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Old 05-20-2015, 08:48 AM
 
Location: DC
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DC is not southern, not anymore. In fact if you even suggest it, people will get rightfully upset.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbank007 View Post
I agree with your overall assessment in reference to DC/Nova/Baltimore having the most striking clashes of southern and northern culture. Part of the reason I posted this topic is because I believe some people believe once you cross into another state the culture changes instantly from the previous area. For example, I think it would be illogical to assume Washington DC was 100% culturally northern, while Richmond was 100% culturally southern with the cities being one and a half hours apart. The two areas would naturally have some cultural overlap at some point.
I don't think there's any such thing as being "culturally" northern. When people say that, I think they usually mean an absence of stereotypically Southern characteristics (grits, sweet tea, accents, conservatism, Southern Baptists, poverty, etc.).

The Southerness of Washington, DC and Baltimore manifests itself in more subtle ways. There have been hundreds of Washington Post, City Paper and Baltimore Sun articles about this over the years. For example...

Quote:
Those who come to Baltimore from the opposite direction tend to have an opposite reaction. Peggy Stewart, who moved from Portland, Ore., to Towson with her family last year, says she was taken aback when youngsters called her “Miss Peggy.” “It’s very polite, very Southern,” she says. Elsewhere around town, she has noticed “a formally informal way about people” that to her seems distinctly Southern, as well.
http://www.baltimorestyle.com/index.....03clGnvh.dpuf

It's more or less those sorts of things that aren't necessarily easy to explain. The cultural heritage of that whole region is also more Southern-oriented with the crabbing heritage of the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland or the Preakness, for example. But by and large, there are no overt signs of Southern culture as you would see in Memphis. That really doesn't begin until Richmond, and even then, many of the Southernernisms there are fading away.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:34 AM
 
29,949 posts, read 27,441,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I don't think there's any such thing as being "culturally" northern. When people say that, I think they usually mean an absence of stereotypically Southern characteristics (grits, sweet tea, accents, conservatism, Southern Baptists, poverty, etc.).
I have to disagree with that; Western culture has an absence of stereotypical Southern characteristics as well (except in the transitions zones of west TX, east NM, western OK, etc). Personally, I tend to think of features like relatively dense urban cores, high percentages of ethnic Whites, large Catholic populations, a history of heavy industry, etc to be Northern features to some extent.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
I have to disagree with that; Western culture has an absence of stereotypical Southern characteristics as well (except in the transitions zones of west TX, east NM, western OK, etc). Personally, I tend to think of features like relatively dense urban cores, high percentages of ethnic Whites, large Catholic populations, a history of heavy industry, etc to be Northern features to some extent.
A "dense core" has nothing to do with culture. How is that a cultural element? That's something that many (not all) cities in the Northeast have in common, but that's not a cultural element. That's a similarity in the spatial environment.

Things like grits, sweet tea or the Southern Baptist Church, on the other hand, are cultural staples that are ubiquitous in much of the Southern United States. The Northeast and the Midwest don't really have anything that compares to those.

The only thing that distinguishes the Northeast completely from cities elsewhere are the demographics. NOWHERE in the United States outside of the Northeast do you have similar percentages of White ethnic ancestry. Northeastern Ohio may be the closest thing (which is why some argue it's "Northeastern").
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:54 AM
 
Location: DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
I have to disagree with that; Western culture has an absence of stereotypical Southern characteristics as well (except in the transitions zones of west TX, east NM, western OK, etc). Personally, I tend to think of features like relatively dense urban cores, high percentages of ethnic Whites, large Catholic populations, a history of heavy industry, etc to be Northern features to some extent.
I think this illustrates DC's northernerness than.
DC has a significant presence of Catholics and Catholic Universities, and not much in the way of southern evangelicism (it is practically non-existant outside of black churches). It is not until you get to the virginia exurbs that these more southern aspects creep up. Again the white protestant churches that are here tend to be either mainline or northern liberal.

In terms of ethnicity, the area whites are "german" identified in terms of ancestory in the DC and Maryland area, basically something more typical with the great lakes states and Pennsylvania, and "American" (basically Southern WASP) does not start until you get past richmond. The difference is the germanic ancestory is several generations in at this point as they were part of the early waves of immigrants. But they do identify ancestory with a list of European heritages.

With that being said, the DC area is where the southern black belt, and the northern german belt meet. American ethnicity map shows melting pot of ethnicities that make up the USA today | Daily Mail Online


So if one were to ask whether they were southern, it is pretty easy to see why there is absolute push away from that identity in DC, and why mid-atlantic and northern is used. I stress northern, not northeastern. Never mind the statues of lincoln everywhere in the city.

Virginia is a different story, but it always is. Virginia is complicated. But I would say without question more southern than anything else.

Last edited by DistrictSonic; 05-20-2015 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictSonic View Post
I think this illustrates DC's northernerness than.
DC has a significant presence of Catholics and Catholic Universities, and not much in the way of southern evangelicism (it is practically non-existant outside of black churches). It is not until you get to the virginia exurbs that these more southern aspects creep up. Again the white protestant churches that are here tend to be either mainline or northern liberal.
It is true that DC has more Catholic schools compared to any place in the South. But those schools were also in DC when it was unquestionably a Southern city (Catholic Univeristy was established in 1887). And the area's White population has always been WASPy compared to its northern neighbors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictSonic View Post
In terms of ethnicity, the area whites are "german" identified in terms of ancestory in the DC and Maryland area, basically something more typical with the great lakes state and Pennsylvania, and "American" (basically Southern WASP) does not start until you get past richmond. The difference is the germanic ancestory is several generations in at this point as they were part of the early waves of immigrants. But they do identify ancestory with a list of European heritages.
The largest European ancestry in Hampton Roads (and the state of Virginia) is German.

As far as ethnicity goes, the big transition seems to be going from counties in North Carolina where "American" is the largest ancestry to counties in Virginia and Maryland where German is the largest ancestry to Delaware/New Jersey where Irish or Italian become the largest European ancestries. That remains the case from the Delaware Valley all the way through Southern New Hampshire.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Another interesting tidbit is how the Northeast is almost completely dominated by three cities: Boston, New York and Philadelphia. I know some people say "Why use those cities as the standard for the entire Northeast" but they *do* constitute nearly the entire Northeast. The Boston, New York and Philadelphia CSAs account for 70% of the region's population.

Of that 70% (roughly 39 million people), 30.5% identify as Italian, Irish, Jewish or Polish. That's 52% of all non-Hispanic Whites.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:36 AM
 
Location: DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
It is true that DC has more Catholic schools compared to any place in the South. But those schools were also in DC when it was unquestionably a Southern city (Catholic Univeristy was established in 1887). And the area's White population has always been WASPy compared to its northern neighbors.



The largest European ancestry in Hampton Roads (and the state of Virginia) is German.

As far as ethnicity goes, the big transition seems to be going from counties in North Carolina where "American" is the largest ancestry to counties in Virginia and Maryland where German is the largest ancestry to Delaware/New Jersey where Irish or Italian become the largest European ancestries. That remains the case from the Delaware Valley all the way through Southern New Hampshire.
The identity of DC as WASPy is a common misunderstanding of the areas black population rather than something based in truth. It's germanic and mostly European ethnic mutts in both DC and the sorrounding areas (generations in and upper-middle class), and pretty easy to identify as much if you are white. But those who are black simply do not get this and mis-identify it as WASP, and it shows their ignorance on the white population every single time. Again, German, Belgium, and French that tended to dominate the area as supposed to Polish, Irish, and Italien. Albiet even the DC area has a large Irish population. Even our federal bureaucracy took on elements of Germanic technical governance, and away from the English common law system one finds in courts. The influence of the german middle class has fingerprints all of the actual adminstration of governance in DC. The german influence is everywhere in DC, if you actually know how to look. It also has fingerprints on the suburbs hyper-competitive nature in terms of education. The future oriented northern european construct is everywhere here.

With that being said, DC is such a transplant city the population turns over significantly almost every thirty years. But it has become significantly more northern over time. The cities constant change is it's most common feature.

It was a southern city originally, but that is no longer the case.

Last edited by DistrictSonic; 05-20-2015 at 10:51 AM..
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:40 AM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,276,304 times
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Originally Posted by Kbank007 View Post
I agree with most of this; I doubt many people will disagree with your overall opinion. However, to what degree are the cities of Maryland northern compared to the cities of northern, central, and eastern Virginia. Would you consider Fredricksburg VA more northern or southern culturally, or how about Waldorf MD for example?
I think Virginia is mostly southern, but go north of Richmond/I-64 and things get iffy. For example, I always say Virginia is more similar to Maryland after you pass Kings Dominion going up I-95. Areas further south like Richmond/Petersburg are a little more similar to North Carolina IMO.

Fredericksburg is a tough one. There is rich Confederate heritage in that area, and Robert E. Lee was born outside the town. However, today, it is often grouped in with Northern Virginia/metro DC. Overall, I'd say it leans more towards southern, but it's solidly Mid-Atlantic these days. Charlottesville is probably in the same boat. Not too familiar with Waldorf so I won't comment.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,272 posts, read 26,279,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictSonic View Post
The identity of DC as WASPy is a common misunderstanding of the areas black population rather than something based in truth. It's germanic and mostly European ethnic mutts in both DC and the sorrounding areas (generations in and upper-middle class), and pretty easy to identify as much if you are white. But those who are black simply do not get this and mis-identify it as WASP, and it shows their ignorance on the white population every single time.
Most white people in the United States (including the South) are ethnic mutts. And DC area has no type of German ethnic profile whatsoever. That barely even exists in heavily German metros like Milwaukee.
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