Michigan – What American “Culture Nation” Do We Belong To?
Here's the problem: everyone wants to label everything.
I thought we weren't doing that anymore - and yet.....
Recently, a map popped up on Business Insider of the "11 American Nations" defined by the different cultures that supposedly exist in the U.S. An author named Colin Woodward wrote a book entitled, "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America," in 2011. He's separated the country into 11 different cultures that populate the U.S.
Woodward contends Michigan is part of the "Yankeedom" culture, which he says includes everything in the northern U.S. from Maine to Minnesota. According to Woodward, "Yankees are comfortable with government regulation." And "have a "Utopian streak." Meanwhile, just to our south is "Midland". The Midlands "are a welcoming middle-class society that spawned the culture of the 'American Heartland.' Political opinion is moderate, and government regulation is frowned upon."
One of the other nations he describes as "Greater Appalachia", which, "values personal sovereignty and individual liberty. And "It sides with the Deep South to counter the influence of federal government". Drive around the wilds of the U.P. and tell me that isn't going on up there.
I don't think Michigan can be pinned down this easily. Think of all the southerners who moved here to work in car factories. That culture still exists in some places. Not to mention - how do Native Americans in Michigan, who have their own actual mini-nations here, feel about this?
This isn't the first time I've heard of this theory. I worked with a guy in the 80s who was fascinated by the "nations of America" concept. It might have been more of a real idea then, before we had the internet and cable TV news. What do YOU think?