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View Poll Results: The South has defined the culture of the US more than any other region?
Yes it has 21 21.65%
No it hasn't 76 78.35%
Voters: 97. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-02-2017, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Well...it certainly defines the culture of the south.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Its very very influential but it alone hasn't defined the culture. No single region has. You can't dismiss the massive influence the Northeast has had. Especially in urbanisation. Hell, the words "downtown" and "uptown" originated in New York City and today are used around the world. Even cities like London and Paris use the word 'downtown.' And the Midwest cannot be ignored. I mean, look at the automotive industry. Took off in the Great Lakes region. The Midwest is also used to represent "Middle America" and the average Joe Americana. The images of white picket fences, fresh apple pies, these are very much related to the Midwest. You can find more Americana communities in the Midwest than anywhere else.

Also can't ignore the west. The images of the Wild West are a huge part of the American fabric, plus the incredible cultural influence from California and I don't only mean Hollywood.

And of course credit must be given where its due to the South for its huge influence on American food, music, culture etc. Black and White Americans have created so many genres across the South. Jazz in Louisiana, the Blues in Mississippi. Rock and roll, country etc. Hip hop wouldn't have originated in New York without the blues having originated down South. Also give me great comfort food over a hamburger or hot dog any day. Fresh buttered biscuits, crispy fried chicken, cold sweet tea, a delicious pecan pie.. Mmm mmm mmmm!
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Kent, UK/ Rhode Island, US
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I'm gonna go with no. Mainly because I think the statement used is too strong, I don't think the south alone defined the culture of the US. However, I agree with what you say in the OP. I think the south has the most deep and distinct culture, its probably best counter-attack to those who say the US has no culture. The Northeast(especially New England) and Midwest does have its own distinct culture, but its sadly been diluted by the strong cultures of European Jews, Irish and Italians. So this gives the south the edge having the most authentic US culture. Always a shame Southern culture isn't emphasised more(outside rednecks and other horrible stereotypes) when someone is trying to represent US culture

Last edited by A.J240; 04-13-2017 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Denver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.J240 View Post
I'm gonna go with no. Mainly because I think the statement used is too strong, I don't think the south alone defined the culture of the US. However, I agree with what you say in the OP. I think the south has the most deep and distinct culture, its probably best counter-attack to those who say the US has no culture. The Northeast(especially New England) and Midwest does have its own distinct culture, but its sadly been diluted by the strong cultures of European Jews, Irish and Italians. So this gives the south the edge having the most authentic US culture. Always a shame Southern culture isn't emphasised more(outside rednecks and other horrible stereotypes) when someone is trying to represent US culture
Isn't Midwestern and Northeast culture primarily defined by it's European immigrants?
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:48 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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I would say that both the South and the Midwest best epitomizes traditional American culture and values. For example America as a hardworking, Christian nation that cares about family values and personal responsibility and individualism and self-sufficiency. The America where people still say Merry Christmas and go to church. When I think of the all-American meals it would consist of things like country fried steak, fried catfish, homemade meat loaf, hot dogs with slaw and chili, and barbecue ribs, not organic fusion cuisine or Mexican fusion cuisine.

When I think of an iconic American image, I think of a small town Main Street, not a mixed use development in a yuppie neighborhood. To me there's something more authentically all-American about a rancher in the Texas Panhandle or a West Virginia coal miner than a Starbucks drinking yuppie working in HR.

But today unfortunately it seems like California is the trend setter. And I think we've all lost something.
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:52 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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Originally Posted by tom77falcons View Post
How much on literature is debatable.


Not Southern: Emily Dickenson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Melville, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Salinger, etc. Southerners don't have a dominance on US literature.


Also, everyone seems to be forgetting the huge American contribution to the world in the creation of musical theatre known as Broadway. So many great American Broadway composers are actually products of NYC Jewish culture. Not Southern at all. US culture is known for Broadway all over the world. No one goes to Atlanta for Broadway, they go to NYC. NYC is a huge culture definer of the US around the world. People like Sinatra, Streisand, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, many great American playwrites, producers, directors, etc are from NYC or the Northeast or other areas outside the South.


This thread is another one of these "Oh how wonderful the South is compared to the rest of America blah blah". So tiring. City Data needs a sub forum for just Southerners to echo to each other how much they love the South. Every other thread it seems has some theme about what Southern really is.
Ernest Hemingway spent more time in Florida than anywhere else. While the Keys, particularly Key West IS a very quirky and distinct place, its technically the South. Most of his works were written in his home in Key West which is a major attraction today, including his private writing studio there on the property. Edgar Allen Joe should also count as Southern.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:03 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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Originally Posted by BeerBellyBilly View Post
By the way I'm not saying the rest of the US is devoid of culture. The East Coast and New England has a rich history and many amazing foods and things come from there. The difference however is take NYC for example, the culture they created there that spread is distinctly Irish, Jewish, or Italian. The culture every other region has produced is not really American or something new, the South is different.

I believe reasons being is southern culture is old. If your parents moved to the south and you were raised there you are from the south, but you are not southern. I am southern, my family has lived in GA 400 years, and we have the gravesites to prove it.

Also the south lacked opportunity for people from there till only after WWII. The large plantation owners were the minority. Most white southerners and all black southerners were trapped in abject poverty and isolation for hundreds of years. When focusing on your career isn't a reality, focusing on your passions becomes all you have.

Another reason is northerners know there old world heritage or identify with a prominent European group. Except for the planter class and plantation owners most southern white were mutts, a mix before they even arrived here, and the mixing continued after. I myself am 8 different nationalities of European, and Native American and a little African American. I'm just an average white southern guy. I identify as a white American and nothing else. I have no culture or history before we arrived in this land we were just oppressed gypsy mutts in Europe. My black ancestors were African mutts and slaves in Africa and my native part lived where I currently live and am from. There is no "old world" to true southerners like me. Georgia is my homeland.

Blacks were stripped of there culture, and 100s of tribes with different cultures were forced to become one. It was nessary for the white southerner and critical to the African American especially to create a new all American culture to survive. The north and planter class on the other hand were not mutts or displaced or stripped of there culture and had opportunity so they didn't need to develop a strong American culture, instead watered down versions of there homeland was good enough.

White southerners developed a cutler which eventually made them acceptable and even cool to te rest of the country that hated and distrusted them and think about this. If African Americans had not created there own culture (different from southern white but still southern) would they even be free? If it weren't for the blues, rock, rap music, etc would whites have ever even gave them any rights or seen them as human? African Americans had no choice but develop a rich culture just to survive and have hope, and they did, they developed on that is similar in many ways to white southern culture but in fact even much richer and deeper than southern white culture which is 2nd place in America. Make no mistake though. All African American culture is a black thing, but also ALL African American culture is southern or has southern roots. The positive and the negative.
This is very true. I've heard that a lot of the rural Upper Midwest is still dominated by a watered down version of German and Scandinavian culture today. Same with places like New Jersey. Yes people speak English now instead of Italian and Polish but they are still mostly Catholic even to this day. In fact almost every Catholic I know is of Irish, Italian, Polish, or Hispanic descent. I think the exceptions in the South would be South Florida and South Louisiana with the distinct Cajun and Creole identities. There are some older Cajuns who still speak French at home and the Louisiana legal system is still based on the French one and they have parishes instead of counties. However South Louisiana is distinctly Southern yet unique at the same time.

California does have its own unique culture but its a very shallow culture compared to the South.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
This is very true. I've heard that a lot of the rural Upper Midwest is still dominated by a watered down version of German and Scandinavian culture today. Same with places like New Jersey. Yes people speak English now instead of Italian and Polish but they are still mostly Catholic even to this day. In fact almost every Catholic I know is of Irish, Italian, Polish, or Hispanic descent. I think the exceptions in the South would be South Florida and South Louisiana with the distinct Cajun and Creole identities. There are some older Cajuns who still speak French at home and the Louisiana legal system is still based on the French one and they have parishes instead of counties. However South Louisiana is distinctly Southern yet unique at the same time.

California does have its own unique culture but its a very shallow culture compared to the South.
It's shallow because it doesn't have as much history(it's newer and was settled way later). It's a similar reason why New England/Northeast culture feels more sophsticated than Southern culture....it's older and developed more rapidly 200-300 yrs back.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:14 PM
 
9,382 posts, read 9,532,267 times
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Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
Isn't Midwestern and Northeast culture primarily defined by it's European immigrants?
Hey I have a question, where does the word Cajun come from?
Where is Fried Chicken From?
How about the First Banjo?
Where was Football invented?
How about all those Anglicans?
If you answered "The American South" for any of these questions, you are wrong.
Canada, Scotland, Portuguese African trade outposts, New Jersey, and England
Its almost as if everything in America is based of the people who came here.
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