There is a popular theme embraced by many that the uniqueness of Southern culture is explained by its “Celtic” origins in opposition to the “Anglo-Saxon” foundations of the North. This thesis has been expressed strongly in such works as Grady McWhiney’s Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South, Jim Webb’s Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, and James P. Cantrell’s How Celtic Culture Invented Southern Literature.
Should the distinctive and defining features of the South be described and understood as “Celtic”?
This is an interesting and important question that deserves exploration. However, there is a more
important question to be kept in mind: is the “Celtic thesis” an asset or a liability for those of us who are working to keep Dixie alive and hoping that someday Southerners will regain control of our own destiny?
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