Tag Archives: WASPs

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?




‘Don’t say you are English’

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

(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.




Robert Knox on Anglo-Americans_Races of Man1850

The above is from a book by Robert Knox, Races of Man, from 1850. The ‘Mr. Cooper’ referred to by Knox is author James Fenimore Cooper.

It’s interesting that as of 1850, Knox says that the English who had recently immigrated to America had forgotten their country and race.

On a blog thread I was reading earlier, one commenter said that for English-descended Americans to claim special status as the original colonists was ‘pedantic’; that these days no one cares about that. Sadly it does seem to be true that most people don’t care, even those who have considerable English ancestry. Obviously the people with anti-English sentiments ”care” a lot, or there would not be so much animosity aroused by any mention of the English roots of this country or of the presence of English-Americans.

If any kind of consciousness of our English roots, as individuals or as a nation, is ‘pedantic’ then I suppose this blog is ‘pedantry’,  and of no interest to any but a handful who haven’t ”forgotten”. Time will tell; if that critic is right, then this blog will languish and nothing will be accomplished by it.

However if it’s true, as some have said, that the original colonists are irrelevant, because their few descendants are far outnumbered by German-Americans, Irish-Americans, etc., then the potential Hispanic majority  of the future (the ‘Reconquista’ crowd) can just as fairly say, in another generation or so, that the old European-American majority was irrelevant and ‘no one cares‘ anymore, because they will have been replaced or outnumbered.

It’s fine to cheer on the ‘forgetting’ of the old English America, but wait until the later immigrant descendants are those ‘forgetting’ and being forgotten. What goes around…

Not a matter of blood?

From a thread on an HBD blog:

There have been no genetic Anglo-Saxons for 1000 years. The term is gibberish invoked to express some social and political attitudes.

A useful genetic marker is R1a haplotype on the Y chromosome. This started out south of the Urals and spread east (Uighurs), south to the subcontinent (high fives Razib) and west across Northern Europe and Scandinavia. It entered Albion with the Anglo-Saxon invasion and Scotland and the coasts via Scandinavia. Before those invasions, the population was almost all R1b (original hunter-gatherers plus Celts entering in first millenium BCE). R1a is about 10% of the present population, so even if it was 50% of the Germanic tribes, the gene pool is only 20% “Anglo-Saxon”.

Unfortunately, the content of most of the comments on the thread is similar to the ideas expressed in the above.

It seems terribly important to some people, many people, to deny that Anglo-Saxon or English people exist, even in England or Britain as a whole. Why is that?

The blogger himself denies that Anglo-Saxon identity is a matter of blood.  In support of his belief, he mentions the National Geographic article which I linked to here, and which Patrick Cleburne at VDare linked, and says the information isn’t valid, supposedly being outdated. Supposedly more recent information refutes the content of the article. However there certainly have been other sources which cited that study and added their own information to it. Given the amount of disagreement here, we might get the impression that genetics isn’t a ‘hard science’ at all.

I have seen genetic maps that show that the peoples of the British Isles have more in common with each other than with continental ‘cousins.’ The blogger asserts that Anglo-Saxons and Germans are more closely related than is now believed, though the maps I’ve seen don’t show that to be the case. From a purely subjective point of view, I’ve never thought that English and Germans resemble each other that much. I’ve never mistaken one for the other just by their outward appearance. Having learned something of German and French, I found French easier to learn; the structure and syntax of German are radically different and some German words are not easy to guess as with unfamiliar French words. And yes, I know that is the legacy of the Normans, in part.

The one part of the linked blog piece that I agree with is this:

The number of people who identify as English has crashed since 1980. Why? The winds of cultural change. If you are of German and English heritage, you will usually say you are German American. If Irish and English, again, Irish (not to mention “Americans” who are actually English).”

Yes. I’ve said this as have others, and it’s true. Those who say ‘Germans are the majority White ethnic group in America’ are disingenuous as surely they know that the  ‘pie’ is divided amongst so many White ethnic groups in America that the Germans  will appear to be the most numerous. For that reason, and for the reason that people tend to pick the more recent immigrant group as their ethnicity, if they are a European mix, Germans may appear to be at the top, but if the truth were known it might look very different. Most Americans have not been DNA-tested, and many, like Elizabeth Warren, believe fairy tales about their ancestry because it’s in style to do so.

As for England being multicultural for centuries, having taken in immigrants from various European and later, non-European nations, we could make the same argument about many European countries. The Netherlands, for example, took in many French Huguenots, Sephardic Jews (Baruch Spinoza being one), some English Puritans, and Flemish people. In recent times, many ethnic Dutch whose ancestors had lived in the Dutch East Indies were ‘repatriated’ to Holland — bringing many mixed descendants (called ‘Indos’) back with them. The Dutch, unlike the English, were more willing to intermarry with the native people in their colonies. So can we say there is ‘no Dutch bloodline’, or that Dutch people are just a mixed multitude? I would not say that.

In our day politics and social change have damaged the objectivity of many ‘scientists’ and even more so, non-scientists.

Are we Americans two peoples?

Some people on the right say Americans were divided into at least two peoples from the start, and the usual version of this meme is that the Puritans of New England and the Cavalier colonists of Virginia constituted two different peoples.  Is it cultural or genetic, nature or nurture — or both — if it’s true at all?

What is the origin, I wonder, of the idea that somehow the old Puritans of New England passed on their attitudes to the present-day generations? In reading comments online of those who believe that today’s New England people are direct physical descendants of the Puritans, I get the impression that they believe genetics are to blame for the liberal attitudes of White people from New England or other areas like the Northwestern states.

Assuming that the people who now live in New England are mostly descendants of the original colonists of that region then some Southern partisans apparently assume today’s New Englanders must have acquired their political and social attitudes by DNA. I don’t know that such genetic transmissions are possible, though I certainly believe genetics plays a big part in who we are and how we think. Early environment and education plus life-experience as we grow older also play a part, though maybe less than the ‘nurture’ advocates think. We aren’t blank slates.

Nevertheless I think it’s far from proven that we inherit our political proclivities. It could be argued that political labels merely describe certain temperaments, traits which are to some extent innate in us. I believe there is such a thing as a ‘conservative temperament.’ Some people, it seems, are risk-takers and gamblers and thrill seekers while some are averse to courting danger and adopting change for its own sake.

I’ve argued, based on the ethnic makeup of New England today (which is in flux now, more so than ever, with mass immigration) that the Puritans have not left much of a genetic or cultural imprint on that region, with the exception of more rural areas. Even those areas are not immune to ‘diversity’, as the little hamlet in Maine where a good many of my ancestors lived has now got Hindus and Jewish residents fleeing from the urban areas of New England. Somalis have also settled in the town which my Houlton forebears settled.

So, will these people acquire, by osmosis or by ‘magic dirt’, the supposed Puritan ethos that haunts that area?

Some people attribute the multiculturalist/miscegenist attitudes of ‘SJWs’  to the Puritan brand of Protestantism, but this seems implausible. The critics of Christianity say that Christianity is, per se, ‘universalist’, meaning in the Christian context, that all will be ‘saved.’ Puritanism is Calvinistic, and Calvin is reviled by the liberal Christians today for the reason (among others) that Calvinism is exclusivist, preaching predestination, the idea that some are destined to be saved, others, not.

Christianity, contrary to what its critics on the right say, had no problem being ‘discriminatory’ in the past. Southern Americans were traditionally very Christian and yet they were not, until the last couple of decades, ”colorblind”, neither were they Zionist. If the Puritan-descended New England people of the 19th century were radical egalitarians and abolitionists — which some were, but hardly all — it is more likely due to the Jacobin influence that was abroad in Europe; the intelligentsia of New England, were, like virtually all such people, very taken with foreign ideas; there was the popular idea that Europe was much more cultured than the uneducated country cousins here in America.

Emerson and the ‘Transcendentalists’ were in some ways typical intellectual dilettantes, given to fads and to posturing. Another major influence amongst that type was ‘Eastern mysticism’, following various Hindu ‘holy men’ and sages, many of whom traipsed around America and Europe doling out their ‘wisdom’ to status-seeking intellectuals.

But the idea that genetics somehow predisposed certain people (Puritan descendants, for example, or by extension, Northeasterners) to certain radical egalitarian beliefs will continue to be repeated and unthinkingly accepted. Why? Because certain people have an interest in dividing White Americans in every possible way: by sex/’gender’, by religion, by social class and by region. Convincing people that political views are acquired either by being born in a certain place or through their distant ancestors is one way to make people see any differences as determined, and fixed permanently.

And maybe dividing this country into smaller nations is the best possible solution, but doing so on the basis of a false belief about our being ‘different peoples’ is not a good start. As for those who are using our present crisis as an excuse to bash Christianity as the source of all our troubles, it’s intellectually dishonest to refuse to consider the influence of European radical egalitarianism (championed by atheists and agnostics) as well as the considerable influence of ‘Eastern mysticism’ amongst many 19th century American intellectuals.


More on American identity

The recent article by Eunjung Han in Nature on the subject of American ethnic identity continues to generate discussion here and there on the Internet. I don’t think the article will end the little controversies surrounding the question, however, because mere facts don’t always settle political/ethnic disagreements these days.

This piece at the Assistant Village Idiot blog points out some things that verify what I’ve believed and asserted. The writer tends to agree with both David Hackett Fischer’s and Colin Woodward’s assertions though as I’ve stated, I don’t hold those works as Holy Writ as some readers do. For instance the belief that broadly speaking the Northern colonies in early America represented distinct ethnicities in contrast to the Southern colonies. That’s an oversimplification, I know, but it is interpreted much that way by some who find it politically expedient to claim that the North and South represented disparate and incompatible peoples — both originally from Britain but irreconcilably different. There are also those who, following Fischer and/or Woodward, insist that the ‘Cavalier class’ in the South or the ‘Planter’ class represented a different people than Appalachia, or the Tidewater area, or the Midlands South, etc.

I think the differences, insofar as they exist or did exist are exaggerated, especially as they were scarcely mentioned as existing in earlier histories and commentaries from the literate classes in the pre-War South. They seem to have been discovered and emphasized only in recent times.

From the linked blog piece:

“Some things to note: Woodard’s Tidewater culture is not visibly distinct here, and the further distinctions of  Upland South, Midlands, and Greater Appalachia are visible, but not quite the same as any of the three authors have claimed.”

That much, at least, indicates at least a tiny chink  in the armor, but those partisans who see Fischer’s and Woodward’s works  as gospel won’t concur.

Another point of mine is that the ‘New England Yankee’ stock long ago migrated West en masse, though some did stay behind in isolated areas, and many ‘Yankees’  settled the Western mountain states, notably Utah, where many Mormon converts went in the 19th century. I know this in part because it’s documented in a couple of history books, but also from my own family genealogy researches.

Incidentally once settled in that area most of these emigrants held to conservative politics — except lately as they have become newish converts to multiculturalism and open borders universalism. The popular belief among many pro-South people is that the New England Yankees still hold sway in their original Northeastern stronghold, or that they mysteriously control the whole system, though I’ve repeatedly offered evidence that this is not so; New England is multicultural and the towns founded by my ancestors are mostly populated by upper-middle-class ethnic refugees from New York City, Boston and other urban towers of Babel. Most of my New England cousins, however, are probably in Utah or the Far West and they are hardly ruling America.

The blogger in the linked piece says this:

“That Utah was ultimately settled by people who were Yankees rather than one of the other American coastal nations has been noted before – first by their own extensive genealogies. Joseph Smith was a northeastern Yankee. Make of that what you will.”

Yes, there are stubborn misconceptions about the various branches of ‘Albion’s Seed’ and their interrelationships. Why are these canards still rife, and growing more stubborn, given the data that is available?

I don’t know the full answer; it seems America is becoming more balkanized ethnically, and I know that it doesn’t benefit us in this time of crisis for the house to be divided against itself. We rubbed along for a good while without these new internecine squabbles. Those of us who are of British Isles ancestry should be able to make common cause without exacerbating existing divisions or inventing new ones in the name of ethnic pride or revanchism.

Do I advocate for a particularistic cause myself?  Certainly I would like to see the English people, who are after all the core people of Britain regain a sense of identity that has been lost, suppressed by the globalist leaders of the UK. I’d like to see a resurgence of a healthy, non-divisive sense of pride in English achievements, rather than the English subsumed in the umbrella identity ‘British’. After all, can’t the Welsh be both British and claim their particularistic identity as Welsh? Don’t the Scottish claim their identity, and the Cornish? Why not the English?

‘British’ is a civic more than an ethnic category. Every immigrant in the UK claims to be ‘British.’

Regarding ethnic identity in America, the lines have been blurred even more, though the South retained more ethnic integrity until fairly recently because fewer immigrants settled in the South historically.

English colonial-stock Americans have more in common ethnically and culturally than today’s partisans want to admit.

People on the right often complain (justly) that those on the left are impervious to facts and that facts and data are immaterial to the leftist ideologues. There are such on the right as well. Too many postmoderns on both sides ignore facts in favor of ideology or politics.



Anglo-Saxonism in Texas history

On the Occidental Dissent blog, I came across this excerpt from a book called Race and Manifest Destiny, by Reginald Horsman:

 “The Texas Revolution was from its beginnings interpreted in the United States and among Americans in Texas as a racial clash, not simply a revolt against unjust government or tyranny. Thomas Hart Benton said that the Texas revolt “has illustrated the Anglo-Saxon character, and given it new titles to the respect and admiration of the world. It shows that liberty, justice, valour – moral, physical, and intellectual power – discriminate that race wherever it goes.” Benton asked “old England” to rejoice that distant Texas streams had seen the exploits of “a people sprung from their loins, and carrying their language, laws and customs, their magna charta [sic]and all its glorious privileges, into new regions and far distant climes.”

In his two terms as president of Texas, Sam Houston consistently thought of the struggle in his region as one between a glorious Anglo-Saxon race and an inferior Mexican rabble. Victory for the Texans and the Americans in the Southwest would mean that large areas of the world were to be brought under the rule of a race that could make best use of them. Houston was less imbued with the harsh scientific racial theories that carried most Americans before them in the 1840s than with the romantic exaltation of the Saxons given by Sir Walter Scott and his followers.

Houston’s inaugural address in 1836 contrasted the harsh, uncivilized warfare of the Mexicans with the more human conduct of the Texans. He conjured up a vision of the civilized world proudly contemplating “conduct which reflected so much glory on the Anglo-Saxon race.” The idea of the Anglo-Saxons as the living embodiment of the chivalric ideal always fascinated Houston; the Mexicans were “the base invader” fleeing from “Anglo-Saxon chivalry.” In fighting Mexico the Texans were struggling to disarm tyranny, to overthrow oppression, and create representative government: “With these principles we will march across the Rio Grande, and … ere the banner of Mexico shall triumphantly float upon the banks of the Sabine, the Texian standard of the single star, borne by the Anglo-Saxon race, shall display its bright folds in Liberty’s triumph, on the isthmus of Darien.”

While conceiving of the Texas Revolution as that of a freedom-loving Anglo-Saxon race rising up to throw off the bonds of tyranny imposed by a foreign despot, Houston was also fully convinced of the inevitability of the general American Anglo-Saxon expansion. To him “the genius as well as the excitability” of the American people impelled them to war. “Their love of dominion,” he said, “and the extension of their territorial limits, also, is equal to that of Rome in the last ages of the Commonwealth and the first of the Caesars.” The people of the United States, he argued, were convinced that the North American continent had been bestowed on them, and if necessary they would take it by force. He told one correspondent in 1844 that there was no need to be concerned about the population said to occupy the vast area from the 29th to the 46th latitude on the Pacific: “They will, like the Indian race yield to the advance of the North American population …”

I haven’t read the book; it isn’t available for reading online, apparently, but I get the impression that Horsman believes that the growing racial consciousness amongst Anglo-Saxonist Americans was not a good or valid thing.

For liberals and blank-slate egalitarians, of course it is a bad thing in their minds, because in their absolutist dogma, everyone is basically the same, ‘diversity’ notwithstanding, and everyone does have — must have — equal potential in every area of life. Any idea that conflicts with this dogma is “malevolent”, as this reviewer of the book says.

The writer of this summary of Horsman’s book seems to share that opinion.

Horsman portrays the growth of a racial ideology in terms of justifying the expansion of the United States and its tremendous exploitation and suffering it cased other people.”

Evidently Horsman is another blank-slate egalitarian rather than an objective scholar.

Those biased views notwithstanding,  my point in posting the excerpt is to illustrate the fact that yes, Anglo-Saxon-descended settlers were the predominant group in Texas in the early days of the American colonies there, as in the rest of the South with some rare exceptions. And if I belabor this point, it’s because conflicting ideas have become more popular, so that the plain facts are being denied. Truth matters. There is no valid reason for the continual re-writing of history with the aim of diminishing or outright denying the role played by Anglo-Saxon settlers.