Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jeffersonian Jacobitism

"Onwards, Jeffersonian Jacobites!" was the cri de cœur put forth by Daniel Larison three years ago. Mr. Larison described "the relationship of American conservatism to the Country tradition" that "finds its first definite exponent in Bolingbroke, who had inherited the ideology of resistance of the Jacobites after the ‘15 rising collapsed in defeat." He noted that "the Antifederalists and then the Jeffersonian Republicans took up the same themes in their hostility to consolidation."

Mr. Larison suggested, "If we brought together the entire Country tradition under another label, my preference would be to call those who adhere to it Jeffersonian Jacobites, capturing at once a hostility to consolidation and the Whigs of the 17th and 18th centuries." He suggests that the "hostility to consolidation and centralising elites has... everything to do with loyalty to family, community and the states which have been the real countries of Americans for most of our history."

There has been plenty of Jeffersonianism on these pages, but precious little Jacobitism. Then, yesterday, I came across an interesting and very inspiring piece of history from my home country — Jacobite New York (1682-1688). Digging a little deeper, I found an incosequentional but personally interesting coincidence; I share a birthday with the "Old Pretender," James Francis Edward Stuart, which is celebrated by as "White Rose Day" in honor of the White Rose of York, pictured below, which represents the Blessed Virgin Mary, or Mystical Rose of Heaven:

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.