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View Poll Results: Which of the following represents the most true southern state?
Georgia 30 8.85%
Louisiana 16 4.72%
Mississippi 178 52.51%
Alabama 82 24.19%
South Carolina 33 9.73%
Voters: 339. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-30-2008, 01:38 AM
 
5,031 posts, read 7,656,801 times
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Southern values? Now that's a topic for another conversation for sure.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Orlando
8,183 posts, read 11,001,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
As a native-born Tennessean, long-time resident of Alabama and short-time resident of Georgia, with relatives in North Carolina, I find this discussion ridiculous. "Southern" is a perception that belongs to the viewer, and can be based on real life, movies, novels, heresay...usually it's fantasy. Think of the visitor who comes to Atlanta looking for Tara. It doesn't exist and never did!

The South is a broad area. Who is to say the Appalachians are any less "Southern" than Charleston S.C.? Why is Mississippi, with casinos on one end, automobile plants in the middle, and warehousing in the north, "pure," while Alabama is not?

Azaleas are natives of Japan, not the Southeastern United States.

I resent the pigeon-holing effort.
So you're saying you resent people having an opinion about the south?
Are you serious?

I've lived in 40 different states and have friends and relatives in just about all of them.....Hell I should resent just about every question and stupid poll on this forum. But I don't cuz I know they are just opinions.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
6,758 posts, read 14,342,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
As a native-born Tennessean, long-time resident of Alabama and short-time resident of Georgia, with relatives in North Carolina, I find this discussion ridiculous. "Southern" is a perception that belongs to the viewer, and can be based on real life, movies, novels, heresay...usually it's fantasy. Think of the visitor who comes to Atlanta looking for Tara. It doesn't exist and never did!

The South is a broad area. Who is to say the Appalachians are any less "Southern" than Charleston S.C.? Why is Mississippi, with casinos on one end, automobile plants in the middle, and warehousing in the north, "pure," while Alabama is not?

Azaleas are natives of Japan, not the Southeastern United States.

I resent the pigeon-holing effort.
Great post!!!!
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:23 AM
 
9,766 posts, read 10,708,714 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
As a native-born Tennessean, long-time resident of Alabama and short-time resident of Georgia, with relatives in North Carolina, I find this discussion ridiculous. "Southern" is a perception that belongs to the viewer, and can be based on real life, movies, novels, heresay...usually it's fantasy. Think of the visitor who comes to Atlanta looking for Tara. It doesn't exist and never did!

The South is a broad area. Who is to say the Appalachians are any less "Southern" than Charleston S.C.? Why is Mississippi, with casinos on one end, automobile plants in the middle, and warehousing in the north, "pure," while Alabama is not?

Azaleas are natives of Japan, not the Southeastern United States.

I resent the pigeon-holing effort.
Hey Southlander! You and I have had some good conversations on other threads (and almost always agreeing! LOL). As to this one? Well, I think you make some VERY good points (more on that in a minute), however where we part company (and I hope you know I mean this very respectfully) is that I don't there is anything wrong, nor anything is meant, by people listing states which, according to their own perceptions of the South, are the "most Southern."

Sure, the topic almost by definition guarantees there will be a certain amount of myth and even innocent misconceptions involved, (just like there is with my native state of Texas), but I think what the OP intended, and the way most are replying, is where, in their own opinion, those things most often thought of as "Southern" exist in their most concentrated and undiluted form. Whether in reality or myth. I personally find it interesting, and harmless.

But yes, again, you make some good points that I would agree with on many levels. For instance, I define the South largely in historical terms (which embraces political history, common institutions and culture, etc). To me, it is the 11 Old Confederate States plus Kentucky (and depending, certain other border states fit occasionally). And I too have often argued passionately (and I hope persuasively! LOL) against the notion that the South consists only of a few states self-defined by some of what are called "Deep South purists." In other words, the South has NEVER been a monolithic region, but one of variety and diversity and bonded by common experiences of history and culture...not just limited to areas of plantations, moonlight and magnolias! LOL In fact, I once started a thread on the topic

What makes the South "Southern"?

At the risk of boring everyone, I also want to post an excerpt from my opening statement on that thread which kind of sums up all the above:

What is it, that makes the South "Southern"?

Another way to put it is, what subjective or objective criteria is it which would make no one exclude Mississippi or Alabama from the South, yet debate the status of say, Texas, Florida, Virginia, or even Arkansas?

As a native Texan who not only embraces "Southern studies" as an avocation, but considers myself every bit as Southern as anyone in the Deep South, this question is one I have always pondered over.

Historically speaking, today's Deep South states have no more claim to the appellation "Southern" than does Texas (or any of the other above mentioned states). For many, many years after the War Between the States, the South was simply understood to mean those that made up the Old Confederacy (and often embraced Kentucky as well). Distinctions between which were "more Southern" were not made for quite a while. Texas and Virginia were the South equally with Georgia and South Carolina. It was unquestioned fact.

BUT...as time when on (and I have my own thoughts on why, which I will share later), the definition seemed to "evolve" to the point that, nowadays, some in the Deep South feel they are the ONLY Southerners, and can exclude states which traditionally belonged, with confidence. Why for instance, would Mississippi be undeniably Southern while Texas is debatable, even though both fought equally hard and long and devoted in the Confederacy?

I don't make that observation in a note of bitterness at all, but as one truly interested in WHY it is so?


Anyway, I hope my sentiments show I that, even if we word it differently, that I DO understand where you are coming from. At the same time though, coming back the full circle, IMHO -- and once again with all due respect -- I don't think the intent of most here are to stereotype, but rather just having a bit of fun and sharing some thoughts on what areas most fit the imagine of their OWN "mythic South."

Last edited by TexasReb; 05-30-2008 at 10:39 AM..
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:37 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island and Atlanta, GA
12,619 posts, read 18,457,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
Azaleas are natives of Japan, not the Southeastern United States.
There are several varieties of azalea that are indigeneous to the SE US...they cover a large part of the world, actually.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Illinois
3,014 posts, read 5,739,068 times
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Thank you for all of the well though out replies with a personal touch of experience. I asked this question because in the next year to two years I will be graduating from Olivet Nazarene University with a degree in Elementary Education. I plan on moving to what I consider the Deep South. I do not wish to live in a state dominated by a city similar to Georgia. I am from the Chicago area and work in downtown Chicago at the moment. Although big cities have their perks (especially in the summer) I want the southern temperament both literally and figuratively.

I am really only considering Alabama and Mississippi. I want untouched nature. I want to move somewhere with less traffic, pollution, and crime than Chicago. I want the hot and humid weather. I want the southern belles and I want the Southern Hospitality. Thank you all for your input. I had considered Alabama to be the frontrunner but now I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up in Turkey Creek, MS.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Road Warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
What is it, that makes the South "Southern"?
TexReb, I guess the question should be what makes the South distinct ... and yes it is a distinct region in American history, the colonial era, the civil war, civil rights, the list goes on and on, and imbedded in this tradition unlike any other region with perhaps the northeast is that of a long heritage of families and the importance of family values in the South. It definetly is not a definite set of heritage, lineage or values, but there are trends and certain trends in a certain region do put a distinct "flavor" as I would call it today, as I have often said, some would disagree, the South is no longer a region, it is a philosophy of life.

Quote:
Historically speaking, today's Deep South states have no more claim to the appellation "Southern" than does Texas (or any of the other above mentioned states). For many, many years after the War Between the States, the South was simply understood to mean those that made up the Old Confederacy (and often embraced Kentucky as well). Distinctions between which were "more Southern" were not made for quite a while. Texas and Virginia were the South equally with Georgia and South Carolina. It was unquestioned fact.


Yup and furthermore if Texas is not "South" where is such a vast chunk of land, it can be considered both "South", "West", "SouthWest", "Country Western" and the list goes on and on. Yet there are some of the proudest "Southerners" in Texas and if so, they shall be what they wish to be, "Southerners", there is the fact that as South a region, as South a philosophy of life.

Quote:
BUT...as time when on (and I have my own thoughts on why, which I will share later), the definition seemed to "evolve" to the point that, nowadays, some in the Deep South feel they are the ONLY Southerners, and can exclude states which traditionally belonged, with confidence. Why for instance, would Mississippi be undeniably Southern while Texas is debatable, even though both fought equally hard and long and devoted in the Confederacy?


Well traditionally the confederacy claimed Kentucky though never held a stronghold and Oklahoma which was Indian terrritory battles were fought, also considerably SouthWestern/Midwestern. West Virginia seceded and Virginia was where most battles and General Robert E. Lee resided (Mid-Atlantic today). But are we talking geographically or historically? In your case it is neither, it is culturally. It is same as saying North America includes U.S.A. and Canada, it is cultural, geographically it would include U.S.A., Canada and Mexico but unvariably our culture is more similar to that of Canada and Mexico's culture is more similar to that of Latin/Central/South America. A cultural context especially within one vast union of states, is harder to define and with today's mobile society I can tell you it's a whole can of worms, I would settle it with three seperate categories for Southern as in 1. cultural 2. geographical and 3. historical, hope this helps.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Yup and furthermore if Texas is not "South" where is such a vast chunk of land, it can be considered both "South", "West", "SouthWest", "Country Western" and the list goes on and on. Yet there are some of the proudest "Southerners" in Texas and if so, they shall be what they wish to be, "Southerners", there is the fact that as South a region, as South a philosophy of life.
Hey Ranger, enjoyed reading your post and lots to agree with. As concerns the particular point above, that is to say a "Southerner" being someone who considers themselves such (provided certain other credentials are in order! LOL), I always thought the survey pasted below was very interesting. I have shared it before on various other threads, but it seems apt here as well. It was the "average" of 14 seperate "Southern Focus Polls" over a period of 7 years. The intent was to find "the South" by where a majority of people considered themselves to live in the South, and to be Southerners.

********

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)

*********

What I thought was particularly noteworthy is the "gap" between the two questions in terms of affirmitive answers. For instance, Florida is the best example. While over 90% say they live in the South, only the barest majority (51%) consider themselves to be Southerners. Virginia is another good example of this, as is Texas to a lesser extent. I think it safe to say a goodly part of the reason reflects migration patterns over the years, which ties into your note about an ever more mobile society.
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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South Carolina with out a doubt. From the Romantic Low Country with its gator filled Cypress Swamps, the romantic genteelism, working plantations, blackwater rivers, and the gallant chivalry of the antebellum south that to most is “gone with the wind” to the Upstate- the buckle of the Bible belt, where the blue ridge yawns its greatness, where conviction and passion still live in the hearts of its residents. South Carolinians have a stronger sense of independence than residents of any other state in the US. What could be more southern? Political Correctness is ignored, a man’s word is his bond, and it is perfectly acceptable for a wife to rear children and tend the home. The Confederate battle flag flies at the State’s capitol. The state’s flag is the same flag that was established in 1861 as the national flag of the Palmetto Republic. December 20, 1860 South Carolina declared its independence from the US, making it the birthplace of the confederacy. What could be more southern? South Carolina is the nation’s leading producer of peaches. Of the entire US, South Carolina has the highest percentage of Christian residents . Boiled peanuts, sweet tea, bbq (by this I refer to pulled pork with a mustard based sauce on a bun), RC Cola, moon pies, shrimp & grits, frog legs, gator tail, venison, and low country boils, fireworks, flip flops, fishing, hunting (longest deer season in the US), horse races, college football (Carolina v. Clemson) are part of everyday life.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,947 posts, read 8,945,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie117 View Post
Hard to go by state....I think it's more of a band stretching across several Southern states that are truly 'Southern'. It starts in the middle of SC (except Columbia and Charlotte Suburbs) rolls across middle and Southern Georgia, through middle and lower Alabama (the Northern portion is mostly transplants)...and then on into most of Mississippi. Arkansas also shares in this 'band'. Mississippi shows the most untainted, and most genuine Southern-ness.
Northwest Arkansas is mostly transplants. The southern drawl begins to fade in that part of the state. People here will be happy to know that is also the most socially liberal part of the state.
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