Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | April 30, 2009

End of Southern History Month 2009

I was distracted by l’affaire Frederick and work from making 30 posts on Southern history this April.  Not making excuses or apologies, just sharing the self-made goals – that I didn’t meet.

The more I read the more I am struck by distinctions in Southern culture.  The South could be its own nation-state as another branch from Western Civilization.  The one attempt at nationhood was a terrible experience for all involved.  And, while I like to call that war the 1st War for Southern Independence just to be “funnin”  folks, I understand that that idea is dead, dead, dead.   The future for the South is tethered in the American experience.

So, the outcome of ACW III – the Great U.S. Culture War – and WW IV – the World War Against the Islamists will be the destiny for the South.  The growing Christian identity of Southerners – which is different from the former denominational identities – looks to supercede the Southern identity.  So, if you ask a Southerner what they are in the future – you are likely to hear “American” and “Christian” and a long pause as your answer.  That will matter a lot at the end of this century when Europe and Canada fall behind the dark veil of Islam with majority Muslim populations. 

The major issue affecting the evolution of Southern Culture is the rate of immigration with Yankees and other foreigners.  If communities are less than 50% foreign, the power of the ideas that drive Southern Culture – the Scot-Irish Frontier sub-culture more than the Anlgican Tidewater sub-culture – will transform the immigrants in a generation into good Southerners.   If the rate of immigration brings the foreigners to over  50 %, as it has in a number of metro areas, then that piece of the South is no longer part of the South.

Demographics are destiny.  Ideas motivate humankind.  Ideas change the identity of demographics.  Then, the demographics portend a new destiny.

God Save the South.  Deo Vindice.


  1. Jim, this seems to be an unfortunate inevitability. I remember how northeast Tennessee was back in the mid 80’s while visiting my parents who had a farm way up in the Clinch mountains. I remember traveling around that area and how it felt to me. We go back periodically because we have land out on a lake there in that part of Tennessee and that changes are stunning. Large housing developments gouged out of the mountains and hillsides with little regard for the surroundings. It is rampant. It was a very sad sight to see. Even in California as I was growing up in Santa Cruz on the Monterrey Bay, I watched our little town become transformed into a completely different community, unrecognizable from the town that I had grown up in. The infiltration was from the northeast.

    I see this same movement happening in Northeast Tennessee. There are still small towns were Southerness is alive, but for how long?

    I am saddened by this.

    How does the South survive? Will it fade away?

    • Brinn: Thanks. Where the Southerners remain 50% of the population, I think the new evolving Southern identity – as all cultures change – produces the latest in Southern culture. I see that as being a Christian identity for the majority more than the former ideas of Southern nationalism.

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