Nothing to Do with Location

In the Foreword and Introduction to Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the “Real” America, Chinni and Suarez explain that Our Patchwork Nation is meant to help the reader better understand America by organizing the U.S. into certain categories. Rather than recognizing America as a single entity, Chinni realizes that America is a complex nation with […]

Questionable Questions?

“Trends in American Values,” a continuous study done by the Pew Research Center from 1987-2012, in meant to track changes in the beliefs Americans hold over time. Looking at social, political, and moral values, researchers designed questions to survey people’s feelings on each topic. However, some of these questions seem, well, questionable. Take, for instance, […]

A Disturbing Depiction of the Deep South

In the chapter “The Deep South Spreads West,” Colin Woodard offers an assessment of the motivation behind the Deep South’s expansion in the first half of the nineteenth century. According to Woodard, the Deep South sought new lands for cotton growing and the expansion of slavery. Encompassing more territory would allow the Deep South to […]

How Much Does Culture Matter?

While describing why the thirteen colonies revolted against British rule, Colin Woodard gives his explanation of why eighteen colonies did not revolt. He attributes this to their culture and to their unique self-interests. Unlike the thirteen colonies,…

Ties to New France

Reading Colin Woodard’s description of New France, I was intrigued. Unlike the English colonists, the French wisely befriended the Native Americans and treated them as equals. They sought to assimilate the natives into their culture through persuasion, not force. Such an accepting attitude is shocking when viewed in contrast with English and Spanish policies toward […]