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Old 08-17-2014, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
1,359 posts, read 3,276,661 times
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Sigh, it seems that the debate on whether MD, DE, and DC (and WV and MO) are Southern or not will go on until the end of time...

The issue isn't as black and white as it is made out to be. All of these states were historically border states during the Civil War so there's going to be both a mix of cultural traits in each. Although it's unlikely, I'm sure that there is somewhere you could visit in each of these states (with the exception of maybe DC, which isn't a state anyway) where you could hear a Southern accent, be called a yankee, or see a 'rebel flag.' Such anecdotal experiences are irrelevant in the big picture.

That said, based on the actual political, demographic, and cultural facts DC, MD, and DE align far more with the Northeast than they do with the South, today. As for the past, the answer might be different, but since the Civil War (in which all of the above fought for the Union) and Reconstruction Maryland and Delaware and the others have both taken a distinctly different path than the other slave states.

Examine pretty much any quantifiable statistical data (wealth, religion, political leanings, white collar job share, population density, etc.) and you'll find that Maryland and Delaware are far more similar to Northeastern states than they are to states in the South.

The similarities are apparent on a more micro-scale as well. Take Baltimore for instance. Baltimore is, to put it crudely, a mini-Philadelphia in terms of culture, industry, and history. Even the accents of the two cities are similar. As far back as the industrialization boom in the 1800's all the way up to the Second World War it was clear that Baltimore wasn't a 'Southern' city. During that period, pretty much every "city" in the south was a small town backwater, Baltimore ranked up with Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York as the major Metropolises of the United States. During European migrant wave Baltimore saw an influx of tons of Polish, Greek, Irish, Italian and other European immigrants like all the other large cities in the Northeast. Similar comparisons can be made for Wilmington, which has very strong cultural and economic ties to Philadelphia.


Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
The fact that Baltimore for example has some similarities Philadelphia doesn't make Baltimore not southern. Cultural shifts are gradual. For example, there are lots of French-speaking people in northern New England, that doesn't make it part of Quebec.
Northern New England is not part of Quebec because there is an international border between the two. Geographic "cultural regions" in the U.S. don't have legal boundaries. I agree with your point about gradual cultural changes. In the absence of a physical (like a river or lake) or controlled border (like the US/Canadian border) you're not going to see instantaneous changes in culture as you travel from state to state, which is why I stated that it isn't a black and white issue. If you have to assign a label, it's a matter of determining when one set of influences outweighs the other.

Maryland and Delaware simply have far more Northern traits than Southern traits although the 'northern dominance' isn't uniform across the two states and extends south into Northern Virginia. I consider the cultural 'tipping point' is somewhere around Fredericksburg on I-95 (an opinion I've heard echoed many times by other DC Area residents).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Yes, however a higher black % is distinctively southern. Affluence is not limited to the northeast and much of the Northeast isn't affluent.



Much of Prince George's County while maybe not affluent is middle-class and wealthier than an average American suburb. It is majority black. There are few similar places in the Northeast, like that, definitely not for an entire county. It is nothing like anywhere else in the Northeast, it's a huge outlier for the Northeast.
I agree with the fact that both MD and DE have higher black % than any other state in the Northeast and this is a valid point for arguing their "Southerness" as both were slave states up until the Civil War. However, during the Great Migration, while every single Southern state saw their black population decline, Maryland and Delaware saw an increase.

The large metro areas of the Northeast (Boston, Washington D.C., and New York) are all relatively affluent and have very high costs of living. Rural areas are poorer whether in every geographic region.

"There are few similar places in the [nation], like that, definitely not for an entire county. " (Fixed it for you)

Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Just the fact people identify by county proved MD is not really Norheastern.
In most NErn states counties are largely court districts.
You mean New England. Powerful county governments are a staple of the Mid-Atlantic in general. New York, Maryland, and New Jersey all have strong county governments, many with county executives (which is rare in the South). In New England counties are merely formalities used for administrative and comparison purposes.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:29 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,132 posts, read 9,903,738 times
Reputation: 6423
Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Just the fact people identify by county proved MD is not really Norheastern.
In most NErn states counties are largely court districts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
You mean New England. Powerful county governments are a staple of the Mid-Atlantic in general. New York, Maryland, and New Jersey all have strong county governments, many with county executives (which is rare in the South). In New England counties are merely formalities used for administrative and comparison purposes.
Actually the bolded is not really true. Powerful county governments are a staple of the South and I believe the West. As I suggested before, Maryland has strong county government probably because of her legacy of a Southern state but most of the Northeast is very different. The New England states have weak or even non-existent county government while the Mid-Atlantic states have weak to moderate county government.

For example, I live in Suffolk County, New York.
--- the County does not control the school districts (unlike in many Southern states)
--- the County does not control zoning (unlike in many Southern states) for unincorporated lands because there are no unincorporated lands in Suffolk or in New York State for that matter.

Government of Maryland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Maryland local government)
At the local level, Maryland is notable among U.S. states for having a relatively small number of local governments. Maryland is also unique among Northeastern states in that it has fairly strong county governments. In most Northeastern states, counties are administrative divisions with little (and in the case of New England, almost nonexistent) authority, and most local government is at the town or city level. This is not true for Maryland's 23 counties, some of which have substantial authority.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Derby, CT
3,584 posts, read 2,501,774 times
Reputation: 2927
There's no debating whether Maryland and Delaware culturally identify with the northeastern states and I will not even begin to debate that question.

But as said before, we can bring this logic as far south as we want to go and draw a line. This however will not change which states ARE northeastern. To this I say Maryland and Delaware are not part of the northeast.
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:10 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,237 posts, read 19,536,382 times
Reputation: 12991
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Much of Prince George's County while maybe not affluent is middle-class and wealthier than an average American suburb. It is majority black. There are few similar places in the Northeast, like that, definitely not for an entire county. It is nothing like anywhere else in the Northeast, it's a huge outlier for the Northeast.
New York City by itself has more black people as residents than the entire Washington DC metro area does. That is why you can go through miles of Brooklyn or the Bronx and rarely see a white person.

It is a typical characteristic of American cities that the racial demographics change dramatically from one area to another and also over time. People tend to self-segregate by race and ethnicity, especially when their populations become larger. New York City today is majority non-white. New Jersey has also become much more non-white than it used to be. Do these changes mean that they are a different region now than they used to be?

Also, Prince George's County was considered to have more culturally southern characteristics (like accents and pace of life) when it was majority white, as recently as 1970. It has more northeastern characteristics now that it has become majority black.

These are the reasons why I don't rely on racial demographics alone to define regional classifications. There isn't much accuracy to them.
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,231,676 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
The similarities are apparent on a more micro-scale as well. Take Baltimore for instance. Baltimore is, to put it crudely, a mini-Philadelphia in terms of culture, industry, and history. Even the accents of the two cities are similar. As far back as the industrialization boom in the 1800's all the way up to the Second World War it was clear that Baltimore wasn't a 'Southern' city.
Only it was a southern city. We'll forgive you for being late to the party, but we covered this many, many pages back with tons of sources. The fact that Maryland was a founding member of the Southern Governors Association (1939) and the Southern Legislative Conference (1947) leaves little doubt that the state had a southern identity. And Baltimore, the state's largest city, was described as being a southern city.

Quote:
During that period, pretty much every "city" in the south was a small town backwater, Baltimore ranked up with Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York as the major Metropolises of the United States.
New Orleans was a top 10 metro area until the 1880 Census. Baltimore was in the Top 10 until the 1920 Census, but it was always much smaller than Boston and Philadelphia.

Quote:
During European migrant wave Baltimore saw an influx of tons of Polish, Greek, Irish, Italian and other European immigrants like all the other large cities in the Northeast. Similar comparisons can be made for Wilmington, which has very strong cultural and economic ties to Philadelphia.
We've already covered this too. Baltimore did not get the same of influx of ethnic whites as Northeastern cities though it did receive more than most southern cities. I did a more detailed post on this earlier, but the breakdown of Italians, Irish, Poles and Jews by metro is...

Boston - 36.73%
Philadelphia - 32.67%
New York - 30.13%
Baltimore - 21.75%
Washington, DC - 15.65%
Atlanta - 12.25%
Richmond - 12.18%

As you can see, Baltimore is halfway between the Northeastern powerhouses and traditionally Southern cities. But percentages don't really tell the full story as metro Philadelphia is much larger than metro Baltimore. There are more Italians in the Philadelphia MSA than there are Black people in the Baltimore MSA. And there are nearly as many Italians in the New York MSA as there are people in the Baltimore MSA. These communities give these areas a very distinct feeling from Baltimore.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,231,676 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
New York City by itself has more black people as residents than the entire Washington DC metro area does. That is why you can go through miles of Brooklyn or the Bronx and rarely see a white person.
New York has more Black residents than Memphis, Birmingham, and Atlanta too. The issue is that Blacks are much more of a minority here than they are in those cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
It is a typical characteristic of American cities that the racial demographics change dramatically from one area to another and also over time. People tend to self-segregate by race and ethnicity, especially when their populations become larger. New York City today is majority non-white. New Jersey has also become much more non-white than it used to be. Do these changes mean that they are a different region now than they used to be?
Maryland is distinct from Northeastern states in that it's historically had a large Black population. And that's a characteristic of southern states.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Also, Prince George's County was considered to have more culturally southern characteristics (like accents and pace of life) when it was majority white, as recently as 1970. It has more northeastern characteristics now that it has become majority black.
No, it doesn't. There was nothing "northeastern" about it in 1970 and there's certainly nothing northeastern about it in 2014. It has about as many northeastern characteristics as DeKalb County, Georgia.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Germantown, MD
1,359 posts, read 3,276,661 times
Reputation: 569
Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
Actually the bolded is not really true. Powerful county governments are a staple of the South and I believe the West. As I suggested before, Maryland has strong county government probably because of her legacy of a Southern state but most of the Northeast is very different. The New England states have weak or even non-existent county government while the Mid-Atlantic states have weak to moderate county government.

For example, I live in Suffolk County, New York.
--- the County does not control the school districts (unlike in many Southern states)
--- the County does not control zoning (unlike in many Southern states) for unincorporated lands because there are no unincorporated lands in Suffolk or in New York State for that matter.

Government of Maryland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Maryland local government)
At the local level, Maryland is notable among U.S. states for having a relatively small number of local governments. Maryland is also unique among Northeastern states in that it has fairly strong county governments. In most Northeastern states, counties are administrative divisions with little (and in the case of New England, almost nonexistent) authority, and most local government is at the town or city level. This is not true for Maryland's 23 counties, some of which have substantial authority.
Defining a "strong" county government is semantical. A New England residents could easily (and justifiably) say NJ, PA, etc have "strong" county governments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Only it was a southern city. We'll forgive you for being late to the party, but we covered this many, many pages back with tons of sources. The fact that Maryland was a founding member of the Southern Governors Association (1939) and the Southern Legislative Conference (1947) leaves little doubt that the state had a southern identity. And Baltimore, the state's largest city, was described as being a southern city.
As I pointed out in my first post, I'm defining Maryland as it is today, although during and after the Civil War I would argue that it was never clearly and unquestionably a Southern state. As for Baltimore, I'd agree that Baltimore was a Northern city in the heart of a Dixie state, long before I'd agree that Baltimore is (or was) an atypical Southern city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
New Orleans was a top 10 metro area until the 1880 Census. Baltimore was in the Top 10 until the 1920 Census, but it was always much smaller than Boston and Philadelphia.
New Orleans was very different from the "traditional" Southern city throughout much of its history. The reason it was so large up until the 1800's was because of the lucrative slave trade, which the Civil War put an end to. The city quickly fell out of the largest while cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Detroit, etc. industrialized and saw huge waves of immigrants from Europe and the South.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
We've already covered this too. Baltimore did not get the same of influx of ethnic whites as Northeastern cities though it did receive more than most southern cities. I did a more detailed post on this earlier, but the breakdown of Italians, Irish, Poles and Jews by metro is...

Boston - 36.73%
Philadelphia - 32.67%
New York - 30.13%
Baltimore - 21.75%
Washington, DC - 15.65%
Atlanta - 12.25%
Richmond - 12.18%

As you can see, Baltimore is halfway between the Northeastern powerhouses and traditionally Southern cities. But percentages don't really tell the full story as metro Philadelphia is much larger than metro Baltimore. There are more Italians in the Philadelphia MSA than there are Black people in the Baltimore MSA. And there are nearly as many Italians in the New York MSA as there are people in the Baltimore MSA. These communities give these areas a very distinct feeling from Baltimore.
Raw numbers are meaningless when you're comparing cities/metro areas of vastly different sizes. The percentages tell a more more realistic story, but it's not as straightforward as you think. I'm willing to bet that a good chunk of the European migrant descendants in Atlanta, Richmond, etc. are recent transplants from New York, Boston, etc. In any case, even if we do assume that the same percentages were the case 60 years ago, Baltimore still has always had a significant and thriving European immigrant community (unlike the vast majority of cities in the South) and Greektown, Little Italy, etc. are testaments to that.

Another area where Baltimore stands apart from the South is religion. While the largest religious denomination (overwhelmingly) in practically every major city in the South (except, of course New Orleans) is Baptist, Baltimore has long been a staunchly Roman Catholic city. This also applies to the state of MD as a whole (in terms of the largest denomination). Interestingly, the largest denomination in Delaware is Methodist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
New York has more Black residents than Memphis, Birmingham, and Atlanta too. The issue is that Blacks are much more of a minority here than they are in those cities.

Maryland is distinct from Northeastern states in that it's historically had a large Black population. And that's a characteristic of southern states.
I agree with this statement, but this singular fact doesn't automatically make the state southern (although it and the history of slavery makes the strongest case for doing so).
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,231,676 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
As I pointed out in my first post, I'm defining Maryland as it is today, although during and after the Civil War I would argue that it was never clearly and unquestionably a Southern state. As for Baltimore, I'd agree that Baltimore was a Northern city in the heart of a Dixie state, long before I'd agree that Baltimore is (or was) an atypical Southern city.
You can think that all you want. But writers and scholars of the day considered it a southern city. Two of Baltimore's most famous native sons--Reginald Lewis (the first African American billionaire) and John Waters (known for the movie "Hairspray," which is set in Baltimore)--even consider their hometown a southern city.

From Lewis' autobiography.

Quote:
The Baltimore of the 40s and 50s was a city of gentility, slow living and racial segregation. No one had heard of Martin Luther King..or civil rights...or integration. As in other Southern cities of the time, there were many things Black people in Baltimore couldn't do. They couldn't try on clothes at many downtown stores. They couldn't eat in certain restaurants or go to certain movie theaters.
And from a John Waters interview.

Quote:
But there’s a double-edged quality to Hairspray’s integration theme. “How serious is it to come out for integration in ’62? It’s a joke on message movies. That’s what happened, I lived through it—Baltimore was the South, and there was a lot of segregation there."
From the archives: John Waters' 'Hairspray' gets a 'shocking' PG rating

Do you think Bill Cosby or Chris Matthews--who grew up in 1940s and 50s Philadelphia--would call their hometown "southern?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
New Orleans was very different from the "traditional" Southern city throughout much of its history.
So was Baltimore.

Quote:
The reason it was so large up until the 1800's was because of the lucrative slave trade, which the Civil War put an end to.
New Orleans grew so large because it was at the mouth of the Mighty Mississippi. And Baltimore was very much tied into the slave trade.

Quote:
Baltimore was the second-most important port in the eighteenth-century South, after Charleston, South Carolina.
I mean, have you ever heard of a book called "Roots?" Kunta Kinte didn't arrive in Louisiana or South Carolina. He arrived in Maryland. That's how Maryland wound up with such a large African American population: slavery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
The city quickly fell out of the largest while cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Detroit, etc. industrialized and saw huge waves of immigrants from Europe and the South.
Philadelphia, Boston and New York industrialized on a much larger scale and much faster than Baltimore did. That's why the demographics of these cities are so different. Baltimore doesn't really fit the demographic profile of a northeastern city. Cities like Pittsburgh, Providence, Buffalo, Rochester, New Haven and Scranton have much more substantial Irish and Italian populations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
Raw numbers are meaningless when you're comparing cities/metro areas of vastly different sizes. The percentages tell a more more realistic story, but it's not as straightforward as you think.
They're not meaningless. We've skinned this cat up, down and sideways long before your entry into this thread. The fact is that Baltimore (and Washington) don't have the same percentages and numbers of these groups as northeastern cities. I mean, are you really going to argue with the numbers I laid out in plain sight for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
I'm willing to bet that a good chunk of the European migrant descendants in Atlanta, Richmond, etc. are recent transplants from New York, Boston, etc.
I'm sure that's true for Baltimore and the DC area too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpterp View Post
In any case, even if we do assume that the same percentages were the case 60 years ago, Baltimore still has always had a significant and thriving European immigrant community (unlike the vast majority of cities in the South) and Greektown, Little Italy, etc. are testaments to that.
New Orleans (Irish/Italian), Savannah (Irish), Memphis (Irish) and Atlanta (Jewish) have also had European immigrant communities.

The difference between Philadelphia (a true northeastern city) and Baltimore or St. Louis is that the former received such overwhelming numbers of White Catholics and Jews that ethnic identity endured much, much longer. Not only is this population several times bigger in Philly than it is in Baltimore, but Catholics and Jews actually came to overtake the White Protestant population. That's not the case in Baltimore where White Protestants outnumber Catholics and Jews.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,231,676 times
Reputation: 11726
Baltimore, really, is an outlier no matter what region you put it in. It is demographically different from a city like Richmond or Norfolk but also very demographically different from cities like Philadelphia or New York.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:12 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 2,750,594 times
Reputation: 931
Baltimore is Northeastern in the same way that Cleveland is Northeastern.
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