When I see some of the current political issues bouncing around, I admit – I get frustrated. John Adams, one of our greatest patriots and a man who irritated just about everyone, predicted that America would have a de facto nobility. This nobility would be based on wealth and education rather than merely birthright. Of course, if you’re born into a wealthy family that values education and can afford to send you to a top school, it’s pretty much the same as being born into a royal family who provides you with wealth and an education. It’s a chicken and egg thing.
There is, however a genetics thing that factors in here. I live in Virginia. Historic Virginia*. Virginia, the first colony. Virginia, the first permanent English settlement. Virginia, where the British surrendered to General Washington, who was himself a Virginian. Virginia, who donated the land that became Washington, DC. Virginia, home to the capital of the Confederacy (okay, this one is optional.) Virginia –a commonwealth. Virginia, the Old Dominion.
In Virginia, there were many old and storied families. There were the Washingtons, the Jeffersons, the Randolphs. Famous people with famous names. George Washington’s line actually was handed off to the Custis’ family when he adopted Martha’s son, John; John acted as General Washington’s aide and was killed in the Revolutionary War. His children were then raised by George and Martha. Ultimately the Custis line married with the Lees (Arlington, Robert E. Lee’s home that became the national cemetery came to him through his wife, a Custis.)
Thomas Jefferson’s mother was a Randolph, and his only child who survived to adulthood, Martha (named for her mother, also Martha) married – you guessed it – a Randolph.
I see similarities among the current crop of American nobility. They will pull together. They will marry among the others of their class.
The only problem with an exclusive de facto nobility is one that often hampers blooded nobility. The line dies out. Just as there are no heirs to the Czars or the French throne, there are no direct descendants to the Washingtons. After the Jeffersons re-merged with the Randolphs, that only left thosea from the Hemmings side of the family(One of Jefferson’s slaves) to claim lineage.
Is the same thing fated to happen again? Time will tell.
*The more time passes, the more I prefer to liken myself to being part of history as opposed to merely being old.