Jun. 24th, 2016

xiphias: (swordfish)
Someone on my friends list was wondering what the big deal -- after all, Great Britain's been around for a long, long time, and the amount of time it's been a part of the EU is trivial, so what difference does it make?

I did the math. The EU is a re-naming of the European Community, which Great Britain joined in 1973, before I was born. It's gone through name changes, reorganizations, and even a charter re-write or two, but it's the same organization.

Great Britain was formed in 1801 -- it's actually younger than the United States. England was founded in 871 with Alfred the Great, and the United Kingdom was created in 1707, but Great Britain is only 215 years old.

That means that Great Britain has been a member of the EU for one fifth of its history.

Here's another way to look at it. The last time that Great Britain WASN'T part of the EU, fiat money wasn't completely a thing yet. Worldwide conversion to fiat currency had only just started a year or two before.

That was the biggest change in how money works since, I don't know, stock markets, maybe.

Off the top of my head, I'd list the big changes in how money works as the invention of money and markets, around the time of agriculture and cities, the standardization of coinage in the Bronze age, the creation of letters of credit in the Iron age, the development of banking in the late medieval period through the Renaissance, the creation of stock markets and limited liability corporations in the Industrial age, and the creation of fiat currencies in the Information age.

The last time Great Britain was NOT in the European Union, the world was only just starting to switch over to the Information Age monetary system.

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