The South, then and now

This has been a bad week for the South, what with the ‘removal’ of the monument to that great American, General Robert E. Lee, and the removal of the monument to Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes, who was called “the Nelson of the Confederacy. In addition to that, the Marines have now banned the Confederate Battle Flag, in yet another blow to the South and its people.

“I have determined it is time to act to exclude from our Corps public displays of the battle flag carried by the Confederate Army during the American Civil War,” Berger wrote. “In doing so, I am mindful that many people believe that flag to be symbol of heritage or regional pride. But I am also mindful of the feelings of pain and rejection of those who inherited the cultural memory and present effects of the scourge of slavery in our country.”

In other words, the military is now converged. And in other words, Southern heritage is less valuable than someone’s subjective feelings. This is all happening so fast that it makes heads spin. Is it a coincidence that this is happening as our country is under siege? Do they think that with all the turmoil we won’t notice this so much?

I write about the South and the people of the South because they are one of the two major branches of Anglo-Saxon colonial stock Americans, along with the New England branch of our family. As of now it seems that the South is the home of the largest number of Anglo-Americans, as many of the New England colonist stock went west, and immigrants replaced them.

I happened to find the following piece about the South, written in 1960, (some 60 years ago) and reading it, we can see how much the South has changed — or has been changed.

Note the statistics about the predominant ethnicity of the South in the colonial days.

‘The South of today, as of yesterday, is a family — not altogether a happy family, yet happier than most and certainly closer knit than any of the other regional clans in the nation. It is a big family, both in geographic spread and in diversity of its members; and yet all members are bound together by a tribal identiy which transcends state lines (although they, too, are important family factors). From Tidewater Virginia to Texas, the family ties of blood, belief, or behavior distinguish Southerners from other Americans, and there is a like-mindedness on ways of life (not just on race relations) which is almost incomprehensible to the Northerner.

Despite a reputation for quick temper, the Southerner is amiable, friendly, and tolerant of all save those who would interfere with his family life. Southerners will wrangle among themselves over their own code of conduct, and practice it with relative degrees of faithfulness, but they will draw together in quick resentment against the non-Southerner who proposes to alter their conduct by compulsion of word or deed. There is a regional consciousness which virtually establishes a “mutual defense alliance” among Southern states. An attack against any one is considered to be an attack against them all.

A major portion of this common bond stems from a heritage which might be termed Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, North European, or Celtic Teutonic. The manifestations of that heritage have remained meaningful and measurable for centuries, and even today they account for some of the Southern character traits which perplex and sometimes exasperate non-Southerners.

An understanding of the Southern character (if the reader will go along with the concept that there is such a central character typical of the white South) comes with study of the Southerner’s antecedents back through the centuries.

An interesting facet of any such study is the quite obvious but little-noted diagonal transposition of North European culture to the American South. Through the Colonial and Revolutionary War days, and during the earlier days of the United States as such, the Anglo-Saxon atmosphere was apparent throughout all of the New World which had been settled by the British. It was in this atmosphere that the South developed, and it was this atmosphere which the South retained as successive waves of immigrants swept into the North, there to dilute the customs and traditions which remained relatively unchanged in the South. Thus the South escaped much of the influx of new ideas, new peoples, and of new practices which were poured into the melting pot of the North.

The South went through its “melting pot” phase early in the game, with the result that the French and German Protestants, along with the handfuls of other non-British peoples, were absorbed and assimilated into a way of life reflective of Anglo-Saxon traditions. All this took place in the years before the Yankee slave traders had begun to discharge their profitable cargoes at Southern ports. Thus there developed a regional consciousness in the South, stemming from common problems and a common ancestry, while the North remained in a constant state of flux.

In both population and political outlook, the South remained a microcosm of early America which brought forth the United States of America and which laid the basis for the peculiarly successful form of constitutional, republican government which has given the nation unparalleled prosperity, progress, and personal freedom.

There is a definite correlation between the complexion of the Southern states today and that of the early Americans who wrested their independence from the British Crown. As evidence of that, look at these percentages of nationality reflected in the nation’s first census — 1790:  English — 82.1%; Scottish — 7.0; Irish — 1.9; German — 5.6; Dutch — 2.5, and French –.6. That same sort of overwhelming identification with Anglo-Saxon (Teutonic) Europe characterizes the South of today. Is it any wonder that differences should exist in the outlook of persons with that cultural heritage as contrasted with those whose national ties are with the Balkan, Mediterranean, African, or Asiatic nations?

For one thing, it has meant that the South has continued as the most homogeneous section of the country, that region where, except for the distinct separation of the white and black races, there has been greatest assimilation of all persons into the political, social, and cultural pattern of the existing dominant groups. The South has fewer enclaves of non-assimilable population groups than any part of the nation; it has fewer “ghettoes,” fewer “foreign element” problems, fewer language difficulties, and more harmony in civic and community functions than any area of equal size in the nation.”

It’s too bad that the South has lost its original character thanks to demographic changes and now, with this new hostility towards the South on the part of those in power, things are not likely to improve, I am sad to say.

Something to ponder

My readers of earlier days often found fault with my tendency to ponder certain questions at the expense of ”coming up with solutions”  — which may not be my strong point. Nevertheless I have been thinking about a few quotes I read lately. I suppose what was true in the days of Byron, or E.P. Whipple may no longer apply.

First, Lord Byron:

“Words are things; and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”

Then, E.P. Whipple,a New England writer and essayist:

“The invention of printing added a new element of power to the race. From that hour the brain and not the arm, the thinker and not the soldier, books and not kings, were to rule the world; and weapons, forged in the mind, keen-edged and brighter than the sunbeam, were to supplant the sword and the battle-ax.”

Some time back I posted a quote that said ‘Propaganda is to a democracy what a bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” There is certainly truth to that today.

As to the first two quotes, does the printed (or written) word hold the same power and influence as it once did, in more literate and serious-minded times? Attention spans are much shorter now (in part, thanks to the Internet, and also to lightweight, dumbed-down books and discourse in general). Few people read substantial, high-quality books. Conversation isn’t what it used to be; any literary references will rarely have to do with classic, time-tested thought, but rather pop-culture ephemera in most circles.

And I think Whipple was indulging in some wishful thinking if he believed that the ‘thinker’ has prevailed over the man of action, though the latter doesn’t seem to be in great supply now.

If only thoughts and ideas, preferably nobler ones, carried such weight as Byron suggested. And in the times of both Byron and Whipple, I don’t think there were such great rifts within Western civilization, not on the scale of today’s internal strife. Certainly even in those days warfare was still a fact of life, as always. Today, though, we have a ‘cold’ war ongoing which sometimes crosses a line to real strife and leaves us, the citizens of this country, unable to communicate in a civil fashion with those who oppose.

If only words were still capable of stirring people in the way that Byron believed. Maybe words are too abstract for today’s people, and only visual stimuli provoke thought on a deeper level. Who knows.

We seem to be stuck in a state where we are paralyzed and not capable of moving in one direction or another. I suppose our present immobility suits us for the time being as we seem at a loss as to which way to turn, or what to think about our predicament.

 

 

 

 

Rediscovering the past

According to reports, archaeologists think theymay have found a ‘lost’ monastery where England’s first King, Edgar the Peaceful, was crowned. The story was linked on the Amerika blog where I first saw it.

It seems that archaaeologists were surprised to find this significant site next to the famous Bath Abbey. They noted that the location had what appeared to be Anglo-Saxon architecture in these two structures. As Bath was built by Romans during the time of their dominance in Britain, apparently most of the structures there are Roman in origin, so the presence of Anglo-Saxon style architecture got the attention of the archaeologists.

“After finding the Anglo-Saxon stone structures, archaeologists used a method called radiocarbon dating on charcoal found in some of the plaster of one of these apses. Since scientists know the rate of decay of radioactive carbon, they can use that to infer how long an object has been in the ground.

The charcoal dated to 780-970 and 670-770, Wessex Archaeology found. This time window suggests that the abbey was once part of the Anglo-Saxon monastery where Edgar was coronated, in 973.
[…]
He added that “this, together with the late Saxon stonework and burials found at the Abbey, provides increasingly strong evidence that we have, indeed, found part of Bath’s lost Anglo-Saxon monastery,” where Edgar the Peaceful was coronated.”

The Wessex Archaeology website has more historical information and clarifies some of the information in the other article.

If you go to the Wessex Archaeology page, you can scroll down to the pictures of two stone crosses, or fragments, as it appears. The article describes them as ‘late Saxon crosses’, but if you look at them you will see a familiar style of carving on them. The carving is like the typical ‘Celtic’ interlace style of decoration. I think most of us have been habituated to think this design is indicative of ‘Celtic’ culture when in fact it was found on many artifacts from Scandinavia as well as England. I am not trying to deny credit to the Celtic people for that style; it just seems evident to me that there was a widespread culture which pervaded much of Northern and Northwestern Europe. England was also part of that culture.

Articles like this do remind us that there is still a lot to be discovered from Britain’s past. We are far from knowing everything about that time and place. But it seems ironic to be finding these remains of a distant past when the culture of Britain is now in danger of dissolving.

Another archaeological find in the UK

The Express (UK) newspaper has a story dating from December 2019 describing a new find in the vicinity of the Coventry Airport. Joel Day, the writer of the  piece, describes finds, what he describes as ”a wealth of Roman and Anglo-Saxon artefacts” at the burial site. Included among the finds, from gravesites near the airport, are items indicating that the buried included a Roman officer and a young Roman girl.

There were also a dozen Anglo-Saxon graves at the site. One of the Anglo-Saxon graves evidently was that of a “high-status” individual.

Of the jewelry that was found, the experts say that some link to southern Europe was indicated by the motifs used, or the symbolism, such as that of a cicada.  Roman-style jewelry was found.

But should this be a shock, or a startling find? It’s been said for years that the Roman Empire carried on a trade with Britain even in the time of Jesus, and before; there was the tin trade between ‘the Isles’ and Rome.  There was seagoing traffic between the Phoenicians and western Europe.But it’s good to have some verification, if this find provides it, that Britain was not isolated from the rest of the known world then. Some dispute that, but it seems more plausible than not.

 

 

 

 

 

The talking points for the one-world types

In searching for some other topic, I came across a blog post which sets out to discredit the belief that Anglo-Saxons have a common origin. The writer asserts, very early in his essay, that there is no common origin; ‘Anglo-Saxons’ or English folk are descended from a very mixed conglomeration of various peoples who wandered onto the island and became part of this congeries of peoples who blended into the group  now called ‘British’ (or ‘English’, if you want to be more accurate.)

Before I continue with this piece, I think that this kind of blog post is one that I am inclined to write. Why? First, because it has to do with our origins and our identity and who we are, biologically, culturally, and even spiritually. And we live in a strange time in which everybody gets to identify as part of an ethnicity or people or tribe or nation. This is, despite all the overdone rhetoric about how ‘we’re all one race: the Human Race.’ That statement is the stock response to the issue of the place of peoples and nations, or of nations vs. ‘One-worldism’, also known by some as ‘Babelism’.

Being of Anglo-Saxon, (or not, according to the author of the article) origin is a doubleplusungood thing, because our ancestors were explorers, enterprising people who ended up controlling much of the world, and in today’s convoluted thinking, that means that such a people must be punished and cut down to size. The reason? Being successful and dominant means there must have been oppression toward the subjects of colonial or imperial rule. The ancestors of many European people are automatically judged as bad and dangeroua, the sort who probably would return to oppressing the world if given a chance. It seems the one-worlders want to render those of English/Anglo-Saxon lineage weak and ineffectual. There is so much propaganda aimed at just this, and it operates among all people of European descent as well, but it seems as if the Anglosphere countries are a special target.

Hence you find these articles that tend to demean and dismiss the English and Anglo-Saxon in particular. There is a great deal of denigration of our folk online and in the real world to a lesser degree. I wonder if that Anglophobia is ‘grassroots’ or if it’s shills and operatives promoting this  kind of thing online.

But to give an idea of what kind of approach the writer takes to the subject at hand, he eventually comes to declare that actual genetic origins, (though he says the English have no common origins of any consequence), are in fact irrelevant; the peoples of Britain would consider anyone that lived in proximity to be part of their people, as one of them.

“…[T]hese ancient people did not distinguish biological heritage from cultural association. In other words, someone who lived and died in the fifth or sixth century Anglo-Saxon village of Oakington could have been biologically related to an earlier inhabitant of England, a recent migrant from continental Europe or a descendant of either or both – they were all treated the same in death.”

The writer then says that the Anglo-Saxons were ‘written into history’, as if to suggest a fiction was created; no such people existed in any real sense of the word:

“Biologically then these people were a mixed group who shared what we consider Anglo-Saxon culture. But they did not think of themselves as Anglo-Saxons.

The idea of the Anglo-Saxon is a romanticised and heavily politicised notion.”

Surely the writer should be aware that many groups originated in another part of the world, and that over time they encountered, associated with, and melded to some extent with other peoples. But does this mean that the resulting admixture was not considered part of a nation with considerable homogeneity? A factor that is usually downplayed if not denied is the fact that the peoples of the British Isles are not drastically different peoples, despite some ethnic conflicts that have persisted and been rekindled by the political agitators and the media. The writer mentions the Dutch and Danish as being genetically close to the English; that is factual. The Dutch seem to have been a very open and welcoming country, as witness how the Pilgrims, looking to escape persecution in their home country, went to Leyden, Holland for refuge, living for some years there.

The Dutch welcomed Huguenots fleeing France, and there was considerable intermarriage between those peoples. Does all of the above mean that the Dutch ceased being a people because they had intermingled with other peoples? No one seems to say that  — yet. But it seems there is a drive to deracinate the English, and to a lesser degree, other Europeans. And the word ‘deracinate’ reminds me that the etymology of the word has to do with ‘roots’. Today’s upside-down world expects us to disconnect from our roots, to become rootless, without the thing that sustains us and keeps ups grounded.

As I finish this post, I know that some people are not comfortable with my writing about these kinds of things; some people prefer more superficial and upbeat subjects. But this is the sort of subject I feel a certain urgency about on behalf of people on both sides the Atlantic.

Still I am open to writing about less weighty subjects if that’s preferable at times.

But since I seem to have a polemical tendency, this is primarily what I do, but not exclusively. I enjoy writing about cultural and historical subjects, the arts, the English language, biography, and so on. I’m open to hearing what interests you out there.

 

 

Do Anglo-Americans reject their identity?

At least one online commenter asserts this is true. Below is the comment from a blog, (with the commenter’s name blocked out):

This kind of thing turns up on blogs here and there; it must be a somewhat widespread idea. Another allegation is that (Anglo or WASP) Americans “have no culture’.

I don’t know who this commenter has spoken to, or if he has even been to our country; I also wonder what kind of sample of ‘Old Stock’ English-Americans he’s met or talked to.

We’ve been sort of written out of the script in our own country, as it were. Many people whose families were here before the American Revolution identify as just ‘American.’ Many English-Americans from the South identify with their state; Texas used to be like that. Texas, after all, was an independent country in its early history, and it did seem as though it were a world of its own. The South in general is, or used to be, distinctive. That part of the country, especially the Southeastern states, was settled by English Cavaliers, as contrasted to the very middle class colonists of New England. So not all English- or British-Americans have the same origins, which in part explains their varying cultures.

The Ulster folk who settled parts of the Southeast, the Appalachian mountains, are also a culture to themselves.

Do English-Americans have no culture then, or are their original culture and folkways gone and forgotten? My answer would be ‘no’, because I don’t believe that the old ways are dead, but they may be on life support in some places.

Another issue is that America is a country that emphasizes individuality at the expense of group identity, and this may be a natural tendency of Anglo-Saxons. Scots-Americans, including the Ulster folk who settled here, have their cultural events and I think they are more likely to express their identity than Anglos.

But for WASPs or English-Americans, the fact that we’ve been declared people without a culture or identity is not conducive to maintaining our identity. Speaking for myself, though, I have no problem telling people about my ancestry. I certainly would not consider it an “insult”as the comment writer I quoted at the beginning. I don’t know anyone who would.

It’s true that some Americans have an obvious hostility towards the people of Britain — let me correct that: I should have said ‘the people of England; that’s more specific and accurate. Online commenters, bolstered by anonymity, feel free to spill their feelings, sometimes in very unpleasant ways. The English royals are especially targeted for harsh criticism, but then there are many American women who dote on royalty and all the glamorous trappings.

Some Americans of English descent, because of all the negativity towards the English, may downplay their ancestry. And many Americans don’t really know their ancestry except in the vaguest terms. Because of propaganda many White Americans, including some Anglo-Americans, would rather be something more exotic than “boring” “whitebread” WASPs, as the stereotypes portray them.

Many people seem surprised to be told that so much of American culture, things we take for granted, are English (or British) in origin. Maybe people think that these aspects of our culture original to America, and were ‘invented’ out of whole cloth right here in America. It’s as if people think that when we separated from England, we had to invent a new culture from scratch, just to distinguish ourselves as a nation, to be different from our Mother Country. (Actually, there was a touch of this attitude in Noah Webster’s changing the spelling of many English words; Noah Webster thought Americans

“Our fathers were Englishmen…”

There was no established ‘Thanksgiving Day’ when the first Puritans colonists came here in 1620 — after many hardships, as alluded to below, but the ‘Pilgrims’, as these first Puritan settlers came to be called — realized that they had much to be thankful for, despite the bleakness of their situation in 1620. They succeeded in founding a lasting colony, as our presence here shows, but it might have turned out much differently. Below is an excerpt from William Bradford’s account of the beginning of what became ‘Plimoth Plantation:

“Being thus arrived in a good harbour, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element. And no marvel if they were thus joyful, seeing wise Seneca was so affected with sailing a few miles on the coast of his own Italy, as he affirmed, that he had rather remain twenty years on his way by land than pass by sea to any place in a short time, so tedious and dreadful was the same unto him.

But here I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amazed at this poor people’s present condition; and so I think will the reader, too, when he well considers the same. Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembered by that which went before), they had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weatherbeaten bodies; no houses or much less town to repair to, to seek for succour. It is recorded in Scripture as a mercy to the Apostle and his shipwrecked company, that the barbarians showed them no small kindness in refreshing them, but these savage barbarians, when they met with them (as after will appear) were readier to fill their sides full of arrows than otherwise. And for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search an unknown coast. Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, fall of wild beasts and wild men — and what multitudes there might be of them they knew not. Neither could they, as it were, go up to the top of Pisgah to view from this wilderness a more goodly country to feed their hopes; for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to the heavens) they could have little solace or content in respect of any outward objects. For summer being done, all things stand upon them with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hue. If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed and was now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world. If it be said they had a ship to succour them, it is true; but what heard they daily from the master and company? But that with speed they should look out a place (with their shallop) where they would be, at some near distance; for the season was such as he would not stir from thence till a safe harbor was discovered by them, where they would be, and he might go without danger; and that victuals consumed apace but he must and would keep sufficient for themselves and their return. Yea, it was muttered by some that if they got not a place in time, they would turn them and their goods ashore and leave them. Let it also be considered what weak hopes of supply and succour they left behind them, that might bear up their minds in this sad condition and trials they were under; and they could not but be very small. It is true, indeed, the affections and love of their brethren at Leyden was cordial and entire towards them, but they had little power to help them or themselves; and how the case stood between them and the merchants at their coming away hath already been declared.

What could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and His grace? May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: “Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice and looked on their adversity,” etc. “Let them therefore praise the Lord, because He is good: and His mercies endure forever.” “Yea, let them which have been redeemed of the Lord, shew how He hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered in the desert wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord His loving kindness and His wonderful works before the sons of men.”

Quoted from ‘OF THEIR VOYAGE, AND HOW THEY PASSED THE SEA; AND OF THEIR SAFE ARRIVAL AT CAPE COD – – Chapter IX of William Bradford’s Of Plimoth Plantation

Brexit and other matters of interest

It’s become very difficult to follow just what is happening with Brexit. Things seem to change from day to day. As of now the elusive exit is supposed to happen on January 31.

John Derbyshire writes about Brexit, Trump, and the ‘two Anglo-Saxon cousin’ nations, that is, the U.S. and the UK, experiencing parallel political crises, and offers his thoughts about the situation. Both our nation and our cousins in the UK voted for change, and it seems that our systems have not worked to achieve the changes we voted for.

As so many people in this country have been saying, we can’t ”vote out way out” of the present predicament. The trouble is, what is the alternative, then? That’s the question. John Derbyshire goes into some detail in explaining the situation in the UK. It’s worth reading.

I like that Derbyshire refers to our nations, the USA and the UK as ‘Anglo-Saxon cousin nations.’ That’s what we are, despite the fact that some Americans don’t like the English or the British, and vice-versa. We are kin; there was a time when we all knew that, and that fact should be acknowledged. It’s odd that the ‘system’ would have us regard people who are very distant from us as our brothers while we downplay our kinship to the Anglosphere peoples.

Also The Thinking WASP blog has a piece about Guy Fawkes Night, which has just passed, and about the relevance for today. The post concludes with this:

“Remember your history. Savor and celebrate your way of life.”

I second that. I’m very much in favor of doing just that.

An Englishman honors Southern heroes, 1862

At the blog Circa1865, there is a piece about the visit to Virginia, by English PM Lloyd George, during the War Between the States.

Ironically, so many outside the South were conditioned to regard the Southron military leaders like General Lee and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson as ‘traitors’, while in the South they both had the reputation of being true Christian gentlemen as well as outstanding military men.

The thought of Lloyd George visiting those memorials, laying wreaths upon them in honor of Lee and Jackson, and then the thought of “our own” present-day rabble tearing down the monuments and statues of our great men — how did we get from there to here?

There was considerable sympathy toward the Southern cause on the part of the English. Some of that sympathy is credited to the fact that the South exported a lot of cotton and other goods to England, so the need for the cotton, especially, meant keeping the goodwill of the South. But it was not only economic factors that influenced England.

Here, at the Sons of the South website you will find articles from Harper’s Weekly magazines from the 1860s, dealing with the South and its relationship with England and the English people. And after all, most of the White population of the South had English roots. Despite some false claims about General Robert E. Lee’s ancestry, he was of English blood, and descended from a distinguished family there. General Jackson was, at least on one side, descended from English stock.

The early settlers of New England

From the book Makers of the American Republic, by David Gregg:

“For one hundred and fifty years after the Puritan exodus, from 1640 to 1790, New England received very few by means of immigration. Its increase came from its own families; it enjoyed a remarkable seclusion. There were only three exceptions to this. In 1652, after his victory at Dunbar and Worcester, Cromwell sent two hundred and seventy Scotch [sic] prisoners to Boston as a punishment. They grandly bore the punishment; they rather liked it, I imagine, for their descendants are there to this day. In 1685, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, one hundred and fifty families of the Huguenots came to Massachusetts; their names are perpetuated in Bowdoin College and Faneuil Hall. In 1719 several Presbyterian families from the north of Ireland settled in New Hampshire; their descendants are still in that state. Londonderry, N.H., marks their settlement. These were the three exceptions, and they were very small. When the hour of Revolution struck, there was no county in old England itself that had a purer English blood than New England. The homogeneity of population accounts for the oneness of belief and action in New England in the matter of the American Revolution. The people of New England were one people, and they struck like a trip-hammer when they struck. It was this unity and homogeneity which made them the power they were in the formation of the American Republic, and which helped New England to stamp itself upon the whole country for the country’s good.

It was only after the American Revolution that New Englanders began to move into the Western part of our land and there form new States; but this they did so effectively that there is a Portland to-day on the Pacific as well as a Portland on the Atlantic. They now number one fourth of the entire population of our sixty millions, and are a beneficial force in every state in the Union.

While the Puritans were diligent in building up New England, let no one suppose that they were indifferent to what was going forward in the motherland; they were one with the progressives there. it has been said that the English Revolution virtually began in Boston, where Sir Edmund Andros, King James’s representative, was arrested and put in prison. New England was the first to hail the enthronement of William, Prince of Orange. During the Cromwellian conflict Cromwell’s strongest friends were in New England. The pen of New England, fertilized by freedom, became marvelously prolific. Cromwell, Hampden, Sidney, Milton, Owen, were scholars of teachers mostly on this side of the Atlantic.”

David Gregg, Makers of the American Republic, ‘The Puritans’, 1896. pp. 90-91.

Gregg’s account of the ethnic makeup of the early New Englanders contradicts today’s popular assertions that the early colonies were already ‘very diverse’. Gregg asserts, too, that the early colony was in touch with events back in the home country, and that they especially had close ties with the Puritans in England. So often some of the simplistic textbooks emphasize the supposed rift between the New England colonists as a whole, as though they were not of the same blood and descent, as if the colonists felt as though they were a separate people long before the Revolution.