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jmm99
08-10-2009, 01:30 AM
This article, Blood Brothers, The Dual Origins of American Bellicosity (http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=620), by Stephen Peter Rosen (2009), was linked on another thread (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=79460&postcount=50). The author's thesis is:

The United States will remain an unusually warlike nation in the years to come, and the reason is that we are in fact an unusually warlike people, despite having become wealthier and more multi-ethnic over the years. Our warlike nature resides in the lingering influence of the early environment and demography of British North America, subsequently reinforced by the impact of the War for Independence, the Civil War and World War II. My argument is that the United States had two near-simultaneous foundings, one by Scots-Irish people ready to fight when challenged, and one by Puritans ready to use force when legally authorized. The founding experiences of the Frontier and the Revolution mingled the distinct but mutually reinforcing predispositions of these two groups, producing an American national culture united in the idea that being an American citizen meant being ready to fight and die in its wars. What divided these two groups, and divides them still, was not the question of whether to fight, but of when.

It strikes me that the many (all ?) here at SWC, interested in US military history, might have more than one critique of the author's argument - as well as multiple agreements and disagreements with specific points of that argument.

If so, this is an opportunity to weigh in on topics which continually show up in more current-oriented threads.

J Wolfsberger
08-10-2009, 02:30 PM
I have to keep reminding myself that there is not necessarily any maliciousness behind our domestic peace movements, since that is a strong streak within US culture dating almost to day 1.

Does he speak to it?

Steve Blair
08-10-2009, 02:48 PM
The whole "Scots-Irish" thing is, IMO, really overdone. It MIGHT be there if you really want to reach for it, but I honestly don't think that anything Rosen is talking about is especially "unique" to Americans. If anything I might take the position that our reputed bellicosity has its roots in the (possibly perceived) existence of outside threats to the existence of the nation and from emulating the example of the British in many ways.

goesh
08-10-2009, 04:26 PM
The Scots-Irish thing is there, maybe not as strong as some want it to be but they were a factor to be reckoned with in the earlier frontier days, of course I'm biased having Indian and Brit fighters/ancestors going back to those days. Geography has been referenced many times in this forum and I know people who still eat alot of venison year round, despite having town jobs. Apples v oranges, more attuned with nature v being a violent people maybe, where a broken leg could end you faster than a tomahawk and more died from infection than a scalping knife or an outlaw's gun. Bad whiskey took a few too you know.......:)

jmm99
08-10-2009, 08:17 PM
read the article and your question will be answered - maybe :D

As to the Scots-Irish thing, I think the author missed half of the equation. The folks from Scotland and Northern Ireland (primarily Ulster), whether called Scots-Irish or Scotch-Irish, are exemplified by Andy Jackson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jackson) (both parents from Ulster - Carrickfergus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrickfergus)). As early as them were the Famine Irish from Southern Ireland (primarily Munster) in the 1600s and 1700s (many famines in Munster), many of whom settled in the South (Virginia being prime real estate) and who were usually Anglicans. The huge migration of Famine Irish occured in the 1800s (Potato Famine, etc.), who largely settled in the North and came along with their RC priests - also some of the same ilk settled in the South - and both got to fight each other in the Civil War.

Except for the religious differences, it is hard to see that much difference in how the Scots-Irish and Famine Irish reacted to challenges - very much clan-based (using the Scottish term) and sept-based (using the Irish term), for the same type of extended families. All of which is historical since the Gaelic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaelic) speakers (Q-Celts or Goidelic) of Scotland and Ireland were known from Roman times into the early Middle Ages as Scotti (http://www.islandguide.co.uk/history/scotti.htm). And, there were also Picts in Ireland, though not as many as in Scotland.

So, if we view all of these Scotti and Pictish descendents as something of a collective herd of cats, their influence on the US military has been and still is obvious. If someone were to set up a poll here at SWC asking about some ancestry from Scotland or Ireland, I suspect a large percentage would be affirmative.

As to these folks from Scotland and Ireland, I fail to see their history as being particularly bellicose in external matters. One can certainly point to four characteristics: (1) faction fighting amongst themselves; (2) defense of their self-interests domestically (sometimes well; oftentimes badly); (3) service as professional soldiers or mercenaries under the flag of other countries; and (4) something of a propensity for gradual domestic migrations when under pressures (military, economic or population).

-----------------------
My looksee at the New England Puritans has been less personal (my English ancestry is minimal and not American colonial English). However, in looking at the history of a good chunk of my wife's ancestors, I've gained some appreciation for what the New England Puritans were and were not. Also, I looked at them from the standpoint of the Canadian Marines; that is, as opponents over a couple of centuries of warfare (including the two US invasions of Canada). My overview is that there was a lot of Cromwell's Roundheads (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundhead) in the New England Puritans, just as there was some Cavalier influence in the South. How far one can take that in analysing present-day US foreign policy and the reactions to it, is something less than that argued by the author.

I thought the quote from the Brit officer (included in this snip from the article):

The Puritan experience in the War of Independence reflected this institutionalization of collective violence. The war in New England was a righteous war, authorized and often organized by the New England “black regiment” of Calvinist clergy. As Charles Royster wrote in A Revolutionary People at War (1979), “both those who admired the American Protestant ministry and those who ridiculed it could agree that preachers carried the revolution to large numbers of Americans.” Royster quotes Royal Army Major Harry Brooke, a soldier deployed to Boston who was eloquent on the subject of the clergy and the rebellion: “It is your God damned Religion of this Country that ruins the Country; Damn your religion.”

is a thought that more than a few have had in dealing with present-day religious fanatics.

Steve Blair
08-10-2009, 08:37 PM
you also have to consider that many Americans during the earlier years of the country claimed German ancestry. They made up a good chunk (largest ethnic group after the Irish) of the Regular Army prior to the end of the 19th century, and there was real concern in some quarters about the public willingness to get involved in World War I due to said "German influence." It's also worth noting the impact that the Prussian Army system had on folks like Sherman, Sheridan, and Emory Upton. Most of the regimental reorganization plans that surfaced during the 1880s made at least passing reference to the German "community system" where a regiment would have a home station and conduct its recruiting there. That and the reference to Ohio before the Civil War as "America's Prussia" is certainly interesting...

That said, it's much more likely that the claimed "American character" is really a combination of all these factors...for good and ill. Efforts to ignore that blending, attributing it to one ethnic group or the other, really miss the point. IMO, anyhow.

Ken White
08-10-2009, 10:53 PM
Which is but one reason many Europeans have an ill concealed disdain for us. ;)

Steve Blair:The whole "Scots-Irish" thing is, IMO, really overdone. It MIGHT be there if you really want to reach for it, but I honestly don't think that anything Rosen is talking about is especially "unique" to Americans. If anything I might take the position that our reputed bellicosity has its roots in the (possibly perceived) existence of outside threats to the existence of the nation and from emulating the example of the British in many ways.I'm inclined to disagree on the extent of the Scotch Irish infusion for the reasons I outline below. My personal; view is that there is a streak of American bellicosity and that it is the result of a number of things and the Scotch Irish influence is only one and not that critical. I think you're correct in that much of it hinges on outside threats -- or even the perception of them -- and that is a British inheritance. As are the Scotch Irish...

JMM:Except for the religious differences, it is hard to see that much difference in how the Scots-Irish and Famine Irish reacted to challenges.The Scotch Irish and Irish reactions to challenges are similar but there are two major differences. The Scotch Irish don't forget and forgive, the Irish do. One but not the only formative difference was religion, Presbyterianism is not for the faint of heart...

Another was that while the Irish were mistreated by the British, the Scotch Irish were mistreated by the British and the Irish, had been frequently betrayed by both and when they came to America, quickly found that they were despised by the Puritans, the Anglican, and the Catholics (or those Welsh Methodists...) -- so they, used to fighting, moved to the border lands and away from the coasts to get land of their own and if that meant fighting Indians, so be it. Thus New Hampshire, western PA , VA and the Carolinas got settled and these folks continued to move west as the nation looked that way. They kept fighting Indians and other American as well as each other -- but any fight between them was put on hold if anyone even looked as though they might interfere or take advantage of the fight to do something.

The Irish and Germans, as Steve said, joined the Army in large numbers -- the Scotch Irish did not; fighting was fun, not work and people telling you what to do reminded them of the British and those snooty Anglicans -- but oh, by the way, give a War -- they'd appear. The Revolution was fought by large quantities of Scotch Irish, each subsequent war has seen a little less obvious participation as other ethnicities proliferated. But they're still out there and some, like me also have some German (thus it didn't offend me to say zu befehl, Hauptman), some English, Welsh and pure catholic Irish. Since I tend to overreact to minor and even inadvertent slights, condescension, provocation or insults, I would suspect the Scotch Irish quotient to be quite high even if I didn't know it was the predominant blood line on both sides. Point is that the mixing makes us what we are -- but that Scotch Irish distrust of "others" (ANY others...), expectation of perfidy and adherence to Family ('my people') pervades us all. The Scotch Irish in early America were noted for their wanton ways -- loud, rowdy and very tough girls, and the genre itself for the huge numbers of kids they had and their willingness, unlike the Catholic Irish and Lutheran or Catholic Germans (much less those Anglicans) to hop in bed with or marry outside the clan or sept (they used both, septs belonged to Clans. Some of the MacGregors are a sept of MacGregor of MacGregor, others of Clan Campbell). ;)

Oh, and those Europeans -- they also think we're loud, rowdy and excessively tough...

Dayuhan
08-11-2009, 12:00 AM
Are Americans "unusually bellicose", in any empirically verifiable sense? By what standard? Relative to whom? Is bellicose action a function of inherent bellicosity, or of capacity?

Europeans may now see Americans as bellicose, but it seems to me that they showed a fair degree of bellicosity themselves in their day.

Ken White
08-11-2009, 12:56 AM
nor do we do war all that well. We produce a lot of neat stuff...

The Europeans were for centuries more bellicose than we were or are today -- we simply seem more bellicose to them (and to our Europhiles and our own intelligentsia) in comparison to Europe today.

That is not empirically verifiable -- I'm suspicion of most things that are -- but I have run it by few people and 99% agree (actually, all seven agreed but my wife is never gonna give me 100% on anything).

Dayuhan
08-11-2009, 02:25 AM
nor do we do war all that well. We produce a lot of neat stuff...

The Europeans were for centuries more bellicose than we were or are today -- we simply seem more bellicose to them (and to our Europhiles and our own intelligentsia) in comparison to Europe today.

That is not empirically verifiable -- I'm suspicion of most things that are -- but I have run it by few people and 99% agree (actually, all seven agreed but my wife is never gonna give me 100% on anything).

European complaints about American "bellicosity" always seem to me reminiscent of a campaign for chastity initiated by a faded whore grown too old to ply the trade... but perhaps that's just me!

jmm99
08-11-2009, 03:08 AM
on the German-American contribution to the US military. How could I forget the portrait of GEN Eisenhower on the wall of the German-American family we lived above during WWII and the early 50s - and his portrait as President which replaced it.

I'm gratified to learn that the Munster Irish have the gift of forgetting and forgiving - a trait clearly exemplified by one of those Virginian Anglican Irish, whose mild character is amply illustrated by the attached .pdf file.

It's been over 40 years since Jim Mitchell (Ulster Presbyterian) and I concluded, over appropriate beverages and multiple sessions of his Clancy Bros collection, that all Irish, North and South, are the same regardless of their "damned religions". We still think that way (last time we talked, a few weeks ago).

I have to admit our's is a minority view - and liable to shelling from both sides. Our favorite was the "Old Orange Flute (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVlbenGJ8u0)" because it showed the dumbness on both sides of the supposed issue.

In the county Tyrone, in the town of Dungannon
Where many a ruction myself had a hand in
Bob Williamson he lived, a weaver by trade
And all of us thought him the stout orange blade. ....

A bit off the mark - and probably more applicable to why Northern Ireland has been bellicose.

Ken White
08-11-2009, 03:48 AM
But it also sounds as though he was willing to forget and forgive to an extent as after the original challenge he left it alone.

Until, that is, a certain Scotch Irish gentleman intruded:General Mason did not accept (McCarty's challenge), being a Senator of the United States, but after his term had expired, while riding on a stage to Fredericksburg with General Andrew Jackson, the subject of the challenge came up, when Jackson told Mason that his refusal to accept was an injury to his standing and as he was no longer in office he should now challenge McCarty.Mason being devious, got McCarty to rechallenge him by taking advantage of of the Celt mercurial temperment. :wry:

Single Barrel shotguns at four paces. Different...

Icebreaker
08-11-2009, 04:05 AM
Americans are a “self-selected” group. By that I mean that the people that came here (Irish, English, Scots-Irish, German….) were a little bit different then their countrymen. To l eave home and cross an ocean to a continent unexplored and full of dangers requires a certain mindset (or level of mental illness).

Let me give a specific example. It has been proven that a higher percentage of the American population suffers from hyperactivity then other countries. Psychologists believe that originally the genetic pre-disposition for hyperactivity was fairly evenly spread throughout the human race. But think about it – you have two bothers living somewhere in Europe. One is hyperactive and one is not - which is more likely to immigrate to the New World. The hyperactive one would more likely move to America. Here he is more likely to meet a woman who is hyperactive and to pass down that trait to his children.

Who would be more likely to leave England, Ireland or Germany a mild mellow guy he gets a long with people, or the kind of guy who could get into a fight a church? The wild and wooly frontier would appeal more to him then to the more socialized fellow. Over time both “nature” and “nurture” brought out the more aggressive nature in people.

This is not to say anything bad. Aggression is a survival positive characteristic in many situations (if not carried to extreme). Also, I realize that many people who came here to America did not do so willingly (Africans brought as slaves, the Irish whose only other choice was starve).

Dayuhan
08-11-2009, 05:12 AM
Let me give a specific example. It has been proven that a higher percentage of the American population suffers from hyperactivity then other countries.

I'd be very curious to see the data and the points of origin of the data on this one... I think it's pretty generally recognized that the US medical community is much quicker to diagnose mental "disorders" or the like than those of many countries. Is this a difference in actual incidence or a difference of diagnostic criteria?

I recall some discussions of ADD/ADHD in an International School setting... among the Western parents these are common household terms; among the Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean parents there was mystification: they had never even heard of them. Is this a genetic difference or a difference between the emphasis different cultures place on training in self-control and discipline in the home? It wouldn't surprise me to discover that many who are diagnosed as hyperactive in the US might in another culture simply be considered a bit difficult.

J Wolfsberger
08-11-2009, 01:01 PM
European complaints about American "bellicosity" always seem to me reminiscent of a campaign for chastity initiated by a faded whore grown too old to ply the trade... but perhaps that's just me!

Win.

goesh
08-11-2009, 02:38 PM
"I recall some discussions of ADD/ADHD in an International School setting... among the Western parents these are common household terms; among the Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean parents there was mystification: they had never even heard of them. Is this a genetic difference or a difference between the emphasis different cultures place on training in self-control and discipline in the home? It wouldn't surprise me to discover that many who are diagnosed as hyperactive in the US might in another culture simply be considered a bit difficult.[/QUOTE]" (Dayuhan)

IMO it is primarily cultural and I suspect our diet predisposes some towards the ADD/ADHD diagnosis' but added is the 'push' from the drug cartels to market and sell their products. Add to the mix harried physicians and psychiatrists being pushed by parents for another quick fix in their fast lane lives and it's about gotten out of hand - they dispense medication in most schools these days. Omega 3 fats and exercise can remedy much of it.

Abu Suleyman
08-11-2009, 03:05 PM
This entire article smacks of determinism. To argue that issues at the founding of the United States, and the cultures involved therein have any bearing at all on today's policies requires some sort of mechanism whereby such issues are perpetuated to today. The closest that Rosen comes to that is "Child rearing" techniques of the Scotch-Irish and the Protestants. However, I am pretty sure that outside of a few groups which may still be around, those techniques died out decades if not centuries ago. Sans such techniques, the only explanation for why todays Scots Irish or people of "Puritan" extraction would in any way resemble those of past descent is some sort of genetic/cultural determinism.

The question then remains, insofar as Scots Irish and Puritans are not unique to the US(Canada, Great Britain, Australia?), why then is such a culture unique to the US. Of course, the answer is, that the US is not particularly bellicose, and our wars are almost always less popular at the time that they are being fought than they are remembered. One example given by Rosen is the Mexican American war, which was actually tremendously unpopular, and opposed broadly by the opposition Republicans, led in part by Abraham Lincoln. I remember reading in Gallup polls that support for WWII in Dec 1941 was about 60%, after Pearl Harbor!

It is interesting that Rosen would bring up John Mearsheimer in support of his argument, insofar as anyone who has read The Tragedy of Great Power Politics could tell you that according to Mearsheimer, culture has nothing to do with bellicosity, one way or the other. As a structural realist, Mearsheimer argues that structure is what creates bellicosity. Therefore, the real tragedy is not that the U.S. cannot be content with its safety behind borders, but that because of the security dilemma no Great Power can ever be content to simply rest within its borders. The reason that Europe was bellicose in the past, and is now not so, is not that they have received some cultural enlightenment but because they are no longer great powers.

In the end, Rosen seems like he is trying to argue against the theory of Democratic Peace, but he picks only one explanation of it. I am simpathetic to his intuition. Nevertheless, he has no mechanism, nor justification past genetics to believe that even if the premises which he sets forward as occuring at the founding are true continue to today. Moreover, he never shows, and I think that there is a great deal of question whether there is reason to believe that the U.S. is more bellicose at all. Attacking only the cultural explanation of the democratic peace with another cultural explanation boils down to claiming that there is no such thing as the democratic peace. Unfortunately, that argument has been had over and over again, in much better publications, and ceased to be interesting a long time ago.

George L. Singleton
08-11-2009, 03:46 PM
1. The Gaelic word for Irish is "Scotti."

2. Thus the use of the term, not matter what meaning some would want to attribute to it, of Scot-Irish linguistically is Irish-Irish!

3. Our colonial and revolutionary era ancestors were of all faiths, not just one or another. A Mr. Levy, who is buried in downtown Boston, MA in perhaps the oldest city cemtery...I have visited the site of Mr. Levy's grave...was a Colonial era Jew who gave and gave until he died a pauper, having given his great fortune to helping start and save during the Revolutionary War today's America.

4. In Colonial Virginia the British leaning Episcopalians persecuted and placed a religious tax on the Baptists.

5. In later years, the Baptists who relocated into Utah fought a huge range war with the Mormons, in which a total of 50,000 of both denominations were killed, not just wounded, killed, in the 1840s into the 1850s in Utah.

6. To me, and I am an old History major with a minor in Political Science from undergrad days (at the second oldest chair in history in the US...College of A&S, University of Alabama...oldest chair in history being at Harvard U.) we are a polygot nation of growing religous diversity. Frictions, ethnic and religious of the past were overcome, and that will be the case today in the US by the time our next generation or two comes into being.

In summary, bellicoisity being demographically and religiously defined seems off the wall to me. Real world domestic and foreign affairs are a simplier and truer course to study. War is still the oldest and main means of waging foreign policy by all nations.

Fuchs
08-11-2009, 04:15 PM
The word "Scoti" is actually Roman and describes tribes from Ireland.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoti

The Romans called the tribes in modern Scotland "Picti".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picts

I don't know how the "Scot" thing moved to Scotland, but "Scoti" isn't the same as "Scots" at all. Well, except that both are based on Celtic tribes.



B2topic; I wouldn't dig deeper than at most two generations to find reasons for modern phenomenons.

You may search for a root cause and find it, but that root cause would have become irrelevant if in the meantime another factor had changed the outcome. The lack of such another factor is as important as the root cause.

Abu Suleyman
08-11-2009, 05:32 PM
5. In later years, the Baptists who relocated into Utah fought a huge range war with the Mormons, in which a total of 50,000 of both denominations were killed, not just wounded, killed, in the 1840s into the 1850s in Utah.



I'm going to assume this is a joke. In the 1840's and 50's there were barely 50k people of any denomination in Utah. In fact, the entire Mormon migration brough about 70k people to what was then known as 'Upper California', and didn't start until 1847. The closest thing I can think of that resembles that was in 1857, and the Utah War, which was between the US Gov't and the local Mormon's. In relative terms it was bloodless, although there was the Mountain Meadows massacre, where over one hundred southerners (mostly from Arkansas) were killed. They may have been Baptist, but they weren't attempting to settle in the Great Basin.

>Fuch's, I couldn't agree more. That is the point I was trying to make.

George L. Singleton
08-11-2009, 06:13 PM
My typo error to have written 50,000. The religious wars which did involve Baptists vs. Mormons (I was raised as a Southern Baptist and know the dogma pretty well) was in several states, not just Utah, and ran from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois to and including Utah over a period of years preceding and gain immediately after the US Civil War.

The conglomerate numbers killed on both sides over many years was estimated in putting bits and pieces together at more like 500, not 50,000.

A major goof on my part, and I do apologize!

George L. Singleton
08-11-2009, 06:34 PM
I continue to stake my long term historic position that the oldest I can find use of Scoti means and refers to Irish/being Irish/of Ireland.

Thus I use the analogy that "Scot Irish" in linguistics is the same as saying "Irish Irish" when translated.

The geopolitics of Northern Ireland are much later in history and are not considered at all in my older research dating back to Roman times.

I appreciate your comments but disagree to the extent I have just re-explained here. All points of view are welcome, but mine is driven in part by family history...circa 1400 an Irish priest named Gillis, which line my Mother was descended from, was sent to the Highlands.

There as was common in frontier priest postings he married and had 12 children, while continuing to practice his vocation as a Roman Catholic Priest.

My Great Grandfather Donal Gillis was a Cumberland Presbyterian minister in Elba, Alabama. After the Civil War his area had lost so many men in that war that his Presbyterian and a local "hard shell" Baptist Church agreed to merge to have enough people to support one unified church. Donal Gillis won over the Baptist minister in a coin toss, then as the Probate Judge of Coffee Co., Ala. Judge Gillis appointed the ex-Baptist minister he just defeated for the merged church pastorate as his Chief Clerk of the Probate Court!


The earliest accounts of the Scotti are from Roman sources, particularly Ammianus Marcellinus who describes their relentless raids on Roman Britain. The Scotti are confirmed by later sources to be the Gaelic speaking inhabitants of Ireland.

Scoti or Scotti was the generic Latin name used by the Romans to describe those who sailed from Ireland to conduct raids on Roman Britain. It was thus synonymous with the modern term Gaels. It is not believed that any Gaelic groups called themselves Scoti in ancient times, except when referring to themselves in Latin

In the 400s, these raiders established the kingdom of Dál Riata in the Highlands. As this kingdom expanded in size and influence, the name was applied to all its subjects – hence the modern terms Scot, Scottish and Scotland.

The origin of the word Scoti or Scotti is uncertain. Charles Oman derives it from the Gaelic word Scuit (a man cut-off), suggesting that a Scuit was not a general word for the Gael but a band of outcast raiders.[2] In the 19th century Aonghas MacCoinnich of Glasgow proposed that Scoti was derived from the Gaelic word Sgaothaich

J Wolfsberger
08-11-2009, 07:54 PM
The whole "Scots-Irish" thing is, IMO, really overdone. It MIGHT be there if you really want to reach for it, but I honestly don't think that anything Rosen is talking about is especially "unique" to Americans. If anything I might take the position that our reputed bellicosity has its roots in the (possibly perceived) existence of outside threats to the existence of the nation and from emulating the example of the British in many ways.

Steve, I'm with you.

Americans are a warlike people, which is the only (!?) reason we've had so many wars, and since we've had so many wars we must be a warlike people? And it's all because 300 years or so ago a bunch of Puritans came over, followed by a couple of hundred years of Scottish and Irish, who defined a warlike culture (to the exclusion of Germans, Poles, Italians, Chinese, et. al.)?

The paper seems circular and very simplistic. I expect more from Rosen.

Greyhawk
08-11-2009, 08:01 PM
...The Irish and Germans, as Steve said, joined the Army in large numbers -- the Scotch Irish did not; fighting was fun, not work and people telling you what to do reminded them of the British and those snooty Anglicans -- but oh, by the way, give a War -- they'd appear.

My mother tells the story from her memory of her father - a World War ONE battlefield vet, coming home one day in December '41 and telling his sons "you'd better oil up your guns, boys." The four who were old enough did.

Grandpa McDowell once told a too-young-to-appreciate-it (or write it down) me tales of his grandfather who fought (for Ohio) in the Civil War. (But these were not two-fisted tales of glory, in fact they were rather dull to my 12-year old ears.)

He was, however, a Deacon in the local church and one of the quietest men I've ever known. I wouldn't be surprised if those seven words above were all he had to say regarding Pearl Harbor.

jmm99
08-11-2009, 08:54 PM
from JohnWolf...
The paper seems circular and very simplistic. I expect more from Rosen.

and

from Fuchs
I wouldn't dig deeper than at most two generations to find reasons for modern phenomenons.

You may search for a root cause and find it, but that root cause would have become irrelevant if in the meantime another factor had changed the outcome. The lack of such another factor is as important as the root cause.

All very logical.

Logic, real history and archaeology can also be applied to the homeland of the Gaels (Scotland and Ireland). The map (attached) from Fuchs' linked Wiki illustrates the geography from the Mesolithic until now. The red area has been a "common market" since that time - flows of peoples, technologies, commerce, etc. Not surprisingly, Southern Ireland has had more inputs from Wales and Cornwall - and from France and Spain. Northern Ireland has had its primary inputs from Scotland. And so, a bit more "Pictish" than the South - but read on.

When did it all begin and from whence the peoples of Ireland. I buy this, as to the Mesolithic (http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/pre_norman_history/mesolithic_age.html):

The first humans in Ireland are thought to have crossed from Scotland, in wooden boats, to what is now county Antrim around 8000BC. It is also thought that the rising land and rising sea levels may have moved at a fluctuating pace, occasionally allowing the southern land bridge to re-emerge from the Irish Sea, as well as a northern one connecting Antrim to Scotland. These would have lasted only briefly, but would have allowed the migrations of both humans and animals. There is a cultural continuity between the mesolithic remains found in north Ireland and those in southern Scotland. Ireland was one of the last parts of western Europe to have been settled by humans, and the human presence here is perhaps only about 10,000 years old.

and as to the Neolithic (http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/pre_norman_history/neolithic_age.html):

It would be a mistake to think that the Mesolithic people of Ireland suddenly invented farming and became Neolithic. Rather, Ireland's Mesolithic hunters were displaced or assimilated by Neolithic settlers who gradually arrived in Ireland from Britain and brought the technology with them. The practice of farming had spread from the Middle East, through eastern and southern Europe to reach Britain around 4000BC. Again it seems that it arrived in Ireland via the Scotland-Antrim link. Evidence from Cashelkeelty, county Kerry, suggests that this happened between 3900BC and 3000BC [4 p28].

So, whatever you want to call the Gaels, the settlement of Ireland and its population came from Scotland - not the other way around.

Scotland and Ireland, like most nationalities, tribes and families, have their own mythology - the received narrative. That has nothing to do with logic, real history and archaeology. The Gaelic (Irish and Scottish) myth of Scota (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scota) is a good example.

The myths and received narratives create a perception of reality, which as we see in current affairs, military and political, is often more powerful and devastating than what a totally logical person would reach from true reality.

And, that perception is what we have to deal with in the Small Wars context.

Now, if I can find one of Ken's Scotch-Irish girls:

... noted for their wanton ways - loud, rowdy and very tough girls, and the genre itself for the huge numbers of kids they had and their willingness ... to hop in bed with or marry outside the clan or sept ...

My son needs a mate.

Cheers

Mike

Rank amateur
08-11-2009, 11:06 PM
I subscribe it to an eye for an eye is more fun than turning the other cheek. Until you figure out the other guys doesn't just sit around waiting for you to take his eye.

Europe has figured out the other guys doesn't just sit around waiting for you to take his eye. Every couple of decades we forget it and expect to be greeted as liberators.

Maybe because every once in a while we actually are greeted as liberators and Europeans never were.

George L. Singleton
08-11-2009, 11:20 PM
Mike:

Interesting theory...but Scotland was moved into Christianity by Irish coming up into Scotland, which otherwise was thinly people by ex-Scandanavians, the vikings and such.

George

PS - This whole "topic" misses the mark in that America's ethnic make up was done in phases...but at first we were people by "everybody"...Maryland was a Roman Catholic religious colony in the beginning...Pennsylvania was a Quaker colony....New York was earl on Dutch...the Carolinas and much of Virginia were Scot Irish...Georgia was largely, initially English bread thieves (some of my early on Singletons landed at Savanna and were 7 and 14 year indentured white slaves, bread thieves)...Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas were largely Spanish, then French, then "British"...more Scot Irish folks, etc. George.

jmm99
08-12-2009, 05:18 AM
Hi George,

Patrick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick) was born at Banna Venta Berniae, in what is today the county of Cumbria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbria). Cumbria is about as close to Scotland as you can get without being a blue-woaded Pict. Now, I have stretched it a bit (a few klicks) to claim Patrick as a Scot. Some Scots claim him as a native of Sthrathclyde (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Strathclyde), which included Cumbria (see map in the Wiki). These Sthrathclydeans roughly correspond to the western Scottish Lowlanders, who have been a substantial input over the centuries into Ulster.

Patrick's church was very much centered at Armagh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armagh), Ulster - still a cathedral town to both the Church of Ireland and the Roman Church. Columba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columba), of Donegal, Ulster, is the best known missionary to Scotland; although more came from the Strathclyde region (e.g., Ninian of Whithorn, Galloway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galloway)) - the areas just south and north of Hadrian's Wall were centers of Christianity in Roman Britain. Columba (7 Dec 521 – 9 Jun 597) labored well before the Scandahoovians became a nuisance in Scotland.

Scotland was well enough populated by Gaels and Picts in Columba's time. We reach some firmer ground in seeing Scotland's as an organized entity in the time of Kenneth MacAlpin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_I_of_Scotland) (ca.810-858), who probably was a Pictish-Gael mix (IMO; if he's your ancestor, feel free to stake out your own ground). The formation of Scotland was, therefore, a fusional process (the Vikings also hit the beaches in MacAlpin's time):

The Pictish institution of kingship provided the basis for merger with the Gaelic Alpin dynasty. The meeting of King Constantine and Bishop Cellach at the Hill of Belief near the (formerly Pictish) royal city of Scone in 906 cemented the rights and duties of Picts on an equal basis with those of Gaels (pariter cum Scottis). Hence the change in styling from King of the Picts to King of Alba. The legacy of Gaelic as the first national language of Scotland does not obscure the foundational process in the establishment of the Scottish kingdom of Alba.

Now, this long circular digression does have a point - which is agreement with your ultimate point:

from GLS
PS - This whole "topic" misses the mark in that America's ethnic make up was done in phases...but at first we were people by "everybody"...Maryland was a Roman Catholic religious colony in the beginning...Pennsylvania was a Quaker colony....New York was earl on Dutch...the Carolinas and much of Virginia were Scot Irish...Georgia was largely, initially English bread thieves (some of my early on Singletons landed at Savanna and were 7 and 14 year indentured white slaves, bread thieves)...Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas were largely Spanish, then French, then "British"...more Scot Irish folks, etc. George.

ultimately a fusion process, which still continues.

Regards,

Mike

George L. Singleton
08-12-2009, 05:26 PM
Mike:

Thanks for your very scholarly agreement...overlooking my many typos...arthritis in hands is worsening despite evening applications of good SINGLETON Single Malt Scotch!

One of our daughters (two degrees from Vanderbilt U. in Nashville) did her Vandy overseas, long 6 month semester at University of Edinburgh. She is a Shakespear Scholar but took some electives, too, in Gaelic History and Culture, which give her, more than me, an educated view of the era(s) and events in both Scotland and Ireland (one course she took at U. of Edinburth was about Gaelic Lingusitic Culture and History) long before the late 1300's migration of my ancestor, the Roman Catholic Priest named Gillis, my Mother's line.

Raw individualism and bellicosisty are in fact historic traits of the Gaelic speaking populations whereever found, including in coastal France.

One of the great tragedies of the American Civil War was the decimation of Northern and Southern Irish (Gaelic speaking) troops in major battles in Virginia, particularly. The South had very many Roman Catholic Gaelic speaking troops, as did the North.

My Great Grandfather Donal Gillis was wounded by a cannon ball to his right knee in Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. He of course permanently lost the use of his right leg from the knee down.

His line of Gillises landed at Wilmington, North Carolina 1799, having sailed from Liverpool, England. I have the 1700's era key wound engraved silver watch his forebears had when they landed in North Carolina. These Gillises came from the Highlands of Scotland, with the oldest traceable one being from Ireland, the Gillis who was a Roman Catholic priest sent to Scotland in the late 1300s.

Some of my maternal Great Grandmother's line, Lightfoots and Brennen's, came to the US via Philadelphia, PA from England...and from Ireland.

We even have some Italian ancestors among another diminsion of my Mother's side of the family, who landed in Charleston, SC area well before the American Revolutionary War and changed their name to "Cox" from a name I can no longer remember how to spell in Italian. Likewise we had some Italian Bonsalls on Mom's side of the family, her Great Grandmother having been a Bonsall.

Melting pot we are...but in Afghanistan and Pakistan stand offish tribalism is a real problem, unable to learn how to cherish cultures while still learnign to live with and get along with others from different tribes, cultures, and backgrounds.

Have a good day.

jmm99
08-12-2009, 08:53 PM
A recollection from Ken Burns' PBS series on the Civil War is a conversation between two vets (one blue, one gray), which had the CSA vet concluding that the North won the war because it had more Irish. The North had its share, including Sheridan and Meagher, for example.

The guy on the CSA side who interests me most was Patrick Ronayne Cleburne (http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/cleburne.html), a native of Cork, and very much a "fusion product" - as was Cork (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cork_(city)) itself.

For much of the Middle Ages, Cork city was an outpost of Old English culture in the midst of a predominantly hostile Gaelic countryside and cut off from the English government in the Pale around Dublin. Neighbouring Gaelic and Hiberno-Norman lords extorted "Black Rent" from the citizens in order to keep them from attacking the city. The main overlords of south western Ireland were the Fitzgerald Earl of Desmond dynasty, with the lordships of the MacCarthy and Barry families abutting directly onto Cork city. The Cork municipal government was dominated by about 12-15 merchant families, whose wealth came from overseas trade with continental Europe - in particular the export of wool and hides and the import of salt, iron and wine. Of these families, only the Ronayne family were of Gaelic Irish origin.

The Cleburne Family (http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/clebgene.html) was Anglo-Irish; that is, descendents of English who came to Ireland well after the Norman Invasion of Ireland in the 12th century. Pat Cleburne's mother was a Ronayne; so, he was 1/2 Anglo-Irish and 1/2 Gaelic Irish. Such mixing was not uncommon. The leading lights of the early 1600s in my MacCarthy Reagh sub-sept were more Fitzgerald than MacCarthy; with some Barry and Roche thrown in for added flavor.

The divisions in the US, which existed before the Civil War and which were amplified during its course, were lessened (in some areas) by the compromises reached during and after Reconstruction. In the military, the Spanish-American War was something of a North-South unifying factor, where Confederate vets or their sons took an active role.

When we look at situations where the "fusion process" has not really begun, such as that you specify:

Melting pot we are...but in Afghanistan and Pakistan stand offish tribalism is a real problem, unable to learn how to cherish cultures while still learnign to live with and get along with others from different tribes, cultures, and backgrounds.

we are confronted with a real, wicked problem - which your posts in other threads have helped to define. :)

Regards,

Mike

PS: You and others might be interested in the The Wild Geese (http://www.thewildgeese.com/) pages - although they emphasize the Southern (mostly Roman Catholic) Irish and have their own "received narrative".

A recent article, Irish Dominate Medal of Honor List (http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/mdohhome.html), is on-topic for this thread. This does not get into recipients of Irish (OK, Scots-Irish and Irish-Irish ;) ) ancestry, but focuses on recipients born in Ireland (or Germany, etc.):

The books list the 3,401 men who had received the Medal through 1994, presenting the information in several categories. A "birthplace" listing provides the state and town of birth for those medalists born in the United States and the country of birth for those born abroad. Thirty-three countries are listed as birthplaces of medal recipients. And I don't have to tell you that Ireland is the country with the largest number of medal winners — by far — with 258. Germany/Prussia is second with 128 recipients.

Of the 258 immigrants who noted on their enlistment papers that they were born in Ireland, 134 also provided their county, town or townland of birth. Cork leads the honor list with 19 medalists, followed by Dublin and Tipperary with 11 each. Limerick has 10; Kerry eight; Galway seven; Antrim and Tyrone tied with six; Kilkenny and Sligo each have five.

We Irish can proudly note that five of the 19 fighting men who won a second Medal of Honor were born in Ireland. They are Henry Hogan from County Clare; John Laverty from Tyrone; Dublin's John Cooper, whose name at birth was John Laver Mather; John King; and Patrick Mullen. Three double winners of the Medal were Irish-Americans: the indomitable Marine, Daniel Daly; the U.S. Navy's John McCloy; and the fighting Marine from Chicago, John Joseph Kelly.

Schmedlap
08-19-2009, 07:06 AM
I remembered this thread while reading this post at SWJ (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2009/08/while-woodstock-rocked-gis-die/).

If the Puritans would support a war that was declared by the authorities and the Scotch-Irish were willing to go to war if insulted or slighted, then what influence brought us the flower-power generation that didn't care about the war in Vietnam and did not honor the decision of the authorities to wage it?

LBJ escalated the war, but the hippies, like, thought that was a total drag. None of them were down with the scene in Vietnam. When they got their draft cards, they like totally either split the country or they just fought the power and put the man in his place by tearing up or burning their draft cards. Puritans might have thought the war was groovy and the Scotch-Irish might have been down with crashing the set in Vietnam, but the flower children saw it as nothing but bad vibes, man.

Oh man, I really got the munchies...