Saturday, January 13, 2007

Nine Nations of North America

I mention this book and its concepts so often that I was sure I must have posted on it before, but I don't find it in my archives. I knew Joel Garreau was onto something when I first looked at the cover. His cultural nation New England included the Canadian Maritimes and cut off the SW corner of Connecticut, down where they are Yankee fans. This guy knows whereof he speaks, I thought. The nine nations are

New England. As above, capital Boston.
The Foundry. From New Haven to Chicago, including southern Ontario. What we now call the Rust Belt, where hard work is valued and everything in the world use to be made. Capital Detroit
Dixie. South to New Orleans, and excluding South Florida. Capital Atlanta
The Islands. South Florida and the Caribbean. Capital nominally Miami, but really Jimmy Buffet's fictitious Margaritaville.
Quebec. The only nation to follow political boundaries.
The Breadbasket. Where the world's food is grown. Capital at Kansas City
Mexamerica. From San Jose to Houston to Mexico City. Mixed Anglo-Mexican culture, the Land of Now, with twin capitals at Houston and Los Angeles.
Ecotopia. From San Jose to Juneau, politely ignoring the values conflict between wilderness and Boeing. These days, include Microsoft. Capital. Seattle
The Empty Quarter. The Rockies up through most of Canada. Where all the untapped minerals, shale oil, and empty space is. Capital Denver. Land of the Future.

Have fun.


Woody said...

He made big cities the capitals, and that would be poor representations of areas in many cases.

To make Atlanta, as it is today, the capital of the South is to not understand Southerness. The South is best represented by smaller towns which haven't had an influx of people from outside the region and other countries. I would pick Fort Payne, Alabama before Atlanta.

On The Islands capital and Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet grew up in Mobile and spent time at his sister Lulu's bar and the Flora-Bama on the Redneck Riviera. But, that's above South Florida. Maybe we can go with Havanna when capitalism returns to that city--hopefully soon.

I like Pittsburgh as capital for The Foundry better than Detroit--just a preference.

Kansas City is a beef town, which I don't identify as The Breadbasket.

The capital of Quebec should be Paris.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Garreau notes how many Southerners would agree with you about the carpetbagger city, Woody.

Anonymous said...

You would have a hard time drawing a line on a map to divide the Foundry from the Breadbasket. An extreme example would be Horicon, Wisconsin, with a local factory whose products, lawn tractors, sell in the spring. They hire all the local farmers right after harvest time every year.

Joseph said...

There's also a ten-region map of American politics.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Great link! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

AVI, while somewhat related, here's an excellent paper on modern tribalism (linked to on Zenpundit).

The premise is that tribal societies are our natural social structure and a key source of identity worldwide. Why tribalism? What are the dynamics involved? Why does tribalism trump nationalism or other social networks? Worth reading, if you've got an hour to spare. -cp