Punch,  43 (1862), 65.

The Manifest Destiny of the Yankees



Letter, Spoof


Cultural Geography, Human Development, Evolution, Descent, Degeneration, Race, Politics

    Addressed to Jonathan, the personification of the United States of America, the author of this letter laments the sorry fate of his 'Model Republic, your go-ahead people, the freest and most enlightened on the globe', and the severance of his 'Model Republic' into two snakes, each trying 'to crush and chaw each other'. Believes that his countrymen are 'descending to the very lowest place', 'approaching the Red Indian type', and, given their aggressive attitude to Britain, behaving like the brutal Sepoys. Continuing Punch's concerns about the descent of the 'Yankee' race, notes from 'the theory of the "Origin of Species"' that 'there may be an inversion of the originating process', and that if they continue committing acts of barbarity, 'American citizens' will descend in species type until they become Paul B Du Chaillu's savage 'Fans', gorillas, or 'apes with foreheads villanous low'. Urges Jonathan to take care he does not become a Yahoo and wonders whether he will 'acknowledge that you are a man and a brother'.

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