Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The (Almost) Civil War of 1789

My American Nations-powered series over at Medium, "Balkanized America," continues with a second installment on the deep divisions between our regional cultures in the colonial period, Revolutionary era, and early republic. The article, "The (Almost) Civil War of 1789," is available to subscribers and and is one of at least a half dozen monthly pieces rolling which will run the gamut from hidden history to electoral analysis.

The first part of the series -- an up-to-date overview of the American Nations model and its wide-ranging implications and utility -- published to the site last month. [Update, 9/22/18: the third installment, on new research showing a genetic legacy as well, is up now.]

Medium, the blog hosting site created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, is developing a members only section, and invited me to create the series. I hope you enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I have another question regarding the American Nations thesis. I've read both your book and Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fisher and they compliment one another except in one area. Albion's Seed, as you know covers four nations in your book Yankeedom, Tidewater, Greater Appalachia, and the Midlands but there's one chapter entitled "Other Colonial Cultures" which actually covers New Netherland and the Deep South as well. Regarding the Deep South Mr. Fischer states it had different speech ways than colonial Virginia (more influenced by the Gullah than the South West of England), different building ways (more influenced by the Caribbean than the neoclassical Virginians), a higher level of urbanization than Virginia (25% of whites lived in the city, the highest rate of urbanization in colonial America rather than the rural Virginia) and a different mix of cultural influences such as the Huguenots, West Indies Planters, Gullah, and other groups. Perhaps most importantly to my question Mr. Fischer points out that the population of the Lowcountry around Charleston had a mere 29,000 whites and couldn't become a cultural hearth. Basically what Mr. Fischer states is that the culture of the Deep South spread south from Virginia rather than west from the Barbadian settled Lowcountry.

    As someone from the Deep South reading the section of Albion's seed regarding the Cavaliers especially regarding the speech ways, building ways, and food ways I was struck at the similarity to my own culture. My father is an old timey southerner and still uses many of those words in his every day conversation, the food ways of the book are similar to the country cooking my family dines on at get togethers, and the building ways are similar in style to the plantations which dot the south.

    So in researching this contradiction further I came across a couple of pieces of evidence which weigh in favor of the Virginia theory. The first is from a study by shown in this link Now if you impose the American Nations borders over this map it matches your theory to a stunning degree and appears to show the original migration patterns of the original American stocks movement west into the continent. You can see Yankeedom, the Midlands, two distinct strains for Greater Appalachia (curiously), and the Deep South rendered almost perfectly. It seems that the signal is strongest at its origins where the original colonists first settled. However when you get to the deep south the signal is actually strongest north into Tidewater North Carolina and (perhaps, its hard to tell) southern Virginia and dissipates as it heads into South Carolina (where its even less strong than in the Tidewater) and even moreas it south and west suggesting some sort of southward migration from the Tidewater into the rest of the Deep South. There's also the matter of dialects in North America of which I will show some links to maps here and here Each of these maps show that different American English dialects are separated into four distinct regional dialects in the east, a northern tear corresponding to Yankeedom, an upper middle tear corresponding to the Midlands, a lower middle tear corresponding to Greater Appalachia, and a coastal southern tear which correspond to both Tidewater and the Deep South. There's also the matter of African Americans in the deep south who almost speak a with an eerily similar derivative of the Virginia Cavalier dialect as posed in the book presumably passed from master to slave.

    So basically my question is, why do the Deep South and Tidewater have so much in common regarding speech, architecture, food, and various other traits in common? What accounts for the difference between you and David Hackett Fisher's theory regarding the Deep South? Thank you in advance.