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Thread: Colonials as Europeans

  1. #41
    Senior Member Psychonaut's Avatar
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    I think that for many of us it would be disrespectful to our ancestors if we were to parade ourselves around as Europeans. Many of us in North America are of extremely old stock, with our ancestors having arrived over four hundred years ago. For us to identify as European would be a slap in the face to the accomplishments and identities of our most recent forefathers. I also, as a Southerner, strongly agree with:

    Quote Originally Posted by Deary
    Some seem to think you don't have to have a family history in the South, be born and raised in the South, and be of any particular ancestry; people just so little as have to favor our fair way of life and they're granted the title. It's disheartening because we're losing a hold of our identity.
    This is so very true. In the last fifty years our grasp on our identity as Southerners has become quite tenuous. Identifying as European in the hopes of some type of pan-Atlantic whatever does nothing to strengthen our identity. Now, identifying the particular European ancestries and cultural traits that went into making the South what it is and honoring that is excellent, but to sublimate ourselves to what is now a land foreign to us is the exact opposite of 'Blut und Boden.'
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    Senior Member DanseMacabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deary View Post
    What it means to be a Southerner has become so much more inclusive than it ever was before. We can thank a number of unfortunate events for that. Nowadays, many of the folks you see parading around as Southern, aren't really Southern. Some seem to think you don't have to have a family history in the South, be born and raised in the South, and be of any particular ancestry; people just so little as have to favor our fair way of life and they're granted the title. It's disheartening because we're losing ahold of our identity. All the snowbirds and folks from other parts of the world I've seen, as much as they appear to admire and want to be a part of our culture, there's just things they'll never truly grasp. They can't ever love the South in all its glory quite like we do. I wish more wouldn't be so afraid to reject outsiders who try to be Southern. We'll welcome folks to visit and have a nice stay and teach others about our ways (granted they don't insult us), but we are a people unto ourselves and we must do everything to preserve that.
    Indeed, I feel the same about The Heartland. I also have a great affinity for The South. I think ALL the regional cultures of America should be preserved. And not only should Americans be proud of being American but be proud of their regional culture as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    I think that for many of us it would be disrespectful to our ancestors if we were to parade ourselves around as Europeans. Many of us in North America are of extremely old stock, with our ancestors having arrived over four hundred years ago. For us to identify as European would be a slap in the face to the accomplishments and identities of our most recent forefathers. I also, as a Southerner, strongly agree with:
    I would have to disagree Psychonaut. Until the 20th century many Americans could go back and forth between here and Europe with ease. Minus the religious aspects of various sects, people still retained much of their indiviual cultures and for the most part remained within these cultural boundaries. They may have been a little rougher around the edges than their Old World cousins but they *were* very definably European (whether English, German, Dutch, French, etc).


    This is so very true. In the last fifty years our grasp on our identity as Southerners has become quite tenuous. Identifying as European in the hopes of some type of pan-Atlantic whatever does nothing to strengthen our identity. Now, identifying the particular European ancestries and cultural traits that went into making the South what it is and honoring that is excellent, but to sublimate ourselves to what is now a land foreign to us is the exact opposite of 'Blut und Boden.'
    It is no different than any other area of the US, the monoculture which has arisen is far different from where we were or came from...it destroys all of us, not just certain regions. As for Germany (or which ever Germanic land one's ancestors sprung up from) being a foreign land, I call it home as much as here. Granted, I am first generation on my mother's side and third on Father's (through my Grandfather's line) so the connection *is* far stronger...though I have seen US soldiers of old stock lineage (Dutch and Hessian in particular) that have felt a connection to those lands still. All it took was taking them away from post and the larger cities for a while and letting them see where their people came from, after that they went on their own. That feeling or connection, while perhaps degraded over time, doesn't go away...it isn't just "Blut und Boden" (Blood and Soil) but one of "Blood and Bone".

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    Senior Member Psychonaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kriegersohn View Post
    I would have to disagree Psychonaut. Until the 20th century many Americans could go back and forth between here and Europe with ease. Minus the religious aspects of various sects, people still retained much of their indiviual cultures and for the most part remained within these cultural boundaries. They may have been a little rougher around the edges than their Old World cousins but they *were* very definably European (whether English, German, Dutch, French, etc).
    I can't speak for any of the aforementioned groups but my own, but I can tell you that your words certainly do not ring true for us. True, for the last four hundred years our marriages have been more or less endogamous; so, racially, we are pretty much identical to typical Norther French folk. However, when you look at all of the other bits that make up ethnicity we are, and have been ever since Le Grand Dérangement of 1755 quite distinct from even our Canadian cousins.

    I think you also have to take the Europeans' perspective into account. After all, you cannot honestly say that you belong to a group, if the groups does not accept you as their own; and most European nations have made it quite clear for a long time that we are Americans and not Europeans. The Germans here seem to be quite clear on this point.

    Granted, I am first generation on my mother's side and third on Father's (through my Grandfather's line) so the connection *is* far stronger
    I would imagine that this has pretty heavily influenced your view on this matter. I know that more than a few of the Americans on this board have strong ties to the American Revolution and the colonization prior to that. It is mainly that type of American that my comments are directed towards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    I can't speak for any of the aforementioned groups but my own, but I can tell you that your words certainly do not ring true for us. True, for the last four hundred years our marriages have been more or less endogamous; so, racially, we are pretty much identical to typical Norther French folk. However, when you look at all of the other bits that make up ethnicity we are, and have been ever since Le Grand Dérangement of 1755 quite distinct from even our Canadian cousins.
    This is one of the primary reasons that I used the term "many" as opposed to all. If you read the works of DeToqueville, Henry James and other writers (especially those of French and Prussian military observers) one comes away with a distinct European feel of America...even though due to the structure (and sheer size) of society it was different. Shedding most of the aristocracy, decadence and corruption of European societies made us markedly different on a national level, but many of the people remained the same regardless of which side of the Atlantic they lived on. Europhobia was a later development from approximately the 1870's until the early to mid 20th century...and to be blunt it didn't seriously become a factor until the First World War. For Germans in this country, part of the problem is that until the unification after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 there was no Germany. Most that came over kept their regional/religious differences...Hessians, Palantines, Holsteiners, Bavarians, etc, etc. They lacked unity as a whole, even though certain elements cooperated with one another.

    I think you also have to take the Europeans' perspective into account. After all, you cannot honestly say that you belong to a group, if the groups does not accept you as their own; and most European nations have made it quite clear for a long time that we are Americans and not Europeans. The Germans here seem to be quite clear on this point.
    I do...I also take into account our history both shared and not. As for the Germans here, I respect their opinions and thoughts...even if I disagree with them on certain points. Having grown up and lived on both sides of the Atlantic, I've gotten used to hearing the arguements from each side. Some things can be dismissed as needless saber-rattling while other issues need to be addressed and/or clarified.



    I would imagine that this has pretty heavily influenced your view on this matter. I know that more than a few of the Americans on this board have strong ties to the American Revolution and the colonization prior to that. It is mainly that type of American that my comments are directed towards.
    It does...I never said that I was unbiased in the matter. As for your target audience, understood...still disagree though.

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    Senior Member Psychonaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kriegersohn View Post
    This is one of the primary reasons that I used the term "many" as opposed to all. If you read the works of DeToqueville, Henry James and other writers (especially those of French and Prussian military observers) one comes away with a distinct European feel of America...even though due to the structure (and sheer size) of society it was different. Shedding most of the aristocracy, decadence and corruption of European societies made us markedly different on a national level, but many of the people remained the same regardless of which side of the Atlantic they lived on. Europhobia was a later development from approximately the 1870's until the early to mid 20th century...and to be blunt it didn't seriously become a factor until the First World War. For Germans in this country, part of the problem is that until the unification after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 there was no Germany. Most that came over kept their regional/religious differences...Hessians, Palantines, Holsteiners, Bavarians, etc, etc. They lacked unity as a whole, even though certain elements cooperated with one another.
    At the time of the Revolution, I can certainly see that we would have been nearly indistinguishable from our European cousins, however in the aftermath of the war, and with each successive war, our national identity, and separation from Europe, became more entrenched. Certainly, the different German groups retained more of a European identity due to their isolation from the British derived Americans and relatively late, in many cases, entrance into the continent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kriegersohn
    I do...I also take into account our history both shared and not. As for the Germans here, I respect their opinions and thoughts...even if I disagree with them on certain points. Having grown up and lived on both sides of the Atlantic, I've gotten used to hearing the arguements from each side. Some things can be dismissed as needless saber-rattling while other issues need to be addressed and/or clarified.
    Understood. The thing that seems to stick out most in my mind with this issue is the length of time we're talking about combined with the degree of cultural separation from said European nation. In many cases, I can see where an ethnic group's allegiance would lie a bit more towards the European side. However, the longer a particular groups stays away from its parent group, the more differentiated it becomes as both groups continue in their divergent evolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kriegersohn
    It does...I never said that I was unbiased in the matter. As for your target audience, understood...still disagree though.
    Excellent, I suppose we'll just have to amicably disagree then.
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    Senior Member SwordOfTheVistula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    At the time of the Revolution, I can certainly see that we would have been nearly indistinguishable from our European cousins, however in the aftermath of the war, and with each successive war, our national identity, and separation from Europe, became more entrenched.
    No more so than the East Germany vs West Germany distinction, or Prussia vs Austria. Neither the DDR nor the FRG could truthfully claim to be the 'one true Germans', although both did so. I'd argue that Germans in the western hemisphere are truer Germans because we have not been subjected to the drastic shifts in culture enforced following the loss of 2 world wars, the current residents of the FRG/DDR merger often argue that current primary language is the deciding factor of ethnicity rather than a method of communication subject to commercial and legal necessity. In truth, it's just minor bitching and posturing, and we are more alike eachother than Mohammed Kamal of Hamburg with a 'German citizenship' or the 'all-American' Raul Hernadez.

    That's what 'Germanic' identity is all about. I'm not an 'American' ready to kick ass alongside Raul Hernandez against 'nazis' in Germany who refuse to go along with the smiting of Iraq/Iran. I would hope the Germanics of the eastern hemishere resist at all turns the subjugation to a latin-led 'European Union' aka Eurabia which continually preaches Germans/Anglo-Saxons to be the Satan of History who can only be redeemed by submitting their nations to the worst perversions of political correctness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    No more so than the East Germany vs West Germany distinction, or Prussia vs Austria. Neither the DDR nor the FRG could truthfully claim to be the 'one true Germans', although both did so. I'd argue that Germans in the western hemisphere are truer Germans because we have not been subjected to the drastic shifts in culture enforced following the loss of 2 world wars, the current residents of the FRG/DDR merger often argue that current primary language is the deciding factor of ethnicity rather than a method of communication subject to commercial and legal necessity. In truth, it's just minor bitching and posturing, and we are more alike eachother than Mohammed Kamal of Hamburg with a 'German citizenship' or the 'all-American' Raul Hernadez.
    Granted, we are certainly more like our European cousins than we are Negroes or Mexicans, but the loss of language and ever increasing temporal separation seems, in my mind at least, to be continually creating a gap between us. Since this thread is about Europeans in general, I'm thinking a bit less about German-Americans than I am about those of British descent, as they are the first example of this type of relationship that we have in American history. Prior to the Revolution, British colonists were not Americans, they were simply British. However, with the winning of the war, a gap was made, and with the war of 1812, that gap widened yet again. I mean, after they burned down the White House, I don't think you'd find too many Yankees that would call themselves English.

    I don't think that calling ourselves and identifying as Americans, Yankees, Southerners, etc. makes us any less Germanic. We cannot continually live in the past and only identify with the lands of our forefathers. Did Anglo-Saxons continue to sing the praises of Saxony after their conquest of England or did they revel in their new land and create something new and distinct from their German cousins? The same question could be asked of the dozens of Germanic migrations that have taken place in the past. For the first few generations I can certainly see how the identification with the old land would still be strong, but the longer a people exist in a given place, the more their blood becomes tied to the soil, the more history their kin have with the land.

    I see no reason why we should not embrace and honor our descent from Europe, but to cling to the idea of actually being European after ones ancestors have lived and died on another continent for hundreds of years seems to be a bit of a stretch. After all, none of our ancestors were originally from Europe anyway. Whether the multiregional or single-origin hypothesis is correct, our folk certainly originated somewhere else other than Northern Europe. The question here seems to be at what point one can make a distinction between one identity and the identity that it is transforming into during the course of a migration. The Germanics have never been a sedentary people. We have seen the rise, fall, confederation and amalgamation of many tribes in the past, and I see no reason why we cannot interpret geographically separated groups in this light.
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    Schimmelreiter Hauke Haien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    I'd argue that Germans in the western hemisphere are truer Germans because we have not been subjected to the drastic shifts in culture enforced following the loss of 2 world wars,
    ...and nevertheless failed to remain Germans.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    the current residents of the FRG/DDR merger often argue that current primary language is the deciding factor of ethnicity rather than a method of communication subject to commercial and legal necessity.
    I see you are catching on, read this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Was ist ein Volk? Zum politischen Selbstverständnis der Geisteswissenschaften im Vormärz, am Beispiel der Frankfurter Germanistenversammlung von 1846
    Der Geist eines Volkes, der die Referenz für die Abgrenzung des Eigenen vom Fremden liefert, drückt sich am reinsten in dessen Poesie aus. Und diese ist wiederum mit der heimatlichen Sprache aufs engste verwoben. Jacob Grimm kann deshalb auf die "einfache" Frage: "Was ist das Volk?" die einfache Antwort geben: "Ein Volk ist der Inbegriff von Menschen, welche dieselbe Sprache reden." Trotz dieser auf den ersten Blick kulturalistischen Bestimmung wird das Volk substantialisiert. Nicht zufällig werden die Metaphern für die Sprache, in der sich die Schöpfung des Volksgeistes artikulieren, der Naturgeschichte und Biologie entnommen.
    The spirit of a folk that provides a reference for separating one's own from the foreign is most purely expressed in its poetry. This, in turn, is in closest connection with the native language. Jacob Grimm is therefore able to respond to the 'simple' question: 'What is a folk?' with a simple answer: 'A folk is the embodiment of people who speak the same language.' Despite this, at first glance, culturalistic definition, the folk is substantialized. Not coincidentally, the metaphors for language, in which the creation of a folk spirit is expressed, are taken from natural history and biology.
    An opinion on being Icelandic, from this thread:
    *We are only 300,000 speaking this language which nobody else does. Its very important that we take care of our history, our background, and our language. Those are the things that make us a nation*, Mr Hafsteinsson adds.
    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    That's what 'Germanic' identity is all about.
    Possibly, but it's not what German identity is all about.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    I would hope the Germanics of the eastern hemishere resist at all turns the subjugation to a latin-led 'European Union' aka Eurabia which continually preaches Germans/Anglo-Saxons to be the Satan of History who can only be redeemed by submitting their nations to the worst perversions of political correctness.
    If only the US had any influence over Germany and Europe right now, you could already have saved us from ourselves and the evil EU
    Last edited by Hauke Haien; Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 04:31 PM. Reason: added content

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychonaut View Post
    Did Anglo-Saxons continue to sing the praises of Saxony after their conquest of England or did they revel in their new land and create something new and distinct from their German cousins?
    A minor point, BUT! Our greatest Old English epic is set in the pre Migration age. Our early missionaries like Boniface and so on saw Old Saxony as the natural place to head for, to convert those of Our Blood and Our Bone. Our Kings remained in full contact with Germanic Kings elsewhere - see Aethelberht's, Offa's and many others' marriage policies. I know less of the other side of the relationship, but Theudebert showed off to the Emperor that he ruled the Saxons in Britain, and Engelant is given prominence in the OHG poems that Carl Orff bundled into Carmina Burana.

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