David Hackett Fischer

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America

16:31 min
Sociology, History
946 pages, 1989

How did Britain’s early settlers shape America’s regional identities? This compelling short explores the enduring impact of founding British folkways on present-day American culture. Tracing the colonial roots of four distinct regional personalities still evident today, Fischer's work unravels how early immigrants’ values molded our modern ideals of liberty and governance. From the individualistic streak of Puritan New England to aristocratic notions of freedom in the South, the author delineates how these formative regional cultures forged conflicting perspectives now embedded in the national fabric. By highlighting the resilience of colonial folkways despite assimilation over centuries, this short offers penetrating insights into the origins of ideological divides still shaping and constraining policy debates.

David Hackett Fischer

David Hackett Fischer is the Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University and an acclaimed author of historical narratives. He is best known for his work on the Fischer Thesis, which analyzes the origins of liberty and democracy in British North America, as well as books covering important periods in early American history such as Washington's Crossing and the battle of Yorktown. Through meticulous examination of historical events and figures, Fischer’s scholarship has illuminated key factors in the establishment of political culture and institutions in colonial America and the early United States.


The diverse cultural norms established by British colonists continue to actively mold American identity and institutions through complex interplay and adaptation over centuries.
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Cover of Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America