American Anglomania During the Edwardian Era

A particularly interesting chapter in the history of Anglo-American relations is the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, during which many British aristocrats married rich American heiresses in order to replenish their dwindling fortunes. Wealthy American industrialists (or at least their wives) were eager to lend their treasure to the British aristocracy in exchange for grandchildren with noble blood and aristocratic titles. This trend began with the emergence of the nouveau riche in the society of New York during the late 1860s and early 1870s. Old New York City was deeply rooted in the simple austerity of its Dutch Reformed heritage. New Yorkers eschewed the ostentation of fashionable trends in the courts of Europe. This is not to say that New York lacked for sophistication or appeal. New York was dominated by elegant (if not monotonous) brownstone homes. Celebrations were common, though informal, for the time period. Many New York homes lacked ballrooms, and gatherings took place in formal sitting rooms where furniture was rearranged for dancing and conversation. But the emergence of the nouveau riche, wealthy industrialists with “new money,” made some members of the established families of New York nervous.

The matriarch of old New York was …

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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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