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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, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhenaton06 View Post

Why in the world is the SC Lowcountry excluded on this map? Makes no sense whatsoever, even when you consider the Gullah dialect.
Yeah and the fact that they excluded many parts of Florida on this maps makes no sense to me as well. Again, if I take one person to Clewiston and Pahokee Florida and they hear the locals down there talk, you would figure out that you're still in the South.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
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.
It's not an obvious choice, but Texas was listed by Pew Research Center as the state people born in were most likely to stay. They indicate 75.8% of Texans stay in Texas. Although many go to Texas it still ended up being fairly low on "percent born outside of state." So outside maybe Houston, Dallas, and Austin perhaps it's retained more of its "nature" than Georgia or South Carolina.

Granted to me that nature includes things that aren't classically Southern. None of the rest of the South was ever ruled by Mexico so far as I know or had as much Mexican cultural origins. Texas itself used to describe itself as like "a whole other country" and in some ways it being its own unique thing, connected to the South but not wholly Southern, makes sense to me.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
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.



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."



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."



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!

Much of what you say makes sense. I generally felt that eastern Texas had a very Southern feel, and the attitude of the state in general was very different from NM, AZ, CA, CO, UT, and NV.

I know a fair bit of history, but not as much as I would like to about the American Civil War. I knew Texas was a solid Confederate state, but was unaware of its large participation in the war. Generally, when I picture the ACW, I think of the stereotypes of Robert E. Lee's plantation-laden Virginian countryside, and the magnolia romance of Georgia and the Deep South as seen in Gone With The Wind. Based on the information you stated about Texas' history during the war, let me be the first to say kudos

It's probably no secret that the South is my favorite region, but even so, my view of Texas as separate from the South, was never a negative one; I just feel that Texas is so unique because of its size and complicated history (the six flags over Texas thing). Also, I tended to think that Mexican cuisine dominates the state, but I realize it is a large state and not every area resembles El Paso or San Antonio. Do you guys have good Southern barbecue down there? I've never physically been to Texas and would like to make a trip next year when I hit Arizona, New Mexico, and southern California, but am not sure what areas would be best in the summer, or what areas would be interesting for someone who enjoys regional culture, history, good food, and nice scenery.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Spain
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From an outsider's perspective, I tend to think of Alabama and Mississippi as being more "southern" than Louisiana. Louisiana to me seems to have a unique culture, if for no other reason than having New Orleans and French influences.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDX_LAX View Post
From an outsider's perspective, I tend to think of Alabama and Mississippi as being more "southern" than Louisiana. Louisiana to me seems to have a unique culture, if for no other reason than having New Orleans and French influences.
Well, I guess if that's if someone considers "Southern" to mean strictly Anglo-Celtic Protestant culture. But what you reference seems to mostly be present in Acadiana and the southeastern portion of the state. Louisiana definately has a distinct culture which makes it different than Alabama and Mississippi though, but all of the states are different in some way.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:36 AM
 
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Alabama and Mississippi
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:09 PM
 
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It's gotta be M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-hump back-hump back-I. Although Biloxi and Jackson are not bad cities.
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:47 PM
 
Location: OKIE-Ville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReluctantGardenStater View Post
I believe when using terms like "Southern" and "Northern", it is a mix of culture and geography, rather than just total geography.

Oklahoma is a Southern state, but I can see why some feel it has Midwestern influences.

Missouri is a Midwestern state, though definately has a more Southern feel than many of the other Midwestern states (But I've heard people claim that parts of southern Ohio feel like the South).

West Virginia is an interesting case as one can easily just follow historical precedent and lump it in with Virginia, but Florida seems more Southern to me than West Virginia, and WV's culture seems to have a strong Midwestern feel that leads me to associate it with states such as Indiana. I don't believe there would be that much of a culture shock for people moving from Pittsburgh, PA, to urban WV.

Let's not even start up the Maryland and Delaware debate again. The Mason-Dixon line is outdated and not relevant to the political and cultural realities of the 21st century. If you told folks in Alabama that you were a Southerner, and then went on to say you were from Maryland or Delaware, they would probably either be confused or laugh in your face.
>>>>>
Oklahoma is a Southern state, but I can see why some feel it has Midwestern influences.
<<<<<

Having been raised in Oklahoma, I would argue that it does not have Midwestern influence as much as Southwestern/Western. Think of tried&true Midwest states = Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, etc....culturally Oklahoma does not share as much in common with Midwestern states as it does with Arkansas, Texas, Northern Louisiana, etc. Undoubtedly this is why the Census chooses to group Oklahoma in a subregion of the greater South designated as the West South Central: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ce..._Divisions.PNG.

Oklahoma is exactly what it's geography dictates....a "westernized" version of the South. Midwest is not a proper designation for OkieVille, but one could certainly call Oklahoma the Southwest or the quintessential state (similar to Texas and Western Arkansas) in which Southern culture begins to mix with Southwestern/Western culture.

Last edited by Bass&Catfish2008; 11-20-2009 at 10:07 PM..
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:04 PM
 
Location: OKIE-Ville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReluctantGardenStater View Post
Much of what you say makes sense. I generally felt that eastern Texas had a very Southern feel, and the attitude of the state in general was very different from NM, AZ, CA, CO, UT, and NV.

I know a fair bit of history, but not as much as I would like to about the American Civil War. I knew Texas was a solid Confederate state, but was unaware of its large participation in the war. Generally, when I picture the ACW, I think of the stereotypes of Robert E. Lee's plantation-laden Virginian countryside, and the magnolia romance of Georgia and the Deep South as seen in Gone With The Wind. Based on the information you stated about Texas' history during the war, let me be the first to say kudos

It's probably no secret that the South is my favorite region, but even so, my view of Texas as separate from the South, was never a negative one; I just feel that Texas is so unique because of its size and complicated history (the six flags over Texas thing). Also, I tended to think that Mexican cuisine dominates the state, but I realize it is a large state and not every area resembles El Paso or San Antonio. Do you guys have good Southern barbecue down there? I've never physically been to Texas and would like to make a trip next year when I hit Arizona, New Mexico, and southern California, but am not sure what areas would be best in the summer, or what areas would be interesting for someone who enjoys regional culture, history, good food, and nice scenery.
Great post GardenStater.

Don't forget about Oklahoma's part in fighting for the Confederacy. It is odd to me how many people just don't know or intentionally reject/neglect Oklahoma's involvement in the War of Northern Agression. Here's a post that I made a couple of weeks ago:

>>>>>
My assertion is that Oklahoma's Southern status would not be remotely questioned if it actually was a state during the Civil War as the vast majority of the inhabitants of Indian Territory fought for the Confederacy. Heck, the last stand made by a Confederate General was fought on Oklahoma soil:

"In 1864 Watie was in command of the Indian Cavalry Brigade. The Brigade was composed of the First and Second Cherokee Cavalry, the Creek Squadron, the Osage Battalion, and the Seminole Battalion. Headquarted south of the Canadian River Watie sent squads to raid and plunder the Federal details around Fort Gibson. On June 10, 1864, his forces captured the stern wheeler 'J.P. Williams' laden with supplies and goods worth approximently 1.5 million dollars. He was promoted to Brigidier General. On September 19, 1864 his forces were victorious at the second battle of Cabin Creek. General Stand Watie was the last Confederate General to surrender after the Civil War at Doaksville, Indian Territory on June 23 1865."
Indian Territory:Civil War
Indian Territory: Facts, Discussion Forum, and Encyclopedia Article

Historically and culturally Oklahoma has the chops for inclusion in the South at large, which again the Census rightly designates. It is not the Deep South by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly lies in the Greater South, the far-most western edge of the South. Therefore, to say that Oklahoma does not belong in the South is only in the mind of so-called "Purists." Each to his own, but such views are not grounded in fact but opinion and speculation.
<<<<<

Just a little trivia for the Civil War buffs out there.

Oh and as to the OP's question, my vote will have to go to Alabama.

Last edited by Bass&Catfish2008; 11-20-2009 at 10:30 PM..
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Location: OKIE-Ville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
There is no universal standard of what's Southern. Still I don't think that means it's a total "throw up your hands it means nothing" issue.

The South had, and to a degree has, a stronger aristocratic bent than the rest of America. So virtues more associated to a class-system (which according to a writer named McCloskey would include courage, magnanimity, faith, and solidarity) are of particular importance in the South. So Southerness tends to involve a greater value of religion and the military. Traditionally being Southern also meant less interest in capitalism, although the increase of the Republican Party there may have changed this. Still I would say many Southern conservatives are populists who distrust "big business" and many Southern liberals probably are too. Being Southern usually means having a stronger British influence than the rest of the US, Louisiana being an exception there. Also retaining more archaic English terms. Lastly rural blacks tend to be more common, and culturally influential, than in most of the nation. Although that's not so true in Kentucky, but even then things like the banjo were originally poor black instruments.

Much of this may imply conservatism, but it doesn't have to imply it in the usual sense. A homosexual Episcopalian from Virginia who went to Oxford, loathes Wall Street, and wants to be able to join the military would fit much or most of what I said above.
>>>>>
Still I would say many Southern conservatives are populists who distrust "big business"
<<<<<

This is absolutely a TRUE statement.....a very good designation of my family and many of the Okies that I know. Good call, Thomas.
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