Soybeania Forever!

 

I read decades ago  The Nine Nations of North America by Joel Garreau.  It was fun to read although I thought that only three of the regions were close to being true nations:  Dixie, Mexamerica and Quebec.

In order for a geographic area, in the absence of a government, to be a nation some binding force other than mere proximity must exist.  The Civil War and its legacies supplies that for  Dixie.  Quebec has “Je me souviens” ,  although that seems to apply since the Sixties only to their secular history, while their Catholic faith has gone down the collective memory hole.  Mexamerica due to the turbulent amalgam of Mexican and American cultures being played out in the Southwest.  A first rate analysis of this process was written a few years ago by Victor Davis Hanson in Mexifornia.

The late Michael Kilian of the Chicago Tribune wrote a spoof of the book which appeared in the Tribune on June 14, 1981.  He divided Illinois into nine states:  South Wisconsin, The Grand Duchy of Onwentsia, The Regional Government Authority (Most of Cook and the Collar Counties), Republic of Quad, Greater Peoria, The Sangamo City State, Lesser St. Louis, North Dixie, and, my favorite region, Soybeania.  He described Soybeania, my native land, as consisting of 25,000 square miles of corn and soybean fields and almost nothing else, which is only a slight exaggeration.  The article was a well-written hoot, and it is a shame that I can’t find it on-line.  Here is the map which accompanied the article.

illinois-1457

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Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 6:23 am  Comments (2)  

2 Comments

  1. Ha! And here I thought Lake Geneva was “North Illinois” or, more accurately, “North Chicagoland” based on the license plates which predominate, particularly in the summer months. Door County also qualifies for the title.

    I’ve never been to the “South Wisconsin” area, but heck, I’ll be glad to claim it for the Dairy State, particularly since U.S. Grant hailed from Galena.

    What interests me on the US map is how far “Dixie” extends into Illinois and Indiana. I dated a man from southern Illinois. I was house and dogsitting for him once when his mother called and I was startled by her pronounced drawl. He had lived in Milwaukee for many years and had lost any Southern inflection to his speech he might have once had. It fascinates me, these areas where one distinct cultural region starts to blend into another.

    In southern Louisiana, I was told you know you’re in Cajun country when you step inside a convenience store or gas station and there’s a crockpot filled with boudin, the very tasty Cajun sausage, next to the cash register. Once you stop seeing the crockpots, you’re in Anglo-Saxon Louisiana.

  2. I originally come from Paris, Illinois Donna. My relatives have a Hoosier-Southern accent that is very distinctive. I always tell people that if they want to know how Lincoln sounded just go South of I-74 and listen to people who have lived there all of their lives and who have never gone away to college.


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