Even though this Map of the Week feature has turned into a Map of the Every-Once-In-Awhile, I wanted to include this. This map is from American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard. I read the book earlier this year. The book explains that what so many people describe as the intractable red state/blue state divide in our nation is far more complex and nuanced, and has its roots in our nation’s founding and expansion. Since our founding, our nation has been a competing mix of regional culture alliances, generally led by Yankeedom on one side and the Deep South on the other.
But what I find heartening about the map and book is how it validates my thinking on the fragmentation of the Midwest that keeps it from being viewed as a distinct and cohesive region. Here’s what I wrote almost two years ago:
And there are strong similarities between the map above and the handmade version I did for a followup post on this:
The terminology differs a little and the boundaries shift, but essence is there. What Woodard calls Yankeedom in the Midwest I split into the less-urban North Woods and the more-urban Lower Lakes, and what I call Midland Valley he calls Greater Appalachia. I say Heartland, he says Midlands, and Great Plains and Far West (before the mountains) are essentially the same to me.