A New Map Of The US Divided By Ideology Rather Than State Lines
Now, even though the US is just one country, it’s big enough to be considered a continent in and of itself. And like with every other continent or region of the world, the states in them have a somewhat similar ideology. But with that being said, some places are more similar in their way of thinking than others.
Here’s a map created by Brian Stauffer, based on the research of Colin Woodard that shows the US divided into 11 distinct nations instead of the usual 50 states. The 11 nations are based on ideology, more than anything else.
In doing his research, Woodard, an award-winning journalist, argues that:
“The country has been arguing about a lot of fundamental things lately including state roles and individual liberty.
In order to have any productive conversation on these issues you need to know where you come from. Once you know where you are coming from it will help move the conversation forward.”
With these being said, here are the 11 nations in terms of ideology:
According to Woodard, the nation of Yankeedom puts a “great emphasis on perfecting earthly civilisation through social engineering, denial of self for the common good, and assimilation of outsiders.”
He also goes on saying that it has a “prized education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and broad citizen participation in politics and government, the latter seen as the public’s shield against the machinations of grasping aristocrats and other would-be tyrants”.
What he hints at is that the citizens of Yankeedom are more comfortable with government regulation and hold the common good in high regard, even at the expense of the individual.
‘New Netherland’ which encompasses New York City and northern New Jersey is described as “materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience… It emerged as a centre of publishing, trade, and finance, a magnet for immigrants, and a refuge for those persecuted by other regional culture.”
The coastal regions that tend to respect authority and value tradition. Includes English colonies of North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. It started as more of a feudal territory that embraced slavery and was once the most powerful. But began to decline with the westward expansion.
The Midlands are described by Woodard as “America’s Great Swing Region”. Founded by English Quakers, the region “welcomed people of many nations and creeds to their utopian colonies,” believing in humanity’s inherent goodness. With the majority of residents being German rather than English, the American Heartland is an ‘ethnic mosaic.’
Similar to Yankeedom, the Midlands believe in that society should be organised to benefit the ordinary people. However, it rejects the idea of too much government intervention.
The region was colonised by people from the war-torn Scotland and Ireland. These people shifted their alliances during the American Revolution, depending on who “appeared to be the greatest threat to their freedom”. Greater Appalachia has “been lampooned by the writers and screenwriters as the home of hillbillies and rednecks”.
The Deep South
Florida, Mississippi, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama are all part of the Deep South. This region of the US was colonised by slave lords from Barbados who styled the ‘nation’ into that image. An image of West Indies trade. It has a rigid social structure and continuously fights against “government regulation that threatens individual liberty” and “against expanded federal powers, taxes on capital and the wealthy”.
According to Woodard, the citizens of New France “have emerged as down-to-earth, egalitarian, and consensus driven, among the most liberal on the continent, with unusually tolerant attitudes toward gays and people of all races and a ready acceptance of government involvement in the economy.”
The nation is split in both the area surrounding New Orleans, as well as Southwestern Canada. Both of these places “blend the folkways of ancient régime northern French peasantry with the traditions and values of the aboriginal people they encountered in Northeastern North America”.
Compromised of parts of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California and parts of Mexico, the region has a strong Hispanic culture, population and history. The region is identified by the ideology of self-sufficiency, independence, and hard work. It’s also described by Woodard as a “place apart” from the rest of America.
The Left Coast
Made up mostly of people from Yankeedom and the Appalachian Midwest, the Left Coast (coastal California, Oregon and Washington) is described by Woodard as “Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration.”
The Far West
By far the largest in terms of surface area, the Far West is the only nation shaped and moulded by the environment. Made out of the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, the Far West nation was ‘subdued’ by years of industrial resources like irrigation systems, railroads, mining, and dams. And as a result, the nation is highly suspicious of big corporations and government intervention.
Last but not least is the First Nation. Like New France, the First Nation is located in two distinct places on the map. in the southernmost tip of Florida and the northern expanses of Canada. These regions are harsh and inhabited by people who’ve never sacrificed their lands to European settlers. These people live in a hard cultural climate but have retained their cultural heritage.