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Amazingly the midterm season is here already and I'm prepping like a mad woman. 
I'm taking Public Opinion right now and I am learning such fascinating things that I just have to share.
So take a seat, class is in session!
Every region of the U.S. has distinctive perspectives, attitudes and personalities. But how did we get like this? Has it always been like this? We've been discussing The American Nations by Colin Woodward and his theory reveals what makes the regions of the U.S. the distinctive regions that we know today.

One of the first regions we discussed is what Woodward calls "Yankeedom". Yankeedom consists of much of the NorthEast (pictured) as well as Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Founded by radical Calvinists (Puritans), residents of Yankeedom have the highest trust in the government as well as the highest rate of voter turnout. Education and literacy has been a key value in society since the colonization and expansionist ideals took place here.

Want to see how your region impacts your political outlook, opinion and involvement? Click read more below!
After Yankeedom, our class focused some time on New Netherlands. I know this area as the tri-state area of New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut. Founded by the Dutch, this nation is known for its high levels of tolerance and diversity.  In the image above, you can see how small New Netherlands is in relation to other regions; however, due to high population density in this area, their opinions, votes and identity is an important part of the American political landscape.
Typically seen as one of the most important areas during elections, the Midlands regions, pictured on the right, was founded by Quakers before being taking over by Germans. The Germans, their green-thumbs and their moderate attitudes have not only given America the standard American dialect that we know but also the political moderatism the region is known for. This area is very suspicious of top-down governments in general, which makes them a difficult vote to get during election seasons.

When one thinks of the south, we don't tend to think of several distinct and separate regions. Colin Woodward breaks down the south into four regions: Tidewater, Greater Appalachia, the Deep South and New France.

The Tidewater region is considered one of the more important regions in American politics simply because the region gave us our first 4 out of 5 presidents. Founded by the younger sons of southern English gentry, this area is known for its foundation in the scholars of ancient Greece.

Greater Appalachia, seen in white on the map to the left,  was founded by Scotts-Irish, who had spent around 800 years fighting whoever they felt they needed to, to protect their way of life. People in the region value individual liberty as well as personal sovereignty. For most of the political history of the U.S., Greater Appalachia votes or sides with anyone who has the smallest threat to their way of life (hence the coalition with Dixie during the Civil War). These Americans are most likely extremely unaware of their heritage, preferring to call themselves American.

The Deep South was founded just as the Tidewater was, by younger sons of English gentry, with one exception: the founders did not come directly from Britain, but rather the Barbados, which at the time was considered the worst slave colony in its age. Slavery was key to this region from the beginning. White supremacy was a key tenant to this society, and the belief of privilege was a close second. This is still considered the most polarized racial region in the U.S. It is important to note that African Americans from this region are politically distinctive from their white counterparts.

Finally, New France is the city of New Orleans. This region is very similar to the Deep South except for one respect: religion. New France is extremely Catholic and holds Catholic values deep within their regional identity.

The last thee regions in Woodward's book, The American Nations, are The Left Coast, The Far West and El Norte.
The Left Coast was founded by Northeastern merchants who sailed to the far coast. Seeing as they were from the Northeast, they had and still have good faith in government as well as education. Known for their pioneer spirit, these people were allies to Yankeedom and New Netherlands during the Civil War.

The Far West was founded by pioneers, following Manifest Destiny as well as Scandinavian immigrants. Known for it's inhospitable terrain, the eco-system formed the political opinion of the region, creating the place where the environmental movement began. 

Finally, El Norte is the last nation within the U.S. according to Woodward. El Norte is the northern edge of Mexican settlements that straddle the modern day border with Mexico. Both sides of the border are culturally very similar and in the U.S., a large focus on immigration and U.S. Foreign Policy with Mexico and Latin America is stressed. 

I hope y'all learned a little something about your region of the U.S., your political history and maybe even a little about yourself. If you don't identify with your region, it's all good, just because it doesn't apply to you, doesn't mean it applies to everyone!

Hope everyone's week is going okay!



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