Maps of the American Nations
Continuing my on-going series on the regional differences – genetic regional differences – between the different Euro-Americans in the United States and Canada, here I will present a series of maps demonstrating some of the evidence for the existence and significance of these differences, beyond the historical circumstances explored by David Hackett Fischer (DHF) in Albion’s Seed and Colin Woodard in American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.
First, again, the American Nations as they exist today:
Now, let’s look at regions of origin of the colonial Americans:
These are the regions of Britain from which the Anglo-American settlers hail, as drawn from DHF’s research in Albion’s Seed. The Puritans (who are discussed by HBD Chick here: east anglia, kent and manorialism and here: clannish or not?) hail from East Anglia and Kent in southeastern England. The Quakers (see the myddle people | hbd* chick and geographical origin of the quakers | hbd* chick EDIT, 9/18/13: see also on the topographical origins of the quakers | hbd* chick and quaker individualism | hbd* chick) originate from the industrial North Midlands. The Cavaliers (see The Cavaliers) hail from southwestern England. And the Scotch-Irish Borderlanders (see “culture” of honor | hbd* chick and hatfields and mccoys | hbd* chick) originate in the English-Scottish border areas – some via Ulster.
The line on the above map is a division between the areas of Britain that practiced a greater degree of cousin marriage versus the areas that are more outbred. In general, the areas north and west of the line appear to have had a more recent history of cousin marriage. This division also marks the areas held by opposing sides in the English Civil War (as discussed by HBD Chick):
The areas circled in red are from where the bulk of settlers to Quebec originated. The area circled in green is from where the Acadians originated (some of which later became the Cajuns of Louisiana).
(I am still collecting data on the regions of origin of the German settlers to America. The Germans – particularly the Pietists – were a significant fraction of the early settlers and continued to be a large fraction of the settlers to the United States and Canada throughout both countries early histories. If anyone has such data, feel free to let me know.
EDIT, 9/18/13: See also: Germania’s Seed?)
The expansion of the various settlements across the continent was detailed by Colin Woodard:
The Yankees and the Midlanders (mostly Germans) had the northern part of the country into which they could expand. The Borderlanders settled the interior, violently fighting they way across. The Lowland Southerners expanded their plantations along the fertile soils along the Gulf coast.
As for the New French colonies, the two main colonies – Quebec and Acadia – faced considerably different fates after each suffered British conquest. Acadia was essentially erased; its population dispersed and its lands becoming British settlements. EDIT, 5/10/14: But some of the colonists were able to eventually return to the Maritimes/Maine to reestablish a remnant of the colony. See Acadie. Some of its colonists survived in their exclave in Louisiana. On the other hand, the Québécois were already too numerous to be easily cleansed from their lands by the British, and were generally left alone under British rule.
In the North, the Yankees and Midlanders were joined by additional, newer Northwestern European settlers. In the Midlands, and parts of Yankeedom, this included Germans. These were joined by Scandinavians in Greater New England. As well, Catholic Irish dispersed all throughout this area. (See Those Who Can See: Were you Assimilable?)
All of these groups readily intermarried with each other, creating a new and genetically unique American (and Canadian) population.
As discussed in the previous link, the post 1880-immigrants included Southern and Eastern Europeans, who began to disperse across Yankeedom and the Midlands. These far more clannish groups began to cause all sort of new trouble for the outbred and well-behaved earlier residents, introducing new waves of ethnic violence and corruption to which the Puritans and Quaker settlers were unaccustomed (and still deal with to this day).
Never the less, despite the more recent augmentation, the well established earlier stock laid the biological foundation for the residents of the various American nations. And today, we see the results:
This is a map of the 2012 presidential election results by county, also adjusted for county population, drawn by Chris Howard. On top of this, I have overlayed Colin Woodard’s divisions of the different American Nations. Here, the vote is represented by color on a red-blue scale: the redder, the more Republican; the bluer, more Democrat. The darkness of the county corresponds to its population – the darker, the more populous. While this would be clearer if I had a map of the White-only vote, we can see a pronounced regional breakdown in White voting patterns. Whites really only vote democratic in Greater New England (and its western offspring, The Left Coast) and in the Midlands, as well as in scattered urban areas across the rest of country (which are typically Puritan/Midlander exclaves – e.g., Austin, TX).
Here’s another version that makes the actual voting percentage more clear:
This map details the straight voting percentage, outlining the red and blue counties. The blueness of Greater New England, the Left Coast, and the Midlands compared to the rest of the country becomes clear.
Despite the fact that the “borders” between these nations are drawn on these maps as solid lines, these maps also make clear that they should not be thought of as such. Rather, the various nations generally transition roughly smoothly into to the others. This is especially true in the multicultural Midlands, which – rather than representing a contiguous, distinct “cultural” zone – represents an area in which Greater Appalachia transitions into Greater New England. Indeed, while Colin Woodard places the northeastern end of Greater Appalachia in southwestern Pennsylvania, it actually extends well into central Pennsylvania and New York – even into Maine to an extent. (That said – as my wife notes – the first map indicates that the seemingly anomalous red areas of New England, such as Piscataquis County in Maine and Hamilton County in New York are sparsely populated. The three people who live there voted for Romney, that’s all.)
Note that our nation’s capital sits at the confluence of three nations (The Midlands, The Tidewater, and Greater Appalachia). This was no accident.
The blue areas outside the Old North on the previous map represent minority havens (from Wikipedia):
That is, Blacks in the Deep South/Tidewater; Mexicans in El Norte; and Native Americans across the Interior West (and Alaska).
The European ancestries on this now well-known map should not be taken at face value. There has been extensive intermixing between different White American groups, such that self-reported ethnicity is generally meaningless.
As can be seen, the regional nations cut across state lines, often diving a state into two or more nations. This can be seen in Delaware, which is divided between a blue Midlander northern part and a red Tidewater southern part:
Notice the Cavalier observation from the lady at 6:47, noting – correctly – that in north Delaware “there’s just a different breed of people up there.”
The evidence for the different American nations can also be seen in the language of the people, as can be seen on this map of regional dialects across North America (from The Aschmann Clan: American English Dialects; go there for a comprehensive collection of speech samples):
Note the tight correspondence to the nations as demarcated by Woodard. Indeed, as DHF noted, the different North American speech patterns can trace their origin to the speech of the colonial stock: the New England accent to the speech of East Anglia (such as the New England doo-yahd); the Lowland Southern drawl to the speech common in Southwestern England; the Appalachian twang to the Scots of the Borderlanders. (See also A Dialect Map of American English)
The gradients in the dialects – such as the one we see as one moves westward across Yankeedom – perhaps reflect the waves of settlement and the influence of subsequent immigrants.
DHF also investigated historical trends in national elections, a sample of which was also discussed by Razib Khan:
As Razib put it (emphasis in original):
In the Deep South to a good approximation to be white is to be a Republican, and vote for Republicans. In contrast, in Greater New England there is a slight tilt toward the Democratic party among white voters. When you aggregate white voters nationally there is a tendency for it to lean toward the Republican party, but this masks deep regionalism. In Vermont 31% of whites voted for John McCain in 2008. In Alabama that figure was 88%.
And so it has always been. In the 1856 election the Republicans contested for the presidency, and as you can see on the map to the left only the Yankee regions supported their candidate.
The regional differences are also visible in the psychological traits of American Whites – here in IQ (from Audacious Epigone):
The Yankees, having descended from an artisan and academic elite (the Puritans even required letters of recommendation before allowing a prospective immigrant to venture to New England), score highly. The Lowland South on the other hand – which received a much more representative cross section of the English population (indeed, many were slaves) – is broadly much less intelligent, on average. And Greater Appalachia, having been settled by inbred common folk (see clannish dysgenics | hbd* chick) performs relatively poorly (don’t trust Texas’s seemingly high score).
As well, we can see the regional differences in the behavior of these Whites (see previous link culture of honor) – in particular, rates of violence. Here are the White murder rates by state (also from the Audacious Epigone):
Rates of violence are substantially lower in the Puritan and Midlander areas (indeed, the Quakers were pacifists) and substantially higher in the Borderlander and Cavalier areas. (Indeed, Puritan Maine was ranked as the most peaceful U.S. state in the Vision of Humanity United States Peace Index). The anomalously and suspiciously high rates of White violence in the Southwest likely stem from the conflagration of Hispanics with Whites in statistics there. That said, the Interior (“Wild”) West was settled by violent settlers of Appalachian extraction, so that they’d be higher rates of White violence there is perhaps not horrendously surprising.
Additionally, the warrior spirit of the Borderlanders and the Cavaliers is visible in military enlistment-to-population ratios (from The Heritage Foundation):
Edit, 2/6/15: [Here’s another map, which compiles enlistment rates over a longer time period and breaks it down regionally by ZIP code (from here):
The two maps disagree somewhat (especially in Greater Appalachia) due to a difference in each’s respective methodology. The Heritage Foundation’s is based on the state’s population of males aged 18-24. The Atlantic’s map is based on total population. Couple that with this map of median age per county (from here, click to enlarge), we see that many places, like Greater Appalachia, are deficient in young people relative to a few others (like the Deep South).
(EDIT 4/14/15: Voluntary enlistment in the military is known to be highly heritable – see Beaver et al 2015. The heritability of any sort of military enlistment was found to be 82%, with a zero shared environment. The high heritability and lack of shared environment in a national sample underscores the genetic nature of this pattern, but it also rules out local environmental effects. This demonstrates the genetic nature of all the other patterns we see.)
EDIT, 9/18/13, And, coupled with the map above, in defense of the “Pot & Peace” flag I’ve drawn for the Left Coast (and, in this case, Yankeedom to a lesser extent) here’s one more map for you (from Wikipedia):
The United States (and Canada) was never quite “one nation, indivisible”; rather, persistent regional differences exist – thanks to the differential patterns of settlement and the as yet imperfect genetic mixing among the people. This means that the divisions that exist in our country will remain for some time. Thanks to the apparent recent erosion in social cohesion (see Peter Turchin, The Strange Disappearance of Cooperation in America and The Strange Disappearance of Cooperation in America II – Social Evolution Forum), these divisions are likely to become sharper in the years to come. Hopefully the American Nations will once again will be able to cooperate for their sake of their mutual self-interest. In the mean time, I’ll stay deep in peaceful Maine… 🙂
I’m back but not back. I’m going to remove comment moderation for the time being (to be temporarily restored once again).
Edit, 6/30/14: Be sure to also see the follow up post to this one, with much more on this matter and even more maps: