Friday, 2 February 2018

When the USA was Anglo-Saxon

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King George III, granting his first audience to the first US Minister Plenipotentary (Ambassador) John Adams, sweetly said:

I pray, Mr Adams, that the United States does not suffer unduly from its want of a monarchy.
Of course it did and does but the Loyalists who saw that had been driven out in a horrible manner.

The future President Adams, replying, declared:


I shall esteem myself the happiest of Men, if I can be instrumental in recommending my Country, more and more to your Majesty's Royal Benevolence and of restoring an entire esteem, confidence and affection, or in better Words, "the old good Nature and the old good Humour" between People who, tho separated by an ocean and under different Governments, have the same Language, a similar Religion and kindred Blood.

Kindred blood. An interesting reminder that the USA began as an ethnic state, as far as the white Americans were concerned. The Indians and slaves were, of course, not counted.


When did the USA cease to be essentially Anglo-Saxon? By 1918 certainly. President Woodrow Wilson said at a banquet at Buckingham Palace on December 27, 1918,


‘You must not speak of us who come over here as cousins, still less as brothers; we are neither. Neither must you think of us as Anglo-Saxons, for that term can no longer be rightly applied to the people of the US. Nor must too much importance in this connection be attached to the fact that English is our common language… no, there are only two things which can establish and maintain closer relations between your country and mine: they are community of ideals and interests.’
Does this mean that the USA by Wilson's time had become a proposition nation? He did not thinks so when it came to blacks, but introduced segregation into Washington DC. 

Is America a proposition nation now?

I wrote about this here.


G.K. Chesterton said in 1921 'America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed.'

The US's House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, thinks so. He told interns in Congress this week that 'America is the only nation founded on an idea not on an identity'.

But is that right? Forty years after the American declaration of independence the South American republics were founded by deists and Freemasons based on the same creed. The outcome was...

8 comments:

  1. John Adams once called the common political language of the founding an expression of the “harmonizing sentiment of the day.” That is, it was not so much a creature of the Enlightenment as an effort to extract what was valuable and practical from the whole tradition of political thought from Athens to the present, and to apply it to the given context of an already constituted people.

    As Brownson saw it, the United States was built as a development of a liberal tradition far older than and far different from the liberalism of Enlightenment Europe. As an heir to this great conversation, the American constitution seeks to unite in harmony the inviolability of the person and the priority of the public good—to strike a dialectical balance between liberty and order. This is why Brownson says that the United States is the most catholic of modern nations, because it is organized on real principles of human nature: principles that, being real, must also be catholic.

    It is the nature of logos to reconcile all things in Himself, Brownson writes, and to take those things that seem to be in opposition and bring them into harmony. In a unique way, the American people is called by the same Word to reconcile the realities of freedom and order, unity and multiplicity. E pluribus unum; annuit coeptus. That we have often failed in this vocation does not obviate the original call.

    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2018/01/20655/

    1775 population: 2,400,000
    By 1776, about 85% of the white population's ancestry originated in the British Isles (English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh), 9% of German origin, 4% Dutch and 2% Huguenot French and other minorities.
    These populations continued to grow at a rapid rate during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, primarily because of high birth rates and relatively low death rates. Immigration was a minor factor from 1774 to 1830
    Of the 12,866,020 people living in the United States in 1830, 2,009,043 were slaves. By 1800, the Native population of the present-day United States was approximately 600,000.

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  2. Does this mean that the USA by Wilson's time had become a proposition nation?

    Was it a proposition nation or an empire? The process by which the Thirteen Colonies ruthlessly gobbled up so much of North America and then started to accumulate an overseas empire is uncannily similar to the process by which the Roman Empire (which also started out as a republic) remorselessly expanded its frontiers, and also the process by which the Russian Empire under the Czars came to dominate so much of eastern Europe and central Asia.

    The Romans and the Czars also had a sense of Manifest Destiny.

    And the US takes the same view of potential imperial rivals that the Romans took of the Carthaginians and Macedonians. The phrase Carthage delenda est sounds remarkably like US Cold War rhetoric. It fact it sounds remarkably like the views of many Americans today towards Russia and China.

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  3. Rome too began as a republic governed by aristocrats and turned into a great imperial power, often governed by tyrants. Compare the powers of President McKinley or Coolidge with those of U.S. presidents now and see how monarchical America now is. Essentially I feel that the Civil War was the real end of the republic. The republic was destroyed by the Republicans and Lincoln.

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    Replies
    1. Rome too began as a republic governed by aristocrats and turned into a great imperial power, often governed by tyrants. Compare the powers of President McKinley or Coolidge with those of U.S. presidents now and see how monarchical America now is. Essentially I feel that the Civil War was the real end of the republic. The republic was destroyed by the Republicans and Lincoln.

      I agree.

      Empires that begin as monarchies seem to be slightly less awful. But a republic that turns to imperialism will find it difficult to avoid ever-increasing corruption. Rome became a captive of its own army, with the army having the power to make or break emperors. Rome became a victim of an early version of the military-industrial complex. And corruption inevitably leads to tyranny.

      The only slight disagreement I have with your comment is that I don't think America has become monarchical - it has become imperial. Monarchs have some sense of responsibility towards the future. They don't want to trash the kingdom their heirs will inherit. Modern US presidents are like Roman emperors. They don't care about the long term. As long bas they enjoy power for eight years and leave office fabulously rich they're content.

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  4. Sir, the US was really Anglo-Saxon for a very short period of time.

    After the Louisiana purchase it managed to absorb the Creole culture but after thr war with Mexico it annexed a huge territory that strangely is now more Spanish speaking than it was 170 years ago.

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  5. New England was Anglo Saxon, but other areas not as much. I understand that half of Philadelphia's population spoke German at home, and much of the south was of Celtic stock (Irish/Scottish) - to such a degree that the Civil War sides were split in large according to ethnic lines - English/Germans in the north against Scots/Irish in the south.

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  6. When I say Anglo-Saxon I mean in fact British.

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  7. This might be interesting:
    http://www.trinityhistory.org/AmH/images/2Ethnic%20settlement1760.jpg
    And this:
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f0/cd/c5/f0cdc5808d71dcbd2477cc51cc6e0257.jpg

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