The Nine Nations of North America

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The Nine Nations of North America is a book written in 1981 by Joel Garreau. In it, Garreau suggests that North America can be divided into nine nations, which have distinctive economic and cultural features. He also argues that conventional national and state borders are largely artificial and irrelevant, and that his "nations" provide a more accurate way of understanding the true nature of North American society. Paul Meartz of Mayville State University called it "a classic text on the current regionalization of North America".[1] The Nations reflected here are included in a Michael F. Flynn short story, in which all the Nine Nations have gained independence.

The Nine Nations[edit]

Approximate map of the Nine Nations of North America with each of their capitals

Garreau also discussed several areas that he termed "aberrations":

  • Washington, D.C. and its surrounding area, specifically referring to the area "inside the Beltway".
  • Manhattan south of Harlem (he placed Harlem, and by extension the Manhattan neighborhoods to its north, clearly within The Foundry), along with Connecticut's Fairfield County.
  • Hawaii, which the author considered an Asian aberration as much as a North American aberration.
  • Northern Alaska, despite its categorization on the front cover as part of the Empty Quarter, was listed in the aberrations section of the book.
  • Although not included in the "Aberrations" chapter of his book, Southern West Virginia was named by Garreau as a region which had significant aspects of both Dixie (Appalachian geography and historical ties to Virginia) and The Foundry (coal-based and unionized economy closely tied to the fortunes of the Rust Belt), and could be placed in either nation. Garreau's conclusion about the region was "In good times, southeastern West Virginia can be considered an isolated part of the Foundry. In bad times, it is an isolated part of Dixie." Garreau placed the northern half of the state in The Foundry.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (2011) Colin Woodard, ISBN 978-0143122029
  • Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the "Real" America (2009) Dante Chinni and James Gimpel