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View Poll Results: Will Virginia one day not be considered southern?
Yes 25 38.46%
No 40 61.54%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bossabreezes View Post
Maybe being Southern is a negative to you, but please do not define what is positive or negative for me.

I don't associate Southern culture with only negative things. I associate it with many things, including:

-History of Slavery
-Very warm, welcoming, friendly people
-Amazing Food
-Specific Architecture
-Accent

So, if you are a self-loathing Southerner, that's 100% your right and prerogative. But your definitions, however skewed they might be, do not paint the picture of a whole ethnographic group. Pretty ridiculous and discriminatory.
I see. You're just very passionate about Ms. Tuttle's timing and her status as an Ohioan, both of which are aspects of Miami's settlement that are vital to know and which must be respected.

Well, okay then.
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  #22  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:46 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
I think the real question is what will "southern" mean in the future. We tend to think of places in the south as not being "southern" as they urbanize, so does the southern identity just get discarded?
Depends on who's coming in and what direction culture is diffusing (are the new transplants changing the place culturally, or assimilating to it?). Atlanta and Nashville are both rapidly-growing urban centers that still have a very strong Southern cultural imprint. I would guess Atlanta at 10 million will still feel strongly Southern.

In Houston, the new neighbors are disproportionately Latinos and Western liberal Whites. As it urbanizes, Houston will become less and less culturally Southern. I already don't think of Austin or Dallas as Southern, and I never thought of San Antonio as Southern regardless of what happened 159 years ago.
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  #23  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
Depends on who's coming in and what direction culture is diffusing (are the new transplants changing the place culturally, or assimilating to it?). Atlanta and Nashville are both rapidly-growing urban centers that still have a very strong Southern cultural imprint. I would guess Atlanta at 10 million will still feel strongly Southern.

In Houston, the new neighbors are disproportionately Latinos and Western liberal Whites. As it urbanizes, Houston will become less and less culturally Southern. I already don't think of Austin or Dallas as Southern, and I never thought of San Antonio as Southern regardless of what happened 159 years ago.
I don't know Houston or Nashville, but Atlanta (metro) feels about as southern to me as Dallas feels Texan. Maybe even less southern in Atlanta. Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham seem even less southern than either Atlanta or Dallas.
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  #24  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:55 PM
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watch some of the midwestern Kitchen Nightmares and get back to me on what people associate with the south. it’s just inconceivable to me that any restaurant in the south could approach this level of absolute culinary soul destruction. just like someone with a serotonin crash aching for sweet sweet death serving half frozen processed chicken cubes from the freezer floor on stale nacho chips.

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  #25  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
It's already not majority Southern. Here's my map of Virginia's regions:



Northern Virginia (yellow) is 3,161,137 people (37% of the Commonwealth) and distinctly not Southern. I'm an Alexandrian and other than legacy historical markers, I would have never considered my city anything but Northern. The culture is certainly an extension of Northeast culture. And demographic inflows keep chipping away at whatever residual Southern culture remains. Places like Fauquier, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Culpeper, Orange, and King George still have a majority Southern culture, but there's a rapid influx of liberals wanting a more rural/exurban bucolic lifestyle. They are falling into Nova's sphere of influence.

Which is why some of the biggest trends against Trump came from this belt of "used-to-be-ruby-red" counties:


Hampton Roads (red in the first map above) is 1,638,685 people and used to be Southern until WWII, when the influx of military transplants and Northeasterners upended the culture. It's now a blend of the two (Black culture is mostly Southern, but changing, but all others are not), but feels distinctly different from even 100 miles into North Carolina.

Tidewater (orange, the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Eastern Shore) is an extension of the Chesapeake Bay and feels more like parts of New England than the Old South (it's a rural, maritime culture, without pervasive evangelicalism).

Those 3 regions alone are 5,015,490 people, and don't feel very Southern to me outside of small areas.

Southside (purple) is still 100% Southern, but only has 530,350 people. If you consider Appalachian culture to be "Southern" (I don't) then you can add Appalachia (blue, 567,700 people) and maybe Shenandoah Valley (green, 641,252 people) to the mix as Southern (it's peripheral Appalachia).

Personally, Shenandoah Valley to me feels like Pennsylvania more than South Carolina, given it's a mix of small liberal college towns (Harrisonburg, Lexington), increasingly progressive retirement communities (Staunton), environmentalist and outdoor enthusiasts (Roanoke and the Triple Crown area), conservative farmlands (most of the region's area), wealthy business-friendly suburbs (Salem), Dixie supporters (intermixed throughout), winery-owning yuppies (near Shenandoah National Park). It's still a Conservative region on the whole, but far less than what you'd find in the South.

Most of the rural South is closer to 80-20% Republican, whereas Shenandoah Valley is more 60-40% Republican. Our liberal Senator, Tim Kaine, won 42% there in 2018. And the region trended strongly Joe Biden last month, closer to what you saw in Eastern Pennsylvania rather than rural North Carolina. So I'd caution people who automatically think rural = Southern.

Piedmont (pink) with 1,658,712 people, is a grab-bag. Unlike Nova and Hampton Roads (which are more non-Southern with pockets of South), Piedmont is the opposite (more Southern with pockets of non-South). Almost all of the rural areas here feel Southern, especially those around the Lynchburg/Appomattox Area. The rural counties in between Charlottesville and Richmond are also Southern in feel. Charlottesville, however, does not feel Southern at all, other than history. It feels like a town you could find in Vermont. Closer to Burlington, VT than Burlington, NC.

Richmond is another area of muddled cultures. The Black population still feels distinctly Southern, but transplants to the area do not. Places like Chesterfield and Henrico feel like the Fall Line, with people who seem Southern and others who could have just moved from New York. The shifting politics of this area (Biden flipped Chesterfield County, the first Dem win since 1948!) is another indication of "Northern creep."

All in all, the majority of Virginians orient Northeastern now, so I consider it a Northeast state, albeit one where certain regions are still distinctly and strongly Southern. I think last month's election provides a good "line of division." If you look at the north half of the state, it trended almost uniformly in Biden's favor. That gigantic chunk (where most Virginians live) is what I'd call the 'emerging Northeast bastion.' Suburban Nova is already firmly Northeast, but now that creep is rapidly enveloping exurban Nova, northern Shenandoah Valley, and most of Piedmont's population centers.

I think in 10 years, Virginia will be bluer than Connecticut, and the cultural dominance of Northeast culture will reach critical mass in Richmond. The state government is making major investments to connect Richmond to the Northeast Corridor, and even spent $4 billion last year buying the right-of-way for the entire track that connects Richmond to Washington.

It's not a question of whether Virginia is still majority Southern (it's already not). It's a question of when Northeast culture spreads enough to take a commanding majority of the State's population centers. After last month's election, I think it'll happen sooner than most think.
Very interesting read. Thanks for taking the time to put this together and everyone for contributing.
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  #26  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:00 PM
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The line has shifted a bit farther south in recent years but no need to continue this debate, this settles it.

https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/31...th-litmus-test
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  #27  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist View Post
The line has shifted a farther south in recent years but no need to continue this debate, this settles it.

https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/31...th-litmus-test
ha, nice. i use the same line of evidence (among others)
when trying to figure out if i’m in the south or southern plains west of the mississippi.
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  #28  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:04 PM
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Y'all know the Civil War and the Civil Rights era weren't all that long ago...like, at all. There's still a guy alive today who's the son of a formerly enslaved Virginian.

So yeah, if you took up arms against the Union, you're still very much Southern in my book. We aren't far enough removed from that era for it to not be relevant. Hell, we're still trying to get rid of Confederate statuary all throughout the South.
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  #29  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:07 PM
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Originally Posted by KB0679 View Post
Y'all know the Civil War and the Civil Rights era weren't all that long ago...like, at all. There's still a guy alive today who's the son of a formerly enslaved Virginian.

So yeah, if you took up arms against the Union, you're still very much Southern in my book. We aren't far enough removed from that era for it to not be relevant. Hell, we're still trying to get rid of Confederate statuary all throughout the South.
i mean, we just pulled down confederate statues in st. louis. am i a southerner? i’ve never taken up arms against the union.

this is a messy proposition.
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  #30  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist View Post
The line has shifted a bit farther south in recent years but no need to continue this debate, this settles it.

https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/31...th-litmus-test
And it matches up very closely with the map I posted earlier about counties that trended Biden. I think that's definitely the line of divide.



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  #31  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dariusb View Post
I know that many years ago Maryland and Deleware were considered southern states and now of course they're not. With the growth and changes going on in Virginia not just economically but also politically, is it destined to follow suit and no longer be considered a southern state?
Maryland and Delaware were considered "border" states (neither North nor South), and today they truly embody the "Mid-Atlantic" definition -- Delaware in particular. I think a case can be made for Delaware having always been more northern than southern.

1. Delaware never had a large enslaved population, 90% having been freed by 1860.

2. Delawareans voted to remain in the Union on January 3, 1861, the pro-Confederacy being in the minority along battlefield lines

3. About half of the state's population around the time of the Civil War was concentrated in the northernmost county (New Castle), which you would think was more culturally aligned with Philadelphia than Baltimore and South Jersey than non-peninsular Maryland.

4. Delaware was "shielded" from the rest of the southern states by the Mason-Dixon Line.
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  #32  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
i mean, we just pulled down confederate statues in st. louis. am i a southerner? i’ve never taken up arms against the union.

this is a messy proposition.
But just think... It could get even messier. I live in Greenville, which boasts an enormous international corporate presence, including Michelin and BMW. French and German are very well represented here, and as such, I hereby declare this area to no longer be Southern. Henceforth it shall be a protectorate of either Belgium or Luxembourg, depending on who has the more acceptable tax structure. Further bulletins as events warrant.
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  #33  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:58 PM
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Do they still drink sweet tea, eat grits and like Toby Keith in VA? If so, still southern even if they mix in Biden and lattes ain there somewhere.
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  #34  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 7:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
i mean, we just pulled down confederate statues in st. louis. am i a southerner? i’ve never taken up arms against the union.

this is a messy proposition.
You live in a Midwestern state that was a slave state but didn't secede, so I'm not sure what your point is.
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  #35  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 8:12 PM
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I'm of the opinion that what is "Southern" has many definitions. In terms of geography and culture, Virginia is still Southern, but it's also southern Mid-Atlantic, along with North Carolina. NY, PA, NJ, Delaware, and Maryland are northern Mid-Atlantic with DC being the dividing line.

I also believe the South can add to its cultural definition beyond slavery, Confederacy, Jim Crow racism, etc. After all, there is a good amount of Spanish influence in Florida and Texas and French influence in Louisiana and much of the Gulf coast, which had greatly determined the type of cuisine made down here. You have African Americans contributing a lot to the cultural make up of the South ( which is still being seen greatly in Atlanta) and European Americans also adding and contributing in other great ways devoid of the dark history.


If the NE, which started historical as Yankeeland and the home of the WASP, was able to also be defined by Italians, Jews, African Americans, and countless other immigrant and migrant groups, why not the South?
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  #36  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 8:19 PM
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If the NE, which started historical as Yankeeland and the home of the WASP, was able to also be defined by Italians, Jews, African Americans, and countless other immigrant and migrant groups, why not the South?
It's also worth wondering why someplace like Maine, which is not diverse, gets to ride those coattails of respectability whereas anywhere in the South which is diverse and international gets booted out of the "the South" because it doesn't conform to the stereotype?
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  #37  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 9:22 PM
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Southern culture is the drawl, cuisine, relative cultural conservatism (not just racism. the north has racism too), southern baptist church culture, etc. Those markers have seemingly faded in some places as the population has urbanized and diversified.
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  #38  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 9:54 PM
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It's also worth wondering why someplace like Maine, which is not diverse, gets to ride those coattails of respectability whereas anywhere in the South which is diverse and international gets booted out of the "the South" because it doesn't conform to the stereotype?
You might be interested in this take on how the U.S. forms regional identities. It’s mostly focused on the Midwest (because the Midwest consciously eschews regionalism), but it has some interesting theories how the South and New England formed their identities in contrast.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/216100?seq=1
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  #39  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 9:59 PM
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I follow US Census definition, and to me Maryland, Delaware and Virginia is South and they grow quickly as South does.
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  #40  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 10:13 PM
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You live in a Midwestern state that was a slave state but didn't secede, so I'm not sure what your point is.
me neither.

but i guess that’s my point.
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