"MANY PEOPLE appear to believe that the motto E Pluribus Unum means that the United States was always meant to be a melting pot of the world’s people. In fact, “out of many, one,” the motto chosen for the great seal in 1776, refers to the 13 colonies united into one nation. It has nothing to do with multi-racialism.
Since the founding, and up until just a few decades ago, virtually all Americans took it for granted that the United States was, by nature and destiny, a white country. To be sure, there were blacks and Indians, but most Americans saw their presence as a misfortune, and certainly as no threat to the numerical and cultural dominance of whites.
In 1787, in the second of The Federalist Papers, John Jay gave thanks that “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs . . . .” This is not a celebration of “diversity” or of the melting pot.
Thomas Jefferson thought it had been a terrible mistake to bring blacks to America, and wrote that they should be freed from slavery and then “removed from beyond the reach of mixture.” He looked forward to the day when whites would populate not just North but South America, adding “nor can we contemplate with satisfaction either blot or mixture on that surface.”
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