Monthly Archives: April 2017

Teddy Roosevelt’s view of America’s founding stock

Carleton Putnam, in his book Race and Reality, quotes Teddy Roosevelt on America’s founding stock.

“[O]n the New England Coast the English blood was as pure as in any part of Britain; in New York and New Jersey it was mixed with that of the Dutch settlers—and the Dutch are by race nearer to the true old English of Alfred and Harold than are, for example, the thoroughly Anglicized Welsh of Cornwall. Otherwise, the infusion of new blood into the English race [more accurately, English amalgam] on this side of the Atlantic has been chiefly from three sources—German, Irish, and Norse; and these three sources represent the elemental parts of the composite English stock in about the same proportions in which they were originally combined—mainly Teutonic, largely Celtic, and with a Scandinavian admixture. The descendant of the German becomes as much an Anglo-American as the descendant of the Strathclyde Celt has already become an Anglo-Briton . . . It must always be kept in mind that the Americans and the British are two substantially similar branches of the great English race, which both before and after their separation have assimilated, and made Englishmen of many other peoples. . .

I agree with much of what Roosevelt says above, but the last sentence is something I have reservations about. I’ve bolded the pertinent part.  Obviously Roosevelt was more of a ‘civic nationalist’ and judging by what he says about the Americans and British ‘making Englishmen of many other  peoples‘ he believed in the melting pot, and in the limitless possibility of assimilating many disparate peoples. He may just have been using a little hyperbole when he says many other peoples were ‘made Englishmen‘ by assimilation. But whether or not he meant that phrase metaphorically, it’s been treated as truth by many people in the years since those words were written.

Oftentimes the civic nationalists in both the United States and in Britain have expressed the belief that if only, say, Moslems ‘assimilated’, learned good English, and ‘moderated’ their religious beliefs and cultures, they will be full members of their host countries. Is everyone assimilable, given the right instructions in how to be a ‘good citizen’ of America or of any Western country? It’s an article of faith in the religion that is civic nationalism, but there seems to be little evidence that it’s true.

One more thing I noticed about the quote from Roosevelt about what makes an ‘Anglo-American’: it seems that his views have become widely accepted in America now; everybody who is of northwestern European stock and who speaks English as their native language is now, for a lot of people, an ‘Anglo’ or ‘Anglo-American.’ Well, that’s very inclusive and all, but doesn’t that deprive those who are actually of English or British descent of their ethnic identity?

 

 

 

William Tyndale and his views on nation

From the Faith and Heritage blog, Adi writes of William Tyndale and his view on the English nation.

“Tyndale was also a nationalistic Englishman, having great love for his kin and country. When martyred, even though it took place in continental Europe, his final prayer was not for the world (or even Europe) to be saved, but instead he prayed for the repentance of his own people: “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”

Today when the average Christian is taught to believe that nation and race are irrelevant to Christians, Tyndale’s ideas on the importance of nation and people could be seen as incongruous, when in fact they were probably not so unusual for his time.

Read the rest at Faith and Heritage.

The legacy of our forebears

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This quote from Peter Hitchens resonated with me. I’ve contemplated those great cathedrals and thought of the skill and art that went into conceiving and constructing them. It should impress us with what our forbears were capable of. Where are the modern equivalents? The very fact that these buildings took generations to build and that they were ‘built for the ages’ impresses me with the builders’ belief in something transcendent and eternal; they saw their  place in this unbroken chain of folk and faith.

‘The Last of England’

Madox Brown - The Last of England_sm

The painting above is by English artist Ford Madox Brown, (b. 1821). Painted in 1855, and titled ‘The Last of England,’ it depicts an English emigrant couple as they leave their homeland. This could represent many of the English who left their country to come to America, though in fact it is based on friends of the artist who left in 1855 for Australia.

I like Madox Brown’s work; this painting is a favorite of mine, and not just because of the ‘story’ it depicts — the obviously sad couple departing England for an unfamiliar new home across the sea — but because it vividly portrays the emotions of the young couple as they leave.

Most of our English forebears left their homeland because they felt compelled to — they lacked freedom to worship, and were escaping persecution, or they lacked economic opportunity, as with many of the ‘second sons’ of the gentry who emigrated to the colonies. My Virginia ancestors fell into the latter category.

Whichever reason compelled many of the emigrants to leave, I am sure they didn’t leave with the intent of forgetting their homeland or their origins and heritage. I am sure they would want us, their descendants, to honor that as well.

Is Theresa May out to stop Brexit?

At Patriactionary, a good piece on the question of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s motives in calling the upcoming early election. Is she attempting to stop Brexit from being finally implemented? The ensuing comments on the blog piece are worth reading too; it seems that the majority are at least skeptical of May’s motives, while a commenter or two disagree, thinking her motives are benign or neutral at least.

Granted, I’m an observer from afar, and I don’t claim to be fully up-to-speed on the British political scene; I believe few outsiders can see things through the eyes of those who are born and bred there, and it’s a little presumptuous for an outsider to try to form real convictions. However I do try to be somewhat informed, and I do have a sort of gut-level sense about May. I just simply distrust her based on what I’ve seen, as I’ve indicated here on this blog. (In fact I was told in a comment that I was too hard on women, or on women leaders. Maybe so, but some of the commenters at Patriactionary expressed similar ideas.)

I have certainly heard and seen comments from pro-Brexit people who live in Britain, or who are British expats, that they are suspicious of her reasons for calling this election. Like some of those skeptics, I believe May, like virtually all Western political figures, is simply a ‘hireling’ of the globalist powers-that-be, and of course TPTB plainly do not want Brexit to be implemented. However I’m not prepared to say that the Brexit vote will be overturned; I don’t see that as being a certainty — or at least I hope it is not. I hope that the pro-Brexit voters are determined enough to turn out in great numbers to ensure that the ‘Remainers’ don’t have their way. Of course the real cynic would say that elections are generally rigged in favor of the globalist status quo, and that votes don’t matter. But to take that for granted is to ensure that the ‘elites’ always win.

The Patriactionary piece ends thus:

“Time will tell, perhaps, whether May is betraying the British people the way Trump has betrayed reactionaries.”

The optimist or the true believer in Trump would say that he hasn’t betrayed reactionaries (or the ‘alt-right’, or his base) though some of us see it otherwise; the ‘will to believe’ is very strong with some people and they will often go through some very complicated rationalizations to be able to maintain their belief in a leader. That often has bad consequences when the object of the believer’s faith proves to have deceived them. However I don’t think that Theresa May, unlike Trump, has such a devoted group of followers who trust her blindly. A little healthy skepticism is called for.

‘Don’t say you are English’

The following appears on this website, credited as shown below, apparently anonymously written.

JUST DON’T SAY YOU’RE ENGLISH
(Found beside company photocopier)

Goodbye to my England – So long my old friend
Your days are now numbered, being brought to an end
To be Scottish, Irish or Welsh, that’s just fine
But don’t say you’re English, that’s way out of line.

The French and the Germans may call themselves such,
As may Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch,
You can say you are Russian, or maybe a Dane.
But don’t say you’re English, ever again

At Broadcasting House that word is taboo
In Brussels they’ve scrapped it, in Parliament too,
Even schools are affected, staff do as they’re told,
They mustn’t teach children about the England of old

Writers like Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw
Do the pupils not learn about them anymore?
How about Agincourt, Hastings, Arnhem or Mons
When England lost hosts of her very brave sons?

We are not Europeans how can we be?
Europe is miles away, over the sea,
We’re the English from England, let’s all be proud-
Stand up and be counted –  shout it out loud!

Let’s tell our government – and Brussels too –
We’re proud of our heritage and the Red, White and Blue.
Fly the flag of St. George or the Union Jack.
Let the world know – WE WANT OUR ENGLAND BACK!

I have also found this poem somewhere else, credited to Terry Ogelthorpe. Whether the writer is anonymous or Terry Ogelthorpe,  it seems to represent a very real sentiment. We don’t hear or read much about English nationalism on this side of the Atlantic, so apparently the  unspoken rule against identifying as English has been pretty effective. In some cases it’s just ingrained habit, maybe, with most people accepting the common practice of using ‘Britain’ or ‘British’ interchangeably with ‘England’ and ‘English.’ But the terms are not the same, are they.

Here in the United States we have something of this ‘don’t say you are English’ habit, and a similar carelessness with using the terms ‘British’ and ‘English’. But for many Americans of English descent, we’ve got used to thinking of ourselves as ‘just Americans’, or identifying with our regional origin, as Southern people have traditionally done. Yet once upon a time many Southrons, if not most, explicitly spoke of their Anglo-Saxon origins.

Obviously, though, on both sides of the Atlantic, it just isn’t “in” or it simply isn’t “done” to openly say we are of English origin. And that’s more than a shame.

 

 

Dixon on ‘cosmopolitanism’

“I am in a sense narrow and provincial, I love mine own people. Their past is mine, their present mine, their future is a divine trust. I hate the dishwater of modern world citizenship. A shallow cosmopolitanism is the mask of death for the individual. It is the froth of civilization, as crime is it dregs. The true citizen of the world loves his country.”Thomas Dixon