The Scots-Irish are derived from a mass migration from Northern Ireland in the 1700s, when the Calvinist "Ulster Scots" decided they'd had enough of fighting Anglican England's battles against Irish Catholics. One group settled initially in New Hampshire, spilling over into modern-day Vermont and Maine. The overwhelming majority--95%--migrated to the Appalachians in a series of frontier communities that stretched from Pennsylvania to northern Alabama and Georgia. They eventually became the dominant culture of the South and much of the Midwest.When will Scots rebel against centralised authority here at home?
True American-style democracy had its origins in this culture. Its values emanated from the Scottish Kirk, which had thrown out the top-down hierarchy of the Catholic Church and replaced it with governing councils made up of ordinary citizens. This mix of fundamentalist religion and social populism grew from a people who for 16 centuries had been tested through constant rebellions against centralized authority. The Scots who headed into the feuds of 17th-century Ulster, and then into the backlands of the American frontier, hardened further into a radicalism that proclaimed that no man had a duty to obey a government if its edicts violated his moral conscience.
Saturday 23 October 2004
Scots for W
I came across a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that the "Scots-Irish" may be the group that re-elects President Bush: