UK-USA The British Character of America

By Joseph Fallon
Volume 11, Number 2 (Winter 2000-2001)
Issue theme: "America and Great Britan: common past - shared future?"

The character of the United States of America - its language, literature, laws, constitution, political structure and economic system - is British to the core.

The English language is the most obvious, and in many ways the most important, British feature. It is both a means - a medium of communication - and an end - the articulation of a specific Anglo- American culture. For American culture, its literature, laws, and values, is British culture adapted to the American experience and is not only inseparable, but virtually inconceivable apart from its British roots.

From the 1607 founding of Jamestown in the New World, to the 1969 landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon, from the King James Bible to Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and Milton's Paradise Lost, from the plays of Shakespeare and poetry of Dryden, to the novels of Hawthorne, Melville and Faulkner to the poetry of T. S. Eliot, from Blackstones' Commentaries on the Laws of England to Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, from Amherst to William and Mary, from the speeches in the Continental Congress, to the Declaration of Independence and The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, from the speeches in the Constitutional Convention, to the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist papers, from the ratification debates in the State conventions, to the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights - for Americans, until the rise of the ‘bilingual' lobby, the language of religion and education, of social and political discourse, of values and identity, was the English language.

Less self-evident is the fact that the economic system of the United States is, in its origin and theory, British. The beginning of American industrialization was in imitation of and in reaction to the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom. It was encouraged as a means for ensuring both the political independence and economic well-being of the United States. American capitalism is founded and justified, if not always practiced, on the British theories of capitalism, free trade, and free markets as expounded by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations and David Ricardo in Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. The British influence on American economics is not limited to the 'Right.' The official American version of 'socialism' involving deficit spending and its various corollaries - programs pursued aggressively by the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson - is based on the theories British economist John Maynard Keynes presented in The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.

The British character of the United States, and its importance to the success of the Republic, is deeper and more profound than simply economics, as John Jay emphasized in The Federalist Papers. Jay wrote that Americans are 'a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.' The ancestors Americans honored and the language, religion, government, and customs that Americans treasured were British.

Non-British European immigrants to the United States adopted this language, and these folkways and mores. As Professor David Hackett Fischer wrote in his 1989 book Albion's Seed Four British Folkways in America, 'Today less than twenty percent of the American population have any British ancestors at all...But in a cultural sense most Americans are Albion's seed, no matter who their own forebears may have been. Strong echoes of four British folkways [Puritan, Cavalier, Quaker, and Borderland] still may be heard in the major dialects of American speech, in the regional pattern of American life, and in the continuing conflict between four different ideas of freedom in the United States.'

The birth of the United States was based on a defense of these British mores. When American Revolutionaries demanded independence, it was for the stated reason that London had repeatedly violated their rights as Englishmen. In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress declared that 'That His Majesty's liege subjects in these colonies are entitled to all the inherent rights and liberties of his natural born subjects within the kingdom of Great Britain.' In 1772, the Committee of Correspondence compiled 'A list of Infringements and Violations of Rights' which asserted that the colonies possessed 'all the rights of British subjects.' In 1774, the Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress affirmed the colonies' rights 'under the principles of the English constitution.' Speaking before the Continental Congress in 1774, James Duane of New York and president of that body, spoke of 'grounding our Rights on the Laws and Constitution of the Country from which we sprung [the United Kingdom].' John Jay declared the purpose of independence was 'in defense of old [English] liberties, not in search of new'. In the Declaration of Independence, King George III is denounced for 'abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these colonies.'

The very names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence are British - Adams, Bartlett, Franklin, Hancock, Jefferson, Livingston, Lee, Lynch, Nelson, Paine, Read, Ross, Stockton, Williams, etc. All the signatories except eight were born in the 13 British colonies. And those eight were born in the United Kingdom - two in England (Button Gwinnett and Robert Morris), three in Ireland (James Smith, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton), two in Scotland (James Wilson and John Witherspoon), and one in Wales (Francis Lewis).

The inherent British political nature of the United States is its establishment as a confederation. In creating an historically unique union, the Founding Fathers relied not on the lessons of Greek leagues, the Roman Republic, Holland, Venice, Genoa, Switzerland or the Iroquois for guidance, but on familiar British models in the United Kingdom and in North America. There was the example of the confederation between Scotland and England in the United Kingdom - the Union of Crowns in 1603, the Commonwealth and Protectorate 1649-1659 and finally the Union of Parliaments in 1707. British North America had the experience of the New England Confederation, 1643-1684, an alliance of four colonies - Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Haven, and Plymouth - and the Dominion of New England, 1686-1689, which united all the British colonies from Maine to New York and New Jersey.

Shortly after independence was achieved, a debate arose in the United States over whether or not to abandon the original constitution, The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, and adopt a new one. In 1787, a Constitutional Convention convened and drafted a new political document, which was submitted to the States for ratification. The new constitution preserved the confederation, but proposed changes on how it should function. While Federalists supported the new document and Anti-Federalists opposed it, both sides based their respective positions on whether or not the proposed constitution preserved the British character of the United States.

In the Virginia debates on ratification, Patrick Henry, for the Anti-Federalists, condemned the proposed constitution because 'there is not an English feature in it.' But George Nicholas, for the Federalists, urged ratification, arguing that the constitution not only preserved their rights and liberties under the English constitution but strengthened them. To win ratification by the required nine States in order that the constitution could be adopted, the fears of Anti-Federalists had to be allayed. To do this, ten amendments were added to the constitution between 1789 and 1791. Collectively known as the Bill of Rights, these amendments were derived from the Magna Carta, the British Petition of Right of 1628, the English Act of 1679 and the British Bill of Rights of 1689. Even the definition of treason adopted by the U.S. Constitution is British. It was taken from the English Statute of Treason of 1352.

The political structure adopted for this Second Republic was the triplex model of the United Kingdom - King, Lords, and Commons. The presidency was patterned after King George III with only those powers that Americans thought he was granted under the English constitution. The Senate is the American version of the British House of Lords but as an elective, not hereditary body. The powers of the House of Representatives set forth in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, especially section 7 which confers on it alone the power of the purse, correspond to those of the British House of Commons.

After reading the U.S. Constitution, Edmund Burke, British political philosopher, parliamentarian and friend of the 13 colonies, found it to be the British constitution 'well adapted to its circumstances.' According to American historian Forrest McDonald, that was the intent of the Constitutional Convention. The legal system of the United States, as an emanation of the U.S. Constitution, reflects the desire of the Founding Fathers to preserve their historic rights as Englishmen. The laws of the United States, therefore, are rooted in English Common Law. The right to private property, trial by jury, a presumption of innocence, against self-incrimination, against double jeopardy and against retroactive liability are part of America's British inheritance.

Trashing the past, threatening the future

But today's multiculturalists - ie, the federal government, dominant media and special interest groups - are together threatening to obliterate America's British character altogether. They are erasing its history and eradicating its reality by permitting or encouraging mass Third World immigration.

The multicultural assault upon the British character of the United States follows George Orwell's famous dictum in 1984 'Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.' Two examples illustrate this process.

We the American Hispanics, an official publication of the U.S. Census Bureau, declares 'Our ancestors were among the early explorers and settlers of the New World. In 1609, 11 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, our Mestizo (Indian and Spanish) ancestors settled in what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico.' The meaning is clear. The true founders of what would become the United States were non-white ‘Hispanics,' not the white British.

Santa Fe, however, was not settled by 'Mestizos.' It was founded by governor and Captain- General Don Juan de Onate who was, along with his large party of priests and settler-soldiers, white. More importantly, the first permanent British settlement in the New World was not Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, but Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. The settlement of Jamestown predates that of Santa Fe by more than two years.

Equally important is what this government publication deliberately omitted. The British colony of Jamestown thrived. It established the House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in the New World. From Jamestown arose Virginia, and from Virginia arose the United States. In sharp contrast, the Spanish colony of Santa Fe was destroyed by Hopi, Tewa, and Zuni Indians and even after the Spanish founded Santa Fe for a second time the colony soon withered into political, economic and social insignificance.

Then there is the exhibit at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration that declares 'By 1789, when George Washington was inaugurated president, we were already a multi-ethnic and multi-racial society.' The truth is that in 1790 the first census showed the United States was a bi-racial, not multi-racial, country. The population consisted of a white majority of over 80 percent with a black minority approaching 20 percent. There were no Asians, Pacific Islanders, Aleuts, or American Indians. The latter were legally recognized independent nations and not part of the United States.

Among the white population, the English alone accounted for over 60 percent, the Scots more than 8 percent and the Irish nearly 10 percent. In other words, the British accounted for nearly 80 percent of the entire white population. These statistics reveal an essentially homogenous, not multi-ethnic, population. In addition, the non-British whites were fellow northwest Europeans - Germans, Dutch, French, and Swedes - who were physically indistinguishable from the British. Furthermore, most of the non-British whites were Germans and Dutch who shared many political and cultural ties with the British.

There was religious homogeneity as well. Virtually the entire population of the United States, which numbered approximately four million people, both black and white, was Christian, and not just Christian but Protestant, and most were not just Protestant, but adherents to British denominations - Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, and their offshoots. Catholics made up less than one percent of the population, approximately 23,000, and there were just 4,000 Jews. Even deists, such as Thomas Jefferson, were 'culturally' British Protestants, if not observant or orthodox ones.

Third World immigration is the second phenomenon by which the multiculturalists are effectively extirpating the reality of the British character of the United States.

While it started innocently in the 1940s, legislation established the precedent. In 1943, 1949, 1951 and 1963, Congress enacted laws to import agricultural workers from Mexico and Central America. In 1943, Congress also authorized the importation of temporary workers from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for industries considered vital to the war effort. In 1943, 1946 and 1961 Congress approved limited immigration from the Asia-Pacific triangle, in particular from China and India.

After 1965, Third World immigration which was obviously likely to endanger the British character of the United States - demographically, linguistically, and culturally - began in earnest. Since the passage of the 1965 immigration and nationality act, the U.S. government has effectively barred ethnic European immigration while encouraging massive Third World immigration with its significantly higher fertility rates.

Annual immigration from all sources now exceeds one million. Over 80 percent of legal immigration is from the Third World - the single largest source of both legal and illegal immigration is Mexico - whereas less than 20 percent is from Europe and Canada. But the percentage for Europe and Canada may be misleading. Immigration from Europe and Canada does not necessarily mean ethnic European immigrants, for Third World immigrants can immigrate to Europe or Canada then enter the United States under the quotas for those countries.

The effect of mass Third World immigration into the United States is to replace the historic European-American majority population, which adopted the English language and British character of the United States, with a Third World majority population which will not - in other words, to impose on the country what already has been successfully imposed on Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Third World immigration provides the federal government, dominant media, and special interest groups with an excuse to abolish the historic liberties of Americans. Because the United States is now a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-linguistic country, they claim it is necessary to impose extensive censorship, thereby increasing their political power, under the guise of 'hate' crimes and 'hate' speech, and presumably in the future 'hate' thought, in order to maintain inter- communal peace and respect. George Orwell foresaw this in 1984. The dictatorship of Big Brother prevents even the possibility of critical thought against the regime through 'doublethink' and 'Newspeak.' The politically correct mantra of the multiculturalists that 'diversity is enriching' reflects the logic of the three slogans of Big Brother 'War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, and Ignorance Is Strength.'

According to a projection by the Census Bureau, the demographic coup d'etat will occur around the year 2100, when the United States will have a 'Hispanic' majority population and officially become an 'Hispanic' country. At that time, the success of Jamestown will have been replaced by the failure of Santa Fe, the liberties under common law by the tyranny of the Inquisition and the First World by the Third World. And the United States will enter the new Dark Ages.

About the author

Joseph Fallon, a frequent contributor to The Social Contract, is a published author and researcher on the topics of immigration and American demography.