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Southern United States

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**Geography and Environment**:
– The Southern United States features diverse climatic zones including temperate, sub-tropical, tropical, and arid regions.
– The region is characterized by a hot and humid climate with long summers and mild winters.
– Most areas in the South fall under the humid subtropical climate zone.
– Unique flora in the South includes magnolia, rhododendron, cane, palm, and oak species.
– Diverse fauna in the South includes amphibians, reptiles like the cottonmouth snake and American alligator, mammals such as the black bear, and birds like the roseate spoonbill.

**Cultural and Historical Significance**:
– The South has a distinct culture with unique customs, fashion, architecture, music styles, and cuisines.
– Historical dominance of a small rural elite in politics and economy.
– Influence of slave labor on the cultural and historical development of the South.
– Effects of racism magnified by the Civil War and Reconstruction era.

**Demographics, Politics, and Economy**:
– Southerners tend to be more conservative, with recent shifts favoring Republicans.
– The region contains the Bible Belt with high Protestant church attendance.
– The South has become economically diversified and metropolitan since the 1940s.
– The South is the fastest-growing region in the U.S. in the 21st century.

**Subregions and States**:
– Subregions of the Southern United States include South Atlantic, West South Central, East South Central, Southeastern U.S., Deep South, Upland South, and Mid-Atlantic.
– States in the Southern United States as defined by the Census Bureau include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

**History and European Colonization**:
– Evidence of human occupation in the South dates back to around 9500 BC.
– European colonization led to a decline in Native American populations.
– The South played a significant role in the American Revolution and the antebellum years.
– Various geographical divisions and cultural terms define the Southern United States.

The Southern United States, sometimes Dixie, also referred to as the Southern States, the American South, the Southland, Dixieland, or simply the South, is a geographic and cultural region of the United States of America. It is between the Atlantic Ocean and the Western United States, with the Midwestern and Northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.

Southern United States
This map reflects the Southern United States as defined by the Census Bureau.
CountryUnited States
States as defined by the Census Bureau. Regional definitions may vary slightly from source to source.
Federal districtDistrict of Columbia
 • Total126,266,107
Demonym(s)Southerner, Southron (historically)
Languages Louisiana French

Historically, the South was defined as all states south of the 18th-century Mason–Dixon line, the Ohio River, and 36°30′ parallel. Within the South are different subregions such as the Southeast, South Central, Upper South, and Deep South. Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia have become more culturally, economically, and politically aligned in certain aspects with the Northeastern United States and are often identified as part of the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic by many residents, businesses, public institutions, and private organizations. Though the possibility of officially moving the first three places to the Northeast census region was explored after the 1950 census, the United States Census Bureau continues to define all four places as formally being in the South. Due to cultural variations across the region, some scholars have proposed definitions of the South that do not coincide neatly with state boundaries. The South does not precisely correspond to the entire geographic south of the United States, but primarily includes the south-central and southeastern states. For example, California, which is geographically in the southwestern part of the country, is not considered part of the South. However, the geographically southeastern state of Georgia is.

The South, being home to some of the most racially diverse areas in the United States, is known for having developed its own distinct culture, with different customs, fashion, architecture, musical styles, and cuisines, which have distinguished it in many ways from other areas of the United States. From 1860 to 1861, eleven Southern states plus an additional two Southern states that were claimed and partially controlled seceded from the Union, forming the Confederate States of America. Following the American Civil War, these states were subsequently added back to the Union. Sociological research indicates that Southern collective identity stems from political, historical, demographic, and cultural distinctiveness from the rest of the United States; however, this has declined since around the late 20th century, with many Southern areas becoming a melting pot of cultures and people. Ethnic groups in the South were the most diverse among American regions, and include strong European (especially English, Scots-Irish, Scottish, Irish, French, and Spanish), African, and Native American components.

The politics and economy of the region were historically dominated by a small rural elite. The historical and cultural development of the South has been profoundly influenced by the institution of slave labor, especially in the Deep South and coastal plain areas, from the early 1600s to mid-1800s. This includes the presence of a large proportion of African Americans within the population, support for the doctrine of states' rights, and legacy of racism magnified by the Civil War and Reconstruction era (1865–1877). Following effects included thousands of lynchings (mostly from 1880 to 1930), a segregated system of separate schools and public facilities established from Jim Crow laws that remained until the 1960s, and the widespread use of poll taxes and other methods to deny black and poor people the ability to vote or hold office until the 1960s. Scholars have characterized pockets of the Southern United States as being authoritarian enclaves from Reconstruction until the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

When looked at broadly, studies have shown that Southerners tend to be more conservative than most non-Southerners, with liberalism being mostly predominant in places with a Black majority or urban areas in the South. Although historically a Democratic stronghold, most states in the region have in recent decades come to favor Republicans, although both the Republican and Democratic Party are competitive in certain Southern swing states. The region contains almost all of the Bible Belt, an area of high Protestant church attendance, especially evangelical churches such as the Southern Baptist Convention. Historically, the South relied heavily on agriculture as its main economic base and was predominantly rural until after World War II. Since the 1940s, the region has become more economically diversified and metropolitan, helping attract both national and international migrants. In the 21st century, it is the fastest-growing region in the United States, with Houston being the region's largest city.

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