Wednesday, April 30, 2014

American Nations among dueling maps at Washington Post

There's been a lot of talk about what America's real political regions should be on the internet of late, with Nate Silver's 538 weighing in on the Midwest and South, and the Washington Post's The Fix taking on the continent. Needless to say, I joined the fray on Twitter to argue there's never been a Midwest or a single South, proffering the American Nations map.

I've been enjoying the ensuing discussion on Twitter this afternoon -- tune in to @WoodardColin to join in the debate. As so often happens these days, that discussion has now gone full circle, landing on the webpages of the Washington Post a short while ago with this piece on the dueling maps, including the American Nations one. It's good fun, so join the discussion there.

I made the point to Nate Silver early on in these discussions that the reason so many people disagree with him that Pennsylvania is in the Midwest is because there is no Midwest. The Keystone State is instead divided amongst three regional cultures -- the very cultures in fact that make up the "Midwest", but which have very little in common with one another. For more on Pennsylvania's regional divide, a heartily recommend this recent article on that state's linguistic divides over at Slate.

And as to what region in Delaware should be in -- the question that kicked off much of this debate -- the answer is: if it must be in just one, the Midlands has the population advantage, much as it does in Maryland, so if you must use state boundaries, both states would land in that sloppy category called the "Mid-Atlantic." (That's shorthand for "States Dominated By the Midlands or New Netherland or a Combination Thereof That Happen To Lie On The Eastern Seaboard.")

1 comment:

  1. I recently finished reading your book, and I really enjoyed it (I've definitely recommended it to several people). I do have a question, though. I know that you didn't delve into the characteristics of South Florida and Hawaii for the sake of time and space, but if you had to briefly describe those two regions along the lines of the short regional intros you gave at the beginning of the book, how would you describe them (in terms of political attitudes, values, distinct features, etc.)?