Illinois Review –
CHICAGO – Any candidate that has run statewide in Illinois is well aware that the state is very diverse. There are highly populated urban areas, wealthy suburbs, poverty-plagued neighborhoods, ethnic concentrations as well as farmlands and small towns.
Worldviews stem from surroundings and cultures and reflect in frustration about how funds are distributed, how highly-populated regions force differing political ideologies on more sparsely-populated areas. If they didn’t know before, candidates learn quickly the challenges of winning statewide support in a diverse state like Illinois.
But it’s not just Illinois where there are dramatic differences, author Colin Woodward writes in a new book “American Nations.” Woodward contends America is divided into 11 nations.
“The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of maps—including maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history,” Woodward writes in the fall 2013 edition of Tufts Magazine.
Woodward’s map shows Illinois divided into three nations: Yankeedom, The Midlands and Greater Appalachica.
“Yankeedom” includes the city of Chicago and its northern suburbs, westward and northward, blending into Wisconsin. “The Midlands” includes Chicago’s western and southern suburbs, and includes the state westward to Iowa and southward to central Illinois. In the Bloomington/Normal – Springfield region, the Greater Appalachia nation emerges and engulfs the rest of the state southward.