Download Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South by Grady McWhiney PDF

By Grady McWhiney

Cracker Culture is a provocative examine of social lifestyles within the previous South that probes the beginning of cultural alterations among the South and the North all through American heritage. between Scotch-Irish settlers the time period “Cracker” before everything precise anyone who boasted, yet in American utilization the be aware has come to designate terrible whites. McWhiney makes use of the time period to outline tradition instead of to suggest an monetary situation. even supposing all terrible whites have been Crackers, no longer all Crackers have been terrible whites; either, in spite of the fact that, have been Southerners.

The writer insists that Southerners and Northerners have been by no means alike. American colonists who settled south and west of Pennsylvania through the seventeenth and 18th centuries have been in most cases from the “Celtic fringe” of the British Isles. The tradition that those humans retained within the New international bills in enormous degree for the variation among them and the Yankees of recent England, such a lot of whom originated within the lowlands of the southeastern half the island of england. From their sturdy base within the southern backcountry, Celts and their “Cracker” descendants swept westward through the antebellum interval till they'd proven themselves and their practices around the outdated South. simple between these practices that made up our minds their conventional folkways, values, norms, and attitudes was once the herding of cattle at the open diversity, unlike the combined agriculture that was once the norm either in southeastern Britain and in New England. The Celts delivered to the outdated South leisurely ways in which fostered idleness and gaiety. Like their Celtic ancestors, Southerners have been often violent; they scorned pacifism; they thought of fights and duels honorable and regularly overlooked legislation designed to regulate their activities. furthermore, relations and kinship have been even more vital in Celtic Britain and the antebellum South than in England and the Northern usa. basic alterations among Southerners and Northerners formed the process antebellum American background; their clash within the 1860s was once now not a lot brother opposed to brother as tradition opposed to culture.

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A. "1l That judgment is confirmed by the descriptions written by Gerald of Wales, the earliest post-Norman observer whose writings have survived. Gerald, a well-educated and widely traveled cleric and sometime chaplain to Henry II, was born in Wales of a Norman father and a mother of royal Welsh blood. He lived in Wales much of his life and accompanied King John to Ireland in 1 1 8 5, remaining more than a year. 12 "It must always be remembered," Gerald wrote, "that the Welsh are not being enervated by daily toil.

Using a modern Welsh telephone directory and old Welsh church records, Caudill refuted Ellen Churchill Semple's contention that the settlers of eastern Kentucky were Anglo-Saxons. "The 1984 [Welsh] telephone directory,/I he found, "is astonishingly similar to the name listings of that portion of Kentucky which begins about thirty miles east of Lexington and continues to the Big Sandy and the Virginia line. ' " All but 6 of the I 12 Kentucky counties named for persons have Celtic names. /l12 10.

And modern Spain offers a striking example of the retention of identity by such groups as the Basques, Catalonians, Murcians, Andalucians, and Castilians, even though the kingdom has been politically unified for nearly five centuries. If cultural conservatism could be so potent in a Europe that had experienced absolutism, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the industrial revolution, it seems likely that it would have been even stronger in an isolated colonial America.

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