold and snowy states like New York or Massachusetts are often thought to be rude, fast-paced, and unfriendly. I often meet a lot of people from those states that move down south. I believe that the key difference in these opposite temperaments, could be the difference in the weather.
Maybe the climate was a part of the reason some of those places that were colonized, were initially receptive and open towards the Europeans.
Why wouldn’t the same apply to those European people who ventured south as well?
It had to be sunny somewhere. Another rainy, cold day in London and a trip to take over the world.
By Keith Haynie, Editor In Chief.