Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wyrd And Providence - Part IV-A

Comments have slowly collected in Part III and IV. In particular, Retriever has suggested that weather/climate/landscape may have influenced the dour East Anglian attitude as well.

One more blow to my theory. Popular historians have often linked geography with destiny. Michener was particularly fond of the notion. While they oversimplify, there is certainly something to that idea. Poland is a flat fertile area between Germany and Russia - that's it's history. Communication and trade on the Chesapeake was by boat, not by road - this shapes culture.

So, yeah - rain, fog, and swamps for a thousand years could influence one's outlook toward the grim. The cultural inheritance from the Saxons and the Danes is getting overlaid with other factors each time I look around. I still think the cultural idea has some juice, though, and I'll try to tie that up in Part V. Significantly, I'm not finding it easy to summarise into a post.


Retriever said...

Your initial theory is still compelling. :)

karrde said...

I may call the theory interesting, and possibly compelling.

It fits in one of those categories of historical speculation in which rigorous analysis is very hard, and multiple causes might have contributed to a common effect. I don't think any of the causes fully explains the effect, and I don't think we can ignore any of them.

The hard part is figuring out which ones were important, and in what way they effect the present.

Another interesting tid-bit is that few (if any) modern history-buffs are willing to ask how the religious environment of early New England became the modern cultural environment of liberal New England.

I had never considered whether there was a connection...I also don't remember considering the Puritans as anything but modern Believers in 16th-Century garb.

But they were different, and lived in a different culture.