‘British American identity’ — an urgent cause?

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Amen to the above comment.

I think this is along the same lines as my main message here. Too few Americans of English or British descent are willing to identify as such, and the common terms to describe this group (‘WASPs,’ or ‘Anglos’, for example) are used in such varied ways that the names seem to have different definitions depending on who is using them.

For some people, for example here, the term ‘WASP’ is applied more broadly, seeming to include anyone of Northern/Western European ancestry and Protestant origins. I’ve seen or heard the term used in this way here and there. My problem with it is that in applying it to include people not of English or British (Anglo-Saxon) origin, it leaves that specific group of peoples (those of British Isles origin) without their own distinctive identifier.

The way it is used in the blog piece linked in the previous paragraph also would include some ethnicities who often show animus towards actual people of Anglo-Saxon or English/British descent. This includes not only many German-Americans, some of whom still bear grudges over past grievances but also Scottish people, for example, a certain number of whom will emphatically tell us that they are not British but Scots, and most definitely not English.

Having a definite name which is unique to people of English or Anglo-Saxon descent would certainly be a good start in addressing the ‘identity crisis’ that faces us. The constant confusion regarding the real distinction between ‘British’ and ‘English’ has already clouded things, even for those who live in the UK.

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2 thoughts on “‘British American identity’ — an urgent cause?

  1. Thank you for reading. Let me give a little more detail on my concept of WASP:

    (1) The old Southern meaning equates to essentially “Western European.” That includes knowledge of the German origins of the Anglos and Saxons, and so includes all Nordic-Germanic peoples.

    (2) The old East Coast meaning. When I go to cemeteries which have listings of pre-1800 East Coast names, they are all English, German, Scots and Dutch with a smattering of Scandinavian. Whether these people migrated first to England, and then to the US, I do not know.

    The point of “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” seems to me to emphasize the people from Western Europe, which is where “white” and “Protestant” modify each other (might insert something here about the Hajnal line). and Anglo-Saxon refers to the linguistic tradition that unites them in the new world. Joining the WASP order here was never hard: adopt the English-derived culture, look and act Western European, and advance WASP interests.

    This is my experience at least. I agree with what I can discern of the thesis of this blog, which is that America should re-adopt its British identity. We were always healthy when we had that to unite us, because Britain is both distinctive and based on the areas where Western European cultures overlap. Cheers.

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