Tidewater

NewBern, NC, Friday April 28, 2017

In ” American Nations, a history of the eleven rival regional cultures of North America , an insightful book published in 2011, author Colin Woodward strongly differentiates The two cultures of Tidewater and Yankeedom ( see map below). Tidewater is the region around the Cheasapeake Bay , encompassing today’s Maryland, Delaware, North and South Carolina. Yankeedom is all the north east. Tidewater was colonised in the 17 th century British aristocrats whose plan was to reproduce the feudal society they knew in Europe: huge estates , large manors, indentured servants. ” Downton Abbey” as a model. There fondamental belief , writes Woodward, was that commoners were inherently lower than the aristocratic elite: ” They arrived from Britain with a workforce recruited from the masses of desperate, malnourished laborers who had been crowding London and other English cities. From the beginning it was a society of a few haves and a great majority of have-nots.” A royalist stronghold whose aim was not to build a religious utopia as the Puritans of Yankeedom in the north, but to recreate the genteel manor life of rural England in the new world. As  tobacco rapidly became the main culture, indentured servants were replaced by slaves. 

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One Response to Tidewater

  1. Thank you for the map. I have an ancestor from the Tidewater settling and one from Yankeedom (who quickly moved with Ann Hutchinson exodus to what is now Rhode Island.) With impact of tobacco plantations, the inviting “always more land” westward and time, this descendant lives in California’s Silicon Valley. One would think Pacific Ocean would stop westward expansion, but then there is Hawaii. Keep riding and writing. S

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