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David_Hackett_Fischer_-_Albion's_Seed_Four_British_Folkways_in_America.jpeg There has been lots of comment on Mormons and politics recently. I think the key aspect which is underemphasized in these pieces are the deep differences within Anglo-American cultural streams (as opposed to the short-term reasons for Mormon disaffection from the conservative coalition, such as their internationalism). If you haven’t read Albion’s Seed, you should. If you have read Albion’s Seed, also read The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, And The Triumph Of Anglo-America, and American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. The Cousins’ Wars in particular frames Albion’s Seed into a global context.

51FGXEssAhL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The major insight from these works of narrative history is that a model which incorporates the genealogical origin of Anglo-American subcultures hundreds, and even thousands, of years into the past can be quite fruitful. In David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed the biggest chasm is arguably between Yankees and the Scots-Irish. Geographically distinctive today, even their origins in the British Isles were disparate (mostly East Anglia toward London, and borders of England and Scotland, respectively).

The cultural elites of the Yankees ultimately gave rise to a large portion of the Northeastern WASP ascendancy (including the Bush family) in a direction fashion, or influenced immigrants who assimilated into that subculture (including the Kennedy family). The ~30,000 settlers who took root in New England in the 1630s ultimately became the ~750,000 colonials in the New England colonies at the cusp of the Revolutionary War. The Scots-Irish in contrast are identified not by their elite families, the ‘backcountry ascendancy,’ but their marginalized position as a subculture in comparison to the other Anglo-American streams. When they arrived in the mid-18th century from Ulster and the English-Scottish border region they were termed “crackers.” Here is the Wikipedia entry explaining the origin of the term:

A 1783 pejorative use of “crackers” specifies men who “are descended from convicts that were transported from Great Britain to Virginia at different times, and inherit so much profligacy from their ancestors, that they are the most abandoned set of men on earth.”[3] Benjamin Franklin, in his memoirs (1790), referred to “a race of runnagates and crackers, equally wild and savage as the Indians” who inhabit the “desert[ed] woods and mountains.”[4]

The differences between the Yankees and Scots-Irish redound down to the present. In 1850 Arkansas and Michigan were two states of roughly similar population settled at the same time, by Scots-Irish and Yankees respectively, in the main. While Arkansas hardly had any public schools, Michigan had hundreds. The differences between Yankees and Scots-Irish emerge over and over in the cultural fissures of “mixed” states such as Ohio, Illinois, and Kansas.

How does this tie in to Mormons? The early cultural history of Mormons is directly rooted in the Yankee Diaspora. The Yankees of New England were a fecund lot in the years around 1800, and they spilled over into upstate New York, and across a vast swath of the Midwest ringing around the Great Lakes. The original Mormons were by and large Yankees, and their migration west took them into the lands of the Scots-Irish, who descended upon them like wolves to the slaughter, as was often the case when Yankees faced Scots-Irish in an unorganized fashion.

Below the fold is a post from 2008 that I wrote which I think is now relevant again. So I am reposting it. The Mormon position within the Religious Right is one driven by sincere and genuine alignments of values, but on a deep level it will always be tactical individually, because this is an alliance of two very different groups in their mores and history. That means that one shouldn’t expect individuals from one group to die on the hopeless hill for the other.


Post from 2008:

A few friends have emailed me some objections to the four culture model of american history. In short, though New England Puritans, Highland South Scotch-Irish and Lowland South Cavaliers are reasonable cultural entities which are easy to put a finger on, the Mid-Atlantic is a hodge-podge which to a great extent is simply thrown in a bin together for simplicity. In 1750 Pennsylvania was the first American colony where people of British descent became a minority. This sort of diversity makes it rather peculiar to speak of a Mid-Atlantic cultural folkway in which Germans, Dutch, Quakers, Roman Catholics, Swedes and Long Island Yankees can be thrown together into one pot. It’s somewhat like assigning the term “environmental” to all the components of variance in quantitative genetics of a phenotype which can not be attributed to genetics. You know what it isn’t, but what is it?

But that’s just an aside. You might infer from the image above that the point of this post is not to explore what the term “Mid-Atlantic” can tell us in any model of social history. Instead, I want to focus on one aspect of American coalitional politics which might be of interest in the next four years: Mormon America is a representative of the New England Puritan cultural tradition in “Red America.” The map above is going to be more informative here than words. “English America” in the American West is really Mormon America.

When I say Mormons are “Puritan,” I’m not saying this as a figure of speech; Mormon America is to a great extent both a direct cultural and genetic descendant of New England Puritanism. The proportion of “English” ancestry in Mormon America is somewhat exaggerated by the fact that missions were sent to England and so you had direct migrants from Europe to Utah. But this can’t explain the whole of the phenomenon, American Mormonism began as a religion of Greater New England. First in upstate New York, and later in northern Ohio. Its relocation to the Midwest was problematic for a host of reasons, but the fact that they were often neighbors of people whose origins were in the South and they were quite clearly Yankees probably exacerbated tensions.

Mormonism is a very communitarian religion, not unexpected from a faith with Puritan origins. Mormon settlements in Utah were laid out like New England towns, as opposed to isolated yeoman farmsteads. Brigham Young socialized water usage to optimally allocate resources for irrigation. A tendency toward campaigns for temperance and high fertility were features of New England society. Mormons are famously fertile (relatively) and do not drink. In Wisconsin administrators preferred Yankee settlers because they were more likely to be willing to raise money for pubic goods such as schools than migrants from the South. Mormons may be low-tax Republicans, but those in good standing tithe a very large proportion of their income obligately in their private life (10% from what I recall), while the church runs itself like a corporation which has economies of scale.

Unlike evangelical Christians in the South, Mormons do not accept with resignation that many youth may “raise hell” before settling down. Mormons do not accept the Protestant contention that salvation is through faith alone. Behavior matters. Social pathologies and the personal disorder which has been a feature of Southern cultural life since its inception are not features of Mormon America, which reflects Puritan fixation on public order as a check on private liberty.

Over the past generation Mormons and Southern Protestants have entered into a de facto alliance because of their social traditionalism. The recent controversy over Proposition 8 in California will likely result in even more esteem for the Mormon church from structurally suspicious evangelicals (they do not believe Mormons are Christian, and resent that they claim that they are Christian). In other ways Mormons have come to identify themselves with conservative Protestant America, which to a great extent means Southern America. There are data which show that while 70% of Brigham Young University students rejected Creationism in 1930, 70% now accept it. I believe this is due to cultural influence from evangelical Protestantism, with whom Mormons are now politically allied.

But I believe that the differences between Puritan Mormon America and Southern evangelical America need to be kept in mind. Some of Mitt Romney’s supporters were irritated that some conservative kingmakers (e.g., Richard Land) were leaning to Fred Thompson because of cultural affinities. Culture matters. Mormons may be aligned with the South, but the alliance will always play out in the framework of differences in cultural priors. Mitt Romney is a social conservative, and likely was before he had to lie to become governor of Massachusetts. But he is not a Southern social conservative, and that matters, and when he pretended to be he seemed phony.

Addendum: One can encapsulate what I’m trying to get at by considering an even more extreme case: Jews & black Americans. These two groups are most Left-leaning and Democratic demographics in American society, but, they obviously aren’t equivalent and there are qualitative differences in their liberalism. This doesn’t mean that the position of both these groups on the American Left is in question, but there will always be a tension within the alliance.

 
• Category: History • Tags: American History 
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  1. Your post here is mostly about Mormons, but I feel the need to push back against “the Southerners are Scotch-Irish” meme that Albion’s Seed and this blog have made so popular. I was skeptical of this and so I dug through Fischer’s sources looking for raw numbers and found this table, based on a surname study by Purvis:

    https://postimg.org/image/7nf370pbz/

    Southerners were only 15 percent Scotch Irish in 1790, at which point emigration from Ulster had ceased. This number is perfectly consistent with the genealogical digging I’ve done on Southern signers of the Declaration of Independence and Confederate generals with well documented pedigrees. The entirety of the South’s cultural distinctiveness cannot be explained away by pointing to this very small minority of people.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    a few points

    1) some ppl on this blog have pointed out that in places like w. virginia there are lots of ppl from england proper

    2) 'scots-irish' does not obviously mean just ulster. includes those coming directly from south scotland/north england

    3) *albion's seed* does not say that scots-irish = the south. the lowland cavalier culture is important, and shaped the 'bourbon' elite a lot. but for whatever reason it hasn't captured the national imagination.
    , @iffen
    The entirety of the South’s cultural distinctiveness cannot be explained away by pointing to this very small minority of people.

    Well, we own it, and have for some time, so deal with it.

    , @PD Shaw
    "I feel the need to push back against “the Southerners are Scotch-Irish” meme that Albion’s Seed and this blog have made so popular."

    Perhaps repeating a point, but Albion's Seed classified Scots-Irish with lowland Scots and Northern English, referring either to Northern British or Borderlanders.

    Second, looking at people who signed the Declaration of Independence and served as generals for the Confederacy is a poor sampling of Americans. These are elites. The Borderlanders mostly arrived btw/ 1765-1775, so they are not establishment figures.

    Third, the Borderlanders appear to have married younger, emigrated with more women than any group outside of New England, and had more children both in and out of wedlock, so the 1790 census may not adequately describe demographic impact.

    I think you are right that there appears to be a tendency to equate Southerners with the Scots-Irish, but Albion's Seed has a quarter of its contents dedicated to the Distressed Cavaliers and their servants, which formed the base of the South. Fischer even has the temerity to identify African-Americans as Southerners in this sense (contributors and propagators). But the Northern British were more Western than Southern.
  2. @Halvorson
    Your post here is mostly about Mormons, but I feel the need to push back against "the Southerners are Scotch-Irish" meme that Albion's Seed and this blog have made so popular. I was skeptical of this and so I dug through Fischer's sources looking for raw numbers and found this table, based on a surname study by Purvis:

    https://postimg.org/image/7nf370pbz/

    Southerners were only 15 percent Scotch Irish in 1790, at which point emigration from Ulster had ceased. This number is perfectly consistent with the genealogical digging I've done on Southern signers of the Declaration of Independence and Confederate generals with well documented pedigrees. The entirety of the South's cultural distinctiveness cannot be explained away by pointing to this very small minority of people.

    a few points

    1) some ppl on this blog have pointed out that in places like w. virginia there are lots of ppl from england proper

    2) ‘scots-irish’ does not obviously mean just ulster. includes those coming directly from south scotland/north england

    3) *albion’s seed* does not say that scots-irish = the south. the lowland cavalier culture is important, and shaped the ‘bourbon’ elite a lot. but for whatever reason it hasn’t captured the national imagination.

    • Replies: @Yudi
    The Cavalier culture is not *currently* capturing the national imagination, because it has been in decline for decades, as Woodard pointed out in his book. It was once a very important component of the national culture--Southerners used to be proud to point out that national heroes like Washington and Jefferson were slaveholding planters, whereas today those facts are unpleasant and swept under the rug.

    However, there is a third Southern subculture that Fischer does not discuss in Albion's Seed, namely the Deep South (probably because a) the Carolina planters came from elsewhere in the New World, not a region of Britain; and b) because he presumably wanted to keep the book under a thousand pages). Woodard does talk about them, however, and they do still loom large in the national imagination, viz. Dylan Roof.

    The current Mormon alliance is mainly with the Scots-Irish and the Deep South, as Tidewater is disappearing.
    , @Halvorson
    3) *albion’s seed* does not say that scots-irish = the south.

    The thing is, this post does. When you say,

    The original Mormons were by and large Yankees, and their migration west took them into the lands of the Scots-Irish, who descended upon them like wolves to the slaughter, as was often the case when Yankees faced Scots-Irish in an unorganized fashion.

    it sure makes it seem as 1830s Missouri was majority Scotch Irish when it wasn't even close. If by "Scotch-Irish" you mean borderers, then you can say that. But even if you're being as generous to Fischer as possible borderers never outnumbered regular English folk in the South. If you add up the Scotch Irish+ all the Scots +25% percent (the number Fischer chose) of the English in Purvis that non-Borderer English remain the dominant ethnicity in every state but South Carolina and Tennessee, where they're about even.
    , @Bill P
    I'm half Scots Irish, and none of my Scots Irish ancestry comes from south of Pennsylvania/Ohio, while some comes from as far north as New Hampshire and Vermont (New Englanders imported them to act as a buffer against the Indians). The reason you don't see many Southerners calling themselves "English" is because most of them would choose "American" or "Southern" as their ethnicity. But in fact the South is one of the most English parts of the country, both culturally and in terms of ancestry. They love tea, gardens, hunting with hounds, riding and literature. Names like Adams, Smith, Johnson and the like are more common there than in the rest of the country.

    As for the Scots Irish, after they pushed West past the Appalachians (which legions of them did in the early 19th century), most of them seem to have lost their Scots Irishness and settled into a comfortable "American" identity. In my family, for example, none of them even stayed with the Presbyterian Church. You'd never even guess they were Scots Irish unless you knew a lot about surnames. They were absorbed seamlessly into American institutions, the military being one of the most important, and when they emerged they were nothing like the caricature of the Scots Irish hillbilly. However, arguably their overrepresentation in the military does suggest a certain retention of their ancient martial tradition. My pet theory is that the Scots Irish are actually descended from the north Brythonic speaking people, AKA the Picts. Many of their surnames, such as Knox, Wallace and Abercrombie strongly suggest this to be the case.

    Lots of Mormons call themselves English because so many working class English were recruited by the early Mormon church in the 19th century, often straight out of the slums. These people never had the opportunity to assimilate into an American identity.

    BTW, in Ireland people still use the word "crack" (whence "cracker" derives) to describe a certain atmosphere of lighthearted banter and fellowship. They spell it "craic," and I've seen pubs that advertised themselves as having "good craic," which struck me as pretty funny. Americans still occasionally use the archaic crack in expressions such as "not all it's cracked up to be" or "wisecrack."
  3. @Razib Khan
    a few points

    1) some ppl on this blog have pointed out that in places like w. virginia there are lots of ppl from england proper

    2) 'scots-irish' does not obviously mean just ulster. includes those coming directly from south scotland/north england

    3) *albion's seed* does not say that scots-irish = the south. the lowland cavalier culture is important, and shaped the 'bourbon' elite a lot. but for whatever reason it hasn't captured the national imagination.

    The Cavalier culture is not *currently* capturing the national imagination, because it has been in decline for decades, as Woodard pointed out in his book. It was once a very important component of the national culture–Southerners used to be proud to point out that national heroes like Washington and Jefferson were slaveholding planters, whereas today those facts are unpleasant and swept under the rug.

    However, there is a third Southern subculture that Fischer does not discuss in Albion’s Seed, namely the Deep South (probably because a) the Carolina planters came from elsewhere in the New World, not a region of Britain; and b) because he presumably wanted to keep the book under a thousand pages). Woodard does talk about them, however, and they do still loom large in the national imagination, viz. Dylan Roof.

    The current Mormon alliance is mainly with the Scots-Irish and the Deep South, as Tidewater is disappearing.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the carolina planters from carib. also somewhat later in time than the other migrations, right? didn't a lot of it happen after 1800, with french leaving haiti and british abolition of slavery in 1830s?
    , @Twinkie

    The current Mormon alliance is mainly with the Scots-Irish and the Deep South, as Tidewater is disappearing.
     
    The cultural and linguistic obliteration of Tidewater is deeply sad to me, in part because my older children* grew up and learned to speak as babies there. They still have more than a trace of this accent: https://youtu.be/1RzVKCWXrRA

    It was, I suppose, inevitable given the outsized economic roles that military bases and federal facilities have played in the big cities of the region. They brought a great deal of diversity and the monolithic national-popular culture that just overwhelmed what remained of the local flavor in the cities.

    Still, there are small towns and rural villages in the Tidewater area that retain the older local culture, including the dialect. One of my hunting buddies is from the area - his family has been there for over 200 years and still owns some bits of land (the Civil War and its aftermath destroyed much of the Cavalier society and prosperity, and eminent domain put the final nail in the conffin). One still sees occasional small cotton fields in Tidewater!

    *My younger children can shift at will between a mild Mid-Atlanic accent and Appalachian, reflecting the two residences in which they have grown. So we have quite a bit of linguistic diversity in my family (I speak with a mix of New England/New York accents and my wife speaks Standard Midwestern). Together as a family we culturally identify as Southerners, but my children will knock their mother and me for being carpetbaggers whilst they are, of course, the native-born of Dixie.
  4. @Yudi
    The Cavalier culture is not *currently* capturing the national imagination, because it has been in decline for decades, as Woodard pointed out in his book. It was once a very important component of the national culture--Southerners used to be proud to point out that national heroes like Washington and Jefferson were slaveholding planters, whereas today those facts are unpleasant and swept under the rug.

    However, there is a third Southern subculture that Fischer does not discuss in Albion's Seed, namely the Deep South (probably because a) the Carolina planters came from elsewhere in the New World, not a region of Britain; and b) because he presumably wanted to keep the book under a thousand pages). Woodard does talk about them, however, and they do still loom large in the national imagination, viz. Dylan Roof.

    The current Mormon alliance is mainly with the Scots-Irish and the Deep South, as Tidewater is disappearing.

    the carolina planters from carib. also somewhat later in time than the other migrations, right? didn’t a lot of it happen after 1800, with french leaving haiti and british abolition of slavery in 1830s?

    • Replies: @iffen
    Carolina planters were in from the gitgo. I don't known of any migration impact from the Haiti rebellion. Haiti increased the fear of slave rebellion which was already at fever pitch.
  5. @Halvorson
    Your post here is mostly about Mormons, but I feel the need to push back against "the Southerners are Scotch-Irish" meme that Albion's Seed and this blog have made so popular. I was skeptical of this and so I dug through Fischer's sources looking for raw numbers and found this table, based on a surname study by Purvis:

    https://postimg.org/image/7nf370pbz/

    Southerners were only 15 percent Scotch Irish in 1790, at which point emigration from Ulster had ceased. This number is perfectly consistent with the genealogical digging I've done on Southern signers of the Declaration of Independence and Confederate generals with well documented pedigrees. The entirety of the South's cultural distinctiveness cannot be explained away by pointing to this very small minority of people.

    The entirety of the South’s cultural distinctiveness cannot be explained away by pointing to this very small minority of people.

    Well, we own it, and have for some time, so deal with it.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Well, we own it, and have for some time, so deal with it.
     
    I am from East Asia, but I feel the greatest sense of kinship with the Scotch-Irish in America, even more so than with my wife's people, the ever genteel, productive Yankee-German-Scandinavian folk of the Midwest.

    I love their music, I love their martial spirit, I love their grit and humor.* I love their sense of personal and familiar honor, which seems to have been sapped out of the rest of mercantile whites in this country. I even "get" their religion, having been a staunch Calvinist earlier in my life.

    *I started watching a TV series called "Quarry" recently, and there is a character who says something I think perfectly captures the Scotch-Irish grit and humor. The character is not necessarily Scotch-Irish, but she may as well be. While stitching up her wounded son who whines about the pain, she says "Our people don't die of gunshot wounds. We die of alcoholism and heart disease."
  6. @Razib Khan
    the carolina planters from carib. also somewhat later in time than the other migrations, right? didn't a lot of it happen after 1800, with french leaving haiti and british abolition of slavery in 1830s?

    Carolina planters were in from the gitgo. I don’t known of any migration impact from the Haiti rebellion. Haiti increased the fear of slave rebellion which was already at fever pitch.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4049&context=etd
  7. @iffen
    Carolina planters were in from the gitgo. I don't known of any migration impact from the Haiti rebellion. Haiti increased the fear of slave rebellion which was already at fever pitch.
    • Replies: @iffen
    Thanks for the link to the paper. I will have to complete it later, it looks very interesting. I find it quite telling that interspersed with scholarly writing there are all these little moral messages. Many, many inoculations against charges of racial insensitivity. It appears that one cannot just write history anymore; you have project everything back and keep repeating, “We don’t think like that anymore.”

    I just didn’t understand the point about Carolina planters, some few that came from Barbados, but the original ones that built the rice and indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations were mostly English.

    Alexandre Pétion of Haiti gave Simon Bolivar a substantial assist with men and material at a crucial and trying time in Bolivar’s struggle.
  8. @Razib Khan
    a few points

    1) some ppl on this blog have pointed out that in places like w. virginia there are lots of ppl from england proper

    2) 'scots-irish' does not obviously mean just ulster. includes those coming directly from south scotland/north england

    3) *albion's seed* does not say that scots-irish = the south. the lowland cavalier culture is important, and shaped the 'bourbon' elite a lot. but for whatever reason it hasn't captured the national imagination.

    3) *albion’s seed* does not say that scots-irish = the south.

    The thing is, this post does. When you say,

    The original Mormons were by and large Yankees, and their migration west took them into the lands of the Scots-Irish, who descended upon them like wolves to the slaughter, as was often the case when Yankees faced Scots-Irish in an unorganized fashion.

    it sure makes it seem as 1830s Missouri was majority Scotch Irish when it wasn’t even close. If by “Scotch-Irish” you mean borderers, then you can say that. But even if you’re being as generous to Fischer as possible borderers never outnumbered regular English folk in the South. If you add up the Scotch Irish+ all the Scots +25% percent (the number Fischer chose) of the English in Purvis that non-Borderer English remain the dominant ethnicity in every state but South Carolina and Tennessee, where they’re about even.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    yeah, i saw that in the reread. that wasn't correct to write.

    but in the original comment you seemed to assert that *albion's seed* said that. it didn't.
  9. @Halvorson
    3) *albion’s seed* does not say that scots-irish = the south.

    The thing is, this post does. When you say,

    The original Mormons were by and large Yankees, and their migration west took them into the lands of the Scots-Irish, who descended upon them like wolves to the slaughter, as was often the case when Yankees faced Scots-Irish in an unorganized fashion.

    it sure makes it seem as 1830s Missouri was majority Scotch Irish when it wasn't even close. If by "Scotch-Irish" you mean borderers, then you can say that. But even if you're being as generous to Fischer as possible borderers never outnumbered regular English folk in the South. If you add up the Scotch Irish+ all the Scots +25% percent (the number Fischer chose) of the English in Purvis that non-Borderer English remain the dominant ethnicity in every state but South Carolina and Tennessee, where they're about even.

    yeah, i saw that in the reread. that wasn’t correct to write.

    but in the original comment you seemed to assert that *albion’s seed* said that. it didn’t.

  10. The Mormons who followed Brigham Young out to Utah were only about 2/3 of the Mormon community at the time of Joseph Smith’s death. Of these Brighamite Mormons, roughly 50% were European converts, mostly English and Scottish, but also Danish, Swedish, etc. These followed Brigham Young at a higher rate than the American-born Mormons because they’d largely been converted by members of the Quorum of the Twelve, which took over leadership of the Utah branch after Smith’s death. There were other claimants, of course.

    My point in all of this is that a big chunk of that self-reported English ancestry dates to mid-19th century converts to Mormonism in the British Isles. Like in most of the American population, the English part of the balance is probably under-reported due a greater knowledge of more recent immigrant ancestors.

    In my own ancestry, I’m about 50% descended from early Puritan stock, and 50% from these later Mormon converts, with a roughly equal mix of Scottish, English, and Scandinavian. I do not self-identify as a Mormon anymore, but almost everyone in my extended family still does.

    • Replies: @Anon
    I've done some digging around Mormon family genealogies and keep being surprised at how often Mormons descend from immigrants who came from England in the late 1800s. It seems there are plenty of Mormons who aren't old-stock American at all.
  11. I wonder if most or all of the difference between English ancestry in Mormon country and the lower levels elsewhere is due to the Mormons’ obsession with genealogy. Mormons don’t call their ancestry of “American ethnicity” since they have records showing what part of England their supposed ancestor came from back in 1640 whatever.

    In other words, people from old-American stock in Kentucky or Pennsylvania or whereever don’t know who their great-grandfather’s great-grandfather was, because honestly, who gives a crap, but Mormons know with a certainty that is touchingly naive.

    I’m not a Mormon anymore, but my whole extended family still is. My father excitedly called me a few months ago with the “news” – that we were now Jews as well as Mormons! Why? Because someone about 12 generations back on another continent was named Benjamin! Well, OK.

  12. @Razib Khan
    a few points

    1) some ppl on this blog have pointed out that in places like w. virginia there are lots of ppl from england proper

    2) 'scots-irish' does not obviously mean just ulster. includes those coming directly from south scotland/north england

    3) *albion's seed* does not say that scots-irish = the south. the lowland cavalier culture is important, and shaped the 'bourbon' elite a lot. but for whatever reason it hasn't captured the national imagination.

    I’m half Scots Irish, and none of my Scots Irish ancestry comes from south of Pennsylvania/Ohio, while some comes from as far north as New Hampshire and Vermont (New Englanders imported them to act as a buffer against the Indians). The reason you don’t see many Southerners calling themselves “English” is because most of them would choose “American” or “Southern” as their ethnicity. But in fact the South is one of the most English parts of the country, both culturally and in terms of ancestry. They love tea, gardens, hunting with hounds, riding and literature. Names like Adams, Smith, Johnson and the like are more common there than in the rest of the country.

    As for the Scots Irish, after they pushed West past the Appalachians (which legions of them did in the early 19th century), most of them seem to have lost their Scots Irishness and settled into a comfortable “American” identity. In my family, for example, none of them even stayed with the Presbyterian Church. You’d never even guess they were Scots Irish unless you knew a lot about surnames. They were absorbed seamlessly into American institutions, the military being one of the most important, and when they emerged they were nothing like the caricature of the Scots Irish hillbilly. However, arguably their overrepresentation in the military does suggest a certain retention of their ancient martial tradition. My pet theory is that the Scots Irish are actually descended from the north Brythonic speaking people, AKA the Picts. Many of their surnames, such as Knox, Wallace and Abercrombie strongly suggest this to be the case.

    Lots of Mormons call themselves English because so many working class English were recruited by the early Mormon church in the 19th century, often straight out of the slums. These people never had the opportunity to assimilate into an American identity.

    BTW, in Ireland people still use the word “crack” (whence “cracker” derives) to describe a certain atmosphere of lighthearted banter and fellowship. They spell it “craic,” and I’ve seen pubs that advertised themselves as having “good craic,” which struck me as pretty funny. Americans still occasionally use the archaic crack in expressions such as “not all it’s cracked up to be” or “wisecrack.”

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    The reason you don’t see many Southerners calling themselves “English” is because most of them would choose “American” or “Southern” as their ethnicity.

    why are you telling me this? i've blogged this.

    My pet theory is that the Scots Irish are actually descended from the north Brythonic speaking people, AKA the Picts. Many of their surnames, such as Knox, Wallace and Abercrombie strongly suggest this to be the case.

    no, not picts technically. probably the northern britons who were part of the kingdom of rheged and later became the rump of strathclyde (cumbria obviously cognate to cymru). the pictish lands were further north, and generally those areas never under roman domination.

  13. @Bill P
    I'm half Scots Irish, and none of my Scots Irish ancestry comes from south of Pennsylvania/Ohio, while some comes from as far north as New Hampshire and Vermont (New Englanders imported them to act as a buffer against the Indians). The reason you don't see many Southerners calling themselves "English" is because most of them would choose "American" or "Southern" as their ethnicity. But in fact the South is one of the most English parts of the country, both culturally and in terms of ancestry. They love tea, gardens, hunting with hounds, riding and literature. Names like Adams, Smith, Johnson and the like are more common there than in the rest of the country.

    As for the Scots Irish, after they pushed West past the Appalachians (which legions of them did in the early 19th century), most of them seem to have lost their Scots Irishness and settled into a comfortable "American" identity. In my family, for example, none of them even stayed with the Presbyterian Church. You'd never even guess they were Scots Irish unless you knew a lot about surnames. They were absorbed seamlessly into American institutions, the military being one of the most important, and when they emerged they were nothing like the caricature of the Scots Irish hillbilly. However, arguably their overrepresentation in the military does suggest a certain retention of their ancient martial tradition. My pet theory is that the Scots Irish are actually descended from the north Brythonic speaking people, AKA the Picts. Many of their surnames, such as Knox, Wallace and Abercrombie strongly suggest this to be the case.

    Lots of Mormons call themselves English because so many working class English were recruited by the early Mormon church in the 19th century, often straight out of the slums. These people never had the opportunity to assimilate into an American identity.

    BTW, in Ireland people still use the word "crack" (whence "cracker" derives) to describe a certain atmosphere of lighthearted banter and fellowship. They spell it "craic," and I've seen pubs that advertised themselves as having "good craic," which struck me as pretty funny. Americans still occasionally use the archaic crack in expressions such as "not all it's cracked up to be" or "wisecrack."

    The reason you don’t see many Southerners calling themselves “English” is because most of them would choose “American” or “Southern” as their ethnicity.

    why are you telling me this? i’ve blogged this.

    My pet theory is that the Scots Irish are actually descended from the north Brythonic speaking people, AKA the Picts. Many of their surnames, such as Knox, Wallace and Abercrombie strongly suggest this to be the case.

    no, not picts technically. probably the northern britons who were part of the kingdom of rheged and later became the rump of strathclyde (cumbria obviously cognate to cymru). the pictish lands were further north, and generally those areas never under roman domination.

    • Replies: @Bill P

    why are you telling me this? i’ve blogged this.
     
    Missed that one.

    no, not picts technically. probably the northern britons who were part of the kingdom of rheged and later became the rump of strathclyde (cumbria obviously cognate to cymru). the pictish lands were further north, and generally those areas never under roman domination.
     
    You're right, not technically Picts as in straight line from Picts to Scots Irish, but certainly they contributed to the people now known as Scots Irish (Edinburgh was a major Pictish center back in Roman times). "Scots Irish" as an ethnicity is as much a product of religion as ancestry/geography. If any man created a Scots Irish identity, it was John Knox. Ironically, they were as Calvinist as the Puritans, but obviously a very different people. I don't think their reputation as a bunch of louts is deserved. If anything, they were hated because they were so militant, and because of that people were scared of them.

    It's because they were such implacable warriors that they have a bad reputation today. But without them, there would be no United States of America. Not only were they the most solidly pro-independence of all colonial Americans, they were also eager and willing to lay down their lives for it. A little known fact about Scots Irish is that they also tended to oppose slavery, on account of so many of their brethren having been shipped off in chains to colonial plantations, which may as well have been death camps.
  14. @Halvorson
    Your post here is mostly about Mormons, but I feel the need to push back against "the Southerners are Scotch-Irish" meme that Albion's Seed and this blog have made so popular. I was skeptical of this and so I dug through Fischer's sources looking for raw numbers and found this table, based on a surname study by Purvis:

    https://postimg.org/image/7nf370pbz/

    Southerners were only 15 percent Scotch Irish in 1790, at which point emigration from Ulster had ceased. This number is perfectly consistent with the genealogical digging I've done on Southern signers of the Declaration of Independence and Confederate generals with well documented pedigrees. The entirety of the South's cultural distinctiveness cannot be explained away by pointing to this very small minority of people.

    “I feel the need to push back against “the Southerners are Scotch-Irish” meme that Albion’s Seed and this blog have made so popular.”

    Perhaps repeating a point, but Albion’s Seed classified Scots-Irish with lowland Scots and Northern English, referring either to Northern British or Borderlanders.

    Second, looking at people who signed the Declaration of Independence and served as generals for the Confederacy is a poor sampling of Americans. These are elites. The Borderlanders mostly arrived btw/ 1765-1775, so they are not establishment figures.

    Third, the Borderlanders appear to have married younger, emigrated with more women than any group outside of New England, and had more children both in and out of wedlock, so the 1790 census may not adequately describe demographic impact.

    I think you are right that there appears to be a tendency to equate Southerners with the Scots-Irish, but Albion’s Seed has a quarter of its contents dedicated to the Distressed Cavaliers and their servants, which formed the base of the South. Fischer even has the temerity to identify African-Americans as Southerners in this sense (contributors and propagators). But the Northern British were more Western than Southern.

    • Replies: @iffen
    has the temerity to identify African-Americans as Southerners

    Depending upon who you want to listen to they got the Scotch-Irish/Cavalier genes/culture.
  15. @Razib Khan
    The reason you don’t see many Southerners calling themselves “English” is because most of them would choose “American” or “Southern” as their ethnicity.

    why are you telling me this? i've blogged this.

    My pet theory is that the Scots Irish are actually descended from the north Brythonic speaking people, AKA the Picts. Many of their surnames, such as Knox, Wallace and Abercrombie strongly suggest this to be the case.

    no, not picts technically. probably the northern britons who were part of the kingdom of rheged and later became the rump of strathclyde (cumbria obviously cognate to cymru). the pictish lands were further north, and generally those areas never under roman domination.

    why are you telling me this? i’ve blogged this.

    Missed that one.

    no, not picts technically. probably the northern britons who were part of the kingdom of rheged and later became the rump of strathclyde (cumbria obviously cognate to cymru). the pictish lands were further north, and generally those areas never under roman domination.

    You’re right, not technically Picts as in straight line from Picts to Scots Irish, but certainly they contributed to the people now known as Scots Irish (Edinburgh was a major Pictish center back in Roman times). “Scots Irish” as an ethnicity is as much a product of religion as ancestry/geography. If any man created a Scots Irish identity, it was John Knox. Ironically, they were as Calvinist as the Puritans, but obviously a very different people. I don’t think their reputation as a bunch of louts is deserved. If anything, they were hated because they were so militant, and because of that people were scared of them.

    It’s because they were such implacable warriors that they have a bad reputation today. But without them, there would be no United States of America. Not only were they the most solidly pro-independence of all colonial Americans, they were also eager and willing to lay down their lives for it. A little known fact about Scots Irish is that they also tended to oppose slavery, on account of so many of their brethren having been shipped off in chains to colonial plantations, which may as well have been death camps.

    • Replies: @Yudi
    "A little known fact about Scots Irish is that they also tended to oppose slavery, on account of so many of their brethren having been shipped off in chains to colonial plantations, which may as well have been death camps."

    I am always very skeptical of claims like this. The reading I've done demonstrates that all non-black groups in the South disliked slavery for a generation or two, but then became tolerant of it at the very least. More often they became enthusiastic supporters and practitioners of the institution. This includes the Native Americans living in that area.

    Statements like this seek to put a satisfying modern interpretation on what our ancestors actually believed and did. Read James Oakes' The Ruling Race if you want more information: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393317056/
  16. @Bill P

    why are you telling me this? i’ve blogged this.
     
    Missed that one.

    no, not picts technically. probably the northern britons who were part of the kingdom of rheged and later became the rump of strathclyde (cumbria obviously cognate to cymru). the pictish lands were further north, and generally those areas never under roman domination.
     
    You're right, not technically Picts as in straight line from Picts to Scots Irish, but certainly they contributed to the people now known as Scots Irish (Edinburgh was a major Pictish center back in Roman times). "Scots Irish" as an ethnicity is as much a product of religion as ancestry/geography. If any man created a Scots Irish identity, it was John Knox. Ironically, they were as Calvinist as the Puritans, but obviously a very different people. I don't think their reputation as a bunch of louts is deserved. If anything, they were hated because they were so militant, and because of that people were scared of them.

    It's because they were such implacable warriors that they have a bad reputation today. But without them, there would be no United States of America. Not only were they the most solidly pro-independence of all colonial Americans, they were also eager and willing to lay down their lives for it. A little known fact about Scots Irish is that they also tended to oppose slavery, on account of so many of their brethren having been shipped off in chains to colonial plantations, which may as well have been death camps.

    “A little known fact about Scots Irish is that they also tended to oppose slavery, on account of so many of their brethren having been shipped off in chains to colonial plantations, which may as well have been death camps.”

    I am always very skeptical of claims like this. The reading I’ve done demonstrates that all non-black groups in the South disliked slavery for a generation or two, but then became tolerant of it at the very least. More often they became enthusiastic supporters and practitioners of the institution. This includes the Native Americans living in that area.

    Statements like this seek to put a satisfying modern interpretation on what our ancestors actually believed and did. Read James Oakes’ The Ruling Race if you want more information: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393317056/

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    cotton gin + rise of a universalist white consciousness in the south (and to some extent the whole USA) during age of jackson.
  17. @Yudi
    "A little known fact about Scots Irish is that they also tended to oppose slavery, on account of so many of their brethren having been shipped off in chains to colonial plantations, which may as well have been death camps."

    I am always very skeptical of claims like this. The reading I've done demonstrates that all non-black groups in the South disliked slavery for a generation or two, but then became tolerant of it at the very least. More often they became enthusiastic supporters and practitioners of the institution. This includes the Native Americans living in that area.

    Statements like this seek to put a satisfying modern interpretation on what our ancestors actually believed and did. Read James Oakes' The Ruling Race if you want more information: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393317056/

    cotton gin + rise of a universalist white consciousness in the south (and to some extent the whole USA) during age of jackson.

    • Replies: @iffen
    cotton gin + rise of a universalist white consciousness in the south (and to some extent the whole USA) during age of jackson.

    Two things that the nouveau riche slave owners of the cotton revolution took care of immediately was to identify themselves as a planter as opposed to yeoman farmer and they imported educated New Englanders who lived in the household and taught the children, male and female.

    While Arkansas hardly had any public schools, Michigan had hundreds.

    The Cavaliers and Bourbons had no use for educated cotton pickers and saw-mill hands, but the Scotch-Irish disregarded, and to some extent still do, the benefits of public education to a larger society. This is greatly distorted by the racial divide. Can the lack of support for public education be separated on the bases of Bourbon hostility, traditional Scotch-Irish individualism and historical racial animosity?
  18. I am always very skeptical of claims like this. The reading I’ve done demonstrates that all non-black groups in the South disliked slavery for a generation or two, but then became tolerant of it at the very least. More often they became enthusiastic supporters and practitioners of the institution. This includes the Native Americans living in that area.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much the case. Self-interest dictates politics. Scots Irish generals like Stonewall Jackson and Nathan Bedford Forrest had no problem with slavery because they personally profited from it. On the other hand, Northern Scots Irish like Ulysses Grant and Phil Sheridan had no use for the institution.

    The truth is that Scots Irish Presbyterianism as it existed circa 1776 was anti-slavery, but by 1860 Scots Irish were already assimilated enough that they took on the customs of their region. And who wouldn’t expect these people to raise the banner of war for its own sake?

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Sheridan was an Irish Catholic, either an immigrant himself or the son of immigrants.
  19. re: slavery & racism, people are trapped into a progressive model of history. the reality is from a modern perspective there was a ‘recession’ between 1800 and 1860, especially, in the south. then, there was a secondary recession between 1875 and the early 1900s.

    additionally, there is the fact that many anti-slavery people were as anti-black, or more so, than people that accepted the institution. e.g., my home state of oregon was founded explicitly as a non-slave white state.

    • Replies: @Bill P

    additionally, there is the fact that many anti-slavery people were as anti-black, or more so, than people that accepted the institution. e.g., my home state of oregon was founded explicitly as a non-slave white state.
     
    Ever read Sometimes a Great Notion? That attitude is captured very well in the descriptions of Oregon settlers' views concerning both blacks and Southerners. I've run into it up here in exurban/rural Western Washington as well -- even today. People are not so friendly toward blacks, and they're at least as hostile to white Southerners. They seem to think anyone with that accent is a degenerate or an imbecile.

    The very idea of slavery is offensive to them, and that leads to an animosity toward all involved. I think that was pretty much the standard sentiment of the average Republican voter in 1860.
  20. @Razib Khan
    re: slavery & racism, people are trapped into a progressive model of history. the reality is from a modern perspective there was a 'recession' between 1800 and 1860, especially, in the south. then, there was a secondary recession between 1875 and the early 1900s.

    additionally, there is the fact that many anti-slavery people were as anti-black, or more so, than people that accepted the institution. e.g., my home state of oregon was founded explicitly as a non-slave white state.

    additionally, there is the fact that many anti-slavery people were as anti-black, or more so, than people that accepted the institution. e.g., my home state of oregon was founded explicitly as a non-slave white state.

    Ever read Sometimes a Great Notion? That attitude is captured very well in the descriptions of Oregon settlers’ views concerning both blacks and Southerners. I’ve run into it up here in exurban/rural Western Washington as well — even today. People are not so friendly toward blacks, and they’re at least as hostile to white Southerners. They seem to think anyone with that accent is a degenerate or an imbecile.

    The very idea of slavery is offensive to them, and that leads to an animosity toward all involved. I think that was pretty much the standard sentiment of the average Republican voter in 1860.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    well, some areas of oregon were settled by people from the south, so i don't know. but yes, there is prejudice against southern people from what i've seen, though that happens in much of the urban west.

    but there's a reason the cities are named 'portland' and 'salem.'
  21. @Bill P

    additionally, there is the fact that many anti-slavery people were as anti-black, or more so, than people that accepted the institution. e.g., my home state of oregon was founded explicitly as a non-slave white state.
     
    Ever read Sometimes a Great Notion? That attitude is captured very well in the descriptions of Oregon settlers' views concerning both blacks and Southerners. I've run into it up here in exurban/rural Western Washington as well -- even today. People are not so friendly toward blacks, and they're at least as hostile to white Southerners. They seem to think anyone with that accent is a degenerate or an imbecile.

    The very idea of slavery is offensive to them, and that leads to an animosity toward all involved. I think that was pretty much the standard sentiment of the average Republican voter in 1860.

    well, some areas of oregon were settled by people from the south, so i don’t know. but yes, there is prejudice against southern people from what i’ve seen, though that happens in much of the urban west.

    but there’s a reason the cities are named ‘portland’ and ‘salem.’

    • Replies: @Bill P
    Right, some of eastern Oregon has a Southern feel to it. The ranching country in particular. But as I recall it's very sparsely populated. One of the curious things about the Pacific NW is that despite its remote location it was directly influenced by British before Americans settled there in large numbers. This, I guess, is why you find the large percentage of people claiming English ancestry in the part of Washington immediately south of Vancouver Island. There are mixed English and Spanish names all up and down Puget Sound. I live near Mt. Baker (one of Captain Vancouver's shipmates), which is clearly visible from the San Juan Islands, for example. A little further north and you have mixed English and Russian names.

    But in Seattle proper, where I grew up, the early Republican influence is obvious. There's Union and Republican streets, McLellan street (Scots Irish Union general BTW), Fremont Ave. and the entire neighborhood of Fremont, Lake Union, Union Bay, Lincoln Park and certainly some others I don't even know about. Also, the Union Civil War veterans' plot in Lakeview Cemetery is very impressive. A Confederates' plot exists as well, but it is very humble - even a little sad - in comparison.
  22. @Razib Khan
    well, some areas of oregon were settled by people from the south, so i don't know. but yes, there is prejudice against southern people from what i've seen, though that happens in much of the urban west.

    but there's a reason the cities are named 'portland' and 'salem.'

    Right, some of eastern Oregon has a Southern feel to it. The ranching country in particular. But as I recall it’s very sparsely populated. One of the curious things about the Pacific NW is that despite its remote location it was directly influenced by British before Americans settled there in large numbers. This, I guess, is why you find the large percentage of people claiming English ancestry in the part of Washington immediately south of Vancouver Island. There are mixed English and Spanish names all up and down Puget Sound. I live near Mt. Baker (one of Captain Vancouver’s shipmates), which is clearly visible from the San Juan Islands, for example. A little further north and you have mixed English and Russian names.

    But in Seattle proper, where I grew up, the early Republican influence is obvious. There’s Union and Republican streets, McLellan street (Scots Irish Union general BTW), Fremont Ave. and the entire neighborhood of Fremont, Lake Union, Union Bay, Lincoln Park and certainly some others I don’t even know about. Also, the Union Civil War veterans’ plot in Lakeview Cemetery is very impressive. A Confederates’ plot exists as well, but it is very humble – even a little sad – in comparison.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Right, some of eastern Oregon has a Southern feel to it.
     
    Once I asked a local in Western Washington what the difference was between Washingtonians and Oregonians. His answer? "We like Asians in Washington. They don't in Oregon."
  23. @Yudi
    The Cavalier culture is not *currently* capturing the national imagination, because it has been in decline for decades, as Woodard pointed out in his book. It was once a very important component of the national culture--Southerners used to be proud to point out that national heroes like Washington and Jefferson were slaveholding planters, whereas today those facts are unpleasant and swept under the rug.

    However, there is a third Southern subculture that Fischer does not discuss in Albion's Seed, namely the Deep South (probably because a) the Carolina planters came from elsewhere in the New World, not a region of Britain; and b) because he presumably wanted to keep the book under a thousand pages). Woodard does talk about them, however, and they do still loom large in the national imagination, viz. Dylan Roof.

    The current Mormon alliance is mainly with the Scots-Irish and the Deep South, as Tidewater is disappearing.

    The current Mormon alliance is mainly with the Scots-Irish and the Deep South, as Tidewater is disappearing.

    The cultural and linguistic obliteration of Tidewater is deeply sad to me, in part because my older children* grew up and learned to speak as babies there. They still have more than a trace of this accent:

    It was, I suppose, inevitable given the outsized economic roles that military bases and federal facilities have played in the big cities of the region. They brought a great deal of diversity and the monolithic national-popular culture that just overwhelmed what remained of the local flavor in the cities.

    Still, there are small towns and rural villages in the Tidewater area that retain the older local culture, including the dialect. One of my hunting buddies is from the area – his family has been there for over 200 years and still owns some bits of land (the Civil War and its aftermath destroyed much of the Cavalier society and prosperity, and eminent domain put the final nail in the conffin). One still sees occasional small cotton fields in Tidewater!

    *My younger children can shift at will between a mild Mid-Atlanic accent and Appalachian, reflecting the two residences in which they have grown. So we have quite a bit of linguistic diversity in my family (I speak with a mix of New England/New York accents and my wife speaks Standard Midwestern). Together as a family we culturally identify as Southerners, but my children will knock their mother and me for being carpetbaggers whilst they are, of course, the native-born of Dixie.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXs9cf2YWwg
  24. @iffen
    The entirety of the South’s cultural distinctiveness cannot be explained away by pointing to this very small minority of people.

    Well, we own it, and have for some time, so deal with it.

    Well, we own it, and have for some time, so deal with it.

    I am from East Asia, but I feel the greatest sense of kinship with the Scotch-Irish in America, even more so than with my wife’s people, the ever genteel, productive Yankee-German-Scandinavian folk of the Midwest.

    I love their music, I love their martial spirit, I love their grit and humor.* I love their sense of personal and familiar honor, which seems to have been sapped out of the rest of mercantile whites in this country. I even “get” their religion, having been a staunch Calvinist earlier in my life.

    *I started watching a TV series called “Quarry” recently, and there is a character who says something I think perfectly captures the Scotch-Irish grit and humor. The character is not necessarily Scotch-Irish, but she may as well be. While stitching up her wounded son who whines about the pain, she says “Our people don’t die of gunshot wounds. We die of alcoholism and heart disease.”

    • Replies: @iffen
    We die of alcoholism and heart disease.

    To which we can now add meth and opioid addictions.

    I feel the greatest sense of kinship with the Scotch-Irish in America

    I told you about the 1st and 2nd generation Korean War Bride descendants that I have known. I have to work at it to be more redneck than some of them.

    That Tidewater accent extends in a belt along the coast and west through the plantation South well into Mississippi. “True” Appalachians have always been separated from these Bourbons by speech, religion (think Baptist as opposed to Episcopalian) and social class. It is just like plebes, patricians and proles. If Al “Lockbox” Gore could have disguised his inherent patrician qualities better he could have been President like Bill Clinton. Clinton came by his plebian status by birthright and was in close enough contact with white trash proles that he knew how to pick up their votes as well (the few that bother to vote).
  25. @Twinkie

    The current Mormon alliance is mainly with the Scots-Irish and the Deep South, as Tidewater is disappearing.
     
    The cultural and linguistic obliteration of Tidewater is deeply sad to me, in part because my older children* grew up and learned to speak as babies there. They still have more than a trace of this accent: https://youtu.be/1RzVKCWXrRA

    It was, I suppose, inevitable given the outsized economic roles that military bases and federal facilities have played in the big cities of the region. They brought a great deal of diversity and the monolithic national-popular culture that just overwhelmed what remained of the local flavor in the cities.

    Still, there are small towns and rural villages in the Tidewater area that retain the older local culture, including the dialect. One of my hunting buddies is from the area - his family has been there for over 200 years and still owns some bits of land (the Civil War and its aftermath destroyed much of the Cavalier society and prosperity, and eminent domain put the final nail in the conffin). One still sees occasional small cotton fields in Tidewater!

    *My younger children can shift at will between a mild Mid-Atlanic accent and Appalachian, reflecting the two residences in which they have grown. So we have quite a bit of linguistic diversity in my family (I speak with a mix of New England/New York accents and my wife speaks Standard Midwestern). Together as a family we culturally identify as Southerners, but my children will knock their mother and me for being carpetbaggers whilst they are, of course, the native-born of Dixie.

  26. @Bill P
    Right, some of eastern Oregon has a Southern feel to it. The ranching country in particular. But as I recall it's very sparsely populated. One of the curious things about the Pacific NW is that despite its remote location it was directly influenced by British before Americans settled there in large numbers. This, I guess, is why you find the large percentage of people claiming English ancestry in the part of Washington immediately south of Vancouver Island. There are mixed English and Spanish names all up and down Puget Sound. I live near Mt. Baker (one of Captain Vancouver's shipmates), which is clearly visible from the San Juan Islands, for example. A little further north and you have mixed English and Russian names.

    But in Seattle proper, where I grew up, the early Republican influence is obvious. There's Union and Republican streets, McLellan street (Scots Irish Union general BTW), Fremont Ave. and the entire neighborhood of Fremont, Lake Union, Union Bay, Lincoln Park and certainly some others I don't even know about. Also, the Union Civil War veterans' plot in Lakeview Cemetery is very impressive. A Confederates' plot exists as well, but it is very humble - even a little sad - in comparison.

    Right, some of eastern Oregon has a Southern feel to it.

    Once I asked a local in Western Washington what the difference was between Washingtonians and Oregonians. His answer? “We like Asians in Washington. They don’t in Oregon.”

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    oregon was historically more racist overall. black musicians who played in portland had to stay in hotels across the river in vacounver, WA. black musicians going by train from seattle to california also had to accept that they wouldn't get lodgings overnight if they stopped in oregon.
    , @Bill P
    Well, to be fair, Washington had its share of anti-Asian riots. But it wasn't really so much about straight up racism as it was the labor disputes so common to that time. For example, the Sikh lumber mill workers who were kicked out of Bellingham were described in magnificent terms (i.e. physically attractive and regal) by the locals, but that just made them all the more determined to chase them out to avoid competition.

    The lesson there I think is not to hector whites about racism (the current policy), but rather to keep their standard of living above the level of Eastern Europe, which is about where it seems a lot of "progressives" think it belongs.

    White people are human beings just like everyone else. When they have their backs up against the wall, they act just the same as others do. Having had a near miss with a Chinese anti-white riot (caused by 1999 bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade -- random whites were actually being attacked in the streets of Beijing and Chengdu), I sympathize with victims, but I'm also well aware that whites have no monopoly on racial violence.

    It's interesting that you have an affinity for Scots Irish. Are you Korean? If so, that would make sense, because Presbyterians had great success with their missions in Korea.
  27. @Twinkie

    Right, some of eastern Oregon has a Southern feel to it.
     
    Once I asked a local in Western Washington what the difference was between Washingtonians and Oregonians. His answer? "We like Asians in Washington. They don't in Oregon."

    oregon was historically more racist overall. black musicians who played in portland had to stay in hotels across the river in vacounver, WA. black musicians going by train from seattle to california also had to accept that they wouldn’t get lodgings overnight if they stopped in oregon.

    • Replies: @patrick
    Some black people settled in Washington Territory for exactly that reason. Centralia, Washington (about halfway between Tacoma and Portland) was founded by a black man named George Washington who had come west on the Oregon Trail but could not own land in the Oregon Territory. I have also read that the KKK was particularly strong in Oregon during the 1920s.
  28. @Razib Khan
    oregon was historically more racist overall. black musicians who played in portland had to stay in hotels across the river in vacounver, WA. black musicians going by train from seattle to california also had to accept that they wouldn't get lodgings overnight if they stopped in oregon.

    Some black people settled in Washington Territory for exactly that reason. Centralia, Washington (about halfway between Tacoma and Portland) was founded by a black man named George Washington who had come west on the Oregon Trail but could not own land in the Oregon Territory. I have also read that the KKK was particularly strong in Oregon during the 1920s.

  29. @Twinkie

    Right, some of eastern Oregon has a Southern feel to it.
     
    Once I asked a local in Western Washington what the difference was between Washingtonians and Oregonians. His answer? "We like Asians in Washington. They don't in Oregon."

    Well, to be fair, Washington had its share of anti-Asian riots. But it wasn’t really so much about straight up racism as it was the labor disputes so common to that time. For example, the Sikh lumber mill workers who were kicked out of Bellingham were described in magnificent terms (i.e. physically attractive and regal) by the locals, but that just made them all the more determined to chase them out to avoid competition.

    The lesson there I think is not to hector whites about racism (the current policy), but rather to keep their standard of living above the level of Eastern Europe, which is about where it seems a lot of “progressives” think it belongs.

    White people are human beings just like everyone else. When they have their backs up against the wall, they act just the same as others do. Having had a near miss with a Chinese anti-white riot (caused by 1999 bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade — random whites were actually being attacked in the streets of Beijing and Chengdu), I sympathize with victims, but I’m also well aware that whites have no monopoly on racial violence.

    It’s interesting that you have an affinity for Scots Irish. Are you Korean? If so, that would make sense, because Presbyterians had great success with their missions in Korea.

  30. @sansfoy
    The Mormons who followed Brigham Young out to Utah were only about 2/3 of the Mormon community at the time of Joseph Smith's death. Of these Brighamite Mormons, roughly 50% were European converts, mostly English and Scottish, but also Danish, Swedish, etc. These followed Brigham Young at a higher rate than the American-born Mormons because they'd largely been converted by members of the Quorum of the Twelve, which took over leadership of the Utah branch after Smith's death. There were other claimants, of course.

    My point in all of this is that a big chunk of that self-reported English ancestry dates to mid-19th century converts to Mormonism in the British Isles. Like in most of the American population, the English part of the balance is probably under-reported due a greater knowledge of more recent immigrant ancestors.

    In my own ancestry, I'm about 50% descended from early Puritan stock, and 50% from these later Mormon converts, with a roughly equal mix of Scottish, English, and Scandinavian. I do not self-identify as a Mormon anymore, but almost everyone in my extended family still does.

    I’ve done some digging around Mormon family genealogies and keep being surprised at how often Mormons descend from immigrants who came from England in the late 1800s. It seems there are plenty of Mormons who aren’t old-stock American at all.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    Seems to be the case in Mitt Romney's family too, his great-great-grandfather was from Preston in Lancashire:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18422949
    , @Marcus
    Thousands of Mormon converts from northern England and Scotland moved to Illinois in the mid 1800s. They're trying to do the same thing now by converting and inviting Latinos, Pacific Islanders, etc.
  31. @Razib Khan
    http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4049&context=etd

    Thanks for the link to the paper. I will have to complete it later, it looks very interesting. I find it quite telling that interspersed with scholarly writing there are all these little moral messages. Many, many inoculations against charges of racial insensitivity. It appears that one cannot just write history anymore; you have project everything back and keep repeating, “We don’t think like that anymore.”

    I just didn’t understand the point about Carolina planters, some few that came from Barbados, but the original ones that built the rice and indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations were mostly English.

    Alexandre Pétion of Haiti gave Simon Bolivar a substantial assist with men and material at a crucial and trying time in Bolivar’s struggle.

  32. @Anon
    I've done some digging around Mormon family genealogies and keep being surprised at how often Mormons descend from immigrants who came from England in the late 1800s. It seems there are plenty of Mormons who aren't old-stock American at all.

    Seems to be the case in Mitt Romney’s family too, his great-great-grandfather was from Preston in Lancashire:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18422949

    • Replies: @Hail

    Seems to be the case in Mitt Romney’s family too, his great-great-grandfather was from Preston in Lancashire:
     
    I'd like to direct people here to what I believe to be the fullest and most comprehensive account of Mitt Romney's ancestry, back four and more generations (compiled and written by me in 2012). Respectfully submitted for your consideration:

    Synopsis off Mitt Romney’s Ancestry

    (1) Most of Mitt Romney's ancestral stock consists of early converts to Mormonism from Britain (most from Northwest-England and Scotland) who were impelled to the USA from the 1830s to the 1850s, settling directly in Mormon communities.

    (2) Colonial-Yankees account for 27% of Romney’s ancestral stock.

    (3) 12.5% (one-eighth) of his ancestral stock comes from Northern-Germany.

    (4) Many of Romney’s ancestors who were then-living participated in the dramatic 1846-7 Mormon Exodus from Illinois to Utah.

    (5) All of Romney’s ancestral lines end up in Utah by the 1880s.

    (6) Some went to Mexico at the end of the 1800s, but were expelled in 1912 and went back to Utah.

    — — —

    Mitt Romney: Ethnic Ancestry Summary
    40.6% England — Mostly Northwest England, partly W.Midlands.
    18.8% Scotland
    26.6% Colonial-Yankee
    12.5% North-German
    1.5-3% French, Acadian, possible Huguenot (see entries #5 and #7 below)
    __________________
     
    (The full accounts of each of Mitt Romney's eight ancestral lines)

    We see much more British ancestry (converts to Mormonism in Britain who emigrated to join the Elect), including Scottish, than actual Colonial Yankee ancestry... The disproportionately-important patrlineal line itself is also very firmly English, out of Northumberland, NW England.

    Mitt Romney is one man, but I believe his "ancestral portrait" is representative; his overall ancestral portrait does not quite support the theory seemingly here proposed that Mormonism is a direct descendant (ethnically as well as culturally) of Yankeeism.
  33. @Twinkie

    Well, we own it, and have for some time, so deal with it.
     
    I am from East Asia, but I feel the greatest sense of kinship with the Scotch-Irish in America, even more so than with my wife's people, the ever genteel, productive Yankee-German-Scandinavian folk of the Midwest.

    I love their music, I love their martial spirit, I love their grit and humor.* I love their sense of personal and familiar honor, which seems to have been sapped out of the rest of mercantile whites in this country. I even "get" their religion, having been a staunch Calvinist earlier in my life.

    *I started watching a TV series called "Quarry" recently, and there is a character who says something I think perfectly captures the Scotch-Irish grit and humor. The character is not necessarily Scotch-Irish, but she may as well be. While stitching up her wounded son who whines about the pain, she says "Our people don't die of gunshot wounds. We die of alcoholism and heart disease."

    We die of alcoholism and heart disease.

    To which we can now add meth and opioid addictions.

    I feel the greatest sense of kinship with the Scotch-Irish in America

    I told you about the 1st and 2nd generation Korean War Bride descendants that I have known. I have to work at it to be more redneck than some of them.

    That Tidewater accent extends in a belt along the coast and west through the plantation South well into Mississippi. “True” Appalachians have always been separated from these Bourbons by speech, religion (think Baptist as opposed to Episcopalian) and social class. It is just like plebes, patricians and proles. If Al “Lockbox” Gore could have disguised his inherent patrician qualities better he could have been President like Bill Clinton. Clinton came by his plebian status by birthright and was in close enough contact with white trash proles that he knew how to pick up their votes as well (the few that bother to vote).

    • Replies: @Uncle Remus
    Al Gore's "inherent patrician qualities" are an illusion. He was the son of a schoolteacher father and the daughter of a man who ran a country store in Tennessee. When the father, skilled at politics, became a Tennessee senator the family lived at the Fairfax Hotel on Embassy Row in Washington and Al was sent to St Alban's, the prestigious school by the National Cathedral. He added a veneer of sophistication, but he was a backcountry boy nevertheless. Bill (Clinton) Blythe
    was from the same backcountry background, just a little trashier.
  34. @Razib Khan
    cotton gin + rise of a universalist white consciousness in the south (and to some extent the whole USA) during age of jackson.

    cotton gin + rise of a universalist white consciousness in the south (and to some extent the whole USA) during age of jackson.

    Two things that the nouveau riche slave owners of the cotton revolution took care of immediately was to identify themselves as a planter as opposed to yeoman farmer and they imported educated New Englanders who lived in the household and taught the children, male and female.

    While Arkansas hardly had any public schools, Michigan had hundreds.

    The Cavaliers and Bourbons had no use for educated cotton pickers and saw-mill hands, but the Scotch-Irish disregarded, and to some extent still do, the benefits of public education to a larger society. This is greatly distorted by the racial divide. Can the lack of support for public education be separated on the bases of Bourbon hostility, traditional Scotch-Irish individualism and historical racial animosity?

  35. @Anon
    I've done some digging around Mormon family genealogies and keep being surprised at how often Mormons descend from immigrants who came from England in the late 1800s. It seems there are plenty of Mormons who aren't old-stock American at all.

    Thousands of Mormon converts from northern England and Scotland moved to Illinois in the mid 1800s. They’re trying to do the same thing now by converting and inviting Latinos, Pacific Islanders, etc.

    • Replies: @PD Shaw
    By at least one account, 13,887 joined joined the Mormon Church in England btw/ 1840 and 1845, with 3,200 immigrating to Illinois during that period. Nauvoo became the largest city in Illinois by 1845 with a population of 11,052.

    A number of the immigrants had been led to believe that oranges and other citrus fruits grew in the streets of the city, and gold and silver could be had for the asking. The New Jerusalem did not meet expectations and didn't have a place for all the converts coming from New England, Canada and Britain; some died of privation, others left, denying they'd ever been duped, but most stayed within a day's traveling distance of Nauvoo. Some of those in need resorted to steeling for which the theocratic city state offered little protection to nonbelievers, but many worked for cheap wages in the surrounding communities and were reported to be hard workers by locals.
  36. Razib, I think it got mentioned in your original post, but the one problem with your theory is that most of the English in Utah came during a huge wave of immigration in the second half of the 19th century from Mormon missionary efforts there. There was also a relatively large wave of immigration of Scandinavians. (There’s actually one town primarily settled by Icelanders) Even before the move to Utah a large percentage of Mormons were European. This tends to undercut somewhat the puritan thesis even though many of the leaders of Mormonism do come out of the New England culture. In particular Brigham Young is very much the ideal of a pragmatic yankee. While early Mormonism definitely had a lot of early Yankee converts many if not most of these didn’t stay with the movement.

    The thesis about Puritanism might have certain elements, but if they are there I think they’re a bit more indirect. Early Mormonism is much more driven by converts from the more Arminian tradition rather than the Calvinist tradition. (A large conversion of Cambellites who largely followed Wesley’s type of Arminianism set the tone for early Mormonism prior to the move to Illinois)

    Mormonism always had an uncomfortable relationship with the south. When they moved to Missouri they were persecuted largely due to being seen as abolitionists. (This was just a few years after a major slave rebellion) Mormon missionaries were often extremely persecuted in the south and sometimes lynched. There was a perception that southerners were in part behind the murder of Joseph Smith as well. This eventually led, during the Utah War period, to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. (The settlers heading to California were from Arkansas and just a few months earlier a Mormon apostle had been murdered in Arkansas) While in the Utah period, partially due to immigrants from the south, the tended to have a position not nearly as abolitionist as before those elements did remain in some ways. (I suspect part of this was due to Republican opposition to Mormons as well – there were political calls of eliminating the twin relics of barbarism of slavery and Mormonism)

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    The thesis about Puritanism might have certain elements, but if they are there I think they’re a bit more indirect. Early Mormonism is much more driven by converts from the more Arminian tradition rather than the Calvinist tradition. (A large conversion of Cambellites who largely followed Wesley’s type of Arminianism set the tone for early Mormonism prior to the move to Illinois)



    i'm to understand that joseph smith himself flirted with the 'universalist' movement.

    i am aware that mormons are not calvinists. but when i say 'puritan' i don't mean a theological position. after all, most unitarian-universalist churches in new england used to be congregationalist churches, and the transcendalists came out of the puritan milieu. rather, my assertion is that early mormonism can be understood as an extension of a yankee ethos, which can be seen in many of the movements from the burnedover district.

    second, yes, i'm aware of the conversions in england (and also large #s of migrants from scandinavia) to the early church in part because of you. but it seems likely that they would attract the sort of people who reinforce, rather than diminish, the ethos of the early church.
    , @kikz2
    "Mormonism always had an uncomfortable relationship with the south."


    y, the no caffeine thing is just alien to us.. no tea? no coca-cola? magic underwear? mmmmm. no thank ya :)

    additionally, we don't take lightly to their efforts to seal our dead in wedded bliss to one of their mouldering elders.

    our 20+yr neighbors across the street, tried that w/that w/my paternal grandmother.. my daddy politely told their 'prozac-ish' matriarch to go to hell... :)

    p.s. i've been 'kikz' since the early 90's.. no disrespect, just fact. :)
    , @Hail
    What you describe is a legitimate ethnogenesis.

    The Mormon Ethnogensis.

    Where does an "ethnicity" come from? They don't just descend from heaven, fully formed, right? So they are born. How are they born; how do they emerge? The Mormon case is actually a great example, albeit unique in certain ways. It is most useful to see the Mormons as a new ethnicity, drawing in part from previous ones (where else does one draw from?), but really its own thing.

    Ethnicity, of course, is and remains tied in tightly with religion, and probably always has been.
  37. @Marcus
    Thousands of Mormon converts from northern England and Scotland moved to Illinois in the mid 1800s. They're trying to do the same thing now by converting and inviting Latinos, Pacific Islanders, etc.

    By at least one account, 13,887 joined joined the Mormon Church in England btw/ 1840 and 1845, with 3,200 immigrating to Illinois during that period. Nauvoo became the largest city in Illinois by 1845 with a population of 11,052.

    A number of the immigrants had been led to believe that oranges and other citrus fruits grew in the streets of the city, and gold and silver could be had for the asking. The New Jerusalem did not meet expectations and didn’t have a place for all the converts coming from New England, Canada and Britain; some died of privation, others left, denying they’d ever been duped, but most stayed within a day’s traveling distance of Nauvoo. Some of those in need resorted to steeling for which the theocratic city state offered little protection to nonbelievers, but many worked for cheap wages in the surrounding communities and were reported to be hard workers by locals.

    • Replies: @Marcus
    Mormonism seems like a giant pyramid scheme. Joseph Smith as 19th century L Ron Hubbard.
  38. Mormons do not accept the Protestant contention that salvation is through faith alone. Behavior matters.

    Aaah! I remember the Mormons in my highschool – good folks. I mean, they used to jibe us with name calling like ‘wetbacks’ – actually ‘wetters’ was their term of choice. But it was all harmless fun, we used to poke fun at them being bland White folks – but we all did OK together on the basketball court or mixing it up in street hockey. A practicing Muslim fit in pretty well with those guys and many of them set the gold standard for academics/sports with their solid determination and ethical behavior. Of course, they had their black sheep – who doesn’t?

    Good times…and good post on the breakdown of how Mormons fit in the greater milieu of the descendants of the British Isles.

    Peace

    (they do not believe Mormons are Christian, and resent that they claim that they are Christian)

    Ahmadiyyah!

    • Replies: @iffen
    Looked at from a practical point of view, I think that the beauty and simplicity of having a current prophet on hand is overwhelming. God can just send along any required updates to the religion to the current prophet without all the fuss and uproar that comes with having to establish the credentials and following for a new prophet. :)
  39. @Clark
    Razib, I think it got mentioned in your original post, but the one problem with your theory is that most of the English in Utah came during a huge wave of immigration in the second half of the 19th century from Mormon missionary efforts there. There was also a relatively large wave of immigration of Scandinavians. (There's actually one town primarily settled by Icelanders) Even before the move to Utah a large percentage of Mormons were European. This tends to undercut somewhat the puritan thesis even though many of the leaders of Mormonism do come out of the New England culture. In particular Brigham Young is very much the ideal of a pragmatic yankee. While early Mormonism definitely had a lot of early Yankee converts many if not most of these didn't stay with the movement.

    The thesis about Puritanism might have certain elements, but if they are there I think they're a bit more indirect. Early Mormonism is much more driven by converts from the more Arminian tradition rather than the Calvinist tradition. (A large conversion of Cambellites who largely followed Wesley's type of Arminianism set the tone for early Mormonism prior to the move to Illinois)

    Mormonism always had an uncomfortable relationship with the south. When they moved to Missouri they were persecuted largely due to being seen as abolitionists. (This was just a few years after a major slave rebellion) Mormon missionaries were often extremely persecuted in the south and sometimes lynched. There was a perception that southerners were in part behind the murder of Joseph Smith as well. This eventually led, during the Utah War period, to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. (The settlers heading to California were from Arkansas and just a few months earlier a Mormon apostle had been murdered in Arkansas) While in the Utah period, partially due to immigrants from the south, the tended to have a position not nearly as abolitionist as before those elements did remain in some ways. (I suspect part of this was due to Republican opposition to Mormons as well - there were political calls of eliminating the twin relics of barbarism of slavery and Mormonism)

    The thesis about Puritanism might have certain elements, but if they are there I think they’re a bit more indirect. Early Mormonism is much more driven by converts from the more Arminian tradition rather than the Calvinist tradition. (A large conversion of Cambellites who largely followed Wesley’s type of Arminianism set the tone for early Mormonism prior to the move to Illinois)

    i’m to understand that joseph smith himself flirted with the ‘universalist’ movement.

    i am aware that mormons are not calvinists. but when i say ‘puritan’ i don’t mean a theological position. after all, most unitarian-universalist churches in new england used to be congregationalist churches, and the transcendalists came out of the puritan milieu. rather, my assertion is that early mormonism can be understood as an extension of a yankee ethos, which can be seen in many of the movements from the burnedover district.

    second, yes, i’m aware of the conversions in england (and also large #s of migrants from scandinavia) to the early church in part because of you. but it seems likely that they would attract the sort of people who reinforce, rather than diminish, the ethos of the early church.

  40. @PD Shaw
    By at least one account, 13,887 joined joined the Mormon Church in England btw/ 1840 and 1845, with 3,200 immigrating to Illinois during that period. Nauvoo became the largest city in Illinois by 1845 with a population of 11,052.

    A number of the immigrants had been led to believe that oranges and other citrus fruits grew in the streets of the city, and gold and silver could be had for the asking. The New Jerusalem did not meet expectations and didn't have a place for all the converts coming from New England, Canada and Britain; some died of privation, others left, denying they'd ever been duped, but most stayed within a day's traveling distance of Nauvoo. Some of those in need resorted to steeling for which the theocratic city state offered little protection to nonbelievers, but many worked for cheap wages in the surrounding communities and were reported to be hard workers by locals.

    Mormonism seems like a giant pyramid scheme. Joseph Smith as 19th century L Ron Hubbard.

    • Replies: @PD Shaw
    Full disclosure, one of my ancestors moved from Maine to Illinois in the 1840s because a Mormon Missionary healed a dying woman by prayer and laying of hands. According to her daughter, doctors had given up on her, but after the faith-healing, she rose, dressed herself and walked one-half mile to the river, where she was baptized. Most of her children embraced the new faith. Her husband, however, quipped "That sure beats doctor bills," but never joined the church. Indeed, when the Mormons left for Utah, the wife and some kids went with them, but the husband and other children stayed in Illinois. Some apparently witnessed a miracle, and others had not.
  41. @Talha

    Mormons do not accept the Protestant contention that salvation is through faith alone. Behavior matters.
     
    Aaah! I remember the Mormons in my highschool - good folks. I mean, they used to jibe us with name calling like 'wetbacks' - actually 'wetters' was their term of choice. But it was all harmless fun, we used to poke fun at them being bland White folks - but we all did OK together on the basketball court or mixing it up in street hockey. A practicing Muslim fit in pretty well with those guys and many of them set the gold standard for academics/sports with their solid determination and ethical behavior. Of course, they had their black sheep - who doesn't?

    Good times...and good post on the breakdown of how Mormons fit in the greater milieu of the descendants of the British Isles.

    Peace


    (they do not believe Mormons are Christian, and resent that they claim that they are Christian)
     
    Ahmadiyyah!

    Looked at from a practical point of view, I think that the beauty and simplicity of having a current prophet on hand is overwhelming. God can just send along any required updates to the religion to the current prophet without all the fuss and uproar that comes with having to establish the credentials and following for a new prophet. 🙂

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Gotta admit - it is very convenient. Just gotta trust the comm line is indeed working.

    If I remember correctly, the pope serves a similar (though not completely analogous) function in Catholicism.

    Peace.
  42. @iffen
    Looked at from a practical point of view, I think that the beauty and simplicity of having a current prophet on hand is overwhelming. God can just send along any required updates to the religion to the current prophet without all the fuss and uproar that comes with having to establish the credentials and following for a new prophet. :)

    Hey iffen,

    Gotta admit – it is very convenient. Just gotta trust the comm line is indeed working.

    If I remember correctly, the pope serves a similar (though not completely analogous) function in Catholicism.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    If I remember correctly, the pope serves a similar (though not completely analogous) function in Catholicism.
     
    You are misinformed. The Catholic Church does not have a new revelation every time it is politically expedient. It is that very enduring and permanent quality - regarding morality and doctrine - that attracted me to Catholicism.

    The Church is also not as hierarchical or monolithic as the Mormon governing structure; it tolerates much disobedience and dissession amongst its priests and flock. To be sure, clericalism exists, but there is a constant reminder that the Church is the whole body of believers, not just the clerical establishment.

    I should note that, in my personal experience, Mormons as individuals and families are generally wonderful, moral, and communal people. They make great neighbors and friends, provided of course that they are not the majority and dominate the politics of the shared community. In the latter case, they tend to impose their puritanical streaks* on others who do not share them, as well as behave in an exclusionary manner to outsiders.

    *The Catholic Church is sometimes accused of having a similar streak today because it opposes things like homosexual marriage and such, but I would simply point to Bishop Barron's reflection on this in response: http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/sex-love-and-god-the-catholic-answer-to-puritanism-and-nietzcheanism/455/
  43. @Marcus
    Mormonism seems like a giant pyramid scheme. Joseph Smith as 19th century L Ron Hubbard.

    Full disclosure, one of my ancestors moved from Maine to Illinois in the 1840s because a Mormon Missionary healed a dying woman by prayer and laying of hands. According to her daughter, doctors had given up on her, but after the faith-healing, she rose, dressed herself and walked one-half mile to the river, where she was baptized. Most of her children embraced the new faith. Her husband, however, quipped “That sure beats doctor bills,” but never joined the church. Indeed, when the Mormons left for Utah, the wife and some kids went with them, but the husband and other children stayed in Illinois. Some apparently witnessed a miracle, and others had not.

  44. Razib, ,

    Will you delete my comment #32? Except for the thanks to the link the rest of the 1st paragraph is pretty much unfounded as it relates to this paper, which is excellent, BTW.

  45. @iffen
    We die of alcoholism and heart disease.

    To which we can now add meth and opioid addictions.

    I feel the greatest sense of kinship with the Scotch-Irish in America

    I told you about the 1st and 2nd generation Korean War Bride descendants that I have known. I have to work at it to be more redneck than some of them.

    That Tidewater accent extends in a belt along the coast and west through the plantation South well into Mississippi. “True” Appalachians have always been separated from these Bourbons by speech, religion (think Baptist as opposed to Episcopalian) and social class. It is just like plebes, patricians and proles. If Al “Lockbox” Gore could have disguised his inherent patrician qualities better he could have been President like Bill Clinton. Clinton came by his plebian status by birthright and was in close enough contact with white trash proles that he knew how to pick up their votes as well (the few that bother to vote).

    Al Gore’s “inherent patrician qualities” are an illusion. He was the son of a schoolteacher father and the daughter of a man who ran a country store in Tennessee. When the father, skilled at politics, became a Tennessee senator the family lived at the Fairfax Hotel on Embassy Row in Washington and Al was sent to St Alban’s, the prestigious school by the National Cathedral. He added a veneer of sophistication, but he was a backcountry boy nevertheless. Bill (Clinton) Blythe
    was from the same backcountry background, just a little trashier.

    • Replies: @iffen
    He was the son of a schoolteacher father and the daughter of a man who ran a country store in Tennessee.

    Part of the educated elite and merchant class.

    Passes for patrician in a state split between hillbillies and sharecroppers.
  46. @Talha
    Hey iffen,

    Gotta admit - it is very convenient. Just gotta trust the comm line is indeed working.

    If I remember correctly, the pope serves a similar (though not completely analogous) function in Catholicism.

    Peace.

    If I remember correctly, the pope serves a similar (though not completely analogous) function in Catholicism.

    You are misinformed. The Catholic Church does not have a new revelation every time it is politically expedient. It is that very enduring and permanent quality – regarding morality and doctrine – that attracted me to Catholicism.

    The Church is also not as hierarchical or monolithic as the Mormon governing structure; it tolerates much disobedience and dissession amongst its priests and flock. To be sure, clericalism exists, but there is a constant reminder that the Church is the whole body of believers, not just the clerical establishment.

    I should note that, in my personal experience, Mormons as individuals and families are generally wonderful, moral, and communal people. They make great neighbors and friends, provided of course that they are not the majority and dominate the politics of the shared community. In the latter case, they tend to impose their puritanical streaks* on others who do not share them, as well as behave in an exclusionary manner to outsiders.

    *The Catholic Church is sometimes accused of having a similar streak today because it opposes things like homosexual marriage and such, but I would simply point to Bishop Barron’s reflection on this in response: http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/sex-love-and-god-the-catholic-answer-to-puritanism-and-nietzcheanism/455/

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Yeah, I didn't mean the 'new revelation' stuff, I know the pope is not a prophet. I was talking more in a central hierarchy for deliberation and final verdicts and such.

    It is that very enduring and permanent quality – regarding morality and doctrine – that attracted me to Catholicism.
     
    My own spiritual teacher speaks highly of Catholicism, he remembers fondly attending a Catholic school in Pakistan.

    And thanks for the other clarifications on Catholicism and that excellent article - reminds me a lot of the Islamic position on this subject actually. It's funny, a couple of centuries ago, we were cast in the Orientalist writings as the hedonistic, erotically-charged culture (especially by the Victorians) and now we are accused of being at the opposite end of the spectrum. My, how times change... :)

    Peace.
  47. @Twinkie

    If I remember correctly, the pope serves a similar (though not completely analogous) function in Catholicism.
     
    You are misinformed. The Catholic Church does not have a new revelation every time it is politically expedient. It is that very enduring and permanent quality - regarding morality and doctrine - that attracted me to Catholicism.

    The Church is also not as hierarchical or monolithic as the Mormon governing structure; it tolerates much disobedience and dissession amongst its priests and flock. To be sure, clericalism exists, but there is a constant reminder that the Church is the whole body of believers, not just the clerical establishment.

    I should note that, in my personal experience, Mormons as individuals and families are generally wonderful, moral, and communal people. They make great neighbors and friends, provided of course that they are not the majority and dominate the politics of the shared community. In the latter case, they tend to impose their puritanical streaks* on others who do not share them, as well as behave in an exclusionary manner to outsiders.

    *The Catholic Church is sometimes accused of having a similar streak today because it opposes things like homosexual marriage and such, but I would simply point to Bishop Barron's reflection on this in response: http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/sex-love-and-god-the-catholic-answer-to-puritanism-and-nietzcheanism/455/

    Hey Twinkie,

    Yeah, I didn’t mean the ‘new revelation’ stuff, I know the pope is not a prophet. I was talking more in a central hierarchy for deliberation and final verdicts and such.

    It is that very enduring and permanent quality – regarding morality and doctrine – that attracted me to Catholicism.

    My own spiritual teacher speaks highly of Catholicism, he remembers fondly attending a Catholic school in Pakistan.

    And thanks for the other clarifications on Catholicism and that excellent article – reminds me a lot of the Islamic position on this subject actually. It’s funny, a couple of centuries ago, we were cast in the Orientalist writings as the hedonistic, erotically-charged culture (especially by the Victorians) and now we are accused of being at the opposite end of the spectrum. My, how times change… 🙂

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I was talking more in a central hierarchy for deliberation and final verdicts and such.
     
    The Pope doesn't get the last word on much at all. People who think the Vatican is some sort of an autocracy doesn't know much about Catholicism at all.

    Many a times I have heard such remarks, and responded, "You must be confusing us with the Mormons. The Pope is not a Mormon 'prophet' - he can't just change the enduring dogma, because he feels like it or feels pressured by the rest of society."

    Indeed there were times - many times - I and other faithful Catholics wished Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI would restore discipline and remove or censure errant bishops, priests, dioceses, parishes, orders, etc. but were unable or unwilling to do so likely due to significant constraints they have on their powers.

    The Church is a church of sinners, with all that entails.

    For the same reason, leftists who got all excited at certain public pronouncements of Pope Francis are very much likely to be disappointed.

  48. @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Yeah, I didn't mean the 'new revelation' stuff, I know the pope is not a prophet. I was talking more in a central hierarchy for deliberation and final verdicts and such.

    It is that very enduring and permanent quality – regarding morality and doctrine – that attracted me to Catholicism.
     
    My own spiritual teacher speaks highly of Catholicism, he remembers fondly attending a Catholic school in Pakistan.

    And thanks for the other clarifications on Catholicism and that excellent article - reminds me a lot of the Islamic position on this subject actually. It's funny, a couple of centuries ago, we were cast in the Orientalist writings as the hedonistic, erotically-charged culture (especially by the Victorians) and now we are accused of being at the opposite end of the spectrum. My, how times change... :)

    Peace.

    I was talking more in a central hierarchy for deliberation and final verdicts and such.

    The Pope doesn’t get the last word on much at all. People who think the Vatican is some sort of an autocracy doesn’t know much about Catholicism at all.

    Many a times I have heard such remarks, and responded, “You must be confusing us with the Mormons. The Pope is not a Mormon ‘prophet’ – he can’t just change the enduring dogma, because he feels like it or feels pressured by the rest of society.”

    Indeed there were times – many times – I and other faithful Catholics wished Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI would restore discipline and remove or censure errant bishops, priests, dioceses, parishes, orders, etc. but were unable or unwilling to do so likely due to significant constraints they have on their powers.

    The Church is a church of sinners, with all that entails.

    For the same reason, leftists who got all excited at certain public pronouncements of Pope Francis are very much likely to be disappointed.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Again Twinkie, thanks for the clarifications.


    due to significant constraints they have on their powers
     
    From my reading of history the Pope's role and relationship to the rest of the clerical community (and public at large) has been an evolving one, correct? For instance, the Pope prior to the Peace of Westphalia, etc.

    For the same reason, leftists who got all excited at certain public pronouncements of Pope Francis are very much likely to be disappointed.
     
    Yeah, I think they don't understand the significance of the need of an ecumenical council/conference on the scale of Vatican II that would likely be required.

    Peace.
  49. @Uncle Remus
    Al Gore's "inherent patrician qualities" are an illusion. He was the son of a schoolteacher father and the daughter of a man who ran a country store in Tennessee. When the father, skilled at politics, became a Tennessee senator the family lived at the Fairfax Hotel on Embassy Row in Washington and Al was sent to St Alban's, the prestigious school by the National Cathedral. He added a veneer of sophistication, but he was a backcountry boy nevertheless. Bill (Clinton) Blythe
    was from the same backcountry background, just a little trashier.

    He was the son of a schoolteacher father and the daughter of a man who ran a country store in Tennessee.

    Part of the educated elite and merchant class.

    Passes for patrician in a state split between hillbillies and sharecroppers.

    • Replies: @Uncle Remus
    Iffen, you are short on understanding social relations in Tennessee. A graduate of a state teachers' college, such as Gore Sr., neither was nor is "part of the educated elite". Nor was the owner of a country store in the early 20th century, selling chewing tobacco, candy and flour to farming families, a member of a "merchant class".

    There were and are patricians in Tennessee but the Gore forbears were not among them.
    , @Twinkie
    And he does have a patrician name.
    , @Twinkie

    a schoolteacher
     
    I know being a public school teacher is a joke nowadays, especially among conservatives, but it was not that long ago in rural/small town America that being a teacher meant - if not exactly "elite" - being an elder of the community as well as a member of its intelligentsia. The same goes for a country doctor (whose social role as a town elder has all been destroyed in most modern America, especially in urban and suburban areas).
  50. If I am not mistaken, the high English ancestry rates in Utah are due to phenomenally successful Mormon missionary work in Great Britain in the 1840s and 1850s, causing a Mormon migration.

    My great-grandfather, for example, was part of it. He served a mission in Great Britain, baptized many people (hundreds, I believe), and chartered a ship, brought them all to the US, and then led the wagon train to Utah. This happened with many different missionaries in England. The fact that the church has its roots in New England is less of a factor explaining the English fraction of the population.

  51. @Twinkie

    I was talking more in a central hierarchy for deliberation and final verdicts and such.
     
    The Pope doesn't get the last word on much at all. People who think the Vatican is some sort of an autocracy doesn't know much about Catholicism at all.

    Many a times I have heard such remarks, and responded, "You must be confusing us with the Mormons. The Pope is not a Mormon 'prophet' - he can't just change the enduring dogma, because he feels like it or feels pressured by the rest of society."

    Indeed there were times - many times - I and other faithful Catholics wished Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI would restore discipline and remove or censure errant bishops, priests, dioceses, parishes, orders, etc. but were unable or unwilling to do so likely due to significant constraints they have on their powers.

    The Church is a church of sinners, with all that entails.

    For the same reason, leftists who got all excited at certain public pronouncements of Pope Francis are very much likely to be disappointed.

    Again Twinkie, thanks for the clarifications.

    due to significant constraints they have on their powers

    From my reading of history the Pope’s role and relationship to the rest of the clerical community (and public at large) has been an evolving one, correct? For instance, the Pope prior to the Peace of Westphalia, etc.

    For the same reason, leftists who got all excited at certain public pronouncements of Pope Francis are very much likely to be disappointed.

    Yeah, I think they don’t understand the significance of the need of an ecumenical council/conference on the scale of Vatican II that would likely be required.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    From my reading of history the Pope’s role and relationship to the rest of the clerical community (and public at large) has been an evolving one, correct? For instance, the Pope prior to the Peace of Westphalia, etc.
     
    Given that popes used to have an army and would war with other secular rulers, yes. But the phenomenon of Apostolic succession remains the same, and constitutes the basis of papal authority.

    the need of an ecumenical council/conference on the scale of Vatican II that would likely be required
     
    Even that is not enough. Not everything that comes out of an ecumenical council is canonical. Truths are immutable. Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals. Nothing else. And ex cathedra pronouncements are very rare.

    I don't want to get into this too much (it's a well-trodden subject among Catholics), but let's just say that (some) people tend to overplay the changes that Vatican II brought, which have been largely aesthetic. Many of such stylistic changes are displeasing to me, but they did not change Dogma. So even when I am on the road and must bring myself to a bongo-playing parish, the Sacrements remain valid. For that matter, Orthodox Sacraments are valid for me too (though the Orthodox priest in question would be most disturbed if he found out I was a Catholic - it's not a stunt I would pull except in a dire circumstance).
  52. @iffen
    He was the son of a schoolteacher father and the daughter of a man who ran a country store in Tennessee.

    Part of the educated elite and merchant class.

    Passes for patrician in a state split between hillbillies and sharecroppers.

    Iffen, you are short on understanding social relations in Tennessee. A graduate of a state teachers’ college, such as Gore Sr., neither was nor is “part of the educated elite”. Nor was the owner of a country store in the early 20th century, selling chewing tobacco, candy and flour to farming families, a member of a “merchant class”.

    There were and are patricians in Tennessee but the Gore forbears were not among them.

    • Replies: @iffen
    It seems we have different ideas about the significance of what it meant to have been an educated person or a member of the merchant class in early 20th century Tennessee. I stand by my statement that the patrician persona of Gore cost him the election. Whether he was a parvenu or not is a minor detail. The fact that he could not or would not disguise these attributes cost him the Presidency.

    BTW, I hope your boys learn to play football before Saturday, I hate boring blowouts.

    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    It's impossible to seriously discuss Tennessee seriously without considering geography. As a very weirdly demarked state, Tennessee slices through several ecosystems that attracted people with different goals, political views, and backgrounds. The west, of course, has most of the fertile ground, thus a large Anglo/African population based on this historical slavery economy. The Nashville basin had this, too, but to a slightly lesser degree due to more barrens lands more suitable for livestock. Pushing eastward is the Cumberland Plateau and Appalachians, which do not lend themselves to large-scale farming. These areas had a lot more subsistence farming and little slavery. It's no accident, then, that this was largely a Unionist area in the Civil War where support for Republicans was larger. Al Gore Sr came from an area that had little slavery or much of a patrician class.
  53. @Talha
    Again Twinkie, thanks for the clarifications.


    due to significant constraints they have on their powers
     
    From my reading of history the Pope's role and relationship to the rest of the clerical community (and public at large) has been an evolving one, correct? For instance, the Pope prior to the Peace of Westphalia, etc.

    For the same reason, leftists who got all excited at certain public pronouncements of Pope Francis are very much likely to be disappointed.
     
    Yeah, I think they don't understand the significance of the need of an ecumenical council/conference on the scale of Vatican II that would likely be required.

    Peace.

    From my reading of history the Pope’s role and relationship to the rest of the clerical community (and public at large) has been an evolving one, correct? For instance, the Pope prior to the Peace of Westphalia, etc.

    Given that popes used to have an army and would war with other secular rulers, yes. But the phenomenon of Apostolic succession remains the same, and constitutes the basis of papal authority.

    the need of an ecumenical council/conference on the scale of Vatican II that would likely be required

    Even that is not enough. Not everything that comes out of an ecumenical council is canonical. Truths are immutable. Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals. Nothing else. And ex cathedra pronouncements are very rare.

    I don’t want to get into this too much (it’s a well-trodden subject among Catholics), but let’s just say that (some) people tend to overplay the changes that Vatican II brought, which have been largely aesthetic. Many of such stylistic changes are displeasing to me, but they did not change Dogma. So even when I am on the road and must bring myself to a bongo-playing parish, the Sacrements remain valid. For that matter, Orthodox Sacraments are valid for me too (though the Orthodox priest in question would be most disturbed if he found out I was a Catholic – it’s not a stunt I would pull except in a dire circumstance).

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks again for more info on this subject (also thanks for Razib for keeping these open threads that can go down tangents like this).


    Truths are immutable.
     
    Makes sense.

    Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals.
     
    Aren't 'faith and morals' the crux of transcendent 'truth'? If so, are you saying that once the council has come out with a position (on faith and morals) then it never changes?

    Interesting stuff about the Orthodox sacraments. I had thought, after the Great Schism, this was not possible. Very interesting. Now is the inverse of this also recognized as valid from the Orthodox side - do you know?

    Peace.

    , @ohwilleke
    Francis of Assisi was the historical exemplar of that notion. He was one of only a handful of mendicant preachers who carefully kept his dogma orthodox despite a radically different style of honoring that dogma, which is why his movement became an officially recognized and beloved Holy Order, while most of his peers were persecuted as heretics sooner or later.
    , @Vmartini
    I'm a lapsed Catholic myself, but my understanding is that the actual documents from the Council are quite orthodox. It was the "spirit of Vatican II" (or the interpretation there of) that led to the various liberalizations. Remember, as a bishop and cardinal, John Paul II was an supporter of the Council and as pope referred to it often. He just didn't interpret it the way liberals did.
  54. @iffen
    He was the son of a schoolteacher father and the daughter of a man who ran a country store in Tennessee.

    Part of the educated elite and merchant class.

    Passes for patrician in a state split between hillbillies and sharecroppers.

    And he does have a patrician name.

  55. @Uncle Remus
    Iffen, you are short on understanding social relations in Tennessee. A graduate of a state teachers' college, such as Gore Sr., neither was nor is "part of the educated elite". Nor was the owner of a country store in the early 20th century, selling chewing tobacco, candy and flour to farming families, a member of a "merchant class".

    There were and are patricians in Tennessee but the Gore forbears were not among them.

    It seems we have different ideas about the significance of what it meant to have been an educated person or a member of the merchant class in early 20th century Tennessee. I stand by my statement that the patrician persona of Gore cost him the election. Whether he was a parvenu or not is a minor detail. The fact that he could not or would not disguise these attributes cost him the Presidency.

    BTW, I hope your boys learn to play football before Saturday, I hate boring blowouts.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    I don't think anybody's arguing your point about his more "worldly" airs making him lose popularity. The point is that he lived in an area that was not as hospitable to a patrician/educated elite as in, say, west Tennessee, or the outlier of Chattanooga, which has a mix of upland and lowland South characteristics with a history of cultured outsiders moving in. As the years went by, he probably just didn't want to keep up with populist appearances-as in the well-known country fiddler persona of his youth.

    An example of how people with a more patrician sensibility were historically electable would be Mississippi, specifically the Delta region. Historically, it has tended to elect educated, relatively cultured people to local and national offices (think of novelist Walker Percy's family)- and that rubbed off on neighboring parts of the state to the point that Haley Barbour quipped about how populist men-in-overalls types generally don't get elected to offices beyond the county level. People like their fratboys-in-a-suit type. Even now, a few of those towns have Chinese and Jewish mayors.

  56. This map, as some have pointed out, is an indicator of Flight from White, Avoidance of Anglo, etc.
    Much of the South has serious undercounting. Certainly the self reporting of “American” is a factor, but Englishness just doesn’t assert itself as a culture anymore- since Englishness in the current prog taxonomy is peak White. It’s the founding stock culture, and the the “hegemon” must be rooted out.

    A simple run through of surnames would show that English is the primary ancestry of even the upland South, though it is true that the Borders/Scots-Irish thing becomes a bigger factor there.

    I grew up in a very English part of the deep South, and the cultural influence was obvious. I remember my grandmother’s accent and diction to be so formal that it bordered on RP. She and most of her friends had afternoon tea, a reading corner, all that. My grandfather and his friends were all very conscious of their English ancestry, and all of them were real Anglophiles.They spoke with a guttural, somewhat nasal drawl that pretty much has disappeared. Our local Episcopal parish held on to the 1928 prayerbook long after the new one came out. My father’s side of the family came to Virginia in the 1620’s and helped settle Southern lowlands.

    The nearby hills was where the Other, the redneck/cracker folk were- there was a disdain for them that still existed up to the 1970’s/1980’s when I was growing up in our small farm town.


    The original Mormons were by and large Yankees, and their migration west took them into the lands of the Scots-Irish, who descended upon them like wolves to the slaughter, as was often the case when Yankees faced Scots-Irish in an unorganized fashion

    Harsh statement, Razib, but there’s some truth to it, unfortunately. As one fellow I knew spoke of his people: “When we get one that’s scared, that’s when we pour it on.”

    Behavior matters. Social pathologies and the personal disorder which has been a feature of Southern cultural life since its inception…

    True. One of the biggest shocks that Yankees get when they spend any real time here is the mixture of religiosity and hedonism. It’s parodied to death in movies and Southern Gothic novels, but seeing it in real life is something else. Their Puritan taste for the absolute just can’t handle it. It would be like a Cathar suddenly experiencing the Vatican under the Borgias- fine words and imagery with shameful behavior. It wasn’t until I spent some time up North that I realized how truly wild and hard partying Southerners were. Northerners, even the hip set, seemed way more straitlaced. Of course, therein lies a lot of why they are ahead, and we’re behind.

    • Replies: @iffen
    A simple run through of surnames would show that English is the primary ancestry of even the upland South

    Can you do a simple sort of Smith, Johnson, Reed(Reid), Wilson and Green for me? Limited of course to Scottish, English or Scotch-Irish.

    I noticed that you didn't give me a shout-out on the division of Tennessee into western sharecroppers or eastern hillbillies. Of course your comment was much more informative and complete.

  57. @Twinkie

    From my reading of history the Pope’s role and relationship to the rest of the clerical community (and public at large) has been an evolving one, correct? For instance, the Pope prior to the Peace of Westphalia, etc.
     
    Given that popes used to have an army and would war with other secular rulers, yes. But the phenomenon of Apostolic succession remains the same, and constitutes the basis of papal authority.

    the need of an ecumenical council/conference on the scale of Vatican II that would likely be required
     
    Even that is not enough. Not everything that comes out of an ecumenical council is canonical. Truths are immutable. Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals. Nothing else. And ex cathedra pronouncements are very rare.

    I don't want to get into this too much (it's a well-trodden subject among Catholics), but let's just say that (some) people tend to overplay the changes that Vatican II brought, which have been largely aesthetic. Many of such stylistic changes are displeasing to me, but they did not change Dogma. So even when I am on the road and must bring myself to a bongo-playing parish, the Sacrements remain valid. For that matter, Orthodox Sacraments are valid for me too (though the Orthodox priest in question would be most disturbed if he found out I was a Catholic - it's not a stunt I would pull except in a dire circumstance).

    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks again for more info on this subject (also thanks for Razib for keeping these open threads that can go down tangents like this).

    Truths are immutable.

    Makes sense.

    Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals.

    Aren’t ‘faith and morals’ the crux of transcendent ‘truth’? If so, are you saying that once the council has come out with a position (on faith and morals) then it never changes?

    Interesting stuff about the Orthodox sacraments. I had thought, after the Great Schism, this was not possible. Very interesting. Now is the inverse of this also recognized as valid from the Orthodox side – do you know?

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Aren’t ‘faith and morals’ the crux of transcendent ‘truth’?
     
    Yes, but there is much non-"crux" stuff in religion, Christianity included, some of them important and necessary. There is a panoply, a rich tapestry, of historical, traditional (not capital T), and aesthetic elements that can and do deepen one's attachment to Truth.

    Music, for example: https://youtu.be/8-EfW7gYzns?list=RD8-EfW7gYzns

    Middle Eastern Christians have some of the most beautiful chants.

    Interesting stuff about the Orthodox sacraments. I had thought, after the Great Schism, this was not possible. Very interesting. Now is the inverse of this also recognized as valid from the Orthodox side – do you know?
     
    Sadly the recognition only goes one way, hence my remark about "not pulling this stunt" earlier. For Catholics, Orthodox Sacraments are valid, because the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of the Apostolic succession in the Orthodox Church. So I can technically receive valid Sacraments from an Orthodox priests. However, since the recognition is not reciprocated, the said priest would not offer me Sacraments once he found out I was of Roman Rite. So it's something of which I would avail myself only in an extreme circumstance.

    My dear and sincere hope is that - within my life - I shall see the reunification of Catholic and Orthodox Christendom. We are so, so close, yet remain apart. In the mean time, I am happy to partake in Melkite Greek Mass occasionally. It's a beautiful Catholic Rite: https://youtu.be/I9jO7enCoXU

    When I spent some time in Israel, I became very fond of this Rite.

    A lot of people not familiar with Catholics - and some Catholics in the West - don't realize that there are close to thirty other Rites in the Catholic Church aside from the very well-known two Roman Rites: https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm
    , @Twinkie

    Thanks again
     
    You are most welcome. It's my pleasure.
  58. @Uncle Remus
    Iffen, you are short on understanding social relations in Tennessee. A graduate of a state teachers' college, such as Gore Sr., neither was nor is "part of the educated elite". Nor was the owner of a country store in the early 20th century, selling chewing tobacco, candy and flour to farming families, a member of a "merchant class".

    There were and are patricians in Tennessee but the Gore forbears were not among them.

    It’s impossible to seriously discuss Tennessee seriously without considering geography. As a very weirdly demarked state, Tennessee slices through several ecosystems that attracted people with different goals, political views, and backgrounds. The west, of course, has most of the fertile ground, thus a large Anglo/African population based on this historical slavery economy. The Nashville basin had this, too, but to a slightly lesser degree due to more barrens lands more suitable for livestock. Pushing eastward is the Cumberland Plateau and Appalachians, which do not lend themselves to large-scale farming. These areas had a lot more subsistence farming and little slavery. It’s no accident, then, that this was largely a Unionist area in the Civil War where support for Republicans was larger. Al Gore Sr came from an area that had little slavery or much of a patrician class.

    • Replies: @iffen
    From Wiki:

    During a December 1987 interview with Playboy, Gore Vidal, a maternal grandson of Thomas Gore suggested that Albert Gore was of Anglo-Irish descent

    [Thomas] Gore was born on December 10, 1870, near Embry, Mississippi in Webster County, Mississippi, the son of Caroline Elizabeth (Wingo) and Thomas Madison Gore.[2][a] The Gore family was one of the nineteen original families that owned farmlands in what later became the capital of the United States, the District of Columbia. The Gores were Anglo-Irish from Donegal and arrived in North America at the end of the seventeenth century and tended to intermarry with other Anglo-Irish families, particularly in Virginia.[4]
  59. @yaqub the mad scientist
    It's impossible to seriously discuss Tennessee seriously without considering geography. As a very weirdly demarked state, Tennessee slices through several ecosystems that attracted people with different goals, political views, and backgrounds. The west, of course, has most of the fertile ground, thus a large Anglo/African population based on this historical slavery economy. The Nashville basin had this, too, but to a slightly lesser degree due to more barrens lands more suitable for livestock. Pushing eastward is the Cumberland Plateau and Appalachians, which do not lend themselves to large-scale farming. These areas had a lot more subsistence farming and little slavery. It's no accident, then, that this was largely a Unionist area in the Civil War where support for Republicans was larger. Al Gore Sr came from an area that had little slavery or much of a patrician class.

    From Wiki:

    During a December 1987 interview with Playboy, Gore Vidal, a maternal grandson of Thomas Gore suggested that Albert Gore was of Anglo-Irish descent

    [Thomas] Gore was born on December 10, 1870, near Embry, Mississippi in Webster County, Mississippi, the son of Caroline Elizabeth (Wingo) and Thomas Madison Gore.[2][a] The Gore family was one of the nineteen original families that owned farmlands in what later became the capital of the United States, the District of Columbia. The Gores were Anglo-Irish from Donegal and arrived in North America at the end of the seventeenth century and tended to intermarry with other Anglo-Irish families, particularly in Virginia.[4]

  60. @iffen
    It seems we have different ideas about the significance of what it meant to have been an educated person or a member of the merchant class in early 20th century Tennessee. I stand by my statement that the patrician persona of Gore cost him the election. Whether he was a parvenu or not is a minor detail. The fact that he could not or would not disguise these attributes cost him the Presidency.

    BTW, I hope your boys learn to play football before Saturday, I hate boring blowouts.

    I don’t think anybody’s arguing your point about his more “worldly” airs making him lose popularity. The point is that he lived in an area that was not as hospitable to a patrician/educated elite as in, say, west Tennessee, or the outlier of Chattanooga, which has a mix of upland and lowland South characteristics with a history of cultured outsiders moving in. As the years went by, he probably just didn’t want to keep up with populist appearances-as in the well-known country fiddler persona of his youth.

    An example of how people with a more patrician sensibility were historically electable would be Mississippi, specifically the Delta region. Historically, it has tended to elect educated, relatively cultured people to local and national offices (think of novelist Walker Percy’s family)- and that rubbed off on neighboring parts of the state to the point that Haley Barbour quipped about how populist men-in-overalls types generally don’t get elected to offices beyond the county level. People like their fratboys-in-a-suit type. Even now, a few of those towns have Chinese and Jewish mayors.

    • Replies: @iffen
    tended to elect educated, relatively cultured people

    People like Theodore Bilbo?

    His airs made him lose the yahoo vote, just like Romney lost it.

    , @Uncle Remus
    Gore's snotty personality helped him lose in 2000. He learned this by living in D.C. as the son of a senator and attending a prestigious prep school. Snotty preppy attitudes are not the result of "patrician" ancestry, most certainly in this case.
  61. @yaqub the mad scientist
    I don't think anybody's arguing your point about his more "worldly" airs making him lose popularity. The point is that he lived in an area that was not as hospitable to a patrician/educated elite as in, say, west Tennessee, or the outlier of Chattanooga, which has a mix of upland and lowland South characteristics with a history of cultured outsiders moving in. As the years went by, he probably just didn't want to keep up with populist appearances-as in the well-known country fiddler persona of his youth.

    An example of how people with a more patrician sensibility were historically electable would be Mississippi, specifically the Delta region. Historically, it has tended to elect educated, relatively cultured people to local and national offices (think of novelist Walker Percy's family)- and that rubbed off on neighboring parts of the state to the point that Haley Barbour quipped about how populist men-in-overalls types generally don't get elected to offices beyond the county level. People like their fratboys-in-a-suit type. Even now, a few of those towns have Chinese and Jewish mayors.

    tended to elect educated, relatively cultured people

    People like Theodore Bilbo?

    His airs made him lose the yahoo vote, just like Romney lost it.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    Not from the Delta. Other end of the state. Geography matters.

    Memo: "educated and cultured" does not always mean progressive. I knew wealthy planters who had gone to Harvard and collected fine art, but they were pretty conservative.

    Memo: Populist men of the people can be left or right. Case in point: Bilbo, the "King of the Rednecks"- hated by the left and the planter class.

  62. @Twinkie

    From my reading of history the Pope’s role and relationship to the rest of the clerical community (and public at large) has been an evolving one, correct? For instance, the Pope prior to the Peace of Westphalia, etc.
     
    Given that popes used to have an army and would war with other secular rulers, yes. But the phenomenon of Apostolic succession remains the same, and constitutes the basis of papal authority.

    the need of an ecumenical council/conference on the scale of Vatican II that would likely be required
     
    Even that is not enough. Not everything that comes out of an ecumenical council is canonical. Truths are immutable. Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals. Nothing else. And ex cathedra pronouncements are very rare.

    I don't want to get into this too much (it's a well-trodden subject among Catholics), but let's just say that (some) people tend to overplay the changes that Vatican II brought, which have been largely aesthetic. Many of such stylistic changes are displeasing to me, but they did not change Dogma. So even when I am on the road and must bring myself to a bongo-playing parish, the Sacrements remain valid. For that matter, Orthodox Sacraments are valid for me too (though the Orthodox priest in question would be most disturbed if he found out I was a Catholic - it's not a stunt I would pull except in a dire circumstance).

    Francis of Assisi was the historical exemplar of that notion. He was one of only a handful of mendicant preachers who carefully kept his dogma orthodox despite a radically different style of honoring that dogma, which is why his movement became an officially recognized and beloved Holy Order, while most of his peers were persecuted as heretics sooner or later.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Francis of Assisi was the historical exemplar of that notion.
     
    Always a delightful saint for my children. Indeed, we just celebrated his Feast day earlier in the month, and took our dogs to be blessed!

    All dogs go to heaven: http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/dogheaven.asp
  63. @iffen
    tended to elect educated, relatively cultured people

    People like Theodore Bilbo?

    His airs made him lose the yahoo vote, just like Romney lost it.

    Not from the Delta. Other end of the state. Geography matters.

    Memo: “educated and cultured” does not always mean progressive. I knew wealthy planters who had gone to Harvard and collected fine art, but they were pretty conservative.

    Memo: Populist men of the people can be left or right. Case in point: Bilbo, the “King of the Rednecks”- hated by the left and the planter class.

  64. @yaqub the mad scientist
    This map, as some have pointed out, is an indicator of Flight from White, Avoidance of Anglo, etc.
    Much of the South has serious undercounting. Certainly the self reporting of "American" is a factor, but Englishness just doesn't assert itself as a culture anymore- since Englishness in the current prog taxonomy is peak White. It's the founding stock culture, and the the "hegemon" must be rooted out.

    A simple run through of surnames would show that English is the primary ancestry of even the upland South, though it is true that the Borders/Scots-Irish thing becomes a bigger factor there.

    I grew up in a very English part of the deep South, and the cultural influence was obvious. I remember my grandmother's accent and diction to be so formal that it bordered on RP. She and most of her friends had afternoon tea, a reading corner, all that. My grandfather and his friends were all very conscious of their English ancestry, and all of them were real Anglophiles.They spoke with a guttural, somewhat nasal drawl that pretty much has disappeared. Our local Episcopal parish held on to the 1928 prayerbook long after the new one came out. My father's side of the family came to Virginia in the 1620's and helped settle Southern lowlands.

    The nearby hills was where the Other, the redneck/cracker folk were- there was a disdain for them that still existed up to the 1970's/1980's when I was growing up in our small farm town.


    The original Mormons were by and large Yankees, and their migration west took them into the lands of the Scots-Irish, who descended upon them like wolves to the slaughter, as was often the case when Yankees faced Scots-Irish in an unorganized fashion

    Harsh statement, Razib, but there's some truth to it, unfortunately. As one fellow I knew spoke of his people: "When we get one that's scared, that's when we pour it on."

    Behavior matters. Social pathologies and the personal disorder which has been a feature of Southern cultural life since its inception...

    True. One of the biggest shocks that Yankees get when they spend any real time here is the mixture of religiosity and hedonism. It's parodied to death in movies and Southern Gothic novels, but seeing it in real life is something else. Their Puritan taste for the absolute just can't handle it. It would be like a Cathar suddenly experiencing the Vatican under the Borgias- fine words and imagery with shameful behavior. It wasn't until I spent some time up North that I realized how truly wild and hard partying Southerners were. Northerners, even the hip set, seemed way more straitlaced. Of course, therein lies a lot of why they are ahead, and we're behind.

    A simple run through of surnames would show that English is the primary ancestry of even the upland South

    Can you do a simple sort of Smith, Johnson, Reed(Reid), Wilson and Green for me? Limited of course to Scottish, English or Scotch-Irish.

    I noticed that you didn’t give me a shout-out on the division of Tennessee into western sharecroppers or eastern hillbillies. Of course your comment was much more informative and complete.

  65. @PD Shaw
    "I feel the need to push back against “the Southerners are Scotch-Irish” meme that Albion’s Seed and this blog have made so popular."

    Perhaps repeating a point, but Albion's Seed classified Scots-Irish with lowland Scots and Northern English, referring either to Northern British or Borderlanders.

    Second, looking at people who signed the Declaration of Independence and served as generals for the Confederacy is a poor sampling of Americans. These are elites. The Borderlanders mostly arrived btw/ 1765-1775, so they are not establishment figures.

    Third, the Borderlanders appear to have married younger, emigrated with more women than any group outside of New England, and had more children both in and out of wedlock, so the 1790 census may not adequately describe demographic impact.

    I think you are right that there appears to be a tendency to equate Southerners with the Scots-Irish, but Albion's Seed has a quarter of its contents dedicated to the Distressed Cavaliers and their servants, which formed the base of the South. Fischer even has the temerity to identify African-Americans as Southerners in this sense (contributors and propagators). But the Northern British were more Western than Southern.

    has the temerity to identify African-Americans as Southerners

    Depending upon who you want to listen to they got the Scotch-Irish/Cavalier genes/culture.

  66. @Bill P

    I am always very skeptical of claims like this. The reading I’ve done demonstrates that all non-black groups in the South disliked slavery for a generation or two, but then became tolerant of it at the very least. More often they became enthusiastic supporters and practitioners of the institution. This includes the Native Americans living in that area.
     
    Yeah, that's pretty much the case. Self-interest dictates politics. Scots Irish generals like Stonewall Jackson and Nathan Bedford Forrest had no problem with slavery because they personally profited from it. On the other hand, Northern Scots Irish like Ulysses Grant and Phil Sheridan had no use for the institution.

    The truth is that Scots Irish Presbyterianism as it existed circa 1776 was anti-slavery, but by 1860 Scots Irish were already assimilated enough that they took on the customs of their region. And who wouldn't expect these people to raise the banner of war for its own sake?

    Sheridan was an Irish Catholic, either an immigrant himself or the son of immigrants.

  67. @ohwilleke
    Francis of Assisi was the historical exemplar of that notion. He was one of only a handful of mendicant preachers who carefully kept his dogma orthodox despite a radically different style of honoring that dogma, which is why his movement became an officially recognized and beloved Holy Order, while most of his peers were persecuted as heretics sooner or later.

    Francis of Assisi was the historical exemplar of that notion.

    Always a delightful saint for my children. Indeed, we just celebrated his Feast day earlier in the month, and took our dogs to be blessed!

    All dogs go to heaven: http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/dogheaven.asp

  68. @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks again for more info on this subject (also thanks for Razib for keeping these open threads that can go down tangents like this).


    Truths are immutable.
     
    Makes sense.

    Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals.
     
    Aren't 'faith and morals' the crux of transcendent 'truth'? If so, are you saying that once the council has come out with a position (on faith and morals) then it never changes?

    Interesting stuff about the Orthodox sacraments. I had thought, after the Great Schism, this was not possible. Very interesting. Now is the inverse of this also recognized as valid from the Orthodox side - do you know?

    Peace.

    Aren’t ‘faith and morals’ the crux of transcendent ‘truth’?

    Yes, but there is much non-“crux” stuff in religion, Christianity included, some of them important and necessary. There is a panoply, a rich tapestry, of historical, traditional (not capital T), and aesthetic elements that can and do deepen one’s attachment to Truth.

    Music, for example:

    Middle Eastern Christians have some of the most beautiful chants.

    Interesting stuff about the Orthodox sacraments. I had thought, after the Great Schism, this was not possible. Very interesting. Now is the inverse of this also recognized as valid from the Orthodox side – do you know?

    Sadly the recognition only goes one way, hence my remark about “not pulling this stunt” earlier. For Catholics, Orthodox Sacraments are valid, because the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of the Apostolic succession in the Orthodox Church. So I can technically receive valid Sacraments from an Orthodox priests. However, since the recognition is not reciprocated, the said priest would not offer me Sacraments once he found out I was of Roman Rite. So it’s something of which I would avail myself only in an extreme circumstance.

    My dear and sincere hope is that – within my life – I shall see the reunification of Catholic and Orthodox Christendom. We are so, so close, yet remain apart. In the mean time, I am happy to partake in Melkite Greek Mass occasionally. It’s a beautiful Catholic Rite:

    When I spent some time in Israel, I became very fond of this Rite.

    A lot of people not familiar with Catholics – and some Catholics in the West – don’t realize that there are close to thirty other Rites in the Catholic Church aside from the very well-known two Roman Rites: https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm

    • Replies: @Talha
    Wow! That chant is beautiful - very reminiscent of the Sufi dhikr chants (usually Qadiri or Shadhilli) of places like Syria!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bacXsCryE9M

    There is a panoply, a rich tapestry, of historical, traditional (not capital T), and aesthetic elements that can and do deepen one’s attachment to Truth.
     
    Agreed.

    We are so, so close, yet remain apart.
     
    When I was doing some research into the Orthodox churches and their history, as it intertwines with Muslim history, I did come across the fact that both churches do (now) seem to be open to the idea of inter-marriage. What threw me off a bit (coming from my background) was their categorization of this as an "inter-faith" marriage!

    There is a lot of history in the divide - a lot of it bloody. But many years have passed since the worst of it so I think that can be overcome eventually if people are willing to reconcile.

    Peace.

  69. @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Thanks again for more info on this subject (also thanks for Razib for keeping these open threads that can go down tangents like this).


    Truths are immutable.
     
    Makes sense.

    Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals.
     
    Aren't 'faith and morals' the crux of transcendent 'truth'? If so, are you saying that once the council has come out with a position (on faith and morals) then it never changes?

    Interesting stuff about the Orthodox sacraments. I had thought, after the Great Schism, this was not possible. Very interesting. Now is the inverse of this also recognized as valid from the Orthodox side - do you know?

    Peace.

    Thanks again

    You are most welcome. It’s my pleasure.

  70. @iffen
    He was the son of a schoolteacher father and the daughter of a man who ran a country store in Tennessee.

    Part of the educated elite and merchant class.

    Passes for patrician in a state split between hillbillies and sharecroppers.

    a schoolteacher

    I know being a public school teacher is a joke nowadays, especially among conservatives, but it was not that long ago in rural/small town America that being a teacher meant – if not exactly “elite” – being an elder of the community as well as a member of its intelligentsia. The same goes for a country doctor (whose social role as a town elder has all been destroyed in most modern America, especially in urban and suburban areas).

  71. @Twinkie

    Aren’t ‘faith and morals’ the crux of transcendent ‘truth’?
     
    Yes, but there is much non-"crux" stuff in religion, Christianity included, some of them important and necessary. There is a panoply, a rich tapestry, of historical, traditional (not capital T), and aesthetic elements that can and do deepen one's attachment to Truth.

    Music, for example: https://youtu.be/8-EfW7gYzns?list=RD8-EfW7gYzns

    Middle Eastern Christians have some of the most beautiful chants.

    Interesting stuff about the Orthodox sacraments. I had thought, after the Great Schism, this was not possible. Very interesting. Now is the inverse of this also recognized as valid from the Orthodox side – do you know?
     
    Sadly the recognition only goes one way, hence my remark about "not pulling this stunt" earlier. For Catholics, Orthodox Sacraments are valid, because the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of the Apostolic succession in the Orthodox Church. So I can technically receive valid Sacraments from an Orthodox priests. However, since the recognition is not reciprocated, the said priest would not offer me Sacraments once he found out I was of Roman Rite. So it's something of which I would avail myself only in an extreme circumstance.

    My dear and sincere hope is that - within my life - I shall see the reunification of Catholic and Orthodox Christendom. We are so, so close, yet remain apart. In the mean time, I am happy to partake in Melkite Greek Mass occasionally. It's a beautiful Catholic Rite: https://youtu.be/I9jO7enCoXU

    When I spent some time in Israel, I became very fond of this Rite.

    A lot of people not familiar with Catholics - and some Catholics in the West - don't realize that there are close to thirty other Rites in the Catholic Church aside from the very well-known two Roman Rites: https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm

    Wow! That chant is beautiful – very reminiscent of the Sufi dhikr chants (usually Qadiri or Shadhilli) of places like Syria!

    There is a panoply, a rich tapestry, of historical, traditional (not capital T), and aesthetic elements that can and do deepen one’s attachment to Truth.

    Agreed.

    We are so, so close, yet remain apart.

    When I was doing some research into the Orthodox churches and their history, as it intertwines with Muslim history, I did come across the fact that both churches do (now) seem to be open to the idea of inter-marriage. What threw me off a bit (coming from my background) was their categorization of this as an “inter-faith” marriage!

    There is a lot of history in the divide – a lot of it bloody. But many years have passed since the worst of it so I think that can be overcome eventually if people are willing to reconcile.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    very reminiscent of the Sufi dhikr chants
     
    But with iconography instead of a nature video. :)

    One of my favorite musical albums of all time is "La Gloire de Byzance." Here is an example: https://youtu.be/5XWPdeNKmkU?list=PLUSRfoOcUe4byJHQIZlLWqMJk83c0V6qS

    Clearly you don't have to be an Eastern Christian to appreciate its beauty.
  72. @Talha
    Wow! That chant is beautiful - very reminiscent of the Sufi dhikr chants (usually Qadiri or Shadhilli) of places like Syria!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bacXsCryE9M

    There is a panoply, a rich tapestry, of historical, traditional (not capital T), and aesthetic elements that can and do deepen one’s attachment to Truth.
     
    Agreed.

    We are so, so close, yet remain apart.
     
    When I was doing some research into the Orthodox churches and their history, as it intertwines with Muslim history, I did come across the fact that both churches do (now) seem to be open to the idea of inter-marriage. What threw me off a bit (coming from my background) was their categorization of this as an "inter-faith" marriage!

    There is a lot of history in the divide - a lot of it bloody. But many years have passed since the worst of it so I think that can be overcome eventually if people are willing to reconcile.

    Peace.

    very reminiscent of the Sufi dhikr chants

    But with iconography instead of a nature video. 🙂

    One of my favorite musical albums of all time is “La Gloire de Byzance.” Here is an example:

    Clearly you don’t have to be an Eastern Christian to appreciate its beauty.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Twinkie,

    Clearly you don’t have to be an Eastern Christian to appreciate its beauty.
     
    Agreed - the power of the unaided human voice is spectacular. Unfortunately, in our day, even vocals are auto-tuned to the point that one can't distinguish one voice from another. But it's nice that these kinds of chants and traditional hymns are still being perpetuated by people, even if their couple of hundred views are dwarfed by the millions listening to Kanye West.

    Peace.
  73. @Twinkie

    very reminiscent of the Sufi dhikr chants
     
    But with iconography instead of a nature video. :)

    One of my favorite musical albums of all time is "La Gloire de Byzance." Here is an example: https://youtu.be/5XWPdeNKmkU?list=PLUSRfoOcUe4byJHQIZlLWqMJk83c0V6qS

    Clearly you don't have to be an Eastern Christian to appreciate its beauty.

    Hey Twinkie,

    Clearly you don’t have to be an Eastern Christian to appreciate its beauty.

    Agreed – the power of the unaided human voice is spectacular. Unfortunately, in our day, even vocals are auto-tuned to the point that one can’t distinguish one voice from another. But it’s nice that these kinds of chants and traditional hymns are still being perpetuated by people, even if their couple of hundred views are dwarfed by the millions listening to Kanye West.

    Peace.

  74. The original Mormons were by and large Yankees, and their migration west took them into the lands of the Scots-Irish, who descended upon them like wolves to the slaughter, as was often the case when Yankees faced Scots-Irish in an unorganized fashion.

    The Mormans moved to Nauvoo, Illinois which is in a culturally very Scots-Irish area.

    The cultural elites of the Yankees ultimately gave rise to a large portion of the Northeastern WASP ascendancy (including the Bush family) in a direction fashion, or influenced immigrants who assimilated into that subculture (including the Kennedy family).

    Central and Southern Illinois has had many waves of immigrants, especially Germans and Irish, but the area remains very Scots- Irish. This is also true of the Mississippi Valley south of the Quad Cities and the Ohio Valley. The Scots-Irish did to this area what Puritans did farther north.

    • Replies: @PD Shaw
    I disagree. The Scots-Irish immigrated into Illinois from Indiana and Kentucky as self-sufficient farmers and stopped when they hit the prairie grasslands of central Illinois, around Springfield. This appears to be because they practiced woodland agriculture, including planned burnings, harvesting fruits and nuts, and some livestock mixed with some crops for household use, not on a scale for the market. The area around Nauvoo is generally considered midlands culture, many Germans and others from Pennsylvania and Ohio, engaging in market agriculture.
  75. @Mike Zwick

    The original Mormons were by and large Yankees, and their migration west took them into the lands of the Scots-Irish, who descended upon them like wolves to the slaughter, as was often the case when Yankees faced Scots-Irish in an unorganized fashion.
     
    The Mormans moved to Nauvoo, Illinois which is in a culturally very Scots-Irish area.

    The cultural elites of the Yankees ultimately gave rise to a large portion of the Northeastern WASP ascendancy (including the Bush family) in a direction fashion, or influenced immigrants who assimilated into that subculture (including the Kennedy family).
     
    Central and Southern Illinois has had many waves of immigrants, especially Germans and Irish, but the area remains very Scots- Irish. This is also true of the Mississippi Valley south of the Quad Cities and the Ohio Valley. The Scots-Irish did to this area what Puritans did farther north.

    I disagree. The Scots-Irish immigrated into Illinois from Indiana and Kentucky as self-sufficient farmers and stopped when they hit the prairie grasslands of central Illinois, around Springfield. This appears to be because they practiced woodland agriculture, including planned burnings, harvesting fruits and nuts, and some livestock mixed with some crops for household use, not on a scale for the market. The area around Nauvoo is generally considered midlands culture, many Germans and others from Pennsylvania and Ohio, engaging in market agriculture.

  76. @Clark
    Razib, I think it got mentioned in your original post, but the one problem with your theory is that most of the English in Utah came during a huge wave of immigration in the second half of the 19th century from Mormon missionary efforts there. There was also a relatively large wave of immigration of Scandinavians. (There's actually one town primarily settled by Icelanders) Even before the move to Utah a large percentage of Mormons were European. This tends to undercut somewhat the puritan thesis even though many of the leaders of Mormonism do come out of the New England culture. In particular Brigham Young is very much the ideal of a pragmatic yankee. While early Mormonism definitely had a lot of early Yankee converts many if not most of these didn't stay with the movement.

    The thesis about Puritanism might have certain elements, but if they are there I think they're a bit more indirect. Early Mormonism is much more driven by converts from the more Arminian tradition rather than the Calvinist tradition. (A large conversion of Cambellites who largely followed Wesley's type of Arminianism set the tone for early Mormonism prior to the move to Illinois)

    Mormonism always had an uncomfortable relationship with the south. When they moved to Missouri they were persecuted largely due to being seen as abolitionists. (This was just a few years after a major slave rebellion) Mormon missionaries were often extremely persecuted in the south and sometimes lynched. There was a perception that southerners were in part behind the murder of Joseph Smith as well. This eventually led, during the Utah War period, to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. (The settlers heading to California were from Arkansas and just a few months earlier a Mormon apostle had been murdered in Arkansas) While in the Utah period, partially due to immigrants from the south, the tended to have a position not nearly as abolitionist as before those elements did remain in some ways. (I suspect part of this was due to Republican opposition to Mormons as well - there were political calls of eliminating the twin relics of barbarism of slavery and Mormonism)

    “Mormonism always had an uncomfortable relationship with the south.”

    y, the no caffeine thing is just alien to us.. no tea? no coca-cola? magic underwear? mmmmm. no thank ya 🙂

    additionally, we don’t take lightly to their efforts to seal our dead in wedded bliss to one of their mouldering elders.

    our 20+yr neighbors across the street, tried that w/that w/my paternal grandmother.. my daddy politely told their ‘prozac-ish’ matriarch to go to hell… 🙂

    p.s. i’ve been ‘kikz’ since the early 90’s.. no disrespect, just fact. 🙂

  77. Sorry to comment so lately, but I’ve independently thought of this same stuff. As someone living in the rural South, I was always perplexed as to why the conduct of most self-identifying Southern Baptist members diverged so greatly from the conservative preachings of the clergy. I had the feeling living in the rural South that so many of the people just seemed to lack structure and discipline. And this was even more of a puzzle given that other groups like Mormons, Orthodox Jews, and the Amish seemed to have lifestyles where the behavior of members aligned with the conservative holdings of the faith (I know this is oversimplifying matters). When I read the summary of Albion’s Seed on Slate Star Codex, that provided a basis framework that made everything make a whole lot more sense. It also explains why Trump seems to elicit so much reflexive support from the rural South (even among the religiously devout who would have slammed Clinton and entertainers for similar statements and actions made over the years) but instant disgust from the Mormon community.

    • Replies: @iffen
    I was always perplexed as to why the conduct of most self-identifying Southern Baptist members diverged so greatly from the conservative preachings of the clergy.

    I don't know if they still have the practice, but in the 1st half of the 20th century, Free Will Baptists were very strict in regards to the behavior of members. Committees were formed to investigate misbehavior of members and if found guilty, "fellowship" would be withdrawn and the member banished from the congregation.
  78. @German_reader
    Seems to be the case in Mitt Romney's family too, his great-great-grandfather was from Preston in Lancashire:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18422949

    Seems to be the case in Mitt Romney’s family too, his great-great-grandfather was from Preston in Lancashire:

    I’d like to direct people here to what I believe to be the fullest and most comprehensive account of Mitt Romney’s ancestry, back four and more generations (compiled and written by me in 2012). Respectfully submitted for your consideration:

    Synopsis off Mitt Romney’s Ancestry

    (1) Most of Mitt Romney’s ancestral stock consists of early converts to Mormonism from Britain (most from Northwest-England and Scotland) who were impelled to the USA from the 1830s to the 1850s, settling directly in Mormon communities.

    (2) Colonial-Yankees account for 27% of Romney’s ancestral stock.

    (3) 12.5% (one-eighth) of his ancestral stock comes from Northern-Germany.

    (4) Many of Romney’s ancestors who were then-living participated in the dramatic 1846-7 Mormon Exodus from Illinois to Utah.

    (5) All of Romney’s ancestral lines end up in Utah by the 1880s.

    (6) Some went to Mexico at the end of the 1800s, but were expelled in 1912 and went back to Utah.

    — — —

    Mitt Romney: Ethnic Ancestry Summary
    40.6% England — Mostly Northwest England, partly W.Midlands.
    18.8% Scotland
    26.6% Colonial-Yankee
    12.5% North-German
    1.5-3% French, Acadian, possible Huguenot (see entries #5 and #7 below)
    __________________

    (The full accounts of each of Mitt Romney’s eight ancestral lines)

    We see much more British ancestry (converts to Mormonism in Britain who emigrated to join the Elect), including Scottish, than actual Colonial Yankee ancestry… The disproportionately-important patrlineal line itself is also very firmly English, out of Northumberland, NW England.

    Mitt Romney is one man, but I believe his “ancestral portrait” is representative; his overall ancestral portrait does not quite support the theory seemingly here proposed that Mormonism is a direct descendant (ethnically as well as culturally) of Yankeeism.

  79. @Clark
    Razib, I think it got mentioned in your original post, but the one problem with your theory is that most of the English in Utah came during a huge wave of immigration in the second half of the 19th century from Mormon missionary efforts there. There was also a relatively large wave of immigration of Scandinavians. (There's actually one town primarily settled by Icelanders) Even before the move to Utah a large percentage of Mormons were European. This tends to undercut somewhat the puritan thesis even though many of the leaders of Mormonism do come out of the New England culture. In particular Brigham Young is very much the ideal of a pragmatic yankee. While early Mormonism definitely had a lot of early Yankee converts many if not most of these didn't stay with the movement.

    The thesis about Puritanism might have certain elements, but if they are there I think they're a bit more indirect. Early Mormonism is much more driven by converts from the more Arminian tradition rather than the Calvinist tradition. (A large conversion of Cambellites who largely followed Wesley's type of Arminianism set the tone for early Mormonism prior to the move to Illinois)

    Mormonism always had an uncomfortable relationship with the south. When they moved to Missouri they were persecuted largely due to being seen as abolitionists. (This was just a few years after a major slave rebellion) Mormon missionaries were often extremely persecuted in the south and sometimes lynched. There was a perception that southerners were in part behind the murder of Joseph Smith as well. This eventually led, during the Utah War period, to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. (The settlers heading to California were from Arkansas and just a few months earlier a Mormon apostle had been murdered in Arkansas) While in the Utah period, partially due to immigrants from the south, the tended to have a position not nearly as abolitionist as before those elements did remain in some ways. (I suspect part of this was due to Republican opposition to Mormons as well - there were political calls of eliminating the twin relics of barbarism of slavery and Mormonism)

    What you describe is a legitimate ethnogenesis.

    The Mormon Ethnogensis.

    Where does an “ethnicity” come from? They don’t just descend from heaven, fully formed, right? So they are born. How are they born; how do they emerge? The Mormon case is actually a great example, albeit unique in certain ways. It is most useful to see the Mormons as a new ethnicity, drawing in part from previous ones (where else does one draw from?), but really its own thing.

    Ethnicity, of course, is and remains tied in tightly with religion, and probably always has been.

  80. @Eastern
    Sorry to comment so lately, but I've independently thought of this same stuff. As someone living in the rural South, I was always perplexed as to why the conduct of most self-identifying Southern Baptist members diverged so greatly from the conservative preachings of the clergy. I had the feeling living in the rural South that so many of the people just seemed to lack structure and discipline. And this was even more of a puzzle given that other groups like Mormons, Orthodox Jews, and the Amish seemed to have lifestyles where the behavior of members aligned with the conservative holdings of the faith (I know this is oversimplifying matters). When I read the summary of Albion's Seed on Slate Star Codex, that provided a basis framework that made everything make a whole lot more sense. It also explains why Trump seems to elicit so much reflexive support from the rural South (even among the religiously devout who would have slammed Clinton and entertainers for similar statements and actions made over the years) but instant disgust from the Mormon community.

    I was always perplexed as to why the conduct of most self-identifying Southern Baptist members diverged so greatly from the conservative preachings of the clergy.

    I don’t know if they still have the practice, but in the 1st half of the 20th century, Free Will Baptists were very strict in regards to the behavior of members. Committees were formed to investigate misbehavior of members and if found guilty, “fellowship” would be withdrawn and the member banished from the congregation.

  81. @yaqub the mad scientist
    I don't think anybody's arguing your point about his more "worldly" airs making him lose popularity. The point is that he lived in an area that was not as hospitable to a patrician/educated elite as in, say, west Tennessee, or the outlier of Chattanooga, which has a mix of upland and lowland South characteristics with a history of cultured outsiders moving in. As the years went by, he probably just didn't want to keep up with populist appearances-as in the well-known country fiddler persona of his youth.

    An example of how people with a more patrician sensibility were historically electable would be Mississippi, specifically the Delta region. Historically, it has tended to elect educated, relatively cultured people to local and national offices (think of novelist Walker Percy's family)- and that rubbed off on neighboring parts of the state to the point that Haley Barbour quipped about how populist men-in-overalls types generally don't get elected to offices beyond the county level. People like their fratboys-in-a-suit type. Even now, a few of those towns have Chinese and Jewish mayors.

    Gore’s snotty personality helped him lose in 2000. He learned this by living in D.C. as the son of a senator and attending a prestigious prep school. Snotty preppy attitudes are not the result of “patrician” ancestry, most certainly in this case.

    • Replies: @iffen
    Snotty personalities afflict all classes.

    Fact: If Gore had gotten more of the yahoo vote in the Florida Panhandle he would have been elected President.

    Fact: The reason that he didn't get enough yahoo votes was because of his patrician-like persona, whether real or learned.
  82. @Uncle Remus
    Gore's snotty personality helped him lose in 2000. He learned this by living in D.C. as the son of a senator and attending a prestigious prep school. Snotty preppy attitudes are not the result of "patrician" ancestry, most certainly in this case.

    Snotty personalities afflict all classes.

    Fact: If Gore had gotten more of the yahoo vote in the Florida Panhandle he would have been elected President.

    Fact: The reason that he didn’t get enough yahoo votes was because of his patrician-like persona, whether real or learned.

  83. @Twinkie

    From my reading of history the Pope’s role and relationship to the rest of the clerical community (and public at large) has been an evolving one, correct? For instance, the Pope prior to the Peace of Westphalia, etc.
     
    Given that popes used to have an army and would war with other secular rulers, yes. But the phenomenon of Apostolic succession remains the same, and constitutes the basis of papal authority.

    the need of an ecumenical council/conference on the scale of Vatican II that would likely be required
     
    Even that is not enough. Not everything that comes out of an ecumenical council is canonical. Truths are immutable. Ecumenical councils (and popes) are only infallible on matters of faith and morals. Nothing else. And ex cathedra pronouncements are very rare.

    I don't want to get into this too much (it's a well-trodden subject among Catholics), but let's just say that (some) people tend to overplay the changes that Vatican II brought, which have been largely aesthetic. Many of such stylistic changes are displeasing to me, but they did not change Dogma. So even when I am on the road and must bring myself to a bongo-playing parish, the Sacrements remain valid. For that matter, Orthodox Sacraments are valid for me too (though the Orthodox priest in question would be most disturbed if he found out I was a Catholic - it's not a stunt I would pull except in a dire circumstance).

    I’m a lapsed Catholic myself, but my understanding is that the actual documents from the Council are quite orthodox. It was the “spirit of Vatican II” (or the interpretation there of) that led to the various liberalizations. Remember, as a bishop and cardinal, John Paul II was an supporter of the Council and as pope referred to it often. He just didn’t interpret it the way liberals did.

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