Darwin’s post on the Russian professor who predicts the breakup of America, reminded me of an intriguing book 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.