Wednesday, April 21, 2021


The latest bit of delusional nonsense to have emerged on one of the two extremes of American politics forms the basis of the proposed new 'America First' caucus in Congress — the idea that the USA's political culture is historically (and profoundly) 'Anglo-Saxon' and that this is something that is now under threat. 

One has to wonder however exactly which part of America's political traditions are 'Anglo-Saxon'.

There was often undoubtedly a degree of chaos, uncertainty and backstabbiness at the key moments of transition between leaders, which contemporary Americans might recognise. 

Edmund 'Ironside'

Anglo-Saxons of the old school would of course be a little bemused by much of the US Constitution, especially the 'all men are created equal' part. 

If their political culture had any overriding characteristics, these would be a pronounced decentralisation of authority and a legal system based on compromise and amicable resolution rather than litigation à outrance — neither of which seem particularly current in the States. 

And yet, late stage Anglo-Saxon monarchs did have a tendency to make themselves seem that much grander by selectively pilfering from the iconography of imperial Rome. 

The Newsweek article here suggests that ‘only’ around 10-15% of US citizens  can claim Anglo-Saxon ancestry. This would be a high end figure even for the so-called native peoples of England outside the south and east, and so in terms of the US population, probably an absurd projection.

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