City upon a Hill

Samuel Huntington died yesterday. Though famous for his Clash of Civilizations thesis, more recently he argued for an emphasis on the reality that this (the United States) is an Anglo-Protestant country. But I think that this assertion needs to clarified to a finer grained scale. In Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, the author makes the claim that the culture of the United States is a synthesis of four strands of colonial settlers; New England Puritans, the Lowland Southerners (e.g., Tidewater Planters), the Highland Southerners (i.e., the Scots-Irish of Appalachia) and the polyglot peoples of the Mid-Atlantic (e.g., Quakers of Philadelphia, Dutch Patroons of New York and Swedes of Delaware, etc.). After reading quite a bit of American history, especially the period between 1600 and 1850, I think that over the long haul the concrete political and social realities of America owe much more to New England than the other regions.  After I came to this conclusion (which I will flesh in more detail later), I couldn’t help but note that today New England isn’t included in the “Real America.”

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