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The 11 American nations, in one map

The 11 American nations, in one map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Red states and blue states? Flyover country and the coasts? How simplistic. Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.

“The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of maps — including maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history,” Woodard writes in the Fall 2013 issue of Tufts University’s alumni magazine. “Our continent’s famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities.”

Take a look at his map.


Seth Dixon's insight:

What do you like about these regional divisions?  What do you think about this map is inaccurate?  Here is an NPR podcast interview with the author of the book and map. 

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 21, 2014 7:29 PM

This is interesting.  When we created our maps of the United States and broke the country up in regions, I imagine that most people did it by what states fit together with not much reason as to why.  This shows a way of breaking the country up into more than just what states are next to each other but rather how people think about subjects such as the government and gun policy.  An interesting way to break up the country, but makes a lot of sense.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, September 23, 2014 12:54 PM

The first thing I noticed about this map, and really liked, was that the nations extend past the borders of the United States. That allows these nations to reflect the similarities shared among large regions. These cultural, economic, and political regions reflect something that extends beyond the political borders of any one country. Southern Arizona is very similar to Mexico just like Northern Idaho is similar to Canada. The region labeled the Far West lumps together many different areas, likely because of the similar geography. However, there is more diversity in these areas than the map shows, for example there is a fairly big difference between the culture and political beliefs of Nevada and Utah, and western New Mexico is very different from Montana.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 13, 2014 12:31 PM

The way this map has been broken up is rather accurate. With the Greater Appalachia, stretching through West Virginia and into northwest Texas. Also, El Norte being separated due to the linguistic differences that have always been around that area.

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