Mayflower Mentality

I was watching a documentary series on Netflix the other day called ‘Wild, Wild Country’, and heard a phrase for the first time: ‘Mayflower Mentality’.

A bit of Googling about this resulted in the following definition:
The belief in the “First come, mine forever.” school of thought. Does not apply to indigenous peoples.

Understandably enough, the phrase is used to describe the outlook of some white, protestant English-Speaking Americans, and the perception that they look down upon / seek to exclude other immigrant groups. It is generally employed by those who feel that later groups of arrivals to the United States – be they Irish, Italian, Puerto Rican, African etc – have thus been disadvantaged and discriminated against.

Strangely, the sort of people who are the loudest to champion those groups also seem to be the ones who will argue vehemently that the English-speaking arrivals to the Transvaal in the 1880s and 90s (and, indeed, only in the case English-speaking arrivals to the Transvaal, for some reason) absolutely deserved to be disadvantaged and discriminated against.

We are told that these English-speakers were ‘arriving in someone else’s country’ and that ‘no one asked them to be there’… Would anyone say that (in public) about any of the groups of immigrants to the USA?

The other nonsense which is often blurted out to justify the discrimination, is that the Transvaal Boers had been there ‘for generations’. In reality, the first Boers only arrived in the 1830s, driving out the ruling Matabele tribe so as to grab the area for themselves. As a state, the Transvaal is even more recently, only dating from 1860 and having been formed after a series of civil wars fought between various micro republics. Indeed, so recent was the arrival of the Boers in the area, that none of the Transvaal’s ‘big-hitters’ of the 1890s (Kruger, Cronjé, Smuts, Botha, Joubert, Reitz etc[i]) had actually been born in the territory: by any rational definition, they were every bit as much ‘uitlanders’ as the English-speaking ones who were frantically denied any sort of rights.  

But somehow that’s different, apparently: indeed, when it comes to the discrimination against the British settlers of the Transvaal, not only is this version of ‘Mayflower Mentality’ tolerated by the modern-day Left, it seems to be enthusiastically endorsed.

[i] Kruger, Cronjé, Smuts, F.W. Reitz, S.J. Du Toit and Joubert were all born in Britain’s Cape Colony. Louis Botha was born in the British colony of Natal, de la Rey was born in the (short-lived) British territory of the Orange River Sovereignty, Willem Bok was born in the Netherlands and Willem Leyds was born in the Dutch East Indies. All of these men were thus immigrants to the Transvaal


  • Robert Hackney Posted October 18, 2020 7:45 pm

    Of course in many cases, ‘indigenous’ and ‘native’ are fairly relative terms.

    • Bulldog Posted October 19, 2020 4:43 am

      Yes, Robert – absolutely. In both the USA and South Africa, those groups usually described as being ‘indigenous’ are in reality earlier immigrants. And in the case of the Transvaal, only slightly earlier.

  • Chris Posted October 18, 2020 9:02 pm

    Eugene Nielen Marais was one of the few early settlers who could honestly claim to have been born in the ZAR.
    His newspaper — Land en Volk being a thorn in the side of Kruger and his cronies in the Volksraad

    “Eugene Marais as redakteur van Land en Volk 1890 – 1896”
    Heinie Heydenrych

    A very interesting look at the newspaper history of the ZAR with details on who supported and subsidised these various newspapers.

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