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Old 07-14-2010, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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My last "differences" thread. I created a map of the Northeast similar to my Midwest, South and West maps. Out of all regions, I'm least familiar with the Northeast, so I apologize if I have anything wrong.

Northeast boundaries - Google Maps
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:54 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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You could definitely add at least one subdivision in New England, but I'm not sure which one would be most important. It's a surprisingly complex region.

Probably the most salient division is a north-south line to demarcate the more densely populated south from the much more rural north. This line would probably run from Pittsfield, MA, across the Quabbin Reservoir and then northeast into NH, separating the quadrant framed by Nashua-Concord-Rochester-Portsmouth from the rest of the state, then hugging the Maine coast up until about the Lewiston-Auburn area.

While there are some cultural correlations to this division, it's not a perfect match with cultural regions of New England. If I were to attempt to define these, I might suggests three major regions.

The first and most populous region would occupy most of CT, RI, eastern MA (east of the Quabbin Reservoir), the southeastern quadrant of NH, and the populated areas of southern ME up to about the Augusta / mid-coast area. I would characterize this region as being one with a historically industrial economy (lots of mill towns) and a heavily Catholic population that tends to vote Democratic, but more often based on economic/labour ideals than left-wing social values, even though it is still more socially liberal than most parts of the country. One caveat is that the southern suburbs in New Hampshire are some of the most heavily Republican towns in the region, in part due to fiscally conservative Bay Staters making the move across the border.

The second region includes western MA (although Springfield might belong more with region 1), Vermont in its entirety, and the western edge of NH along the Connecticut River Valley, at least up until the Hanover area. This area is characterized by a much more visible agricultural economy and progressive, socially liberal politics - "crunchy granola," if you will - in a fusion that emphasizes the importance of local businesses and locally-grown products. The area is much more rural than region 1 and while the first region has a diverse mix of ethnicities, with a particularly high share of Italians, Portuguese, Irish, and French-Canadians (the order of their dominance moving south to north along the coast), region 2 is a bit more homogeneous, with a large English population but with many French-Canadians in Vermont and a Polish enclave in MA's Pioneer Valley.

The third and final region occupies the remaining land area covering the majority of New Hampshire and Maine (and probably VT's Northeast Kingdom), with the exception of the heavily French-speaking areas of northernmost Maine. This region is more homogeneously English or "Yankee" with some pockets of French dominance, in addition to a few historical Scottish and Scots-Irish-settled areas. This is one of the most heavily forested areas of the country and is neither heavily industrial nor heavily agricultural (excepting the St. John River Valley in northern Maine, although that could easily be considered its own unique region). Politically, it tends to be considerably more fiscally conservative than the other two regions and, while perhaps not as socially liberal as region 2, is still moreso than most parts of the US. Region 2 and 3 both have some of the lowest regular church attendance rates in the country, in contrast to the more devoutly Catholic region 1.

While I don't think this is the most important criterion, dialect also varies considerably across the region. There are essentially four major accent areas, each with some internal variation. The features of the typical Boston accent, in which "r" is dropped in words like "park" and "car," "father" doesn't rhyme with "bother," and "cot" sounds the same as "caught," are historically characteristic of eastern MA, NH, and ME. In Rhode Island and its immediate environs, "r" is still dropped but "father" rhymes with "bother" and "cot" sounds very different from "caught" (somewhat reminiscient of NYC accents).

In much of Connecticut and western MA, "r" is never dropped, and "father" rhymes with "bother" while "cot" and "caught" are distinct. The traditional Vermont dialect is similar, except that "cot" and "caught" are pronounced the same and speakers often have the fronted vowel sound in "park" and "car" characteristic of Boston, while preserving the "r"s. Some older speakers east of the Green Mountains do still drop their "r"s, however.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:56 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Just to clarify my various classifications above with a few (very rough) maps:





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Old 07-15-2010, 10:31 AM
 
Location: CT
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Your description of New England needs some work. You make it sound like the Boston accent dominates, but most of us in Connecticut (especially the most populous parts) do not drop our r's and talk like that, same thing with a large part of Massachusetts and Vermont. And seeing as how Connecticut alone has a slightly larger population than New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine combined, the Boston accent isn't that dominant.

I wasn't sure why you said it's partly predominated by Native Americans, cause we really have so few here, but I think you meant it like "modern natives" (not "indians") right? It's a lil confusing (at least to me) and misleading, so I'd change that.

Also, where did you get Portland and Manchester as major cities? Portland is the biggest city in Maine, but it's tiny with 60,000 people, and Manchester has eight cities ahead of it.

The largest cities in New England over 100,000 in (municipal) population are...

Boston, MA
Worcester, MA
Providence, RI
Springfield, MA
Bridgeport, CT
Hartford, CT
New Haven, CT
Stamford, CT
Manchester, NH
Waterbury, CT
Cambridge, MA
Lowell, MA

It really highlights the North/South divide in population and urbanity too, if you wanna separate the region that way.

My last problems with the whole map are, I think you extended New York way too far into CT, and I don't know why you're not including parts of PA, and NY (especially, Rochester, Buffalo) in the Northeast.

And also, as long as you're including French Canada as part of the Northeast, I'd consider Toronto Northeastern too.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: NE PA
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Cities and area should be grouped together more by culture rather than just by geography. For example, Scranton, while geographically northeastern, has more in common with cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo (which are fellow rust-belt cities with similar ethnic backgrounds...heavily working class, Catholic, descended from European immigrants) than it does with nearby Philadelphia and New York City.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go phillies View Post
Cities and area should be grouped together more by culture rather than just by geography. For example, Scranton, while geographically northeastern, has more in common with cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo (which are fellow rust-belt cities with similar ethnic backgrounds...heavily working class, Catholic, descended from European immigrants) than it does with nearby Philadelphia and New York City.
Which is why it's in the Inland Northeast with Pittsburgh and Syracuse instead of with Philly and NYC. I put Buffalo and Rochester in the Midwest, but I can't extend the Midwest all the way to the East Coast - Midwest would lose it's meaning.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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Buffalo and Rochester are not midwestern.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: NJ
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are you asking northeast or new england? the northeast contains more than new england.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Take a look at his link; it's the entire Northeast.

I just talked about New England because I'm more familiar with the cultural differences in it.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN55 View Post
Buffalo and Rochester are not midwestern.
agreed. And there is an area on the map that says has a Pittsburgh accent. Nowhere in NY has a Pittsburgh accent.
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