English-Americans: Still English?

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The above is from a pro-English Facebook group.

I know some would not agree with the idea expressed in it, but there’s no denying that one can only be English by ancestry, not simply by transplanting oneself to England. To be British is another matter; though I would not agree with the silly idea that the third-world transplants to the UK can be ”British”, still, British is undoubtedly a civic identity. After all, it encompasses the other nationalities who have long lived in Great Britain, nationalities who are considered British though they identify as Scottish, Welsh, or Ulster folk.

The very reason that the English identity is ”controversial” or politically incorrect in today’s multicultural, multiracial UK is that it is an exclusive rather than inclusive identity. I have heard that there are immigrants from the Moslem world or elsewhere who claim to be ”English” by virtue of residence in England, but to claim that is to deny the existence of a nation or ethnicity called ”English.”

Why do I emphasize this ‘British vs. English’ question? Because it’s important. Many Americans (excluding my readers, of course) are unaware that there is any distinction between ”British” and “English”. In the past I’ve been guilty of using the terms interchangeably, without thinking. Even one of my English readers (on the old blog) said he had done so. It’s unconscious, because the labels are not used precisely or accurately these days. And there is a difference. Just ask a Scot or a Welshman; they will likely tell you that they are Scots or Welsh first, though their civic identity is British. In few cases will they want to say they are English. The English, after all, were the oppressors in the minds of many, and past lost battles are kept in memory for many generations.

So there’s yet another reason why the English identity is destined for consignment to the memory hole, if the globalist fanatics have their way. But as long as I can, I plan not to comply with the politically correct edicts. The truth has to be kept alive.

And yes, though some of us have ancestors who left England 400+ years ago, our English genes are intact, and though culture plays a part, we are who we are in part because of those genes.

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Albion’s Seed, again

David Hackett Fischer’s book on Anglo-American origins continues to exercise inordinate influence on most discussions of American history and culture.

Of course the thesis of the book is that although the British Isles were the source of most of the colonists who settled this country (though Fischer, I think, unduly emphasizes other European colonists) there is not a unified culture nor a single people as the source of the American nation. There are, according to Fischer, several cultures which are at odds. From there, it’s an easy progression to making the claim that the South and the North, for example, constitute two distinct peoples, with their accompanying cultures — an  idea that has caught on for political reasons amongst some Southrons.

Other modern writers have used Fischer’s book as a jumping-off point for their own pet theories about the various “nations” contained within America. All this can only contribute to more dissension and animosity; some Southern nationalists find Fischer’s writings justification for a new-found hatred of “puritans” and Yankees generally. Some people, based on Fischer’s writings tend to blame not just those long-dead Puritans but Christians in general, or Protestants or Calvinists.

I have read Fischer’s book though it’s been some years since I waded through it.

This recent review of Albion’s Seed seems to emphasize many negative ‘facts’ about our colonist ancestors. Fischer, in my opinion, uses the usual post-modern, politically correct standards by which to judge the colonists. Once upon a time, historians actually did try to exercise some kind of objectivity in writing about history; no longer. Every history of America today seems to have to lean over backward to chastise the Southern colonists especially — the Cavalier class, specifically — for slavery/racism and elitism. Every history of today has to give blacks undeserved credit for some cultural accomplishment. For instance, did you know that the English spoken by my cavalier ancestors actually resembled so-called ”ebonics”, and that Elizabethan English sounded like African-American dialect?

INTERESTING CAVALIER FACTS:
1. Virginian cavalier speech patterns sound a lot like modern African-American dialects. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out why, but it’s strange to think of a 17th century British lord speaking what a modern ear would clearly recognize as Ebonics.

Really, how could Fischer or anyone else back up such a statement? Can we exhume an English lord (English, not British; the Union did not exist till the next century) and compare his speech to that of an ”African American”? Until then, Fischer is just talking through his hat, just making things up.

10. Our word “condescension” comes from a ritual attitude that leading Virginians were supposed to display to their inferiors. Originally condescension was supposed to be a polite way of showing respect those who were socially inferior to you; our modern use of the term probably says a lot about what Virginians actually did with it.

In a lot of ways, Virginia was the opposite of Massachusetts. Their homicide rate was sky-high, and people were actively encouraged to respond to slights against their honor with duels (for the rich) and violence (for the poor).

Fischer seems to have thrown in such examples of good old class-warfare propaganda. Jacobinism by any other name.

From yet another blog post on Fischer’s book:

Among Cavaliers and corporatists, there is no morality beyond might makes right. There is no law — and no honor — beyond their own desire to expand their own sphere of power. There is no equality, no justice, and no universal freedom as we understand it. Theirs is the ancient plantation mentality we Americans have spent over 220 hard, bloody years trying to put behind us. It’s an outdated social system that has no place in a modern technological society — yet, in almost every detail, it’s the very world our new corporate royalists want to drag us back to.

In the back of their minds, they’re just Virginia gentlemen, taking the liberties such gentlemen have always rightfully enjoyed at the expense of others. It’s true that we owe a handful of Cavalier gentlemen a tremendous debt for so clearly articulating the principles of American liberty during the Revolution. But we should also remember that when these first men asserted their God-given right to life, liberty, and happiness, they had no intention of sharing those blessings with anyone else.”

Oh, if only we could go back in time and share our superior wisdom with those benighted ignoramuses! Wouldn’t this world be perfect if only David Hackett Fischer and his fan club could enlighten us all.

This Biblical passage comes to mind:

And Job answered and said,
No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.”

Fischer’s book, I think, impresses people simply because it is so very long and so extensively footnoted and bibliography-ed. The sheer size and weight of the book intimidates people.

An old history prof/mentor of mine in college informed me, when I was a naive and idealistic history student, that all historians have some agenda, whether they are aware of it or not; nobody can be completely bias-free, but today even a pretense of objectivity and impartiality is missing. Fischer, though seemingly regarded as the Voice Of Authority on early American history now, is human like the rest of us, prone to his own biases (which seem to be the PC, egalitarian biases of our time) and also prone to human fallibility. I only wish that people would stop the uncritical acceptance of everything Fischer writes, as if he is the last word.

Similarly with lesser-known writers like Colin Woodward. Even many Southern readers skeptical of ‘Yankees’ still accept Woodward’s writings as absolutely true, and even very right-wing readers seem oblivious to the fact that Woodward is a liberal with a liberal’s presuppositions.

As always, my advice is to read mostly older sources. Today there are a good many old (and sound) books on history which are available online, free. Unfortunately our politically corrected public libraries are purging the old books and replacing them with inferior, dumbed down, ideologically correct ‘history’,which is invariably tainted by today’s PC shibboleths and cliches.

We should learn about the past from people of the past. Their books are still there to be found and used.

St. George’s Day

St. George's Day

Found on a Tumblr blog

It’s a little late to commemorate St. George’s Day, as it’s just passed. But it is a day which brings into relief the ‘demotion’ of England within the ‘United Kingdom’. The St. George’s flag, being a symbol of England and the English, is now in disrepute, in somewhat the same way as our Confederate battle flag is under attack, and for the same reason: it is being called a “racist” symbol.

How can the St. George’s flag be a ”racist” flag, while the familiar Union Jack, known to most Americans as the British symbol, is not? Surely it was a symbol of a monoracial, White, Christian country as is the now-censured St. George’s flag? Well, because the Union Jack was the symbol of an empire, as it were, a multinational kingdom at first, which contained not just the core people, the English, but the Scots, the Welsh, the Cornish, and the Ulster people. Then as the British Empire became world-spanning, containing people of all races, the very term British has become stretched to include all races who either were part of the old Commonwealth, and now to include anyone, virtually anyone, who has managed to get to Britain and establish himself there, by legal or illegal means. There are Moslems who claim to be ”British” and Hindus, Pakistanis, Chinese, Fijians, Caribbeans, Nepalese, the list could go on. The media obliges by describing even convicted foreign terrorists as ”British men” because they had a British address and spoke English.

Thus does a national identity become stripped of any real meaning. British means everything and thus nothing. However, were I to go to England, despite my English ancestry, I would forever be a Yank, and would have to jump through many hoops to establish residency there. I can document my ancestry for many generations and my family names are names known in England, but I have less claim there than any third-worlder.

Similarly in this country, anyone and everyone can be an ‘American’, and though that is wrong, it is still less wrong than in the case of England or any European country, because those countries were always monoracial states, and not “nations of immigrants” as America is now declared to be and to always have been.

Now the Confederate battle flag is under attack and it will someday have to be hidden if the owner doesn’t wish to be arrested and prosecuted for possessing a ”hate symbol” or some such odious nonsense. It may be the same with the St. George’s flag in England, because it’s clear that the English people are to be consigned to the memory hole, just as it’s hoped in this country that the Southron people will be sucked into the multicult blender and written out of history.

The Anglosphere countries are all under the same attack, and we must learn to make common cause with our Anglosphere cousins. This is not the time to bear silly grudges based on past (sometimes contrived) grievances.

Southrons, we should feel more sympathy with our English cousins because we are, like it or not, of the same stock for the most part, and because it’s not the Scots who are being made second-class citizens as Southrons here are; it’s the English. The Scots St. Andrew’s cross can still fly. The Scots have their own parliament. They are also, for the most part, devoted leftists who have a socialist ”national party’, while the English are the last somewhat conservative nationality in Britain. Personally, though most English have been taught to revere their ‘Union’ as Americans have been taught to worship our ‘Union’, I would like to see all the constituent nations go their own way. Let the Scots have their socialist multiculturalist nation, likewise the Welsh, and let the English go their way, and be free to reclaim their national symbols and heritage without condemnation from their multinational ‘countrymen.’

On Virginia colloquialisms

This article, from long-ago 1990, is about how the speech patterns and the folk-sayings and beliefs of Virginia reflect the English origins of the Virginia colony.

The writer of the article, Parke Rouse, uses as a reference a book called A Word-Book of Virginia Folk-Speech by Bennett Green, from 1899. I’ve perused the book, and it is to be found online, on Archive.org among other places. The book does make for fascinating reading. especially if you are interested in history, folklore, language and Southern culture.

From Rouse’s article:

Occasionally around Tidewater, you’re apt to hear an elderly native use remnants of Shakespeare’s English, the language spoken by Virginia’s early settlers. If he’s “right tired” or “mighty afraid,” or if he “reckons” he’ll go to church, he’s using some of the currency of Shakespeare (1564-1616) and of the King James Bible (1611).”

Certainly, if you are conversant with the King James Bible and with old-fashioned (now-dying) Southern American English, you recognize the influence of the former on the latter, or more correctly, you recognize that they derive from the same culture and the same people.

And of course it’s obvious to anyone who knows Southern culture that many of the same time-honored expressions and idioms are common across the South. I heard many of the sayings and folk-beliefs growing up in Texas.

Ben Green spent his happiest years in compiling a book he published in 1899, “A Word-Book of Virginia Folk-Speech.” It has recently been reprinted and is used in college language courses.

Green’s thesis is that most Virginians learned language by imitating their parents rather than by reading books. He went to England’s rural counties and made notes of similarities between the words, pronunciations and colloquialisms he found there with those used on the Peninsula in his day.

English speech patterns remained strong in Tidewater in the 19th century. For example, Green spoke of a Williamsburg contractor, Humphrey Harwood, as “Umphrey Harrod” and pronounced many names in Old English fashion – Warick for Warwick, Burl for Burwell, Randuff for Randolph and Tolliver for Taliaferro.

Many of the old-stock Southrons in the rest of the South are familiar with the same idioms and folk-beliefs as those cited by Green as being Virginian, via England. That’s because many of the current White populations of the other Southern states are descendants of Virginian colonists, as are just about all of my ancestors. From Virginia they went to several other Southern states (then colonies) and eventually to Texas. During my childhood there, I heard many of these linguistic carry-overs from my older relatives, along with folk-sayings such as ”the devil’s beating his wife”, said when sunshine and rain occur simultaneously. Some of my Northern acquaintances said they had never heard that expression.

Sadly the old-fashioned Southern dialect is dying out and few people seem to notice it. The younger generations have little to no discernible Southern accent, and the younger the speaker,  the more ‘neutral’ is their speech. Young people from coast to coast in this country seem to speak the same sort of youth-dialect, which sounds more ‘Yankee’ or specifically West Coast. That’s incredibly sad to me; I loved the way the older generations spoke, and I enjoyed their colorful metaphors and way of expressing themselves. In another generation or two there will be no Southern accent or idioms, no surviving Southern folklore or traditions — and consequently our connections to England, our mother country, will be further obscured.

Actually we would need to be very optimistic to even assume that English of any sort will continue to be spoken in North America unless things change very soon.

Thomas Nelson Page

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It appears Thomas Nelson Page didn’t adhere to the ”Celtic South” hypothesis which is all the rage now. He was of the old school which saw the South as primarily Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Norman.

On the off-chance that some who read this are not familiar with Page, he was a prominent writer in his time, though writing was not his sole pursuit in life. He was a descendant of the First Families of Virginia, a descendant of Colonel John Page, from whom I also claim descent. (Please try to take the Wikipedia page with a grain of salt, given the usual bias against the old South and the old families thereof.)

Does it make a difference whether one believes the current popular ideas of the South’s origins and ethnic makeup or the old ideas of Page’s time and earlier? Some might (and do) argue that there is more knowledge available about the South’s history and origins now; I would say that, being closer to the time in question, and not being bound by the politically correct shackles of our time, the old view is more likely correct. And, having family lines that have been traced back many generations, I know that my family lines (and by extension those of most old Virginia families) are strongly English.

What Page wrote in the poem above about the character of the ‘Saxon strain’ also makes a difference. If he believed that his or the ‘Saxon woman’ to whom he writes possessed those qualities by inheritance, this makes a difference to how he regarded her or himself.

The most important thing, however, when it comes to our ancestry, is the truth. We should have enough regard for Truth to seek out that truth, rather than jumping on a bandwagon of whatever story is popular these days.

The WASP, then and now

Recently, with the death of Antonin Scalia, there has been some discussion of the fact that there is only one Anglo-Saxon Protestant  on the Supreme Court. That this is the case shows how things have changed, given that this country was founded by Anglo-Saxon Protestant males. It should give the lie to the occasionally-made statement that there is some kind of ”WASP elite” controlling things. Such has not been the case for many years; we are only just noticing.

But still there is a vociferous minority of Internet commenters who insist that the WASP elite (sometimes said to be acting in collusion with Jews) is behind everything.

I can only say that if this were true, the country would not look as it does now. We need only compare “America” of 2016 with the America that was a generation or so ago.

Even reading this article, which was written just under two decades ago, in 1997, brings home how different things were then. The tone of the article, the relative frankness with which now-touchy subjects like ethnicity were discussed, remind us how political correctness and the hideous cant of our day have made us less able to freely speak or write about certain things.

The article is titled A Look Back at a Gentleman and His Ideals. The ‘gentleman’ of the title was Edward Digby Baltzell, who represented an era that is now gone and is in fact very alien to us, in our post-American America.

Baltzell, who grew up in the Northeast, was the quintessential ‘gentleman and scholar.’ He wrote a number of books, and coincidentally was credited (or blamed, depending on your point of view) with coining the very term ‘WASP’ in one of his books.

From the 1997 article linked above:

“For him, being a gentleman was not just about politeness, courtesy, good manners, and knowing which fork to use.

It was a word that encapsulated a whole constellation of character traits: honor, integrity, civility, self-control, modesty, dignity, sincerity and duty, to name a few. These were qualities once cultivated and evinced by the WASP leadership class in America, transmitted by breeding, ancestral rite and family example, reinforced at New England prep and boarding schools, displayed in sterling deeds on the playing field and the battlefield, and exercised in the corporate boardroom and in public and national service.

Being a gentleman was the essence of WASP majesty and the wellspring of WASP authority, Baltzell believed, and that authority, so crucial to a stable, civilized society, was a privilege and a responsibility, entailing the obligation to lead, to set (and live up to) high moral standards, to make a contribution to the common weal, and to live and work for something above and beyond money, material comfort and self-indulgence.

Baltzell practiced what he preached.”

Nowadays, it’s unthinkable, given the PC hierarchy of victimhood and oppressor, to speak favorably of the WASP elite, or even of ordinary everyday White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

“He revered WASP values, traditions and contributions, but Baltzell was contemptuous of the upper class for losing its self-confidence, abdicating its responsibility to lead, squandering its moral capital, and violating its Christian principles by indulging in anti-Semitism, racism and mindless snobbery. “They built a great civilization. They built this country,” he said. “But they aren’t doing it now.”

Unfortunately, as we can see in retrospect, Baltzell himself was falling prey to the very mindset that he is deploring in his statements about the Anglo-Saxon Protestant upper class losing self-confidence. I understand what motivated some of this kind of introspection (about ‘racism’, anti-Semitism, ‘snobbery’). It is the excessively ‘nice’ mentality where one hopes that being self-deprecating, trying to meet one’s critics or foes halfway to show generosity of spirit, noblesse oblige, and all that. People like Mr. Baltzell and his present-day counterparts are too short-sighted to realize the long-term consequences of trying to be a gentleman and concede ground in hopes of fending off further criticism, or winning the goodwill of one’s opponent or enemy. The enemy, unless he too is a real gentleman (and ours are not) see our attempt at meeting them halfway only as weakness and foolishness. And they are right. It was all well and good to indulge in that kind of behavior among one’s own kind, as with the WASP aristocracy. It works elsewhere if the opposition has scruples equal to yours and will not take unfair advantage. I wonder if Baltzell and his peers would realize that had they lived to see this day. Baltzell said

“A crisis in moral authority has developed in modern America,” he wrote in his 1964 book, The Protestant Establishment, “largely because of the White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant establishment’s unwillingness, or inability, to share and improve upper-class traditions by continuously absorbing talented and distinguished members of minority groups into its privileged ranks. . . . Any vital tradition, Biblical warnings to the contrary, requires the continuous pourings of new wine into old bottles.”

The gentlemen of Baltzell’s day and earlier were admirable in many ways but once they allowed the society which they established to be undermined — and by the very ”new wine” which Baltzell stated was essential — then the WASP as he was then was to be a dying breed. And as with American culture in general, it can only be perpetuated and carried on by White Americans. Not proposition nationalists, not diversity from the four corners of the globe. A culture and the people who embody it are interdependent; one cannot survive intact without the other.

And as the WASP goes, so goes America. Lots of people cheer the idea of the Anglo-Saxon Protestant Male being deposed from his position of power and influence. Just as so many others worldwide applaud the approaching minority status of Whites.