Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nope, It All Started With King John

"Americans' distrust of government has deep roots," says Gregory Rodriguez, who begins by suggesting that "Americans' profound distrust of government is neurotic -- irrational, defensive and born of emotional trauma" — It started with King George III. "No way, José!" I say.

It all began with King John, who usurped the both ancient Anglo-Saxon and Catholic liberties, a situation corrected when the tyrant was forced to sign the Magna Carta, whose first article guarantees "that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired."

Of course, to make the connection from 2010 back to 1215, one need accept Jeff Culbreath's (and Russell Kirk's) thesis, "that America still has an identifiable and redeemable culture, and that this culture is British in form and substance" — America’s British Culture.

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Anonymous Walt C said...

I would also add that the "Britishness" of American culture was further shown in David Hackett Fisher's Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America.

Although when it comes to popular culture, I found Daniel Cassidy's book How the Irish Invented Slang to be an interesting read as well. 18th century Irish immigration certainly had its influence on how Americans speak English compared to the Brits. Regardless "American" English is still the English language.

3:32 AM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

And Magna Carta remains part of our legal heritage, even if obscured by modern pc attempts to purge the British roots of our legal system.

2:11 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Walt, those are books I've read about but need to read. Thanks.

Mark, indeed. Sadly, the English seem to be abandoning the Anglo-Saxon tradition even faster than we are.

3:15 PM  

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