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?

 

 

 

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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

‘Mixed’ ethnic makeup of Britain

The above phrase is from an Ancestry.com press release, here.

Needless to say, a grain of salt is necessary here, because from what I’ve observed, Ancestry.com seems to be grinding a multicultural ax, always stressing how ‘weare this or that. I haven’t seen their TV series called ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ but from what people who have seen it tell me, and from this description, it seems the usual PC dogma on ethnicity and race is promoted.

I did find this part of the press release interesting:

“…[T]he average UK resident is 36.94% British (Anglo Saxon), 21.59% Irish (Celtic) and 19.91% Western European (the region covered today by France and Germany).

Following these top three regional ethnicities in the average UK resident are Scandinavia (9.20%), the Iberian Peninsula (Spain/Portugal) (3.05%), and Italy and Greece (1.98%)”

Actually several family members have had their DNA testing done, and similar results showed up on their reports, as well as mine. We have no recent Scandinavian ancestry, though we know of one Norwegian ancestor who came to New Amsterdam in the 17th century. So the Scandinavian must be via Britain in much earlier times, especially as it shows up on the ”average” UK resident. We also likewise had small percentages of Iberian Peninsula and Italy/Greece, though any such ancestry must have been quite distant. (Most of our family lines are accounted for in recent centuries.)

Still, I’m not sure what the rate of error is in DNA testing as it exists today. What I do know of family history does line up, for the most part, with family records and ‘word-of-mouth’, what older generations passed down to us.

The Germans and the English: closely related?

The common wisdom is that the English (or more broadly speaking, the British) are very closely related, genetically as well as linguistically.  EvolutionistX examines the relationships amongst the various European ethnicities, with some interesting findings. In response to a question he compares German and Polish genetics, specifically, and then compares the various European peoples.

“Obviously German is here referring to one of the Germanic peoples who occupy the modern nation of Germany and speak a Germanic language. But as noted before, just because people speak a common language doesn’t necessarily mean they have a common genetic origin. Germans and English both speak Germanic languages , but Germans could easily share more DNA with their Slavic-language speaking neighbors in Poland than with the English.

According to Wikipedia, the modern Germanic peoples include Afrikaners, Austrians, Danes, Dutch, English, Flemish, Frisians, Germans, Icelanders, Lowland Scots, Norwegians, and Swedes.”

I’m no scholar on the subject of HBD, though I have a curiosity about it and an interest in it. But I admit I was surprised to read the last sentence in that first paragraph above — the statement that Germans might have closer genetic ties with the Polish people than with the English. This is because, just as I said, the popular belief is that the English and the Germans are very close cousins. I suppose we all tend to take that for granted, having heard it so often.

In discussions of history and politics on right-wing blogs, many people bitterly condemn the two world wars involving the English and the Germans, on the grounds that ‘it was cousin against cousin‘ or sometimes ‘brother against brother‘, with the implication that the two peoples should never have fought each other.

However history shows us that oftentimes more closely-related peoples are at odds with each other, rather than allies and good neighbors.

There’s a great deal more information in the article about the various European peoples, including some useful genetic maps. Of one of the maps, EvolutionistX says:

“Note, though, that this map has some amusing results; clearly it’s a more Nordic distribution than specifically German, with “Celtic” Ireland just as Nordic as much of England and Germany.”

That last point, about ‘Celtic’ Ireland being just as Nordic as much of England and Germany, is also counter to the popular beliefs, especially those of Americans of Scots or Irish descent, who remain adamant that their ancestors were Celts, not Nordic or Germanic. So much of the inter-group squabbling and grievance-nursing could be eliminated if only ethnic partisans would accept this information as true. Unfortunately people will often believe what they choose to believe and reject any information that challenges their belief system. Politics too often colors people’s openness to new information.

“In 2003 a paper was published by Christian Capelli and colleagues which supported, but modified, the conclusions of Weale and colleagues.[14] This paper, which sampled Great Britain and Ireland on a grid, found a smaller difference between Welsh and English samples, with a gradual decrease in Haplogroup I frequency moving westwards in southern Great Britain. The results suggested to the authors that Norwegian Vikings invaders had heavily influenced the northern area of the British Isles, but that both English and mainland Scottish samples all have German/Danish influence.”

Maybe, as I think I mentioned in an earlier post on this subject, there is a closer kinship amongst the various peoples of the British Isles than between the supposedly close kindred, the English and the Germans. And that seems only common sense, to me.

Is it just my perception, or have intra-European grudges and animosities increased somewhat in the last few decades? In the face of the common threat to all the European peoples, these kinds of rivalries and grievances should diminish. At the same time, though, I don’t think any kind of amalgamation of the various peoples should be the goal; each people is unique; all have their strengths and their weaknesses. Europeans are not all the same. And good fences make good neighbors.

Alliances, yes, but no forced unions, whether EU-style or other such pan-European schemes.

 

 

 

 

English dialect words in Virginia

As I’ve said, the English language in all its various dialects interests me, especially as it illustrates that aspect of our heritage from England. Yesterday I posted an excerpt from a book called The Word-Book of Virginia Folk-Speech, from 1899.

Here, the writer lists some examples of Wiltshire and Cornwall dialect words found in use in Virginia.

Wiltshire words in Virginia speech_wordbookofvirgin00gree_0013

Anyone familiar with the various Southern American dialects of English, (at least as they existed before all the demographic and cultural changes that have swept over the South) will recognize many of these usages. I can pick out several of them in the above excerpt. For instance, the word ‘yellow’ pronounced as ‘yalla.’ Granted, it was mostly rural and older folk who retained this into our era, but my grandparents and their generation spoke that way. Likewise, the pronunciation of the word ‘seven’ as something like ‘seb’m‘. It can’t have been uncommon in England, as I’ve heard it from older speakers in the UK, and they were educated speakers, by the way. Same with the word ‘eleven’ as ‘eleb’m‘, roughly.

Why do I bring up these quirks? I think it’s important to point them out, not just for curiosity’s sake, but because far too many Southron people have been persuaded that everything about the Southern American dialects represents ‘ignorance’ on the part of Southron folk. Many of these old expressions and pronunciations were not ‘ignorant’ or the result of a lack of education; they were simply hold-overs from the dialect(s) our ancestors spoke when they arrived from England 400+ years ago. Some of those usages have long since died out in the UK, as language change does happen, but that does not mean that the older usages that survived here were in error. They were simply archaic, from the viewpoint of our cousins back  in the mother country.

In the quote above, another odd pronunciation in Virginia (and in my Texas childhood) was the word ‘rinse’ pronounced as ‘rench.’ My mother, being from the North, disdained this kind of ‘mispronunciation,’ seeing it as backward. Sadly many Northern people believe that the Southron dialect is a sign of low intelligence. Maybe if such people recognized that the different usages are simply ‘old-fashioned’ usages, or dialect variances, they might not be so disdainful.

The second paragraph in the quote mentions the habit of dropping the final ‘g’ in words ending in ‘-ing’. In my experience this is not a Southernism but is widespread across the United States and Canada. It’s also heard on the other side of the Atlantic.  (I remember the carping American media raking Sarah Palin over the coals for “dropping her ‘g’s”, as if a large proportion of Americans don’t do the same thing, regardless of regional origin or level of education. Funny how snobbish the self-important ‘journalistic’ classes can be.)

Books have been written about the Southern American dialect, or dialects. I can’t do the subject justice here, but I will return to it at times. It’s important for us to know that so much of what we take for granted about our culture, including our language, did not originate here. It is part of our ‘old inheritance’, and knowing these things should enhance our sense of identity, and remind us of our origins in Britain.