Reginald Horsman's Study Of Racial Anglo-Saxonism

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The human species have always had a history of wanting to change the world. Those of the Christian faith (and it branches) believed it was their purpose to seek others and convert them before they are damned for eternity. The Nazi regime sought to have the ‘impurities’ of the world eliminated. The British Empire believed that it was their duty to bring civilization to barbarians. On one hand, this desire to change others into themselves implies a sort of recognition of their identity with another’s; but on the other hand, however, the desire to transform someone’s perception of the world can easily be corrupted into a mission of conquest. This desire, especially, when combined with the belief of innate superiority of one 's own race/culture…show more content…
The basis of his work is the idea or belief that Anglo-Saxons were a superior race and were destined to rule over other races. Horsman traced the origin of Anglo-Saxonism back to mid-sixteenth century England. He begins by noting that the idea of Anglo-Saxon superiority first gained momentum during the English Reformation. The justification of Henry VIII 's break with Rome had developed the idea of a pure English church that was run entirely by the people. This idea of throwing away papal authority and the corrupt Catholic Church to return England back to the people was well received and wide spread. At the moment Anglo-Saxonism is not at all racially based, but in fact more of a territorial belief or as Horsman explains ‘This is our land, others are not allowed.’ It was quite frightening how quickly a belief can turn into almost the exact opposite of what it originally…show more content…
The way he demonstrates the attitudes toward Native Americans, Blacks, and Mexicans were all part of a single system of racial thought. Moreover, his analysis spans roughly three centuries and draws connections between European thought, American racial thought, Romantic literary racism, popular prejudice, and government policy. Although this is all true the study 's greatest strength may also prove to be its own Achilles heel. Horsman has indeed read, absorbed, and integrated so much material covering such an incredibly vast period of time, and his writing style is quite clear and persuasive, that he almost convinces me that Racial Anglo-Saxonism was far more important than his evidence indicates. Horsman certainly shows how Anglo-Saxonism permeates through Europe, but when he begins to focus more on American Racial Anglo-Saxonism he tends to exaggerate its effect. Not to say that it did not have prevalent influence, but it simply was not the main reason behind expansion in America. He tends to ignore other possible reasons for manifest
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