American Nations:
A History of the Eleven
Rival Regional Cultures of North America
Nations with distinct identities and values formed a shaky pact in hops of 
 slowly growing into one nation.
9//25/ 2012
by Colin Woodard   Purchase American Nations   

Summary from author/editor Walter Antoniotti
Under Construction 10/4/18

Book Review/Summary

"1. The First Nations American natives worked well with French in Northern areas until broken promises and English beliefs about their own superiority soured them.

2. El Norte – These outposts of Spain's Colonial Empire consisted of independent minded Spanish frontiersman ranchers coming up from Mexico.

3. New France – Expanding the French colonies, these furs trading explorers wanted to take care of the lands they settled in Canada and upper New England. They were explorers, not terribly ideological, who wanted to trade. They integrated peacefully with Native Americans and wanted to take care of the land.

4. Yankeedom – Founders wanted to create a Puritanical fundamentalist Utopia with mandated education, justice, rights for all humans. They hated the English and most wanted freedom of Relegion as long as it was their own.

5. New Netherlands – Dutch founders wanted to trade furs and engage in shipping from a cosmopolitan meeting place. Did not care about English politics or slavery.

6. The Midlands – Quaker William Penn wanted a tolerant isolated Quaker anti-slavery society. They loathed the Yankee religious theocracies.



7. Tidewater – English gentry created estates in Virginia using indentured servitude but they switched to slavery when the indentured servitude system degraded.

8. Deep South – English traders from Barbados where they acquired resources using violence and slavery. In Charleston they grew cotton in a society designed to benefit a wealthy few.


9. Greater Appalachia –Mostly  lowland  contrarians from Scotland and Ireland came to  escaped English domination. They settled in poorer Appalachians lands. These hearty people valued individual liberty.

10. The Left Coast – Ingenious people who moved West to preserve the land's natural beauty. Wanted a  utopian planned educated community.

11. The Far West – Explorers, hunters and. adventures were joined by East Coast anti-government capitalists. They  railroads and river transport to create wealth from mining, lumber and oil."



Colin Woodard's Books



Author's Prelude

Native Relations
  Capital Food Drink Music Sport Fashion Vehicle Spirit Animal
Yankeedom   Motif Boston dairy microbrews R&B or Motown hockey scarf Cadillac moose
New Netherlands     New York City floppy pizza champagne hip-hop baseball sneakers taxi rat
Midlands     Pittsburgh dogs, burgers light beer Blues Brothers basketball mom jeans minivan wild turkey
Tidewater Savages Aristocratic Baltimore crab martini John Philip Sousa golf power suit black SUV terrapin
Deep South     Atlanta barbecue Budweiser country football ten-gallon hat an old pickup feral hog
El Norte     Tucson Tex-Mex tequila Latin pop rodeo cowboy boots convertible rattlesnake
Greater Appalachia     Louisville fried chicken whiskey folk/bluegrass hunting & fishing trucker hat 1969 Charger bald eagle
Left Coast     Portland salmon red wine indie running plaid/flannel Toyota Prius blue whale
Far West     Salt Lake City beef/bison Coors Light classic rock X-Games leather Ford F-150 grizzly bear
New France As equals Utopian New Orleans jambalaya bourbon jazz uhh… shrimpin'? beads airboat? alligator

Before you leave angry comments, know this: I tried to identify the item in each category that was most representative of the nation.
For example, LA is the biggest city in El Norte, but does it really represent its history and culutre? Tucson or El Paso might be a better fit.
Same with the Midlands – Philadelphia is the biggest city and would be a shoe-in in the 18th or 19th century, but what about now?
Pittsburgh seems to most fully exemplify the industrial, heartland, unassuming, live-and-let-live attitude of the Midlands. Feel free to disagree, though.

Happy Thanksgiving for whatever American Nation you are in

Editor's Political Economy Summary

Book Is much more explanative.

Under Construction

Early Colonial Native Relations Motif  


Disastrous Wars
Local Control
Relegiouse Authoritarianism
1676 King Philips War Began Two Century Indian_Removal
New Netherlands trade then
Disastrous Wars
1664 AlI Immigrates Welcome
Midlands Varied From Amish Utopia to
Scott/Irish German Temperaments
Pontiac War

Disastrous Wars
Indentured Servant Tobacco Base Aristocratic  
Deep South Disastrous Wars Barbados Slave Code Autocracy 1619 Begins Representative Democracy and Slavery__
El Norte      
Greater Appalachia Disastrous Wars Rebellious, Destitute, Oppressed,  Indolent, Scotch/Irish Paxton Boys
Left Coast      
Far West      
New France As equals, trade, integrated, utopian Utopian  
Editor's Political Economy Summary

Book Is much more explanative.

Under Construction


New Netherland


Deep South      
El Norte      
Greater Appalachia      
Left Coast      
Far West      
New France      




The 2011 Elections, the Tea Party, and the American Nations

In  the current issue of the magazine, I argue that the United States really comprises eleven distinct regional cultures or nations, each with their own founding ideals, values, and intents, and that the Tea Party movement is doomed to failure in three of the most powerful of them. (For more on this thesis, don’t hesitate to read my new book.)

As I wrote in the issue, the United States is composed of multiple regions. They include:

Yankeedom, which has put great emphasis on perfecting earthly society through social engineering, individual self-denial for the common good, and the aggressive assimilation of outsiders.

The Midlands, which spawned the culture of Middle America and the Heartland, where ethnic and ideological purity have never been a priority, government has been seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion has been moderate, even apathetic.

The Deep South has been a bastion of white supremacy, aristocratic privilege, and a version of classical Republicanism modeled on the slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was the privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many. Its slave and caste systems smashed by outside intervention, it continues to fight for rollbacks of federal power, taxes on capital and the wealthy, and environmental, labor, and consumer safety protections.ce Reconstruction and, especially, the upheavals of the 1960s, it has been in alliance with the Deep South in an effort to undo the federal government’s ability to overrule local preferences.

Appalachia, in contrast, transplanted a culture formed in a state of near-constant warfare and upheaval, characterized by a warrior ethic and a deep commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. Appalachia has shifted alliances based on whoever appeared to be the greatest threat to its freedom; since Reconstruction and, especially, the upheavals of the 1960s, it has been in alliance with the Deep South in an effort to undo the federal government’s ability to overrule local preferences.

The Tea Party agenda – reduce federal power, taxes, social services, and environmental, labor, and voting protections – may perfectly match that of the Deep Southern oligarchy, but it’s a tough sell in the sprawling nation of Yankeedom (a.k.a. Greater New England) where the freedom and wellbeing of the community have taken precedence over individual interests since the days of the early Puritans. These regions cut across state boundaries—the north of Ohio, for instance, was settled by Yankees, its middle by Midlander Quakers and Germans, and its hilly south by Appalachian Scots-Irish.

This week’s elections bolstered this argument, with Tea Party-backed initiatives having been reversed by chastening margins by Yankee voters in Maine and the Yankee-settled Western Reserve of Ohio. Mainers overturned a new law that would have ended same-day voter registration (despite the fact that its Republican backers could find no evidence of voter fraud) 60-40, chastening Tea Party-backed Gov. Paul LePage. In Ohio, all ten Yankee counties voted to overturn a new law that denied collective bargaining rights to public sector workers, in a measure that went down 61-39 statewide.

But the really interesting development in the Nov. 8 vote was that the people of Greater Appalachia appear fed up with Tea Party excesses as well, at least in so far as they infringe on workers’ labor rights or the ability of citizens to elect U.S. Senators. Thirty-nine of Ohio’s 41 Appalachian counties voted for the repeal, with a margin of 60-40, compared to 64-36 in both Yankee and Midlander Ohio.

n Kentucky – all of which lies in Appalachia – voters sided with Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear 55-35 over self-declared Tea Partier David Williams, who wanted to repeal the 17th amendment and make the selection of U.S. Senators the purview of state legislators, not voters. That Williams had defeated a more radical Tea Partier, Phil Moffett, in the GOP primary added salt to the Kentucky movements’ wounds. Democrats swept the other statewide offices as well, including the Secretary of State position sought after by another Tea Partier, Bill Johnson, who garnered less than 40 percent of the vote.

That’s not to say Appalachia has ceased to be socially conservative. On Tuesday, Mississippi voters defeated a measure that would have amended the state constitution to define “personhood” as beginning at conception by a wide margin. Conspicuous in their dissent were the state’s seven Appalachian counties: every one voted for the measure by double-digit margins, most of them by more than 20 points.

But if a large majority of voters in the Midlands and Greater Appalachia have begun to doubt the wisdom of the Tea Party’s Deep Southern platform, 2012 could be very rough going for the candidates who’ve embraced its agenda