Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Maine in the making of Yankeedom and the nation

Yankeedom -- the portions of the country colonized by New Englanders and blessed/cursed with their culture -- encompasses the New England states, upstate New York, Ohio's Western Reserve, most or all of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I, and portions of northern Illinois, eastern Iowa, and beyond. They also tried -- but only half succeeded -- to make the West Coast a "New England on the Pacific," literally sending missionaries to "save" the region for Yankees. It's a story of cultural transmission told in my recently released book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.

Within that migration, Mainers sometimes played a key role, particularly where the lumber industry loomed large: Michigan, Minnesota, and coastal Washington state. It's a tale I explore in this month's Down East magazine, and one you can now read online.

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