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The kudzu makes a very persuasive argument, right down to the inclusion of Cairo IL and exclusion of the Northern Virginia exurban hellscape.

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1 hour ago, the admiral said:

The kudzu makes a very persuasive argument, right down to the inclusion of Cairo IL and exclusion of the Northern Virginia exurban hellscape.

 

Right?! Florida north of Tampa is included, but south of Daytona is excluded. Half of Delmarva is in, as is East Texas, the Ozarks, and the bottom two thirds of Kentucky.

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11 hours ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

I've found "Coke-as-soda" to be a generational thing. Most of my students find it ridiculous.

 

My favorite map about "where the South is" is unequivocally this map of "where kudzu grows."

 

reed2.jpg

 

I think kudzu has expanded in range since this map was created, but it's pretty good. I think we can at least say: If kudzu doesn't grow there, it's not the South!

 

I have no idea what kudzu is, but that's about as accurate a map as I've ever seen, including the inclusion of southern DE and MD.  I've often said that southern DE is as "south" as any part of NASCAR land.

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Kudzu is a Japanese vine that was introduced to Georgia as I believe a little landscaping accent but then overran the entire South to the extent that entire houses and highway viaducts are covered in it. I think it looks pretty cool, personally, though it's probably choking out native flora.

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14 hours ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

Hmm, thoughts on what, specifically?

 

FWIW, I've always thought of Maryland as undoubtedly more "Northern" (or at least "Mid-Atlantic") than "Southern." I realize that this is something that certainly changes over time (see: "Fight for old Dixie/DC" and Cincinnati as a "Southern" team in the MLB c. 1940s).

 

As for North Carolina, it's definitely in a state of flux. Lots of non-Southerners moving into the larger cities (Charlotte and Raleigh/Triangle for sure, as well as Greensboro, Winston-Salem...) but also smaller areas - Asheville, Boone, Wilmington, and the Pinehurst/golfing regions.

 

Coincidentally, I'm teaching about this in class on Wednesday. The theme is regions, and I'm having students come to class with 1) a definition of where "the South" is, 2) characteristics of "the South," and 3) what makes a person "Southern."

 

As someone who has lived just north of Baltimore for 50 years, I will agree with this.  I've never felt Southern at all.  It just seems like a strange quirk of geography that I live 20 miles below the Mason-Dixon Line.

 

2 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

I have no idea what kudzu is, but that's about as accurate a map as I've ever seen, including the inclusion of southern DE and MD.  I've often said that southern DE is as "south" as any part of NASCAR land.

 

The kudzu map does a pretty good job in Delaware and Maryland.  The Lower Eastern Shore is much more Southern than Central Maryland and if you drive through Southern Maryland (Calvert, St. Mary's, the lower half of Charles County), you can still remnants of the tobacco farming days.

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25 minutes ago, leopard88 said:

 

As someone who has lived just north of Baltimore for 50 years, I will agree with this.  I've never felt Southern at all.  It just seems like a strange quirk of geography that I live 20 miles below the Mason-Dixon Line.

 

 

The kudzu map does a pretty good job in Delaware and Maryland.  The Lower Eastern Shore is much more Southern than Central Maryland and if you drive through Southern Maryland (Calvert, St. Mary's, the lower half of Charles County), you can still remnants of the tobacco farming days.

People who live in North/South absolutes miss the concept of the mid-Atlantic.

 

The mason Dixon line isn't terribly helpful , at least not compared to the VA/NC border. 

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12 hours ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

Right?! Florida north of Tampa is included, but south of Daytona is excluded. Half of Delmarva is in, as is East Texas, the Ozarks, and the bottom two thirds of Kentucky.

 

That is actually a really accurate map. Unfortunately, kudzu has since spread into the northeast and Midwest (I know there's complaints of kudzu infestation in some outlying NYC suburbs and forested areas at this point, which made for some super-minor "what the heck is this annoying plant?" news story awhile back), so it doesn't work anymore.

 

I think it's fair to say that many of the metropolitan areas of North Carolina are undergoing the same kind of de-Southernization that metro DC underwent a few decades ago. To this day, there's still some areas of the Delmarva peninsula and western Maryland that resemble the South culturally, but the sububan areas around DC have long since been fully "Northernized." You can see the same thing happening in Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, etc., now. And one can say that Atlanta has arguably been at arm's length from the rest of the South, culturally, since the mid-to-late-60s (though having visited somewhat recently, there's no way I'd call Atlanta "northernized" at all).

 

Give it a few decades, and at least among the coastal states (VA/NC/SC/GA/FL), I have a feeling that the "South" as we think of it will be confined to rural areas. Some small to mid-size metro areas in the inland South will persist as being culturally southern, but any of the major metro areas near the Atlantic are increasingly resembling the North, and that's not changing any time soon.

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50 minutes ago, kroywen said:

Give it a few decades, and at least among the coastal states (VA/NC/SC/GA/FL), I have a feeling that the "South" as we think of it will be confined to rural areas. Some small to mid-size metro areas in the inland South will persist as being culturally southern, but any of the major metro areas near the Atlantic are increasingly resembling the North, and that's not changing any time soon.

 

At the same time, the rural Midwest is getting more into NASCAR and country: 

 

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/08/15/its-the-economy-stupid-2/

It is also noteworthy that postwar cultural homogenization, which seemed like a genuine trend in the 1950s and the 1960s, is something of a red herring. The fact that the same fast-food places and TV shows now exist in Burlington, Vermont and Bartlesville, Oklahoma does not mean the places are remotely similar in their cultural “feel.” As anyone who has paid attention to politics during the last 30 years is aware, the country’s regions are becoming less similar. Rather than growing more homogeneous with the South, coastal America would slot comfortably into a similar civic culture in Norway or New Zealand, whereas the Deep South is more akin to, say, the hacienda culture that formed Argentina or Mexico, with shared cultural traditions that enforce social inequality, the belief of local elites that farming and other forms of manual labor were ignoble, and a weak sense of participatory democracy. (Though the Deep South has capital punishment, greasier food, and no tango.)



If there is anything about the Midwest that suggests cultural homogenization, it is not the assimilation of the values of alleged cultural hegemons like New York or Los Angeles. It is what I call the NASCAR-ization of the region, which hits me with considerable force when I revisit the area. Outside the metropolitan centers, the Midwest has absorbed Dixie culture to a striking extent: country music, good-old-boy attitudes, and most important, Southern-oriented fundamentalist religion. It’s worth noting that the highest concentration of Ku Klux Klan membership in history was not south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but in Indiana in the 1920s, when for a time the Klan controlled the state legislature. This has impacted Midwestern politics, and not for the better; Trump won by racking up huge margins in rural and exurban areas, even as Clinton made gains in suburbs.

 

So we're just headed toward not so much North/South as a strict urban/rural divide. 

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22 minutes ago, the admiral said:

So we're just headed toward not so much North/South as a strict urban/rural divide. 

 

That's been the overarching trend of the last few decades, I think. Outside of pockets of rural New England, the biggest divide in this country is urban versus rural. I'd say New York City has way more in common culturally with, say, Seattle or Charlotte, than we do with your average random rural town in upstate New York. We're already pretty much at a strict urban-rural divide, with inner suburbs quickly resembling urban areas (both culturally and politically) and outer suburbs/exurbs leaning more rural.

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Yeah, I think we're already at an urban/rural divide moreso than "heading toward" one.

 

The I-5 corridor, compared to eastern Washington/Oregon/inland California is one of the most drastic examples of this. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh and Western PA. Georgia minus Atlanta might as well be East Alabama.

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3 hours ago, DiePerske said:

People who live in North/South absolutes miss the concept of the mid-Atlantic.

 

The mason Dixon line isn't terribly helpful , at least not compared to the VA/NC border. 

 

100% agreed. Then we're hit with a new (but similar) problem, though - where exactly is the mid-Atlantic?

 

If it's "the area between New England and the South," then New York is included and... no. NYC is in the Northeast, not the mid-Atlantic. Same with NYC-attached North Jersey. Philadelphia and South Jersey are more "mid-Atlantic" to me, all the way down to that invisible place between DC and Richmond where you begin to find yourself in the South.

 

I'd consider Richmond along that "mid-Atlantic-to-South" transition zone, but not completely Southern. One thing I have found interesting is that WTVR in Richmond has long billed itself as "The South's First Television Station."

 

wtvr-bldg.jpg

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depends on what you consider mid-atlantic.  Are you just speaking geographically?  Culturally?  I can definitely see a lot of similarities between Phila and Baltimore from the way the city was laid out, the housing designs, row homes, etc., but that's about where it ends.  I consider Philadelphia to be north east, like NY.  All three cities have strong ports, which I think is a qualification to be mid-atlantic, though I'd wager that Baltimore's is more important to their economy than Phila's or NYC's (not to say that those aren't important to those cities.)

 

Geographically, I'd put Mid Atlantic as NY, NJ, Phi, DC, DelMarVa, BAL, but realistically I think it's probably just DC, BAL, and DelMarVa.  

 

 

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Well, the Jim Crockett Promotions/Atlantic Coast Conference definition of Mid-Atlantic was South Carolina to Maryland, but South Carolina cannot be anything but the Southiest of the South. 

 

The Philadelphia accent has a little touch of Balmer Merlin/Annirunnel Canny accent in it. Maybe it's not far-fetched.

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14 minutes ago, the admiral said:

The Philadelphia accent has a little touch of Balmer Merlin/Annirunnel Canny accent in it. Maybe it's not far-fetched.

 

I think the accent is certainly closer to Baltimore than NYC. Personally, I think the greater NYC area is defined and populous enough to be considered a region unto itself. NYC is certainly not New England, but it's distinct enough from Philly/Baltimore/DC that I can't put it in the same region.

 

Of course, these regions are all pretty much arbitrary and that's kinda the point. 

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11 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Well, the Jim Crockett Promotions/Atlantic Coast Conference definition of Mid-Atlantic was South Carolina to Maryland, but South Carolina cannot be anything but the Southiest of the South. 

 

The Philadelphia accent has a little touch of Balmer Merlin/Annirunnel Canny accent in it. Maybe it's not far-fetched.

 

I know the philadelphia accent (fortunately I don't have it), but I don't know what those other things are.

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Jim Crockett Promotions is the old WCW, the Atlantic Coast Conference is the one with Duke and UNC, and the other two are "Baltimore, Maryland" and "Anne Arundel County" in the Baltimore accent.

 

Dated a girl whose mom had a thick Norfolk accent. Southern but also had the "oat and aboat" of Canadian English. She didn't like me, no one does.

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I recommend this book. The regions defined on the cover look silly and ridiculous, but he makes a good case. I used this in a Geography of North America class I taught a few years ago.

 

51I3Hux0TsL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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Looks like an updated Nine Nations of North America, but with New England and the Foundry merged and Dixie split. I can get behind the argument because I know Michigan and Wisconsin have some deep Yankee roots below the European heritage we associate with that part of the country, but I still see New England as a discrete entity that ends more or less where the maps say it does.

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12 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

I think the accent is certainly closer to Baltimore than NYC. Personally, I think the greater NYC area is defined and populous enough to be considered a region unto itself. NYC is certainly not New England, but it's distinct enough from Philly/Baltimore/DC that I can't put it in the same region.

 

Of course, these regions are all pretty much arbitrary and that's kinda the point. 

 

I think it's fair to say that NYC is a sub-region of the Northeast (a la New England). If I had to divide the Northeast Corridor out into sub-regions, I'd probably divide it as follows:

  • New England (minus southwestern CT)
  • Tri-State Area (downstate NY/North Jersey/southwestern CT)
  • Delaware Valley/Eastern PA
  • DC/Baltimore/Richmond

Going with just "Northeast Corridor" here because I'm not sure how the hell to treat Upstate NY in this. (Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester are arguably all more midwestern than northeastern, like Pittsburgh, IMO.)

 

As for the "Mid-Atlantic"? Conservatively, it's probably just MD/DE/VA/DC. More broadly, I've heard NY, NJ, and PA included as well, at which point it pretty much means "anything in the Northeast that's not New England."

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Going back to The Nine Nations of North America, Manhattan is a world unto itself (as is DC), but the outer boroughs aren't that far off from the rest of the industrial Great Lakes/Northeast.

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