What is THE SOUTH?
Bob and I had our first OLLI class last Thursday – The South as Region and Section: Colonial and Early National Beginnings with instructor Dr. A.V. Huff. We have had him for a class before and he is great. Funny, good speaker, interesting and definitely knows his material. We are having so much fun learning about our new state.
He started out talking about “What is the South?” Is it geographic area, the area south of the Mason Dixon Line, the states that made up the Confederacy or a culture?
What do you think of when you think of The South?
He spoke about 10 things that he thinks defines The South.
Generally short mild winters and long summers.
A rural economy in the south vs more a industrial economy in the north. Crops that defined the south are tobacco, cotton, rice and cane sugar. Along with these crops came the plantations and I know I certainly associate plantations with the south.
3. Decentralized Government – States Rights vs. Federal Gov. control
Not much more to say about that except it sure is true here in SC.
4. Negro population
I did some more research on this and found this map that shows the ethnic breakdown by state. Pretty interesting. I also thought it was interesting to look at where the people are that call themself American.
5. Image as Southern Gentleman, Southern Belles, Southern Hospitality
Even though the women were not as educated as northern women and they worked hard managing the plantations when they went out in public they were shown off as “Ornaments to Society”.
Evangelical Southern Religion. He said it was sometimes referred to as Bapto Methodism. This link shows the different religions by state. It’s pretty interesting.
I found the chart below on church attendance on wikipidia
|39||District of Columbia||33%|
7. Violent Culture
Wish this one wasn’t true but it’s a history of duals, fist fights, knives, lynching, feuds, the KKK and a strong military culture, domestic abuse, etc.
8. Southern Language/ Accent
I didn’t know this. The accent you hear goes back to the very early settlers in Virginia and SC in the 17th century who came from southern England and the pronunciations they used so it is an old style of speaking. Add in African words and African grammer and you have that southern accent.
Why are corn products, corn muffins, biscuits and grits so popular? Because hard winter wheat that grows in the north doesn’t grow well in the south. The beef and mutton eaten in the north are replaced by pigs (because they are so easy to take care of) bear, venison and turkey. The yam and nuts and beans are a big part of the diet.
10. View of world(the South) as wounded
Defeated in war, an economy destroyed by the Civil War and the resulting poverty that came after have defined how some southerners feel about themself and their state.