:: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 ::

Wha's Like Us?

The New Civil War

An extension of the blue-red states United States of Canada/Jesusland argument on Democratic Underground.

Only this time they are blaming the Scots. Well more precisely they are blaming the Scots-Irish a term popular amongst Ulster proddy grant seekers setting up Ulster Scots language projects, and US genealogists. Here in Scotland it is more likely to produce blank looks.

"There were two other important regional cultures: the Quakers of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and the Borderers. The Borderers were Celts from northern England, Lowland Scotland and Ulster. Their society was male dominated, clannish, superstitious, and militantly Protestant. They lived in a constant state of warfare, with each other, with the English, and with Irish Catholics. William Wallace, the hero of "Braveheart," was a Borderer. By the 18th century, when they fled Scotland's crop failures and Northern Ireland's religious wars, the coast was taken, so they moved inland, to Appalachia. Some people call them the Scotch-Irish. Others call them hillbillies.

"They are a culture founded on guns, which considers the Second Amendment sacrosanct," writes James Webb in his ethnic study Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. "It is not hyperbole to say that Al Gore lost the 2000 election by going against them on this issue, causing Tennessee and West Virginia to vote for George W. Bush. And they are they are the very heartbeat of fundamentalist Christianity, which itself is largely derived from the harsh demands of Scottish Calvinism. As such, they have produced their share of fire-and-brimstone spiritual leaders, whose conservative views on social issues continually offend liberal opinion-makers."

Now, I'm no Neil Davidson, but I think it was Ireland who had the famine. Plus 'Northern Ireland' as a political entity didn't really exist in the 18th Century but I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt that he is referring to the geo-ethnic entity.

One could also point out the large degree of emigration from the largely catholic but equally clannish highlands of Scotland following the defeat of the Jacobite rebellion and the later highland clearances.

Nonetheless an interesting piece if only to illustrate how ethnic groups can drift away from the political views of their ancestral homeland. The hardline presbyterians today in Scotland, like the "wee free" Free Presbyterian Church are largely confined to the margins. The dominant church in this godless land is the Church of Scotland, who are as liberal as they come.

:: Alister | 10:43 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


Don't you think the term "Ulster proddy" a tad prejudicial? Also to be fair to the wee frees they do have a severe grassroots democracy.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 pm  

The democracy of the wee frees, and indeed the Church of Scotland is interesting, and a feature of when they were a progressive social force (centuries ago). Unfortunately a quick look at their website and publications will disabuse you of the notion that they are any kind of progressive force anymore.

By Blogger Alister, at 2:48 pm  

Post a Comment

This is an archived story. See current posts here!