Southern History Series: The Genetic Basis of Southern Identity

Editor’s Note: This is one of those things which once you see you can’t unsee because it shapes your view of the world.

JayMan has an excellent article at on the genetics of the American Nations:

“And now, a new paper in Nature bears out the genetic roots of the American nations. In “Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America” (Han et al, 2017), we see that Americans can easily be partitioned into distinct regional clusters …

In short, their giant sample and rich genealogical data allowed them to detect large patterns of shared ancestry in living Americans. And, as expected the American nations clearly emerge from the genetic data.

How did this pattern emerge? In short, this is ultimately the result of the four British folkways of Albion’s Seed. Here the genetic data show that they remain alive and well. Previously, in my post Genes, Climate, and Even More Maps of the American Nations, we saw that the founding British colonists came from distinct parts of the British Isles and settled in different parts of North America. The founding British stock are themselves visible in the genetic data, as we saw from fine-scale analysis of Britain (Leslie et al 2015, ungated link here) …”

For the Tidewater and Deep South, the home of the English Cavaliers (see The Cavaliers) in Southwest England is evidence. The Scottish link (presumably Scots-Irish that settled in the Deep South) is also visible. …”

Here’s the map of America’s cultural geography from Colin Woodard’s book American Nations that is referenced above:

I’m interested primarily in my own home which is the Deep South, but JayMan has ancestry maps that cover every regional culture in the United States:

From what I have read, the founding stock of both the Deep South and the British West Indies was drawn heavily from the West Country and metropolitan London in England. The Scots-Irish settled all over the backcountry while Cavaliers tended to settle in the river valleys:

“So what explains the traits of the Cavaliers, and the hence, the nations they founded? They shared many traits with their old foes the Puritans, particularly a strong nationalistic sentiment, but radically differed from the Puritans in many other ways. The Cavaliers didn’t develop a sense of egalitarian values in the slightest. They also didn’t have a fully corporate system as the other Britons had. They also retained the culture of honor common to clannish peoples. They weren’t as attached to their extended family to the extent the Borderlanders were, but hadn’t evolved into fully atomized family groups as the Puritans or the Quakers had (even though the Puritans seem to have simply replaced the extended family with the entire societal unit – a quick and dirty form of atomization perhaps, which is also seen with Scandinavians). Perhaps it has something to do with their ethnic origins? Whereas the Puritans hailed from the Danelaw, and hence had heavy Scandinavian affinity, the western areas of Britain had been settled by Saxons. As well, the Cavaliers liked to think of themselves as having been descended from Norman conquerors, but it’s unclear how much more so they in fact descended from the Normans. …

The Southwestern English seemed to retain the manor system that had already disappeared in much of Western Europe. Gregory Clark noted that the most successful Englishmen had not been the underclass; nor had it been the upper nobility, who tended to die off in violent conflicts with each other. The successful Englishmen (and by extension Medieval European and East Asians) were the yeoman farmers. These diligent, hardworking, and clever farmers had a distinct fertility advantage, and came to numerically dominate the English population. This process explains the subdued, introverted, academic and industrial traits of the Puritans and the Quakers – who also seemed to be fairly outbred as well – likely having gone through the standard processes occurring throughout Northwestern Europe. But what of the Cavaliers? They retained traits similar to their feudal aristocratic ancestors. What if in southwestern Britain, the most evolutionarily successful weren’t the yeoman farmers, but the aristocrat manor lords who still ruled over them? …”

Through an accident of history, this numerically fairly small group came to become a dominant force in the world through their colonization of America. Quite likely, thanks to their exploitative, highly unequal social and economic system (and owing to their sexual proclivities), the plantation lords in the U.S. may have enjoyed a Gregory Clarkian fertility advantage. This would mean modern American Lowland Southerners may be disproportionately descended from the plantation bosses, and as such, carry on the heritage of manorial lords from a distinctly feudal age. These traits remain important for American society, giving us that unique society known as the South. …”

Here’s the Cavalier origin area in western England:

The Griffin family comes from the West and North of England:

Colin Woodard has a deep dive into how the American Nations voted in the 2016 election. The upshot is about how we would have expected, but with the critical difference that rural Yankees defected and elected Trump. My theory is that racial and cultural polarization is activating latent authoritarian tendencies in White Northerners and creating a more homogeneous “Heartland America.” This is not unlike what happened with Greater Appalachia after the War Between the States.

Compare the cultural map to the genetic map:

Still though, the Whites of the river valleys in the Deep South are unmatched in our racialized, authoritarian, reactionary politics. We are still an authoritarian culture. That’s the cultural and genetic footprint of centuries of the New World plantation complex and English manorialism. It is literally visible in our blood in the 21st century:

“As the Deep South spread, it developed a social and political philosophy that went beyond defending slavery to actually celebrating it. What others regarded as an authoritarian society built on an immoral institution that concentrated wealth and power in the hands of a small elite, Deep Southern oligarchs viewed as the pinnacle of human achievement. Theirs was a democracy modeled on the slave states of ancient Greece and Rome, whose elites had been free to pursue the finer things in life after delegating all drudgery to slaves and a disenfranchised underclass. The Southern gentry were superior to Northerners because they had a “nobility to cultivate some of the higher and more ennobling traits of humanity,” according to one Deep Southern political boss. Yankees, this boss added, were a “nation of shop keepers” while Deep Southerners were a “race of statesmen, orators, military leaders and gentlemen equal and probably superior to any now existing on this or any other continent.” …

As tensions over slavery increased, Deep Southerners began asserting their racial superiority over Yankees as well. The region’s thinkers reaffirmed the thesis that they belonged to a master Norman race, separate from and superior to the Yankee Anglo-Saxons. “The Cavaliers, Jacobites and Huguenots who settled the South naturally hate, condemn, and despise the Puritans who settled the North,” the Deep South’s leading journal, De Bow’s Review, declared. “The former are master races – the latter a slave race, the descendants of Saxon serfs … [who] came from the cold and marshy regions of the North, where man is little more than a cold-blooded amphibious biped.” “We are the most aristocratic people in the world,” De Bow’s continued. “Pride of caste and color and privilege makes every white man an aristocrat in feeling. Aristocracy is the only safeguard of liberty, the only power watchful and strong enough to exclude monarchical despotism.” Another paper proclaimed, “the Norman Cavalier cannot brook into the vulgar familiarity of the Saxon Yankee, while the latter is continually devising some plan to bring down his aristocratic neighbor to his own detested level.”

Ok, I laughed …

What are their descendants doing in our own times? The Yankee has taken his own fondness of novelties mistaken for “progress,” forgetfulness of the past, fetish for abstract reasoning and egalitarian fanaticism, suffocating conformity and utopianism to its logical conclusion:

These people have ZERO self-awareness.

As is their custom, they are still “continually devising some plan to bring down his aristocratic neighbor to his own detested level.” They were once widely perceived at the South as a “leveling culture.” In the 19th century, our ancestors were disgusted by novelties they called “womans rightsism” and “strongminded womanism” and “free loveism,” which were the various insanities they associated with the collapsing social order of the Free States. In our times, it has taken the form of dressing up like a vagina and Alyssa Milano’s recent call for a Sex Strike. Why do you think it would occur to these people to do such a bizarre thing? What it is it about their culture that leads to this?

We also have a bunch of New York Jews telling us that we are “liberty” or “American exceptionalism” or “the American Creed” or “cosmopolitanism” or Emma Lazarus’s give me your human garbage graffiti on the Statue of Liberty (as a matter of fact, few, if any of those immigrants, ever settled in Dixie). That’s not “who we are” though. Take a look at our racial demographics, our distaste for the alien culture we see on television, our voting patterns, our authoritarianism and especially take a look at our neoclassical public and private buildings. We obviously admired the Greeks and the Romans.

Gov. John Quitman, a New Yorker transplanted to Mississippi, assimilated to our traditional culture. Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, MS was his home:

The building screams Greco-Roman patriarchy and authority at you.

Why did the South have such a strong fascination with Antiquity and the Middle Ages? For generations, the Southern education system was geared more toward the classics than the moderns. We admired the hierarchy and authoritarianism of classical republicanism and feudalism. We valued, talked and wrote about “liberty” in the same sense and tone as the Greeks and Romans. Maybe our ancestors were aware of this feedback loop between their culture and economic system and heredity?

Well … that settles it.

I took the DNA test to see where I personally fit into this picture. It turns out the results weren’t a completely random “social construct.” On the contrary, the result was expanding circles of kinship which are a biological validation of my historcist worldview.

Liberalism is fundamentally wrong.

Human beings are organic beings like every other species in the natural world. We are a product of our ancestors. We are also naturally social beings, not rugged individualists. We aren’t anything like inanimate atoms and our needs and behavior can’t be understood in that way.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
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  1. I checked, Calhoun county in Michigan is in fact named after John C. Calhoun indicating broad regional support in the farming community. Calhoun county seems to have the distinction of having an oddly large number of tornado touchdowns for the area.

  2. I live right next door to a Calhoun County Illinois, it’s right between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. It was long an all white area, sometimes called the Kingdom.

  3. I had to read Albion’s Seed in graduate school. I find it curious that the greatest incidence of witch hysteria took place in East Anglia.Guess who settled Mass. Bay colony? Remember the Salem witch trials? They reverted to type! I also find it curious that in any analysis of the white population in America finds three dominant strains; those of British, German and Irish ancestry. Until recently people of British ancestry were the majority of the white population but in recent years people of German ancestry rose to first pace and relegated the British to second place with the Irish coming in third. Should Germany proper be assimilated out of existence then the greatest reservoir of German genes will then be found in the American Midwest!

    • Scandinavian Minnesota/NS Dakotans are merely Germans who are more isolated from the duskier races, and thus, even more naive. (the arabic word for “Blue-eyed” is naive, I’ve been told)

      [My German liberal friends in Berlin call all Turks, ‘Schwarzer’….. which was a humorous affirmation of my own awakening race consciousness, once the reality of nigger proximity happened to them.]

      “We are still an authoritarian culture.”
      Is that why young White people still say, ‘Yes, Sir” and “No, Ma’am” everywhere I go around here down South?
      Of course, NO black person does this, which is even more an insult to their ‘betters.’
      Just sayin’……

    • I have said for years that White self hatred is sick and one day we will identify the gene. Perhaps after identification and further study, we will be able to give these people the treatment they need to recover from their mental illness.

  4. “The building screams Greco-Roman patriarchy and authority at you.”

    It screams normal, home, “agrotopia” to me.
    There are several big houses like this around Chicota, Tx, a mile from the Red. Most towns in Central and East Texas have houses like this. People buy and restore them all the time.

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