Regional Cultures in the USA (4/5): Central Conflicts and Developments in the 19th Century


Western expansion largely took place in the 19th century, and was characterized by streams of immigrants and the struggle for influence between the various cultures in the country.









The map which was forming began to look like this:

Bildbeschreibung          Bild1

(In comparison, today’s map of the USA)


New France in the USA had become much smaller, Tidewater remained geographically limited, while the Deep South, Appalachia, Yankeedom and the Midlands expanded westward. The states as we know them today took shape.

The Appalachian cultures, in many respects, were the big winners here. In the form of states, they now had political representation as well as national influence. Andrew Jackson, from Tennessee, became the 7th president of the United States (1829-37). Among his policies were the approval of slavery and the banishment of Native American populations.

In the Civil War (1861-65), fought over slavery and influence in the new states, the Deep South and Tidewater lost militarily, economically and politically. The winners wrote the official American history from the viewpoint of Yankeedom and its ideals, while, in the South, countermovements gradually formed: against the increased public education momentum from the North, which was (understandably) seen as an attempt to gain control, and against an equality-oriented liberality, which was reinterpreted as being “immoral.” New methods of racial segregation were sought and employed. A strengthening sense of religion developed, especially Christianity, which was private and internal – and distinguished from the political agenda of public Protestantism (Yankeedom) with its social tendency toward “world improvement.”

Today, several regions of the Deep South still suffer from weaker education and more poverty than the rest of the country. At the same time, attempts are being made to promote economic development through lower taxes, little regulation and attracting companies to set up shop there. Examples of such settlement of enterprises include production facilities for Mercedes in Alabama and Kia in Georgia.

In contrast to that situation are the excellent universities in the Midwest and west coast, such as Oberlin College or Stanford University, whose establishment both had Yankee roots. These “talent factories” attract intellectual capital from all over the USA and all over the world. Often, graduates remain in the USA to continue to develop their ideas as scientists or entrepreneurs (for instance, in Silicon Valley).

Having become milder in the clash with other influences, educational idealism and the notion of the improvability of the world have remained as driving Yankee forces. The Left Coast, a mixture of Yankeedom and Appalachian individualism, is most evident today in its political alliance with Yankeedom, with the advocacy of environmental protection, employee protection, affability towards education and more of a moderate foreign policy.

The ti communication USA office is situated in Portland, Oregon (Left Coast). This city is characterized by several universities, an open ideology, a pleasant mixture of a sense of community and autonomy, as well as a lively cultural scene.

Last but not least is the Far West: What is typical for this region and what role does it play now and will most likely play in the future?

Read on in Part 5.

 In the following weeks our Director of Business Development USA and author, Sabine Amend, will take you on a journey through the history of the United States.


Regional Cultures in the USA (5/5): The Far West a...
Regional Cultures in the USA (3/5): The Deep South...


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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

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