Colors and Lights
Edit, 4/16/14: Post updated, see below!
I wanted to feature two new versions of Colin Woodard’s map of the American Nations that I have created. For reference, here is Woodard’s map:
We know we can split the cultural and political behaviors (and many other aspects) of the United States and Canada according to these maps (see Maps of the American Nations and Nations of Canada). Most poignant among them (and the one that interests most people) is the electoral behavior, which follows predictable regional patterns, as seen in the county level election results of the 2012 presidential election:
Now, here’s a partial explanation for some of these results:
This is a modification of a map found here (ultimate source unknown). I’ve superimposed the American nations boundaries on it. The white-colored counties on the map are overwhelmingly Republican voting White counties, but in some cases reflect counties with a mix of populations that don’t fit into the colored categories.
As we’ve seen in my earlier post on the matter (Rural White Liberals – a Key to Understanding the Political Divide), significant regional differences in the White American vote exists. Particularly, there is a broad left-leaning area across Yankeedom (Greater New England), in parts of the Midlands, and along the Left Coast. These reflect genetic differences as established by the founding (and immigrant) populations across these various regions (see aforementioned post).
The ethnic composition of El Norte and south Florida is evident here. Racial composition also demonstrates part of the reason the Tidewater and the Far West are becoming national swing regions. In the latter case, the expansion of the Hispanic population is serving to turn key states in the area Democrat (additionally, there is a segment of liberal Whites colonizing Colorado).
The legacy of slavery – the institution that was the backbone of the Tidewater and the Deep South – remains visible today as home to the primary concentrations of the country’s Black population. Is national (regional) pride what motivates Kanye West to embrace the ethnocultural symbol of the Deep South, the Confederate flag?
As well, note that much of eastern Oklahoma contains significant Native American populations, however, they are not visible here because they are typically in the 10-20% range as a fraction of each county’s population.
Also, as a bonus, see this map:
This is a map of the American nations superimposed upon a nighttime image of the U.S. Some interesting features become evident. One of the most striking is the orthogonal layout of the Midlands, patterned after its founding city, Philadelphia. This orthogonal layout follows a continuous band from southern New Jersey in the east running westward along Interstate 80 to where the Midlands unfolds in Iowa. The layout in Yankeedom follows a hierarchical structure following patterns of settlement radiating from the central hubs to their satellite cities and towns. In the Tidewater and Deep South, we see the haphazard settlement, resulting from interconnection of the formerly independent plantation steads. We can also see the abrupt “end” to civilization that occurs at the border of the Far West (which resumes on the Left Coast).
The circled lit up area in the Far West are gas flares from North Dakota’s fracking boom, a boom which continues the Far Western tradition of drawing settlers and transients seeking a living, and perhaps wealth, from the exploitation the region’s natural resources (and, additionally, of its people).
The American nations remain alive and visible, and continue to underlie life and society across the continent.
Edit, 4/16/14: See also: