Reprinted from Sagax Research Quarterly, 35, pp 67-8.
Armorica, a land that stayed
free of the Romans. A land that welcomed the oppressed Britons as
they fled Roman occupied Brittania, thus giving the name, Brittany.
They maintained independence until the 16th century when, unable to resist the tide of feudalism, they begrudgingly entered the French Empire as an autonomous nation.
They kept their autonomy until 1790 when Napoleon waged a protracted war of annexation. By that time however, Armorica's traditions of Celtic democracy, social well-being, kindness to immigrants and fierce independence had been taken up by another nation sprung from the stock of the Britons. The nation of states loosely banded and newly separated from the English Empire, forged a new way of life in the familiarly named land of America.
But how new was it? Paralelling the ancient Celtic traditions of lands like Armorica, America elected its chief rather than relying on Germanic primogeniture. The tribes (states) acknowledged a High King (The President) recognised by the agreement of all tribes.
Why this coincidental formation of a paralell state? The two most migratory peoples of Europe were the Germans and the Celts. However, the Germans were land-locked and still but loosely confederated under the Holy Roman Empire. The remaining Celts lived under seafaring powers in France, England & Spain. The Celts of Britain being twice conquered (Anglo-Saxons & Normans) and having sunk down into the lesser sections of their respective classes were drawn to migrate to the New World. After all, it was the first chance of migration since the Celts first sailed to Britain and Ireland.
There are two difficulties in explaining the rise of the Celtic state in America. First, slavery which was anathema to Celtic law. And second, puritanism, which was very repressed and stiff compared to the natural Druidic religion of the Celts.
Let us deal with these difficulties separately. First, slavery, instituted by landowners in the southern states. The thorny problem rests in the Celtic laws which at worst took away civil rights and freedom to leave tribal land, but never enslaved. Add to that the philosophioes of the American revolutionaries such as Jefferson, which were compatible with the Celtic system yet complicated by thesesame revolutionaries holding slaves while objecting to the practice. One can note that the few Anglo-Normans that came to America usually resided in the south and perpetuated the plantations which encouraged slavery. The Celtic south was extremely guilt-ridden by the practice of slavery but economically hand-tied by the Anglo-Norman plantations.
Puritanism on the other hand is not so hard to resolve. Puritanism can best be explained by the reaction of Celtic Druidic practice to the intense pressures of repressive Christianity. The Celts, unable to deal with the double standard of most of Christian life, pursued a strict adherence to the laws of the Bible.
Additionally these Celts struggled against their own Celtioc Druidic tendencies, which violated much of the Christian law. Had these been another people the duality of holding up a law and breaking it would not have been a stressor. But to honor-bound Celts, by tradition Christian yet by character Druidic, it was more than they could take. The Scarlet Letter is a perfect exposition of the neurosis caused by this conflict.
Today the Celtic Empire in America drifts under the sway of many different cultures as a result of the Celtic tradition of aiding neighbors in need. The same tradition that caused the downfall of Post-Roman Celtic Britain is affecting America today. Where the Britons invited the Anglo-Saxons to their island and were eventually conquered by them, the Americans are now under the influence of a large Germanic population centered in the Midwestern States.
Slowly, the American culture has lost some of its free-flowing Celtic attributes and taken on a more orderly Germanic character as evidenced by the increase in emphasis on law over honor and system over family and tribe. It is also evident in the increase of reluctance to aid neighbors and help immigrants. We wait to see if the pattern of invasion will once again subsume the Celtic culture and whether it will perhaps rise again in the next frontier, possibly the Moon or Mars.