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View Poll Results: Most authentic southern state
Virginia 6 2.78%
North Carolina 7 3.24%
South Carolina 15 6.94%
Georgia 15 6.94%
Florida 4 1.85%
Alabama 39 18.06%
Mississippi 78 36.11%
Louisiana 18 8.33%
Texas 12 5.56%
Arkansas 9 4.17%
Tennessee 10 4.63%
Kentucky 3 1.39%
Voters: 216. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-19-2009, 05:31 AM
Location: Cloud 9
155 posts, read 281,993 times
Reputation: 62


I consider a southern state(my opinion)

*Largely white with a substantial black minority
*Most white southerners are (English, Scots, Scots-Irish)
*Most southerners are Protestant
*Has a the southern accent (y'all)

I also heared something about a certain kind of tea?
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:47 AM
782 posts, read 1,098,943 times
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I think Thomas R. hit the nail right on the head!
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:26 AM
10,167 posts, read 16,639,944 times
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=ReluctantGardenStater;11680977]I have nothing against Texas (Actually I'd take TX any day over CA and NY, and believe it's one of the least appreciated states), but culturally and historically, one can not say that Texas is similar to Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.
No offense taken. And no, other than East Texas, the state is not topographically similar to the Deep South. Even with lots of its history and culture. But you are making specious comparissons here. The South has never been a monolithic region. Not many states of the Old Confederacy are like Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

It is not too similar to Arizona or New Mexico either though, which makes Texas something of a unique case. In my opinion, Texas takes most of its traditions from Southwestern culture (Love of Mexican cuisine, its "Western" cowboy culture, etc.) and serves as the transition zone between the Deep South and the Southwest.
Even though I agree Texas is a unique case (mostly because of size, history as an independent Republic and a post-bellum settlement pattern), the rest fails the test (no disrespect intended). Texas IS Southwestern, but NOT Southwestern in the sense that are NM and AZ. These are two very different Southwests. Texas is SW as in "western South". That is, where basic Southern history and culture is blended with many characteristics of the frontier, post-bellum "Wild West." Nothing like the interior Mexican/Native American "southern West." Or the Rocky Mountain West of today.

Here is a good summation from Raymond Gastil's "Cultural Regions of the United States":

Unlike the Interior Southwest, neither aboriginal Indian nor Spanish-American culture played a central role in the definition of the area. The people of Texas are mostly from the Lower, Upper, and Mountain South and these Southerners easily outnumbered the Spanish speaking and Indian people even before the state joined the Union. Therefore, when we refer to a large Spanish-speaking population in Texas, we are primarily speaking of a relatively recent immigrant population, quite different from the core areas of the Interior Southwest."

People associate Texas more with the last stand at the Alamo and Mexican cuisine more than they do with the Confederacy and Southern food. Texas is considered the "Wild West", not the Old South.
Most of Texas wasn't the Old South, but many of these associations you mention are innacurate as well. Not a small reason being the influence of those old Hollywood western movies (which I love as much as anybody). It is kinda like how movies such as GWTW, etc, have imparted the idea that "the South" must be compared to the moonlight and magnolias standard. Or how a "Southern accent" is that "plantation dialect" (when in fact is is only one of many sub-varieties of what is broadly known as Southern American English). So too, have many of the former genre imparted the notion that Texas is nothing but cowboys, desert and cactus (most of these movies were filmed in Arizona and southern California, not Texas).

Sure, the "Wild West" thing is very real, but most of those early Texas cowboys and gunfighters were displaced Southerners looking to get a new start in Texas. In fact, the habits of the Texas cowboy was was a direct decendent of the Old South cattle droving tradition, not the Mexican vaquero. Which only made sense as that is from where the stock came (no pun intended! LOL).

Heck, Kansas is "Wild West" too...but they are still a Midwestern state. Just like the term Southwest has evolved and has different definitions as the country expanded, so does the "West." Texas was very much part of that post-bellum frontier west, but shares very little with the states of the Census Bureau West.

As mentioned above, Texas was mostly settled after the War...by those from the southeastern United States looking to get a new start. They brought with them the basic culture which is evident in everything from Confederate monuments on most courthouse lawns, to traditional food (Tex-Mex is even different from authentic "Mexican" cooking) to the dominance of the Southern Baptist Church to speech patterns, to politics (i.e. part of the very "Solid South").

As a related aside here. there are many reasons Texas has -- at least IMHO -- never been really given its proper due and role in the "Civil War". For one thing, it was far removed from the major battlefields. Two, most of those who wrote the history tended to ignore the Trans-Mississippi Dept. Another, is that, because it emerged relatively unscathed by the conflict (Reconstruction not withstanding), and there was lots of cheap land and the cattle boom to take advantage of (of which the vast majority of those who did were Southerners), it was fairly easy for Texans to put the War behind them in a way not possible for many of the sister Confederate states who had been totally wrecked by the outcome.

But at the same time, Texas was one of the original "fire-eating" seceding states. And the reputation of Texas troops was unsurpassed on the field of battle (Robert E. Lee said: "None none have brought greater honor to their state than have my Texans."). Again, while no truly major battles took place in Texas, one that did was at Sabine Pass, where all of 47 Texans turned back an entire yankee invasion fleet. Prompting a special medal and resolution to be adopted by the CSA Congress. And president Davis to proclaim "Sabine Pass will stand, perhaps for all time, as the greatest military victory in the history of the world."

I like Texas, but if it were to be considered Southern, what's to stop Missouri and West Virginia from being considered Southern?
Charter membership in the Confederacy, for one thing!

But seriously, perhaps self-identification is the most important. This has been posted before, but it is telling. The results of 14 seperate polls -- -- spanning 7 years, undertaken by the Center for the Study of the American South (at the U. of North Carolina):

Percent who say their community is in the South (percentage base in parentheses)

Alabama 98 (717) South Carolina 98 (553) Louisiana 97 (606) Mississippi 97 (431) Georgia 97 (1017) Tennessee 97 (838) North Carolina 93 (1292) Arkansas 92 (400) Florida 90 (1792) Texas 84 (2050) Virginia 82 (1014) Kentucky 79 (582) Oklahoma 69 (411)

West Virginia 45 (82) Maryland 40 (173) Missouri 23 (177) Delaware 14 (21) D.C. 7 (15)

Percent who say they are Southerners (percentage base in parentheses)

Mississippi 90 (432) Louisiana 89 (606) Alabama 88 (716) Tennessee 84 (838) South Carolina 82 (553) Arkansas 81 (399) Georgia 81 (1017) North Carolina 80 (1290) Texas 68 (2053) Kentucky 68 (584) Virginia 60 (1012) Oklahoma 53 (410) Florida 51 (1791)

West Virginia 25 (84) Maryland 19 (192) Missouri 15 (197) Delaware 12 (25) D.C. 12 (16)

Anyway, guess I better get to work for now!
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:39 AM
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,232,709 times
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Originally Posted by mcatp View Post
I think Thomas R. hit the nail right on the head!
One of my favorite classes in college was Southern history. It was taught by this neat old professor with a good sense of humor and an ability to tell a story. Also I am Southern by birth.

I have kind of a mixed relationship to the South. On the one hand I love it, but on the other hand I basically had to flee from it as a child as there was no future for me there. Granted I think things have changed, but back then being a disabled dwarf and Catholic in the South wasn't as easy as it might be now.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:42 AM
10,167 posts, read 16,639,944 times
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Originally Posted by WestbankNOLA View Post
I'm quite tired of them myself, especially when southern states are too different to actually put a degree on southerness.
Once again, you hit the nail on the head, WBNOLA!

The South has never been a monolithic region. What makes the South the South are certain common bonds of history, basic culture, traditions, speech, settlement, religious, and political patterns that offsets it considerably from the Northeast, Midwest or Rocky Mountain/Interior Southwest. The classic "moonlight and magnolias" imagry is simple one part of a much larger whole when it comes to defining the region.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:31 AM
Location: Cloud 9
155 posts, read 281,993 times
Reputation: 62
You don't need to bash the poll, cause Texas aint winning
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:05 AM
10,167 posts, read 16,639,944 times
Reputation: 5695
Originally Posted by SeanAaron View Post
You don't need to bash the poll, cause Texas aint winning
If you are talking to me, I am not bashing the poll. I voted for Mississippi.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:36 PM
Location: Texas
14 posts, read 38,072 times
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Originally Posted by ReluctantGardenStater View Post
Granted, East Texas has a fair degree of Southern culture/feel, but as for the state as a whole, I just believe that more people find it similar to New Mexico and Arizona than they do the Deep South.

Florida I consider to be a Southern state, but probably the weakest/most diluted, as no one considers Miami, the Keys, Boca Raton, etc. to be Southern, despite their geographic location. Northern Florida is the only reason Florida is still considered a Southern state at all.
Well I was born and raised in Texas so my opinion outweighs yours and a majority of people consider it southern. The only part of Texas that doesn't really fit to the south is west Texas. Texas is big on BBQ, country music, fried foods, ect. and our dialect falls in the southern dialect category. Historically we are part of the South as well since we were a slave state and fought for the confederacy. Also, everyone who grew up here has taken Texas History n grade school and knows our ancestors migrated from the other southern states. I never understood why some people don't want to include Texas as a part of the south. Yes we have some characteristics that are unique to our state, but so does Louisiana (French Creole and Cajun Cultures).

southern accent map

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Old 11-19-2009, 06:54 PM
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,207 posts, read 25,896,902 times
Reputation: 8963
I'd like to know who those two people are who voted for Texas. Texas is Southern but more authentically Southern Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina? I don't think so.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:06 PM
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,842,221 times
Reputation: 2698

Why in the world is the SC Lowcountry excluded on this map? Makes no sense whatsoever, even when you consider the Gullah dialect.
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