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Post updated, 7/23/15. See below!


At long last, I reach my 200th blog post. It’s been a quite a ride! Blogging on human biodiversity – or simply humanity – has taught me a great deal. Since the start, I hoped that I could offer some meager contribution to mankind with this blog. I will continue to try to do that.

Recent events have brought to light quite a bit of rubbish, from all sides. made it plain to me that this blog does have something to offer, and this very post should give a really good example of that. There has been rubbish coming from all sides here, and this blog – and this post – serves to try to clear this up.

In this post, I intend to reach out to newcomers, so I ask veteran readers to excuse the following lengthy review of certain basic topics. I hope to make human biodiversity (HBD) accessible to a wider audience, and maybe my long-time readers will find this post useful to share with those they’d like to educate on the topic. However, for the veterans, I also offer some new commentary.

In many ways, this post follows the tradition of my previous milestone post, 100 Blog Posts – A Reflection on HBD Blogging And What Lies Ahead, in that it reviews much I have discussed over the previous 100 posts and talks about some things in store for the future.

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Essential human categories: race and sex (and the Bruce Jenner/Rachel Dolezal controversies).
3. Guns, violence, and the Dylann Roof rampage
4. The American Nations
5. Heredity and behavioral genetics
6. Intraracial group variation and HBD Chick’s theory
7. The Deep South and the Confederate legacy
8. The Taboo Future


Over the past three weeks, three individuals have made headlines, each making a bigger media impact than the one before. All three have started discussions that are smack dab in purview of human biodiversity. And with all three, the discussion that has ensued in mainstream sources has been inane and rather bereft of facts. Many of the usual arguments ignoring (and in fact denying) the biological basis to human behavior have reigned, in addition to some bizarre new arguments. Many of these arguments continue to circulate in mainstream discourse despite the efforts that I and so many others have made (others include Greg Cochran & Henry Harpending, HBD Chick, Razib Khan, Peter Frost, “Misdreavus”, the Audacious Epigone, Steve Sailer, Emil Kirkegaard, and many, many others). This rubbish would be quickly dispelled if people took the time to cruise through the evidence marshaled on my blog or on many of the blogs linked above.

And now I have had enough.


2. Essential human categories: race and sex (and the Bruce Jenner/Rachel Dolezal controversies)

brain sex First and foremost, we should be aware of something that should go without saying at this point: biological sex is a real phenomenon. The differences between human male and human female (a fundamental division that is found across much of the animal kingdom) do not end only at plumbing; they extend all the way to visible differences in the brain, as can be seen in this graphic from Ingalhalikar et al (2013). This paper and many other pieces of evidence on the matter can be seen on my HBD Fundamentals page, section On biological sex differences.

These mean that it is impossible (with any technology we currently possess or likely to posses in the foreseeable future, anyway) for one to change one’s biological sex. The concept of “gender” is superfluous. “Psychological sex” (“gender”) stems from biological sex. Not only do the sexes differ in fundamental features of their brains, they differ in every cell in their bodies: different chromosomes, XX vs XY. A man who gets a “sex change” may have his external anatomy rearranged to appear as something resembling a woman, and may inject himself with female hormones, but the aforementioned fundamental differences remain unaltered and unalterable. The feeling that one’s sex is other than that one was born is a mental illness. Unfortunately, “transgender” individuals are merely deluding themselves into believing they have become the opposite sex, and modern society indulges them in this delusion.

These facts were discussed by Greg Cochran (Transsexuals | West Hunter and Elves, Orcs, and all that | West Hunter), Peter Frost (Gender Reassignment of Children), and Paul McHugh. Bruce (“Caitlyn”) Jenner is no more now a woman than he ever was, but many who point out that fact have been chastised – often being called “transphobic” (a point to which I’ll return).

Just as biological sex is real, so is race.

Race among humans is as real as ancestry, which ultimately is what race is. Different ancestral human groups have, through time and evolution, accumulated differences in their respective biologies. The oft-repeated claim that “race is a social construct” – which is technically true – is meaningless.

Pluto. Is it a planet or not? Even planets are “social constructs.”

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With the recent spate of mass shootings, (at least four high-profile incidents occurring in the U.S. and Canada in the last two weeks), the issues of guns and violence inevitably come up. Naturally, the politically correct wisdom, which is founded on the blank slate (or at least, a bare slate), wants to blame these events on “environmental,” “cultural,” and “societal” factors. We saw much of this bullshit in action with the most high-profile of these shootings, Elliot Rodger’s rampage. I have commented on this (see Beware Armchair Psychoanalysis). In his case, crackpot theories weren’t limited to coming from the bare slate P.C. establishment, but came from within the “genetically-informed”* community itself. Few of these explanations likely have any truth to them, and my earlier post should have made the foolishness of cooking up these environmental theories obvious.

This is not to say that there aren’t environmental factors that play a role in these crimes, but they are hard to identify. Peter Turchin’s work may be the closest to fleshing some of these out.

However, most of the naive discussion on the matter ignores one incredibly important factor in rates of violence and the prevalence of guns: DNA.

Previously, in my post Guns & Homicide, Map Form, I showed that the relationship between the prevalence of guns and homicide, globally, was pretty weak:

World_map_of_civilian_gun_ownership_-_2nd_color_scheme.svgMap_of_world_by_intentional_homicide_rateHomicide rate per capita on bottom. I had hoped that at least settled the situation. But it did not. Now, let us just look at gun deaths (from here, additional information here):

While it’s not totally clear if this map distinguishes gun homicides from gun suicides, it nonetheless shows that the association between the presence of guns and violence is pretty damned weak. This is true if even we limit ourselves to the high average IQ nations (i.e., the “developed” world).

Indeed, an interesting pattern emerges if we look within nations (at all homicides, not just firearm-related), as well (from here):

[Edit, 4/11/15: Added a map of the world, which has homicide rates across the entire globe at a higher resolution than the map at the start of the post

Violence Map

[Edit, 9/26/14: Added a map of the world, which has homicide rates across the entire globe at a higher resolution than the map at the start of the post:

As well as these data in graph form:]

Homicide global graph

Also, see this close-up of Europe:

BydoE2BIgAA43cP.jpg large***End edit***]

There’s plenty of killing in Eastern Europe (even in Finland, apparently, in the Sami areas), mostly the former Soviet states. But even within Russia, rates of violence are higher in the far east. Note the pattern in North America. I will return to that shortly.

On the basic level, before you can postulate a causal relationship, you should at least have a correlation. The “guns cause violence” crowd doesn’t even have that. That didn’t stop one study from somehow finding one, though.

In Gun Ownership and Firearm-related Deaths (2013), the authors claimed a fairly strong (r = 0.8) correlation between the availability of guns in a nation and firearm related deaths it has. A look at their data illustrates this – and the problems with their methodology:


A look at the specific flags featured should make the problem clear: all the countries examined were in Western Europe and the Anglosphere, with Turkey, South Africa, Israel, and Japan thrown in. As we see from the above maps, including Eastern Europe would have thrown off their relationship just a bit.

Additionally, they lumped gun suicides in with gun homicides. It almost goes without saying that there will be a connection between the availability of guns and the rate of gun suicides. Guns make suicide attempts more likely to be successful, for starters.

Swiss-guns-and-bikes-85530937385-390x330 Though I suppose it could be conceivable that one could argue that the presence of guns has some effect within different Northwestern European peoples. Does this argument make sense? Well, if you’ve been following along here, you might guess where I am going to go with that.

In my series on the American nations, particularly my earlier post, More Maps of the American Nations, I noted the great regional variation in guns and crime. Let us look at some of these again, closely:

And here’s a map by with more granular data, gun dealers per capita per county:


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Post updated, 6/10/14. See below!

As we saw previously (see My Most Read Posts), my post Maps of the American Nations is the single most popular post so far here on my blog. Americans all over are supremely interested in both their origins and the reasons for the cultural quirks of the different American regions.

Fundamentally, the reason for these regional differences is the inherited traits of the people who comprise the various ethnonational regions. In this post, I will further elucidate the existence and pervasiveness of these differences, as well as make the case for their ultimately genetic underpinnings. As well, I will tackle the persistent myth of “assimilation” that is often thrown about in discussion of American regional differences and other human differences.

The roots of these regional differences across the continent trace themselves to the people who settled them. This begins with the founding groups, whose typically explosive population growth seeded each area with a single large ethnic group, establishing the cultural foundation. This was then supplanted by demographic input of subsequent immigrants. Indeed, the character of each region – especially outside the current “Dixie” alliance – deviates from the character of each area’s founding stock thanks the contributions from the many immigrant groups that have come in.

Many believe that the eventual fate of immigrants is to “assimilate.” But, as has been discussed here, assimilation largely does not occur. Indeed, if it did, why would the different American nations be recognizable as separate ethno-cultural-political areas today? To the extent that any assimilation occurs, it is only in the most superficial ways, such as language, dress, or adoption of technology. Immigrant groups generally do not conform in less content-laden aspects, such as economic achievement/performance, criminality, or overall political/social/religious views. On top of this, intermixing can give the false impression of assimilation, as this causes the behavior of “native” and immigrant groups to converge over time. Later in this post, I will address this matter at length.

First, let us look again at the American nations as described by Colin Woodard:


Previously we saw that we could demarcate the various nations with voting habits:

American Nations 2012nationwidecountymapshadedbypercentagewonD

For more on the nature of each “nation”, see my previous post Flags of the American Nations and/or this piece by Woodard on his book with respect to the Tea Party. This political split is not new. Historically, each nation voted much as a bloc, although the current blue state/red-state coalitions don’t go that far back, and the alliances between different nations have shifted quite a few times in the country’s history (see the historic presidential election result maps results here).

We see a rather pronounced split, with Yankeedom (Greater New England), the Midlands, the Left Coast, New Netherland, and “El Norte” on one side, and the Deep South, Greater Appalachia, and the Far (Interior) West on the other team. These dueling alliances sit at the center of the present political battles in the United States, as we saw in my previous post Mapping the Road to American Disunion.

However, we also see some distinct deep “blue” regions across the Old South and Southwest. These underscore the importance of taking into account the racial divides across the country:

White Liberal Counties

…as seen in my previous post Colors and Lights. Of course, the racial division contributes considerably to the “cultural” divide – but politically, across the nation, the non-White vote tends to be pretty uniform, as noted by Audacious Epigone. Politically, the main divide exists among the country’s White population, as seen here (from here):

White Vote County US

As we see, the Tidewater, the historic seat of the Cavalier Lowland South, leans towards team blue mostly because of the large Black population there (however, some of the Tidewater is also being colonized by more liberal-leaning Whites spilling out from the Washington D.C. metro area). In addition to voting habits, language/dialect, average IQ, criminality, military zeal, and attitudes towards cannabis (as seen previously), the American Nations make themselves visible in other rather significant ways.

Some of these differences can be quite surprising, such as reaction to adverse weather (in terms of the amount of snow needed to cancel school), as seen on my post Snow Nations:

Snow Nations 2

The American nations are also discernible in Americans’ enthusiasm for major league sports teams, here baseball (from here):original

Basketball (favorite NBA team, from here):

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Another map of the American nations:

Medicaid Obamacare This is where the states stand on Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid. As you can see, it’s far from universally embraced. Now let’s compare that to this map:

American Nations 2012nationwidecountymapshadedbypercentagewonD

And for that matter, this map:

Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County.svg Most of the usual suspects. Most prominent among those who reject the Medicaid expansion are those in the Deep South/Tidewater. By contrast, much of Yankeedom, the Midlands, and the Left Coast have embraced it openly, as expected.

Interestingly, much of Greater Appalachia has embraced the Medicaid expansion as well. This highlights a very important aspect of the healthcare discussion, as with socialist ideals in general: the importance of homogeneity.

A few recent articles have correctly noted that the Deep South’s opposition to Obamacare stems from simmering racism. More accurately (though not by much), I’d say it stems from clannish peoples not wanting share the spoils of the commonweal with those outside the “tribe”:

From Racism and Cruelty: What’s Behind the GOP’s Healthcare Agenda? | The Nation

Before he was disgraced into resigning his presidency over the Watergate burglary scandal, Richard Nixon had successfully engineered an even more odious plot known as his Southern Strategy. The trick was devilishly simple: Appeal to the persistent racist inclination of Southern whites by abandoning the Republican Party’s historic association with civil rights and demonizing the black victims of the South’s history of segregation.

That same divisive strategy is at work in the Republican rejection of the Affordable Care Act. GOP governors are largely in control of the 26 states, including all but Arkansas in the South, that have refused to implement the act’s provision for an expansion of Medicaid to cover the millions of American working poor who earn too much to qualify for the program now. A New York Times analysis of census data concludes that as a result of the Republican governors’ resistance, “A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help. …”

Also this piece from Paul Krugman – The War On The Poor Is A War On You-Know-Who:

What the report makes clear is that the current Republican obsession with attacking programs that benefit Americans in need, ranging from food stamps to Obamacare, isn’t about some philosophical commitment to small government, still less worries about incentive effects and implicit marginal tax rates. It’s about anxiety over a changing America — the multiracial, multicultural society we’re becoming — and anger that Democrats are taking Their Money and giving it to Those People. In other words, it’s still race after all these years.

Of course, in Krugman’s case, he’s unsurprisingly blind to the deleterious effects the demographic change he extols will have, but he is spot on about conservative White opposition to social welfare programs.

As HBD Chick put it (on her post liberal (white) guilt as altruistic punishment):

i said: “…lady a is ok with contributing to the commonweal, but lady b (and her man, bubba) are not (even though, at the same time, they might be VERY ok with TAKING from the common pot!).”

for the record, i think this is one of the fundamental problems with “lady b”/clannish societies, and that is that, while they generally do not want to contribute to the common pool (to varying degrees), they are VERY happy to TAKE from the common pool as much as possible to the benefit of themselves and their extended family members.

The clannish elements of British American society, the descendants of the Cavaliers and the Ulster Scots, are indifferent to contributing a common pot, and they are certainly uncomfortable about anything they contribute to the common pot going to non-kin, especially people who aren’t even of the same race.

The denizens of the Deep South/Tidewater live in states with large Black minorities. Deep Southern Whites correctly see their funds being redistributed from themselves to non-Whites, particularly Blacks. Hence, they oppose it.

Which brings me to Greater Appalachia. The Appalachian states that accept the Medicaid expansion are largely homogeneously Scotch-Irish. Further still, they would certainly be on the receiving end of tax revenue from Obamacare. Hence, they are more receptive to the Medicaid expansion, perhaps correctly reasoning that they stand to gain from its implementation (at least within-state).

Interestingly, the Far West is a bit topsy-turvy from what we’d expect. The northern more homogenous Far Western states oppose the Medicaid expansion, while the ones that contain “El Norte” embrace it. In the former case, I suspect that the rugged individualism of the Far Westerners overrides their recognition that they’d (largely) stand to gain from Obamacare. However, Montana did set up its own single-payer universal health care system ahead of Obamacare. This may exemplify the sentiment in somewhat clannish peoples: commonweal, but only for those in the tribe.

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In his most recent post, Greg Cochran quipped that since corporal punishment is a quiet issue these days, it likely works. EDIT: That is, it works in keeping kids in line at school, and only that. Needless to say, the map of states with legal corporal punishment in schools follows the Map of the American Nations (from Wikipedia)
Red = allowed; blue = not allowed:


The “Dixie” nations of the Tea Party as discussed in the previous post again make an appearance. School corporal punishment is clearly a Deep Southern, Greater Appalachian, and Far Western phenomenon.

This should not be surprising. The Southern nations were founded by two much more aggressive groups of fore-bearers than the northern nations were, the Cavaliers and the denizens of the English-Scottish border areas (also see Flags of the American Nations). Indeed, while the “home” states of those two groups, Virginia and West Virginia, currently ban corporal punishment today, they were among the most recent states to ban it.

However, it’s worth taking a look at how often corporal punishment is actually used in schools in these states:

Corporal table

The states with high incidences of corporal punishment all have significant non-White populations, primarily Black (see M.G. on that here). We can safely assume that Black students receive most of the punishment in these states.

Those states which have nearly all-White populations – mostly Greater Appalachian ones – seem to use the punishment on a much smaller share of students. This is consistent with the notion that the Scotch-Irish and Cavaliers are violent with respect to other Whites, but considerably less violent than other groups, such as Blacks.

Cochran suspects that corporal punishment might work; perhaps the reality is that it works best for the more aggressive (and hence more troublesome) groups. I suspect it’s largely unnecessary for the more peaceable northern Whites (aggressive later arrivals to the North notwithstanding).

EDIT: For the record, since I didn’t make it clear, I am not a fan of corporal punishment myself personally. That said, for the peoples in the South, and perhaps certain people of color, it may be an effective solution for them . I see no reason to expand it to the North or change anything overall.

Edit, 9/16/14: See also from the Audacious Epigone, on racial differences in support for corporal punishment:

The Audacious Epigone: Pat on the butt too much for Pats’ fans
The Audacious Epigone: Spare and spoil? Not in the US

Spanking, too, has a racial component. Namely, blacks are its strongest advocate. The following table shows the percentages who agree that spanking is justifiable, by race.

See also my further discussion of the American Nations:

More Maps of the American Nations

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This was on this evening’s NBC Nightly News broadcast. I’ve snipped an interesting series of three stories (the preceding stories were about the western wildfires and the impending U.S. involvement in the civil war is Syria – which is an asinine idea, by the way).

[gigya src="msnbc7f3cd2" src="msnbc83e00a" src="" FlashVars="launch=52837342^472184^1030441&width=592&height=346" allowscriptaccess="always" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent"]

Yup, you saw it. They followed the horrible story of the beating death of the (White) World War II veteran Delbert Belton by Black hoodlums with a story about the ongoing Black quest for Civil Rights, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. This is the essence of irony, to say the least (or perhaps just highly unfortunate timing). The bit even contains a Black man claiming that he’s dreaming of a world where 16 year-olds can walk home from the store without getting killed… :

Even the fact that the news broadcast was anchored by Lester Holt adds to the irony. Holt – as an accomplished Black man – serves as a visible reminder of the full range of “diversity” that exists among Blacks, and of the contrast between himself and not so accomplished Black men, such as the killers.

And, interestingly, the third story talks about Gary, Indiana – a Chicago suburb which is 85% Black, much like another U.S. city. And with that other city, Gary shares in many of the same problems. However, like some other Black-dominated areas, Gary may be taking steps towards improvement.

The incredible irony here – which I’m sure will rile up more than a few of you – may be something. But truth be told, the movement that gives us this modern push for Black civil rights may be a good thing. It serves as a counter balance to other forces within country that would serve to push things to bad places. To put it in terms of my series on the American nations, I wouldn’t be surprised that if the Dixie nations (i.e., the Tidewater, the Deep South, and Greater Appalachia) were left to their own devices, they’d in short order re-institute Jim Crow or something similar.

Tidewater Flag15430_flags_confederate_flagNASCARcheckered

Of course, I don’t have to tell you that the Cavalier and Borderlander sentiment is still alive and well (the latter of which gave us the KKK – albeit for semi-defensive reasons – in response to the encroachment of freed Blacks into Appalachia – see Those Who Can See). But in case there’s any doubt:

As well, as further evidence of the lasting divisions between the American nations, see these two maps:

us_1860_slv_041001_400 Red_state,_blue_state.svg

The second map is that of the overall direction each state voted in the last four presidential elections (ranging from 4 out of 4 times, to 3 out of 4 times, to 2 times for each party), from Wikipedia.

The historic division between the “Northern Alliance” (Yankeedom/Greater New England, the Midlands, and the Left Coast) and the Dixie coalition (the Tidewater, the Deep South, Greater Appalachia, and much of the Far West) remains.

But in reality, I don’t think these recent murders will change much. The Belton and Lane killings have gotten attention, but they’ll likely fall down the memory hole, I suspect. I don’t think that they will bring about a “new era” of race realism as some in the blogosphere have claimed (or hope). And that’s likely a good thing; it’s better that HBD doesn’t go mainstream that way, I think. More likely – and perhaps better – is if the power of genetics becomes evident through the availability of embryo screening technology. (Of course, this is assuming that scientists manage to pin down genes for desirable traits; we don’t seem to be making all that much progress so far.) However, it’s possible that we might just have to wait for knowledge of HBD to become accepted in polite society, and for the demographic problems that we face to be recognized and tackled. Unless…

Also see Steve Sailer, Celebrating Martin Luther King and How rare is crime?

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Continuing my on-going series on the regional differences – genetic regional differences – between the different Euro-Americans in the United States and Canada, here I will present a series of maps demonstrating some of the evidence for the existence and significance of these differences, beyond the historical circumstances explored by David Hackett Fischer (DHF) in Albion’s Seed and Colin Woodard in American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.

First, again, the American Nations as they exist today:


Now, let’s look at regions of origin of the colonial Americans:


These are the regions of Britain from which the Anglo-American settlers hail, as drawn from DHF’s research in Albion’s Seed. The Puritans (who are discussed by HBD Chick here: east anglia, kent and manorialism and here: clannish or not?) hail from East Anglia and Kent in southeastern England. The Quakers (see the myddle people | hbd* chick and geographical origin of the quakers | hbd* chick EDIT, 9/18/13: see also on the topographical origins of the quakers | hbd* chick and quaker individualism | hbd* chick) originate from the industrial North Midlands. The Cavaliers (see The Cavaliers) hail from southwestern England. And the Scotch-Irish Borderlanders (see “culture” of honor | hbd* chick and hatfields and mccoys | hbd* chick) originate in the English-Scottish border areas – some via Ulster.

The line on the above map is a division between the areas of Britain that practiced a greater degree of cousin marriage versus the areas that are more outbred. In general, the areas north and west of the line appear to have had a more recent history of cousin marriage. This division also marks the areas held by opposing sides in the English Civil War (as discussed by HBD Chick):


As for the non-British settlers, the settlers to New France originate from a few specific areas of northwestern France (see what’s up with french canadians? | hbd* chick and canadiens | hbd* chick):


The areas circled in red are from where the bulk of settlers to Quebec originated. The area circled in green is from where the Acadians originated (some of which later became the Cajuns of Louisiana).

(I am still collecting data on the regions of origin of the German settlers to America. The Germans – particularly the Pietists – were a significant fraction of the early settlers and continued to be a large fraction of the settlers to the United States and Canada throughout both countries early histories. If anyone has such data, feel free to let me know.

EDIT, 9/18/13: See also: Germania’s Seed?)

The expansion of the various settlements across the continent was detailed by Colin Woodard:


The Yankees and the Midlanders (mostly Germans) had the northern part of the country into which they could expand. The Borderlanders settled the interior, violently fighting they way across. The Lowland Southerners expanded their plantations along the fertile soils along the Gulf coast.

As for the New French colonies, the two main colonies – Quebec and Acadia – faced considerably different fates after each suffered British conquest. Acadia was essentially erased; its population dispersed and its lands becoming British settlements. EDIT, 5/10/14: But some of the colonists were able to eventually return to the Maritimes/Maine to reestablish a remnant of the colony. See Acadie. Some of its colonists survived in their exclave in Louisiana. On the other hand, the Québécois were already too numerous to be easily cleansed from their lands by the British, and were generally left alone under British rule.

In the North, the Yankees and Midlanders were joined by additional, newer Northwestern European settlers. In the Midlands, and parts of Yankeedom, this included Germans. These were joined by Scandinavians in Greater New England. As well, Catholic Irish dispersed all throughout this area. (See Those Who Can See: Were you Assimilable?)

All of these groups readily intermarried with each other, creating a new and genetically unique American (and Canadian) population.

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Sir-Anthony-van-Dyck-Lord-John-Stuart-and-His-Brother-Lord-Bernard-Stuart Continuing my series on the American nations (see also A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”; Flags of the American Nations; Sound Familiar?), I take a look at the Cavaliers.

The founders of the U.S. Tidewater and Deep South were people of noble blood that originated primarily from southwestern England, in an area centered on Bristol running north to Liverpool and south to Exeter.

During the English Civil War of 1642-1651, the Cavaliers fought on the side of the king (the Royalists) against the Parliamentarian forces. In many ways, this war was the forerunner to the establishment of English democracy, as well as being the predecessor to the American Civil War. The Puritans, the historic arch-rivals of the Cavaliers, fought against the latter group as members of the Eastern Association. Indeed, many New England Puritans left the colony and went back to England to fight in the war. When the Eastern Association defeated the Royalists in England, many Cavaliers fled to Virginia, founding the area that would serve as the nucleus of the American South – in addition to sowing the seeds of future conflict.

Tidewater Flag Quite unlike the Puritan settlement in New England or the Quaker colony in the Delaware valley, the Cavaliers had not come to America to create any sort of utopian society. Instead, the came for conquest and prestige. The aristocratic landowners thought that they’d replicate some of the Spanish imperial success in America, and immediately battled the Natives in an attempt to subjugate and/or exterminate them. The Cavalier lords brought slaves with them – indentured servants, some of which were people who traded their servitude for their passage to America; others were unfortunate wretches snatched from the street in England.

The Tidewater settlement, compared to the others in America, was highly disorganized. The majority of the “settlers” were men, and the majority of those perished in the hot, disease ridden swamps there – to be replaced by wave after wave of additional colonists. Eventually after extirpating the Natives, the Cavaliers established the tobacco plantation system there, and the colony grew as its enormous profits attracted more settlers.

For the lords whose plantations succeeded – and for the few servant men that managed to work themselves up out of the fields – the Tidewater colony was a prosperous and highly profitable enterprise. The plantation lords established themselves as kings of their estates, growing rich off the misery and toil in their fields.

15430_flags_confederate_flag On the Caribbean island of Barbados, a very similar process ensued. Fortune-seeking settlers established a sugar-growing plantation society much like the one in Virginia, one which was also based on exploitation and indentured servitude (often forced – indeed “Barbados” became a verb in England). After word of the horrors of Barbadian life got back to England, the flow of White slaves ceased, and eventually, African slaves were employed, copying practices learned from similar colonies in South America. Slaves were worked to death in fields, and shipload after shipload came in to replace them. Eventually, the Cavalier lords exhausted the island, forcing them to relocate. They moved to (among many other places) what would become South Carolina (naming it after King Charles, after the royal victory over the Puritans in England). Thus they formed the Deep South proper, establishing it as a slave-based exploitation society from the outset. African slavery soon spread north to the Tidewater, but it didn’t become as prominent there as it was in the Deep South. By the mid 1700s, Blacks came to outnumber Whites in the Deep South by a factor of 5 to 1 – as opposed to 1.7 to 1 in the Tidewater. Indeed, in the Tidewater, some Blacks even became slave-owning plantation lords themselves. This was never the case in the Deep South, as a strict racial caste system was established, one that eventually spread to the Tidewater.

Society in the Tidewater and the Deep South was strictly hierarchical. Every man, woman, and child had their place, and each was expected to show their due respect to their social superiors. The plantation lords ruled with impunity, having no trouble taking advantage of underlings, be they Black, White, or Native – male or female. Indeed, the plantation lords were sexually voracious, and helped themselves to the women under their dominion, Black and White. In Albion’s Seed, David Hackett Fischer (DHF) talks about the diary of one of these plantation lords, who Fischer describes as a “sexual predator”:

A famous example was the secret diary of William Byrd II, an exceptionally full and graphic record of one planter’s very active sex life. In its attitude toward sex, this work was very different from any diary that was kept in Puritan New England. William Byrd was a sexual predator. Promiscuous activity was a continuing part of his mature life, and in some periods an obsession. With very mixed success, he attempted to seduce relatives, neighbors, casual acquaintances, strangers, prostitutes, the wives of his best friends, and servants both black and white, on whom he often forced himself, much against their wishes.
In the period 1709 to 1712, for example, when Byrd was more or less happily married, he was frequently engaged in sexual adventures:

2 [November 1709] I played at [r-m] with Mrs. Chiswell and kissed her on the bed till she was angry and my wife also was uneasy about it, and cried as soon as the company was gone. I neglected to say my prayers, which I ought not to have done, because I ought to beg pardon for the lust I had for another man’s wife.

It is important to note that the remorse he felt on this occasion had to mainly to do with his sense of violating another gentleman’s property. More often, he felt no remorse at all.
Sometimes Byrd and his Virginia gentleman-friends went on collective woman hunts:

11 Mar. 1711. After church Mr. Goodwin invited us to dinner and I ate fish. Here we saw a fine widow Mrs. O-s-b-r-n who had been handsome in her time. From hence we went to Mr. B’s where we drank cider and saw Molly King, a pretty black girl.
20 [October 1711] Jenny, an Indian girl, had got drunk and made us good sport.
21 [October 1711] At night I asked a negro girl to kiss me

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My previous two posts featured some of the flags – assigned by me – of the various “nations” of North America, as described by Colin Woodard, and as derived from David Hackett Fischer.

Inspired by the Bloomberg map of the American nations, where Woodard assigned a flag to each nation, I thought I’d make my own set of flags for each of Woodard’s Nations – based on revisions to Woodard’s Bloomberg version – including a little discussion of each of the nations. Residents from these regions, please feel free to voice your thoughts on my choices. :)

US Flag Blue SkyCanada Flag


Yankeedom, a.k.a., Greater New England:

Yankeedom3b This flag is composed of iconic symbols of Yankee culture: the New England sports teams, with the logo of the tellingly named Patriots – a proud Yankee – in the center. Surrounding this are the emblems of certain New England Ivy League schools, symbolizing that decidedly Puritan tradition of education. Long viewing themselves as enlightened people (indeed, the Puritans thought that were God’s chosen people), the Yankees see themselves as stewards of the nation (and indeed today, the world, in many respects). They gave us many of our traditions, such as laying the foundations for democracy and equality. They also established many of the customs we now know (particularly universal education) as well as much of the mythos of American history. They weren’t enthused about outsiders, and only accepted immigrants into their midst once they embarked on an overt policy of assimilation (including a real ceremonial melting pot). Today, their “SWPL” descendants remain indifferent to outsiders, being de facto unwelcoming to people unlike themselves (the “people from away“, or PFAs, as their known here in northern New England) even if they outwardly speak of ideals of diversity. Crusaders for social justice to a fault, the Yankees seek to spread their enlightenment to others, often whether they like it or not.

New Netherland:

Albany, NY I’ve used the flag of the city of Albany, NY, which much more closely resembles the flag of the New Netherland colony than does the flag of New York City, despite the latter city being much more clearly the epicenter of the cultural region. “New Netherland” is of course the nation most removed, ethnically, from its founding composition (see “Being the Dutch” at West Hunter), but still quite similar in its character (in being cosmopolitan and capitalistic). New Amsterdam was established as a trading center (and indeed, was the business capital for the Deep South), a role which New York City and its heavily ethnically mixed metro area continues to play today.

New France:

Flag of New France-A This is simply a combination of the flag of Quebec, the flag of the colony of New France, and the flag of Acadia, EDIT, 9/17/13: and the flag of Acadiana in Louisiana. The French colonists took a decidedly different route than did the British settlers, insisting on good relations with the Native populations from the beginning (something the Brits copied in their own Canadian settlements). The French colonists early on cast off notions of aristocracy and social hierarchy. The initial population was small and isolated (being only about 2,600 in Quebec), but soon exploded in size. Today, their descendants seem to have reversed in many of the traits, having evolved towards clannishness and corruption since being in the New World, perhaps due to inevitable inbreeding given their tiny initial population.

The Midlands: