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Literature / Albion's Seed

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Albion's Seed is a social history tome by David Hackett Fischer about the early settlers to America and how the customs they brought from Britain affect American culture. According to his theory, there were four main cultural streams: the Puritans coming from East Anglia to New England, the Quakers coming from The Midlands to the Middle Colonies, the tidewater culture of Virginia based on South-Eastern Anglican culture, and the Scots-Irish of the Appalachians.


The author divides up customs into a list of several categories:

  • speech ways
  • building ways
  • marriage ways
  • gender ways
  • sex ways
  • child rearing ways
  • naming ways
  • death ways
  • religious ways
  • magic ways
  • learning ways
  • food ways
  • dress ways
  • sport ways
  • work ways
  • time ways
  • wealth ways
  • rank ways
  • social ways
  • order ways
  • power ways
  • freedom ways

The effects of these different customs are traced in their effect on American history, including the voter distribution in various elections. This Magisterial volume is an admirable source of information and a way to understand the past better and to understand ourselves better.


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