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tv   American Regionalism and Politics  CSPAN  January 3, 2016 4:45pm-6:01pm EST

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"q&a." >> author and journalist collinwood erred addressed -- w --oodard --ed students atressed iowa state university. >> it is my special honor to introduce our speaker who is an award-winning journalist and author. a book that has been described as a history of north america, and explodes the red state blue statement -- state myth. he is also the state and national affairs writer at the portland press herald and sunday telegram. we all look forward to learning more about the 11 arrival regions in the country which will no doubt lead to later
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understanding of the current presidential campaign. jamie and loving me -- enjoy me in love coming colin woodard. [applause] mr. woodard: thank you all think i'll of you for coming. especially as we are entering campaign season. this book is about north american regionalism, and of vital importance in place in understanding our history, our national identity, and our current political cleavages, which are geographic as much as ideological.
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there are red states and blue states, that there was a civil war in the place called the south, we know that presidential candidates are supposed to say one set of things to their party faithful when they arrived in new hampshire, and then two weeks later, they completely different things to the faithful of the same party when they get to south carolina. even in this tea party era, state like vermont and mississippi might as well be on separate planets in terms of proper role of government, the relationship between church and state, even the meaning of important and key terms in the american lexicon as freedom, or liberty. or indeed the definition of american values and identity. the point is, we are no more united as a culture, ordination, then europe is. our component cultures are more diverse and share fewer values than any two eu member states
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today. but we cannot talk about these critical differences in any meaningful way, because we do not have the right map. what do we mean by regions? we hear regionalism all the time. regional polls, marketing, whether people like krispy kreme or dunkin' donuts. we hear about regions, but it is always through a lens of a set of regions defined using state boundaries, and sorted in that classic federal government way, the northeast in the midwest and the south, and the west. but by doing this, particularly by following state lines, you end up distorting and deleting the true -- diluting the truth. these are historically based, consistent through the
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centuries, and really respects international boundaries. again, we all know this. we know state batteries -- boundaries don't make any sense. is anyone here from maryland? anyone from maryland, they all know there are three marily -- marylands. austin is the state capital of texas, but houston, then in kenya and dallas are three different texases. there is the west coast, that coastal strip that shares a great deal with provinces, but is at odds with the interior of their own states. there is upstate in downstate illinois. there's the great quote from the democratic strategist james carville. early he was taking a neophyte around pennsylvania, and was trying to tell him the realities of working for statewide office. he said here is what you have to understand. there is philadelphia, pittsburgh, and alabama in
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between. if he was talking about the uplands of northern alabama, he would have a pretty sound as no historical ground. -- ethno historical ground. people in missouri cannot even agree on how to pronounce the state. clearly state boundaries don't catch something. in times of uncertainty, many americans seek solace in the works of the founding fathers, hoping that if we can return to their ideal, if we understood and followed their original intent, we could find our misplaced sense of common service -- purpose and bring the union back to unity. time and again this is frustrated by the simple, very
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obvious fact, that the men who came together to confront a common enemy in the 1770's, and build a more enduring alliance in the 1800s, were not our country's founders -- but rather the founders' great, and great great, and great great great grandchildren. they shared very little in common in terms of purpose and intent. most of our true regional cultures date back to that 17th and early 18th centuries. the original clusters on the east coast, originally started from, and the light shading is where each started.
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these original clusters on the eastern seaboard were founded and settled by people from distinct regions of the british isles, france, the netherlands and spain, each with their own religious, political and ethnographic characteristic. for generations, these differing cultures developed in isolation from one another, consolidating their own cherished for the bulls and fundamental values, and expanding across the eastern half of the country in nearly exclusive settlement bands. the dark section is the 1775 line. this is the expansion taking 50 -- 21850. some of these cultures champion individualism, and some utopian reform. some are guided by divine purpose, others champion freedom of conscience and inquiry. some embrace explicit anglo protestant identity. others, ethnic and religious pluralism. some valued at quality and democratic participation in politics. others, deference to a traditional aristocratic order modeled on slave states of antiquity. throughout the early colonial
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time, they saw one another as competitors for land, settlers, capital, and even as enemies. these cultures you see here to opposing sides in the english civil war the 16 40's, in the american revolution, in the war of 1812. nearly all of the cultures on the map right now would consider leaving the union in the 80 years following the battle of yorktown. two of them tried to do so in the 1860's. the point is, there has never been one america, but rather several. today, there are 11. i'm going to briefly introduce them. the book goes into the nuances. i will give you the cartoon version so we can get through them all in 15 minutes. bear with the shortcomings i'm going to do. we will start in the top right corner with yankeedom in blue. it was founded on the shores of massachusetts bay by radical calvinists and new zionists. since the outset, it has put emphasis on perfecting earthly society, through social engineering, individual self-denial for the common good, and the aggressive assimilation of outsiders.
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it has prized education, intellectual achievement, and community rather than individual empowerment, and broad citizen participation in politics and government. this is seen as the public shield against the machinations of aristocrats and other tyrants, like strong county government. i will briefly lane what this -- explain what the map is depicting so you understand what the holdup is doing. i will describe why it is that area is categorized as yankeedom, and it gives you a sense of what it is depicting. the puritans may have come to massachusetts bay and absorbed the old colony from cape cod, swallowed up the royalist settlements in maine, and consolidated new england in
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connecticut, and so on. after the dutch were defeated in new netherlands, there was a great controversy about who is going to have control over what became new york. the controversy was because, remember in my era at least, your high school textbooks which show each of the colonies, and many of the colonies were claiming a strip, going all the way across the map to wherever the next ocean was. and it so happened that massachusetts'strip went through an enormous swath of upstate new york. massachusetts said, this nuance to us -- belongs to us. there was a big controversy. the compromise was everyone decided, new province in new york to me get sovereignty over millions of acres.
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by way of compensation, massachusetts will hold land title to this vast area under dispute. it happened that massachusetts-based land companies were given by the commonwealth the right to settle those zones and did so, and organized villages on the move with entire groups of people from one town, moving out to this vast area of contested land in new york, led by their clergyman to create new england style villages in upstate new york. this is why so many of the towns
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in that region resemble those in new england. fast-forward to the creation of the northwest territory and the ohio territory, and you run into the same problem. that blue bit of their the lake in ohio around cleveland -- that is the western reserve, of connecticut. if you match it up, that is connecticut's strip. connecticut based land companies ended up settling the section known as the western reserve. if you look today, peleliu or rand mcnall -- pull out your brand mcnally not, a lot of towns had the same place names as connecticut. another generation, the michigan territory is happening. many of the initial settlers, who went to the constitutional current -- convention, who were the governors of the initial government, were from the western reserve of ohio. the yankees who settled portions of upstate new york and new england, provided the first five michigan governors. similar for the wisconsin territory. you are watching this formatting of the hard drive, as it were, as the line of settlement moved forward. these were in separate bands. you can tell a similar story for each of the cultures on the right to thirds of the map. that's what it's depicting. moving on, into the area and light blue around the big apple.
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that is new netherlands. it wasn't founded by the british at all, but by the dutch. at the time, the 16 40's and 50's, the netherlands was the most sophisticated society in the western world. it displayed characteristics of golden age amsterdam throughout history. a global commercial trading culture. multiethnic, multi-religious, and a profound tolerance for diversity and unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience. like 17th-century amsterdam, what became new york city emerged as a leading global center of publishing, trade and finance, a magnet for immigrants, and a refuge for those persecuted, by other regional cultures.
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very different place from yankeedom. moving south, the anchor point of this vast culture of the midlands. it formed around the shores of delaware bay. the midlands is america's swing region. it was founded initially by english quakers. one of their tenants was they believe in inner light and the inherent goodness of humans. they welcomed people from many nations on the shores of delaware bay. it was from the very beginning, pluralistic, organized around the middle class, and spawned a culture of middle america and what we think of as the heartland, where ethnic and ideological. he had never been a priority, where government is seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion is moderate, even apathetic. it was an ethnic mosaic from the start. even around the resolution,
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pennsylvania had a german rather than british majority. it is a swing region because it shares the yankee believe that society should be organized to benefit regular people, but unlike the yankees, it rejects top-down government intervention to achieve this. it ends up being a buffer zone between two traditions in the yankee and appalachian space that are very much at odds. it's no accident that many of our swing states have large midlands sections in them. moving into the chesapeake country, the southern two counties of delaware, maryland, eastern north carolina, you are in the tidewater. this is a colony set up at more or less the same time as the expansion of new england and set up by english people, but what a different group it was.
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it was settled not like a calvinist trying to apply a religious utopia but rather by the younger sons of southern english gentry. it was meant to reproduce the semi-feudal society of the countryside they left behind where economic, political, and social affairs were run by aristocrats. they were aiming for a 17th century version of "downton abbey." we are the right people to be leading heads of households, that we care about what happens with the hands. however, in the context of the new world, there was a major problem with this plan. they found difficulty in finding people who wanted to stand in for the roles of the serfs and pageantry. to indentured servants and a full on slave system, but it didn't begin like that in tidewater. as you might imagine, tidewater
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has always been fundamentally conservative with a high value placed on authority and tradition. it was the most powerful nation in the 18th century, but today, it's a nation in decline, having been boxed out of westward expansion by its boisterous neighbors, and more recently, eaten away by the expanding federal halos around the district of columbia and hampton roads and norfolk in virginia. some people ask me, how would this map change 100 years from now. are these things permanent? no, but the culture has a lot of inertia. things move slowly, and sometimes, cultures disappear. there is no babylonia anymore. there's no mesopotamia. the biggest change would be that tidewater seems to be disappearing rather rapidly, being absorbed into something far as we cans
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tell. the federal government and the presence of it in the middle of tidewater with trillions of dollars in spending means that literally millions of people can live economic and social lives without reference to the tidewater, having a cumulative effect over time. onto the boisterous appalachian neighbors. much bigger than the appalachian range itself, and the most populous of these nations. this is founded in the early 18th century, somewhat later than the ones we have talked about. it was founded by wave upon wave of settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of northern ireland and the english marshes, and lowland scotland. it has been lampooned by generations of writers and screenwriters as the home of hillbillies and rednecks. in reality, it is a transplanted culture, formed in a state of near constant danger and
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upheaval, characterized by a warrior ethic, and deep commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. people of appalachia has been intensely, suspicious their history of the low land aristocrats, and yankee social engineers alike. said the region has tended to shift alliances based on whoever was the greatest threat to their freedom. since reconstruction, it has been in alliance with the deep south to undo the federal government ability to override local preferences. consider this. in the civil war, prior to reconstruction, appalachia was on the union side. working our way south to the deep red area and the deep south, around charleston and south carolina, this is a regional culture founded in the 16 60's and 16 70's by slave lords from the english isle of our betas, who were transparent -- barbados, who were transplanting the slave economy in lower america. this is oligarchic privilege and the emergence of classical republicanism modeled on slave
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states of the ancient world like ancient greece and rome, where democracy was the privilege of the few, and subjugation and slavery the natural lot of the many. they believed it was the only regional culture founded in the 16 60's and 16 70's by slave lords from the english isle of our betas, who were transparent -- barbados, who were transplanting the slave economy way a republic could exist. if you had a large class that was subservient and did not have political rights. those cast systems have been smashed, but the leaders in the federal stage continued to fight against expansions of federal power, taxes targeting the wealthy, and robust environmental labor and consumer safety protections. working down to the southwest of the country, expanding on both sides of the border. this is actually the oldest of the european american cultures. when i went to school, you had this east to west expansion, manifest destiny. in fact, the oldest european settlements in the united states are in the southwest, and came south to north.
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this is the borderlands of new spain. the vast and expensive american -- spanish-american empire. by the time you got to the frontier in the far north, you are so far from the seat of power in mexico city and iberia, that the region about this on characteristics. you can see in the county map what i have marked. we are used to the idea that spain claimed half of the united states. that was on paper. the areas shaded are areas that were actually colonized by spain prior to the u.s. annexations. this map largely corresponds to the map today with slight exceptions. essentially, it is the same. most americans are aware it is a place apart, were hispanic societal norms and language dominates. you realize that among mexicans, nor tenures have the reputation -- nortenos have a certain
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reputation. the north long been a hotbed of democratic reform in revolutionary sentiment. various parts of the region, before the annexations, try to break off from the rest of mexico and try to form independent buffer states, between the two federations. there was the republic of the rio grande. the republic of texas. it was not austin and his anglo followers. they were backed by the entire spanish-speaking elite of the province of texas. that was the idea, to get away from the exploited relationship with the rest of mexico, and avoid being captured into the u.s. it did not turn out that way. that was the original plan. as you can see, today it stretches for 100 miles on both
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sides of the border and resembles in many ways, germany during the cold war. to peoples with a common culture, separated by an increasingly large wall. next two our second-generation nations. they are much younger. the far west and northwest are in the late half of the 19th century. they were not colonized by a european group coming and setting down a settler society, and expanding hours. but they were settled by the rest of us. they come later. the first one to be settled actually was the left coast, not the far west. it is sandwiched between the coastal mountain ranges in the pacific ocean. it is originally colonized by two groups.
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merchants and missionaries and woodsman from new england, who came by the sea. before the panama canal, the much safer way to get across the continent was to get on a boat in boston or new york and sale around the end of south america, through the great passage. you go all the way up the shore of south america and central and i got finally come into the mouth of the columbia river into san francisco bay. that was the easy way. the second group of people who came across did it the hard way, going overland, over the incredibly dangerous expense of the far west. not only was it environmentally and i'm it wise hazardous, but the native tribes were trying to defend their territory from
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intruders, sometimes to great effect. these people tended to be miners, for traders, prospectors from the appellation -- appalachian midwest. they expanded an incredible amount of effort to convert these areas to be a new new england. they put forward schools to say the continent in a yankee way. they were all over the place credit had their own journals. they would report whether they were establishing a way to keep the yankees way. they also expanded considerable effort trying to create new england in the pacific. and new citizen on the hill, a new humanity, we can follow the lessons in new england. they wrote about how their travels around were similar to the mayflower. despite this, they were not entirely successful. the west coast is not just
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another yankeedom, because they encountered another settlement. they and up with a hybrid culture. it combines yankee utopianism, the idea that we can and should create a better world, and make the world more perfect, with the appalachian emphasis on individual self-expression. and ended up being a unique combination. think of the companies that dominated 20th century life. apple, microsoft, google, amazon, silicon valley, it is all in that one little strip. that is like the population of romania. it's a pretty outside influence for the size of the territory. it has been the staunchest ally in federal politics of yankeedom
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since it was established, but it dashes with the far western sections of the interior of its own home states -- clashes with the far western sections of the interior of its own home states. the next, this is the one place where i will admit that environment totally trumped ethnography. in this area, in the context of settlement and the technology available, it was so high, and dry, and remote, it stopped eastern nations in their tracks. with minor exceptions, it was only able to be colonized by the deployment of industrial scale resources. railroads, dance, irrigation systems-- dams, irrigation systems. we exploited it as an internal colony for the benefit of the rest of the nation's, in the far west people have been
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aware of this and resentful of this dependent status. if anger has been shifted back and forth through history between being directed at corporate masters of the union pacific railroads, and at the federal government. it shifts back and forth. it is an interesting phenomenon. the next two, only have small enclaves, but play a major role in canada. the first with a score around québec, new france -- the traditions and values of the aboriginal people in northwest america, and the down-to-earth, egalitarian consensus driven.
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there are amongst the most liberal people in the continent in terms of social attitudes. not about being -- speaking english in montréal, but getting along in the community. it was supposed to be a reproduction of the society in france. but it did not work out that way in the american wilderness. the peasants from brittany and northern france discovered they had more culturally in common with ever -- aboriginal people. there are letters in the french archives where some person is writing, saying all the peasants have run away, i'm starving because i don't know how to farm. it did not work out -- it deviated a great deal from france, and created a unique
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society. finally, the last one, first nation at the top. i did not make this slide. a blogger expanded. it is accurate. an enormous and expansive area, the newest of the oldest of the nations, depending on how you want to look at it. it is populated by native american groups and tried, to -- tribes, who generally never gave up their land, and have largely retained their cultures. reclaiming their sovereignty now. they have pointed out, in the late 19th century, when you would have expected treaties to be signed or land to be seized, everyone thought, there's nothing up there. it is frigid and cold. there's nothing there except ice. so it never happened.
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in recent decades, as the constitutional environments become more sophisticated, many tribes have pointed this out. we never gave you the land, so maybe it is still ours. the canadian constitutional court essentially said, you are right. that is where you have the territory, and vast sections of what you see is first nations, areas where the original traditional territories of these tribes has been recognized by canada, and they have a seat at the table in all the decisions that might happen in vast areas of the continent. it turns out it is not nothing there, it is everything there. they have all the natural
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resources. they trade it for manufacturing goods. it is the storehouse of north america's resources, and all the stuff we need to keep life going. water, rare earth, minerals, and, petrochemicals, you name it. it is up there. the first nations are going to have a major role. the green one is not on this map am a but it's also part of north america. they are about to become -- they are becoming an independent nationstate very soon. they are already an autonomous part of the kingdom of denmark. it is 95% in units speaking. it is one of the only parts were the aboriginal language is not only official, but dominant. it will be a totally different take on 21st century life, and other nations and societies. i was in greenland a few years ago, and nobody owns any land. everything is community owned. your house is leased from the people. if you go out and shoot a walrus or a seal, you bring it to your village communal ice locker, and anybody can come and take some, without any accounting.
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it is a totally different take on things. and women have never been in a subservient role. it just never happened that way. because the scored his of drugs and alcohol are more harshly on the men, women tend to be in positions of power in greenland, from the government ministers, mayors, and lutheran bishops. speaking of the foreign minister, who was telling us this, she said here is what you have to understand. in the 1700s when the danish came, they said, we have god, and he looks like this and we want you to worship him. we looked at each other and said, he? she is now the prime minister. it would be an entirely different take on 21st century life. these are the nations today. their affect on history has been profound. the map is echoed in the battle lines of the american civil war, the constitutional convention,
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and give -- leading up to the u.s. civil war, the cultural wars of the 1960's, and any hotly contested election in history. since it is political season, let's look at that little bit. iowa is mostly in the midlands. in fact, there's no other state in the country so completely midland as iowa. there is no single state as dominated. iowa is the exception. you can see, if you really want to understand the red blue politics, you cannot look at the state level, you have to look at the county level. that is where you see the divisions. you can see it right there. presidential election maps. you can see yankeedom popping out, western reserve of ohio, west coast appearing, monochrome in the deep south. i have not messed with the colors. the red is republican and the blue is democrat.
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this is the 1916 showdown between woodrow wilson and charles hughes. republicans, for the first century, was a party founded in yankeedom, and therefore a century. but the parties come and go. the current parties have swapped over the past 40 years. they switched constituencies and their program. it has shifted. trying to understand and historical timeframe what has happened, is an exercise in futility. the lasting difference is that really matter in the broader time scheme are regional and cultural, and the parties end up re-donning their garb and shifting their priorities. there is the 2004 contest -- i'm sorry, the 2008 contest between barack obama and john mccain. it is a reversal of the counties.
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there is the western reserve again. left coast. but there are a couple of differences. one is, you can now see el norte, different from the surrounding counties. but also, south and tidewater are no longer monochrome. what happened between 1916 and 2008? hispanics and african-americans can effectively vote, and use the franchise, whereas they could not in 1916. many blue counties in tidewater and deep south are majority african-american.
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you see the political references of the majority expressed in el norte in the way it would not have been in 1916. this is after the 2008 election. this is a map that asks, between the 2004 contest, john kerry versus george w. bush, and the 2008 contest of obama versus mccain, did each county vote more for the democrat than last time or republican? as you might imagine in the hope change election, most counties across the continent voted more democratic than they had in the previous cycle -- except for this red blot, almost identical to central appalachia. obama, and he knows this, has a greater appalachian problem, consider this. it is not just partisan, it is cultural. in the most recent election, obama is sitting president, did remarkably badly in democratic
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primaries in appalachia against unknown challenges. in west virginia, the sitting democratic party leader, 41% of democratic voters cast ballots for a texas prison inmate instead. and kentucky, 42% of democrats in the democratic primary preferred uncommitted to the sitting president of their own party. in arkansas, obama won, but arkansas is cut bag nelly between deep south and greater appalachia. he lost almost by 50% in the democratic primary. 2012 comes around, the book has been out for a couple of months, and it would be great.
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i can discuss how i found the key to what has happened in the election. obama has an enormous weakness, that will throw the close election, right? unfortunately the republicans and the ended u -- ended up nominating mitt romney, who also has an appalachian problem. barack obama was born in hawaii, but grew up in the yankeedom. mitt romney was the son of a yankee governor, in michigan, and the governor himself of the most yankee of states, and created a health-care plan that fit into the yankee does. however, he ended up having the same regional vulnerabilities and assets as obama. ended up being a wash in a general election. romney did extremely well in the republican primaries in the same
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places obama did well in his primaries. against very regional candidates, rick santorum, who is the preferred candidate of greater appalachia, newt gingrich from the great south, and of the other real contestants, only ron paul did not have a clear regional cipher to look through. the others did. it was fascinating how on level, you can see that. romney, the yankee conservative, won in almost every single county in new england. every single one in massachusetts and vermont. here is the republican primaries in 2012 in ohio. green is the romney victory. essentially, romney had one
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ohio, because of strong support in the western reserve. same thing in illinois. the yankee north voted for romney to get down state, he had great difficulty against santorum. romney also clinched oregon and washington, coastal california. however, pundits started saying, the primaries are coming, alabama and mississippi, this is where newt gingrich will have his chance. the polls are too close to call. except, they weren't. in now them the blue is gingrich and the green is romney, -- in alabama, the blue is gingrich, the green is romney, the brown is santorum. santorum walked away with alabama, because he had gotten those appalachian votes again. the posters were blindsided, because they had done polls based on gender and income level and race, but not by regional cultures.
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mississippi was a bit closer, only because the appalachian section of mississippi is much smaller. posters ignored these kind of things at their own peril. that is the most recent presidential election, just to finish the pattern. today, essentially we have two coalitions. they are two weak coalitions, which explains the brinkmanship we have been in. there is a blue coalition that consists of yankeedom, and the red coalition with appalachian and deep south. if you overlaid the electoral college and senate and house of
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representatives, that does not give a lock on anything. you control federal power, you have to have filibuster proof, senate majority. neither of them can do it. each of their respective political platforms have not really one over the other sections that much, especially the midlands. there ends up being brinksmanship, a fight over trying to bring in one or another of the swing region, which is why the elections are nailbiter's, and why it is you can have a swing election, with a lot of switching. neither one has a stable coalition, and neither one has a platform that can reliably win over a regional super majority to actually govern.
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throughout history, that is what has happened. regional super majority coalitions that have allowed one political platform. in the past, usually not explicitly sorted by party. cross party coalitions would form. today, we don't have that. ideology and party are together now. political formation or another can come up with something that can win over the swing regions or pull a weak part away from another. it's not a good spot for america or the world to be in. how would you do it? for the red coalition, the obvious play, the one that george w. bush wanted to do, was for el norte.
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the hypothesis goes a group of people who are family oriented, rather conservative. but that is against part of the republican base, that has a very narrow vision of what the american identity is. donald trump has made it even more difficult. that is really a difficult spot for the national republican party to be in, because the demographics, el norte is growing rapidly. as pundits have pointed out, if texas flips to being blue overall because of relative demographic changes, the republican party is doomed on the national stage.
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it is something that i'm sure it keeps a lot of them up at night. for the blue coalition, there are more paths to forming a supermajority. trying to win over the midlands, but the other is the far west. there is an opportunity there. tidewater seems to be falling into their lap by default. far west, obama in 2008, he got invited and new mexico and colorado, but he almost got montana. he missed it by two points or something like that. the number of candidates -- a number of democratic candidates have won, because there is that libertarian place, but there is a concern about fairness in economics plays very well. so you have progressives. if the argument is about, americans are individualistic, we struggle for the fittest,
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may the person with the best merit win, there is also an emphasis on a fair fight, that plays very well in the far west. there are opportunities there. zooming in on the midwest, i was asked earlier this year to give a talk at an academic conference in grand rapids called finding the last region. it was billed as the largest academic conference in the midwest. in an expression of this new movement, within the academy to try to reinvigorate the study and interest in the midwest as a region. after the prairie historians disappeared, there has been kind of a loss of that. many of the historians who focused on the midwest have disappeared. there has been a movement to focus on that.
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they asked two questions at the preliminary conference. speaking, what is the midwest? the other is, why is it that it's identity has been more ambiguous and less resilient than new england or the south? i provided a couple of answers from this paradigm to those questions. one obvious one is on the map. there are really three competing cultural streams that came from the east, through what we think of as the midwest. before we start counting the area of the great plains. beyond the line where you need irrigation. in american nation terms, there is no single coherent regional culture that fills up that. base -- that space. that is part of the reason why it is more difficult to
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maintain. you can see these differences in the region. this is a map of cultural diffusion of ideas, using largely material objects, like construction and building styles. you can see how you ended up with a separate stream, each going back to an initial cultural heart. here is a detailed map of dialects, from the much discussed internet project. the detail is from crowdsourcing. millions of people connect with him via the internet, and record what they sound like, and a location. this has allowed him to actually crowd source and incredible detail how people speak today,
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and sort it out as a linguist, into different domains. this was published after my book, so i did not talk about it, but you can see at the domain level, you have the same thing. three areas, plus the great plains. north, south, midland. again, the midwest at a fundamental level, it is how people speak. and there is a cultural geographers classic map of the religious dominant zones in the country. you can see again, the east-west division. the midwest does exist, but it is a federated entity. it is one that i would argue -- obviously there is a midwest, but what is it? you have three separate settlement streams, who all experienced the same historical challenges, and were trying to settle this remote area at the same time, and experiencing common externally imposed political frameworks. that started with the northwest
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ordinance in 1787 or so. that meant a whole rolling section of u.s. territory, the future states of ohio, indiana, michigan, wisconsin and illinois, would not have slavery. that meant that the midwestern side of the ohio river ended up devolving in a very difficult -- different political framework. also, the northwest ordinance is ended up creating a firewall that prevented the expansion of tidewater from the kentucky bluegrass into the west, and also with the missouri compromise, set-aside misery as a slave state, but said that all of the territory that makes up the future states of minnesota and iowa and kansas, and nebraska would also be free. it created an additional firewall. there ended up being a creation
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of a common set of experiences. the midwest is absolutely real, but it is something that is a federated entity, which i think is helpful in the effort to reinvigorate regional studies. we can realize where the achilles heels were as we work out how to define it. the takeaway of this is early settlement can matter a great deal in subsequent history. this is a map of the congregational churches in 1860. each dot is five churches. this is a marker of yankee settlement in 1860. notice the close correspondence to my yankee done boundaries -- yankeedom boundaries.
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but also check out iowa. the yankees try to make it their own, saving them from the kentuckians, and so forth. they created these universities throughout the midwest. but they were not able to achieve dominance. however, their influence was felt at some level. i was definitely in the midlands, but i sometimes wonder -- this may be a reach -- but if you look at iowa and match it up with political behavior recently, it is amazing how much the congregational church map matches the blue red fissures. i've been asking people, why is this, why are the rural farming counties on the eastern part of the map, why are they voting differently?
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that may be part of the mix. i will open it up to questions now. anybody? don't be bashful. >> thank you very much for coming in tonight. my employment with microsoft has caused me to live in many different places around the country. when i read your book, it was very interesting to me to note that the places i have enjoyed living are places that are very similar to my beliefs politically, and things that i like culturally.
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guess that's why i am ambivalent about iowa. it is very pluralistic. but i like it a lot better than the deep south, for example. as you have gone through and learned so much about the subject, is that a common experience for people? mr. woodard: yes, i hear that a lot in talks. another interesting question that comes in, the early settlements of the patterns explains what are happening now, a lot of people say, but they were moving around. all of the immigration in the 19th century, and today we had mass retailing, mass broadcasting in the media, the internet. certainly that must making everyone more homogenous, right?
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it must be eroding the differences, that we have this motion and moving around. except, it's not. by any measurable technique, the divisions are getting wider. part of the reason is what you explain. when people started looking at this question, one of them is bill bishops "the big sort." in this book, they talk about how they realized in the 1970's, the number of counties in the u.s. that were landslide counties in elections where they always voted for the same party, winning by 20 points or more, it was only like 15% of the counties. fast-forward to the early 2000, it has grown to 50% or 60%. they were like, how could that be? they started looking at where people were moving, and what people were doing. they discovered that people, statistically speaking, when they move around and take jobs elsewhere to the extent they can control it, they tend to move to places where they are surrounded by like-minded people.
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sometimes they are doing that because they do not feel quite as home in the place they started, and choose to start going and sorting themselves, self-selecting, in communities where they feel like they are surrounded by like-minded people. we are talking about dominant cultures, and every single one of these counties you have a full spectrum of political beliefs. even in the bluest of the blue and reddest of the red, you still have 20% of the electorate voting for the wrong side. there are all sorts of people everywhere. it is whether or not you feel like the culture is around you. with everything feels right, or you are completely frustrated, saying, why do people think this way and act this way? may be if the combination for some people of those things.
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but then you get a chance to move, and statistically speaking, people try to end up moving where they want to go. others realized that migrants, politically speaking, tend to resemble their destination more than their point of origin. in other words, the people who move tend to be different than the people they left behind. the big sort is actually part of the reason those cultural differences are remaining resilient despite the challenges of mass media and people moving. yes, sir. >> good evening, thank you for coming. i also enjoyed you on the cracked podcast when you are on that. will in your book, you mentioned what happened in kansas, another book that was written. i noticed kansas on the map had almost three equal parts of greater appalachia and the midlands and the far west. i kind of want to pose the same question.
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what did in fact happen to kansas to create one of the few states that have a three region divide? mr. woodard: i am not an expert on kansas politics, and there is a rather controversial experiment in whether or not arthur laffer's idea of trickle-down economics would work, but why would the experiment take place in kansas? i'm not sure. i would be guessing. the midlands is a swing region, and can shift around, depending on changes in the climate. you have a large, but sparsely populated far western section and a big chunk that is also greater appalachian. it is an environment where the possibility of experiment does
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seem implausable it would happen there. why it happened there and why it happened now, i don't know about kansas enough to answer. i'm not shocked, given the regional fissures that that could happen. thank you. yes, please. >> hello. being from iowa is very interesting to look at this map. i feel like we are half greater appalachian and half yankeedom. and what did in fact happened to kansas to create one of the few states that have three different regions going through. >> i am not an expert. it has been a controversial experiment on whether or not the ideas would work. it appears the answer is maybe not. i would be guessing. the midlands is a swing region. you have a large but sparsely populated section. and a section that is greater appellation. it is an environment where the possibility of an experiment does not seem implausible. why it happened there and now i
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do not know enough about kansas to answer. but i am not shocked, and given the regional fishers there that might happen. i wish i had a better answer. i noticed the northern -- >> i noticed -- >> you cannot use congressional districts because they switch every 10 years. it was a unit of analysis to use. to decide what part of county a given unit is going to be in is incredibly easy to do as you are on the right side of the map. but as you work left, the depth of history is shorter, the speed of settlement becomes more settled. it is one thing when it took time to get from one county to another. and at the end of the century, you could be jumping several states. the challenge become stronger. sometimes you can get data. yankees in the 20th century, once externalize migration was
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happening, it became important to some people to establish they had been there a long time. daughters of the american revolution. yankees society. it was important for them to establish they came over on those poets. so in the letter part of the 19th century, -- on those boats. so, in the latter part of the 19 century, someone put together a leather bound volume, detailing at the history. in the back would be a genealogy of every person living in the town when they do the book together. every single family traced back all the way back to the old world. scholars have tapped on these because there is one for every single town, especially in the yankee town. putting it together, we were able to figure out who founded which town and trace it backwards. that would you start getting closer to the far west, which is roughly where the regular agricultural full quays could not sustain themselves.
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they collapsed for lack of water, basically. you finally get back to the 1900s and the models would fall the apart. you cannot grow cotton at an everything would have stopped. it gets trickier. there is often that not there level of genealogy. there is some a yankee manifest destiny. request to send the yankee across the continent. there is no one as nickel cultural group in charge. you can have multiple communities with their own language side-by-side. a danish village here, german there, reformed dutch growing tulips. they're speaking their own languages, publishing their own newspapers.
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that was part of the ethos. if you did that in the yankee dom, there is an assimilation. that makes it trickier to identify the midland counties. you work with every identifiable item you have. where the church is located at a key time? sometimes there are markers that show you. sometimes there is particular elections. sometimes local, sometimes federal. highly regionalized. that helped to tease out that portion of the map.
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the dialect maps give you a trace of how people speak by a county level. the material cultural maps do the same thing. you take all of these things a a end to you overlay them and there may be some areas where you are really not sure. you try to read of american history and figure out what happened. culture is a messy business. go it does not fall in straight lines. the map is solid. you have to make the best decision that you can. the dakotas are the hardest part to do. in terms of iowa, there is a yankee material building a culture that swipes through that believe section of northeast iowa. you get a bulge of the yankee that starts at dubuque and moves north.
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the norwegians coming from the lutheran, calvanist. ordered freedom and liberty kind of our approach to thing. they had an over flow into the northeastern part of iowa which is why i categorize it that way. i have been bouncing off people, what you see in the early history of violent, there was an effort to make the new territory of iowa yankee. -- in the early history of iowa there was an effort to make the new territory of iowa yankee. i would be curious to see what people from there think of it, if any of you are here. it is good to get crowdsourcing from individualized places. >> my question is, you mentioned in the modern times people are becoming more ideological condensed, perhaps is the word.
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there are homogenous effects. do you think this sort of condensing can cause something like, recently in texas there have been more and more movements to separate texas in a old civil war secession manner? >> governor perry was talking about seceding at some point. that feeds into the zeitgeist. the more the country that ideology and parts and loyalty and regional location are starting to sink up, as close as you get frustrated. you were from this place, the opposition and is from those people over there and they feel the same way.
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of course there is a political atmosphere. geographic as well as partisan differences which leads people to say, at least muttering bed it would be better if we seceded and not had to deal with you. i do hear people say it, i looked at the map, wouldn't it be easier if we just broken up and everybody would be happy? if you snap your fingers that might be true in theory, but i have a more tragic sense of the human condition. i was corresponding with eastern europe and the balkans with the collapse of commerce. i do not have faith that would all just happen peacefully if we started going down that road. i am very much of the, we have to work out a way to work together, not because the american experiment has been so successful, but the cliche that the world needs us a end our leadership is true.
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the more time we spend out there in the wider world, there is nobody else to step in and so it is really important to everybody on the planet that we somehow succeed and carry on. thank you. >> i wonder why you left miami and south florida out as a nation. >> at some point i needed to all decide and write to one book and tell the entire sweep on the american history. have it go back 400 years. i needed to define it and put some limits on it. so my definitions on how far i would go so i didn't end up writing on the tip of chile about the correlation of minors creating the croatian enclave, i
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needed to have a definition as to where i would stop. my definition was the landing point from which this went to our words had to be confined to the united states and canada. that left out hawaii, which is in greater polynesia. newfoundland, colonized from the northern sections of southern labrador. and the southern part of florida. this is a 400-year-old history. it starts with each culture, one chapter. then you will forward to the next days. each one added, i would have to be telling the history. it is a great story. the celestial navigators going up these islands, setting up cultures in hawaii and micronesia and elsewhere. but it does not intersect with most of the american story at a continental level. it does not enter our sphere
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until the yankee missionaries go out there and become a state after pearl harbor. newfoundland did not join canada and after world war ii. they only lost by a little bit. to stay out and become an independant country -- it made them feel they should have. to this day, if you were in it and get on a fairy, there is a constitutionally established very which must connect newfoundland with the rest of the country. when you are there, when you get on the fairy, everyone says, i am going to canada. they still say that. they are serious. also, south florida. it is important in today's political environment because florida is a swing state. because this is a history, florida, that did not matter in politics until the past 30 or 40 years or so. the deep south definitely
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settled the northern part of florida, although it was rather sparse. it did not form a founding culture of southernmost florida. that came not from the el norte part of new spain, but from the maritime portion. the caribbean zone. the treasure ships. coming from the mountains of silver. the transshipments of all of the stuff in asia that the spanish empire had gotten together. they put them on gigantic ships that crossed the pacific. maritime portion. the caribbean zone. the treasure ships. coming from the mountains of silver. floating fortresses. they got to the northern coast of florida and brought all of these incredible treasures. they all came up to havana and would work their way through the florida streets and were working to feel what the spanish empire. i would have to tell that an entire story to bring a south florida into the equation. that is why it is not in there. that is why it does not exist in
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there. as a columnist rightly said, "writer says south florida not part of the united states." [laughter] >> that will be it. please join me in thanking our speaker. there will be a book signing shortly. colin: thank you. [applause] tonight on "q&a," two ton prize-winning cartoonist on his recent book of satirical
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cartoons. >> i have this figure that is kind of a conglomeration of israeli settlers and the palestinian figure who is on a prayer rug but has his shoes on. both of these figures are utilizing a false religion for political purpose. equalves that i am an opportunity offender. on the next washington 2016al, a look at the agendas of the obama administration and congress with jeff mason and erika warner. kraushaar looks at the key races in the 2016 senate and former senator richard lugar.
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we take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. live at 7:00 a.m. et on c-span. susan: our guest on "newsmakers" this week is nicholas rasmussen, who is the director of the national counterterrorism center. he has held that position since last year, and he has spent his entire career in foreign policy and national security isssues. let me introduce our two reporters who will be asking the questions. eric schmidt of the new york times is covering national security. also damian paletta covers national security for the wall street journal. eric, you are up first. eric: there has been some success in ramadi in iraq. i was wondering if you could


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