Talk:Southern United States

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Former good article Southern United States was one of the Geography and places good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Nezzdude, you have deleted sourced material three times without any explanation besides "Why promote nationalism?" Please cease. This section of the article has been expanded and improved with examples and citations. Eastcote (talk) 22:47, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Previous reference supports new text?[edit]

Rjensen, I don't disagree with your assertion beginning "Apart from..." (10/22 00:45) but is this supported by the prior reference at the end of the new additions, which was "Cooper and Knotts"? Thanks. Student7 (talk) 16:59, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

yes it is, and I'll also add their new book that has more details. For example they say "The United States is increasingly homogenized. Strip malls, cookie-cutter housing developments and the rise of chain restaurants...." Rjensen (talk) 17:21, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

South like everyplace else[edit]

Well, okay, particularly in the cities and suburbs the South is like everyplace else. Not so much the rural areas though where novel infrastructure is lacking. And like everyplace out of the Northeast, the vistas tend to be broader, roadways generous, traffic less onerous, traffic politer IMO, people are often politer too (out of their cars!  :). There is less animosity in the political process. Fewer people out to "get" somebody, regardless of the consequences. Less crime I think. More religious; since the South is mostly Protestant, this is very noticeable - one of the few Protestant religious centers in America. Fewer people doing "their thing" disregarding the opinions and feelings of others. Not as "clique-y as up North. So their are still differences. They just aren't as superficial. Student7 (talk) 19:48, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I think Student7 is accurately describing rural America, north south east and west-- that is, the rural South is much like the rural non-South (except for the weather). Now that cotton is mostly gone, even the farming is similar. The South once was distinctive in its local rural merchants every few miles, but people now drive to Wal-mart 25 miles away.Rjensen (talk) 20:06, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Got to agree with you, Rjensen. Rural Alabama looks much like rural Michigan. In my experience, traffic in rural Alabama is actually more congested, and the houses closer together than in Michigan, and I've been all around both states. Regarding broad vistas, in my opinion there are more wide open spaces in the northern Midwest and upstate New York. And there have always been plenty of ornery people out to "get" someone in Alabama (I'm originally from there, by the way). And the South leads the nation in both property crime and violent crime. See FBI stats: [1] However, I think one of the remaining distinctions about the South certainly is the religion factor. Very noticeable, and a little disconcerting for the uninitiated. But by and large the South is becoming like most other places. Eastcote (talk) 21:58, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm wondering now if the paragraph ought to be placed in its own article, if it can be generalized, and link to it from here under "Homogenization of America" or somesuch. Differences could be described. It seems to me that this could be placed into any article, Southwest, New England, etc. Student7 (talk) 13:35, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
The point is that something happened in the South that did not happen elsewhere. The rest of the country was not regionally distinct but the South once was.Rjensen (talk) 17:58, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
I think someone should consider "reworking" the language of the paragraph. It might be toned down a bit while maintaining the same objective. When wording annoys people, it is probably a good idea to rework it around the same reliable references. It reads a bit "funny" like someone with a pov. Not so sure that the same thing can't be said in a somewhat less annoying way. Student7 (talk) 20:45, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps this should be moved to the "culture" section, rather than be placed where it is in the opening of the article. The opening should define what "Southern United States" is, and then history, culture, economics, etc., belong below. Eastcote (talk) 14:19, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Eastcote has a good point. The lead should serve to introduce the topic which is not why the South does not exist today as a solid entity, but what the South is. This is a bit of a cavil which probably should be moved. Probably still should be rewritten, though. Student7 (talk) 21:13, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

edit wars[edit]

We have some editors who are challenging statements about the cionvergence of the South to national norms with citations that do not deal with the question -- like //(except for Medicare service use) [ref]Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, "Report to the Congress: Measuring Regional Variation in Service Use", (December 2009)[/ref] which compares regions inside south Florida. The argument is about convergence--coming closer to national averages--we all know the South used to be different, that is not the issue. Rjensen (talk) 22:16, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm on the cusp of a 3RR violation here, so I'm going to step back from the revert button, but the fourth opening paragraph is just a mess of original research and vaguely sourced statements. There's no indication whatsoever in the sources provided by Rjensen that NCLB has had any impact on student achievement in the South with relation to the rest of the nation. The entire sentence in question needs much better citations to support the notion that the South is no longer regionally distinct. Can we get some more editors in here to sort the mess out? Uncle Dick (talk) 22:20, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree (though I am near 3RR, too, so I will leave things as is for now). In response to Rjensen's point above, the newer "increasingly similar in all 50 states, with smaller and smaller variations" language is better than "practically the same in all 50 states", but is still weasel word laden. And which version does the source support? I would remove the whole paragraph, or narrow its assertion, until better sourcing is produced. Hoppingalong (talk) 22:28, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
yeah let's step back. The Medicare citation is not about the South and does not belong in this article but I apologize for reverting it. The argument about convergence of the South follows paragraphs about where the South remains different, and is based on the RS -- lots of studies show that the South is becoming more similar to the national average on many (though not all) indicators. The point about NCLB is that deferal law now requires all students in the US reach world standards by 2013, as per citation, which pushed every state in the same direction toward convergence. Rjensen (talk) 22:32, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
But what about the "Southernization" of the U.S.? And states still have different standards under NCLB. Using that as an example is going to require some good sources. Hoppingalong (talk) 22:34, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Hoppingalong makes the good point that the convergence is in part because of "Southernization" (the rest of the US looks more like the South), and he should add that point to the text. NCLB requires all states converge to international levels--which is in the future--and it has required all states to set up testing procedures, which they have all done. The procedures are very similar (lots of tests by state standards) although the state standards are not the same. That is a powerful example of convergence in schooling. Rjensen (talk) 22:47, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I added a bit on it with my edit here. It turns out there is a Wikipedia article about the subject, Southernization (U.S.)! The whole paragraph (including my new sentence) still needs work, though. Hoppingalong (talk) 01:56, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

New addition to references[edit]

A new addition was made to references: "* Mark, Rebecca, and Rob Vaughan. The South: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (2004)" References are usually done with a brand new article to get something in an article, quick and dirty. Now that we have an article, perhaps this can be added to appropriate sentences (in-line footnotes). We now need footnotes, not new general "references" at this point. Student7 (talk) 19:44, 31 October 2010 (UTC)


Who created this, someone from the UK, as is typical at Wiki? Oklahoma and Texas are in the Southwest USA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Texas was part of the Confederacy. Oklahoma was a confederate sympathizer. Whoever drew this up decided they were both part of the South. Not sure I would have included Oklahoma myself just for that reason alone.
It is not unusual for non-ocean bordering states to be considered part of more than one section of the county. In fact it is unusual for most states to be in only one section. Student7 (talk) 19:56, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Several of us got together a few years ago in coming up with the maps (the details can be followed thru now archived pages). It involved quite a few considerations until a general consensus was reached. One (of many) criteria considered was the results of a 7 year Southern Focus Poll which attempted to define the South by where a clear majority of people considered themselves to live in the South and thought of themselves as Southerners. These states were the 11 of the Old Confederacy, plus Kentucky and Oklahoma.
On a related tangent, noting the OP's point about Texas and Oklahoma being in the Southwest? The thing is, the term "Southwest" is very ambiguous. In the original sense, it literally meant the western part of the larger South. Later on, when they became states, New Mexico and Arizona were also considered "Southwest." And, often, these four states were grouped into a common Southwest without regard to obvious historical and cultural differences. Texas -- and to a lesser extent, Oklahoma -- were shaped by forces from the American South. On the other hand, New Mexico and Arizona have very little "Southern" about them. In a nut-shell, Texas and Oklahoma are Southwest as in "western South." New Mexico and Arizona are Southwest as in "southern West." Two different critters! LOL TexasReb (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC).

Sorry, but anyone spending any time in NM and AZ will understand that Oklahoma follows southern culture and not the Southwest. Eastern OK and Texas are nothing like all of NM and AZ. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kryan74 (talkcontribs) 02:49, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

There's a difference between the former Confederate States of America and their cultural sympathizers and the geographic southern United States. Of course someone will argue heritage whatever that means. This is an encyclopedia, not a leftist folklife festival. North and south are geographical terms. Toddst1 (talk) 07:43, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

I live in North Carolina now, but was raised in Oklahoma, specifically Tulsa OK. I think it is far easier to understand Oklahoma as a Southwestern state than as a a Southern state. In particular, while certainly post-civil war racism existed in Oklahoma (the Tulsa race riots are a prime example) Oklahoma was not part of the Old South, was not even a state at the time, and a number of small "free black" towns existed in the Indian Territory. Secondly, I can point to many cultural icons in Oklahoma that have little to do with the South, notably the Gilcrease museum, with one of the finest collections of Western art in the country, and the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Western cultural traditions even are apparent in the clothes people wear. Rarely in North Carolina do I ever see a man wearing a bolo tie, a cowboy hat or cowboy boots, except as ironic cowboy costume, but walk through the airport in Tulsa and you are bound to see them. Finally, Native American heritage is taught in schools in Oklahoma, is celebrated culturally, and I would cautiously suggest that prejudice against Native American, while extant in Oklahoma, is balanced by a great deal of appreciation for Native culture, and celebration of Native heritage. Let's not forget that the trail of tears originated in the Old South, and ended in Oklahoma. Yes, Oklahoma is not the same as NM or AZ, but neither is it the same as North Carolina or Alabama, and I would argue that it has far more in common with Southwestern states that Southeastern states. Chris van Hasselt (talk) 15:39, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, but the majority of Oklahomans consider themselves southern. The dominant culture in Oklahoma is southern. Oklahoma has much more in common with Alabama than it does Arizona. This is especially true in Southeastern Oklahoma. North Carolina is a lot different than Louisiana, but they are both states in the south. The culture is widespread and has many variations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kryan74 (talkcontribs) 22:45, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Interesting phrasing, saying majority of the state identifies southern and then emphasizing specifically in the southeast, I have only heard people in the southeast identify as southern. I do not think it is true that the majority identify as southerners, plus the southeast is an extremely small percentage of the state's population, less than 10%. The northwest is much more aligned Midwest, granted they make up a tiny percentage too. I am far more familiar with OKC than Tulsa but they seem to identify much more Southwest than traditional southern.

There are actual studies on the matter that you can google. One being from the University of North Carolina that indicates almost 70 percent of Okalhomans consider themselves to be southrons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

American Human Development Report[edit]

Once race is taken into consideration, the South mostly does well when compared to Northern states in education, for both blacks and whites. Mississippi does poorly either way, Massachusetts does well either way, so there are exceptions.

The American Human Development Report does not take race into consideration, even thought the federal government (in educational reporting) does. It is a private organization. Their only intent, as I see it, is to prove that a) The North is superior to the South, or b) states voting Democrat are superior to states voting Republican. Either way, even with footnotes, it does not seem to me that this is sufficiently npov to be listed here. It was correctly erased recently by a respected editor for lack of references. But maybe even after references are supplied? Student7 (talk) 13:21, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Article seems biased[edit]

"Sociological research has indicated that Southern collective identity stems from political, demographic and cultural distinctiveness. Studies have shown that Southerners are more conservative than non-Southerners in several areas including religion, morality, international relations and race relations.[6][7] This is especially evident during presidential elections and religious attendance figures.[8][9] In the 21st century, the South remains demographically distinct with higher percentages of blacks, lower percentages of high school graduates, lower housing values, lower household incomes and higher percentages of people in poverty.[10] That, combined with the fact that Southerners continue to maintain strong loyalty to family ties, has led some sociologists to label white Southerners a "quasi-ethnic regional group."[11]"

That sounds like some biased someone wrote that to make southerners out to be mostly undereducated and poor. That is far from the case. (talk) 00:55, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

See partial answer in preceding subsection. Hard to get this into a summary. If you can figure out how, go ahead. White Vermonters, for example, do not perform better than white Floridians. Black people from Connecticut may underperform blacks from Georgia. But when you lump them together, it makes the North look better, which they like. And they own the media. But not the government which has these figures. Student7 (talk) 14:46, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Tried to change article. While I agree with the underlying premise that "Southerners are different", my sentence did seem to undermine the momentum of the paragraph. I think the whole paragraph and maybe subsection needs rewriting. And BTW, Southern Blacks view themselves different in a positive way than Northern Blacks. Not just restricted to whites. Let's face it, "the South" was created by both blacks and whites, working together. That they are both similar in many ways should not be surprising. Student7 (talk) 15:10, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
This is some of the most biased unsourced information I have ever seen. Get a source and a non-bias paragraph updated or I will remove the paragraph in question. That is beyond ridiculous and untrue regardless of who agrees on it. Suffyy (talk) 09:49, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
If you could be more specific.
There are (in two paragraphs) from five to seven citations. We can discuss the reliability of these references if you like. It is difficult or sometimes impossible to erase material that has reliable citations. WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT is not sufficient. Southerners do tend to have less income per capita. They also have lower cost of living which isn't mentioned here. They do, as a group, tend to have lower educational achievement, though their performance in school is not necessarily wanting. Maybe people with higher degrees leave. I don't know. But this needs to be criticized on the basis of fact, not your gut reaction. Student7 (talk) 15:05, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
..My gut reaction? Fact? There is no 'fact' or 'reaction' in this. This isn't because I do not like it. I'm asking for somebody to update this in a sourced and nonbiased way.It's untrue, unsourced and to be honest people aren't very happy about the unsourced update you made to the article. This isn't me not liking the article, this is about how you are vandalizing this article. There is no proof whatsoever to show that the south has more blacks than whites as well as 75% of southern folk being muslim and the remaining 2% being christian. There is also no proof whatsoever to show the southern high-schools are failing and that the average IQ is 75. Last I checked the north was the district having difficulty with it's high-school's due to it's high populace. You make people in the southern region out to be monkeys on pogosticks while the north have a nice laugh. I'm asking for a fix. I stated that if you are unable too, then I will do so. This isn't about my gut reaction. This is about your biased and unsourced article on a class importance wikipedia page. Encyclopedia Dramatica is not a valid source of information. --Suffyy (talk) 07:21, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
?? The article doesn't say any of these things. Pfly (talk) 08:13, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
We were talking to ...108 originally. Troll? Student7 (talk) 22:15, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
""However, when race is taken into consideration, Southern whites do as well as Northern whites, Southern blacks do as well, or better, than Northern blacks.[11][12]""
Your right. This article isn't biased in any way shape or form, blacks are better than whites and all of the south are poor muslim farmers.. You have obviously never been to the southern United States, yet you make it out to be a 'only poor people live here' place to go too. When I was reading this I compared the southern united states to the small villages of Africa that have no clothes, and only a small tent for shelter. I had to go to google pics to discover that they actually have jobs, income, housing and churches down there.Suffyy (talk) 16:36, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't think comparing groups of people like that is very constructive for the article. There might be other studies that are better to use in the article.

Telemachus.forward (talk) 20:15, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

What do you mean "comparing groups of people like that"? What groups of people?
What do you mean by "constructive". Student7 (talk) 22:15, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Civil War produced century long depression[edit]

I have read (and believe) that the Civil War produced a depression from which the South did not recover until WWII. If true, I think it should state this. Some of the parameters have been covered, "unfriendly to business" which probably needs elaboration; redistricting, which didn't take place until the 1960s, whereas recovery started taking place much earlier, so maybe not that much of a factor.

The South struggled on without a "Marshall Plan," quite devastated and decapitalized after the Civil War. This in turn led, rather inevitably, to keeping the black population in a subordinate position, retaining a limited number of decent jobs for whites. Student7 (talk) 18:01, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Machine politics[edit]

The article is adequate over the disenfranchisement of blacks. Didn't notice (maybe it is there) that the same happened to whites (poll tax). Also the machine politics of some states should be mentioned. It was being practiced in NYC and Chicago, as well, but usually not on a statewide level as it was in the South. Byrds in Virginia, Longs in Louisiana, Talmadge in Georgia, Crump in Memphis (city). I'm sure I've missed a few. Since this is a summary, they only need a brief mention. Problem: some have no real article on the machine itself in Wikipedia yet. Student7 (talk) 12:44, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't see a major problem here:

From 1890 to 1908, 10 of the 11 states passed disfranchising constitutions or amendments which had provisions for voter registration, such as poll taxes, residency requirements and literacy tests, which were hard for many poor to meet. Most African Americans, Mexican Americans and tens of thousands of poor whites were disfranchised, losing the vote for decades. In some states grandfather clauses were temporarily used to exempt white illiterates from literacy tests. The numbers of voters dropped drastically throughout the South as a result. This can be seen on the feature "Turnout in Presidential and Midterm Elections" at the University of Texas Politics: Barriers to Voting. Alabama, which had established universal white suffrage in 1819 when it became a state, also substantially reduced voting by poor whites. Legislatures passed Jim Crow laws to segregate public facilities and services, including transportation.

While African Americans, poor whites and civil rights groups started litigation against such provisions in the early-20th century, for decades Supreme Court decisions overturning such provisions were rapidly followed by new state laws with new devices to restrict voting. Most blacks in the South could not vote until 1965, after passage of the Voting Rights Act and Federal enforcement to ensure people could register. Not until the late 1960s did all American citizens regain protected civil rights by passage of legislation following the leadership of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Fat&Happy (talk) 15:48, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

This doesn't make sense[edit]

"When blacks are combined with whites, it appears that the South has lower percentages of high school graduates, lower housing values, lower household incomes and higher percentages of people in poverty.[5] However, when race is taken into consideration, Southern whites do as well as Northern whites, Southern blacks do as well, or better, than Northern blacks"

If both blacks and whites do better than their northern counterparts, how can blacks and whites together do worse when combined? (Surely cannot be the case that Cubans in Miami drag down the average that much, as there aren't many other hispanics in the south.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Let's say, that half of state S is black and they make 50% on a test. The other half of state S is white. They make 100%, for an average of 75%. Compare that to State N which has 99% whites who make 80%, while the 1% blacks make 40%. The average for state N (not untypical northern state BTW) exceeds State S. BUT, if you compare white students against white students, which northern states (except Massachusetts which does well either way) hates to do, whites do better in state S. BTW, blacks in state S do better as well.
I've made the example extreme for ease of comparison. But this is true of many northern comparisons of student performance against the South. BTW, Mississippi does poorly either way, alas. Student7 (talk) 21:44, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Here's the short answer to the above question "If both blacks and whites do better than their northern counterparts, how can blacks and whites together do worse when combined?": See Simpson's paradox. It happens this way because the South has a higher fraction of the group that does more poorly.
Another thought: The above quote from the article lumps in "lower housing values" with some negative indicators of education and income. "Lower housing values" is out of place there -- you could just as easily call it "lower housing costs" instead of "lower housing values", from which point of view it is a good thing. Anyone object to my taking out that one from the list? Duoduoduo (talk) 16:58, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Modern definitions[edit]

The caption of the first map in the article says "Modern definitions: The states in dark red are almost always identified as being in "the South", while those in medium red are usually included." Florida and Virginia are shown in medium red. I seriously doubt that I've ever seen a definition of "the South" (as opposed to, say, "the Deep South") that excluded Florida and Virginia. In the absence of a source for them being "usually" rather than "almost always" included, I think the map needs to be changed in this regard. Duoduoduo (talk) 16:58, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree. This is pretty obviously a WP:OR - WP:SYNTHESIS issue without a compelling (or any) source. I would stick with the Census Bureau definition for the map. Hoppingalong (talk) 17:30, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
You're right -- categorizing the states by frequency of reference is synthesis. The set of states given some coloration is identical to the set of states in the Census Bureau map with the addition of Missouri (which I have, but only on rare occasions, seen included -- and of course it had a star on the Confederate battle flag). I'll delete the synthesis map and add a link to the map in the Deep South article. Duoduoduo (talk) 18:08, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I am reverting the elimination of the "Modern Definition" map to include the said map. This map was created (see Archives 1) based upon multiple studies and extensive discusion/debate among editors at the time. It was emphatically NOT based upon POV of any one person. Rather, again, an incorporation of extensive input, etc, by editors interested and astute in the area of Southern studies. One of these areas was self-identitication with the region. There is no reason to take it out. I agree, however, that citations are needed (in addition to those mentioned in the now archives pages) TexasReb (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:43, 3 September 2011 (UTC).

Well, that extensive discussion among astute editors contained mostly POV and OR of the various discussants. While I might have missed it, I can't find any sources in that discussion to justify the caption of the map:
The states in dark red are almost always identified as being in "the South", while those in medium red are usually included. With less frequency, some sources may also classify one or more of the striped states as "Southern".
Please correct me if I'm wrong -- can you direct me to a particular entry in that discussion (please give a quote and a date of the post) that gives a source stating the frequency of inclusion of the various states? If not, then the frequency assertion is synthesis, and it should not be in here by Wikipedia rules: "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources".
I think it's pretty clear that there was NO source for the assertions in the map, or else it would have been given at the time that the map was included.
And I still contend that it's absurd to say that Florida and Virginia are "usually" but not "almost always" included in the South. Do you disagree? The presence of an unsourced absurdity in the map and its caption is a pretty good reason to remove the map. Duoduoduo (talk) 02:12, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
First of all, contary to what you say, it is not pretty clear the sources do not exist just because they were not included at the time. That was simply an oversight that I said I agree -- in retrospect -- should have been done from Day 1. Also, there is no one particular entry in the discussion. Rather it was many and over quite a bit of time before a consensus was reached. As I mentioned earlier, go to the Archives 1, and you can view it in its entirity. One major reason for the map being so labeled was based upon a seven year Southern Focus poll -- taken bi-annually -- involving some 17,000 respondents -- which attempted to "find the South" by where a majority of residents said they lived in the South and considered themselves Southerners. Another was based upon a study by James Shortridge and published in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, asking those surveyed to list their primary regional identification. The whole thing can easily be found by reading thru the now archived material. And there were a few other sources cited. I agree those sources should be cited. No problem there. I don't have time at the moment (typing from a laptop out of town in a motel room! LOL), but I will be happy to add them later.
So far as the Virginia and Florida question you ask? Well, again (along with Texas and Kentucky) the three-tiered map was based upon the sources mentioned above and it is but a truism. Most sources will always/almost always classify those dark red states as being in the modern day definition of the South. The other four states are usually included. Some sources -- with varying degrees of frequency and based upon the dependent criteria -- may list one or more as being in the "South." To repeat, however, I agree that these sources should be cited (without it becoming impossibly lengthy to list). On a related tangent, would you not agree that the map is accurate based upon your own personal experience (I am assuming you are also one involved in Southern studies)? I hasten to add I am NOT suggesting in any way, shape, or form, that personal experience be a consideration as to the map itself; just that -- personally -- does it not square with your own observations, research, etc? Anyway, please go back and go over the information and debate/discussion in the Archives, and the sources which lead to the development of the map. Finally, yes, again once again, I agree that those sources should be cited. TexasReb (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:44, 4 September 2011 (UTC).
Just to add to the above. I would not have any objection to discussing a re-wording of caption and/or content IF such is discussed and agreed upon aforehand. My main reason for reverting was because you took it upon yourself to do a total deletion without having researched a bit on the whole history of how and why the map was "drawn up" the way it was. A lot of people put a lot of time and exchange (sources and otherwise) before coming to a consensus. Therefore, it seems quite presumptuous for any one person to discard it without first having another discussion on the matter. Likewise, the addition of the "see Deep South" should -- IMHO -- be replaced with something like: For various definitions of the South, see (link):
I say that because, why should the Deep South link be included, but not "Upper South"? Or "Border South'? and etc, etc. With all due respect it seems like you have a personal stake in this. Which, as it is? I can sympathise with and understand. Being a fourth-generation Texan (of Deep South ancestry) who firmly considers my native state part of the South (both historically and culturally), I have been known to get into very heated debates (sometimes with distant Deep South kinfolk! LOL) over the question. However, I am not blind to the fact, in the aggregate, that Texas (plus Virginia, Florida, Kentucky...sometime even Arkansas) are not included with the same frequency (sources verified) as the generally regarded Deep South states. Although DEFINITELY more so than a Missouri, Maryland, and for sure, Delaware. This was what -- in a nutshell -- the map was intended to reflect. I hope you might agree with all the above. It seems to me the only thing needed is to provide citations for the same. Which, is no problem at all. Wellllll, maybe it IS a there would be too many to list as backup of the point (Archives 1). TexasReb (talk) 18:51, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Added during/right after edit conflict:
Since you ask about my own (irrelevant) OR, (1) the coloring of the map looks plausible as an impressionistic measure of "degree of southernness". But that's OR no matter whether it comes from me or from the consensus of a large number of discussants; (2) it absolutely is not my experience that Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina are "almost always" identified as being in the South -- they are always so identified; and (3) it again is absolutely not my experience that Florida and Virginia are "usually" rather than "almost always" identified as in the South.
You say that "Also, there is no one particular entry in the discussion." Either there is a particular entry that gives a source that says something about the frequency of reference to each state, or there is not. (And I can't find it.) The mention of the source can't be in the discussion without being in a particular entry in the discussion! To say that it's a consensus that emerged from the discussion is to say that it is WP:synthesis, which is against Wikipedia rules.
Just so we are clear here, I have no problem with re-opening this issue for discussion/debate, and keep/modify/reword/etc, the map itself and/or the caption. My issue was its elimination entirely without the said discourse. Had you approached in that manner, then we would probably not be having this conversation as such.TexasReb (talk)
The key problem here is this: The map is synthesis and hence is inappropriate for Wikipedia unless there is a single (or more than one) source that by itself (without combining sources) specifically says that "these states are almost always...", "these states are usually...", and "these states are included with less frequency". Duoduoduo (talk) 19:31, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Your point is a good one on many levels, I agree. Further, it is difficult to summarize (because the archived postings were so dis-joined and dis-connected as to chronological order and topic) all the input and sources cited for the agreement upon the said map. Also, it has been a couple of years since all this transpired. The whole thing really got started when a debate erupted over just exactly which states were generally classified as "Southern." Originally, it was just map of the Old Confederate States. This lead to a "map edit" war (or sorts) with objections flying about like hailstones in a thunderstorm. I fully agree with you that the 5 generally regarded Deep South states (SC, GA, MS, AL, LA) are "always" included in the South. But the qualifier "always" was used because bordering states like Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas, were agreed to be part of it. See what I mean? The "core Southeast" states, which may vary a bit in themselves. Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Kentucky (and Oklahoma was added later by another poster) are usually included in various definitions of the South. Missouri, Maryland and Delaware are seldom considered part of the South by most sources...yet some do indeed include them. so they were striped.
What I am getting at, is that (and I think you will agree), that "the South" -- unlike any other region -- is subject to so many varying definitions outside of that considered so by the Census Bureau -- that those involved in the controversy felt it is important to include a map illustrating such (no pun intended). That is, a simple map of the Confederacy or one of the Census four major regions would just really not have emphasized that particular point...which IS important to imparting information for readers as to how the South may or may not be defined. It is important to make certain distinctions, wouldn't you say? No way can Maryland be put in the same class as Texas or Kentucky or Virginia and, further, it is definitely arguable for the latter to be in the same genre as Mississippi or Alabama. In any respectable article about the South, then the above does need to be noted (even if not at all in those exact words), as to which states belong and why and to what degree based upon numerous books/articles/studies/surveys/etc.
Ok, now at this juncture of the conversation, I go back again to agreeing with you (and a few others) that yes, it is probably time this map and citations need to be re-evaluated and discussed/debated. I have no problem at all with that, as I have even -- believe it or not -- thought about it myself as to re-introducing the topic. Again, my only real issue was the elimination of the map without prior discussion with others. As I know you are aware, we always assume "good faith." If it is now time to go back to the table? Then let's go! Southern studies have long been an avocation of mine, and I get the impression they are of yours as well.TexasReb (talk)
Added after reading latest entry by TexReb:
I have no idea where you get the idea that I have a personal stake in this. My desire is to make Wikipedia as good as possible within the rules of Wikipedia, as I'm sure your desire is too. Let's not make it personal, okay?
You refer to 'why the map was "drawn up" the way it was'. If it was "drawn up" and not taken directly from a particular source (perhaps transcribed from sentences to map form), then it is synthesis and against the rules and spirit of Wikipedia. Duoduoduo (talk) 19:31, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
To repeat, I agree with your point. It is a synthesis...but it was one made in good faith. That is important to keep in mind, I think. I've no doubt I can find peer-reviewed articles and major encyclopdia concerns which would back up the map (in the sense of how the South is defined), and the citation needed would be provided then and there. BUT...I would rather we all discuss it before we make a major change. Also, I absolutely agree with not making it personal. We are definitely on the same page in that regard! We can disagree as reasonable men of good will and intentions. I never meant it to be otherwise. *offered handshake* TexasReb (talk) 21:37, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

"X% of state population consider themselves Southerners" is not equivalent to "state is X% part of the South". If the map is showing the former, it should be labeled accurately as the former. --JWB (talk) 21:09, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Very true! Noting again that this was not the ONLY original criteria, your point is very well taken (maybe another might be added at another time citing the study...?). I agree with all you say, JWB TexasReb (talk) 21:37, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Can anybody make a credible argument the map is not wp:synthesis? Hoppingalong (talk) 00:57, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I will concede that point (mainly because I have no choice!) A Southerner knows when he is outflanked! LOL), but I still ask all y'all to keep in mind the original intent and the "good faith" clause! So let's re-open it all for another exchange as to how to improve the map and caption...? Or decide whether or not to take it out entirely and replace with something else...? I still vote we keep the old one as an outline to work with...but yep...I am convinced that it needs improvement on exactly what and why the potentionlly new version should look like and explained. TexasReb (talk) 21:37, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I haven't seen any sources at all, so, no, I can't really see how this is synthesis. This whole thread really has been less than productive. We can source the map and recolor it to show varying definitions the proper way (i.e. "Light red - The South according to X[ref]; Red - The South according to Y[ref]; Dark red - The South according to both; etc.); we can also simply use the perfectly reasonable USCB-sourced map. The South isn't something that's concretely defined, so I do see the "need" for a map like that. Duoduoduo has a point in the OP but "against the spirit of Wikipedia" seems a little dramatic! This is not that serious of an issue. Swarm u | t 01:02, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Good point. My position that it is synthesis assumed that there were some sources at least. I guess it is synthesis at best, totally unsourced at worst. I would remove the "modern definition" map, and go with the USCB map on top and possibly move up the map of the Confederacy and border states. The USCB map is not perfect, but no map is. The text of the article can address that, and does to a limited extent. There is no doubt that the USCB map is the most used deliniation of the regions(s). And then we avoid any WP:WEIGHT by improperly weighting one view of unknown weight over another of unknown weight. Hoppingalong (talk) 01:15, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
The "Geography" section of the article lists three subdivisions used by the Census Bureau, which could be usefully rendered in different colors on a version of the USCB map. It also lists 11 other terms used to define all or part of The South, most of which include sources. I don't have either the software or the skills to do this, but if somebody could make an animated map along the lines of the one in the lead of the Continent article, rotating views between these definitions, it would resolve the issues of sourcing and undue weight while adequately illustrating the different viewpoints. Fat&Happy (talk) 01:47, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Good idea. I can put together an animated map that cycles through some definitions. Swarm u | t 19:23, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Agreed with all that this is a GREAT idea, Fat and Happy! That is, an animated map cycling thru various definitions of the South. Thanks equally, Swarm, for taking on this project! Looking forward to seeing and discussing your appreciated efforts! TexasReb (talk) 22:28, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Ok, this post is a bit of a "synthesis" in its own right (pun intended!), of a couple of things that have been discussed/debated just wanted to see if we are all on the same general page here, so to speak:

1. All of us generally agree that the "Modern Day Definitions Map" needs "re-work" in some form or fashion. It's original "fault" (acknowledged to have been in good faith) was the lack of official sources/citations to back up the color-code. The devil is going to be in the details...

2. Before a major change is made as to map coding/caption, it should be agreed upon aforehand by at least a majority of active, contributing,editors, concerned. And all having a chance to voice their opinions and provide input.

3. A revolving/cyclical/animated map of various definitions of the South might be THE best one to replace the one extant (i.e. Modern Definitions). Keep the USCB map for sure, yet recognize another is needed to illustrate the that the South as a region subject to many varying considerations as to its boundaries/sub-regions/etc.

What say y'all? Is this about where we least at a starting point...? TexasReb (talk) 22:28, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

That seems just about right. I would only take minor issue with number 2; I would prefer to remove the "modern definition" map now since we all agree it is not ok per Wikipedia guidelines. That would make the USCB map the first map on the aritcle, which is where I would keep it. Then, whenever Swarm gets it done (subject to discussion here), add the rotating map as the second map. Really the only question I'll have with the rotating map is to be sure only definitions that have some weight per the sources get included to satisfy WP:WEIGHT. Consensus! Hoppingalong (talk) 01:14, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, we all definitely seem to be getting somewhere! *smiles and thumbs up*. More on this in a minute (in the next reply to JWB), but yes, agreed that the Census Bureau Map should be the first one listed (for one thing, that is the way it is done with all the other regions of the United States on Wiki). However, I would argue against eliminating the "Modern Definitions" *outright* until another is settled upon. In the interium? Let me advance the suggestion that perhaps the one in controversy be placed beneath the Census ONLY for the moment...until Swarm comes up with another which reflects all the different/changing definitions. In other words, the "Modern Definition" map's time is limited...but hang with it for just a biiiiiiit longer! Definitely agree on your major points! TexasReb (talk) 00:03, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
The four United States Census Bureau regions separated by color, with the nine divisions further separated by shading.

The "modern definition" map is venerable (2005) but just bad. It is not even synthesis but an agreement among editors active at the time. There are newer maps in Wikipedia and Commons which have more information, use sourced facts, have better colors, etc. It should be deleted now regardless of whether something else will replace it.

Just for example, at right is a map I did a couple of years ago which shows the 4 CB regions including the South and the 4 CB divisions within the South. --JWB (talk) 08:40, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

What do y'all say to this? JWB, can you put your map in place as the "lead" but ONLY include the Southern states and the said divisions? That is, not a full blown map of the U.S., but just the SOUTH (as definined) with the color codes...? YET...keep the other for a *short* time (and really, there hasn't been all that much objection to it until recently, so it should be able to go on a bit longer! LOL); until Swarm can get something together for us all to look over and debate/discuss as to replacement of the "Modern Day"...? What does everyone think? TexasReb (talk) 00:03, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
Don't think the census divisions are all that important, but fine with such a map in any case. Swarm u | t 14:14, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Here is something -- alluded to earlier -- that I wanted to toss out in the FWIW department. The "Modern Definitions" map? (which it is in general agreement needs to be replaced with the type Swarm is working on for later discussion). Anyway, it occured to me that the former might still have a place either *somewhere* else within *this* article, or else in another related one (perhaps "Culture of the Southern United States"?). That is to say, since it was originally largely based on self-identification polls/studies (i.e. Southern Focus Poll, Annals of American Geographers, etc), the "caption" and "blurb" be re-worded to reflect such. AND, add the aforementioned source(s) for such...?

I have to admit though, I am not sure exactly how to word it all. I will work on it and run it past y'all first, regardless. Main point is that, the "old map" might still have a place somewhere and in some capacity, perhaps...? TexasReb (talk) 16:12, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Here's what I have so far. Can anyone think of anything that should be added to the map, taken out, or altered in any way? Are there any reliable sources that define the South differently that I should include? The current map is based on both the USCB and Encyclopedia Britannica, so that's all I have ATM. Swarm u | t 01:13, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Overall, as initital impression, I like it. However, just to toss out of couple of points/suggestions that might be worth considering/talking about: 1). I have some issues with including Arkansas and Florida in the Deep South. Yes, I know a source is provided, but other sources will list things differently (see this Wiki article: IMHO, it would be better to stick with labeling the Deep South as the five states which are, today, almost always included (LA to SC). In a nutshell, stick with the obvious! LOL 2). Change to title from "Gulf States" to "Gulf South", reflecting the terminology used with in main article. 3). Perhaps consider adding a seperate catagory of "South Central states" (to balance with "Southeast"). Which would include Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana for sure, and perhaps Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. This is sourced by EB, as I recall...
Anyway, those are just some initial thoughts. Again, this is a great start and thanks, Swarm, for your time and efforts! BTW -- I am in the process of working up a new title and blurb for the old "Modern Definitions" map which more reflect a South according to Southern identity studies (from peer-reviewed sources). I will post it here first and see what everyone thinks. The map, if approved, can then be moved down to the "Culture" section...or included in the larger "Culture of the Southern United States" article if agreed upon. More on that later. TexasReb (talk) 13:54, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Alright, sounds good! I'll work on your suggestions. Swarm u | t 17:22, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Note that, mercifully, U.S._state#Regional_grouping does not go through this agony. I am not suggesting they should!  :) The above hair splitting seems entirely too picky IMO. Student7 (talk) 12:17, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Such is the way of Wikipedia. :P Some issues get attention on one article in ways that no one cares about on another. It may be a bit picky, but everything above is a valid concern about long-term sourcing issues. Swarm u / t 03:40, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

"As well" and Race[edit]

This passage has been a point of contention above. "When blacks are combined with whites, it appears that the South has lower percentages of high school graduates, lower housing values, lower household incomes and higher percentages of people in poverty.[5] However, when race is taken into consideration, Southern whites do as well as Northern whites, Southern blacks do as well, or better, than Northern blacks" Two citations are provided. The latter "Social Science Research 5, 349-383 (1976)Background Characteristics in the U.S. Adult Population 1952-1973: A Survey-Metric Model James A. Davis, National Opinion Research Center and Dartmouth College" is from 1976. Thirty-five year old research on students from at least 38 years ago, especially research pertaining to this subject done almost exclusively in the Jim Crowe era, is not relevant. The former citation contradicts what it claims to indicate. White southern students have lower scores using this educational metric than white non-Southern students.

If we use the metrics mentioned in the early sentence, each also seems to be verifiably incorrect. Southern HS Graduation rate among whites is lower[2]. Every Southern state has a higher white poverty rate than the national average [3].

Frankly it just sounds like crypto-racism with some defensiveness... As in the South's poor showing across most measurable quality of life standards can be traced solely to the size of the African American population. PantsB (talk) 07:15, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't know what "crypto-racism" means. The South with a larger number of minorities who have not been socially advantaged, do indeed have lower scores than the rest of the country. However, when you (and this is not WP:OR, BTW, but pointed out in citations) compare marks by race, which the US Government does, you will find that, generally, the South does "well-enough" among elementary and secondary school attendees when grouped by whites when compared with Northerners; then by blacks. This was not true for Mississippi which does poorly either way. This was not true for Massachusetts which did well either way. But it is true for most states. Whites vs whites, Blacks vs blacks. In general, the more minorities you have, the worse, primary and secondary school marks are. So Vermont, Maine, North Dakota, etc. are just kidding themselves! Note that these studies do not cover college education. Student7 (talk) 14:35, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

"...every Southern state with the exceptions of Maryland,..."[edit]

Maryland is not a southern state. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree it's a bit odd to lump Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, DC (our nation's capital) in with "the South." However, for official governmental purposes, DE, MD, and DC are considered to be in this region. (talk) 05:20, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Ignorance at its best. Maybe yall should look into our history and travel to the places where our culture is strong and you would think differently.

Historically speaking, Maryland didn't secede from the Union, even if some in the state sympathized with the South. And to put Washington, DC in the South in historical terms is indeed silly, it was the capital of the Union after all! But I understand there's a little more to it than that.
However, the average Marylander wouldn't consider himself a southerner. In some places, yes, collectively, no. (talk) 03:52, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
You can't speak for the average Marylander. We are way more South than we are North, but I just consider us to be Mid-Atlantic. We are a melting pot of Southern, Northern and East Coast influences. Very interesting place to live. Northerners and Southerners equally don't want to claim us and equally want to dump us off on the other. The government should just create new guidelines because really, W. Virginia, Virginia, DC, Delaware, Kentucky and N. Carolina aren't southern to me either. You have the Mid-West which isn't even in the west, but we can't be called Mid-East for obvious reasons...not the north, not the south, so what are we? Mid-Atlantic, that's it. (talk) 02:59, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Historically, the two states are counted because the Mason-Dixon line is t]he historical boundary between north and south. They were slave states as well, even if they did not secede. Currently, they are more like the northeast. (talk) 18:11, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Technically, the Mason-Dixon line was the border between colonial Maryland and Pennsylvania. Delaware later broke away from PA for feeling neglected as those lower counties. Technically, Delaware is NOT below the Mason-Dixon line, as the MD-DE border is part of the line. DE had also abolished slavery before the war. See the article Mason-Dixon Line. (talk) 06:39, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
kentuck is also not a southern state  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:49, 5 December 2012 (UTC) 


Why is there a symbolism section? Looked at the other US region pages from the US portal and none of them have symbolism sections. There doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to have a section for this without any references. The only citation is at the end of the second sentence and is in reference to the described views of a group and makes no mention of flags or symbols. Going to delete this section in a few days if I don't see any responses. (talk) 21:03, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

We have the section because the topic is important enough. the presence of full-length major books on the topic of Southern symbolism (Tony Horowitz, Confederates in the Attic (1998); James Martinez et al., eds. Confederate Symbols (2000, University Press of Florida.) show that it's not a trivial issue--indeed it gets contentions esp re Confederacy,slaveholders, KKK members. So it needs coverage; no other region has anything like this controversial issue.Rjensen (talk) 23:06, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Native Americans in the South[edit]

This sentence is problematic:

They were defeated by settlers in a series of wars ending in the War of 1812 and the Seminole Wars, and most were removed west to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma and Kansas).

While technically true, we should mention the effects of disease, and explicitly mention ethnic cleansing and genocidal intent of expelling the Natives from their land, rather than euphemising it by calling it 'most were removed west'. I'll update the section later. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:22, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Where's Grant?[edit]

Not once is Ulysses S. Grant mentioned in this article, although Sherman is. Very strange. Ileanadu (talk) 23:13, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Central theme[edit]

One editor denies that the South has a reputation for racism and has never heard of the "central theme of southern history" that historians have discussed at length for over 80 years. Here is the text that editor wants to erase: One of the "central themes" of southern history, scholars have agreed, is the commitment to white rule; some see it as the most important central theme. Charles W. Joyner (1999). Shared Traditions: Southern History & Folk Culture. University of Illinois Press. p. 193.  The South has traditionally shown the strongest instances and rules favoring racism against Blacks and Hispanics. Chad Richardson; Michael J. Pisani (2012). The Informal and Underground Economy of the South Texas Border. University of Texas Press. p. 260.  Alison F. Slade et al. (2012). Mediated Images of the South: The Portrayal of Dixie in Popular Culture. Lexington Books. pp. 9–11. . It goes back to 1928 when the most famous southern historian of that era (1928), Ulrich B. Phillips of Yale maintained that the desire to keep their region "a white man's country" united the white southerners for centuries. Read his famous article /stable/1836477 at JSTOR. By 2000, and citing Phillips, Jane Dailey, Glenda Gilmore, and Bryant Simon argue: [ "Introduction" in Jane Dailey, Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, and Bryant Simon, eds. Jumpin' Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (2000), online excerpt.] "The ways in which white southerners "met" the race "problem" have intrigued historians writing about post-Civil War southern politics since at least 1928, when Ulrich B. Phillips pronounced race relations the "central theme" of southern history. What contemporaries referred to as "the race question" may be phrased more bluntly today as the struggle for white domination. Establishing and maintaining this domination--creating the system of racial segregation and African American disfranchisement known as Jim Crow--has remained a preoccupation of southern historians." Many other scholars from Vann Woodward to David Potter to Ira Berlin have commented on the issue. The text that was erased cites Charles Joyner a prominent Southern historian, in his 2012 book. Joyner says that since 1928, "few have doubted that white racism was a central theme; many have doubted that it was the central theme. But most have recognized that Phillips was on to a good thing with this "central theme" business, and over the past 2 generations, one might say that the central beam of southern historians has been the search for a central theme." Rjensen (talk) 04:41, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

That is a very clever way to word it, Rjensen! LOL That is, take your POV and state if it is not agreed to, then "another editor" (which could well be me) "denies" something. The South's so-called "reputation for racism" is at least partially due to that of NE media portrayal, to avoid facing the elephant in their own living room. And the sources you cite do not support such a broad claim as made. One concerned south Texas alone. In the latter (Mediated Images of the South), in reading over the pages mentioned, it also states that today, Southerners, according to certain studies, are even less likely than their fellow countrymen to have "racist" attitudes. The others you bring up in the above post also concern the past, not the present. There is not a single region of the country I could not link to a "racist" past if scab picking is the purpose. Heck, far as that goes, the biggest difference in the South and the NE was that we were just less hypocritical about it all.
I may be wrong, Rjenson, but I get the impression that you want this included because it reflects a certain disdain for the South on your part. Like I say, that might be innacurate, but I call it like I see it. With all that said, I certainly respect your intelligence and contributions, even if I might vehemently disagree with some of the content and thesis.
But back to the point and to also mention, even if such was true at one time (however, seems there was little bias against the Irish or Jews in the South, huh? LOL), it isn't today. The passage is inflamatory, a least somewhat POV, and serves no purpose as in introducing the South as a region. Therefore, I submit that this sentence/statement belongs -- if indeed anywhere at all -- somewhere other than the opening paragraph. I am going to delete it again, but will not do so henseforth until other editors weigh in on the subject or an official ruling is made. TexasReb (talk) 13:33, 30 March 2013 (UTC)Texasreb
I will delete it because the sources do not support the assertions. -- (talk) 21:35, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Texasreb admits the racism used to be there -- who can deny the thousands of lynchings and the blocking of the vote? --but has now disappeared. No source is provided--it would be very good to have a source that said the racism ended in 19xx. , and no discussion of the "central theme" that so many scholatrs have written about. Texasreb makes the POV conclusion that there is a "certain disdain for the South on your part" -- which is totally false. His own user name Texasreb reeks of POV. Rjensen (talk) 02:05, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
I do not "admit" anything in the way you frame it. "Racism" (which can mean just about anything the user wants it to mean) is nothing unique to the South. As I said earlier, the only difference in the system of Jim Crow laws down here and the de-facto in the North and West, was just that Southerners were less hypcritical about it. This seeming scab-picking on your part is, yes, to me, what I see as a general disdain for the South and Southern history. That is my opinion only, but I am sticking with it. Yes, it is POV on my part, so what? You are entitled to your POV as to my screen name. TexasReb. I use it to indicate pride in both my Texan and Southern heritage. So what, again?
In any event, your latest addition of lynching stats, etc, seem, really, to be little more than spite. And I say again, while there may be a place in the general article for such, it better belongs in the "Jim Crow" or "Civil Rights" section, not an introductory paragraph about the Southern states as a region. I mean, would it be properly placed for someone to write in an opening of the Midwest region that the KKK was most powerful there? Or that Dr. King once said along of the lines of "if you want to teach a white Southerner to hate, send him to Chicago..."? Or that the most violent resistance to integration was in the NE and Midwest?
This is not trying to "white-wash" history (no pun intended! LOL), but rather put things in a proper place and persepective. I hope other editors will weigh in on this subject. As it is, I am not deleting anything from Rjenson, but addng my own commentary for needed balance! TexasReb (talk) 13:47, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Geographical limit[edit]

Hi, I added a small section in the introduction, to point out that "southern" in this case is more of a traditional definition than an actual geographical definition as some states are actually central (or Northern) while some other "Southern" states are not included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:33, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Need a ref to support your choice of 36 30 lat as "defining and limiting". Seems there is far more to it than that. Also, the "above/below" wording is problematic. Vsmith (talk) 10:09, 13 May 2013 (UTC)


The US Census Region links come here, so could someone in a country where you can access US gov't websites kindly put the population of the entire region up already? Preferably in the first or second sentence of the lede but a demography section (with historical levels) wouldn't be out of line if you have the time.

It seems almost perverse it isn't already here. If editors have previously added the population and someone removed it, could they kindly explain themselves? If it's a definitional issue, just include populations for each definition. — LlywelynII 09:41, 17 October 2013 (UTC)


Maryland has left the Southern Council of Governments and joined the Eastern Council (I'm not going to provide a link, Google it) and no longer considers it a Southern state based on politics. Perhaps the census is not a valid way to determine what is Southern and Northern, and instead political leanings and affinity should be used for this article. (talk) 20:58, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Citation 88[edit]

In addition to the terrible wording of this section, making it sound like an argument, the claim that the south has the most traffic fatalities is backed up by a citation discussing political leanings, not regional locations.

The article says absolutely nothing about any particular region having higher fatalities than the next. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:33, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Metropolitan areas[edit]

Philadelphia has one MD county included in its MSA, but it seems a bit silly to include the entire MSA in the list since the vast majority of it lies outside of the South. This begs the question: should only MSAs be listed which have their principal city, and thus the bulk of their population, within a Southern state? This would exclude Cincinnati and Louisville would remain; I think this is fair. Akhenaton06 (talk) 08:18, 21 November 2013 (UTC)


I reverted your [Rjensen] edit to "Southern United States" because your edits introduced opinions and unsubstantiated claims. It replaced statements of neutral facts with unsourced analysis and opinions. Your response was to restore your edit with the edit summary "drop analysis based on children's encyclopedia and use modern scholarship". I believe your edits were made in good faith, but you did not cite - using inline citations - any new sources for the "children's encyclopedia" or the "modern scholarship". Please note that Wikipedia requires specific citation of reliable sources - please see WP:SOURCES and WP:CITE, or content may be removed or reverted, as I did. I am reverting your edit once again with the expectation that you will specifically cite your sources using inline citations before making another edit to this article. Thanks, hulmem (talk) 04:37, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

the simplified The World Book: Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture, is for children & is not a reliable source. I added a good source: Robert Stansbury Lambert, South Carolina Loyalists in the American Revolution (1987) which you replaced with a kids book. Just what "opinions and unsubstantiated claims" were involved? Rjensen (talk) 06:38, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

More flexible map[edit]

The image at the top has the following caption:

The Southern United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.[1] The "South" and its regions are defined in various ways, however. (See Geography section.)

We need a more flexible map that colors states differently depending on what definition of the South is being used. Any thoughts?? Georgia guy (talk) 17:51, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't agree. This has already been discussed above in "Modern Definitions". It is best to use the Census map and then explain variations in the article. Otherwise people start defining regions based on ludicrous maps such as the "Plant Taxonomic Database Standards" or by typing in "Southern United States maps" into Google images and using the results as a basis of definition.Dubyavee (talk) 05:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Dubyavee (in disagreeing with Georgia guy's good faith proposal). Maps can be every bit as much Original Research as text, or worse. Sometimes the 1,000 words a picture represents are disproportionate. Better to explain in prose proportionate to what one is describing. Maps should not be "flexible" they should be Verifiable. Hoppingalong (talk) 02:52, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Charitable Giving[edit]

There is a reliably sourced edit that keeps getting reverted about charitable giving in the south. Instead of edit warring, please discuss here and wait until there is a concensus to move on. Thanks!Jacona (talk) 00:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Your source is an article in Daily Finance based on a graph in mintlife based on an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy based on data from the IRS for 2008.[4] It is always better to use the best sources rather than third-hand commentaries. Notice it does not say "Eight of the ten most charitable states are located in [the South]." Instead it says that on average, people living in the ten states and earning over $50,000 per year donate more of their discretionary income. But that finding is skewed by two things. First people in the deep South have less disposable income than Northerners. Second it includes giving to churches. Notably Utah rates highest because Mormons must give 10 percent of their income to the church. But the Mormon church spends very little on what would be considered charity, it invests. Southerners of course give money to evangelical churches. You really need a good source that analyzes and explains the material. TFD (talk) 02:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with TFD. This edit/revert is borderline Original Research because the source does not contain the "analysis" or gloss the editor wishing to insert the sentence has put on it. Why not note that the South has 16 of the top 50? Unfortunately, the South also has more than a dozen of the bottom 50. Anyway, it doesn't add to readers' understanding of the Southern United States. I do not think it should be included, especially as it is now. Hoppingalong (talk) 03:45, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I also agree with TFD This edit/revert doesn't make a lot of sense here. The data from which this is sourced is 7 years old now, changes dramatically when increasing the scale of the study and feels non sequitur for this article. If someone is interested in adding a charitable giving section and expanding exponentially on the topic, I think it could have some relevance, but as it stands, the one sentence statement is the kind poor representation that is used in propaganda instead of encyclopedic knowledge. In fact, the original contribution even referenced the Mason Dixon line, and is the only place it would have been mentioned in the entire article about the American South.Tenthrow (talk) 17:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like there are any other voices here to support the edit in question. Tenthrow (talk) 12:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I would also like to chime in to oppose the language regarding charitable giving -- it doesn't add to the value of the article. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
@Tenthrow, other voices may need a little time; not everyone is on WP every day. If we move to claim concensus after only two days without hearing from the "pro" side, we may be guilty of a rush to judgment. I would like to hear from whomever it was that originated this reference. We have time, it is not a race. Thanks! Jacona (talk) 13:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Looks like we've waited long enough. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 21:01, 27 July 2014 (UTC)


I noticed that there was a Literature section, which I believe was necessary, for that was a gap in the Southern United States that needed to be filled. Upon going back to edit and add to this section, Literature is no longer there. Did someone take it down for a specific reason? If not, I think it would be worthy to add, again.Abeat3 (talk) 19:01, 8 December 2014 (UTC)