The South

With Profiles of Maryland and Texas

Physical Features & Culture of the South

Many people view the citizens of the south as farmers. In this case, they would be correct. The south has rich, fertile soil that allows for easier farming. People have taken advantage of this for hundreds of years. Many Native American groups grew different crops such as maize, melons, squash, beans, and tobacco. Europeans also began to settle in the south. The first permanent European settlements were in this region. As word spread of the rich soil, more Europenas began to migrate to this region of the U.S. However, not all areas are cows and plows. The warm, wet climate produces thick forests of pine trees and mangrove trees. Mangroves are trees that grow in swampy ground along coastal areas. In Louisiana, vegetation areas in the marshy lakes and rivers called bayous. These large swampy areas are mainly located in areas of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The Cubans, a large Hispanic group that has migrated toward the southern regions of the U.S., have reclaimed their homeland in Miami, Florida. Here, their culture takes over. Little Havana is filled with Cuban restaurants and Spanish-language television and radio reflect Cuban heritage. The south is also home to many important cities. A big one is Houston, Texas. This is a large industrial and trading center. In addition, much of the nation's space exploration is managed in the city. As you can see, the south has many geographical features and a deep culture.

The Economic Side of the South

The south is generally stereotyped as a rural region that only depends on agriculture. However, the south has built many industries using the natural resources the region has provided them. In the 1840's, textile mills were built using the streams of the Carolinas. The mills were built on the fall line. This imaginary line is where streams and rivers formed waterfalls. Many major cities were built along this line. Textile mills were also built near cotton farms so they could easily produce a variety of fabrics. In addition, the oil industry has boomed throughout the south. The oil reserves started in Texas in 1901. This industry brought great wealth to the country in the years to come. However, a sharp decline in oil prices brought economic hardship to Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Despite this, the south moved onward with what resources they could find. The Gulf Coast has begun manufacturing along the Gulf of Mexico. Available raw material, sources of energy, and ocean ports have been major parts of economic success. The region began to quickly change when industry branched from more than agriculture (the space industry of the 1960's). Many people were attracted to businesses in the south not only because the factories were newer and more efficient, but because the new factories could be built on land cheaper than that of the Northeast.

State Profiles

Maryland

The flag of Maryland was the crest of two different families, the Crosslands and the Calverts. The gold and black was the Calvert's crest and the red and white was the Crossland's. Maryland was founded as an English colony in 1634 by Cecil Calvert, the second lord of Baltimore. In 1814, when the British attempted to capture Baltimore, the invasion of Fort McHenry inspired Francis Key Scott to write "The Star Spangled Banner." During the Civil War, Maryland was a slave state but remained in the Union. This caused division between many families. In the constitution, it was stated that Washington D.C. would be the capital of the U.S. Since Maryland was split during the Civil War, the North and South both wanted the capital to be on their side. The solution? Separate the capital from the country completely. Washington D.C. is home to the president and many congressmen. All throughout history many historical decisions have been made here and continue to be made here. Eight years ago the nation welcomed the first black president into office and again in 2012 for reelection. As of 2010, Maryland's population was over 5 million. The Maryland state house is the oldest state house that is still in continuous use. Also, the Maryland state flag is the only flag that is based on English heritage.

Texas

The Texas flag's blue stripe stands for loyalty, red for bravery, and white for purity. In addition, the single lone star stands for the state's unity under one God, state, and country. The flag was adopted when it became the 28th state to be added into the U.S. in 1845. In 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Britain and France did not want Texas to become a state and so they got Mexico to agree to recognize Texas Independece Day but only if they did not become a state. The Texas congress chose statehood. Texas is the second most populated state in the U.S. As of 2010, there were 25,000,00+ people living in Texas. This growth has to do mainly with the exapansion of large cities and metropolitan areas as well as the establishment of more rural areas (more people moving into the areas). The majority of Texas has always been democratic. In 1932, however, many people began voting for the Republicans in Presidential Elections. This group of people were called Presidential Republicans because they still voted for the Democratic candidate in their state elections. In state elections, they have become mainly Republican; whereas in primary elections, the majority is still democratic. In addition to being the second most populated state, right behind California, it is the largest state out of the 48 mainland states. The most populated city in Texas is Houston, which is also home to the nation's space center (NASA).