What Do Britons Think Of Americans???

3 08 2007

Ok, I know Britian and the USA had a strained peace in the years following the Revolutionary War (America’s War of Independence). Though, to all outward appearances, it seems the US and Britain of today get along splendidly.  I know most of the world doesn’t agree with US foreign policy (as many/most Americans don’t agree with it either). However, I was a bit surprised when someone forwarded me this poll. I know we have several different countries represented here at this blog. So, I feel this is an excellent opportunity to get everyone’s thoughts. I want to hear from the British here…..Is this poll seriously conclusive to what the majority of Britians feel about Americans?   To the Americans how do you feel about this poll? To my other international readers…..What is the sentiment toward Americans in your respective countries? Stereotypes?

What Britons think of America

The YouGov polling highlighted below (carried out for The Daily Telegraph) is from last June but given that this site only started in November it’s probably useful to remind ourselves of UK attitudes to America and to American policy.

Key findings:

  • By 54% to 39% Britons felt more positive about America than negative.
  • 70% said that they liked Americans a little or a lot.  19% said they didn’t like Americans very much.  2% said not at all.
  • 40% thought America a reliable ally.  41% thought it unreliable as an ally.

But from then on it’s all pretty negative…

  • 22% thought current American policy was helping to make the world a better place to live in.  75% said a worse place.
  • By 52% to 36% the overall view of American culture was negative.
  • 20% of respondents were more positive about America over recent years.  69% were less positive.
  • By 74% to 9% Britons thought US actions were resulting in greater INSTABILITY in the Middle East rather than greater STABILITY.
  • 1% saw George W Bush as a “great leader” and 43% thought of him as a “terrible leader”.  15% deemed him “reasonably satisfactory”.  34% thought him “pretty poor”.
  • 58% agreed that America is essentially an “imperial power”.  28% thought it unfair to describe America in that way.
  • Only 11% thought America cares what the rest of the world thinks.  83% thought it didn’t care.
  • 90% thought it had a lot of violent crime and was dominated by big business, 60% thought it uncaring, 72% unequal, 65% vulgar, 75% badly led.

There was not much difference in the view of America and Americans from Conservative and Labour supporters.  There was decidely more negativity from supporters of the Liberal Democrats.

YouGov interviewed nearly 2,000 Britons on 26th to 28th June 2006.  Download PDF of full survey findings.