Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is Florida Part of the South

In its initial stages, Florida was very much a part of the South. For example, they were definitely on the Confederate side during the Civil War. As Florida developed, however, and its population grew and spread further south, it gained characteristics unique to Florida--unshared by the rest of the South. Northern Florida still has many of its old Southern ties but the rest of Florida has diverged away from this identity quite a bit. Central and Southern Florida is dominated by an extreme tourist culture that creates a diversity and identity not typically seen elsewhere. The movement of North Easterners (particularly Jewish populations) as well as the many Hispanic immigrants into South Florida give it a demographic makeup nothing like the Southern "Bible Belt." This complex identity makes a uniform Florida identity difficult and has led to many questions. I grew up in South Florida and it was a common saying that South Florida is just an extension of New York City. The demographic makeup and even the voting patterns of my home county definitely does suggest that we don't quite fit in with all of Florida, let alone the entire South.

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