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America's 11 Nations

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mdchachi

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I happened across this article which posits that America is made up of 11 nations and explains pretty well the prevailing attitudes regarding government and guns. It all makes pretty good sense to me and I think it can help people make sense of what's going on in America this election season.
Summary:
Which of the 11 American nations do you live in? - The Washington Post
Actual article:
Tufts Magazine / fall 2013

I was going to post it into
Breaking news - host family murder-suicide | Japan Forum
which is a discussion that has gone off topic talking about America's relationship with guns.
But rather than continuing the off-topic tangent I thought I'd post it here for those who are interested.
 
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Interesting theory, but I can't agree with all of his conclusions. Americans tend to change their place of residence a lot, and transplants into different "nations" muddy the picture. I generally agree with his placement of Anchorage in the Far West, but most of our population are transplants from other states. I myself am a transplant from a region he calls Midlands, and my parents came from Yankeedom.

Most of Alaska is given First Nation status--erroneously, imho-- and poor Hawaii is completely ignored. Voting power is determined by population, not land area. Most Alaskans live in a few cities and towns, and Hawaii, as tiny as it is, has a larger population than Alaska.

My biggest complaint is his inclusion of parts of Canada and Mexico into these "nations." Both countries have much stricter gun control than the US, and are considered socialist countries in comparison with the US. Canada and Mexico both have national health care, for instance. Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia are rather different politically from Far West, in which they are lumped. It's anecdotal, I admit, but I've talked to western Canadians about gun control, and find their attitudes more closely resemble the nation this author calls Yankeedom.
 
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mdchachi

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Americans tend to change their place of residence a lot, and transplants into different "nations" muddy the picture. I generally agree with his placement of Anchorage in the Far West, but most of our population are transplants from other states. I myself am a transplant from a region he calls Midlands, and my parents came from Yankeedom.
He addressed this -- he said it's a survey of the dominant culture, not individuals, and that even in the reddest or bluest of areas there are still 20-40% of people who are on the "wrong" side.
As for the transplants, he's saying that like-minded people seem to gather together:
Our continent’s famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities
You seem to fit that pattern.

Most of Alaska is given First Nation status--erroneously, imho-- and poor Hawaii is completely ignored. Voting power is determined by population, not land area. Most Alaskans live in a few cities and towns, and Hawaii, as tiny as it is, has a larger population than Alaska.
Maybe you have to buy the book to find out where Hawaii stands. :)

My biggest complaint is his inclusion of parts of Canada and Mexico into these "nations."
Yes I also thought that was odd. I believe he is basing much of his analysis and maps on original settler patterns, not current demographics.

There's a lot of discussion about the areas, boundaries, etc. with the author here:
World Wide Woodard: Presenting the (slighty revised) American Nations map
 
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I don't think migrant people in the US gather in different regions because of political preferences. Most people move to a new place because of a job or family ties. Still, I expect every place has its own character that survives and outlives the people who live there.

I've been to Hawaii several times, and I would place it in with Left Coast, on island time. Almost always votes Democrat in national elections. Alaska goes Republican most of the time.
 
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