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Author Topic: How do you define the South?  (Read 1528 times)

Henry

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How do you define the South?
« on: September 04, 2018, 09:43:41 AM »

This has been a hot-button topic for generations, but we can all agree that the south is made up of the following states:

AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV

OK and TX are sometimes considered as part of the region, but they are more Western. And although DE and MD also sit below the Mason-Dixon Line, they are more in line with the Northeast.

So how would you define the Southern states?
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 09:53:37 AM »

This has been a hot-button topic for generations, but we can all agree that the south is made up of the following states:

AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV

OK and TX are sometimes considered as part of the region, but they are more Western. And although DE and MD also sit below the Mason-Dixon Line, they are more in line with the Northeast.

So how would you define the Southern states?

First off, there's definitely no agreement Virginia is in the south.  A simple Google search of "Is Virginia Mid-Atlantic" brings up nearly an even ratio of sites arguing it's in the South and in the Mid-Atlantic.  I certainly don't consider it being in the South.

Also, not all of Delaware is below the Mason Dixon Line.  And to further that point, part of New Jersey is below the Mason Dixon line.

And Texas...I doubt many consider that 'West', especially as most of the state is in the Central Time Zone.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 10:06:25 AM »

Confederate states, plus Kentucky. So subtract West Virginia from Henry's list and add Texas.

That said, Florida ironically loses its southernness the further south you go.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 10:24:10 AM »

DC suburbs in Virginia are not in the South. MO is split along I-70. Most of TX's population is in the South, but land area is more like 50/50. The only part of MD in the South is Delmarva.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 10:27:40 AM »

Speaking of Texas my personal opinion is that everything west of San Antonio falls into the Mountain West whereas everything to the east has more in common with the south.  Oklahoma is kind of a toss up between South and Mid-West. 

SP Cook

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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 11:04:13 AM »

Today, the "South" is defined culturally, and does not exactly follow state lines.   The issues of that long ago war are not really significant to the discussion.

Easily one must include the entire states of NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, and TN.

Then it gets tricky.  IMHO, let us treat each state one by one:

Virginia.  Outside of the overgrown DC suburbs, which might as well be California, certainly the South.

Maryland.  DC suburbs see above.  Baltimore is a northern city.  Western Maryland is culturally similar to rural Pennsylvania.  But then there is the Eastern Shore.  Spend any time there (inland, a beach resort is a beach resort) and tell me is is not more like Georgia or North Carolina than it is like Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

Delaware.  Yes, Delaware.  In most of the country, the cultural regions kind of transition over a couple of hundred miles.  Not in Delaware.  North of the canal, it is Philadelphia.  South of it.  See Eastern Shore of Maryland, above. That quick. 

West Virginia.  Most of West Virginia was never asked if it wanted to be West Virginia.  Northern WV might as well be Pittsburgh, but the rest of the state is very Southern, unless you are saying "Appalachian" is a separate thing, which complicates not only WV, but KY, NC, and TN as well.

Kentucky.  The southwest and south central, culturally in tune with Memphis and Nashville, certainly.  The Bluegrass, certainly.  Eastern Kentucky, see Appalachia discussion.  Louisville and Cincy suburbs, not really.  Much more Midwestern.

Florida.  The old saying in Florida is "as you go north you go south, and v-v".  Remember than something like 95% of Florida residents' grand parents did not live in Florida.  But the rural parts of Florida is certainly Southern, and certainly the panhandle is.

Texas.  East Texas is certainly Southern in history and culture.   The less populated west is much more western.

Oklahoma.  Similar to Texas.  Most of eastern OK is as southern in culture as Georgia.

Arkansas.  Most people would say automaticlly, but AR is a diverse state for its size.  Sam Walton always said that NW AR was "the midwest".  And you can say the same thing about the Ozarks as Appalachia.  Still I would i would include it all.

Missouri.  Well, certainly not most of it, although Mizzou is in the SEC.  The southern edge of the state is certainly southern in its culture.   
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Beltway

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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 11:37:41 AM »

Texas is Texas.  Very large state and is its own region, you can't really consider it to be part of any other region.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2018, 11:41:37 AM »

First off, there's definitely no agreement Virginia is in the south.  A simple Google search of "Is Virginia Mid-Atlantic" brings up nearly an even ratio of sites arguing it's in the South and in the Mid-Atlantic.  I certainly don't consider it being in the South.

"Mid-Atlantic" or "Middle-Atlantic" is an informal term, not a recognized major region of the country.  Geographically North Carolina is Mid-Atlantic.

Northern Virginia is not southern, it is more like New Jersey.  The rest of Virginia is certainly in the South.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2018, 11:55:56 AM »

Here: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c5e0053ef019b00fad652970c-pi

I saw this map referenced a while back, so let me bring it here.

For what it's worth, I am not using the map to reference "the nations" of the US, but to show geographical/cultural differences.

Today, the "South" is defined culturally, and does not exactly follow state lines.   The issues of that long ago war are not really significant to the discussion.

Easily one must include the entire states of NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, and TN.

Then it gets tricky.  IMHO, let us treat each state one by one:

Virginia.  Outside of the overgrown DC suburbs, which might as well be California, certainly the South.

Maryland.  DC suburbs see above.  Baltimore is a northern city.  Western Maryland is culturally similar to rural Pennsylvania.  But then there is the Eastern Shore.  Spend any time there (inland, a beach resort is a beach resort) and tell me is is not more like Georgia or North Carolina than it is like Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

Delaware.  Yes, Delaware.  In most of the country, the cultural regions kind of transition over a couple of hundred miles.  Not in Delaware.  North of the canal, it is Philadelphia.  South of it.  See Eastern Shore of Maryland, above. That quick. 

West Virginia.  Most of West Virginia was never asked if it wanted to be West Virginia.  Northern WV might as well be Pittsburgh, but the rest of the state is very Southern, unless you are saying "Appalachian" is a separate thing, which complicates not only WV, but KY, NC, and TN as well.

Kentucky.  The southwest and south central, culturally in tune with Memphis and Nashville, certainly.  The Bluegrass, certainly.  Eastern Kentucky, see Appalachia discussion.  Louisville and Cincy suburbs, not really.  Much more Midwestern.

Florida.  The old saying in Florida is "as you go north you go south, and v-v".  Remember than something like 95% of Florida residents' grand parents did not live in Florida.  But the rural parts of Florida is certainly Southern, and certainly the panhandle is.

Texas.  East Texas is certainly Southern in history and culture.   The less populated west is much more western.

Oklahoma.  Similar to Texas.  Most of eastern OK is as southern in culture as Georgia.

Arkansas.  Most people would say automaticlly, but AR is a diverse state for its size.  Sam Walton always said that NW AR was "the midwest".  And you can say the same thing about the Ozarks as Appalachia.  Still I would i would include it all.

Missouri.  Well, certainly not most of it, although Mizzou is in the SEC.  The southern edge of the state is certainly southern in its culture.   

I would agree with your statements.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 11:58:51 AM by TheArkansasRoadgeek »
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jon daly

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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2018, 12:22:50 PM »

That looks like a map that I've seen in a book before; but I forget which book.
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MikieTimT

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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2018, 12:32:40 PM »

Arkansas.  Most people would say automaticlly, but AR is a diverse state for its size.  Sam Walton always said that NW AR was "the midwest".  And you can say the same thing about the Ozarks as Appalachia.  Still I would i would include it all.

It's almost like Northwest Arkansas should have been the bootheel of Missouri instead of the southernmost counties along the Mississippi.  Once you drive south on I-49 and pass through the tunnel, the weather and culture takes a distinct shift south.  The Boston Mountains were enough of an obstacle until I-49 punched a tunnel through that Fayetteville and parts north were never given much thought by the other parts of the state, at least other than football season.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2018, 12:43:05 PM »

First off, there's definitely no agreement Virginia is in the south.  A simple Google search of "Is Virginia Mid-Atlantic" brings up nearly an even ratio of sites arguing it's in the South and in the Mid-Atlantic.  I certainly don't consider it being in the South.

"Mid-Atlantic" or "Middle-Atlantic" is an informal term, not a recognized major region of the country.  Geographically North Carolina is Mid-Atlantic.

Northern Virginia is not southern, it is more like New Jersey.  The rest of Virginia is certainly in the South.

So most of Virginia is in the south, but North Carolina, which is south of Virginia, is Mid-Atlantic?

Technically speaking, even North and South, Northeast, West, etc will vary based on the industry, news program, politics, etc.  There's no true defined term for them either.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2018, 12:55:37 PM »



This one will be less controversial than the Midwest, I think.

The internal divisions of the South (Tidewater, Deep South, Piedmont, Upper South) are much more interesting
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2018, 01:36:12 PM »

.... And although DE and MD also sit below the Mason-Dixon Line, they are more in line with the Northeast.

....

Delaware is east of the Mason-Dixon Line, which turns south when it hits the DE/MD/PA tripoint.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2018, 01:48:40 PM »

I usually think of the South as the Confederacy minus Texas and at least part of Virginia.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2018, 02:35:19 PM »

Simple and clear: Andalusia is the South.

Oh wait, you mean the South of the USA? Then anything below the compromise line of 1850, as long as there is enough rainfall.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2018, 02:37:40 PM »

I usually think of the South as the Confederacy minus Texas and at least part of Virginia.

I think the line in Virginia has gradually moved further south over the years, too.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2018, 02:38:48 PM »

Simple and clear: Andalusia is the South.

Oh wait, you mean the South of the USA? Then anything below the compromise line of 1850, as long as there is enough rainfall.

That includes absolutely none of Virginia and even excludes a thin sliver of North Carolina.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2018, 02:39:08 PM »

I usually think of the South as the Confederacy minus Texas and at least part of Virginia.

Then define "Confederacy".  Lots of problems.

People in SC and SW Kentucky purported to set up a separate state government, and it joined the Confederacy.  Had soldiers on both sides.

People around Wheeling, VA purported to set up a separate state government, claiming sovereignty over the entire state, and that government gave permission for the founding of West Virginia, against the wishes of the people in at least half of the counties included in that new state.

Large areas of what is today SW Virginia and upper east Tennessee ignored their state governments and were pro Union.  Smaller pockets as far south as AL and MS, mostly in the mountains.

Missouri like Kentucky had a purported Confederate state government and sent troops to both sides.

The Indian Nations (today's Oklahoma) was largely pro-Confederate and most tribes considered themselves as allies to the CSA.

The CSA established a New Mexico Territory (the southern half of modern New Mexico and Arizona).

The only parts of Florida that were inhabited (by white or black peope) was the northern edges near GA and AL; and a few coastal villages further south reachable only by boat.  The rest of the state had no real organized government, nor need for one, for more than 50 years past the war.

Significant parts of CSA states, including New Orleans were occupied quickly and actually under CSA control for only a short time.

Maryland, most significantly the impossible for the ANV to reach Eastern Shore, and Delaware were slave states. 
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2018, 02:40:20 PM »

I usually think of the South as the Confederacy minus Texas and at least part of Virginia.

I think the line in Virginia has gradually moved further south over the years, too.

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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2018, 03:05:20 PM »

Defining the South can be tricky at times.

I personally define the South in all cases as Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Even though Oklahoma has some qualities of the South, I personally consider it to be more in the Midwest category, even though it's quite distant (geographically) from many of the other Midwestern states. Florida could be considered part of the South in some cases, and it definitely is geographically, but culturally it is much, much different than the Deep South states. I repeat the phrase that in Florida, "the more South you go, the less southern it gets," which does have a lot of truth to it. Kentucky does have some southern qualities, but it also has both midwestern qualities and qualities of Appalachia, so I'm not sure that Kentucky could be considered the South in every case. West Virginia heavily has qualities of Appalachia. Even if the southern part of Missouri has some qualities of the South, I never personally categorize Missouri as part of the South, unless I am referring to the time period during the early-to-mid-1800's, when the state was considered as part of the South. I primarily consider Missouri to be part of the Midwest. Virginia does have some southern qualities, and I categorize it as part of the South sometimes, but not every time. It also has many cultural similarities to the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, and even Appalachia. In these days (i.e. the past century and a little beyond), Maryland and Delaware have virtually no resembelnce to the South, and I would never categorize them as part of such. They were culturally similar to the South back in the 1800s, but those days are long gone.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2018, 03:09:30 PM »

IMO, Cecil County in northeastern Maryland has more in common with the south than the rest of Maryland.

Delaware's "North/South" split has steadily drifted south as well.  Middletown, south of the C&D Canal, is a fast-growing populated suburb of Wilmington and even Philly, and is now more closely related to Delaware North of the canal rather than the more-southern portions of the state.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2018, 03:11:33 PM »

Non-native Delawarean, but I would probably consider anything south of Camden/Wyoming "the south," but that's largely because I would prefer not to live in the south and I live in Dover.  :spin:  Plus, most of my coworkers live in Dover and Camden and I don't really consider them to be particularly "southern." 

I think the Canal being the cultural divide in Delaware is a more archaic statement.  The explosion of Middletown and Smyrna with commuters to Wilmington really pushes the cultural divide further south and towards Dover.  Yes, the geography and development patterns are very different around Middletown and Smyrna than Bear and Newark, but I'd say the culture really shows a change around Dover.

Now Sussex County...that's definitely southern.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2018, 03:25:35 PM »

West Virginia is not the South

Virginia I'd classify as a mid-Atlantic state, but otherwise the list is generally what I call the South.
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Re: How do you define the South?
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2018, 03:35:04 PM »

Simple and clear: Andalusia is the South.

Oh wait, you mean the South of the USA? Then anything below the compromise line of 1850, as long as there is enough rainfall.

The compromise with the line (36 degrees, 30 minutes north) was the Missouri Compromise.  the Compromise of 1850 retained the Missouri Compromise line and extended it westward.  What thoroughly fouled everything up was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.

However, the 36 degrees, 30 minutes north line does not really form the northern boundary of The South.  Personally, I'd use the Mason-Dixon Line, Ohio River, and split Missouri about halfway.  Everything south of there is The South, IMHO.
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